A student of Albert Einstein’s once said to his professor, “These are the same questions you asked on last year’s test. Nothing has changed.”
Einstein answered, “True enough, all the questions are the same; but this year, the answers are different.”
For nearly a decade I traveled the country speaking to hundreds of thousands of people about business and personal success. One of the most commonly asked questions was, “What about saturation?” My response was, “All the average person needs is to carve out a little piece of the pie–a little niche–and presto, you succeed.” In some ways that is still true, but things have changed since I gave this advice. For one thing, large corporations are looking closer at those “niches,” when in the past they had far less interest. Merchandising, for example, has virtually become obsolete for the person whose vision is a small retail store. There are exceptions, but the point here is that today’s entrepreneur is facing the challenge of finding new answers to the same old questions.
How do I increase my customer base?
How do I profit more?
How do I keep my employees dedicated?
How do I augment sales?
How do I best secure my future, enjoy growth?
How do I enjoy life while I’m doing all this?
The questions really are no different than they were a century ago, or even ten years ago, but the answers are quite different. We are going to discover the answers. And yes, no matter how well you are doing now, you will be doing better by the time you’ve read the entire book. To qualify this positive projection. what I am sharing will not be accepted by everyone. If you are not a progressive thinker, if you can’t open your mind and think out of the box, you might just as well stop reading right here, because this text probably won’t do you any good. However, if you can be receptive to new insights and have the courage to test the waters of fresh ideas, you will be able to succeed in your business and in your personal life even more than you ever thought possible.
Who am I to be making these claims? Since it may seem a rather egotistical to tell you that I AM a success story ement, I ask your indulgence so I can explain exactly what I mean by this. Yes, I have earned a great deal of money in my life, and as an entrepreneur, have turned visions and dreams into realities. As we know in our hearts, even great wealth does not equate to great joy, happiness or to real success. Real success begins with looking into the mirror, knowing who you are, and liking that person. This is so intrinsic to the book’s message.
I am a success story not because I have acquired a lot of money, but because I have faced the challenges in my life, the ups, the downs, and become enriched as a human being because of them–not in spite of them. If you are having a very difficult time at present and facing what you deem to be even impossible situations, know that I have been there, too. My messages are not born out of theory or thought alone, but from my personal experiences and wonderful lessons along my path as both a businessman and an individual. This is why I am anxious to share my discoveries . Indeed, I am setting out to give you real ways of growing your business and forwarding your life.
Are you a little skeptic? After all, these days a lot of business folk are contending with tremendous pressure and this includes large enterprises. Perhaps Gary Hamel brings home the point when he tells us, “Compaq, Novell, Westinghouse, DEC, TWA, Kodak, Kmart, Nissan—these and a hundred other incumbents have found themselves struggling to stay relevant in a topsy-turvy world.” But even in view of these kinds of observations and no matter how your business is doing right now, you will learn how to make immediate positive changes, including an increase in your profits. Are you wondering: What am I in for here? One more positive-thinking book? I assure you, you are not. While we all know positive thinking is important, positive thinking is merely the prerequisite for positive doing.
Even if you are still skeptical, that’s okay, as long as you dare to read on. Just remember the old axiom: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Aspects of the New RealityEven before we get into the “new reality,” I want to make two positive changes: No longer use the terms, “customer retention” and “customer acquisition.” We will be calling these motivations customer preservation and customer receiving. As you will discover along the way, the words we use are intrinsic in creating the realities in which we live.
Chances are what you have been confronted with is the lifetime value of your customers is shrinking and margins are eroding. The multiplying effect is headed in the wrong direction. As entrepreneurs we obviously have to turn this around by decreasing the costs of customer preservation and customer receiving. While we will be covering ways of doing this, this book is not about the mechanics of change in the ordinary sense. These changes alone are enough to stir us into positive human action, into creating our own changes! The book’s major focus is to humanize the machine. Now let’s look at some of the challenges of the past fifteen years.
Going back (only) fifteen years, we could have run an infomercial and put almost any product on and sell a zillion of them–but now we can’t do this. Today, it’s more like a miracle to create a successful infomercial or ad campaign where the “customer receiving” cost (meaning “customer acquisition”) is not prohibitive. The question is: What is going to happen in the next ten or fifteen years? For sure, there are going to be more companies, more products, more me-too-ism,s and the “commodization” of everything is going to become heavier and heavier. IEverything has become a commodity, from bottled water to canned air. You can get the same product down the street for the same price, and like the old gray mare, the competitive way of doing business “just ain’t what she used to be.” It is important to not only compete wisely but it is essential to compete in a positive, productive way. Relative to that, here’s another term: “non-combative competing”!
