31 Jul Find Your WHY… Anytime!
What makes you wake up in the morning excited to go work in your crafty business? What principles guide you as you make business decisions, whether they be product offerings, staffing, customer service, marketing or more? This past month Stitchcraft Marketing hosted a two-part discussion which we called “Find Your WHY in July.” We based our discussion on the author Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why. If you’re not familiar with his work, we recommend you start with his TED talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Today we’re going to briefly cover Simon’s work, as well as talk about how to apply it to your crafty business and how to let it guide you as your business changes, adapts and grows. We’ve also got some great FREE videos and worksheets to share with you
What is a WHY?
To put it simply, your WHY is the reason your organization exists. It’s a purpose, a cause, a belief, the driving force behind your organization. It’s the reason you get up in the morning and it drives you to keep your business going. According to Simon, you should be able to express your WHY in a single sentence that follows this format:
To (your contribution) so that (your impact).
For example, Simon Sinek’s WHY is “To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we can change our world.”
At Stitchcraft Marketing our why is To support a sustainable, thriving craft industry that celebrates the joy of creativity.
To start to get at your WHY, Simon also has you clearly define your HOW and your WHAT.
What is Your How?
This is how you deliver your what to the world. What sets you apart from your competitors? How do you deliver services or goods in a way that is consistent with your why?
At Stitchcraft Marketing, this is our HOW:
We are Knitters, Spinners, Quilters, and Sewists and that makes a difference. We speak the language, we are immersed in the culture and we thoroughly understand the buying behavior of your customer. We bring years of skills and experience in creating compelling social marketing campaigns that help our clients reach new heights.
What is Your What?
This one’s easy: What does your business do? Your what is the products and/or services you sell.
Again, using Stitchcraft Marketing as an example this is our WHAT:
We make magic for brands in the fiber and fabric industry by specializing in content marketing, strategy and execution. We customize each program to showcase the brand, engage the customer base and generate sales.
If you’re interested in more examples of WHAT, HOW and WHY statements, we encourage you to check out Part 1 of our Finding Your Why presentation on YouTube.
How Do I Find My WHY?
Simon Sinek outlines an exercise to help you get to the heart of your WHY. He encourages you to think about the things you love most about your business and he wants you to keep asking yourself WHY. We call this the “5 Why Exercise.”
This might look like:
- Question: Why did you start your business?
- Answer: I wanted to serve my customers.
- Question: Why?
- Answer: Because I have loads of expertise and knowledge I want to share with them to make them better crafters?
- Question: Why?
We encourage you to keep asking WHY! To help you with this we’ve developed some FREE worksheets that you can use to record your thoughts. We’ve also included a worksheet that we call “Start with the End.” In this case you picture where you’d like your legacy to be, and work backwards in increments to set goals and milestones to get you there over the years.
Finally, we’ve brainstormed some additional questions that might help you formulate your WHY:
- When did you feel you were absolutely nailing it? Was it a sales opportunity? A special product or service that you offered to your customers? What do you remember most about the experience – jot down some of the details about how it made you feel and what activities you did to make that moment happen?
- What aspects do you like best about your business? What have been some of the best interactions with your employees? Customers? Some of the worst? What have you learned?
- When you wake up in the morning, what excites you most about going to work?
- What is your goal? What problems are you trying to solve and how are you part of the solution?
Why is my WHY Important?
Now we’re getting to the meat of the issue. Quite simply, your WHY should guide you in every decision you make about your crafty business. The more solidly you feel your WHY, the easier it is to see what you should do in difficult situations. Let’s talk about some examples of this.
Nike has an incredibly strong and well-recognized WHY:
“OUR PURPOSE MOVES US”
Our purpose is to unite the world through sport to create a healthy planet, active communities and an equal playing field for all.”
Nike’s WHY guided their decision in recent years to support Colin Kaepernick and make him a brand ambassador. Nike’s Phil Knight says, “It doesn’t matter how many people hate your brand as long as enough people love it, and as long as you have that attitude, you can’t be afraid of offending people. You can’t try and go down the middle of the road. You have to take a stand on something, which is ultimately I think why the Kaepernick ad worked.”
Another company who has a strong why is Patagonia.
Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. “We’re in business to save the planet.”
What does it look like for them to live their WHY? Here are just a few of the examples:
- Patagonia sought out and eliminated slave labor after an incident in 2011.
- Patagonia has made over $100M in donations to causes since 1985.
- Patagonia ethically sources all of their materials, tracing where they come from, who produces them and handles them at each step of the way.
- This year Patagonia took the step of boycotting Facebook advertising as they believe it causes unnecessary harm.
As a final example, we’ll tell you how Stitchcraft Marketing has handled the biggest set of decisions we’ve faced in a while: how to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Again, our WHY is to help your small crafty business thrive so that we have a vibrant, inspiring, successful industry that celebrates creativity. But what does that look like in a pandemic?
Since March, we’ve been working to produce content and services that are most helpful to you. That includes writing blog articles focused on how you can weather the storm, holding bi-weekly Office Hours sessions where you can come and ask us questions, individual consulting sessions with crafty entrepreneurs, and building robust social media campaigns so that our clients engage consumers online at a time where visiting in person isn’t possible. Everything we’re doing is determined by our WHY and geared towards our larger purpose, and our WHY seeps into our how and our what.
If you need help in finding your WHY check out Part 1 and Part 2 of Find Your Why in July in our most recent Office Hours sessions on YouTube, or sign up for our newsletter to receive our FREE worksheets. Once you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll also receive invitations to future Office Hours sessions- we would love to hear from you if you have a topic you’d like us to cover, and we look forward to “meeting” you there!
If you’d like to work with Stitchcraft Marketing to find your WHY or use it to determine a future course of action, contact us today to get started!