Tiimiakatemia on Jyväskylän Ammattikorkeakoulun yrittäjyyden huippuyksikkö

Start with why

Kirjoitettu 06.04.20
Esseen kirjoittaja: Petra Heikkinen
Kirjapisteet: 2
Kirja: Start with why
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Simon Sinek
Kategoriat: 1. Oppiminen, 8.5. Henkisen kasvun klassikot

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Why is knowing one’s why so important?

Why did I choose exactly this book to read? I am a person that believes in motivating oneself from the inside. So many people motivate themselves from the outside nowadays. Money can be a motivator of some sort, but if you truly enjoy what you are doing and find a greater meaning in it, you can achieve so much more. I have a couple projects where I talk or coach people with motivation, and I wanted to read this book to help me with those projects, more about them later, but also for myself and keeping myself focused and motivated about the things that I want to achieve.

The concept of the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek is a drawn circle, representing ‘what’. Inside that circle is another circle, representing ‘how’. Inside that circle is yet another circle representing ‘why’. It is more common to focus on the outer two, than the innermost circle. The whole world is filled with companies that know what they do, and how they do it. But there is one question that is way harder to answer, and sometimes not answered at all. The question Why. If the question Why was answered more often, the starting points and points of view would be different for many companies as well as people.

Why is this? Usually we do think from the perspective of what, because our brains are programmed so. However, that is very rational and logical. A question why is way broader than what or how, but so are your general goals and aspirations in life. Therefore, the question’s broadness is quite fitting, right?

What is my why? I want to learn more about things that interest me. I do things mostly from interest. This paired with the skill of negotiating and closing deals will be very efficient in the future. Why do I want to study at the Team Academy? I feel like the Academy has a lot to teach me. There are so many things that I haven’t yet tried, and the opportunities at the Team Academy are endless. Truly endless. I feel like I have already learned so much, and I continue to learn during the next two years. Judging by how I have grown as a person and developed new skills in a wide variety of areas already during the one and a half years of my team academy career, I have high expectations of the next two years.

What way do you think of projects? Do you think “I want to do thing X, in this way. Why? I don’t know really. For money?” or do you have the why-approach already in use? Try answering these questions in this order.

  1. Why do I want to do this project?
  2. How will I do it?
  3. What will I do?

When you look at them in this order, you will end up with a better viewpoint in terms of what you truly are passionate about, which will automatically give you more.

A why can be deduced from things that you want to do not just for money. I also have projects that I feel like will give me so much more than money, like our hotel room design project. We, the project group, have known that the project is above all a learning project, but our why is to learn and be a part of a very creative and international project. We were brought together by our love towards internationalism and creativity. When you know your why, the right people will come to you naturally, because you are drawn to similar things, and believe in the same things.

To inspire. That is what I want to do. Why do I have a (very much beginner) youtube channel called petrazaria, talking about language learning? Why did I do a keynote about effective language learning in January? Why am I planning to teach an online Spanish course for beginners? They all serve the same why, in long term I want to change the way people think about language learning and show people that there are more ways to learn languages than the way we are taught in schools. I want to show the world how fun and easy it is. This truly is my passion.


When you focus on your why, it gives you space to move around what you do, and how without having to change your why. A why can be realized in many different ways.

Sinek uses the American railway companies as a powerful example. They were once the biggest companies in the united states. They focused heavily on the what. They were railroad companies with pride. Moving people across the country. How did they do it? They built great railroads across the country and their business strived. However, times change. Airplanes and cars got more popular and little by little ate away the railroad companies’ business. There was a problem with how the companies thought; they were focused on the what and how of their business was functioning, but the why was fuzzy. If their why would have been “giving people mobility” their why would have expanded their thinking, and when the airplane business started growing, they could have hopped on the trend, and provided their customers the mobility that their why promised. This never happened, because they were too focused on the what and how, and today we can see the effects of this; railroad companies are not widely used in the united states.

A company is just a structure. The products really are no different. In the end it’s about thinking differently, and communicating that to the people. This is important, because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Apple is a great example of this. The products aren’t that different, but apple has succeeded to communicate their way of thinking, and the people who think the same way have responded. Those who believe equally become fiercely loyal to the company. Apple’s why is to challenge the normal and influence the society by building tools that take thinking to a new level. How they do this is by developing high tech digital devices. What they do is sell electronic devices.

If you look at apple’s what and how, do they really differ from any other company’s what’s and how’s on the same field? Not really. There are a lot of companies that produce electronic devices, but still none of them are like apple. The people who believe what apple believes have become strong supporters of apple.

Therefore, to think about things more from the perspective of why pays off, as when you let your why guide you, you will realize your life starts to flow differently, as you switch your thinking around. Just ask yourself a simple question. Just ask, Why?

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