When people ask for a non-fiction book recommendation, Start With Why is always on the top of my list to share. Whilst it’s traditionally a marketing book, it’s actually so much more. I’m not being dramatic when I say that this book changed my life. It was this book that helped me to see that Canada wasn’t for me and helped me make the decision to cut my time there short and come back to Australia and start again. I think you only get a few books in your lifetime that really give you those ‘fork in the road’ moments and this was one of mine.
The idea behind Start With Why is both simple and brilliant: know why you want to do something and why it’s important before you know the how and the what you will do. It’s primarily a book on leadership and business, but please don’t let that deter you, as the stories of people and businesses that have started with why can easily be applied to life in general. If you are in business or a leadership position I highly recommend this one for you too.
I bought this book before I left for my big trip in 2013, and somehow it didn’t make the cut for books to take with me, but I knew that I wanted to read it. I’d heard that it was also available as an audiobook, so one tough night in Toronto I bought and downloaded a copy of the audiobook version (read by the author Simon Sinek) and I proceeded to walk around the freezing streets of Toronto for the next few days listening to it and stopping regularly to take notes on my phone.
My brain was buzzing and this book was causing it. Even when I re-listen now I picture where I was when I first heard it. Sinek uses examples from people like Steve Jobs to a Dr Seuss book to help explain why the ‘why’ is so important and what happens when it’s not a priority or we forget about it. For those of you not running a business it may even change the way you see the brands that you buy from and notice why you choose to buy from them.
I worked out my why on that day and it was this: to build me a better, happier, healthier future. And whilst I’ve refined it over the least year and a half (and I’d probably use better words to describe it now), essentially, that is what I’ve been working towards ever since. This was the starting point for my vision. I there’s something a little bit freeing when you know what you want to achieve, even if it’s really broad.
If you’ve been feeling a bit lost as to what you want to do with your life or your business, this might just be a book that will help get you thinking about what is important to you (and to your business) and how you can start moving towards that. Whilst this book is not new (it was published in 2008), almost all of it is still relevant today.
I did find that it can feel a little tricky to read, but the audiobook version was just fantastic and I listen to it whenever I start to feel a little bit lost again, and I find something new pops out at me and I start to feel inspired all over again.
You can get the paperback or audiobook from Amazon here*
Have you read a book that changed your thinking? What was it?
*I’m an Amazon affiliate. I will make a little money if you choose to buy through the link. This helps me to keep the blog going and I’ll no doubt buy more awesome books to share with you. x