There are certain truths in nature that we simply can’t defy. For instance, the reality that no matter how hard you try, you will always pick the slowest moving line in the grocery store when you’re in the biggest hurry.
Or the fact that your pet will no doubt decide to take a huge, steamy stinker in the middle of the community park at the one time you forgot to bring a poop bag. Yep, that was me you saw with two sticks and some maple leaves, trying to make a mends.
But in the here and now of the business owners’ psyche I can think of 3 realities that we’d all do well in remembering. These are tidbits of cold, hard truth that I only wish I had learned sooner. Perhaps then I’d be a little closer to my ultimate goal in life which is to own a beach bar on the island of Tortola. But that’s a different story all together.
Ok, hold your nose because here comes the cold water…
Reality #1: Nobody Cares About You. They Only Care What You Can Do For Them.
Face it, we all know this to be true if we choose to acknowledge it or not. For instance, imagine it’s late, you’re tired, and you just want to get some shut eye. When you check into a hotel, do you really give a crap about the ambiance the interior decorator has strived to achieve in the room’s environment? Heck no. You just want a comfortable pillow, supportive mattress and soft sheets.
The same holds true for your customers. Down deep, they really don’t care if you’re the nicest person in town who always supports the local Girl Scout Troop. Volunteering at the local soup kitchen every 3rd Friday of the month doesn’t close the sale either. That’s all fine and good and might create a nice little “warm fuzzy” moment when you’re wrapping up your meeting, but they don’t hire you because you always find the time to help your kids with their homework each night. No… they hire you (or buy your wares) because of how it solves THEIR problem and fits THEIR needs.
It’s basic human nature and the sooner you recognize it the better off you’ll be. Which brings me to my second harsh reality…
Reality #2: If What You Produce Doesn’t Benefit Your Customer or Audience, Then Nobody Will Stop To Listen
This reality is so tied to #1 that they should honestly be listed in the same paragraph. But since I’m trying to impress you with a list of insights, I’m breaking this one apart from the rest. Just go with it. But seriously…
If what you’re producing doesn’t offer some real value to the world then what chance do you ever have in getting people to care? It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the articles you post to your blog, the marketing strategy outline you just delivered to your new client, or the photos you just posted to your company’s Facebook page. If the content you put out doesn’t help your audience in some meaningful way then you’re really not adding any substance to your customers’ lives.
But start putting out meaningful content and producing helpful products and just watch how your business explodes. You see, when you focus on solving people’s problems, whether with the free content you produce or the premium solutions you charge for, people will love you.
Think in terms of a hospital. When you’re sick or injured and walk in the Emergency Room, do you really give a flying monkey about where your doctor completed Med School? Or how about the plethora of expert articles he’s published in the past year? No, you just want her to take the pain away. Period. End of discussion. As long as your doctor can do that then you’re happy, right?
Reality #3: Who You Are On The Inside Matters
We’ve all heard the saying “People buy from people, not companies.” And in today’s social media driven marketing world, consumers are more interested in connecting with the people and personalities behind the brands they love than with the brands themselves. So don’t ever discount the fact that your business and who you are as a person should be connected at every level.
As a general rule of thumb it breaks down to simply being genuine. If you’re a sarcastic type of person then let that shine through in the web copy you write. If you tend to take a humorous approach to life and work then your emails should include a bit of hilarity. If you’re very serious and calculated in how you approach your work, then you should be an accountant (ha!).
What I’m getting at here is that if you try to run your business with a completely different personality than who you are as a person then you’re already set to fail. If you got into your chosen profession because of any other reason than it’s what you love to do, then you’re in the wrong business. So let your love of what you do glow, and let your personality show through.
I hope you take these realities to heart and work to refine how you think about your business. I actually have 7 more realities to list but you have to drop your name in my hat to get access. Just kidding, but seriously. Do it.