How does one communicate the drive and ambition of a passionate business owner to their customers and employees? How does the energized entrepreneur encapsulate that enthusiasm in their product or service? How do they grow and sustain it within their company culture?
First you need to define it for yourself. Ask a business owner why they are in business and most tell you what they do. But why are they really doing what they do? What is their passion? It’s not to make the best bouncy house for kids. But it might be to bring joy to kids and making bouncy houses is just one way to make that happen.
I recently re-read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why.” It’s an easy read and I recommend it if you are wondering why you are getting up in the morning or where the fun and excitement you used to feel about your business has disappeared.
The basic premise of the book is that those leaders who inspire us, those businesses that trigger our desire to have what they make has nothing to do with the tangible – the product they produce or how they produce it.
We are triggered by the emotional part of our brains when we make decisions. Marketers will tell you they’ve been saying this for decades. Why we get triggered is the big question and those who figure out that for themselves create the more successful businesses.
Sinek says when customers identify with your core values and understand why you get excited to work in your business, that is what triggers them to want what you are offering. And the product or service can be changed out for another. Because the thing that the customer is purchasing is the emotional connection, the engagement and buy-in with your “why” and not with your “what.”
When they understand that the reason for your business is ‘to give the everyday person the same independence and access to computing power and communication as a large corporation’ (a rough example of what Apple has done); your customers will purchase your widget, be it a computer or a phone. Because the “what,” in this case a computer or phone, isn’t what they are after. What they want and what they are purchasing is the access that previously was only granted to large corporations.
The same holds true for your employees. If they do not align with why you are in business, it’s just another job. There is no engagement, no passion. If they don’t care whether or not they help bring joy to kids, then there is no buy-in, no passion. On the other hand when they apply for the job of Ops Manager or Receptionist, and understand that they are helping to provide kids joy and their values are aligned with those of the business, those employees are the ones that come to work every day excited to be there and are engaged with a strong sense of ownership.
All of this translates into a successful business. Why are you in business?
Charlie Jordan is a business consultant helping organizations reach their peak performance goals and is a partner of Kinetic Koffee. She can be reached at Charlie.Jordan1@gmail.com.