We see what we want to see. Yesterday I walked along the Huron River and reveled in the sunshine. My hands in leather gloves dug into the pockets of my North Face jacket. A woman jogged past in running shorts.
How can the same object be shrouded in shadow and illuminated by sunlight? Can it be a good day and dismal one? Are we in a recession or did we just go out for an indulgent dinner?
The key to business success is telling good stories. And people. This Gaping Void cartoon says it perfectly – people matter, objects don’t (by the way, I LOVE Hugh’s cartoons!!! He is brilliant.)
Take that idea and further it with an idea from the Conversation Agent blog – if we apply relationship metrics to business, we will go farther than if we merely crunch numbers:
"Attraction is incremental. It goes hand in hand with attention. And it is acts of marketing that stimulate both. That's because they connect our aspirations with experiences we appreciate and enjoy...the 4 A's of blogging: Attract, Ask, Aspire, Act."
Wow, it’s not just for dating anymore – the laws of attraction apply to business. The chemistry question, is there a synergy, can you believe in the history and the principles of the people behind the business? If yes, then your business is won forever.
Which means that a business, then, and its owners of course, must create a compelling story that has backbone. You can’t just be out for the bottom line because then you will definitely fail. My college boyfriend’s mother once said, “Do what you love and the money will come.” He listened. He is now one of the top actuaries in the country – after deciding mid-way through college and behind the eight ball to switch majors and focus on an obscure career with a tough road to the top.
What do you offer that is different, unusual, and necessary? Ask yourself that in the dark of the night when the shadows of the moon fool you into thinking someone is standing in the corner of your room. Ask yourself and see what you say in response.
I know the happiest man in the world: Fabrizio Casini, the produce buyer at Hiller’s Markets. He does what he loves. He palms peaches before the dawn and decides whether they’re good enough to sell in the store. He orders swiss chard and carob stalks and celery and spinach every single day and it’s what he loves, what drives him.
The other night at dinner with my friend Ingrid, I pronounced that I have yet to find my produce – that which drives me, the single thing that I love doing so much I cannot imagine doing anything else. I think I’m close, but I’m not yet there.
Still, my clients have been getting lots of media attention lately and I am responsible for that. I am doing something I enjoy, something I do well – on behalf of quality companies with principled people at their helm. The answers will come.
Like the dawn, inevitable, in succession, expected and still awesome when it arrives.