Simon Sinek: How to Make Your Life A Success | Inc.

Simon Sinek: How to Make Your Life A Success | Inc.

I’m Chris Beier, the executive producer at
Inc. Magazine. I’m here with Simon Sinek, a unshakeable optimist and inspirational speaker. Thank you for your time. Thank you for joining us. Thanks for having me. So, let me ask you a broad question before we get into the nitty-gritty. Why are you an optimist? Why do you choose to see the world that way? Yeah, I mean I don’t know if optimists choose to see it that way I think, well I guess, you can
choose to be an optimist that is a point of view that you can take right you can
look for everything bad in the world and think the world is crashing and it will
never get better or you can choose to see the good in people and choose to see
the good in the world and then that’s the direction that that will follow and
you know I I tend to believe that there’s no finality in anything you know
it’s not like you know you’re even though we our lives are finite life is
infinite you know life goes on and and for me the goal is not to produce
something that has an end point but to produce something that has momentum that
can live on beyond me and so I choose an optimistic path where did you go to
college I went to Brandeis University just outside of Boston you go to grad
school I have half a law degree oh yeah right right I dropped out of it yeah I
dropped out of Law School what what what prompted you to drop out
it’s not for me and I knew that it wasn’t for me yeah
you knew that it wasn’t for you before you even went to law school oh no I
wanted to go yeah but once I was there I realized it wasn’t for me and I figured
why waste the time yeah so when you when you dropped out of law school and went
into the real world so to speak what what were the jobs that you were holding
before you went off and started your own thing I was living in England I went to
law school in England and I not only made the decision to drop out of law
school oh so made the decision to move back to the United States and I happen
to be dating a girl who was studying advertising at Syracuse and so she got
this idea this bug in my ear about advertising where I could do business
and creative stuff all at the same time interests and so I made the decision to
go into advertising to go into marketing and so my career started me
I started looking for jobs in advertising and I started ad agencies so
most of your wisdom is about how to better live in this corporate world yeah
how did the corporate world suit you you know I I was still an entrepreneurial I
think people misunderstand what the word entrepreneur means listen you know small
business owners owned small businesses and entrepreneurs solve problems and
there are many many entrepreneurs inside corporations yeah and not all small
business owners or entrepreneurs I say so an entrepreneur is somebody who’s
constantly looking for a better way to do something there’s a there’s a sort of
a mad scientist about them it’s not simply you know understanding structure
and building business and and that’s the way I was in the corporate world which
you know depending on my bus was either welcomed or or not oh yeah I used to get
in trouble for that’s not how we do it around here and really did I break any
rules they’re like no I’m like did I get it done they’re like yes I’m like did it
get it done better than you expected they’re like yes I’m like so what
exactly is the problem you know so I was that yeah I was you know I had good
relationship I was very lucky I had some some not-so-great bosses at the
beginning of my career which was actually great because I learned I
learned about the camaraderie of a team but I had some fantastic bosses middle
and later on in my career which was really great and a lot of who I’ve
become as a leader is very much it was very much shaped by those people
when did you start developing that first philosophy that you were known for the
Golden Circle the concept of the Golden Circle when did that realization start
to happen so I quit the ad business and started my own marketing firm already in
2002 and throughout my entire career I was always fascinated why some
advertising or some marketing worked and some didn’t uh-huh and because having
been on the inside I knew that I could have a brilliant team and we could have
come up with amazing creative ideas and it would fail or I could have a the same
team on a different thing who would come up with equally good ideas and it would
succeed mm-hmm and so I would I looked at the great marketers the ones that we
admired and the ones that I’ve written about you know your Southwest Airlines
your apples the ones that perennial favorites yeah and I
recognized that there was a pattern in the way in which they spoke to us like I
literally could look at their ads and like see that there was an organization
and I wrote it down and even back then I called it the golden circle and when I
when I had my own business I would you it was just basically in powerpoints to
explain why some marketing worked and some marketing didn’t it wasn’t when you
were first talking to a client it wasn’t a big idea yeah yet it was simply an
organizing principle how to organize information for marketing as it turns
out there’s a pattern as it turns out all the great and inspiring leaders and
organizations in the world whether it’s Apple or Martin Luther King or the
Wright brothers they all think act and communicate the exact same way and it’s
the complete opposite to everyone else so what is it you then that decided I
want to share this with as many people as I can regardless of clients from my
from my advertising agency or were people reaching out and saying hey can
you talk about this outside of your work it’s like so many of these stories it
sounds like you know I was a genius but it was much more evolutionary than
revolutionary a lot more organic what I was fascinated by this idea and it had a
profound impact on my own life and my own view of the world and like anybody
when you read a great book you see a great movie you tell your friends to
read it or see it and so I would talk about this thing obsessively because it
it was like it was you know it’s like when you find a new song and all you do
is listen to that one oh I’ve been there it’s the same eye it’s the same thing
you know that’s just this obsession for this one thing the difference is it
didn’t lose steam and my friends were taking it to heart and we’re making
crazy life changes like I’d really need jobs and starting businesses once they
heard this thing because of a talk you had with him at a bar yeah or yeah and
Wow and I figured out how to help people find their why and I would I and my
friends would invite me to their homes to share with their friends so it all
started with me standing in somebody’s living room in New York City like you
know with one of those those prepared platters that you get at the at the
supermarket with the celery and the carrots and you know like one of those
in the middle of the room and I would talk about the thing called the Y and
people would ask me to help them find their when I used to do it for a hundred
bucks on the side it was extremely organic you know
I kept I talked about it everywhere when people would tell people about it people
would ask me to come talk about it and somebody invited me to come give a talk
to a bunch of entrepreneurs and I said yes Wow so what happened when when you
gave their first target your first real talk were you like oh my I should maybe
this shouldn’t just be the sidekick I didn’t know that being a speaker was
actually a thing weirdly so and this is we’re talking 2000s I started giving
these talks in 2006 because it was my own discovery of my own why that really
generated a passion for this idea and what was your own why to inspire people
to do what inspires them so together each of us can change our world for the
better which continues to be my passion and my drive and that has not changed it
one you only have one why your whole life yeah and the opportunity is to live
in balance or out of balance with that with that why I say it’s not created in
