WHY Institute Founder & CEO
How I Discovered My WHY
WHY Institute Founder & CEO
How I Discovered My WHY
Why in the world is a dentist talking to me about the WHY?
I get that a lot. So let’s take an adventure back in time so you can understand the heart and soul of everything we do at the WHY Institute.
Living Life By Default Was My Norm
Back in 1980, I graduated from Albuquerque Academy. As I was kicking off my college career, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I did the typical major: “Undeclared!”
I lived my life by default. That lead my to keeping the “undeclared” major status as long as I could, literally until the last day possible. And, in finally declaring my major, I chose the only class I did well in, Biology.
Following in My Father’s Footsteps
My father was a dentist, I understood the lifestyle and the job demands, but I knew nothing about being a dentist. So, I followed in my dad’s footsteps and went into dental school. It was a great experience. I loved learning everything there was to know about dentistry.
Graduation came, I packed up and moved back to Albuquerque to work with my dad at his practice. I was equipped with an unprecedented excitement to fix everyone’s teeth in Albuquerque. A boy can dream, right?
Building a Great Product is Only a Piece of the Battle
I got back to Albuquerque and was told “Build a great product and people will come because you did a great job.” So I did just that.
I spent the next 20 years developing a great product. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars going to continuing education courses sto websitesthe best in the business. While most dentists were doing 20 hours per year of training I did 200 hours per year at the best institutes. I went and found the best mentors; flew in some of the most elite dentists to my practice so they could teach me how to get even better. Our entire practice built out unparalleled policies and systems that attracted a great staff to the practice.
We had built a GREAT product.
People Come to Expect What You Deliver
But having a great product is not enough. People come to expect what you deliver – they don’t want to show off their crowns at a party – they want to show off their smile!
And when I realized that, I was so lost, helpless, and pissed off because I had worked so hard at something and it did not have the return we needed. I remember sitting in my office and hearing silence because we did not have any patients coming through our doors. We were only getting 4-6 new patients per month and that was not enough.
People expect good teeth from dentists, but I didn’t know how to tell others that my practice was the best at giving people the best dentistry.
I Had to Look at Myself For Answers, Instead of Everywhere Else
My heart was ready to jump out of my chest and I could taste the anxiety on my tongue. This was one of the most pivotal moments for me: I realized I had been looking outside of myself for answers. I thought that if I just buy another piece of technology, just take another course, just hire another Team member then that would solve my problem. But none of them did.
Turn the Mirror Towards Yourself
I was pointing the mirror at everything else in looking for answers and I had to instead look at myself and ask, “Who am I?” “Why do I do what I do?” “What is my gift?” “What do I believe?” That same week, my daughter Bella asked if I could take her to the midnight book release of Twilight.
Teenage daughters don’t want Dad around so there I was, by myself in the bookstore and I see a book called The Answer by John Assaraf. Wow – I have all these problems and there is a book called The Answer!
Within the first few pages, I knew it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. I brought John on as my coach and he gave me great insight into using the Internet, everything from SEO and video to websites and SEO with the sole purpose of getting my message out to the world.
BUT I had no idea what to say so I would differentiate myself from everyone else.
I Stayed Quiet Because I Didn’t Know What to Say
I had spent hundreds of hours perfecting my craft, and someone right out of school without the extensive training I had was saying the same things I was. Since I did not know what to say, I just stayed quiet.
Have you ever felt like that? Where you just don’t know what to say. You might have a really great product or company, but you are struggling with how to tell others why it is so great, what you or your company are about, so you just let it ride and hope things turn out.
That is exactly what I did, and it did not workout.
Say Hello to the Golden Circle
Then I heard John Assaraf interview Simon Sinek about his Golden Circle Concept. The three concentric circles are WHY on the inside, HOW in the middle, and WHAT on the outside.
Simon says that inspiring people and organizations communicate the same way, which is the opposite of the way everyone else communications. The best say why they do what they do first and in doing so they share their purpose, cause, and belief.
