Are You Having Only One-third of the Conversation?

OtH mastheadDear Colleagues,

I am so frustrated! In a recent meeting to plan a program on marketing for entrepreneurs, the team kept talking about the foundational tenet for marketing and sales as:

  • The problem the prospect is experiencing
  • How our product and/or service solves that problem
  • The best language and methods to communicate that solution

This is an okay way to start to the customer engagement conversation. However, it ignores two-thirds of the potential customers.

So What?

In marketing (where I have my day job), our most important question is “So What?” Or put a bit more graciously, “Why should anyone care?”, or “Who might care, and why?”

Curious business woman listeningA wonderful colleague* just asked me that question about this blog and the eBook of Reminders you get for signing up, and helped me realize I was not being very clear. Even after decades of marketing work, it’s one of the questions I most struggled with when developing my ideas for this community.** I spent a lot of time working to understand possible audiences, more time than I usual.

Then it dawned on me. The standard method’s of differentiating audiences by numerical demographics like age, location, or job title wouldn’t work. I believe the audience for How Good Can You Stand It? is decided by what we want in our work life, and therefore the rest of our life.

Here’s my outline of why folks might be interested in our community…

How Do You Feel About Money? Want to Be More Comfortable?

How much time have you spent thinking about money and the role it plays in your life? For many of us that time  probably has negative overtones, or at best we are ambivalent.

CoMoThe negative overtones can go like this:

  • I should be making more, or I should be further along.*
  • Why can I not get paid what I am worth? What am I worth?
  • How much is enough?
  • Wow, I had a good year.  Gotta be careful that others don’t think I am greedy or flaunting my riches.

When was the last time you said to yourself, “I have the perfect amount of money and am satisfied that I have provided value to the world in return”?

Why “How Good Can You Stand It?”

Do you enjoy your work? The majority of us would say, “Sort of”, or “Sometimes.”

Most of us spend the majority of our time working. Whether it’s sitting at a desk, teaching children at home or school, operating machinery, or driving a police cruiser–it consumes most of our waking hours.

I’ll venture that no one enjoys every moment of every day, even those of us who love our work. Why is that? Two reasons are at the top of the list: the first is that everything includes tasks that we do not resonate with–cleaning brushes for an artist, edits for a writer, administrative work for a consultant, or scrubbing up for a surgeon. The second reason is more pervasive–most of our society defines work as “laborious duty” rather than “meaningful action.” We’ve programmed ourselves to dislike anything associated with work. Does it really need to be this way?

Intentionally Designed to Produce Joy… Menlo Innovations, Inc.

Here’s proof that Work = Joy.

CEO and author, Rich Sheridan honored my request to speak with him after I wrote about his book in my newsletter. His book is titled Joy, Inc. How We Built a Workplace People Love. It’s a wonderful read for anyone interested in the potential for business as a positive force.Joy, Inc.

First of all, just having Mr. Sheridan agree to talk with me was pretty joyful since I don’t have a connection to him except a shared belief that work can be blissful and that it’s mostly our responsibility to create it. His making time to share with me shows how deeply Rich believes in his work.

Rich talked about their physical space to start. When he first brought this up I was a little disappointed—seems sort of boring and I remembered his discussions from the book. But my disappointment was short lived as he communicated his passion about sharing a physical space where the energy can flow and mingle. At his company Menlo Innovations everyone works in one large, open space. That’s key.