the middle of your life it’s created early in your life and if you can figure
out what it is you can choose to make decisions to to bring that Y to life and
that’s that’s what I’ve done as we’re here in this sort of 2006-2007 area you
have your marketing firm and you’re doing this consultation work teaching
people how to find their why when did you sort of stop doing the more
traditional marketing stuff and just really focus on this is what I’m doing
probably a year ish after that mm-hmm it wasn’t it was relatively quickly when I
realized I wanted to only do spread this message of the Y yeah wasn’t sure
exactly what form it would take I just knew I wanted to do it and so managed to
back out of my lease my back I didn’t pay a fine oh my I got out of my lease
from my office yeah and started from scratch because I
wanted to I had this sort of very scientific approach which is scientific
method which is I had a theory I wanted to prove the theory and the best way to
prove the theory was to start clean yeah and and I didn’t think I was right I
just think thought I had an idea and I wanted to test it until it would fail
and then I would tweak the idea and so I kept looking for new opportunities big
companies small companies different industries public companies private
companies government military I just was looking for all the different play
that I could try it waiting for it to fail and it kept working Wow it really
it was really an amazing experience to see this theory just keep working but I
kept the reason I was very honest I was we’re honest with people they like have
you worked and you know politics before I’m like nope never done it but yeah but
I want to give it a try and see this works it may not but I was always very
honest about what my pursuits were yeah and people again the early adopters said
well let’s give it a try so everybody went in with open eyes me and my clients
so you continue to do this and you continue to spread this message and it
kept working tell me how you got that TED talk in 2009 well as you know I
became a champion for this message and a champion for this cause and it was and
so when you talk about what you believe people who believe what you believe
recommend you or one introduce you to people I see and so the more I talked
about it the more somebody would call me and say hey there’s someone I think you
should meet yeah and people found me I don’t know you know from somebody else
so you did not seek out I want to do this for know yeah so somebody somebody
reached out to me and said you know they got my name yeah and they said we’ve
heard about you we’ve heard your work we’d like to invite you to do a TEDx
talk in Puget Sound in Seattle yeah and I said okay sounds amazing you know TEDx
was a there’s a relatively new thing back then and it was a big deal you know
it still had a lot of real sort of an kind of gravitas to it and so I was very
excited and of course of course said yes to the opportunity this little idea
explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others
aren’t let me define the terms really quickly every single person every single
organization on the planet knows what they do 100% some know how they do it
whether you call it your differentiating value proposition or your proprietary
process or your USP but very very few people or organizations know why they do
what they do there was a talk I’d been giving for
three years already this is in 2009 I’ve been giving this talk for three years I
knew my stuff inside and out and so I showed up to give the best talk I could
in 18 minutes for me the challenge was the 18 minutes none the talk how long is
the talk no it was like an hour laughs yeah I was like I had no idea how
to do it in 18 minutes and but I just gave the best talk I could and they put
it on YouTube and I didn’t expect it to get as many views as it did on YouTube
and it did and in a few months the Ted people put it on main Ted calm and then
things went silly Wow define things went silly
it went from hundreds of thousands of views to millions of views and what
happened were you ready for the wave to hit what did you know where you wanted
the wave to take you definitely wasn’t ready for it because everything was a
surprise to me I only found out that they put it on Ted calm the week it
happened like there’s no advance notice they didn’t ask permission was like they
just did it and I found out about it I didn’t know what it would do it was
again I was out spreading a message and it was wonderful for me to have a yet
another medium to help me spread this message so I didn’t have to be in the
room all the time yeah what I didn’t expect is it would
create more demand for me as a speaker I didn’t and and I never set myself on
this course to be a public speaker it was it’s not really a chosen profession
you know if I never give another speech again I’d be fine with that I do it
because I believe in the message and I think it’s important to go and preach
that message and I see and the what the TED talk gave me was the opportunity to
spread that message at vastly greater scale you know much bigger audiences
yeah and that’s that’s been a great honor did
you ever have moments where you thought wow so many people are listening to me I
hope moments of impostor syndrome moments where you doubted yourself I
think I would I wouldn’t call it impostor syndrome I I was more humbled
by the whole thing you know I would catch myself laughing and giggling at
myself like I can’t believe that they let me in here yeah like that happened
more frequently would I stay posture I’m more like I think they’re idiots because
they don’t really know that I am an idiot you know it’s it’s a hologram
marcsa said I would never join a club that would have me as a member it was a
little bit of that you know it’s like what’s wrong with these people that they
think that you know it’s like that that was the only sort of impostor II thing
that that crept in it do you still have that um I yeah I do
I I’m sort of I still I’m sort of amazed by it all you know and I’m I
there’s a you know like when I meet people who I know there’s an author or
oh I see celebrities I guess I know yeah I know your work yeah you know my work
you know yeah that’s it’s it’s it’s humbling it’s it’s like people who whose
books I used to read you know when I was in the marketing business like like
they’re friends now like that’s weird to me yeah like that’s uh that’s very
humbling why is there any sort of larger flaw that you had to confront about
yourself whether it’s a leader or just as a human over these last ten years and
rising success there’s many mm-hmm the biggest lesson I
learned was thank goodness I learned it pretty early on which is and I think a
lot of business owners make this mistake which is because I was the boss you know
in my own mind yeah I thought I had to know all the answers and if I didn’t I
thought I had to pretend that I did and that’s stupid and what I learned is that
just because I may have the the top position in the hierarchy I I’m not
expected to know everything and if I pretend to know everything it diminishes
the value of all the great ideas and the great intelligence around me and when
things got difficult I would never admit it right I would just put on a brave
face and show up every day and and the the the biggest lesson I learned was to
say I don’t know I don’t understand or I need help
at any level about any subject yeah and amazingly I was always surrounded by
people who wanted a help or who knew answers but they never offered to help
or offer the answers because they didn’t think I needed it because I kept
pretending that I knew it all right not to mention the fact that nobody likes a
know-it-all so that was huge for me and and when I
was willing to ask for help and accept it when it was offered and and sort of
accept the humility of the fact that other people know a lot more about a lot
of things than I know uh I know one thing you know and they know lots of
things that’s when things really started to move because
we were now a team that we were actually working together

100 Replies to “Simon Sinek: How to Make Your Life A Success | Inc.”

  1. How to make your life a success? fortunately I knew before I watched this.- the greatest people are the servants of all…

  2. Great interview, questions and I know so much more about Simon's journey because of it. I agree with the assessment that the critics are way off based here…if I could work with any person on the planet it be Simon! It's on public record now…I'm a Communications and Relationship Consultant for 30 yrs…and definitely an Entrepreneur!

  3. They should turn interviewer voice down a bit, and turn Simon's voice up. And please don't speak so much mr. Interviewer. I know it's casual interviews, but too much response beside capturing response like ok or yes, would be disturbing.

  4. I personally find the interviewer’s enthusiasm endearing. He’s young, surely has his own dreams, and he’s getting to ask the details behind the personal journey of a really great teacher we all admire. Who wouldn’t be excited by that?

  5. I love this kind of interview. There are lots of feelings going on here. And the ethusiasm that the interviewer had, makes it felt more realistic. I don't really like when someone is being "formal". But still, we have to do it once in while so… Yeah.

  6. 🤔 If you’re sick of living paycheck to paycheck or know you have a spending problem and you are ready to make a change in your life to become wealthy, you can check out my youtube 👍 We provide valuable content on making money, having the right mindset, and other things you need to know to become successful 😯💸

  7. the interviewer was insane, the moral here is, everything that guy says is not backed up, he is according to the interview he basically said it, an impostor

  8. What a waste of time and energy, criticizing the interviewer.
    By the way I love the way he set up the difference between small business owner and entrepeneur, some people might lead to confusion with concepts

  9. I do enjoy some of Simon's content but does anyone think that the "Golden Circle" is really a groundbreaking concept? Is this not a pretty obvious question/ point to anyone who lives even half consciously or intuitively? All he did was add a cute graphic point. I'm sure I'm not the only one who draws graphs to elaborate concepts and personal insights? Who else is into daily reflection and personal insights? Nothing is as more groundbreaking than having your own personal insight that can change your life. I prefer my own insight through deep reflection over that of content in books (doesn't normally stick), personally.

  10. Btw, about the interviewers style: I enjoy it. I wish more people displayed engagement, enthusiasm and curiosity over being distant, cold and sterile. Good job interviewer!

  11. What a load of bullshit!!! Simon sinek is just an author and now he is somehow a prohpet get the fuck back to you library! What a crapmouth

  12. John Calvin Maxwell ( A leadership expert) is a hypocrite. Dont trust him. He is inconsistent with his values. He does not practice what he preach. That is a fact.

  13. HAHA, its funny to see the comments about the interviewer. I felt the same way about the video before seeing the comments and while I am watching it half way I was thinking to myself, am I the only one that is annoyed? haha and then thats where I saw all the comments. They need a better producer man. haha

  14. At 14:00 – Being the Boss. Direct your team to "work the problem" and encourage them to create the solution. And unload lots of covering fire on the obstacles so they can concentrate on doing their jobs.

  15. It only took me 43 years to learn that the difference between those that became SUCCESSFUL, and those who didn't, was their ability to HOLD ON and PERSIST in the face of less than desireable, often bleak, circumstances and/or environments. Just. Hold. On.

  16. Plenty of comments on the interviewer, I know, but you could tell there was a couple of times when Simon found the interviewers interruptions as annoying. He was thrown off a little. Like speed bumps in the road, sure you can go over them but you need to slow down. When you're working on a PC and you just want to listen to an interview off screen, this constant barrage of "really?" "a-ha" gets grating fast. I just thought it was me that found it annoying til I read the comments.

  17. The 5 Rules To Truly Believe You Can Succeed

  18. Simon Sinek is great leader and thanks for all what you share ! but the interviewer is seriously Jerk , he pissed me off !

  19. Stop laying on the interviewer! All I see is that he has a lot of enthusiasm for the topic – probably something most of you aren't used to. Would you rather an interviewer who seems bored and uninterested in what his guest has to say?

  20. Not entirely sure why everyone is talking trash about the interviewer, he asked great questions and was genuinely interested, if not ecstatic, to talk to Simon. I genuinely enjoyed the flow of the interview and thought he did a great job. Thanks for the upload.

  21. Its a good job its not a case of by name and by nature. So pleased he is not a cynic. He is a genius if only the mas populous took the time to listen to him, he talks a lot of sense.

  22. Whoo Your content is awesome, you are a big inspiration for all this people i am in the path to success, and i admire all the things that you teach, i'm in may way to make this world a better place and help people, hope you can go to my channel and leave me some feedback, hope all of you have a great day !! 🔥❤🔥

  23. Hi is a really good motivator. I only have an issue with his story’s. Hi apply psychology tricks to play down the reason of why the US Army are in the war zone. And it’s definitely not democracy. The soldiers are puppets of his nations. That’s really sad

  24. I don't doubt this guy, however considering all the speakers on YouTube now, fame brings money, but how many actually started from zero and achieved a business that makes money on its own.

  25. Bullshit . you are chosen to be successful or not at berth… if you are one of them that keeps faling over and over again just stop trying because you are born to fail .. am sorry this is the truth

  26. The 7 Personal Habits of Successful People

  27. Memorize one speech over avd over again… Put it on YouTube… Become an influencer… Nevermind you never managed or lead a successful team through ups and downs yourself but you sound and look cool pretending you have…

  28. Simon is brilliant. Fact. However, for this interview all credit goes to the interviewer who, despite a maybe over enthusiastic style, asked all the right questions about things we want to know about this star speaker and are not already public about him. Like, for example, the inner process that led him to this celebrity career, the path, the challenges, the weaknesses. We wanted to know if Simon is human after all or not and he answered "yes" because he was asked the right questions. To the interviewer: Congrats for asking smart questions and not falling into the trap of asking expected boring stuff. You can turn maybe the knob of enthusiasm volume a bit to the left next time, but well done!

  29. Halfway through the video, you can see how Simon is starting to think "Jesus Christ this dude needs to chill"

  30. This shallow, superficial kid in gray shirt. Good luck. It was irritating, hope learned any hint talking to Simon.

  31. How I know someone is optimist ?, I look to his face. And Simone is a real one because he has the smiling cat face ; ).

  32. Oh boy I love how when it got to the imposter syndrome he just literally says no and then redefines it in a more optimistic way

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