Simon says the most inspiring companies start with their why, then they tell you how they do what they do, and then lastly, they tell you what they do.
I Had Found What I Was Looking For
And when I heard Simon’s talk I knew the Golden Circle was what I was missing. I had a great product and I just needed to know how to talk about it. I completely bought in and said that I would do everything around me according to my WHY – my business, marketing, and my life.
But, I did not know my WHY. I wanted it, I saw it, but I could not have it.
I became obsessed with discovering my WHY, so I called Simon. Simon walked me through a process over the course of eight months. We went through every significant event, from today to when I was a kid, looking for a pattern of what made me feel successful.
Then I started working on it on my own, and finally I had discovered my WHY! My WHY is to find a better way.
My WHY is to Find a Better Way and Share It
The moment I realized my WHY, my life made sense to me. I started replaying moments from my life where I had found better ways.
- Patents, products, and inventions I had made that found a better way
- The HealthChair, which I developed for people who sit all of the time. Instead of you forming yourself to a chair, the chair forms itself to you
- Fitness challenges I made for everyday people that gave them a better way to get in shape
Everything I do is about finding a better way and then sharing it.
WHYification Process Came to Life
I took what I learned from John Assaraf and Simon SInek and created the WHYification process back in 2010. This process covers:
- WHY we do what we do
- HOW we do what we do
- WHAT is it we do
- What is our vision for what we do what we do
- Who do we need to attract to create that vision
- What is it they want so we know where to find them and how to talk to them?
When I created the WHYification process, I applied it to my dental practice and the business took off! That year (2010), we had our best year ever! It was the most fun year with my team. We went from 4-6 new patients a month (barely surviving) to 35-45 new patients per month (thriving).
This was significant for us.
Then 2011 was even better. Then 2012 closed out better than both years! This trend has continued since starting the WHYification process, and I’m so excited after the close of 2017 because we just finished the year out as the best year of all time.
It has been so much fun.
Others Noticed Our Growth and Clarity
Other dentists noticed what my practice was doing. So I started developing processes and systems so other people could discover their WHY and use it in their business.
I worked with a few hundred dentists, which snowballed into a few hundred lawyers, and then a few hundred chiropractors. This grew to financial groups and every business we worked with started getting bigger over time.
And before we even realized it, we had worked with over 500 businesses, from small yoga studios to multi-billion dollar companies. I watched group after group go through this massive transformation. Instead of talking about WHAT they did, they would talk about WHY they did what they did.
Transformation Starts with You Being You
Transformation is not about you trying to be someone else. Transformation is about you being you.
You are already good enough and have something very special. You bring something that people need and want, you just have to know what it is. That happens when you discover your WHY, your HOW, and your WHAT.
The combination of your WHY-HOW-WHAT we call your Personal WHY Formula.
Once you are clear on you, your life, path, relationships, and business become clear.
I saw the success it brought to me and I wanted to share it with other people. So I started working with individuals helping them discover their personal WHY. I helped so many people – people sitting next to me on a plane, in a restaurant, at the park – anyone who would let me.
The Nine WHYs Changes the Game For Individuals
After working with thousands of people, I found there were only nine different WHYs. Discovering the 9 WHYs allowed me to discover anyone’s WHY in about 5 minutes.
I then built a program called the WHY App – it’s a free tool that allows people to discover their WHY so they can know their WHY in 5-minutes.
Everything you Do Comes From WHY You Do What You Do
Knowing your WHY will answer so many of the questions you have had in your life that you have been unable to answer.
As I mentioned above, my WHY is to find a better way and share it, so there is nothing I am more passionate about than helping other people find a better way.
Everything we do at the WHY Institute is designed to help you find a better way so you can share your unique gift with the world.
So Now You Know My Story
Now that you see my story, I want you to do three things:
- Take the WHY App – it’s free and takes 5-minutes
- Share the WHY App with your friends, family, coworkers, anyone who you think this would be helpful for
- Look into discovering your Personal WHY Formula through our next workshop, or if you’re a business owner take a look at applying it to your business!