3 Takeaways from Start With Why by Simon Sinek


Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be more inspired than others?

Why are some people able to wake up energized and empowered and then at the end of the day, go to bed feeling fulfilled?

Now the answer to these questions is not a highly guarded secret. In fact, it’s quite simple and it can be summarized in three words:

These people Start With Why. 

I’m so excited to share with you this bestselling book by Simon Sinek so let’s jump right in!

Here are my 3 takeaways:


01. Start with why

Pretty obvious from the title, right?

But in the book, the author demonstrates the relationship of your WHY, HOW, and WHAT using the Golden Circle.

Everyone knows WHAT they do. They get up and go to work, they attend class, they teach, they blog. 

Some people even know HOW they do it. They analyze data, they listen to the professor, they recite lessons, they conduct research. 

But very few people or companies, for that matter, know WHY they do what they do. Why they get up in the morning. Why they exist. 

And so to start with your WHY means taking a hard look at yourself right now, identifying your core belief, your main purpose, and from there, let it be proven and realized by your HOWs and your WHATs.


So that when you wake up in the morning, you’re inspired and empowered to take action. So that at the end of the day, you’d go to bed feeling fulfilled. So that you, too, could inspire others to act. 


02. People don’t buy what you do but why you do it. 

To give you an example of this Golden Circle in action, let’s take a look at Apple. 

Apple operates from the level of WHY. 

Their WHY, their main purpose is to think different, as their famous ad says, to challenge the status quo. And then they support this purpose with their HOW: they create beautiful and user-friendly products and then ultimately, their WHAT: their revolutionary products such as the iPod, the iPad, the Mac.

So, what separates Apple from all the other computer companies out there is that the other companies operate from a level of WHAT — 

they highlight new features, specs, colors, and sizes, a lower price maybe — not exactly inspiring; therefore, if they do make sales, it’s not out of loyalty and it’s definitely not sustained in the long term. 

At this point, these companies resort to using certain forms of manipulation such as fear, peer pressure, or price when they could have just started with their WHY in the first place.


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03. Avoid the “split” by always focusing on your why

The “split” happens when a company loses sight of their WHY, usually when they’ve become successful for so long, that the passion or inspiration has dwindled… or after there’s a change of leadership such as the CEO’s retirement or death. 

Take for example, when Steve Jobs was removed from Apple in 1985 at which point, the company struggled to maintain their success and innovative spirit. 

Another case is with Sam Walton. In the beginning days of Walmart, the company emphasized serving people, both customers and employees; however, the turnover failed to carry on this WHY of theirs and so they struggled. 

Lastly, I want to share this critical distinction between achievement and success according to the author:

"Achievement is when you pursue and attain what you want. Success, on the other hand, is when you are in clear pursuit of WHY you want it."

But what about you?

How do you ‘start with why’ when setting goals for your life? Have you read this book? What are your three takeaways?

Share them in the comments below!


Since one of the best ways to improve ourselves is to commit to continuous learning, this post is part of the blog mini-series called 3 Takeaways where I discuss three insights from thought-provoking leaders, books, and podcasts. 

My purpose initially was to simply read more books, but the learnings were too valuable to keep to myself.  My goal has since been to share the vital lessons that will help you be productive and free. 

Want to read this book yourself?

Click here to grab your copy of Start With Why from Amazon.com*

Or get two free audiobooks from Audible*.

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