What To Do When All Else Fails? Find Your Purpose & Live It

I talk about the core principles and lessons inside Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" & "Find Your Why" and translate them into how you can apply them as an osteopath.

Podcast Episode Transcript

Have you ever found yourself seeking deeper meaning, purpose and drive in your work as an osteopath? Why are some osteopaths and clinics more innovative and successful than others? And why are the able to repeat their success again and again? The answer is not What you do but why you do it. Because in my experience, I find that the most successful, driven and happiest osteopaths in the world, whether they’re clinic owners or associates, have a strong purpose and know why they do what they do then communicate it effortlessly.

In September 2009, Simon Sinek presented How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It’s now the 4th most watch TED talk of all time.

The central concept of the talk is what he calls the Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle consists of three concentric circles:

  1. Why (Innermost Circle): Your purpose, cause or belief that drives all that you do.
  2. How (Middle Circle): The actions you take to bring your why to life.
  3. What (Outermost Circle): The work you do.

When we can communicate from the inside out by starting with why, we’re able to emotionally connect with people.

Then we prove it by what we say and do.

This is where gut decisions come from. This is, I’ve never heard of an osteopath before, but this person gets it. I’m choosing them.

And when I first watched this TED talk in late 2017 and listened to him say, arguably his most famous line “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, I immediately searched for and downloaded the Start With Why audiobook. I listened to it in one go then immediately downloaded the follow up book Find Your Why.

When I tell you that I’ve put together what I believe to be the best 10 books every osteopath must read in order to make their dream career possible, for me, Find Your Why has the title as the biggest game-changer. And you lucky lot are getting two for the price of one in this episode, after about 10 hours of rereading and note taking, but if I’m going to talk about Start With Why, I must cover the follow up companion book in Find Your Why.

This is Behind The Osteopath. I’m Alan Zaia in an osteopath and Founder of Osteohustle and I need to say thank you because our why is to bring osteopaths together so you can plan, build and grow your dream career. The level of support I’m seeing for this podcast is beyond what I expected. The emails and reviews have been unbelievably motivating and inspiring. Osteohustle is bringing osteopaths together like we’ve never seen before in our profession. So, if you ever want to connect or share your thoughts, you can find my email in the episode description.

Now let’s get on with these two books. Just like the previous episodes, I want to give you some context, like I said, I read these books in 2017 and have reread them multiple times, including a week ago. However, please do read the books yourself and spark your own thoughts.

Let’s begin with Start with Why and I’m going to be completely honest with you, because this is what I want this podcast to be, and it must be to be worthwhile for you.

This is one of those books that has an excellent central concept: the idea that great leaders and organisations inspire action by communicating their “why” — the purpose, cause or belief, what they stand for, what drives them. Because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Keep a hold of that in your mind because I’m going to come back to it in a moment.

Here’s the honest part- the book could be 50 pages instead of 220+. In my opinion, the best way to approach this book would be to watch the TED talk, which is the perfect medium for Simon’s excellent central concept, and then read the book if you want to.

Why? Because the video covers everything you need in a fraction of the time and Simon is engaging, motivating and an excellent speaker. I’m not going to do him justice trying to explain his work as well as he does. It’s 15 ish minutes long. Go watch it after this, I’ll link the video in the description and I’m going to focus on coming back around to the idea that great leaders and organisations inspire action by communicating their “why”, I’m going to expand on that and then tell you what that looks like for the people Osteohustle has worked with.

Simon tells the story of two stonemasons. Let me just open the book a moment. So he says:

You walk up to a stonemason and ask, “Do you like your job?” He looks up at you and replies, “I’ve been building this wall for as long as I can remember. The work is monotonous. I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But it’s a job. It pays the bills.” You thank him for his time and walk on. About thirty feet away, you walk up to a second stonemason. You ask him the same question, “Do you like your job?” He looks up and replies, “I love my job. I’m building a cathedral. Sure, I’ve been working on this wall for as long as I can remember, and yes, the work is sometimes monotonous. I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But I’m building a cathedral.”

Those two stonemasons are doing exactly the same work. But the second one does it with a sense of purpose. He knows what he’s doing it for – he’s building a cathedral. He’s inspired. And this is exactly your job as a leader: Remind everyone, including yourself, why they’re doing something. Give them cathedrals.

Give them cathedrals. AKA a Why.

