1. Don’t be a needle in a stack of needles. You will lose. And here’s why: Nobody notices normal, nobody buys boring and nobody pays for average. Period. Amen. Q.E.D. As such, your greatest barrier to business success isn’t a bad economy, stupidity, inexperience, or lack of funding – it’s anonymity.
Therefore: Stop winking in the dark and start being ubiquitous. Perhaps begin by formulating a Visibility Plan. Not a Marketing Plan – a Visibility Plan. Huge difference. Are you everywhere?
2. Remember: Talk isn’t cheap – it’s cheat. A poor substitution for action. That’s like having “ready” and “aim” without the fire. Like snap and crackle without the pop. It’s just not the same.
As the wise philosopher, MC Nametag once said, “Talking smack without doing jack is whack.” Do you give customers lip service or foot service?
3. Don’t make waves – make a tsunami. Waves are for water parks. You’ve got bigger fish to fry. It’s time to devastate the corporate landscape, wake the drones up and start asking questions that flip your organization on its ass. Sure, people will be uncomfortable, but they’ll also be disturbed them into action. Thanks to you.
Next time you attend one of those delightful Monday Morning Meetings, I triple dog dare you to ask that ONE question nobody wants to ask. It’s liberating. Or it might get you fired. Either way, you’re free. How much money is your organization wasting by befriending complacency?
4. One size fits all does nothing but make people feel fat. There are just as many paths as there are people to take them. Don’t be scared away by myopic windbags who claim that their way is THEE way. It’s not. There’s a very thick line between “My Truth” and “The Truth.” How narrow is your thinking?
5. Don’t rock the boat – capsize it. Then see who can swim. Then whoever’s left, take ‘em with you to shore and start a new colony. Think Jerry Maguire. Think, “Who’s coming with me?” Hopefully you’ll have more takers than he did. Are you willing to be a rabble-rouser?
6. Out of the blue means into the green. The most profitable ideas tend to be the most unpredictable ideas. Think about it: History’s most famous inventions, innovations and corporation were fertilized in mistake-flavored, accident-rich compost. For example: John Deer grew from an Illinois farmer’s broken saw blade. Greyhound resulted from uncrossable, unpaved highways between coalmines.
Dr. Pepper came from a heartbroken teenager. Goodyear spawned from a frustrated husband leaving boiling rubber on the stove too long while his wife was away. All out of the blue. All into the green. Your challenge is learning to notice, allow and leverage fortunate mishaps. How could you become more accident-prone?
7. Don’t practice what you preach – preach what you practice. People are more likely to listen to you talk about something if you’ve DONE that something first. It’s the fine line between orthodoxy (the correct beliefs) and orthopraxy (the correct actions).
Here’s the process I’ve been following for nearly a decade: Make a list of the things people constantly compliment you on doing exceptionally well. Go back an ask yourself, “OK, so, apparently I’ve been doing (x) really well. How did I do it? Why is that important? Why did it work? How can teach others how to do the same?” Then, start preaching, Mr. Practice. Are you walking first or talking first?
8. Over the top (often) means inside the memory. It’s a noisy world. And outrageousness is rarely forgotten. Your challenge is to be in people’s faces without being on people’s nerves. My suggestion for doing so is to walk the fine line between risky and reckless.
Here’s how: Risky is succeeding from venturesomeness; reckless is proceeding from carelessness. Risky is treading on thin ice, trotting atop uncertain ground and gracefully balancing out on a limb; reckless is jumping on cracked ice, dancing atop broken ground and scarcely hanging by a thread.
Finally, risky is growing increasingly mindful of how your pebbles ripple; reckless is remaining utterly unconcerned about the consequences of action. Are you memorable for the right reasons?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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