The concept of starting with why is one that has resonated with me like nothing before.
When you get your brain around the thinking and begin to understanding the process, it becomes life changing!
It’s something so simple, beyond simple in-fact, that it is actually built into our psyche.
In this 15 minute video I walk through my personal journey with why.
Why I’m a photographer and Why I started Freedom.
I’ll then walk through how you can leverage your why to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.
Please do let me know what you think!
If you listen, stick with me and give me these 15 minutes, I hope to open your eyes to a new way of running your business, living your life and prospering.
The concept of starting with Why.
Everything I do, every decision I make, is led by my overarching life WHY.
After listening to Simon Sinek a while back, it almost instantly gave me new perspective. No book or video has ever given me such a light bulb moment or given clarity and words to something I’ve been feeling for such a long time.
Now for those of you who know me, you know I’m not preachy, but you know when I’m passionate about something, I’m very passionate about it!
Now my Why for starting and running freedom is simple. I want to build an ecosystem where photographers like you,have the necessary tools, services, education and community to build the life and business of your dreams.
I’ll tell you the exact reason I’m a wedding photographer in a sec but you may ask yourself Why is the WHY so important?
Well SImon Sinek says
“It is one of life’s greatest joys to wake up in the morning… every morning. With a clear sense of why that day matters. WHy every day matters. This is what it means to find your why. This is the start of an inspiring journey. Your inspiring journey. Inspire on.”
It’s not just a great way to run your business, market to your clients and attract your ideal client but it’s also a damn good way to live your life!
It’s your WHY, your purpose.
So why else should you find your personal WHY?
Business can be tough, wake up, hustle, deal with customers, attempt to make money, come home or if you work from home, jump back into home life, manage your personal life, go to bed, wake up, repeat. Why get fancy by trying to also understand why you do what you do?
When we discover our why, we are better able to find the clarity and confidence to choose the jobs, communities, relationships and directions most likely to inspire us.
Do you want to wake up every day inspired to get to work, feel safe and secure when you’re there and at the end of the day, you are truly fulfilled?
Now onto our business WHY.
We know what we do, everyone does right?
We know how we do it!
Now we need to know WHY we do what we do.
If you’re seeking change, want to carve out a path that sets you apart from others and lays the foundations for the future, you are ready to discover your WHY.
A why, is a blueprint, a set of personal values and beliefs through which to make decisions that last.
It is only for people commited to positive change and long term success.
Is that you?
When a business starts with why, they stand for something bigger than any product, result or metric. Their brand has real meaning and true value in the world.
They are better able to attract customers and anyone who comes into contact with the organization, is truly drawn to it.
This is your business’s journey to why.
Every organization—and every person’s career—operates on three levels, as shown in the illustration
What we do, how we do it, and why we do it.
We all know what we do: the products we sell, the services we offer or the jobs we do.
Some of us know how we do it: the things that we think make us different or stand out from the crowd.
But very few of us can clearly articulate why we do what we do.
“Hold on,” you might say. “Let’s be honest here—aren’t most people working to earn money?”
That’s the obvious ‘why.’
BUT let me clarify something, money is a result
Though it is a part of the picture, it’s not what inspires any one of us to get out of bed in the morning. And for the cynics out there who think they or others really do get out of bed for the money, the question we ask is, what is the reason they want the money.
Is it for freedom? To travel? To provide a lifestyle for their kids? Is it to keep score and show they have done more than others?
The point is, money isn’t the thing that drives people.
WHY goes much deeper to understanding what motivates and inspires us.
It is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every company and every person’s individual career.
Why does your business exist? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And why should anyone care?
When we meet new customers or clients, the first thing most of us tell them is what we do.
Then we explain how we do it or how we are different.
This, we think, will be enough, to win their business, sway their point of view or convince them to take a particular action.
Simon lays it out with the following template: “We sell paper. We offer the highest quality product at the best possible price. Lower than any of our competitors. Wanna buy some? “
This is a reasonable pitch. It states clearly what the company does and attempts to persuade someone to choose its product over others’ on the basis of features and benefits.
Though this approach may work now and then, at best it will result in a few recurring transactions.
As soon as the buyer finds a better deal, they will be gone, because the pitch doesn’t differentiate this specific vendor from other companies in any way that truly matters.
Loyalty is not built on features and benefits. Features and benefits do not inspire.
Loyalty and long-lasting relationships are based on something deeper.
Simon Try’s the pitch again. Let’s start with WHY: What good is an idea if it can’t be shared? Our company was founded to help spread ideas. The more ideas that are shared, the greater the likelihood those ideas will have an impact in the world. There are many ways to share ideas; one is the written word. That’s where we come in. We make paper for those words. We make paper for big ideas. Wanna buy some?
Totally different, right? Starting with WHY just made paper sound really good.
And if it can do that for a commodity, imagine what it can do for a product or service that really can stand out. This pitch is not based on facts and figures, features and benefits.
Those things have value but not first. Leading with WHY has a deeper, more emotional and ultimately more influential value.
When we use the second pitch, we’re no longer talking about paper. We’re talking about who our company is and what we stand for.
Of course, you’ll always get those people who just want a ream of paper. And yet, if your customers’ personal beliefs and values align with those expressed in your pitch—i.e., if they believe in the spread of ideas—then they are much more likely to want to do business with you, not just one time, but over and over and over again.
In fact, they are more likely to stay loyal even if another vendor offers a better price. It says something about them when they do business with a company that reflects their beliefs.
