To be the smartest marketer, business owner, cook, artist, musician, writer, hackysack player, dancer…you can’t silo yourself into knowledge of only that industry.
So often people and brands find the most successful step forward…by reading about other industries, educating themselves on what other artists and brands are doing.
There are general principles of success that often go unnoticed when we silo ourselves within an industry.
Look out. See what you can gleam from logistics companies, from mixologists, from street performers.
Stay Positive & There Are Lessons Everywhere
It’s obvious that to be a writer, you must write. How you become a great writer, though, depends on how you practice your writing.
There are styles of writing to practice, words to learn, analogies to make that you’ll never learn simply freewriting or putting to ink whatever comes to your mind in a blog post. (Sure, those help, but in conjunction with what I’m about to suggest.)
The trick to becoming a great writer is to practice writing the same way one would practice an instrument.
Learn the chords, the tabs, the keys…or letters, words and word pairings.
Then begin practicing a song…or practice writing your favorite novel.
By writing the way other famous writers wrote, you can better pick up their style, how the words hit the paper, how they flow. The same way you understand music by playing your favorite songs.
It seems, crazy, but why?
No one became an expert musician simply by listening to music. Do you believe you can become an expert writer simply by reading?
Stay Positive & Great Practice Makes Greatness
People who have answers, get admired.
People who have the right answers, get respected.
People who have the right answers that tell a story, get loyalty.
There’s two routes you can get there. You can go the long route of trial and error. Show up to enough meetings and answer enough questions, then you’ll eventually get there–that is, if you don’t get exhausted by the learning process and tired of not delivering the answer you wanted in front of those asking. It can get harrowing.
The better option, I believe, is to go through the emotional labor of anticipating questions, spending the time to write out difficult questions and figure out how to answer them, role-playing if you need to.
You won’t be able to anticipate every question, nor will you have an answer for everyone, but you will have at least thought long and hard enough to get to the level of being admired.
Stay Positive & The Best Stories Are Told By Design, Not By Accident
Giving good advice is tricky.
At one end, the more advice you give, the more knowledge you share, the better you inform someone about a situation, then the more motivated and prepared they will be.
Unfortunately, a bounty of advice can often breed inactivity. The more one knows about the options, the more energy it requires to rationalize a decision. It becomes too much and they shut down.
Smart advisors know there are times to give advice about all the options available and times to give advice that suggests a single option.
The fact is, most who ask for advice just want a cut and dry action item.
Stay Positive & Answer: What’s Next?
It’s not your lack of talent or ability to learn on your feet that’s holding you back.
Obscurity is–there are not enough people seeing you take action, you’re not connecting enough, you’re not establishing a strong enough number of relationships.
The only way to counter it is with massive action.
Stay Positive & Start By Saying Yes More Often
More important than what you need to say is what you don’t.
The cost of your widget is necessary to communicate, but saying how it will change the customer’s life isn’t. If it’s true – that what you’ve created has that level of impact – well, that impact speaks for itself and by extension, your customer will speak about it for you.
“You’ll never feel the same about X again.”
“You’ll never go back to Y.”
“Z is life changing.”
They are statements better left unsaid by the brand and, instead, felt by the target.
Stay Positive & Are You Saying What’s Necessary?
When you begin ideating how to sell more product, you get a different story than if you ask, listen and care why anyone would buy the product in the first place.
Different intentions lead to different stories that lead to different outcomes.
Some short-lived, others more along the lines of in–it-for-the-long-run results.
Are you sure you’re telling the right story?
Stay Positive & Better Yet, Are You Asking The Right Questions?