A famous sports quote is “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the ONLY thing.”
I’m rather ashamed to say that I’ve shared this quote many times. But this quote is not only wrong, it is malignant.
In so many ways, winning has become the most important value in our society. And it’s leading to some terrible things. Been watching the news lately?
Look, everyone likes to win. If you’re in business, you want to attract new clients, do a great job, and make a good income. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.
But when winning is our primary purpose in life, it becomes malignant. Winning at all costs and making the end justify any means, tends to corrupt our lives and lose our souls.
For 35 years I’ve been in an interesting business – Marketing.
And the truth is, marketing has a bad name. You don’t usually see marketing and integrity in the same sentence!
We tend not to trust marketing because it tends to distort the truth.
And why does marketing do that? Well, to win, of course. To make more sales, to earn more money.
What’s the big deal if we put lipstick on a pig and make something look much better than it really is?
Well, it’s a big problem, because it undermines our trust in business. We are always skeptical, always doubtful.
And if you’re a self-employed professional, it also makes you hesitant to market your services and programs.
After all, you don’t want to appear dishonest, you don’t want to be thought of as a sleazy scumbag!
So, how do we win in our marketing and maintain our integrity? A few ideas, humbly submitted.
• Communicate clearly about the actual value of your professional services. This takes a lot of thought and work.
• Understand that others may find your services valuable and that there is no shame in communicating this value far and wide.
• Be persistent and resilient in communicating your value. If you don’t do it, nobody else will.
• Don’t think of how your services are better than others, more how they are a unique expression of your experience and expertise.
• Have fun in communicating your value. Being deadly serious all the time is not a great strategy.
• Make your most important marketing strategy, the exceptional service you provide to your clients.
• Tell the truth all the time and every time. You don’t need to resort to hype if you are offering the Real Deal.
If you follow these guidelines you’ll win in the right way. You’ll get attention, attract great clients, and make good money. You won’t make a killing, you’ll make a life and a living.
Winning is not everything. It’s just one piece of the puzzle.