The importance of starting with ‘why’

Simon Sinek, the guru of WHY.

After reading ‘Start with Why‘ by Simon Sinek, the leading guru on what drives brands; we’d like to discuss his thoughts and ideas, and his philosophy about Starting with why.

Many years ago Simon lost his passion for his business, and realised it was because he hadn’t worked out why he had started it.

On his transformative journey, he also realised that the world’s inspiring leaders all think, act and communicate in the same way.

There was a pattern to how they operated.

Simon codified it, and ever since then he’s been sharing this code with the world.

Why? Because he’d like to live in a world where the vast majority of people wake up every morning inspired to go to work, and come home everyday feeling fulfilled by what they do.

Simon found his passion because he finally found his why.

The code:

The code has been translated into a simple circle, the Golden Circle.


  • The ‘what’ is basically, what you do.
  • The ‘how’ is how you deliver the what, and more generally, the unique way in which you deliver it.
  • The ‘why’ is why your business exists, your beliefs, your purpose.   The ‘why’ is not about making a profit because that’s the result.

Inspired leaders and organisations all think, act and communicate from the inside out, from the why. However, everyone else starts with what, and most don’t even know or understand their why.

And that’s the problem.

According to Simon, potential customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. With that in mind, Simon believes the goal is not to sell to people who need what you have, but to sell to people who believe what you believe.

Apple are wildly successful. Why?

Apple is just a computer company, they have access to the same resources as other companies, so why are they insanely profitable and virtually worshipped by their tribe?

Because they started with their why. Their why, as Simon explains is: “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make computers. Want to buy one?”

It’s why people are comfortable buying a range of products from Apple, not just computers. It’s also why people will queue for days in the rain to purchase the newest iPhone. These people want to be the first to experience the ultimate in innovation.

Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity:Water has also noticed Apple’s adeptness at branding. He’s used Apple’s talent for tapping into their customer’s emotions through their ‘why’ as inspiration to build his own very successful clean water charity. So as you can see, this is a popular and proven necessity for any successful business.

At Ethically Creative, here’s our Golden Circle:

  • What: We provide stunning graphic and website design that our clients love.
  • How: We design for companies with a cause.
  • Why: We partner with fellow ethical companies in order to change the world for the better.

How we’ve embraced our why:

As ethical businesses, We believe we need to embrace our why with even more vigour than other businesses. We are driven by our cause, and our goal should be to work with people who believe in what we believe.

Our why is all over our website:

Our why: “Used correctly, together we can guide society in a great way; for a better way.”

Another why: “We only boost the brands of businesses, charities, non-profits or people (‘ethipreneurs‘®), who exist to support our world for the better”.


Our whole philosophy is built on our why: “We know what we stand for and the difference we create.”

Who I am drives my why.

What’s your why?

Your why is so important, it will fuel your passion and lead to a fulfilling and profitable business. If you choose to work with Ethically Creative, we’ll respect and nurture your why, showcasing it in all its ethical glory. So, what’s your why?