When you get to know Start with Why by Simon Sinek, you will learn that success is a matter of hard work and that people without anything in common can think the same way.
The first factor you will notice is that Simon argues that successful organizations and people from Apple like Steve Jobs to Martin Luther King Jr. or the Wright Brothers are big not because of what they do but why they do it.
He says the most important question a company can ask is “why” and suggests that companies will be able to focus on their core values or purpose when answering this question. Also, individuals can find value in this lesson and how to approach this.
Sinek warns that if we don’t know our “why,” then we’re susceptible to being usurped by another company, getting lost on the road, or being unable to find our true selves in our journey.
He also claims that if you start with your “why,” you’ll be able to identify where people in your organization thrive and find new opportunities for innovation.
For us, this book represents more than just a lesson for being a leader and successful company but also growing as people who can learn, wondering why some actions, things, and situations should be done or take place.
Do we think it is worth reading? Absolutely. Should you do it? We prefer to let you know after you’ve got more info.
The Author: Who Is Simon Sinek?
Before reading a book, it is natural to learn a bit about the author. At least, this is what we think should be done.
Therefore, stay with us to read a bit about Sinek and why he is someone you should look forward to.
For starters, Simon Sinek is known for being a motivational speaker, and author who is a British-American-born raised across the continents and currently resides in New York, U.S.A.
Although this is the main reason behind his popularity, Simon didn’t start (clearly) as an author or speaker.
After being born in Wimbledon, London, UK, he moved to several regions and cities during his childhood. However, not much information is known about his parents.
What we do know starts during his high school years when he graduated from the Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, New Jersey, back in 1991.
From there, he went and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis University in anthropology. Although he attended City University in London later with the goal of becoming a barrister, he decided to leave and pursue another career or role.
He decided that advertising was much more interesting but also profitable, which led him to make a difficult yet crucial decision.
After college and while pursuing his new dream, Simon was a lead account manager at Ogilvy & Mather and Euro/RSCG, both based in New York City. He also developed communications platforms for OppenheimerFunds and JPMorgan Chase.
These platforms were used to communicate with the highly competitive Asia-Pacific business of Northwest Airlines, EchoStar Dish Network, MCI, MCI, and JPMorgan Chase.
All the positions he held in the previous organizations and platforms were before Simon Sinek decided to co-found SinekPartners to teach leaders and organizations how to inspire people.
He had (and continues to have it) a bold goal: to make the world a place where most people feel fulfilled at work every day.
His innovative and unconventional views on leadership and business have drawn international attention. He has been invited to meet with a variety of great leaders and organizations, including Microsoft and GE Silicones.
His active speaking engagements at corporate events and large conventions are a highlight of his career. Simon Sinek also has contributed to national and local media, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, FastCompany, and CMO Magazine.
He regularly contributes to The Huffington Post and BrandWeek. He also appears on MSNBC’s Your Business and works in the arts and non-profit sector.
He is currently a member of the Board of Advisors of 1-800-GOTJUNK?, which is one of America’s fastest-growing companies. He is also a member of the New York City Board of Directors for Notario Dance Company.
To be specific with the organization and dates, SinekPartners was established in 2002.
Simon Sinek gave his first TED Talk in September 2009. It was titled ‘How Great Leaders Encourage Action.’ The video is currently viewed more than 50,000,000 times and is among the top five TED Talk videos. When it was first released, it was the second-most-watched video.
But What About the Rest of His Career?
Believe it or not, “Start with Why” is his first book, and after all the previous goals and positions (some during it), it was published in 2009.
We want to dive deeper into the book when it is its time, so expect an overview of the rest of the years until now.
After publishing it, he started working as an adjunct member of ‘RAND Corporation’ in 2010. This think tank is one of the most respected in the world. His advice and expertise are related to military planning and innovation.
In 2014, he published his second book, “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull together, and Others Don’t,”
Portfolio published his 2016 book, “Together Is Better: a Little Book of Inspiration.”
