“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone I hadn’t had a chat with for ages. In a throw away comment they said that ‘some of the people that I had been supporting over the last two years had felt that things had become about ‘me’ rather than them’. I was a little shocked to say the least. And it would be fair to say, it was an incorrect sentiment. Nothing gives me, as a pursuer of excellence, greater pleasure than helping people grow, succeed and be even more brilliant than they already are.
So it got me thinking again. Beyond earning some money and giving you something to do with your time, what is the point of your business and what you do? Looking outside what do you hope that your business will do for other people? What will it change? Why are you doing it all? Why is it important that you exist?
You call this your reason ‘WHY‘. You could say it’s your business reason why, but stronger and more importantly I would say it’s YOUR reason why.
The ‘why’ is probably THE most important branding idea around – simply because people buy into your reason why you do things. Having a clear reason why means you can write your story in your customers minds about why you and your idea exists and as importantly, why it matters. It gives people a reason to support you. It gives people a reason top be your champion and cheerleader. It turns your business and ideas into a business ideology.
A florist with a reason why, can transform a flower shop into somewhere people can show their love for each other, or into a celebration of life and happy times. If they have a reason why, they become more than someone selling flowers, they become someone who changes peoples moods, lives and memories.
Having a why, transforms collectors of model railways into a business that reignites the inner train engineer in people. A restaurant into a place with beautiful memories and occasions. A support group into friends for life. A jeweller from a seller of rings and diamonds into a supplier of memories, family heirlooms and wearable art. The reason why becomes invaluable.
One of my favourite, and as an Apple whore myself, is from an Apple computers advert in 1977; (I was three at the time, but have since researched and read about it…):
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they c change things. they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see the genius. Because people who are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones that do.”
Apple’s WHY was to support a group of people like Einstein, Piccasso, Jim Henson, Ghandi and others, who were all seen as the ‘crazy ones’ at some point in their life. (Let’s be fair…let’s throw Steve Jobs in there too as well as Bill Gates).
When you look at the campaign, you begin to think, “YESSSS!! The crazy people are the important ones.” We need more people like that in the world, otherwise it just gets dull. We want to be a part of that movement, that ideology. These days it’s very important to have a clear reason WHY. Most creators don’t have the money to spend on massive ad campaigns and a lot of their advertising is done through word of mouth.
A good ‘WHY’ is absolute rocket fuel for your idea and business. It becomes a “Look at this business; look what I’ve discovered. They are brilliant; They are fantastic and you must follow them…”
Here are some of the notes I wrote as I re-write my website about why I do what I do:
“ I came from a family where becoming more than ‘your lot’ was always frowned upon. Never dreaming, or letting yourself think you could be brilliant at anything. Well after 25 years of running large businesses for other people and helping them make as much money as possible for themselves, I wanted to help smaller businesses who want to excel, grow, expand, prosper and become brilliant in a much faster time frame than they ever thought possible. We are led to believe it is only the smart, the rich, the arrogant, the gifted and the blessed that can succeed. that’s wrong. Being part of people achieving, exceeding and smashing their personal and business goals is the most exciting and satisfying thing I can ever see or be a part of and more rewarding for everyone involved. “
For me helping other people to shake off the shackles of their own ‘career blocks’ or being able to realise their ‘true potential’ is more inspiring than ‘a bloke that once wrote a book on business’ or ‘enjoys doing workshops and presentations because he’s quite good at it’.
My ‘why’ also helps me realise what I should write about, talk about and who I’d like to do business with in the future. I think it’s as important to work with the right people, so I can help inspire the right people. The hard workers, the grafters, the people who didn’t go to university, get the breaks or have a silver spoon in their mouth when they popped out of mummy. Those are the people that I care about and those people are very important to me, because they are more likely to be the creative, brilliant, fun geniuses this world craves.
So this goes out to the brilliant, creative, odd, peculiar, hard working, fun and frowned at business owners out there…
If you’d like to be coached or have an initial FREE 1:1 session with Marc, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!