We live in an exciting time for communicating and spreading ideas. People are connecting more than ever.
The Internet has far surpassed the printing press, telephone and television combined for getting your ideas out there.
Despite this communication revolution, too many great ideas are still being ignored by the very people who need them most.
If we have the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere around the world, at any minute, why is it still so hard to capture someone's attention?
Here’s what’s happened:
Because anyone can reach you, it seems like everyone is trying to reach you. If you’re like most human beings, you have learned to tune out the noise that is constantly bombarding you. It’s how we cope with the thousands of marketing messages calling out for our attention.
I know there are a ton of great ideas that are not getting the traction they deserve because they are being tuned out.
Is this you?
You have a dream. It’s your purpose. The problem is that no one wants to hand you your purpose. It's a struggle every day. You have to fight just to make any progress.
It seems like you're shouting in competition with every other voice just to get heard.
If you’re frustrated and tired because your ideas are not connecting, it could be that you’re missing one of the most important elements of communication today.
The Struggle to Spread Ideas Today
Almost every business owner I meet is frustrated because their business is not getting the attention they know it deserves. They have innovative ideas or a product or service they know should be fully embraced at a much greater scale, but it’s just not catching on like they know it should.
There is nothing more frustrating than to see:
- your competitors (who offer a second-rate product or service) getting better results
- your social media feeds blowing up with someone else’s success
- a prospective client walking away from your proposal only to choose a second-rate service
- What happened? It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Why are your ideas not catching on?
The Trouble With Getting Your Ideas Out There
It’s not easy to get the attention your ideas deserve. There’s a lot of competition to attract the eyeballs and affections of the people you want to reach.
It’s a noisy world out there. And it seems to get noisier every day. Through our phones, computers, ads, posters, billboards, and people selling essential oils, we are hit with thousands of marketing messages a day. We’ve all had to adapt by tuning most of it out.
I’ll show you how to get around people’s attention defense systems so that they actually look forward to hearing from you. It’s time to get the ever-precious attention you need to get your ideas to stick with people.
There’s a way to speak up so the right people will listen. There’s a strategy you can use and tools you can deploy so you’re getting noticed by the very people who need to hear you most.
It’s Tough To Watch Competitors Succeed
I’ve watched other products and businesses that I knew were either worse or at best equivalent to my idea, get noticed. I know the heartbreak of feeling like you missed a great chance, maybe even a once in a lifetime chance. I know the sorrow of feeling like success has swept up everyone around you and left you behind. It’s awful, and I don’t wish it on anyone.
When I start to feel like nobody understands me, I quickly start making excuses.
Have you ever justified rejection, citing any of the following:
- It’s because I’m artistic and artists don’t get appreciated until they are dead.
- It’s because I’m an innovator and the greatest ideas take decades to be embraced.
- It’s because no prophet is welcome in their hometown, so I have to go travel somewhere new and share my idea.
- It’s because everyone else is an idiot and doesn’t see it as clearly as I do.
We all have the opportunity to learn from those past disappointments and try something different. I also know the thrill of getting picked by the team I desperately wanted to make, to get hired for the job I knew I would love, and to succeed by using the Start With Who strategy.
For several years, it has been my mission to equip the best people and businesses with the best tools so they can reach the most number of people. This book I believe is critical to reaching the people you need to get the success you deserve.
Do You Start With You or Start With Who?
We have two options when trying to make a connection with people: “Start With You” or “Start With Who.” I recommend starting with Who.
Starting with you doesn’t work and you know it. When you meet someone who just wants to talk about themselves, how amazing their business is, how great they are, and insists on peacocking around, you become repulsed. It could be on a date, on social media, at a networking event or at a party – you know the person I’m talking about – you can’t stand watching them broadcast their pride and you want to leave their orbit as quickly as possible.
But what if we have a little bit of that person deep down inside of us too? Maybe not as extreme, but it’s still there.
Let’s do a quick checklist. Have you ever caught yourself:
- tuning out what someone was saying because you were so busy planning out what you were going to say (anyone who is married should have their hand up already)?
- listening to someone tell a story and you couldn’t wait for them to stop because you had a story brewing that you wanted to tell once they finally shut up?
- reflecting on an evening out and realizing you knew nothing new about any of the people you talked with, but your throat is sore from talking so much?
- talking to someone on Facetime or video conferencing and realizing that you’re really only looking at your own face the whole time?
- If you can resonate with any or all of these, you might be starting with “You” instead of “Who”.
To correct this, you’ll need a quick reorientation about how to truly connect with people – the “Whos” that you need to get traction for your idea or business.
It’s Time to Do the Opposite
The most famous comedy from the 1990s was Seinfeld. Though it ended over a decade ago, it still gets me laughing out loud every time I watch a rerun. I used to binge-watch the oft-quoted, extremely missed series when my girls were babies and insisted on staying wide awake during the 1 am – 3 am shift. Trying desperately to get them to sleep but still wanting to be entertained. I couldn’t help myself but watch Seinfeld. Such a hilarious choice for television would often backfire because I’d finally get my restless daughter to sleep only to start laughing so hard that I awoke her.
One of my favorite scenes from the series is when George Constanza is forced to take inventory of his life and realizes that nothing has worked out the way he wanted. Well into adulthood, he is still single, unhappy with his job, and has no prospects for success.
With his friends Jerry and Elaine in their usual spot at their New York diner, George laments:
Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise... My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every part of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It's all been wrong.
I know I felt like George, always hustling, trying to achieve my Why in life but never getting the traction I wanted. I needed a change in my approach to achieving my Why. George figured it out too. Hoping he is able to reverse his fortunes, George resolves to do the opposite of what he always does.
About to order lunch, Elaine points out that a girl is showing interest in him. that if he continues to do what he has always done, he will continue to get the same result. Instead of ordering his usual tuna on toast and spending the day depressed he was so intimidated by women, he will order chicken and go talk to the woman. The plan worked and George spends the episode enjoying the fortunes of his new perspective.
I busted a gut laughing and woke up a sleeping toddler. But it was worth it because there’s a lesson to be learned:
If you want a different result, you might have to do the opposite of what you’re doing.
Talking about ourselves too much, focusing on ourselves, building a business around ourselves and making ourselves the central figure in the grand story is just not working. People check out, get bored, and ignore you.
I want you to try the opposite.
You’ve tried starting with you. Now it’s time to Start With Who.
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