Getting Attention vs. Getting Respect

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Make an impression.  That is the goal.  Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a company, or just a person at an event or party.  But how?

Be different. There is a need to stand out and be different. No one will ever notice you if you are the same as everyone else.

But here is the catch, there is a difference between getting respect and just getting attention.

Getting attention can help you get in the door. It can make potential clients and customers aware of your existence.  It can start a conversation.  But it doesn’t necessarily lead to success.

The guy who trips over the red carpet in the middle of a crowded party might get my attention.  The company that offers a free car to the winner of a contest might get my attention. But neither of those means anything in the long run.

Getting respect, in a business sense, means having a brand that makes people take notice.

In a personal sense, it means that people genuinely understand you, and appreciate your point of view.

Getting respect leads to success.  It means, not only did you get their attention, but you did it in a creative and fashionable way, and you were able to keep their attention after the initial wave of awareness died down.

Getting respect means long term clients, it means brand loyalty, it means word of mouth marketing and referrals, and it means a corporate culture that stands for something.

Next time you have something to say, or you are in a position to start a conversation, go for respect.  Start with something unique, something creative, and something that stands out.  But be sure to follow up with something real, something of substance, something powerful and meaningful. The business, or person, that does this, will pave the way for lasting success.

Make an impression. That is the goal. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a company, or just a person at an event or party. But how?

Be different. There is a need to stand out and be different. No one will ever notice you if you are the same as everyone else.

But here is the catch, there is a difference between getting respect and just getting attention.
Getting attention can help you get in the door. It can make potential clients and customers aware of your existence. It can start a conversation. But it doesn’t necessarily lead to success.

The guy who trips over the red carpet in the middle of a crowded party might get my attention. The company that offers a free car to the winner of a contest might get my attention. But neither of those means anything in the long run.

Getting respect, in a business sense, means having a brand that makes people take notice.

In a personal sense, it means that people genuinely understand you, and appreciate your point of view.
Getting respect leads to success. It means, not only did you get their attention, but you did it in a creative and fashionable way, and you were able to keep their attention after the initial wave of awareness died down.

Getting respect means long term clients, it means brand loyalty, it means word of mouth marketing and referrals, and it means a corporate culture that stands for something.

Next time you have something to say, or you are in a position to start a conversation, go for respect. Start with something unique, something creative, and something that stands out. But be sure to follow up with something real, something of substance, something powerful and meaningful. The business, or person, that does this, will pave the way for lasting success.

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Book Review: Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

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How to win the competition? You can challenge your opponents on a head-to-head competition. Suppose that your target is to book 200 contracts each month. In order to fulfil the target you can compete on pricing. It means that you should give bigger discount than your opponents.

But head-to-head competition has its own limitation. There is another way to compete. A smarter way. Chan Kim and Mauborgne propose another solution:

Don’t compete with your competition, why don’t you make them irrelevant!

The book idea is to give your customers better services without any head-to head competition. It gives you a framework helps you to re-design your products/services. It helps you find your niches.

Score:

9/10

The book is quite easy to read and has an excellent and brilliant idea. It’s a must for anyone responsible in decision making.

Innovation plays a central role in  businesses that want to stand out and not fit it. This book  has practical tools on how to position yourself as a blue ocean company.

 

Some of the interesting quotes I underlined from the book:

 

– “What consistently separated winners from losers in creating blue oceans was their approach to strategy.  The companies caught in the red ocean follow the conventional approach, racing to beat the competition by building a defensible position within the existing industry order.  The creators of blue oceans, surprisingly, didn’t use the competition as their benchmark.  Instead they followed a different strategic logic that we call value innovation.” 

 

– “Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy.  We call it valued innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby, opening up new and uncontested market space.”

 

– “Value innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation.  Value without innovation tends to focus on value creation on incremental scale, something that improves value but is not sufficient to make you stand out in the marketplace.  Innovation without a value tends to be technology driven, market pioneering, or futuristic, often shooting beyond what buyers are ready to accept and pay for.”

 

– “Value innovation requires companies to orient the whole system toward achieving a leap in value for both buyers and themselves.” 

– “Blue ocean strategy challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant. Instead of dividing up existing and often shrinking demand and benchmarking competitors, blue ocean strategy is about growing demand and breaking away from the competition.” 

The Art We Make: The Journey Is the Reward

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Artists are people who make art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent … Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another … Art is who we are and what we do and what we need.

Art is not a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.

Creating art is a habit, one that we practice daily or hourly until we get good at it.

Art is not about the rush of victory that comes from being picked.

