Episode 20: Finding Your Why

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In Episode 20, Sarah and Jessica begin by discussing the purpose of knowing your why. They walk us through four questions that you can ask yourself in order to figure out what your why is! This is important in everything you do, but especially in your professional life as it helps identify what you define as your purpose.
Later in the episode, our hosts change direction and turn their focus from the individual to the company. They talk about the TED Talk with Simon Sinek that goes over what a company’s “why” is and how to find it. If you want help finding your own why, download our “What is Your Why” worksheet!
Finally, the podcast concludes with an amazing discussion with our Director of People and Culture, Paxton Manly! Paxton shares with us his own personal why and how he implements it in his life at home and in the office.


Sarah: Welcome to Episode 20 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith….

Jessica: And Jessica Vara!

Sarah: In today’s episode… we’re going to talk about what is your why! We’re gonna go over some awesome ways to figure out what your purpose is both within yourself and maybe in your professional life as well. And then Jessica and I are actually going to go over our own personal whys and how we figured that all out. And finally, we have our Director of People & Culture Paxton Manly! And he’s gonna share with us his thoughts on purpose and how he makes sure he is true to his why in and outside of the workplace.

Disruptive Waves:

Sarah: Today we are focusing on one word in particular, “why.” Why do you do what you do? How does that correlate to your everyday life personally and professionally? And do you really know your why?

Jessica: Most of the time we use this segment to bring you news on how different technologies or innovations are disrupting the market, but today we are coming at it from a different angle. What can YOU do to ensure that YOU’RE disrupting the market and aren’t making just tidal waves but TSUNAMIs!

Sarah: Exactly! I see what you did there.

Jessica: I was hoping you would notice haha it was a terrible joke but I’m proud of it!

Sarah: Anyway… I would say your why is definitely connected to your purpose. And it’s probably a good idea to eventually come up with a personal mission statement that combines the two.

Jessica: If you’re sitting there thinking, “Purpose is a scary word because it holds so much weight and I don’t even know where to start,” this may help. Think about the things your passionate about, skills or expertise you may have, what your talents are, and finally what are your values? If you put all of those things in a big pot and stir it up, you get purpose soup!

Sarah: Yeah, it can definitely be an intimidating task to find your purpose.

Jessica: Kinda feels like you’re a knight on a quest in some fairytale or something haha

Sarah: Sure, Jessica haha… Well what may help you on that quest are a few of these questions that you can ask yourself and ponder.

Jessica: The first one is “What makes you come alive?”

Sarah: This isn’t referring to taking your dream holiday or when you get super hyped for your team during the Superbowl. This is something bigger than that.

Jessica: At SMA, we recently started working with Performance Coach, Ben Newman, and he described this as your fire. What is the thing that gives you that burn, that desire to do something because you REALLY care about it.

Sarah: The next question is, “What are your innate strengths?” Everyone has something that they are just naturally talented or skilled at and comes easily to them. So what are the things that you’ve always been good at?

Jessica: Yeah, like I’m GREAT at making really bad jokes as we have already witnessed haha but I’m also extraverted so talking and connecting to people has just been something that comes a little bit more naturally to me.

Sarah: Right, so you may be a natural-born leader, maybe you’re able to see patterns and opportunities that others can’t, you could be creative and easily think of ‘outside of the box’ solutions. All of these things are strengths that make you unique and will most likely correspond to something that you’re passionate about.

Jessica: So now the third question is, “Where do you add the greatest value?”

Sarah: This is important because if you know your strengths and where you can be an asset, then you’re more likely to succeed in your role!

Jessica: And it’s natural for many of us to undervalue the skills and expertise that we acquire over time. But one thing you can do is reframe the way you define adding value.

Sarah: Yes! So look at it more through a lens of problem-solving. What problems are you equipped to solve?

Jessica: And then take that a step further and ask yourself what problems are you passionate about trying to solve. This will allow you to focus more on your natural strengths rather than be focusing on all your weaknesses and how to eliminate them.