Non-combative competing will soon play a major role in your own success story–and is extremely important to my entire message. In order to arrive at a new reality, we need to know exactly what direction we’re taking. Let’s imagine for a moment that we’re standing at a crossroads and there are two road signs. One reads WAR MARKETING and the other LOVE MARKETING. Which road do you take? The chances are that you will have the intuition to take the Love Marketing direction but you may fear that “love” and “business” are pretty strange bedfellows. But why is this? Love is positive after all and that which is positive most naturally produces positive results. Nevertheless, most of us have been seduced by the ideas and concepts that business is war. This is how it has been portrayed.
Indeed, you have been taught, trained and engineered to believe in the survival of the fittest, that the strongest, biggest and most powerful are the winning players, the celebrating gladiators of the marketplace. You believe you’re not among them because you don’t have the weapons to fight your way to the top. Maybe you don’t put it this way, but down deep in your soul , you want to be a predator, too, and be able to fight the grand battles and go toe-to-toe with your competition. And, the chances are that you try in your own way. Perhaps you call meetings and talk about targeting accounts, creating strategies that will capture your clients and building ad campaigns that will somehow have more “recruitment appeal” than those ads and/or commercials you’re running against. Often leadership calls where they gather their marketing team or sales force for meetings: The war room!
Meet with just about any business owner, CEO or devoted manager and ask how they are intending to grow their business or, in some cases, to merely stabilize its operations, and you will generally hear something like, “we’re putting our attack plantogether now” or “we’ve launched our biggest bombs so let’s see where they land.”
As you stand at the crossroad of love and war, the warring route will tend to make more sense to you. It did for me, for years! In fact, one of my favorite saying was: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. This seems to be a positive attitude, but tough is to determined as aggressive is to assertive. The love marketer is determined and assertive, bothpositive and productive attributes. Today both men and women in business keep believing that business has to be about being tough and aggressive. Ask just about anyone in business how things are going, and the odds are they will answer tsomething like: Still fighting the battles or just taking one day at a time and seeing how the war goes.
:oints made! Typically, business continues in the old reality of war metaphors and paradigms. TA new reality is entering the consciousness of the consumer in massive proportions, both domestically and globally. (This is not talking politics, but talking about people.) I may lose some of you here, because I want to share my passions about the new love economy. I’m taking the risk even those some readers will be stoic businesspeople unprepared for and skeptical of my message. If that’s you, please read on anyway, because what I am so eager to share can and will create great and wonderful changes for you and for your business:
Since the Age of so-called Enlightenment we human beings have been growing farther apart from ourselves and so, others. The paradigms from science are that we live in a dead and mechanical world. As a result, our great human quest has been to control nature. Consequently, we lost our connectiveness to the universe and to our own hearts. The mind became all, and we were taught that maturity is about controlling our feelings and reacting in cold calculation to the world around us. If we want to succeed in life, you have to be tough, hard and aggressive; you have to win by beating/defeating the competition. These concepts told us that we’d better be willing to step on a few toes before we are stepped on, or over by others. Amidst this basic training of our becoming, we grew up believing that the only “real” goals of life were getting ahead, winning the races and grabbing the brass ring. All these metaphors belong to big business no less than they have belonged to conquering armies since the advent of civilization itself. You no doubt connect to these metaphors, after all, the world has been turning on them for a very long time. In the end, we have lost meaning and purpose in our lives and, by and large, have become either soft or hard materialists to one degree or another.
Over the past few decades, however, the new science—called quantum physics or quantum mechanics—has been suggesting that there is more to life—much more—than what we have been told at least since the time of Descartes (1596-1650). (Incidentally, the “new” physics are not so new anymore, they have been around a little over a hundred years, beginning with Max Planck’s theory of quantum in 1900.) The philosopher and mathematician Descartes gave us a world model that the universe was a mere machine, and from this view, resulting in the soul-less, spiritual-less, lifeless view of classical science that has been centered in the belief that the universe evolved accidentally and that all living things—including ourselves—are a result of that ancient accident. In short, our human value has been scientifically compared to the value of a pebble on the beach. Indeed, according to classical science, there is no essence to us at all, only our physical attributes that by some odd chance include an incredible mechanism called a “brain.”
