Why You Do It Matters: The Positive Impact of the Golden Circle

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In his now-famous TED talk, motivational speaker Simon Sinek rocked the business world with a simple idea that made a huge impact, and this idea was called the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the business model of Why-How-What. It reversed the traditional business mentality that goes in the order of How-What-Why.

Many leaders run a business in the non-Golden Circle way, in that they first come up with what they want to do, then figure out how to do it, and using this info, tell people why they did it. While this method does not necessarily infringe on success in business, Simon Sinek saw a better way, and introduced the Golden Circle concept; a way to bring success further with Why-How-What. The Golden Circle looks like this:

simon sinek payline golden circle

Courtesy of Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” Presentation

Why: The belief or the motivation behind your business. This asks the question “what is our organizational purpose?”

How: The process of how you go about selling a product or service.

What: What your company actually does, selling a product or providing a service.

When giving his TED talk, Sinek used the perfect example of Apple to provide a more clear understanding of how this works. Apple is a great company, a trusted company. They have grown so exponentially and quickly that people no longer question whether they should invest in their products, they already know that they can and will. People aren’t just buying what Apple does (their products), they are buying why Apple does it (their motivation and innovation). The Golden Circle method for Apple looks like this:

Apple Why: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.

Apple How: Our products are beautifully designed and simple to use.

Apple What: We just happen to sell computers.

Clearly, this method has worked for Apple, and it has also worked tremendously for Payline. Payline was founded on the idea of the Golden Circle. Our CEO Jeff Shea wanted to create a business with a purpose that positively impacted people, not profitability, and it all started with the Why, not the What.

Payline was founded with a purpose to give back and create opportunities. We understand the gravity of this responsibility and maintain this environment every day in order to accomplish our vision….our why.  Having a clear message and living it has allowed us to align our entire team with our mission and through this, we accomplish greatness for our team members, our customers, our partners and the nonprofits that we support,” said Jeff Shea, CEO at Payline.

Part of our company vision centers around the idea of, “Passion. Purpose. Positive Impact”. Payline’s Golden Circle looks something like this:

Payline Why: We want to give back and create opportunities to spread a positive impact.

Payline How: We work hard to offer simple-to-use solutions.

Payline What: We just happen to be a payments processor.

Payline has thrived under the Golden Circle. We believe that our why for doing what we do is what makes the biggest impact on the what we are providing. Additionally, because we focus so much on our motivations toward a positive impact, our what continues to be a big part of our success. Payline wants to be an inspiring force of the world, and it turns out that we can do that in the payments processing industry. You too can find your why, and your success will grow.

The Golden Circle idea is how successful and inspiring leaders think, act, and communicate. This idea can benefit your business, present or future, in big way. Consumers are looking for companies they can trust who will keep bringing innovation and positive impact. If you are only in pursuit of a result, or the what, success will not come as easily, and will not have as great an impact. If you are in pursuit of motivation or a positive impact, or your business’s why, it will not only come easier, but it will be more inspiring to your employees, customers, and other businesses. As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

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This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.

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