Why I started this website or how I failed at the job I loved
It's Friday September 2nd , 9:50 PM. In the headquarters of Born in Antwerp I'm listening to a showcase from the upcoming website on discovering great musical artists : HumanHuman. Hanging Valleys is playing a set which I normally don't like, at all. However
now, it's perfect. It's fuzzy, it's dreamy. And I do want to dream. Moving away from reality. Because that reality is that I've lost that same day the job which I've passionately loved for a few months. And I don't feel that sad about it. On the contrary, it feels right. I'm sad but I understand that this was the best and perhaps only right solution. However, the past has gone by so I look at the future. In the meantime, I ended up at the street and I'm now watching over the Kattendijkdok towards the MAS in Antwerp. The road is wet because it's another rainy day in Belgium. Just right for the day I had. But the next day, the future starts and on that moment I know for sure: I'm going to start Ideawatch.
Allright, this review will not follow the usual pattern. It doesn't have to. Most of the times, practice is better than theory and so I'm glad to provide you with an example of Simon Sinek's golden circle. I will apply it to this website. What I do is clear : This is a website on which I post articles in regard to marketing & management. How do I do this? I build a pleasant website, collect interesting ideas en present them in a great way. But without understanding why I do this, you'll never capture the full meaning of the ideas and content I share with you. Why do I start this. I want to inspire while being inspired. That's my definition of happiness.
Inspiration lies in ideas because they're the basis of everything. Off course, execution is often more important than the idea itself, but the fundamentals will always remain the basic ideas. They're the fundamentals for every treasure on earth and thanks to the internet we have unlimited access to those ideas. But the massive amount of ideas can be daunting. That's why I'm here. I want to be a guide. A guide through knowledge. Simply because I like this knowledge and I believe others will do too. I want to inspire with ideas. Just as Simon Sinek.
Where did I get introduced to this passion for ideas? There was always a small burning flame within my body. It became an Olympic fire in the job I just lost. This is where I was introduced to the golden circle of Simon Sinek. These rules of conduct in strategic communication subscribe a lot of added value to the why. The existential reason of an enterprise is the core of the current economy with which you can truly bound customers. We're not interested in hard sales arguments. We're interested in visions, in ideas. We no longer just want a product, we want a story. We're addicted to inspiration. Only when you're inspiring, people will love you and you can stay great in the long term.
Finding your why can be extremely hard. It's the difficult balance between a fuzzy dream and a tangible and understandable why. First, to express it externally, you must truly understand your raison d'être. If you don't understand it, you can't express it. I couldn't fully grasp the why in the company I worked for I must admit. You think you do, but you don't. Visions and unique selling points aren't always as obvious as we would like to believe. This comes from our difficulties to being truly open to one another. Only when you're able to communicate clearly, the why will come to the surface and the company will thrive.
Since I couldn't fully understand the why, I felt back on how and what. Only with a lot of personality you are able to disguise this because then ... you are the why. That wasn't the case. A lack of sales led to a lot of frustration. Frustration in an employee because he can't give back to the company what he wants and the company needs is an extremely vicious circle. There are no winners. You're no longer doing a job you love but one that is keeping you busy. The ideas disappear, creativity is replaced by short term hard sales goals, the pressure rises and so does frustration. You are no longer able to see the bigger picture, the why, in your story and so you're no longer on a mission but you're just filling your time. Just doing your time has never lead to a successful organisation, passion does. But when the passion disappears because the frustration is taking over, it's time to prepare your exit. For both parties.
This shows the importance of why, not only in external communication but also in internal communication. More than about sales, Simon Sinek understands what is truly driving people. He understands what people desire. Mankind wants a story, a vision, everything else are just details. Details can change. A vision shouldn't. That's why you can't afford to lose it.