Someone Like You

Don’t worry, I’m not going to break into a song by Adele. This morning, as I read Seth Godin’s post on extending the narrative, I latched onto one of his comments.

The socialite walks into the ski shop and buys a $3000 ski jacket she’ll wear once. Why? Not because she’ll stay warmer in it more than a different jacket, but because that’s what someone like her does. It’s part of her story. In fact, it’s easier for her to buy the jacket than it is to change her story.

Once I recovered from the idea of paying $3000 for basically renting a jacket for a day, the idea of doing something “because that’s what someone like [you] does.” stuck with me. The phrase elucidates how we allow our lives to become parodies of ourselves. This is how we sleepwalk through vast segments of our life, only to awaken one day and not recognize the person we have become. A person living a life based on the expectations, desires and decisions of ‘someone like you.’

When you think of living according to what you know deep inside yourself, how does that make you feel? Does it excite you or simply raise your blood pressure with anxiety? Does it fill you with ideas or simply leave you feeling like you’re staring at an insultingly blank slate? Ask yourself why you feel this way. See if it connects with a deeper truth inside of you. It may be a truth you are unwilling to uncover from the shovels of dirt the world has piled on through the years.

If the idea scares you, perhaps it is because you have no clue what awaits under the lid of this box. I don’t blame you for being nervous, but be aware that you may be leaving yourself buried alive in that box as you let “someone like you” walk away, continuing to live your life for you.

On Being Patronizing

The Mona Lisa

I rented and watched the movie The Soloist the other day. I want to buy it now. My wife asked me if I really thought we would watch the film enough to justify buying it.

I don’t.

I just want to support a good film and have it as a reminder of its message.

This made me thing about why I buy, or don’t buy, certain things from certain places. I don’t have the same intention to seek out and support something “good.”

If we endorse what we buy, then shouldn’t we buy what we endorse? As Seth Godin said, we get what we pay for.

Some of our most cherished works of art originated from the Renaissance. Without the Medici family, many of these works would not have been created. Lorenzo de Medici supported artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo. So, without patrons, The Mona Lisa and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel would not exist for our appreciation.

What we need today are “many micro-Medicis.” We need small armies of patrons who recognize what they appreciate and are willing to support it. Buy from manufacturers with good labor standards. Buy from stores that support the community. Donate to churches involved in good work. Donate to candidates who not only stand on proper (however you define it) values… but prove it with the way they operate their campaign. And yes, purchase movies that communicate rich and powerful messages.

“Patronizing” should cease to connotate negativity. We should all aspire to be more patronizing.

A Way-Worthy Tribe

johnmoore of Brand Autopsy often cites whether a book is a Way-Worthy read or not.

Seth Godin suggests good bloggers create tribes.

I think that is why I haven’t been satisfied with this blog the last 2-3 years. It has not consistently been a way-worthy read and has not created a tribe.

Realizing this, I have a few options:

1. Make no major change of course. I could keep writing mediocre pieces with a few gems (subjectively speaking) here and there.

2. Scrap it all. I could consider my four years of blogging (3 1/2 years here) as a fun learning experience, but one which I now leave behind. Pull the plug, let it die.

3. Grit my teeth and try harder. I could give all kinds of excuses as to why I haven’t put more time, effort or thought into this blog. I just don’t see any benefit to that. Perhaps I should just get a grip and try harder.

4. Carry it forward. I could look at what I’ve learned from this experience and view this period as a natural progression in the cycle. Perhaps this horse has led me to a stream it is not willing or able to cross. Using the same analogy, the best thing may be to dismount – cross the stream – and see if there’s a ride on the other side.

I have a writing project I’m working on currently. I often wonder if I could finish it and make it better if I didn’t try to come up with ideas for this blog. The concept I’m writing is so intriguing to me that I may even start a separate blog based on that idea.

No decisions yet, but I thought I’d give you some insight into why this blog is lingering.

Good In A Room

Sometimes it’s harder to blog once a week than everyday. So, I’m going to start blogging as much as possible to get out of the funk I’ve been in. Should make things a bit more organic and not so planned.

Just read a Tom Peters “Cool Friends” interview from a few weeks ago with Stephanie Palmer, author of Good in a Room: How to Sell Yourself (and Your Ideas) and Win Over Any Audience.

Good In A Room book   Stephanie Palmer

Here are a few of my favorite nuggets from the interview:

tompeters.com asks …

Stephanie, what’s the big idea here?

SP: “Good in a room” describes anyone who presents themselves and their ideas effectively. The phrase originated in Hollywood and it’s used by agents and producers to describe people who pitch ideas well. I teach people to use, in their own industry, the tactics that work in Hollywood.

……….

Tom Peters has espoused the elevator pitch as one of the supporting columns of Wow Projects. The goal of the elevator pitch being, if you get into an elevator on the first floor with your boss and you’re trying to sell an idea, you want to sell it by the time you get to the 35th floor. You say the elevator pitch is a myth. Why is that?

