12/17/2013 06:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Why?? Yiddish!

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Why! A question that my two young daughters seem to ask almost every 5 minutes, might be the most important question of all, to ask yourself as you are embarking on new ventures. When my five year old asks the question, she wants an honest simple answer. If I answer her quickly she is unlikely to remember the answer. However, if I give her a detailed answer, she is likely to bring up the topic again (randomly) in conversations even a few months later. To put it simply, passion drives successful "whys."

When Simon Sinek talks about WHY, it reminds me of why I started on my current path and in retrospect why I was able to overcome so many improbable hurdles.

I am fortunate to have grown up in a great family. My parents loved my brother and I like we were the only two people on earth. They treated us like peers and took advantage of every day to show us the wonders of this world. Our family went through ups and significant downs, yet we stuck together and made it back stronger than before. As such, the big WHY for me has been a traditional Yiddish word: "naches." When I started my own company, joined the UNF Global Entrepreneurs council, and while writing my book, naches was at the core.

I am constantly in search of the next thing that I can do to provide my family and colleagues with another accomplishment that they can be proud of. -- Ido Leffler



1.pride or gratification, esp. at the achievements of one's children.

Everything I do in life is to hopefully generate that glint in the lives of the people I care about the most (wife, kids, parents, peers). It's that simple!!

When my business partner Lance Kalish and I started our beauty brand, I remember when my mum first saw the product and how much that single hand cream made her happy. Naches? CHECK.

When we started our nonprofit, which now feeds over 10,000 kids per day, and when I tell my daughters about that incredible journey, I get to watch their faces light up. Naches? CHECK.

The reason I do interviews, talks, videos (like the one above) is to share our experiences with other potential leaders and entrepreneurs. The goal is to show them that we made plenty of mistakes, some of which were SO big that they nearly killed our company and our dreams. But we overcame those mistakes, and we want to instill in others the confidence that they too can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. The reason why we never quit and never let a hurdle slow us down is because of the fear that we would not be able to achieve our primary "Why."

"Naches" has become a drug of sorts for me. I am constantly in search of the next thing that I can do to provide my family and colleagues with another accomplishment that they can be proud of. Hopefully this little article will be another thing that I can forward along to make them smile. (Love you, mom.)

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