Preach The “Why”

I just finished Start With Why this last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought I’d gotten the gist of it from watching his Ted Talk years ago, but turns out you get way more from a book than a 20-minute presentation for a specific audience.

The biggest note for me was that a leader – whether of a company or a community – their job is to champion and preach the “why”.

It was a huge marketing lesson. I’ve been writing this daily blog for a few months now and it hasn’t really spread much beyond the few dozen people that initially signed up to read it every day. I was wondering what I was doing wrong, or not doing, that was preventing it from reaching a wider audience.

I wonder now if focusing on the “how” and the “what” of being a creative isn’t as helpful as discussing the “why”. The “why”, in this case, is the principles and beliefs that guide and inform the how and the what.

“I write to figure out what I think” is a principle, or a “why”.

Writing every day about creativity and work is the how. Publishing that writing on a blog is the what. That’s the thing that people, like yourself, interact with.

If I just focused on the publishing, there would be no consistency or purpose behind the writing. If I just focused on writing every day for a few minutes and never published, it may be the most important thing ever (it’s not…) but no one would read it, and it would still be disconnected from a higher purpose or reason.

Focusing and preaching the why, then, means that whether it’s publishing a blog, or writing a book, or creating a course, or anything else I might do, are all serving a bigger purpose – figuring things out and then sharing those lessons with others. When you focus on the why, it doesn’t matter what the “what” looks like today, because it may be different tomorrow.

If you, too, struggle with connecting with an audience and finding more people to join that audience, look at why you want to do so in the first place. Then preach the why. Talk about your beliefs and guiding principles. Share that with your “tribe”, and see what happens.

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