It’s frustrating when someone comes along and ditches the plan. The plan we all agreed was the best path. The one we graphed and colour coded and said, in unison, ‘approved’.
It’s also frustrating when someone can’t break from the plan. The plan that is so constrictive, inflexible. The plan that’s stopping us from making something even better.
Both ways of thinking are perfectly fine, but can be equally dangerous.
Often I find myself in both camps. When I’m invested in the plan, I can’t stand it when people break it. When I want to break the plan, I can’t stand people who want to keep it.
Understanding the type of people you work with (and for), either planners or breakers, is a massive help.
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Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after his editor challenged him to write a book using less than 50 words.
What happened? He wrote one of the best kids (and adult) books of all time. A creative classic. Poetry and art in a few pages.
When asked nicely, a work of art that transcends generations is rarely produced.
When dared, obstacles appear irrelevant. Motivation peaks and the creative juices flow freely.
So when you’re asked to do something impossible, dare yourself.
How do we know what we’re capable of unless we attempt the impossible?
What if we went global
What if we closed our shops
What if we worked at a round table everyday
What if we answered the phone without any recordings
What if we dropped everything for that great idea
What if we linked our salary to customer satisfaction
What if we called our customers to ask what they like
What if we donated our profits
What if we broke the rules
We usually get stuck when charging ahead, blasting through the steps, until, suddenly, we can’t go any further.
Running full speed our heads down blocks the vision of the end goal. Sometimes we end up of track, with a product nobody asked for or wants.
Another way: do it backwards. Keep in mind the end goal – from the start.
If things go perfectly, what will we end up with? Answer that, and you’ll find it much harder to get lost.
Most marketers obsess with who they’re targeting. What demographic? Location? Income?
All good questions. However, we can’t afford to ignore our current customers.
In fact, a qualifier for looking for more sales should be an intimate understanding about who our existing customers are.
How do they think? Why did they stick around? How do they feel about us?
This helps us reach similar people and help spread the word in already existing communities.
There’s no point reaching a new segment if one exists, untapped, right before your eyes.
Perhaps one of the greatest trends in digital behaviour is a lack of concentration.
Tweets are short. We use multiple devices at once. Often, we never use apps more than once.
Information is everywhere, uncensored and almost free for all. How then, do we expect to keep telling our stories the same way? How can we expect to sell the same way as we did before – when people used to pay attention to ads and billboards?
All we know is that we can’t follow the status quo and sell the facts. We have to have a unique story or emotional connection to break through the noise.
2 things we can try:
- Tell our story only to people who are predisposed to the product.
- Tell it in a way that focuses on comedy, pain, fear or motivation – not on the boring facts.
I heard a story last night about people who can’t feel pain.
The implications of this condition are horrible with children seriously harming themselves unintentionally.
A quote from the father of one of the affected girls stuck with me.
“I’d give anything for her to feel pain.”
Perhaps the worst parts of life, failure, heartache, loss, are all necessary. Devastation leads to renewal. Green shoots of growth comes in the aftermath of the bushfires black ash.
Pain indicates danger. Risk tells us that we’re alive. Failure means we can try again.
Life is best with highs and lows, what can you learn from your lows? I hope your pain makes you do something extraordinary.
What makes you tick?
What burns inside you that drives your thoughts, actions and dreams?
Everyone has something. Some feel it stronger than others. I think it’s worth reflecting on our desires and motivations or else we risk losing sight of why we do what we do.
Try writing it down, sticking it up in your room and measuring how much time you spend trying to make it a reality.
Perhaps much of our frustration in life comes from wasting time on things that don’t matter.
Occasionally the small decisions we make can have a big impact. Round It Up America are making an impact.
The idea is simple. What if every time we bought something online or instore we rounded up the nearest dollar and the difference was donated to charity?
Customers get a daily dose of philanthropy plus the benefit of not budgeting for a 3.68 purchase. And charities benefit from the combined goodwill of thousands of consumers.
The little ideas, scaled to the world, can change the world. 20 cents here and there can become $10,000 very quickly.
What little thing can you do to improve the world today?
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For years many people have raved about the benefits of keeping a diary.
Thanks to great tools like WordPress, Twitter and Evernote, recording ideas and thoughts has never been easier.
For me, regularly forcing myself to write posts for this blog helps me think through issues I’d otherwise never consider. Continue reading “Share your mind”