Tthe point is simply that the “new” science is telling us that the old view is not correct, that the perception of I am here and you are there and the trees of the forest are over there is not how “reality” really is. We are told thatsomething, perhaps consciousness itself, connects us all to everyone and everything else. We are told that the world is not made up of isolated, separate things but is rather a “web of relationships.”
Much of this writing is about connecting to those “relationships” in a more conscious, loving and productive way and finally creating or, in other words, manifesting positive results for ourselves, our businesses or jobs or careers.
Thismay sound very weird or odd to a businessperson who has been living the belief that business is—or should be—cold and hard. This is not something I’ve made up (and I will be reminding you occassinally), —but is instead something that has been said since very ancient times by mystics and is being said now by many of the most advanced scientific minds on the planet. Based on this much alone, I will ask you a question that would have been asked you thousands of years ago, and might be asked today by any number of devoted quantum scientists: How are you actualizing your world today?
I am writing this to show you how to actualize your world happier, healthier, more successful and secure–as these are the natural benefits that evolve when we choose to take the “quantum leap” into the new reality.
Now let’s return to business. A new (I could also say a “renewed”) world model is occurring and has been over the past forty-plus years. People in mass want to bring back meaning and purpose into their lives; they desire to feel (to experience) meaningfulness in their daily lives. They have awakened to the thought that there is more to life than news, weather and sports, and they are anxious to rekindle their connection to the universe. New paradigms are forming in the human psyche that—regardless of what some will say—is spiritual in nature. The effect of this is naturally spilling over into business. It doesn’t make any difference whatsoever if you’re the owner of Freddy’s Tire Service, or head of General Motors, at the real bottom line, the customer has the power!
In light of all this, business has at least one major consideration to make: You cannot afford to do combat anymore. The competition is already too vast and overpowering. We need not forecast what the entrepreneur will no doubt be facing ten or twenty years from now in terms of gaining market share. But, guess what—you already have the edge, if you choose to use it. This “edge” is called love marketing and love marketing belongs to the “new reality.”
In the new reality, the old warring metaphors and paradigms have no place because they are destructive and tyrannical. And, as this new reality is spreading more and more in the hearts and minds of people, I suggestthat business must catch up with the aspirations of simply creating a safer, happier and more loving world, at least in their own environments. There is not only a humanitarian reason for this, but this will truly bring immediate profitable results. After all, the price of “customer receiving” has become too costly, advertising doesn’t work even as well as it did ten years ago–much less as it did fifty years ago when product all but assured success and when (good/attentive) service was prevalent and expected.
There is a blossoming of a new love economy, and for those leaders in business and for the entrepreneurs who are willing to open not only their minds but also their hearts to it, success will follow.
My book really begins here–and hopefully I have done an ample job of inspiring you to do more than read on. I urge you also to rethink your world. Upon rethinking your world, you will create change in it. By changing your words, you truly change your world.
That’s right. By changing your words, you change your world.
Yes, it is this simple. This easy! The quest is to become a love marketer, a love manager and a love-based entrepreneur. If terms like these frighten you, if you are skeptical, I don’t blame you. There was a time when all that I have just written would have sounded too magical or mystical for me. There was a time when I was the one sitting behind his desk believing that control and combative competition was the only way the warrior won in business. Our chore in life is not doing what we have been told, to conquer our feelings and forge ahead against the challenges of a hostile world–but quite the opposite. The world is not hostile although some people in are. You don’t have to be among them. It is not only okay to put your armor away, it is essential! And, when you do only this much, you will immediately begin to profit.
But greater profit for you is not the only goal of this book; gaining greater wealth is only one part of what is soon to unfold for you if you are willing to act upon the message about creating a greater prosperity of positive (and productive) energy not only in yourself, but also for your customers and clients, your employees, and everyone you greet. By the time you have turned the last page, you will know exactly how to create a greater prosperity of joy in your life at home, at work and at play. Since this all sounds so promising, you may have become even more skeptical, asking something like, If this guy has all these answers, if he knows how to become richer, happier and more successful, why the heck is he sharing these secrets with me? The answer is simple and essential to everything I have discovered over the past few years, everything that is intrinsic to what the rest of this book is about. I am sharing these “secrets” with you because…I love you.