Understanding your Why or Purpose

We all know that the best way to get your message to your audience is to have your story right. Even better to have a good story. Some of the greatest salespeople will live by their story, the one that they will tell on the phone or at a meeting. This is rehearsed and planned. It is this story that excites and motivates the audience to respond by doing something that you want them to do. In this case, buy their product.

The issue that a lot of businesses have is that they tell their story from the concept of what they do. The problem with this storytelling is that it doesn’t go far enough. What if everyone else (who does what you do) says the same thing? What is setting you apart? If everyone is saying the same things your message gets caught in the clutter of all the other messages.

Good storytelling

Some of the elements of good storytelling are to get the audience emotionally involved in what you are telling. Every good story has someone/something (the protagonist) that we all care for. If not, then we will lose interest in what happens. In good storytelling, you are told why the protagonist is doing what they are doing. You understand their motivations and thus follow their desire to do what they do. Your business story is no different from any story that is being told.

So how do we get that emotional response from our audience?

What if your story was told from the angle of “Why” you make or do something? Your reason for doing what you do. The concept that you have a passion for something is stronger than just being good at something. You have an emotional reason for doing what you do. Your audience will follow that passion.

I once asked a client why he makes drawers and slider systems for 4WD’s. “It was his trip around Australia”. The most annoying thing was trying to find things in the back of the car. He called it the “chore” of traveling. To his frustration, the thing that he loves doing “traveling” was becoming a “chore”. He then thought how does he take away that chore of traveling. And now this is what he does. “Creates storage systems that help people organise their things so everything can be found easily.

Which story sounds better:

“We make drawers and sliders for 4WD’s and we are the best at it”


“We give you organisation so you can enjoy your travels just like we do”

What he has done is turned an action (make or do) into a desire to do something that is good (helps people). This is called a purpose or the “Why”. His story is now about solutions to make your travels more enjoyable. Many companies make drawers and sliders but only one does it to help you. That’s the differentiator right there.

So how do you find what makes you different?

Well, you first need to ask some important questions like “Why did you start your business in the first place? What was the motivation? What problem were you trying to solve?” (e.g. taking the chore out of travel). These answers will tell you the reason for your business’s being and thus it will be your story. You “the protagonist”, with motivations and a desire to change or help solve the problem.

People don’t buy what you do they buy Why you do it.

This process is what we call the “Why Statement” a process that we go through with all of our clients. For more information on this process click here

The concept of “Start with Why” comes from Simon Sinek and you can read more about him here.

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