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Sometimes, a healthy dose of perspective is in order. Here’s what we mean:
In the past month, we’ve had a couple friends get medical diagnoses that, frankly, suck. Long-term prognosis is good – but life will be different.
We’ve watched a few friends get new jobs and launch new opportunities – and, while it’s awesome for them, we’ve also seen more than enough examples of friends who are stalled: can’t find the right opportunity, found the right opportunity but can’t start it for awhile, or are gainfully underemployed, or terminally in a funk.
We’ve seen connections appear to drop off the face of the earth – but it’s because they had to leave the social media world: bad relationship, crumbling marriage, family issues, or even threats of violence.
And, even though it seems like everyone is underwater with their mortgage: we’re connected to people who are not only mortgage-less, their living conditions can BEST be described as “sub-optimal.”
Perspective is a Funny Thing: You Don’t Get It Until You Get It.
It would be easy for me to sit on my high horse and tell you to “look out for each other” or “be careful what you post because it might rub someone the wrong way.” But I can’t. I don’t have your perspective – and you don’t have my perspective.
I had a good friend who, a few weeks ago, started a conversation like this…
THEM: “Can I be brutally honest with you?”
THEM: “Promise not to get offended.”
THEM: “You are sharing too much negativity. Every post, every status update, every everything is…too negative. By being negative, you’re inviting negative things into your life.”
ME: “I’ll take that under advisement.”
This was the frying pan to the face that I desperately needed.
They were 100% right. I was being negative. I was inviting the negative. Thus, negative was following.
The Business Takeaway: Positive Execution
Whatever your business is, it might be easier to look at what you didn’t get done than what you DID get done, or on what hasn’t happened than what HAS happened. It might make more sense to say that “Bob is a VP and I’m just a Manager.” Or “Mary sold her company and I’m still languishing away at mine.”
But, wait a minute: what DID you do? What HAS happened?
Crap, I’ve had too many discussions with people about client opportunities here at Area 224 world HQ that it would be virtually impossible for me to go back to past experiences and not find a positive takeaway.
Find the positive execution and focus on it. You got something accomplished – and that is a plus that you can use as a POSITIVE.
The Marketing Takeaway: Don’t Market Absolutes
I’ve always thought that one thing that churches did well in the Middle Ages was to Market Absolutes: “Join Our Church or Go to Hell.” That’s an elevator speech that is succinct, negative, and absolute.
Not buying your product doesn’t mean my hair will fall out – and buying your product, conversely, shouldn’t absolutely give me a full head of glorious hair.
It might help – but the zero sum marketing game hurts everyone. A plus for you shouldn’t be a minus for me – it works or it doesn’t. Maybe I’ll try it, maybe I won’t. Show me how it might make my life better – but don’t give me the platitude that says “Buy Now, Be Absolutely Thin Tomorrow.”
Empathy Marketing – not Absolute Marketing. People can read right through the hyperbole – they want to see the process BEHIND getting there, not the absolute holy grail.
Walk Me Through It. Don’t sell me on your overnight success – that’s ten years in the making anyway.
The Life Takeaway: Lift Someone Up
The same conversation I referenced above ALSO got me to endeavor to “lift up five people a day.” By that – heck, someone has something positive going on, right? If not, make it happen yourself – who can you send a letter to? Whose status update needs the like button clicked? Who do you know that can help open the door for a new job, a new contract, a new relationship, for someone in your circle?
Five People: That’s Not Too Difficult. Lift Them Up.
Trust me – I can’t sell you on changing your perspective immediately, but I can ask you to seek out things that are positive and GET your perspective changed.