Design Details with Your "Why" In Mind

By Jeromey Naugle

It was a beautiful June morning in Overland Park, Kansas and Tributary Revelation had an incredible agenda for its first ͞Design Charrette͟. The charrette concept for Revelation was Kurt’s brain child that spawned from his vast experience as an RLA (Registered Landscape Architect). The purpose of this charrette is to bring like-minded people together in a small format to discuss business practices, concepts, details and the progression of our group towards a common goal. Little did I know that Kurt Kraisinger had an ace up his sleeve that would prove to reignite my passion with a Why I do what I do.

Upon arriving at the impeccable Lorax Design Group offices, we were given Simon Sinek’s book Start with “Why”. This book is nothing new, it was released in 2009, but this was the first time I had heard of it and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. As a designer who is at times overly detail oriented, I had been going through my own issues of feeling unappreciated by the consumers in my region and I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the furrow I had created for myself.

After reading Start with “Why” I quickly realized that I had not made my “Why” clear to my clients and more importantly my team. I was providing them with a “What” which was as simple as a pool that anyone can provide them, but they did not understand my “Why” which in turn made it impossible to prove my value to these potential clients. I had lost my “Why” and didn’t realize it until this charrette.

How did I lose my “Why”? Allow me to elaborate. During the summer of 2017, I made the decision I wanted to sell 100+ pools and in the eyes of the consumer that slowly turned me into every other pool company in Arizona. My detailing became watered down and I wasn’t focused on people understanding “Why” I do what I do. Instead, my “Why” turned into “What” I was doing which was no different than any other builder in town, simply selling pools at a competitive price in order to make my 100+ pools per year dream come true. I was blinded by a goal that was destined to fail because it went against my reason for “Why” I was in business. I was no different than the companies, I was now competing with so why would a client buy from me instead of one of the guys working out of their trucks or the Wal-Mart brand of pool builders full of salespeople that cannot design a true WaterShape if their lives depended on it.

After concluding that the goal I had set for myself was not congruent with what drove me to start my own company and made me sacrifice everything that I had built my company to be, I quickly shifted gears. Once again, I needed to define my “Why” but first I needed to redefine my companies “Why” to my team. They are running this marathon with me and if there isn’t a clear path where we are going or “Why” we are on this path then we will never find the finish line. This was nothing short of liberating! I could see the uncertainties of my team fade away quickly. We all found our purpose as a company and everyone’s attitude and drive completely changed. Once again, we were a team!

Now that the team was back on track it was time to start presenting our “Why” to our client’s. How did we do this? Simple, we now use a take it or leave it mentality. Either they understand what we provide and they are on board or they can go to the Wal-Mart builders and get the “What” pool their families need. This process weeds out the tire kickers and window shoppers. Our client’s truly get what we are doing and more importantly “Why” we are in business. We are here to fill the void this industry has created for itself. In an industry that is filled with package price template designed pools we are a breath of fresh air. We are breathing life back into this industry by providing all-encompassing outdoor living spaces not just a watering hole to cool off in.

This transition wasn’t hard for our firm to make. I had to come to grips that I had set an impossible goal to reach. I say impossible because the goal did not lead to true happiness or fulfillment. It led to an endless cycle of being a salesperson to feed a machine that would never be full. Our team does not become fulfilled by doing what everyone else can do but to achieve what everyone else cannot. Within a few weeks, we had made a complete transformation into a company that works together to provide our clients with a Paradise that is nothing short of exclusive. We not only reverted back to our old ways, we made a realization as to “Why” we were all here doing what we love to do and in turn are now better at what we provide to the industry than we have ever been.

If you do not run your business off of your “Why” rather your “What” you will never achieve what you intend to. Find your “Why” and everything else will fall into place… this I can promise.

I greatly appreciate your time while reading this and if you have any questions on how we found our “Why”, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

-- Jeromey Naugle / Premier Paradise, Inc / 602-571-0372