Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Golden Circle is comprised of the following: Why, How, What

WHATS: what products, what services, the job function, external factor.

HOW: how the WHATS are delivered. How something is different or better.

WHY: purpose, cause, or belief AKA internal factors. The why of a company is not to make money, making money . Companies that know their why differentiate themselves from companies that don’t know their why.

Companies with a strong WHY include Apple, Southwest Airlines, Disney. Those who have a strong why but diverge against it create an imbalance, and people notice. Example used is when Volkswagen created an incredibly high end car with all the bells and whistles, but this car didn’t align with their WHY – Volkswagen literally means “people’s car,” and is associated with the everyday person, the hipster, and should embody inclusion. Even though the high end car they put out had the best specs and was rated high, it was a failure and an volition of the Celery Test.

The limbic system is a portion of our brain that is responsible for feelings such as trust and loyalty. “Gut feeling” is actually derived from the limbic system, though it isn’t related to our logical, analytical or rational side, which is why sometimes it’s hard to put into words why we make the decisions we make.

Putting your WHY into words allows you to give a rational basis when you make decisions. As a leader, putting your WHY into words leads to accessibility and scalability even as your business expands. Those who follow you will be able to read and explain WHY which is important because the leader won’t always be there.

Visceral limbic feelings leads to loyalty. WHATs such as product, services, features are not WHYs and don’t lead to loyalty. WHATs are a proof of WHY.

Hire people who believe what you believe. The Celery Test is the power to filter decisions through your why. You can go to conferences, read books, get guidance and advice, but if it doesn’t align with your why, you’re wasting energy, time, and money.

TIVO failed because they were about WHATS – what their product did, what services they provided, etc. They used WHAT marketing rather than WHY marketing in order to rationalize the appeal of their product, leading to low sales. Sirius is another company that used the same tactics.

Partnerships are composed of WHY and HOW people. This type of relationship works because they WHY people have the vision, and the HOW people create a track to execute that vision.

Example of a WHY and HOW partnership that was incredibly successful is the Disney brothers relationships. Roy is the older, more practical brother who understood economics, business and finances, whereas Walt is the visionary who was always imaginative, optimistic and had his head in the clouds.


It’s important to have a WHY because WHATs never stay stagnant, especially in this technological era. Services, product features, price, etc. are constantly updated, but the vision, meaning and philosophy are inherent and don’t budge.

Anyone can be loud and have energy, but not everyone can be clear. Being loud to me is analogous to social media use in our current generation. On the exterior you can have fancy cars, perfect unblemished skin, a thicc booty and a 6 pack but clarity and why comes from the inside – it’s deep, never changing, and not fleeting.

Sinek describes the following leaders as being clear and having charisma, not just being loud: Dr. King, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. Being loud rallies people, but clarity and charisma inspires.

This book is important. It’s made me realize why I have’t attained ‘success’ yet. Essentially, I haven’t developed and expressed a clear Why. Am I a how person or a why person? I think I’m a why person who has been trying to be a how person. I’m trying to learn too many different skills in order to execute a blurry vision. I have to stop, focus, and develop a solid vision. In Tom’s interview with Tai Lopez seen here: https://impacttheory.com/episode/tai-lopez/ he talks about having a tombstone goal. Create a tombstone goal and reverse engineering that – if I want the end of my life at age 90 to look like this, this and this, then I have to do these following things by age 80, and so on and so forth. Not only did this book highlight the importance of having a clear vision, it also helped me understand the difference between being loud versus being clear. Charisma and confidence is exuded by people that are steadfast in what they believe in. They derive power and strength by having a crystal clear vision, not by being the loudest around. Loud people eventually run out of steam, whereas people with charisma and clarity are more consistent because the message they deliver and their philosophy does not alter.