This Post Will Change Your Life

Or at least that is what e-book, seminar and other product or idea  marketing strategies want us to believe as we skim past whatever it is they have to offer. While this sort of technique is probably very effective it is disingenuous to imply that any service or product has a one-size-fits-all solution for what ails you.

It’s also annoying as hell.

Imaginary Agents of Change

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” —  Abraham Lincoln

There are no:

that can whisk away whatever it is one dislikes about their life. Anything new and good that comes about will be the result of inspiration, perseverance, knowing the right people, being at the right place at the right time and stumbling across a heaping tablespoon of good luck. It makes me angry to hear anyone convince people that their lives would improve tenfold if they only followed what this author, that spiritual leader, this personal development coach, that expert decrees the best possible way for everyone to live.

If the spiel stopped there, if no one was ever asked to give a love offering, buy a book, sign up for individual coaching or snatch up the last remaining seat at a weekend seminar I wouldn’t care so much. It never does, though. There’s nothing wrong with earning a living through book sales, consulting or seminars but there is something amiss with how it is being done.

What I Believe….

The answers we seek are already inside of us.

Sometimes we need a little help to uncover or recognize them, but there is nothing I can offer you that you don’t already have tucked somewhere inside of yourself. There’s nothing you can give to me that I don’t already have either.

It may not be easily accessible or something we can recognize or understand right away, but it’s still there. Everyone is born with an enduring capacity to do and be good in the world.

If someone is beyond the pale it is not because that is where they began. They may have drifted away from their inner capacity to do good or they may have been nudged or pushed by circumstances or experiences outside of their control. In some cases they may have even decided that this was the sort of life they wanted to lead and chosen it to a certain degree but no one is born with the urge to do harm.

What is Good Marketing?

To be fair, not everyone sees the world in this way. Some honestly believe that they do have The Cure ™, that the rest of us would be much better off if only we did, bought, ate, or believed whatever it is they think is good for us.

In an ideal world there would be no need for marketing or salesmanship because it would be obvious to everyone that idea, product or service X was the best choice. Until we come to an agreement about these things ( 😉 ), what five words best describe how things things should be marketed to people?

My five words:

  1. Rarely.
  2. Humbly.
  3. Quickly.
  4. Respectfully.
  5. Humorously.

What is your five-word answer?


0 Responses to This Post Will Change Your Life

  1. “Anything new and good that comes about will be the result of inspiration, perseverance,” — Agree.

    Disagree — “There are no {list of five generalities} that can whisk away whatever it is one dislikes about their life.”

    Any program that encourages/enables the practitioner to recognize, understand, then change their internal thought processes sets up the person to pursue an entirely different life.

    Why? For the reason above, the one with which I agree.

    Changing one’s internal dialogue in a way that leads to choosing changed behaviors is what prepares a a person to meet the right people, be at the right place at the right time and stumble upon, then recognize, then act on a heaping tablespoon of good luck. Which isn’t any kind of luck at all unless the stumbler is prepared to act.

    I would go so far as to argue that closing oneself off to new ideas — which, in this example, exploring new ways of looking at the world and adopting them to our own goals — pretty much guarantees a world view that positions the viewer as a hapless chump, perpetual victim and hopeless whiner. The five examples are a few tools to use to develop the internal conditions required for change.

    All that being said, could I be crushed in a horrible Metro accident Monday morning on the way to work? Of course. But had I not invested the last 30 years using the tools, I wouldn’t be living the life that had me on the Metro on the way to a job at an interesting place in an interesting location. If I had turned down all opportunities to jump-start my life away from what I knew, I’d probably be some bitter hag stuck away in some hell-hole of a place with little or no prospects.

    You’ve attempted to conflate two very broad areas: Personal development and marketing. How to market change to a person?

    Tools
    Choice
    Invest
    Persist
    Dare

  2. I see a lot of marketing in the personal development field, though. Is there some good to be found in it? No doubt. But I also see a lot of positive thinking material that sounds like a secular version of “if you were a _genuine_ believer you wouldn’t be so poor/sick/stuck.”

    I don’t doubt the benefits of a good attitude or perseverance. These are very good traits.

    But I’m extremely skeptical of any worldview promoting the idea that thinking happy thoughts is the only or best way to bring about change or prevent/heal physical or mental illness in life.

    Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book called “Bright Sided” about this phenomenon. You may want to check it out.

  3. 😀 I can see the marketing message now:

    “Hey Sucker. Come plunk your money down for a hokey scheme that, properly applied, just might make things seem a little bit better.”

    A couple years ago when I was in charge of a large volunteer group, I made it my mission to change the culture. I could not promise results. I could only promote, promote, promote values, which, if widely embraced, would lead to the culture change I was looking for. It worked.

    My main marketing message for three years was, “I can’t make the organization successful, but I can help YOU make the organization succesful.” People cared about that, because they recognized that ultimately, helping the organization become successful was the tool they had on hand to improve their own skills, reach their own personal development. goals. The organization consisted of about 1,200 people in a 10,000 square-mile area.

    I passionately believe that people can change their lives by changing their thoughts. And of course sometimes people get dumb, or dumb it down to the point of promoting a tool as the cure, when in fact it is merely that application of any number of tools that will lead to improved outcomes.

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