Those beach bum surfers... they knew this all along!
Isn't that what they called them? "beach bums". Those young people who surfed all day every day. Who worked summer jobs at resorts just to be close to the surf. Who opted against college and instead traveled to discover for themselves, beaches they had heard so much about from other surfers sitting around camp fires.
While most of us buried our heads in the competition to learn the how and achieve the what, they explored the why. They were surfers. They knew it. That's what made them get up every morning and what drove them, in every decision they made.
Where are they now? They are those people all around us who have balance in their lives. Who know who they are and what drives them. They are Snowboarders and Skydivers, Frequent Holidayers, Outdoor Enthusiasts and they have built their life to suit their purpose. To ride the wave of life.
I'm no surfer, in fact, I spent most of my life a workaholic in pursuit of the what by learning the how. But as a workaholic, I did understand that success in selling was only possible by understanding the why? Once you find and agree this then you can build your sales and marketing structure around it. Just like the surfer knows he wants to surf great waves every day he builds his life around that.
But what do you do when you discover the why. When you have agreed a purpose for yourself or your team or organization. Well, that's when the fun starts!
10 years ago when I began one of my more interesting projects running Slattery's Pub, I had some significant barriers ahead of me. First, I had absolutely no experience in running a pub. Second, I had the worst possible few years ahead with the local stadium being demolished and a full-blown recession around the corner. But, I had the why? I knew my purpose.
During a late December board meeting in 2006, I was asked my thoughts on 2007. I told them without any hesitation that we would be busier in 2007 than 2006. The meeting ended with laughter and derision. I was asked how could that be possible with 25% of yearly revenue laying in rubble. In 2007 I grew the business by 11% and by 100% by the time the Stadium was rebuilt in 2010. I had the why - I knew my purpose - To create a pub I'd love to drink in.
But what about the how? and the what? This is when I turned to Barry Chandler of an online subscription company at the time called barkeeper.ie. It cost me €15 per month and it helped me a lot with getting to grips with the basics of the modern bar. We have never met but I have thanked him many times as his website gave me the confidence to achieve my Vision, design the Mission and build the Culture that achieved my Purpose for the pub. Barry Chandler recently video blogged about this in his article "The Four Pillars of High-Performing Companies"
Once you have the purpose the rest is about keeping it simple.
Purpose - Create a Pub I'd love to drink in
Vision - Be the greatest rugby bar in the world
Mission - We will entertain you while serving alcohol quickly and taking no messing
Culture - A culture where staff and customers are safe and empowered to be themselves.
Ok - so I was a bit selfish. It was about my why, my purpose. The pub I wanted to drink in, and that was my purpose. Every act then was based around that. All my rules and policies were built around that. Any of you that have experienced the bar will know exactly. You see, that's when you get people who don't like the why - who don't agree with the purpose - and that's ok! because it was not for them. If you have a purpose, then there will be poeple who simply don't agree with it and won't buy it but there will be others who will travel far to get it.
I respect Apple but I don't buy their products because I don't agree with their why. I shop at my local butcher not because he is local but because he has a purpose and it shines. I bought a KIA because they have been telling me for long enough that they build cars with 7 year warranties, and I now believe them. Compare that to Toyota's "best built cars in the world" or BMW's "ultimate driving machine". Well if KIA are still around they must be the real deal... and they are.
For any aspiring marketer or sales person - understanding the why is everything. Just ask any "beach bum" surfer... they have known this all along.