Start With Why, book review

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"Start With Why" by Simon Sinek has been one of the best books I have read in a while! Throughout the book Sinek details into how we can go into finding our purpose in finding out the why behind what we do. He goes into several examples of companies that exist today and how the why in the company has made them successful. The standout example for me was Apple in that Steve Jobs was extremely driven by the why behind his products. The purpose behind not just the products, but the whole Apple brand is so strong that it has connected with million of other people that resonate with Steve's why. One interesting point that Sinek brings up is that most people don't care so much about how your why relates to you, but how in relates to themselves and when a strong sense of why is shared between two parties, a connection is created. 

In the book Sinek also goes into the how and what behind the ideas of companies, which brings me to the second part of the Apple example. Steve Jobs never made computers, Steve Wozniack did. Woz was the how and what behind Steves why. When there is a strong why, the how and what will follow, however often times in a company it is found in a different person than the one with the why.

I feel like the what is often a material surface that we see. Sure, sometimes we purchase things strictly on the what, such as when something is bought purely on the way something looks, but if the why is there, the what can often be overridden. For example, take organic produce. We know that the produce organic because of the labels, but from the way the appear, they often look smaller and a little more rough around the edges compared to their pesticide ladened counterparts. This is where the why kicks in. We don't buy organic because it looks better, we buy it because we know that it is better for us from a health standpoint. 

"Energy can excite. But only charisma can inspire" We can find energy through various means, more sleep, eating better, or from more secondary sources such as caffeine or supplements. The thing about charisma though is that it comes from within. I don't remember where I read or heard this but it goes something like, if you have a person thats passionate about something they will spread the word about it automatically. There would never be a need for them to "sell", or be taught to sold.

Another example I can come with is a little more personal as it has to do with with current job. For holiday a program has been put in place that if we get our entire team stats above a certain percentage, we would all get an extra chunk of pay in our pay cheques. This is all good and well, however it would only resonate with us if the reason we came to the job was simply to make top dollar. I'm sure most of us came because we needed some money, however I feel that if we had a greater purpose within our work, the quality of work would always be high because we would have a reason from within that is not superficial. 

I feel like this is the case with my photo work. I work a full time job, yet when ever I come home from work I always have the energy to work on my pictures because my why is always there. My why has to do with telling stories. I love telling stores with my work and my goal is to capture the unique story of who ever is in front of my camera in as an authentic way as possible. That is what gets me going and that is what I work for. I sometimes like to think of myself as a story teller and photography is just the medium I use to do this. If we keep our why at the top of our minds, the what and the how will always come and everything will surely fall into place.


Wilson Lau

Photographer of weddings, and people alike.