Sinek’s Golden Circle model – finding your WHY

Published by Anna on

A few weeks ago, I went to SME Live at the NEC – a two-day event bringing together businesses from the Midlands and beyond.

There were LOADS of free seminars and I went to one run by Trident, a Midlands-based creative agency. Led by Jordan, it focused on cutting through the noise and standing out as a business. Sounds good – everyone wants to do that!

Hello Golden Circle model

This is where I first learnt about Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle model which offers up some food for thought. I made some notes and read up about it after the event. If you can get beyond the slightly dramatic terminology that goes with the model (start with why, find your why) it makes a lot of sense.

It’s about stepping back (if you haven’t already) and getting to the core of WHY you’re doing what you’re doing…in business…in your personal life (I’ll focus on business here). When you do that, the rest will follow…or it’ll be much easier to figure out. No more running a business like a headless chicken. Sound good? Read on…

To cut through the noise and stand out you need to find your WHY

Sinek says that businesses tend to communicate like this:

  • Start by telling people WHAT they do
  • Then tell people HOW they do it (also known as the value proposition or unique selling point)
  • And they end with WHY they do it

In other words, they communicate outwards in.

But Sinek argues “people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it,” so businesses should communicate the other way around:

  • Start with WHY you do what you do
  • Followed by HOW – what makes you different
  • End with WHAT – your products/services

In other words, they should communicate inwards out.


“The WHY is the purpose, cause, or belief that drives every organization and every person’s individual career. Why does your company exist? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And why should anyone care?” Simon Sinek.

If you’re thinking – ‘well, it’s obvious – money is the reason I do it…’


Money is just the result of what you doWHY goes deeper than that.

What happens when you start with WHY?

You build trust with customers. They’re not just buying your product or service, they’re buying into YOU because they believe in what you’re about. And that’s what leads to loyalty.

“You’ll be able to inspire others to buy from you, work with you and join your cause.” Simon Sinek.

People buy from people, remember?

Your WHY dictates everything you do – from the business decisions you make to how you communicate with customers. This makes it much easier to draw in the right audience for your business because you can appeal to those who are on the same wavelength. It gives your business direction – always. So, even if your products or services change, what you stand for will always be the same.  


Finding my WHY

I tried it out using Sinek’s questions as a prompt.

Why does your company exist?  

The QWERTY Keyboard exists to…

Even as someone who writes for a living, I found this difficult to put into words.

So I started with some words/phrases that came to mind:

  • Help people
  • Create a positive impact
  • Make a difference
  • Thoughtful/considered
  • Meaningful relationships

Why did you get out of bed this morning?

To meet a client deadline. And the determination to keep growing the business.

And why should anyone care?

Because life’s too short for anything but meaningful!

After lots of drafts and way too much overthinking, I finally decided this was the best summary of my WHY:

To help people of all walks of life so that they can build meaningful relationships and achieve their goals.

HOW: By working with clients as though I’m an extended member of their team – same dedication, bringing the added perk of a fresh perspective.

WHAT: I write creative, considered and effective content to help businesses build customer relationships and sell their products/services.

It’s easy to get obsessed with what makes us ‘unique’ as business owners – worrying over what makes us different from the next person. This is especially the case if you’re working solo. But ultimately, people buy from people. Who you are is what makes you different from everyone else, so it makes sense to tap into WHY to help you connect with people who share your values.

Does your WHY change?

When you know why you’re doing something, you can create all the good stuff to make it happen. That includes how you communicate your business, which is what I’m all about. 😉

Over to you! What’s your WHY? Feel free to share in the comments below.



Neil Batchelor · 14th December 2018 at 8:48 pm

Great article Anna. And a great way to reflect on business and personal life.

Food for thought at the end of the year, ready for 2019.

    Anna · 16th December 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks, Neil. Glad you enjoyed reading. Definitely. It’s a good reminder to stand back and review where you’re at – especially at this time of year, as you say. It’s all too easy to get absorbed in the busyness around us – got to take some time to reflect every so often!

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *