Monday, August 29, 2011

Worldviews, Daydreams and Goals

People see the world the way they want to see it.  Its called their worldview.  It may not be the way the world actually is.  It usually isn't.  It is influenced by their ambitions, desires, hopes and daydreams.

Their daydreams are often an idea of what they would like the world to become.  Its a future worldview.  Again, not usually based in reality.  To accomplish those daydreams, they set goals.    They figure that if they want it bad enough and set goals to achieve it, they can change the real world to fit the future worldview they have created.  Since these goals are based on a biased view of the world and an unrealistic idea of the future these goals are destined for failure.

William Hung of American Idol fame wanted to be a pop star singer.  That was his worldview.  Reality (Simon Cowell) says otherwise.  I give the guy credit for trying, but the reality is, he will make a better Civil Engineer than a pop star.

When setting goals, we must step outside our worldview and face the reality of the situation.  Goals should be based on realities and not on wants or needs.  Just because you want your product to grow 15% year over year doesn't mean the market can bear it.

This isn't to say you shouldn't dream.  Dreams are great.  Dreams are important.  But Daydreams can lead you astray when setting goals for real life situations.  Daydreams may even make you miss out on real opportunities because you were too busy hoping for something else.  What if William is so focused on being a pop star that he never pursues engineering?

I've just worked with a lot of people who set unattainable goals because they never stepped outside their worldviews long enough to figure out if their goals were realistic.  When they fail to meet their goals, upper management isn't happy.  They are unhappy.  And the campaign seems like a failure.

Its a difficult balance.  I am sure what seemed like possible reality to the Wright brothers seemed like a Daydream to everyone else.  The trick is to find the balance between what is a dream that is actually possible and what is a dream in which you are hoping to alter reality to fit your worldview.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Life is like a box of Legos...

....You never know what you are going to build next.

As a kid, I always loved playing with Legos.  They were one of my favorite toys.

Sure, there were step by step instructions, but I didn't like following those.  I liked building what I wanted to build.  I liked using my imagination and creating something new and original.  Something that had never been built before that came straight out of me.

I love creating and building.  Its what gets me up in the morning and gets me excited.  My favorite thing to do is create.  Around the house building shelves.  Improving my yard with a new garden.  Making music with my guitars.  Building decorations for Halloween (I tend to go over the top building my own Halloween decorations).  At work trying to find a way to do something better or make the company more money.  Or just simply trying to improve something.

Creating is in my blood.  Its in my DNA.  Its how I am wired.  I can't look at something, even if its already good, without thinking of some way to improve it and add to its creation.

Sure, Legos come with instructions.  But before there were instructions, someone had to blaze a path without them and create them.  They sat there with a box of Legos with the possibility of building anything they could imagine.

So is life.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't confuse Buzz with Marketing

Just because people are talking about something, or interested in something, or buzzing about something doesn't mean they are willing to part with their money and buy what you are selling.

Marketing is the alignment of products and needs.  Buzz is just something that is interesting.

For example.  William Hung. (If you don't know who William Hung is, go to youtube and watch this video. ).

The media and everyone else was following William around wondering what he would do next.  Wondering if he would put out an album (Which he did called Hung for the Holidays).  Everyone was talking.  His videos went viral.  But that doesn't mean they were going to buy anything or that he would ever make it in the music business.

Sarah Palin is the William Hung of the 2012 Presidential Race.  The media is following her around and wondering what she will do next.  Will she run?  Everyone is talking.

People talk about them.  Blog about them.  Facebook about them. 

They make for good TV and are interesting to watch.  Interesting like Jersey Shore.

But at the end of the day, its Buzz.  Its not marketing.  When compared with how many people are talking about them, very few are willing to actually buy something.