“Find Your Why” was published by Penguin on September 5, 2017. This book is a follow-up to his book “Start with Why,” that we are reviewing today.
Other books have followed this last release, and although not all of them are big successes, they can be worth reading depending on your journey and goals.
But with all this information, what is Simon doing today?
Besides being an author, active motivational speaker, following his Start with Why campaign (it isn’t only a book), and serving specific companies, he is also a teacher at Columbia University in New York.
What Is Start with Why About?
With that introduction (more than that, though), we can start focusing on our current topic: the book.
So far, you must have the idea that it is about motivation, leadership, and how you can improve a company or grow as a person, not only in business but in every aspect.
It has different goals in terms of growth, but the most important one is to determine this “why” Simon introduces us to.
The main idea is to motivate workers in organizations, so they don’t feel they are there to fill a single position and get paid every 15th and 30th.
After all, it isn’t a secret that workers have a hard time pouring their hearts into a company or overall work. As a result, initiative and productivity go down quite fast.
Simon published this book but also started his “Start with Why” movement to inspire millions and make sure they were asking the WHY behind the companies, organizations, or people they were working for.
In another case, ask themselves why they are doing something or the purpose of their own companies.
The purpose is to show why some companies are more innovative, successful, productive, and influential than others. Of course, this covers the profitability aspect as well.
You will learn that although successful entrepreneurs just have this title in common, they often face the “why” and answer it. They are trying to set their companies’ goals and mission and whenever a problem arises.
Summarized? All leaders, great influencers, and entrepreneurs who can be considered “big” think the same way.
Start with Why is about a natural pattern. It’s a way to think, act, and communicate that great leaders inspire their employees after learning every detail. People will feel fulfilled if more people and organizations learn to start with WHY and focus on this simple yet crucial and difficult question.
Was It That Popular? – Start with Why Is More than a Book
As we mentioned earlier, Start with Why is not only a book but rather a movement Simon launched back in 2009 and continues active and is a perceived truth impacted behavior.
Although we are focusing on the book more than anything else, its popularity is completely related to two aspects:
- Simon’s work and goals.
- How the campaign has helped others over the years.
First, Simon is an unshakable optimist who encourages others to pursue a bright future and improve their skills, build their personalities, and ask the important question of “why” in every aspect of their lives.
As a result, the book with his ideas and thoughts was a huge success when it came out and continues to be used as a reference for any person who wants to be a great leader and grow their organization.
The main idea is to know how to set the company’s values and how a leader should act and communicate. Above all of these, how organizations and their owners should think as well.
Where does this leave us when we mention more about popularity? At the top.
There’s no entrepreneur or someone who wants to become one, that doesn’t know the book and how it influences their growth, decisions, and thinking.
Earnings: How Much Did He Make with It?
If we focus on earnings now, where is Sinek with Start with Why?
It is a bit hard to give you this information since books are more about the number of copies sold and the digital versions today.
Considering that prices vary depending on the version and year, it is also difficult to keep track.
So, you need to think about all versions: Kindle, paperback, and some special options.
As of 2022, while writing this article, the book has sold over 177k copies, but there’s no specific total since the last official report was released back in 2016-17.
Considering the kindle costs about $11, paperback $5, and hard-paste $8, you can have a general total from it. If we consider the regular paperback option (which is the cheapest) to get an average with the number of copies, he earned about $885k.
However, Kindle versions are more popular today, so we’re confident this mark surpassed the $1 million some time ago.
Unfortunately, the author never discloses this info, and we may need to wait until the next official report to get a more accurate average with each version available.
4 Facts You Should Know About Start with Why by Simon Sinek
- As the main goal, Simon decided to write the book and start the movement to help people become more inspired and productive at work.
- You will have a clearer idea of how companies are built, how to lead your workers, and get them inspired based on your organization’s WHY.
- Sinek, as mentioned before, is a big optimist. We didn’t mention that he encourages people to work together and change the world.
- More than motivation, look at Start with Why as a self-help book (the category it is in).
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