Simon Sinek in his bestseller Start With Why shares the powerful truth that, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” He cites numerous examples of companies like Apple who have a definitive “why” that people connect. I have found that truly great companies clearly understand their “Why” and seek to authentically live it as an organization. Sinek understands the connection between knowing your “Why” and having an inspired workforce. He noted, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
Trey Smith, co-founder of Simple Strokes Therapy Consultants, PA, in Southaven understands this concept. Trey and his wife Robin, a physical therapist, formed the company in 2003 to provide specialized pediatric physical therapy services to children in northwest Mississippi. They have a vision and purpose for their business and have seen significant growth. They have 14 therapists (physical, occupational, speech) who have positively impacted over 2,000 families. The Smiths know the “why” of their business. Their goal is to “provide children of all ages and physical abilities the opportunity to participate and enjoy the activities of childhood.” Families with children with disabilities now come from around the Mid-South to their state-of the-art facility.
A native of Memphis, Smith attended Mississippi State University and the University of Memphis where he finished with a B.S in sports business management. After building a successful financial services practice, Smith and his wife joined forces to start their own business. Smith is a passionate entrepreneur and gifted leader. He was influenced early on by his late grandfather, Doyle Harvey, who was a successful businessman. Smith noted, “He had a contagious sense for people as they seemed to just migrate to him.” Smith continued, “He instantly connected with people, and they immediately trusted him. While he was a brilliant business man, he recognized that solid relationships with people created his brilliance in business.” Smith shared that he uses this method to navigate through his Christian life as well as his business.
Smith’s key principles as a leader are love for others, honesty, integrity and character. Smith shared, “Not only do I try to live by these principles, but I also choose to relate with people who share these principles with me. Relationships with people with like values create more opportunities which lead to more success in business and in life.” He continued, “One has to remember, that to be a servant leader requires these principles/values in order for employees or people in general to want to be in the same boat with their respective leader.” Smith truly understands the value of relationships and emphasized, “While we can get mired down with day to day junk that may sometimes lower moral, it is important to remember that our relationships drive our success of a leader. It’s not to say that there won’t be pitfalls along the way, but the right relationships with the right people will ultimately breed success. Just keep your eyes open to the big picture, and it will all work out for the best.”
Smith and his wife have built a great business serving people by understanding their “why.” Based on this success, they are now expanding into new cities as they seek to continue to fulfill their mission to help children and families.
» Martin Willoughby is a business consultant and regular contributing columnist for the Mississippi Business Journal. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC and can be reached at martin.willoughby@ butlersnow.com.