When I say the word “it”, what do you think about? Does it make you feel a certain way? It is a simple word, carrying very little emotional meaning, am I right?
Now, what happens if I use it with other words like; Cujo, Misery, and Carrie. Now “it” evokes horror, fear, and disturbing images of clowns!
Stephen King is the author of those and almost 100 other novels. He is a prolific writer, and not many will argue, one of the best authors of our time. From what I have read about him, he often goes to writers conferences, sits on panels, and answers questions to aspiring writers. He is trying to give back the the industry that has been so good to him.
During one conference, Mr. King was sitting as a panel member, and was asked the following question:
“What type of pencil do you use?”
What is the fastest way to
Seriously, an ambitious, future novelist, asked this question. Was he thinking that if he could only use the same type of tool that the great Stephen King used, he could also write good books?
Before we are too critical on this poor fella – let’s do a check up from our neck up, and ask – how many of you are chasing someone else’s success by trying to copy what they they used? How many of you have invested in the best way to – blah, blah, blah, before? Full transparency here, I have! Everywhere we look, we see advertisements offering secrets, systems, expert this and that. As entrepreneurs, sometimes we are just looking for that magic bullet.
“Pay $497 now, and only $19.99 per month, and I’ll tell you how I made a gazillion dollars.”
As a writer, you can find someone trying to sell you how they got on the best seller list. Maybe you are in real estate where someone is selling a system that will allow you to relive how they got to $3 Million in listings a year! There is no discrimination here, there are snake oil sales people in every industry, and you have to be careful before you buy that next pencil.
If Stephen King were to claim that the only way he could write a novel, was with a Ticonderoga #2 Yellow Pencil … Ticonderoga sales would go through the roof.
I ask that you do a deep dive on these so-called experts. You will find that the vast majority of them found success the exact same way. It is the same secret that works 100% of the time, on 100% of the products or services, and in any economy.
They had something someone needed, when they needed it. They offered value, a solution to a problem, a service that was missing.
Before you buy this better mouse trap, ask yourself some key questions about your business;
- Do I have a product that others need?
- Does my product or service solve a problem?
- Do the prospects know they have this problem?
- Is there a value in my solution?
I do agree that in todays competitive environment if you want to; be more, have more, do more, you may need your own secret sauce. Until that happens though, focus on what makes your product or service better, creates a higher demand, or develops a competitive advantage. Look at ways to make your business more productive or efficient. Look at the long view. Stop looking for quick fixes, and silver bullets.
What to do?
As an executive coach, I see Facebook and LinkedIn ads trying to sell me the best ways to grow my practice to $1 Million! If they are all the best ways, why are there 30 different ads I see a day all promising the same?
Which is the best-best way? Do these people really know? If you used their pencil, would you hit it big?
Your customers will do business with you because they know, like, and trust you. Your product will sell if it solves a problem. If this pencil you are looking at investing in, improves your offering in any of those three areas, maybe it’s a good investment. Focus on building your business in a way that works for you. Someone else’s 4-hour workweek, may not be the answer.
At the Kole Performance Group we work with Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Management teams, helping them focus on the things that matter to their organization. We don’t use a canned approach that works with everyone, we customize everything we do. We want to know your why, and not try to sell you ours.