Place yourself in extreme situations – if you hate dinner functions, go to dinner functions; if you are not comfortable, be comfortable; if you don’t want to be engaged in a conversation, be engaged in a conversation; if you don’t want to be seen, be seen; if you get nervous around someone, be around someone, as often as possible; if you hate presentations, do more presentations, but practise first – so one day, you will be different, not in a sense that you won’t be nervous any more, but rather you have gotten used to dancing with your fear, so you have thrill instead of fear when you are in the situations again.
Often there is a boundary I set for myself that literally prevents me from thinking with boldness every time. I can’t seem to think beyond practical constrains, whilst I should think what is the best, what is the most ideal solution, then think of ways to make it work.
Finally get to do some reading… Just stumbled upon an article about AmEx and then read lots about them – they basically have presence everywhere digital producing content about lifestyle, passion, business, travel, health and well being etc. First thing that came to my mind about this content approach was ‘serious investment in a bunch of content with minimal impact’. But when I had a second thought, all these topics somehow relate to the American Express company. The constancy and frequency of the content make AmEx become relevant to us, it is weaved in every part of our life, it inspires all the key elements of our life, so when we are making any decision that evolves around any transaction, AmEx has our top of mind awareness. Genius!
That’s why we need see beyond immediate results. Communicating with a direct messaging, asking people to ‘use me, use me’ or ‘buy me, buy me’ doesn’t mean it’ll effectively motivate people to take actions. It’s about subtly weaving our brand, our strategy, our thinking, our concept, and our ideas in smaller pieces of information we give to or conversations we have with people/our consumers, they will remember us, over a period of time (remember it takes time – and that changes our mindset about measuring success, that’ll be another piece of writing).
This is applicable not only to building genuine and sustainable connection with your consumers, but also applicable to building connections with people, people you want to sell your ideas to.
Small conversations help us breakthrough communication barriers.
Build relationships. Build connections. And allow time for yourself to do all these, because it takes time to build trust (think about yourself, and how you make friends). Anything meaningful requires investment and time. So relax and enjoy the process, and know that ultimately not only would you achieve the expected business outcome but, surprisingly, also loyalty, trust and relationship that have far more value than a short-term business outcome.
So go sit back, relax, make friends, talk intelligently, purposefully and make something happen.
I had a plan of making the challenges accomplished one at time so I can create a leverage to sell myself to Seth Godin when he’s in town in Sydney later this year. Apparently it failed – I stopped writing since last December. Main problem is that it is hard to maintain writing daily posts with full-time work commitment plus with ministry and social work on the side, my previous plan also requires me to fully absorb someone else’s work, then find opportunities to apply what I learn, then evaluate the success of the outcome and learn from it so it becomes beneficial for my next project – It was not quite a practical plan, that why it failed.
But anyways, Seth is who inspire to write short pieces to inspire my own thinking, and I’d like to continue on that journey and tweaked my plan to something extremely simple – so simple that it’s just writing I believe is right, writing things I learn or get inspired by my experiences and observations, writing about changes we need to make, writing about things I want to voice out but there’s no channel for me to do so. And hope that my thinking gets through the crowd and the noises and goes straight to Seth, and other amazing marketers out there who deliver insights, who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and willing to change, and change fast.
One of the goals in my professional life is to work in one of Seth’s projects – it’ll be my privilege.
The Blog Entry: Dec 4, 2013 – Trash talking important work
A snap shot of the article: The self-induced anxiety formula often goes like this: What I’m about to do is important. You get nervous when you feel like you are having the once a life time opportunity which you would never get again. A common approach to decreasing the unhappy cycle is self talk to minimize how important the upcoming event is. The problem with that approach is that you spend your day trash talking your leverage and impact. In fact, it does matter, it is nerve racking, but it is OK to be nervous. We shall learn to embrace it and dance with your fear. It’s a sign you’re on to something. “Oh good, here comes that itch!” When we welcome a feeling like this, when we embrace it and actually look forward to it, the feeling doesn’t get louder and more debilitating. It softens, softens to the point where we can work with it.
The very thing I learn from it: It’s ok to have fear, learn to embrace it and dance with it, and know that once you go through it, you would resolve a problem.
Challenge: Overcome the fear from the past, change the perception towards myself not being able to build good relationship with colleagues/people at work. Overcome the fear of being open, start trusting and believing in yourself. When you know that itch is coming, recognise it, when you want to run away, do the opposite.
Actual task: Start talking to your boss again, proactively. Stay back to do drinks at QT, and proactively talk to your colleagues, do not leave earlier unless you have to.
How did I go and what have I learned? – To be continued…
Being caught up by so much operational work recently at work stopped me from pursuing inspirations. It is so easy to become stagnant. When life is without motion and passion, it becomes boring. So I want to do something about it.
Just got to know that Seth Godin is coming down under September 2014 (yup it’s next year, but tickets are already available for sale!!!).God knows how much respect I have for SETH, would love a once a life time opportunity to sit in a full day Q&A session listening to his words of wisdom and letting him ignite all the fire inside me towards marketing, towards brilliant ideas. But I thought to myself, how much would I gain from that one day session? A lot more than what he would normally share? More than the aggregation of all his learnings accumulated day by day? How much information I can take away? If I were lucky, I might merely get to ask 2 questions or 3, and I would be really busy taking notes at the same time, so I can imagine it is going to be a full on and overwhelming learning experience shared with 180 ‘Seth believers’. But is there any other way I can make the learning experience more personal, more impactful to myself and also Seth Godin could gain value from it?
I have an idea. An idea that could help discipline myself and also strengthen my ability to execute and implement ideas – it is to put Seth Godin’s daily mantra into practise and write down the learning experience that belongs uniquely to me, i.e. for every idea Seth writes in his blog, I’ll set a challenge for myself to find a situation or opportunity to just execute it. Then I’ll come back and write about my learning at the end of every day.
This is going to be such an exciting learning experience for me. In terms of how to get in touch with Seth, that’s another story. I’ll think about that if I could sustain this activity for 2 months.
It really is going to take persistence and discipline to do this, and I am going to do it.