Starting a Startup Pt. 1: The Why

These series of posts are based on my recent experience with starting a startup, and how I went about it with my partner to get us both on the same page for us to develop a strategy we both believe in and can execute on.

 

I bet you know what you want to do.

I bet you know how you want to do it.

But do you know why you want to do it?

Why are you willing to put your reputation on the line? Why are you willing to put your career on the line? Why are you willing to alienate yourself from your friends and family during tough times by working nights and weekends with the hope this thing gets off the ground and makes a dent in the universe?

 

There’s only one answer to these questions: the why.

The why is what’s going to push you on during those hard times. But most importantly, the why is what is going to help you build a personal connection with your customers/users/clients because they can sense that genuine¬†motive you have.

For more on the importance of the why, check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk (the short version is also available):

So how to you get the Why?

Simon does an excellent job of explaining the power of the why: people connect to it. But he doesn’t explain how to reach there.

 

I haven’t come across a particular framework that I can recommend, but I feel the 5 Whys framework is definitely up for the job.

Here’s how we’ll do it:

Ask yourself, “why are you doing this startup/solving this problem/helping this person”? You’ll come up with answer #1.

Then ask yourself, “why do you care about <answer #1>”? You’ll come up with answer #2.

Then ask yourself, “why do you care about <answer #2>”? You’ll come up with answer #3.

Then ask yourself, “why do you care about <answer #3>”? You’ll come up with answer #4

Then ask yourself, “why do you care about <answer #4>”? You’ll come up with answer #5.

 

At this point, you’ve probably come to the deepest, deepest reason you care about doing this startup. This is your why.¬†

Embrace it! Love it! Write it! Draw it! Paint it!

This why is something you want to hold deep in your heart.

Everything you’ll be doing from this moment on is going to stem from your why. It’s going to influence every decision you make, and your customers will see it! It’s going to make you more powerful!

Now you can concentrate on the what and how of your startup!

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