• James

Yeah, But Why?

Updated: Feb 25

Why your ‘why’ might be the wrong ‘why’


Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

It seems you can’t have a conversation with a business coach these days without the discussion coming around to your ‘Why’. When running a small business it can feel like a question that is the luxury of bigger businesses and frankly it gets in the way of some practical, actionable learnings that will help a business progress.

Simon Sinek popularised the term in his book ‘Find your why’, stating that your ‘Why’ should be the driving force behind everything you do. It should be your conviction, your vision and give you absolute focus. It is also the thing that makes people want to buy from you. It’s not ‘What’ you do but ‘Why’ you do it.

That all sounds great, but when you’re working every hour available, dawn ’til dusk (and often much later) just trying to keep afloat, the idea of doing some work on your ‘Why’ seems a poor use of time.

I’ve been there.

I’ve dismissed the question as redundant and rushed to ‘skip to the end’ looking for the silver bullet that will grow my business.

I’ve also rushed to get to the answer in order to move on to the next subject. And this is the issue facing a lot of business owners now — by rushing to get to a ‘Why’ they may be missing the real why that lives below the surface.


Yeah, But why?


Inspired in equal parts by my children and Dean Grazziozi we at Thirty Three Percent developed the ‘Yeah, But Why’’ tool. It’s a simple process based on the incurable desire of kids to understand an answer. You tell them something, they ask ‘why’, you answer, they say ‘why’ — on and on, until they feel satisfied or you reply ‘just because!’


The truth is that most people stop after 2–3 layers of questioning, which is why we insist on going much much further. Sometimes it loops around and answer three reappears later down the line and other times something truly transformative is revealed at the end. Either way, the result is a ‘Why’ that genuinely speaks to the heart of the person.


It’s a process we followed that ultimately led to the setting up of Thirty Three Percent — although our ‘Whys’ seemed on the surface seemed quite different, we realised, in truth we were both driven by the same ‘Why’. A desire to positively impact people’s working lives.

So before you tick off ‘Find my Why’ in the Business Start-up Checklist — take a moment to dig a little deeper and make sure you have a deep understanding of your answer. It will drive all your decisions and ensure that almost every subsequent decision you make is easier and serves your greater purpose.

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