“They worked and worked and they watered their land in hope for a good harvest but they ended up disappointed for they had sown the wrong seed.”
Why is it that some businesses are so successful that they have more money than some countries and some find it difficult to break-even?
Why is it that even after being in the same line of business some brands just awestruck their customers while some find it difficult to even get noticed?
Why is it that people create a frenzy for some brands, they fight for them, while they don’t care about many?
What makes people wait in lines, for hours, without sleep, to buy some product?
How do some companies form a connection with their customers and others don’t?
There is a deluge of questions that run through the mind when pondering over the fact that only a limited number of brands are able to form a connection with its customers. Is it just a pure fluke or is there a pattern following which these brands hit massive following? Let’s decipher the message, the mode of functioning, and scrutinize the path followed. Let’s look into the 9 blatant secrets visible beyond the shine if you can keep your eyes open.
- THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.” – Robert Half
Questions are important. Often times we run for answers without knowing our questions. If you don’t indulge in regular Q&A sessions with yourself then you’re not exploring your depths, your truest potential and not reaching the lengths that you possibly can.
This is one thing that is common in all the successful people or companies they constantly ask questions to themselves and the right questions. If you’ll ask the wrong questions then you’ll reach the wrong answers. So, it’s really important to ask the right questions.
All the major companies focus on this really important and golden word – “WHY?” such a common and powerful word out there for our benefit but left unexplored by most. Just asking why? To yourself, you can gain clarity and insight on everything you do and it can also open new doors by swiftly nudging you off the fence.
It’s all in the communication. Most companies start with what they do? How do they do it? And then why they do it? Which is exactly the opposite of how the successful companies unfurl their basket of questions. They start with why? Which directly impacts the decision-making part of the brain. Then they convey their how? And then what? Which allows customers to analytically come to the conclusion of buying the product or service.
Here @simonsinek wonderfully explains this concept
By asking why? You’ll be diving into the depths of every act which will give you an immense clarity and the reasoning behind every move. In fact, don’t just limit this powerful word to business but use it in your daily life. Whenever doing something whatever it is from cooking a meal to making a deal ask why you’re doing it? Why you’re doing it the way you’re doing it? Why haven’t you done it before? Why doing it right now is important?
When you’ll ask these questions you’ll know every aspect of it and who knows maybe you’ll find a better way or a better option than what you’re currently doing. I’ve also started asking my why? And it has helped me do things in a better way in my life. I’ve found out that most of the things we do can be improved significantly and there’s always a better way but we don’t explore it because we settle for the ways we are used to take, the method we are used to apply without trying the new spaces where effectiveness, productivity, and growth resides.
So, go ahead and why it up in every area of your life to see the light beyond the tunnel or maybe find a bulb in there.
- THEY HAVE COURAGE
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I don’t rely on the marketing research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.” – Steve Jobs
This is again something that the successful people or companies give proof of from time to time. They have a courageous heart and are willing to fight it all for the ideas they believe in, for the work they love doing, they don’t settle for the life that there is, they change it, reshape it, and present it with love and passion that transports beyond borders to souls that only laud such courage for they dream of it whole their life.
I love this thought-provoking quote from Steve Jobs which when infused in our system can sling us far from the pattern and life as we believe it to be.
“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is to just live your life inside this world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save money, but that’s a very limited life, life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, i.e, everything that’s around you that you call life was made up by people no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use and the minute that you understand that you can poke life. When you push in, something will pop out from the other side, you can change, you can mold it. That’s probably the most important thing that you can shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live it versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make a mark upon it.” – Steve Jobs
This explains the mentality of greatness. We often fall for the erroneous belief that it is what it is and how it is and we have to work according to the set rules and not explore the unexplored planets of hope for there is no life as we are told.
If You look at the work of Apple, Tesla or any successful, loved company, You’ll see their courageous moves. You’ll see their extraordinary vision, you’ll see their perseverance.
Apple has always made moves which ran against the conspicuous needs of the systems and the belief that they were necessary. They first removed the floppy disk from the PC, then they brought an iPod without what was considered important functionalities for any electronic device like an on-off button, a display, and a removable battery, their adventures didn’t end here. In 2007, they introduced iPhone without a keypad, a removable battery, and an SD card. Then they removed CD/ DVD drive, they changed the charging dock on iPhone 5, removed all ports except the one USB from 12 inch Mac, and now the earphone jack.
