Why? Why do I do what I do? It's a question I've returned to after watching Simon Sinek's powerful TED talk about how to win in business and connect with customers.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it," he says.
As I discussed in my last blog post, Julia and I have been preparing to pitch as a part of the 2017 Women In Business Challenge. Julia and I want to model our pitch after the structure that Sinek lays out in his talk; start with why, then move to how and what.
So why do I do what I do? The short answer is that I love listening to people's stories, especially if their views and experience are radically different than my own. I've always been a rule following, law abiding, perfectionist as far back as I can remember, but luckily for me, that also comes with a deep curiosity for people living on the other side of the spectrum.
When discussing "why?" I told Julia about one of my oldest and best friends Alice*. Once when we were 16, Alice took me on a joy ride in a stolen car.
I remember talking to her on the phone before she picked me up. She told me to tell my parents we were going to the mall and to make sure to wear gloves and a hat. It was only once I got in the car that she explained it all: the car was stolen by neighbors who lived on her block who let her borrow it. The gloves and the hat were to prevent leaving any prints behind.
The car was hot wired. She had to stick a screwdriver in the ignition to start it. She had barely any practice driving, and no driver's license, but what she lacked in practice, she made up in confidence.
As a part of our joy ride Alice offered to ram in another friend's parked car because I was jealous of her. No one would ever know who did it, so why not?
She drove to the friend's car in a parking lot and came as close to bumper to bumper contact as she could without quite touching. She revved the engine.
"Should I do it? Should I do it?" she asked, egging me on.
It was so tempting...but I turned down the offer.
Would I have normally found myself in that car? No. I was a goody two-shoes in high school and would normally be at home buried in my books.
The thing is, I loved being friends with Alice. I loved being friends with her because she broke rules I would never dream of breaking. I loved listening to her stories because they were so different from my own and because while she told them, she was being her truest authentic self.
When I produce a video, that's the magic I'm looking for. A story with authentic characters. A story with a unique perspective.
That's my why.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy