In this great TED talk, Simon Sinek explains how to inspire people to buy from you, to vote for you, to work for you, to do anything for you. It boils down to telling them what you believe, not what you have to offer. He gives several examples, but the most compelling one is about Martin Luther King.

Simon Sinek also talks about the Law of Diffusion of Innovation, telling us that if you want mass-market success, or mass-market acceptance of an idea, you cannot have it until you achieve this tipping point between 15 and 18 per cent market penetration. In the Law of Diffusion of Innovation, the early majority will not try something until someone else has tried it first. And it’s the innovators and early adopters who are driven by what they believe about the world. People will do the things that prove what they believe.

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People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Martin Luther King wasn’t the only great orator of the day. He wasn’t the only man to suffer in a pre-civil rights America. He didn’t go around telling people what needed to change in America; he told them what he believed.

And the people who believed what he believed took his cause and made it their own. A grassroots effort led to 250,000 people showing up on a hot August day in 1963 to hear him speak. How many showed up for him? Zero.

They showed up for themselves. They showed up for what they believed. Sinek says, “We followed, not for him, but for ourselves. And by the way, he gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.”

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

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