I’m sitting here preparing to be on a panel for Crave Business Tomorrow in Seattle. The best way for me to get clear, to prepare to talk; is to write. Weird; I know, but true.
The next best way for me to guarantee I’m clear is to; get real. I don’t know about you, but trying to pull a fast one over on myself is just too time consuming these days. It was one thing to be deeply unconscious in my 20’s, severly wounded, missing things in my 30’s and even slightly distracted in my early forties but now…with the clock ticking forty-five nearly forty-six I can’t afford to sleep through another second.I find living in reality helpful even when it’s disturbing Sarah Palin winking at the television camera.
So let’s talk about what I know and what I don’t know…
I don’t know all the answers; that’s for sure: I do know my list of questions seems to be getting longer.
I don’t know how big and who should be on every team I get involved with, initially: I do know team matters.
I don’t know exactly what your tribe wants: I do know your tribe, your raving fans and your followers will decide how successful you are.
I don’t know what exactly happens to create loyalty; I do know that connection, being a part of something, being known; empowered: listened to; is essential to having a large tribe of raving fans; a cult of clients.
I don’t know which marketing tactic is best in every scenerio: I do know that the best marketing flows from effective leadership. Leadership creates connections and raving fans from its understanding of what the tribe wants, who the fans are and what unsolved problems they have and delivering it in a business model that is profitable.
I don’t know which logo colors are best: I do know creating your story and a way to connect with your company is a millions time more important than an overpriced BRANDING project
I don’t know exactly what clients want: I do know they want us to be authentic, honest, reality based and offer the most remarkable products and services we can possibly muster.
I don’t know why 75% of all brands fail in one year in the U.S. despite a national marketing budget of $117 Billion dollars: I do know that without a foundation you can’t build anything and ‘yelling’ about who you are; before you are it- is the surest and fastest way to fail.
I don’t always know how each client defines innovation: I do know the I-Phone and the Dutch Boy Paint Can were different!
I don’t always know the phone numbers of each dream teamer needed: I do know you need a dream team in life and business; 3 to be free; 5 to thrive.
I don’t always Know what’s the most profitable venture. I do know that without evaluating the strategic price, costs and margins of each revenue stream you might dissapoint your tribe by providing something that is less than they expect from you, bring something to them that your fans think is too expensive or proceed with a new concept that sucks cash so fast your fan’s don’t have any place to cheer when you go out of business.
I don’t always know what value is: I do know that when clients refer friends, tell your story, feed your blog, twitter about you, join clubs around your products and services, volunteer at your stores, wear your brand on their chest.. I know that means they like you.
I don’t always know if a business should scale faster or slower: But I do know that small is the new ‘Big’ and that if Craigslist only has 18 employees there are ways to connect and impact without being big.
I don’t always know what’s the most imporant thing right now; But I do know that as far as I’ve fallen, as high as I’ve risen one thing remains; people; connection; belonging It matters most-it’s most important AlWAYS!
I guess its true; It’s what I don’t know that makes for the most interesting questions…
Seattle Business Consultant..
With is a powerful thing…