I was talking to my dad on the phone last night about my idea for this post and how I had no idea how to start it.
He said I should start it with a story.
I told him I didn’t have a story.
So he told me about a time that he flew to California on a business trip. There was this guy, Dr. Ivan Misner, who he had been keeping tabs on for years. Dr. Misner just happened to live near San Diego.
Ivan is an author and the founder of BNI, a business networking organization with hundreds of thousands of members.
He had never met the guy, or spoke with him before, but he knew about his organization and really respected what he was doing.
So he thought to himself, just for the hell of it that he would email him. He has absolutely nothing to lose, and it could potentially open an otherwise closed door.
And Ivan replied back and told him to come by his house to continue their conversation.
So my dad went, they talked for hours, and if he had never tried he never would have wound up in his living room that night.
“Success..will come to us in the exact degree of the effectiveness with which we live each day.” – Earl Nightingale
I was surfing around on Quora the other day and came across this response by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, to the question ”What was the biggest turning point in your life?” His answer struck me because it is so counter to how many people believe successful people became successful.
We like to attribute the success of others to one major event or lucky break because it’s easy to dismiss it and point that out as the reason they’re successful and we’re not.
The Mclaren F1 LM doesn’t have a radio or audio system. It sells for over $4 million.
Who would pay that much for a car that doesn’t have a radio?
A radio isn’t important for someone looking to buy a super car – lighter weight, acceleration, speed and looking awesome is what matters.
Know what’s most important to your customer.
The story below is from the book at the top of my recommendations list – This is Earl Nightingale. Pick it up if you can find it and afford it (unfortunately it’s out of print and currently over $400 on Amazon.)
“A young woman pianist once gave a performance to a large group of women. Afterward, a woman approached her and told her she’d ‘give anything to play like you do.’
The pianist looked up from the keys and said ‘Oh no you wouldn’t!’
As you can imagine a hush fell over the group and the woman squirmed with embarrassment. Again she repeated, ‘I would, too, give anything to play the piano as you do.’
The pianist shook her head, ‘No, you wouldn’t.. If you would, you could play as well as I do, possibly better, possibly a little worse. You’d give anything to play as I do except time… except the one thing it takes. You wouldn’t sit and practice, hour after hour, day after day, year after year.’ Then she smiled brightly, ‘I’m not criticizing. I’m just telling you that when you say you’d give anything to play as I do, you really don’t mean it. You really don’t mean it at all.’
People are forever saying ‘I’d give anything…’ but the fact remains that they don’t, they give very little, often nothing, to do the things they say they would give anything to do..”
First off, what a cold bi#ch.
But, it’s true. The lesson here is that we could achieve what we say we wanted – if we wanted it badly enough to put in the effort. But often, we don’t want things badly enough to make the necessary sacrifices. What have you been claiming you want but have done nothing to accomplish it?
Secondly, there’s an important human behavior fact here for marketing and product folks to remember: People don’t always want what they say they want or buy what they say they’d buy.