If you want meaning in your career. Start with why. Find your purpose.

If you want patients to see you as more than someone who fixes pain. Start with why. Talk about what you believe in, your version of osteopathy in relation to their needs.

If you want your marketing to be effective and attract the people you love working with. Start with why. Discover your purpose and translate it so that average joes can not just understand it but connect with it on an emotional level.

If you want your associates to stick around and be as invested as possible in your practice. Start with why. Discover their purpose, communicate yours and work together to make both happen.

I may ruffle a few feathers by saying this, but I’ll do back to it, the most successful, driven and happiest osteopaths in the world know their why and communicate it effortlessly.

I want to talk to you about a world class example of this in Matt Corbin of Six Core Outcomes.

Because so many osteopaths start a practice and create their brand by choosing the name, logo, font, colours etc without thinking about their why. Matt isn’t like most osteopaths. He started with why.

Six Core Outcomes are what he wants every single client to feel when they work with Matt: Confidence, a sense of community, convenience, collaboration, communication and commitment. That led to finding his why, and turning it into a simple, clear and effective marketing message which is: We believe in strengthening your body through movement to redefine your limits. Therefore, if you believe in what Matt believes in, he’s the osteopath for you. Which is perfect considering that people don’t know what osteopaths are, but they understand Matt’s why and how he can help them. What does Matt do next? He prints that statement on his front of shop window. Big, bold and for everyone to see. I saw that he extended his lease recently, so things are going very well and it couldn’t happen to a more hardworking, passionate guy.

But how do you uncover your “why” in a way that can shape your entire career? That’s where Find Your Why comes into play.

This companion book provides actionable exercises to help you and your team uncover your unique why. I like it because it’s very practical.

Here’s my favourite 3 exercises and there are more, so look at the book:

  1. The Five Whys Exercise: This exercise encourages you to ask yourself “why” multiple times to dig deeper into your motivations. Start with a broad question like “Why do I do what I do?” and then continue to ask “why” for each subsequent answer. Typically, after asking “why” five times, you’ll reach a deeper understanding of your core values and purpose.
  2. The 10-Year Timeline Exercise: This is where you create a timeline of your life and mark significant moments, both positive and negative. These moments might include achievements, challenges, or turning points. By reflecting on these experiences, you can identify recurring themes, values, and passions that have shaped your journey.
  3. The Word Cloud Exercise: The word cloud exercise involves creating a visual representation of the words and phrases that resonate with you. You can gather input from friends, family, and colleagues who know you well. They provide words or phrases that describe your strengths, values, and qualities. This word cloud can help you identify common themes and traits that define your identity and purpose.

These exercises are designed to be introspective and reflective, helping you uncover your “why” by exploring your life experiences, values, and aspirations. By going through these exercises, you and osteopathic teams can gain a clear sense of purpose.

Of course, if you’d like help with finding your why, it’s the foundation of our branding service – my email is in the description. Just have the subject as FIND MY WHY, you don’t have to say anything else, I’ll reach out to you knowing that you’ve come from this episode.

So that’s what I’ve taken from Start With Why and Find Your Why by Simon Sinek, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode. I hope you can see that what I mean by what to do when all else fails is that I speak to dozens of osteopaths who struggle with their identity, their purpose and end up feeling like they’re just passively floating through their career rather than carving it into something that gives them a true sense of purpose and fulfilment.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast and find value in what I’m striving to share, leaving a 5-star review would mean a whole lot.

Subscribe to the podcast to be reminded as soon as it comes out and I’ll leave you with a quote from Sinek: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”

Thank you again for listening. See you next week. Cheers.

Written by Alan Zaia M.Ost

Founder & CEO of Osteohustle. You’ll find Alan coaching osteopaths, travelling in a van or writing our weekly newsletter, The Hustle.

Grow your business today

Work with our coaches to grow your clinic

Get osteopathy business coaching to overcome your biggest barriers in 10-14 weeks. Mix short-term coaching and accountability with long-term strategies. Brainstorm, plan and take action every week with the Osteohustle team so you can break through to the next level of being a clinic owner. 

Subscribe to The Hustle

The greatest osteopaths in the world never stop learning.

Get the best business and marketing resources for osteopaths in 30 words or less into your inbox every Monday.  

By subscribing to The Hustle, you agree to our terms and conditions. We’ll never send spam.