[Book Review] Start with Why, by Simon Sinek

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

I’ve just finished this book for the second time this year, and now feel ready to share what I’ve learnt from it. I’ve listened to it on journeys, and tucked into the content in the physical book as well, as I’ve been fascinated by the “why” question and how it applies to me.

Simon Sinek is fascinating, and knows how to tell a good story. The book is littered with stories about people and companies who did “start with why”, or who failed, to “start with why”. And even some who started with why, then lost track of it, which caused their businesses to lose sight of their original goal.

Everyone has a why, even if we’re not totally clear about what it is. Those of us who’ve had difficult times, may have gone into those difficulties because of losing sight of our “why”. For me, it totally makes sense that with my first business, I started focusing on the wrong things, (things other people told me were important to a growing business), and the reason I started the business in the first place got lost. I then lost confidence, and because I was focusing on the wrong things, (for me and my business), the business took a bit of a nose dive.

Everyone has a WHY. Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.

Knowing your WHY gives you a filter to make choices, at work and at home, that will help you find greater fulfillment in all that you do.
Simon Sinek

A lot of personal development starts with “finding your why”, or “your purpose”, or “your thing”. I’ve found that quite hard to understand over these last couple of years, and really get down deep and find my why – the reason for doing what I’m doing now. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve known that I want to support others, as I love it, and am good at it, but that’s not enough. However, Simon’s words made more sense from hearing the stories he shared about others, and their why.

I loved the simplicity of Simon’s teaching of the “golden circle” – Why in the centre (Start with Why), then How we do it, and finally, What we do. If we focus on the why, the heart of ourselves, (or our business), then the how and what simply follow. When we start with what we do, it’s harder to understand why we do it.

Have you ever worked for someone, or a company, that you had no idea Why they were in business? Did you respec them and work hard in your job? The people and places I know I’ve worked hardest at, and probably had my most satisfying moments with, have been those where the Why we were doing something was really clear. Agree?

So this year, I’ve been exploring myself more deeply again, and came across this book “Start with Why”. As I said, it’s my second read in 8 months, as I don’t think I really understood how to apply it to myself on the first read. I’m probably quite slow, but that’s OK. Today, having come to the end of the book, I’m smiling and happy to feel that I understand my personal Why again. Yes, it will be different for all of us, but understanding why you’re doing something, even if you’re enjoying it, will ensure you’re bringing the whole of you to the whole of your life and work. I’ve found, through this exploration with Simon, (he’s got a lovely voice by the way, which is very easy to listen to if you get the audio version), that I really wanted to understand more. I’ve been putting things on hold until I grabbed hold of my why from right inside me. I feel I can now shine a really big light on my why which will simply permeate everything I do at home and work, and in my businesses, and with my clients.

My clients probably knew what my why was, as they’ve told me how I make them feel when they work with me! Ha! It’s been more fun reading the book, and learning some of the scientific background that underpins how our mind works, and why, by starting with Why, we’ll be able to live a more balanced life. I’ll let you discover for yourselves what the celery test is, but when you know what your WHY is, everything else will fall into place.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it. Or, if you want to explore what your Why is, book a Find Your Why session. I’d love to help you find your Why more easily than it took me to find mine! 😉


 Just so you know: If you were to purchase the book from this Amazon link, would give me a few pennies. Any pennies collected this way go into an Elite Athlete Support fund, to support some talented athletes achieve their potential. If you’d like further details about these athletes, please do get in touch and I’ll send you some more information.

4 Comments

  1. I haven’t read the book but I watched one of his videos and loved it! So important to know what your why is and also keep reminding yourself which helps to stay motivated! I might have to go out and buy the book 🙂

  2. I’ve read the book and now started watching some of his videos! It’s been fascinating learning more about WHY, and I thought I was clear, but I’m so much clearer now! Let me know when you get the book! 😉

  3. Sadly don’t have a Kindle. Do you get pennies if I buy a paperback version?

  4. I use Kindle app on my phone – perfect for when standing in queues, or waiting for appointment & also when away & can’t put light on to read a book! And yes, any version adds a couple of pennies to the pot. Thank you 🙂

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