You get the point right! There’s nothing that’s stagnant or rigid you can change everything, you can try different mixes, explore new areas, pinch your creativity, design your imagination, and you can be yourself. The successful companies know how to be themselves, they create their distinct identity at the cost of not being liked by some people because you cannot please everyone and if you try, you’ll only bemuse the crowd and yourself too.
So, dare to express your creativity and your vision. Have the courage to break the pattern, to be different. Not everyone will like you or your company but those who do will stick with you because then they won’t be following or liking your vision but theirs.
- IT’S NOT ABOUT THE OBVIOUS THINGS
“It’s mostly not the obvious things, the cover, the crust that makes you fall in love but the nuances, the message, the heart, the feeling, because materials can only satisfy you for a while.”
What are you selling? Are you selling a product or a service? If you are then you probably don’t know what you’re selling. People don’t buy products they buy the message, the benefit, the convenience. So, why make it hard for them to understand what you have on offer? Make it crisp and clear.
For example, if you’re selling a mobile, car, or home then you’re not selling a mobile but convenience, power, and creativity. If you’re selling a car then you’re selling comfort, again convenience, and time. If you’re selling a house then you’re selling security, comfort, and peace.
When you change the way you see things, your product, your service it will bring a positive effect in the way you convey that message to your audience. You can see how the successful companies advertise they don’t just go about with pointless bragging of their product, they give it a story, they align a message, and they stand for bigger things.
Here is an example, in this advertisement, Nike is showing how inner thoughts try to stop you, sometimes demotivate you but still it’s always better to keep going. #betterforit
Similarly, @CocaCola does some great advertising. In this advertisement look how wonderfully they associated coca cola with happiness. In this ad, it’s shown that happiness spreads with a smile, that a smile is infectious and travels from face to face knowing no bound.
Similarly, you can see the ads of all the big brands they speak their story, their message, and insinuate their product or service in that message. You can also learn from this, ask yourself what message do your brand has for people? what you want people to associate your brand with? What is the first thing that should come to people’s mind when they think of your company/product/service?
- THERE’S BEAUTY IN DETAILS
“I often compare creating a business to creating a painting. You’ve got a blank canvas, you’re filling in that canvas and you’re trying to get every single detail right.” – Richard Branson
All the successful companies and people they have a thing for details, they explore every corner and make sure it’s clean, crisp, and interesting. When you develop this kind of passion for making every detail shine you produce great work, work that inspires, motivates, and makes you fall in love.
One company that is crazy about details is Apple. Their focus on the small things is amazing and inspiring. This attention to detail makes you go wow…and impressed. Here’s one for an example, the flashlight icon, when you switch on the flashlight, the icon’s on/off button also changes position. How great is that, something many might not even notice. That’s what beauty is about, it’s in these little things, and when you hit it all you have a piece of beauty lying in front of you.
So, what about you? Are you being cavalier about the little things or measuring up to every scale? Are you dedicated enough to work on every single detail out of which many might not even get noticed?
But that’s the thing about details. People might not notice the hard labor that went into making that detail possible, they might not notice it being there but they will notice it not being there. That’s why it’s really important to have this attention to nuances because it can make or break your following.
- IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT THE MONEY
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” -Steve Jobs
While the prime aim of every business is to earn money, it’s rarely the foundation of the successful companies. Every successful company has reasons ranging beyond the bank. Either it’s sheer passion and love for the work they are doing or the satisfaction they get from the positive effect that is a result of their product or service.
We have talked about the why? The details, courage, the message but above all I believe comes this, the love for the work you do. If you don’t love it you probably will have a hard time doing the above mentioned and even if you did do the above without any passion for the following there’s a high chance that you wouldn’t be as brilliant as the one in love with it. The main reason for loving what you do being important is that it will get difficult, you’ll fall, and get hurt and then if you don’t love it you’ll find it hard to collect the strength to get back up and as Steve Jobs said, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
You can see the work of all the big companies it all started with passion and love. It’s only when you enjoy doing what you do, you push boundaries, you challenge the existing system, you explore, you innovate, and you discover.
So, again back to point one. Ask your why? Why you want to start that business, do that job, or perform that act? If it’s not a solid reason then you don’t need to do it. Start again, ask questions, and your answers will guide you towards your work.
