If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek, then you’re familiar with this statement. Though I haven’t read his book yet, I’ve watched his TED talks and his message always resonates with me. It’s how I now try to live my life and pursue my work.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” ~ Simon Sinek
Identify your core why
With my work, I’m driven to create by my feelings and experiences. I can’t be fulfilled by money, perks or building someone else’s dreams. I’m fulfilled by own selfish need to share and express myself. It took me a long time to come to terms with my core why and be able to put it into words. I eventually distilled it down to one word. Freedom. I want to be free to live, create and be on my own terms. And this is what keeps me going through the hardest times.
Identify the project’s why
Since I’m constantly working on new things, I have to continuously reset my why on a project level. I start by asking myself a series of questions:
- Why do you want to It’s so easy to get caught up in a project you think you should to be doing or add a feature because you assume someone else would want it.pursue this project?
- Why did you come up with this idea?
- Why would you use this product?
- Why would others want to use it?
- Why should you work on this now vs later?
- Why should it be a short-term vs long-term project?
- Why should it have this feature or why should it not?
- Why should you charge anything or why should you not?
I try to be brutally honest with myself when I answer these questions because it helps to determine my true intentions for a project. It’s so easy to get caught up in a project you think you should to be doing or add a feature because you assume someone else would want it. Instead I try to start with why I would want to use what I’m making in the first place and then expand from there. It’s so much easier to make decisions based on your why than someone else’s.
Do it with passion or not at all
I never want to end up working on something I don’t truly care about. Working without passion or any sort of intrinsic motivation can be dangerous and soul sucking. I’ve done it before and I made a promise to myself that I’d never do it again. Starting with why has helped to guide me in the right direction.
Why do you do what you do? Let me know in the comments.