People don’t just buy what you do, people buy why you do it!

Don't don't just buy what you do but why you do it

I wanna tell you why I do what I do! I recently realized that I assume everyone understands the “why” but clearly I don’t explain this enough or articulate it correctly! None of us really do!

I moved not too long ago and decided not to have a TV in my house for a while… While I’ve missed the Dunphy’s from Modern Family, I’ve used the down time to either read or watch interesting talks online. I know this may sound like an absolute nerd alert but there’s a method to my madness!

The last few weeks have been a frenzy. My partners and I own Malakite which was a function venue we turned into a restaurant that opens on weekends and we had a very short space of time to get the place ready for the big launch two weeks ago. I still have a “normal” workweek and instead of resting on weekends, I’ve either been working toward the launch or now making sure everything runs smoothly!

There are times during the process that I sit back and wonder if it’s all worth it. Some days I feel like I’m pissing against the wind. It almost makes me want to pack up and simplify my life. Like go live on a one-man island off the west coast of Guam kinda simple!

Just before we started transforming the venue, I knew life was about to get crazy so I figured this little “no TV” experiment was one possible way to balance the scales a little bit and it turns out I was on the money!

A few nights ago, I got home really late and I was feeling all over the show. I decided to watch one video before going to bed and by chance, I stumbled upon a guy called Simon Sinek who talks about how great leaders inspire action. He’s quite an obscure character with a B-grade pornstar British accent but his observations hit home for me!

His thinking is that we just say what we do, we say how we’re different or how we’re better and we expect some kind of behaviour in the form of a purchase, a vote or something like that. He believes this is how most of us communicate. It’s how most marketing is done; same for sales. It’s how most of us communicate interpersonally!

The common thread goes something like this: Here’s our new law firm. We have the best lawyers with the biggest clients. We always perform for our clients. Or here’s our new car. It gets great gas mileage. It has leather seats. Buy our car.

But this is uninspiring! People don’t just buy what you do, people buy why you do it!

In the midst of persistent pressure, you need to know with absolute conviction why you’re putting yourself through hell. And equally as important, in business, you need to clearly explain that same reasoning to people because that’s what makes the big difference.

I’ve watched this video a few times since that night. I was watching it again yesterday and as I finished, I had a quick squizz at my Instagram feed and saw a friend of mine posted an image on Instagram showing this quote as the inspiration for the song “Fix You” by Chris Martin of Coldplay:

She came home from the hospital after her father passed, covered in tears. I started crying and kept asking her, “What can I do for you? Tell me how I can help?” And she looked up at me and said, “Just hold me… Cause you’re the only thing that can fix me right now!”

I’m not getting all emotional on you but the point remains… I’ve heard that song a million times and cared exactly zero for it until I understood the inspiration. The “why” matters most!

Five years ago I became obsessed about having a space where the masses could come together in the South. This is the ONLY reason why we bought Malakite. It’s why I can’t simply pack it up and go away.

Every time we have people over and I watch them having fun, I melt inside. It never gets old. From a business perspective, it probably makes sense for me to devote all my time to my other businesses that really make good money yet I find myself being drawn to this one.

I’m well aware of where the venue is located. I know what we are and what we aren’t but I am obsessed with getting it right. I want to permanently improve this place until eventually everyone speaks about that hole in the wall that defied all the odds and made every one have the best time.

What about money? Well obviously I’d also like to make some return for my efforts but my sole focus is making the place better. I believe money is something that happens when you do something right!

Every person and organization on the planet knows what they do for a living. Some know how they do it… They might call it their value proposition or their proprietary process. Very few people and organizations know why they do what they do!

I do!

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About the author: Mark Sham

Mark Sham

NOT the boy next door. Entrepreneur at heart with a marketing background and a love for social media. Owner of Vivid Marketing!

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