I’m about to head up to the lake for the summer to recharge – I’ve flown well over 100 times in 7 months, I have had a very busy year speaking about the Experience Economy and how financial advisors and other entrepreneurs can avoid the commoditization trap.
Now I’m on my way to the lake to think slowly and deliberately. I am going to think about one question deeply and see where it takes me, and I’d like to suggest that you think about the same question.
“Who does my audience want to become?”
You are a sales manager; does your audience need more managing?
You are a teacher; does your audience need more lessons?
You are a financial advisor; does you audience need more money?
You are an interior decorator; does your audience need a prettier living room?
Or is there something more they need? Do they buy these goods and services to have them, or to leverage them into something else, something with more meaning?
If you can write down your job description on a few lines of paper, then you can be replaced for less, and likely will be.
I manage a sales team. Replaced. Nobody needs a manager. Your sales team needs a leader who inspires them to do human work, not do safe and predictable work more frequently.
I am a teacher. Replaced. Nobody needs a teacher. Your students need a leader and a guide.
I am a financial advisor. Replaced. Your clients need someone who guides them to greater personal transformation.
If you die, and someone else can do your job as good or better than you, then you can be replaced for less and likely will be.
If your value is what you sell, then you can be replaced for less and likely will be.
The work that you need to do now is work that has nothing to do with your job. You have to help your clients achieve their personal aspirations. They bought your goods and services to solve a problem, and the problem has been solved. Now what?
How are they different, or how can they be different because of these products?
The choice is clear, we can do the safe work, the predictable work, the expected and commoditized work. Or we can do the dangerous, unpredictable and human work that our audience is looking for.
We are all looking for something … more. We are looking for personal transformation.
We are looking for a transformation from our current state into something or someone better. We don’t only want the experience; we want the experience to change us, to help us become something greater than we are.
I’m going to the lake to think about this question all summer. “Who do the people who read my blog want to become?”
That’s it. Whatever I figure out, that’s where I’m taking you.