SP: I think the term “elevator pitch” incorrectly implies that it’s appropriate to pitch in an elevator. Communicating quickly and concisely is important, but you should never pitch when you don’t have time to continue the conversation. A moment’s access with someone who doesn’t know you is not an opportunity. Your first interaction with someone sets the stage for the relationship to come. You shouldn’t start pitching your idea to someone before they know who you are enough to care about what you’re saying in the first place.

High-level buyers are pitched all the time. They know when they are hearing something that’s been repeated to dozens of other people. If you haven’t taken the time to build rapport and customize your pitch to that person’s specific needs, it’s a sign that you’re an amateur. Every buyer is unique, and your pitch should reflect that.

……….

You also say that networking is a waste of time. Why?

SP: I think most people who think they’re successful as a result of using traditional networking techniques succeed in spite of those techniques, not because of them. Traditional networking is generally a quantity-based approach. The idea is that if you meet enough people, accumulate enough names, you will eventually find people who are a good fit. On the surface this makes sense; you’d need a large pipeline of people because statistically only a few of them would be a right fit for your business. It’s a bulk mail strategy, sending out a lot of letters and seeing what comes back. But bulk mail is expandable, whereas we are not. The bulk mail approach doesn’t work so well in establishing genuine relationships because we only have so much time.

Therefore, instead of spending small amounts of time with lots of people, I suggest spending more time with fewer, carefully chosen people. Use a quality based approach. Upgrade from bulk mail to a handwritten letter with a first class stamp.

……….

But in as much as you don’t believe in the standard group theory of networking, you do still have a network. You categorize people a little differently than most people’s A, B, and C lists. Could you describe your system?

SP: I don’t like using the terminology of A, B, and C groups, simply because I know that I don’t want to be on anyone’s C list, and I don’t think that anyone else does, either. I start with Good People to Know, which is anybody who I think for any reason might be someone I would like to know in the future. It may be someone whom I’ve met at a conference or a barbecue. If I think that person is really interesting for whatever reason, business or personal, I’m going to include them in my Good People to Know.

If I meet someone, and I know that I have no interest in them, I’m not going to include them in my rolodex or keep tabs on them. Doing so is like being a relationship pack rat. I’m not looking to have the world’s largest network so that I can brag, “Oh, I have 10,000 people in my list.” I want to be more focused.

My next group I call the VIPs. Those are people whom I would like to have a business relationship with, but maybe I don’t know them. They’re my target list. Twenty people is the maximum that you should have on your VIP list.

My last group, and most important, is the Inner Circle. Those are the people that are closest to you, who support you professionally and personally. Those are the relationships that I spend the most time nurturing. Their support has been the most valuable for me, personally and professionally.

……….

It looks like a worthwhile book, so I’m buying a copy. Might write my own review when I finish it.

You can see more about “Good In A Room” on Stephanie Palmer’s website.

SnapThought 5/15/08

Just a couple of quickies today (gotta work hard to impress the new boss).

I had some Internet issues this week.  This page came up as I tried to access Yahoo!

Yahoo! Does Not Exist

Based on a search by Yahoo!, it no longer exists??  For a minute, I wondered if Microsoft had bought them out.

Tom Peters Elementary

About a 1/2 mile from my house is Tom Peters Elementary school.  Can you imagine, err… RE-imagine, the education kids get there?  They should at least learn to use bright colors, 64 point type and exclamation points!!!!

’07: Out with a Bang!

Bang!

You probably noticed I’m trying out a new WordPress template.  Please be patient as I work out the bugs.

Wrapping up the year, Here are some great reads from other blogs:

Being Peter Kim: Wunderman on direct marketing. Or was it social media?
A Nostradamesque marketing prediction from 40 years ago. As they say, a man before his time.

Seth Godin: Only Two Years Left
From 4 years ago, not 40.  Still, this is yet another must-read from Seth.  He will light a fire under you with one simple question.

Brand Autopsy: Favorite Posts from 2007
If you don’t read johnmoore’s blog, this is a great place to start.  Sage thoughts on Starbucks and heartwarming tales of his late mother.