- THE POWER OF TOUGH DECISIONS
“Wherever you see a successful business, someone ones made a courageous decision.” – Peter Drucker
This one goes for everyone, no matter if you run a business or planning to run one or don’t want one, life will throw some tough choices at you and it’s then when you are tested for success. The above quote by Peter Drucker says it all, every successful business out there is a combination of extreme efforts, dedication, and well, some courageous decisions.
One such example of bold decision makers is Elon Musk. He’s known for making some crazy decisions which have worked well for him till now. He left Stanford after two days to start his own company (Zip2). Then he sold Zip2 and started another company X.com, an online financial services/payments company which led to the formation of PayPal. He sold that too to work on an even bigger project “Tesla” which was thought by many that it didn’t have the potential but Elon believed in his vision and invested a large part of his fortune on it. He later decided to start a Rocket company, SpaceX, who does that? It came across heavy winds and was in an all in or all out situation where most people might have backed out but he again believed in his vision and invested everything he got and now both the companies are doing some great work.
So, ask yourself are you making the decisions you should or just running away or hiding behind excuses? What’s stopping you from taking that step forward? What are you waiting for? Do you know the subject complete in and out for making the decision? If not, then why don’t you know the subject in and out when you have a decision pending?
Ask these and other questions to gain clarity and confidence for making the decision. Most times the only thing stopping us from taking the decision is our own self and nothing else.
- THEY VALUE PEOPLE
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs
You have to realize the fact that you cannot do everything on your own, you’ll need people, and that too people of excellence to make one excellent company. All the successful companies know how important it is to have people matching their vision and passion. Who do not hesitate to work and are in love with what they do and also are great at it.
It’s really very important to have people who understand your message and support your vision. Because if people you hire don’t love their job and are not up to the mark then well, that’s how your work will be. You have to realize that they are representing your company, if they are demotivated, tired, and lack enthusiasm that’s the message going out of your workplace that’s the energy they are transmitting in the name of your company.
So, ask yourself these questions. Do the people we hired love doing their job? Is the position they are representing the best position for them? Is the department they are in matches their abilities and interest?
Ask questions, ask your employees what they think, play games, do refreshment activities, keep the workplace charged and happy and it will show in your work.
- THEY ELIMINATE THE UNNECESSARY
“I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community. I’m in this really lucky position where I wake up everyday and help serve more than 1 billion people, and I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life, so that way I can dedicate all of my energy towards just building the best products and services.” – Mark Zuckerberg on being asked why he wears the same T-shirt everyday
Every decision you make exhausts your brain and takes part of your focus. As the day proceeds your energy levels plummet with every decision and exercise you put your brain through. That’s why it’s said to complete your most important work first thing in the morning when your energy level is at it’s highest.
According to a study, our brain works like a muscle and when exhausted its effectiveness reduces. That means you shouldn’t take major decisions with a tired mind it can have perverse effects.
But why be more productive in a small bracket of time and not for the whole day. To stretch the levels of energy bring down the number of decisions you have to make and allot that energy to only the important stuff.
Eliminate all the unnecessary clutter that you put yourself through every day and bring your best productive self to life. Delegate all the task that people under you can perform, automate the work that can be automated, and recharge yourself by taking occasional breaks in between to put your mind to rest.
- THEY ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THINGS
“I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in.” – Roger Clemens
One thing that’s common about every successful person or company is that they all are very optimistic about things, life, and possibilities. You’ll rarely find a person with a negative outlook on things being successful. Positivity gives you immense power and energy. It drives you, motivates you, and keeps you charged up and the opposite is true as well.
We just talked about how important it is to safeguard our mind’s energy to be ultra productive and one sure way to save a lot of that energy is to block the negative thoughts from entering your brain. They do no good and plunder you of your motivation and productivity.
So be positive about everything because it’s also true that our thoughts shape our reality, that we become what we think, so if you’ll think mediocre, you’ll reach mediocre, and if you’ll think excellence you’ll reach excellence. So, why limit your thinking to the point you’re expected to represent, rise above. Reach for bigger goals, dream bigger dreams because it’s all possible.
AND ONE LAST THING…
You just saw that being successful has little to do with luck and more to do with hard work, perseverance, and being true to yourself, exploring your creative aspirations and coming out with an inspiring tale.
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