Sarah: Yeah, cause if that’s where you put all of your energy than you’re going to have a negative outlook on things instead of seeing what you’re amazing at and letting that fuel your fire and ultimately allow you to feel inspired, energized, and driven!

Jessica: And now the very last question to ask yourself, “How will you measure your life?”

Sarah: I think this is important because you are going to be a lot more successful in life if you stand for something or have a purpose.

Jessica: Well and that’s really what that question is saying. It’s more about deciding what you want to take a stand for and then figuring out how to live your life in alignment with it.

Sarah: Yeah and I think it’s good to point out that your life’s purpose may not align with your job. It may be something that you conduct in your personal life.

Jessica: Definitely! And sometimes you may not be able to find purpose in WHAT you’re doing, but don’t let that discourage you because purpose can also be in HOW you do your job. I think sometimes people feel a pressure to have their job be their everything and their ultimate purpose in life, but it’s not always going to work out that way.

Sarah: Which is why focusing on the “how” you do your job is such a great way to frame it because that mindset will allow you to still draw meaning from what you’re doing.

Jessica: Yes! And knowing your purpose is not only going to inspire you but it will also stretch and grow you and your desire to take on more challenges!

Sarah: So hopefully while we were talking through those questions you were able to reflect on yourself, your values, and what give you purpose.

Jessica: And now as we move into the next segment you can take that personal insight and apply it to something that is a little larger than just your individual purpose, but that of an entire company and also tie all of those things into your why!

All Aboard the Knowledge Train:

Sarah: As we’ve mentioned before, today’s episode is all about finding your why! At SMA, we think it’s really important not to understand what you do and how you do it, but WHY you do it. If you’ve ever watched TED Talks, you know how inspiring they can be.

Jessica: A couple years ago SMA’s CEO, Jeff Pitta, discovered a TED Talk with Simon Sinek who changed the way he thought about his company and how to be successful. If you haven’t seen the Ted Talk, we highly suggest you give it a watch, it has over 44 million views on the Ted website.

Sarah: So what makes Simon’s TED Talk so inspiring? We want to start off today’s podcast with an overview of what Simon talks about in his TED Talk. His key point is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Every company knows what they do. Every salesperson knows what they do. Most good ones know how they do it. But have you ever thought about why you do what you do? Very few companies and organizations have and do it well. And chances are you’ve heard of them, and you may even be loyal to their brand. But the question is why?

Jessica: Because like we said: people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Sarah: The easiest thing to do when starting a company or even just thinking about yourself is to think from the outside in. Start with the easiest which is what do you do? Then think about how you do it. That’s a little harder. And then get to the why part because that’s usually the most difficult part to figure out for most people. And the why isn’t just about profit, that’s just a result. No, the why should be about your purpose, your drive, your mission. Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

Jessica: So Simon says you should flip that around. Start with WHY you do what you do. Then think about how you do it. Then what you do is just the means of driving home your why.

So a good example of this is talking about Apple. Now Apple kind of lost it’s spark more recently, but when they were at their peak, it’s because they always started with their why.

So here’s two ways to think about selling a computer. The first way is starting with your what and then ending with why. We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Want to buy one? Was that inspiring?

Sarah: Nah not really. Does it make me want to buy one? Nah not really.

Jessica: Okay lets flip it around. Start with the why and end with the what. At Apple, everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo and we believe in thinking differently. We challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly computers. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?

Sarah: Yeah that was definitely more inspiring. At least kept my attention.

Jessica: We said the same exact thing, just reversed the order of the information. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Sarah: The same concept can apply to you as a person and building your own brand as an agent. Why do you do what you do? Why do you get up in the morning? At SMA, we believe in serving the underserved. It permeates everything we do. This goes both for our agents and consumers. Everything we do as a company revolves around this core idea of ensuring we are serving both underserved agents and underserved beneficiaries. So what’s your why?

Okay let’s just sit down and try and figure out our own why’s.

Okay so Jessica you and I are both on the same team. So let’s figure out why we do what we do in our careers here at SMA.

Don’t forget to download our What is Your Why worksheet to help you find your own why!

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