Nobody is standing in the way of our ability to create value.
If we walk into a room and make everybody feel validated, like they are about to make a very good decision in hiring us, then it’s only a matter of time before we get to yes.
My screenwriter friend once gave me a titillating piece of advice about pitching any new business venture. He said, whether you are selling a movie or a television show or a startup, or simply yourself, walk in the room with an ammunitions wagon behind you. Give people all the words they are going to use to describe your work to their friends.
In short, make it easy for them not to keep you a secret.
As someone whose ideas have gone viral multiple times, someone who has never spent a dime on advertising in twenty years, and someone who built his entire empire on the power of worth of mouth, one thing is for sure.
Language is the strongest lever we have.
That’s why people enjoy sharing the story about a guy who wears a nametag every day. It feels good coming out of their mouths. Other stories that are thrilling but complicated to explain; exciting but embarrassing to hear; remarkable but awkward to express, are simply not retold.
Because people have not been given the proper ammunition. Their desire to share is not greater than the fear of having an uncomfortable conversation.
Ultimately, the once thing we can always do for other people is create an environment in which they feel safe. And so, if our goal is to do work worth talking about, then we have to consider the audience of the audience.
We have to give people the words they are going to use to describe us to their friends. If our stories are hard to understand, difficult to bottle, and not worth the cost to share, then will we keep winking in the dark forever.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are people excited about your idea, but afraid to bring it up in conversation?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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