TCOBaG: Time is Money, but Value is . . . ?

Time is not money. Money, I can make again 🙂 But I do see the logic of this. What bothers me is this tendency to place a greater value on something because it takes up, needed, or requires more time to do.

Sometimes this might be the case, fine wine, diamonds, and large works of art, as well as scientific discoveries, research and development, and even things like great relationships. More time = better value.

One part that is not in the equation though is our desire to latch onto, hold on to sometimes at even detrimental costs, things simply because of the time that has been invested.

So, what am I getting at?

It is a dangerous trap to fall into, believing that value is directly proportionate to time spent.

Often we are just as bound to trying to hang on to something because we’ve invested so much time into it as we are to think that something we have is not worth much because the time it took to create it was so short.

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague who had just written his first book. I expressed concern over the value of including a certain portion and that others would likely not find it useful as well. He replied that it was interesting I’d mentioned that, especially since it was specifically brought up as a possible problem by the publishing house he is working with to release the book.

Then, he says, “But I’ve spent so much time working on that particular section, I really hate to give it up.”

Besides this being a common fault among writers, from amateurs to professionals, it is also a common mistake made by many in various walks of life and a wide range of situations.

He attached greater value to the ‘time spent’ than the overall value of the book he was trying to create.

He has chosen to ignore my suggestions, and now the suggestions of the publisher, and is likely to find his whole project looking for a new home, hopefully not just on his hard drive. All of this is because of his misplaced ideal of “time spent equals value.”

The same is true in reverse. Sometimes we think things created in a short time are not of as great an importance, or value, as those created over longer periods.

I’m reminded of the story of the man who went to the dentist for a tooth extraction after suffering in great pain for weeks. He arrived at the dentist’s office, was ushered into the chair
shortly afterwards, spent about 15 minutes with the dentist, the tooth was removed, and he was on his way.

When he received the bill, some $200, he called the dentist to complain. “I was only in your office less than 30 minutes! $200?”

To which the dentist replied, “Next time, I could take longer?”

The key is?

Value is in the result.

TCOBaG: New Baby = Better Hearing?

Marketing, babies, and a hearing lesson. Every notice how much better your hearing is and continues to get right after your children are born?

What is it? There’s this natural phenomenon that occurs when you become a new parent.

It doesn’t matter if you used to sleep like a stone, could have slept through the building falling down around you, or needed 2 alarm clocks set at two different times and different distances from the bed to rouse you in stages in the morning, but when you become a new parent, you start to hear everything.

Was that a cough? Bam, “I’m up, I’m coming . . ”

So, what does that have to do with marketing and marketers? . . . .

My take on it is as follows, your mileage may vary . . .

A couple of very natural factors are in play here, one is of course, it’s new. Not to be underestimated or overlooked.

1. When something is new, you pay more attention to it.

Simple human nature, nature is simple, don’t know about the human.

The danger is that after the newness, and I’m sure you’ve witnessed this sort of thing, you start to hear even less.

Ever been around someone who was with their kids, and the kids are going wild, but no one seems to notice? Yep, the newness wears off, and you start to relax, and not pay as much attention to what is going on around you.

Sure, when there’s an event, you notice. Same in marketing, a customer buys a big package, asks for a refund, or complains about your product or service, you start to notice again.

Key here is to tune back in at least every once in a while (Kind of the baby-monitor that isn’t on all the time, just now and again).

Honestly, you can’t keep that same level of interest in your customers, or baby for that matter, and I’m not sure it’s really that healthy anyway.

Remembering to tune back in every now and then, or just ask what’s going on is a healthy thing, for both parties.

2. Is you usually make a conscious effort to hear more.

While also very simple, it’s also very powerful.

Telling yourself you ‘will’ do something, even if it is ‘hear the slightest sound in the middle of the night’ has a very powerful effect on you and will increase the likelihood of you accomplishing that algebraically.

Remind yourself to listen in to what your customers and prospects are doing and saying.

Tell yourself you will hear them.

You will.

And you will both benefit, much like the new parent.

I think I just heard the house caving in . . . gotta go

TCOBaG: The Self-Starter Myth?

We are going to talk about some of those people you
may envy, those ‘I can do it by myself and for myself’
types. But, are they really all they seem to be?

I think not.

“Self-starters, a myth?”

People who know me, know me well even, are
often surprised to hear me say that I am lazy.

Yes, lazy. Me.

Lazy is my potential, and at times, it comes
out more than others.

They always say I am being modest, that I work
hard all the time, writing, speaking, teaching,
and that they do not know anyone with more drive
and that they wish they were a natural ‘self-starter’
like me.

I laugh. Lightly 🙂

No one is truly a ‘self-starter.’

Yep. It is completely true.

Don’t knock yourself for ‘not having the drive’ or
not having the willpower (we talked about that, right?)
to stay on track, get everything done, and keep at it.

We are all, including myself, subject to pressures.

These pressures motivate us, for lack of a better term,
to go on, to do, to complete tasks, work, goals.

The difference is in where the pressure comes from.

We see people who we think are truly self-starters,
taking the initiative, not needing to be coaxed,
goaded, or pushed, to get their work or their lives

What we don’t see, is how they think.

For me, I know, I can be lazy. Really lazy, and
a professional procrastinator.

I rely on certain pressures to keep me from falling
into that trap. They are not always obvious to others
but they nonetheless still exist and it is not ‘just
me’ doing the pushing.

There are always pressures.

It might only be a deadline.

The day a bill is due. Or simply knowing that you must
work, and usually work well, to get paid, in order to
pay those bills.

Maybe it is only thinking about what others might
say if you fail, or don’t deliver where you should.

Or what they might think, or even what they expect.

Maybe it is remembering the poor condition your life
was in before, remembering those pep talks you gave
yourself about how you were not going to live that
way forever.

So, you see the pressure is often internalized and
not easily seen.

But I assure you the pressure exists, and no one is
really just naturally doing all that they can.

Everyone is reacting to these pressures, external and
internal, in order to fulfill their own promise.

So, what can you do?

Find the right pressure.

Maybe you need someone to stay after you. Remind you
of your goals, your promises.

Maybe you need to reflect a bit on why you really want
to succeed, why you really must succeed. What will the
pain be like if you don’t?

Maybe you are like me, and you need a little of both 🙂

That’s okay, too.

Just find the right button to push, keep pushing it
when it is needed, and you will continue on the path
to achieving your goals.

I promise.

I am also available for ‘seat-of-the-pants-dusting’ on
occasion 🙂

One thing to keep in mind about ‘motivation’ is that – other things, other people, and outside forces do not motivate us, we motivate ourselves.

We are responsible for taking, or not taking, action.

No outside force is capable of this.

Now, that said, if you’re hanging by your fingertips over a boiling lava pit, you will be motivated to hang on.

But, it’s not the pit motivating you. It is your own fear of the consequences and your desire to avoid them that is the true mechanism for hanging on.

Sure, that heat rising up off the pit affects you, but the motivation is strictly yours.

If you choose to act, and especially if you choose to act as though your life depends on it, you will find that you achieve more. Much more.

TCOBaG: Moments Define You

I’m hooked on this ‘time’ thing. “I don’t have enough” “there’s not enough time” . . . But it all boils down to moments. Period.

What we do with our lives, we get caught up in thinking over the long term, when actually we’re living in the short term.

What defines your life? 20 years of research? 38 years of dedicated marriage? 10 years as an undergrad in college? (was that just me? 🙂

None of those things, define your life, or at least they shouldn’t.

What defines your life is this moment, this time, right now . . .

what you are doing, what you choose to do, how you choose to act in the little moments of life, those are the things that define you.

A moment of joy, a moment of kindness, a moment of passion, or two moments if you’re lucky, a moment of being awestruck by seeing the fantastic, for me Rodan on display in Italy.

That’s what you should know, what you should think about in trying to live your life to it’s fullest. Living in, making the most of, and making a lot of ‘moments.’

In a way our society has now decided to reward some for their ‘lifetime achievements’ and that confuses us. Oscars, grammies, presidential awards, but even those are what?

A collection of moments.

Add one moment a day, and don’t call me in the morning.

TCOBaG: Japanese Realtors and Cialdini?

Could it be that “Influence” has been translated into Japanese? Could it be required reading for realtors?

I’ve been reading Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” and it makes me feel sooooooo foolish 🙂

How many little triggers are there that set us to doing things, sometimes that we want/need/should do?

But how many are there that we are unaware of? that lead us off into the ‘land to be fleeced’? or at least into the land of susceptibility?

I was cringing when I read the passage about the realtors using ‘dump houses’ to set clients up for the houses they really wanted to sell.

Why was I cringing?

Because I recently bought a house, in Japan, and this technique may have very well been in play . . .

Our realtor was showing us houses we requested to see. We were looking for a new house, a certain size (two small but growing boys after all need a little room, so their parents don’t eat them 🙂

One day we asked him to show us a house, that wasn’t new, and next thing we know he calls and says there’s a house a little like what we’re in the market for and he can show it to us.

The house was 5 years old, and still occupied, which kept us from running for the car within 5 minutes of arriving.

I’m sure we weren’t that good at hiding our disappointment, and our agent helped us out of there fairly quickly. When we arrived at our car, he said there was another house not too far away, a little older, but that we might as well look at since we were in the neighborhood.

We looked at it, we loved it, we bought it.

It looked great then. (fact is, it looks great now despite the fact that we’re living in it and I’m not the yard master or best gardener in the neighborhood).

I still wonder though if this wasn’t a classic, show them something pricey and crappy first, then show them the thing you really want them to buy and it will look so much better.

In any case, I’m still happy we bought the house. Would we have been so easy to persuade to buy a 15 year old house after looking at only new houses? I think not 🙂