Companies that inspire, companies that command trust and loyalty over the long term, are the ones that make us feel we’re accomplishing something bigger than just saving a buck.
Simon also says: That feeling of alliance with something bigger, is the reason we keep wearing the jersey of our hometown sports team even though they’ve missed the playoffs for ten years and counting.
I know it certainly is why I will always buy Apple products over other brands, even if Apple isn’t always the most affordable choice.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we are not entirely rational beings. If we were, no one would ever fall in love and no one would ever start a business. Faced with an overwhelming chance of failure, no rational person would ever take either of those risks.
But we do. Every day.
Because how we feel about something or someone is more powerful than what we think about it or them. There’s just one problem with feelings. They can be tremendously difficult to express in words. That’s the reason we so often resort to metaphors and analogies, like….
“Our relationship feels like a train heading at high speed toward a rickety bridge.”
Even though communicating our feelings is hard, the payoff is big.
When we align ourselves emotionally with our customers and clients, our connection is much stronger and more meaningful than any affiliation based on features and benefits.
That’s what starting with WHY is all about.
And here’s the best part: This is not our opinion. This whole concept of WHY is grounded in the biology of human decision making.
How the Golden Circle works maps perfectly with how our brain works.
The outer section of the Golden Circle—the WHAT— corresponds to the outer section of the brain—the neocortex. This is the part of the brain responsible for rational and analytical thought. It helps us understand facts and figures, features and benefits. The neocortex is also responsible for language.
The middle two sections of the Golden Circle—the WHY and HOW—correspond to the middle section of the brain, the limbic system. This is the part of the brain responsible for all our behavior and decision making. It’s also responsible for all our feelings, like trust and loyalty. But unlike the neocortex, the limbic system has no capacity for language.
This is where the term “gut feelings” come from.
It’s not our stomach. It’s a feeling we get about a decision we have to make that we struggle to explain. That separation of powers is the biological reason we sometimes find it difficult to put our feelings into words (“I love you more than words can say”), explain our actions (“Something just came over me!”) or justify our decisions (“I don’t know . . . it just felt right”).
We can learn, however, to put words to those feelings.
And those who do are the ones who win.
They’re better able to inspire action in anyone.
Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to articulate it and better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best.
When you know that you’ll have a point of reference for everything you do going forward.
You’ll be able to make more intentional choices for your business, your career and your life.
You’ll be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.
Never again… should you have to play the lottery and act on gut decisions that are made for reasons you don’t really understand.
From now on, you will work with purpose, on purpose. From now on, you’ll start with WHY.
So some of you may be thinking what is my WHY for being a photographer.
“This is my Nan and grandad, childhood sweethearts they defied everything to be together. They struggled, they had my mum at only 17 and struggled to provide the incredible life they gave her and my auntie.
They then selflessly began to foster children. They fell in love with a little girl Natasha and were kind enough to save her from a difficult situation and adopt her and thus the family was complete.
I’ll come back to why this story is relevant in a second..
I found photography in high school, I dabbled in it and quickly became obsessed. Particularly with wedding photography.
I had to go and see everyone of my family and see their wedding images. I loved that piece of history.
That’s how I saw it.
A piece of family history in a book passed down from generation to generation.
Then I went and saw my Nan. I asked about her wedding, she told me everything, how amazing the day was, how special it was to her in particular and the funny stories about drunken family members.
Can I see the album! I said.
My nan started crying in front of me.
They had no photos of their day. No album and nothing she could look back on.
It was the first time she’d talked about her wedding in a while.
Back to the story from earlier. My grandad gave his life to his work and family. They really began to make a life for themselves.
Tragically, a year after adopting Natasha he passed away while doing the thing he – Like a true welshman – loved, playing rugby!
He was 42, it was sudden and it absolutely devastated my family.
But my Nan breaking down and telling me about their lack of wedding images was the exact moment I knew I’d found my purpose.
Capturing memories and providing heirlooms for generation after generation.
This is the reason i fell in love with albums and wall product, it’s the perfect vessel and I am so pleased to say I’ve provided over 250 families with heirlooms from their wedding day to date.
Now, I never met my grandad but the connection I feel I have with him is solely based on the photos that remain of him and the stories that are told.
This is why I’m a photographer.
To provide families with heirlooms and treasured memories.
I urge you, if you take nothing more from this, just start with why.
Apply it to everything you do and you will succeed.
And value yourself. You have an opportunity in life to do something special.
The scientific probability of you being alive is supposedly 400 trillion to 1
So imagine the probability of you being alive, in this incredible technologically advanced era, inside of this course, learning the skills necessary to change your life.
400 trillion-1 according to Dr Ali Binazir is’nt accurate and after doing some very logical math about your parents meeting, ancestors meeting and having children he’s come up with the figure that the chance of us just being born is 1 in 10 followed by 2,640,000 zeros
As a comparison, the approximate number of atoms in the known universe is 10 followed by 80 zeroes.
So what’s the probability of your being born?
It’s the probability of 2.5 million people getting together — about the population of San Diego or Paris — each to play a game of dice with a 1 trillion-sided dice. They all roll the dice — and they all come up with the exact same number — say, 550,343,279,001.
Now I agree with Ali here.
A miracle is an event so unlikely as to be almost impossible. By that definition, I’ve just proven that you are a miracle.
Now go forth and feel and act like the miracle that you are.