Defining Your "Why"

Vista Bartholomew, President & CEO, VistaPix Media, LLC

Defining Your "Why"

Several years ago, I realized a lifelong dream of mine by turning my passion for nostalgic photography and old family movies into a business.  Today, my company strives to create an experience for each of our clients that take them on an intense journey revisiting the cherished memories of their lives. 

However, the vision for my business was not always that clear.  Along the way, I’ve grappled with numerous questions from how to create the business, what inspires me, who inspires me, what obstacles must be overcome, what I want the business to become, and so on.  And, as I reflect on each of those questions and how my answers have evolved with time, I always return to a concept presented by Simon Sinek, Start with Why.  During his discussion, he describes his theory of the Golden Circle and how it applies to the success and sometimes failure of many entrepreneurial endeavors over time.  His profound words, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, still inspire me today.

Every day you see a new blog on how to be successful in business.  Discussions are centered on leadership, good bosses vs. bad bosses, good employees vs. bad employees, company goals, vision statements, core values and operating principles.  And, they are all important.  But, as I’ve built my business to what it is today, I’ve found most of these concepts have a similar thread running through them.  It all goes back to why you’re in business. 

Defining success may vary depending on who you ask.  But, to be successful, you must believe in what you do.  As a leader in your organization, it’s your job to inspire, motivate and move your company.  Company goals and vision statements must convey your beliefs.  And your core values must embody your reason for existing.  As I mentioned above, our company strives to create an intense experience for each of our clients through cherished memories.   We do that one client at a time, each and every day by bringing their memories back to life.

About the Author

Vista Bartholomew is the founder of VistaPix Media, an e-commerce, multi-media company that offers a wide-range of professional photo scanning, slide scanning, video transfer, and photo slideshow services.

Sinek, S. (2009).Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. New York: Portfolio.