Spotlights, Fluros and Fireworks (Or How To Shine Like A Beacon To Your Leads):

splendour-2017-crowd-photo-supplied-credit-Bianca-Holderness-671x377

This weekend just gone I was at home, painting a new canvas I’ve been working on while listening to Triple J’s coverage of Splendour In The Grass. Now for those of you who don’t know, Splendour In The Grass is a music festival held in the North Byron Parklands every July. Acts from Australia and overseas perform over the weekend and it attracts crowds of 30,000+, most of them in the 18-35 demographic.

So I’m painting away and listening to the stream on my laptop when something hits me. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is, because I know most of the acts performing at Splendour and I’m familiar with the lingo people use during their on-air shout-outs (“Banger”, “Spirit animal” “Killed it” etc). I drove Uber on the side for a couple of years back on the Gold Coast, every night I chatted with people just like your typical Splendour-goer and Triple J was my station of choice during those nights out on the road. Yet…as I listen now, I feel an intangible separation from these people.

Suddenly? I don’t feel a part of this generation anymore…

It happens to all of us. One day we’re part of that young, “in” generation and even if we don’t care for the trends or fashions or use the lingo, we at least understand it. But then- without warning- we find ourselves looking over our shoulder and realising nothing of this generation feels familiar to us. To quote Morrissey? “I’ve seen this happen in other people’s lives, and now it’s happening in mine“. This young generation now were born 10 years after The Smiths broke up (there’s a scary thought!) But life goes on…

The older I’ve grown, the less I’ve cared about peer-pressure or the mainstream notion of what’s “cool”. I’ve lived long enough to see that definition (and even the words to describe it) change several times. Yet the fact is that (especially as business owners) we need to be able to connect with the people around us. Rather than alienating them, we need the ability to easily connect with our peers. We need to understand them. We need to invest in them and (likewise) we need people to invest in us.

Now, even if you feel a bit “out of touch”, don’t worry. I have good news for you:

No matter your age or when you were last “cool”, you can attract people, connect with them- and do so while being unashamedly yourself. To give you an example of what I mean, let’s travel back to a time when I was much younger- still in Primary school, in fact- at an age where fitting in with your peers is the most important thing in the world…

It’s a time where Oasis, Alanis Morissette and Hootie and The Blowfish dominate the airwaves, cable TV is a new thing, only a handful of people you know have internet access and for kids across playgrounds Australia-wide, the most valuable stock you can own is your basketball card collection. Personally? I don’t get the hype about it. Sure, if you want to wear the cap of your favourite team or the jersey of the player you idolise, go right ahead. I’ve got a ball and a hoop out the back of my place, in fact. But throwing away money on pieces of glossy card with players pictures and stats on them? I don’t get the appeal. This is an early case of me feeling “different” from my peers and not understanding the masses. I’m not ostracised for this- I just don’t understand the fuss…

Series-2-b

Then my Scout group decides to hold a ‘Collectors Night’- where we all get to bring in something that we collect. Like at school, quite a few of the boys in my Scout group love basketball cards. I imagine that I’ll be the outsider again, who doesn’t care about having images of Shaquille O’Neal, John Stockton or Vince Carter on cards and trading them for glossy cardboard images of Patrick Ewing or Reggie Miller…

By contrast, I take great pride in my collection of cars. I’ve got stacks of them and I keep them in their original boxes or special carrier cases. But if I take them along, will the other guys think I’m weird, or a “baby” for being into toy cars at 9 years old? This scenario doesn’t keep me awake at night, but lamenting how “all the other kids will just bring their basketball cards” is enough for Mum to go out and get me a pack- and to this day I couldn’t tell you what players I got in that set. I’m divided- should I take the basketball cards, pretend to care about them and blend in? Or should I dare to be different and take my big plastic container of model cars?

In the end, I decide to take my meagre collection of basketball cards. But only as backup. I figure that maybe taking something different- something like my crate full of model cars- might actually be worth risking…

So I go to Collectors Night at my Scout hall, with my big plastic container of Matchbox, Burago, Hot Wheels and Micro Machines cars. And they turn out to be a hit. I get into a discussion about Formula 1 (which I follow intently) with one of the scout leaders, the other kids all go through my collection and are impressed with the cars I have. Scott (who has the most impressive set of basketball cards in our group) looks through my collection with genuine interest. As it turns out, I don’t even need to touch my basketball cards.

The crate of cars I brought ended up being the biggest and most keenly examined collection of the night…

mb001-01_orig

This was more than 20 years ago now, and the exact details have been lost somewhat as time has passed. But I still remember the pleasant feeling of surprise at how popular my collection turned out to be. It felt like I was in a strange dream where other people found my car collection as interesting as I did- except this dream actually manifested itself…

As a younger business owner, there are times where I wonder if doing it “my way” is worth the risk? Should I bother to write articles like this and share my unique story with people, or just keep it to functional ‘How To’ style posts covering subjects that plenty of other people offer their 2 cents worth on as well?

We live in a society where even grown adults tip-toe carefully and let that fear of disapproval or rejection tone their individual voice down. People sit cautiously on the fence or virtue signal for the “right” causes on social media in order to advertise themselves as one of the socially acceptable “in” group. People “go with the flow”- and then wonder why they question their ability to swim upstream in pursuit of glory?

In a world like this, we’re all searching for those who show no fear of standing out with fluro’s, spotlights and fireworks. If you want to rise head and shoulders above the rest, don’t hold back from sharing your real passion with people. Let it shine through in your marketing, your branding and your interactions with them all. If you want to be that bright light who attracts new people, you’ve gotta take that extra step out from the masses who don’t rock the boat and wear beige.

The key to this is daring to be authentic about what you love. Not everybody is your type- but you get noticed. As a result, people respect your authenticity. You breathe easier not having to pretend and on top of that, the next time your leads want a product or service like yours?

It’ll be your name that leaps to mind straight away.

Not so bad when it equals money in the bank, is it!

So if you’d love to be 100% authentic when it comes to your leads (no smoke, mirrors or bullshit) and enjoy the financial rewards of doing so- then let’s talk-

To do so costs you nothing, so in the words of W. Clement Stone? Do it now:

Get In Touch

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s