Making Things Stick: The Why Behind the What

A couple days ago I wrote about having systems in place.

It was more about writing down about “how” you do something in your life and in business. At the very end of it I mention the word “why” — but never went into it — and it made that post incomplete.

Because if your leave out the “why” then you fail to close the emotional loop you need to make whatever you are doing into a habit you can count on.

Let’s take flossing (ewwww, I know).

You can read all day on the how-to’s about it and it would probably make you fall asleep (or make your gums hurt). But when you read the reasons why flossing benefits you (like this one — brushing your teeth without flossing is like only washing 70 percent of your body or this one —people with periodontal disease were 4.5 times more likely to have chronic kidney disease). It makes the “what” and the “how” so much more compelling.

Now, let’s get away from oral hygiene and back to business.

Tapping into “why” you do something (or don’t do something) will determine if it becomes a habit or system (or vice).

In my past life I trained real estate agents on how to use Salesforce. The “what” and the “how” were easy — especially after a few training sessions. But it was only when I explained “why” they should do certain things everyday in their CRM did I see light bulbs go off and they had a fighting chance to use the platform.

Just today, my wife and I were going over some systems we are putting in place to streamline our marketing firm. It was late in the morning and our daughter was about to wake up from her morning nap (the “perils” of working from a home office) so there was a sense of urgency to get these systems in place. It would have been easy just to decide something and move on — quick and easy right?

Not really.

We took the extra moments we had and hammered out the “why” behind these new systems. We know that eventually we will have to teach these systems to team members we bring on board and they would end up doing the same for new hires after them. And we knew that for these systems to have a chance to get passed down and become part of the culture of our company, we had to answer “why” we were doing what we were doing.

To achieve what we want, in business and in our personal lives, answering the “why” may be the most important thing we do every day.

Simon Sinek, the author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action say this:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe” — Simon Sinek

This goes for getting healthy, sales, parenting, relationships, leadership, — anytime you want to affect change, influence, or make a difference you must get to why it is you do what you do.

Search hard for why you do what you do — why? You’ll see.

michael aldea go left marketing imageJan Michael Aldea is a jack of all trades finally making good at being well rounded. His background in marketing, consulting, business coaching & training, real estate, fitness, parenthood, marriage, and life makes Michael ill equipped to be in a cubicle, but very equipped to help transform people and companies one (sometimes humorously awkward) step at a time. He is the president and director of business development for Go Left Marketing based out of Charlotte, NC.

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