Nor does it involve compliance. Art in the post-industrial age is a lifelong habit, a step-wise process that incrementally allows us to create more art.

Entrepreneurship is a journey, the unexpected journey, the memorable journey, a guaranteed journey but most importantly it is the journey that is the reward.

The Art We Make: We Are All Artists

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Art is the work of a human being, something a person does with generosity to touch someone else to make a change for the better.

We can see art in the way the nurse in a doctor’s office treats us when she knows how much pain we are in. She is not just doing her job; she’s being a person. She is enlarging the bubble around herself to include us.

Our best work is always about standing out, never about standing in.

You never meet somebody who says, ‘I succeeded by fitting in more than everyone else.’

That’s all innovation and art is. Bob Dylan was booed off the stage in 1967 when he went electric. He was booed off the stage in 1974 when he went Gospel. He’s been booed off the stage since then and yet he still fills theaters. Being booed off the stage is a key part of being an artist. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company. Malcolm McLean was booed off stage while trying to convince the transportation industry to use containerised shipping. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for what he stood for.

I have failed so many times in my career. However my few successes compensate for my failures. I don’t consider it a good day unless I fail. Failure is not something I hide from, it is something I seek.

I have written hundreds of blog posts. Most of them are not that great. I have launched many entrepreneurship projects, some of them have fallen on their face. I have had negotiations where I completely misunderstood what the other person was looking for, or they misunderstood me, and we walked away from each other.

Art is about risk, “This Might Not Work” is how I define art.

This attitude is what I try to bring to everything I do. If I am getting started, or about to throw it out into the world, I say to myself, ‘Hmm, this one might not work.’ If I’m not able to say that, then I probably haven’t pushed myself enough.

If not a single person read my blog, I would still write it every day.

The Art We Make: Art is Personal.

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Back to my definition:

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.

An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.

Art is not related to craft, except to the extent that the craft helps deliver the change. Technical skill might be a helpful component in making art, but it’s certainly not required. Art doesn’t have to be decorative; it can be useful as long as the use causes change.

Art is certainly not limited to painting or sculpture or songwriting. If there is no change, there is no art. If no one experiences it, there can be no change. By definition, art is human. A machine can’t create art, because the intent matters. It’s much more likely to be art if you do it on purpose.

The second person to install a urinal was not an artist; he was a plumber.

Art is the product of emotional labor. If it’s easy and risk free, it’s unlikely that it’s art.

The last element that makes it art is that it’s a gift. You cannot create a piece of art merely for money. Doing it as part of commerce so denudes art of wonder that it ceases to be art. There’s always a gift intent on the part of the artist.

Organisations use human-created art all the time. The design of the iPhone is art. It changes the way some people feel. It changes the way they use the device. It changes the way they communicate. And there is a gift as well.

People who see the iPhone but don’t buy one still receive the gift. An ugly iPhone would cost as much as the beautiful one. The beautiful part is the free prize inside, the bonus, the gift to us from the artist who designed it.

A business that is not innovating is not creating art.

The Art We Make: Art is not a Job, it is the Work

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In one of my favourite books Linchpin, Are You Indispensable? Seth Godin talks about the difference between a job and work as follows:

The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.

The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status-quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work. 

The Art We Make: Artists Who Can’t Draw

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Roy Simmons (a painter) coined that phrase and I like it a lot. “Most artists can’t draw.” Seth Godin in his book Linchpin added: “But all artists can see.” Meaning we can see what’s right and what’s wrong. We can see opportunities and we can see around corners. Most of all, we can see art.

Art is not only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

What makes someone an artist? I don’t think it has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while they are cool people, are not artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artist who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models and customer conversations.

Art is about intent and communication, not substances.

An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.

That’s why Michael Jackson is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on MTV is merely a marketer.

That’s why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artist, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.

Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and writer, is an artist, even though his readers are businesspeople. He’s an artist because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally and he doesn’t care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it’s important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.

If Shakespeare is art and Tony Hseih is art, and Steve Jobs is art, then Trevor Noah and Fred G Sanford (of Sanford and Son) must be art, too, right?

I think it’s art when a great customer service person uses a conversation to convert an angry person into a serious fan. And it’s art when Steve Jobs invents a new business model that uses the Internet to revolutionise the classifieds. Or when Jonas Lekganyane invents The Chronicles of Noko Mashaba, from being a self taught comic animantor in rural Limpopo.

Most artists can’t draw, but all artist can see.

Entrepreneurs are artists, most can’t draw but they all can see their businesses as work of art. Make your business a work of art. Stand out, touch a soul, make a difference, this is more than just making money.