EP72: Thinking Outside the Box!
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been playing in this online sandbox for quite some time.
On a literal beach, with tons of sand around you, you can create whatever your heart desires.
Who doesn’t like making sand castles?
Sitting on a beach, breathing in the salty air, relaxing and unwinding.
Feels comforting, thinking about playing in a box like that.
But other things are related to boxes too.
Sometimes boxes are talked about as if they were not a place we would want to be.
We constantly hear people say to “think outside the box” - so my question to you is this - what is wrong with the box?
Usually, the statement just refers to thinking differently about common ways of doing things.
Like, email marketing…
The majority of people it seems, based on my inbox alone, have no problems filling an inbox with spam and more and more emails promoting products that just show up numerous times each day.
The funny thing - though not as funny as it should be…
They don’t even take the time to promote it first.
The first email has it already closing - “so hurry up and get in on a great deal”. [Really - that's your opening?]
As if we even know who they are.
As for me, I get so many emails each day, from multiple addresses I monitor, that they amount to 2-300 emails or more. I lose count.
That's a lot for one person to cover. So some strategic thinking goes into deciding what I allow to enter into my world.
I just don't have the time or bandwidth to even look at all the subject lines.
Oftentimes after they make it into my email inbox enough, I don’t even need to look beyond the name to decide to hit delete.
If I don't recognize the name I usually just hit delete, though there are times when I notice the same one showing up multiple times without permission. For those, I report it as spam.
You would think that the “unsubscribe” link would do its job [believe me I’ve tried multiple times], but for unscrupulous marketers, that's just a way to know you are a real address, I suppose, so they just keep sending more.
So if thinking outside the box means NOT doing that, then I’m all for it.
But I don’t think - the term "thinking outside the box" - was meant for just that.
I believe thinking outside the box, is a way to motivate ourselves to be more creative.
Case in point.
When I sit down to write my podcast, to be honest, I usually have no clue what it will be about. [But I don’t just make stuff up]
Sure I have things I can draw inspiration from. Like my good buddy, Nick Warren at storiesmeanbusiness.com.
I listen to his podcast daily if possible. And when my life gets in the way, as it always does, I binge on the ones I missed.
They’re only a few minutes long, so why not?
I'm always going through courses gleaming with different perspectives on how to market online. Some are better than others, but there is always something good to learn from it.
And now, back to that box.
Being creative, allows people to do things most people normally wouldn’t do. I guess that’s the basic definition of creativity right?
Doing things most people will not or cannot do.
For some, being creative shows up in the products they make, or the books they write. Others are artists and the pictures they paint are their way of channeling their creativity.
Still, others are born leaders.
They lead people easily.
So my question for you is simply…
What do you do that is outside the box?
What do you do that is creative?
What is the one thing you love doing that you cannot wait to share with others?
What do you think people would love to learn from you?
Our world is still spinning out of control, and we all just hope it rights itself soon.
Gas prices are going up and down daily.
Food is expensive.
But these are things we will have to live with for a while.
Russia is still fighting Ukraine.
Another reality we have to live with.
But what we do not have to live with is mediocre lives.
We are the masters of our lives.
Sure it seems like we have no control, but it just seems that way.
The truth is that we have always had control of our lives.
We just always let someone else rule ours.
We let our bosses tell us what to do day in and day out.
But at any moment we can take back control. We can become the conductor of our symphony.
Maybe not today or even tomorrow, but soon.
Part of taking control of our lives is learning what to do. You can never be in charge of your life until you have learned how to take something you know or love and share it with others that need what you know.
Transforming your dream from your inner thoughts into a real thriving business is not something that happens overnight.
For some, it takes years to become an overnight success.
How long it takes you, will depend on you, your understanding of business, and your willingness to do hard work.
Well, I say hard work, but for some of you, that hard work is the thing you dream of. It is what inspires you.
The only hard part of it for you is learning how to assemble all the pieces.
The rest is the easy part.
So whatever it is you do that makes your day just a little bit better, do it with your head up, knowing you are on your way to achieving your goals.
If at all possible treat people as you would like to be treated.
Marketing gets a bad name from those unscrupulous individuals trying to take as much as possible.
Think outside the box - be creative - show people you care. Let them know you are just like them. Help them solve their problems and you will find your disappearing as well.
Marketing does not have to be about smoke and mirrors. There are no magic tricks for helping people in need.
As a marketer, remember why your doing what you are doing. If the first thing that pops in your head is money, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.
Think outside the box!
We're all just people needing the help of other people.
Sometimes we give.
Sometimes we take.
It's all part of the ebb and flow of the river of life.
But we don't hurt people.
Always ask yourself, if you would want to read your marketing message.
How would it sound to you?
Would you want to continue to receive more messages like that?
Sometimes I feel sorry for those guys in my in-box. They keep sending message after message, hoping I'll respond (the way they want), but I don't.
They need to re-think their strategy.
Somewhere along the way, they received the wrong advice. And many marketers do try to sell to everyone (with a heartbeat), but it just doesn't work.
It doesn’t work financially.
It doesn’t work socially.
It doesn’t work philosophically.
It just doesn’t work. Period!
Find your niche of people that want to hear your message. Share your story with them. Help them with theirs. Be a helpful marketer.
What could be better?
The end of another podcast.
I’ll see you again next week.
Bye for now.
James "Outside-the-Box" Brown
P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.