Thanks to Troy for including me in his list of Outstanding Blogs.  As Mack Collier (a great blogger with a much better grasp of social media than I) stated, here’s to extending the holiday link-love:
100 Bloggers, 37 Days, 3i, 43 Folders, A Clear Eye, A Daily Dose of Architecture, The Agonist, All Things Workplace, All This Chittah Chattah, Angela Maiers, Antonella Pavese, Arizona High Tech, Arun Rajagopal, AttentionMax, A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye, Badger Blogger, Bailey WorkPlay, Being Peter Kim, Brett Trout, Best of Mother Earth, Beyond Madison Avenue, Biz and Buzz, Bizhack, BizSolutions Plus, Blog Business World, Bloggers Showroom, Blogging for Business, Blogher, Blog Till You Drop!, Bob Sutton, Brain Based Business, Brain Based Biz, Brains on Fire, Brand Autopsy, The Brand Builder Blog, Branding and Marketing, Branding Strategy, Brand is Language, BrandSizzle, Brandsoul, Bren Blog, Business Evolutionist, Business Management Life, Business Pundit, Business Services, Etc., Busy Mom, Buzz Canuck, Buzz Customer, Buzzoodle, Career Intensity, Carpe Factum, Casual Fridays, Change Your Thoughts, Chaos Scenario, Cheezhead, Chief Happiness Officer, Chris Brogan, Christine Kane, Church of the Customer, Circaspecting, CK’s Blog, Come Gather Round, Communication Overtones, Community Guy, Confident Writing, Conversation Agent, Converstations, Cooking for Engineers, Cool Hunting, Core77, Corporate Presenter, Crayon Writer, Creating a Better Life, Creating Passionate Users, Creative Think, CRM Mastery, Crossroads Dispatches, Cube Rules, Culture Kitchen, Customers Are Always, Customer Experience Crossroads, Customer Service Experience, Customer Service Reader, Customers Rock!, Custserv, Craig Harper, ‘Cross The Breeze, Daily Fix, Dawud Miracle, Dave Olson, David Airey, David Maister, David S Finch, Design Your Writing Life, Digital Common Sense, Director Tom, Diva Marketing, Do You Q, Duct Tape Marketing, Empowerment 4 Life, The Engaging Brand, Essential Keystrokes, Every Dot Connects, Experience Architect, Experience Curve, Experience Matters, Experienceology, Extreme Leadership, Eyes on Living, Feld Thoughts, Flooring the Consumer, Flooring the Customer, Fouroboros, FutureLab, Genuine Curiosity, Glass Half Full, The Good Life, Great Circle, Greg Verdino’s Marketing Blog, Hee-Haw Marketing, Hello, My Name is BLOG, Holly’s Corner, Homeless Family, The Idea Dude, I’d Rather be Blogging, Influential Marketing, Innovating to Win, Inspiring & Empowering Lives, Instigator Blog, Jaffe Juice, Jibber Jobber, Joyful Jubilant Learning, Joy of Six, Kent Blumberg, Kevin Eikenberry, Learned on Women, Life Beyond Code, Lip-sticking, Listics, The Lives and Times, Live Your Best Life, Live Your Inspiration , Living Light Bulbs, Logical Emotions, Logic + Emotion, Make It Great!, Making Life Work for You, Management Craft, Managing with Aloha, The M.A.P. Maker, The Marketing Excellence Blog, Marketing Headhunter, Marketing Hipster, The Marketing Minute, Marketing Nirvana, Marketing Roadmaps, Marketing Through the Clutter, Mary Schmidt, Masey, Masi Guy, The Media Age, Micropersuasion, Middle Zone Musings, Miss604, Moment on Money, Monk at Work, Monkey Bites, Movie Marketing Madness, Motivation on the Run, My 2 Cents, My Beautiful Chaos, Naked Conversations, Neat & Simple Living, New Age 2020, New Charm School, Next Up, No Man’s Blog, The [Non] Billable Hour, Note to CMO, Office Politics, Optimist Lab, The Origin of Brands, Own Your Brand, Pardon My French, Passion Meets Purpose, Pause, Peerless Professionals, Perfectly Petersen, Personal Branding , The Podcast Network, The Power of Choice, Practical Leadership, Presentation Zen, Priscilla Palmer, Productivity Goal, Pro Hip-Hop, Prosperity for You, Purple Wren, QAQnA, Qlog, Reveries, Rex Blog , Ririan Project, Rohdesign, Rothacker Reviews, Scott H Young, Search Engine Guide, Servant of Chaos, Service Untitled, Seth’s Blog, Shards of Consciousness, Shotgun Marketing, Simplenomics, Simplicity, Slacker Manager, Slow Leadership, Socially Adept, Social Media Marketing Blog, Spare Change, Spirit in Gear, Spooky Action, Steve’s 2 Cents, Strategic Design, Strength-based Leadership, StickyFigure, Studentlinc, Success Begins Today, Success Creeations, Success From the Nest, Successful Blog, Success Jolt, Talk to Strangers, Tammy Lenski, Tell Ten Friends, That Girl from Marketing, Think Positive!, This Girl’s Weblog, Thoughts & Philosophies, Tom Peters, Trust Matters, Verve Coaching, Viral Garden, Waiter Bell, Wealth Building Guy, What’s Next, WordSell, Writers Notes, You Already Know this Stuff, Zen Chill, Confident Writing, Idea Sellers, Tune Up Your EQ, Know HR, Mission Minded Management, Managing Leadership, Matt’s Idea Blog, Black in Business, Design Your Writing Life