I am writing this post on a Monday morning, and that question just won’t escort itself out of my brain. It seems like every time I experience a concrete skull rattling question, the only way I can move on with my day is to pose it to someone else. Well lucky for you, you’re reading this blog, and have become my first victim!
While the question seems pretty straight forward, the answers seem to spider web in a thousand different directions eventually leading back to the start.
What am I doing that is remarkable?
I recently ran for office in the City of Clinton, IA and lost. At first I wanted nothing more than to curl up in the fetal position and lick my wounds. But as time passed, and my rational brain took over, I was able to dissect my actions and calmly review the results. What I had accomplished was nothing short of remarkable! In a town where lineage and past experiences mean everything, I was able to make an impact that would make Halley’s Comet jealous. I garnered 20% of the total votes. That may not see like a lot, but when only a slim percentage of all registered voters show up to the polls, I’d say that’s pretty substantial.
After many self-pep talks and kudos from my supporters, I was undoubtedly pleased with my efforts. But then something else happened…reality kicked in. As I walked into my office the Wednesday following the election, my heart-felt heavy. I knew I had lost, and I was for the meantime over it, but this feeling wasn’t disappointment it wasn’t embarrassment. No, it was a sense of utter emptiness. The victory that I had been perusing for hundred plus days was not only lost, but the campaigning was over.
I was done, and found myself asking…Now what am I going to do that is remarkable?
In life we are always challenging ourselves to become something greater, and if you’re not…you should be. For me it’s extra difficult. I am my biggest enemy to say the least. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and from time to time, question my abilities to complete tasks that I know I will be ready and able to perform. I fight an internal battle, and am often exhausted by aggressively maintaining a positive outlook.
But life does not provide us with a pause button.
Recently I spoke with a woman from Dubuque, and she said something to me that really hit home. I expressed to her my love for self-help and leadership books. I showed her my massive library of various authors both old and new to the scene. As she peered at my self-impressed collection, she posed this question, “What have you learned from these books and how has it helped?” Without delay, I rattled off some BS about never quitting, believing in yourself, and looking for the good in every situation. She looked at me as if I had no clue about what I was talking about. This was concerning because I usually receive a pretty solid response to these type of questions.
“If you were to author a book of self-help and leadership, is that what you would write about?” she said.
I thought about it for a second and then went blank. What would I write about? What would I tell people who would get them through a personal or professional struggle? I guess I really had no idea. Well, at least not at that moment.
I thanked her for her advice, and then sat down angrily at my desk. I punished myself for a solid thirty to forty minutes for not having a tight grasp on the reins of life. I thought my plans were dust, and everything I had worked so hard for was blown with the wind.
As I slept that night, I had a dream. A vision of what I was really meant to do with my life. It was cloudy, and the answer not real clear, but the message was received without confusion. It was pretty simple really. I mean, not incredibly straight forward, and not something that would instantly cure my worries of my success. Guess you could refer to it more as a challenge!
My new-found charge was to do something remarkable. Nothing specific, but something that would change both mine and the lives of others for the better. Not specific at all!
Since that vision of purpose, I am dedicating myself every day to working towards a remarkable goal. Even though I can’t tell you what that goal is, simply because it doesn’t have a name, I can reveal that it will be attained.
I guess I just won’t know it until I get there.
So Andy…what does this have to do with marketing my business? Well my fellow visionary, it has EVERYTHING to do with marketing your business. Because without a desire to be remarkable, you will never succeed. Whatever you are thinking about doing to draw in new customers, the likelihood is pretty high that it has already been done before. And yes, I agree that copying someone else’s success is a great start, but you can’t forget that the world of business is infinite. Standing out in the crowd is harder than threading a needle blind folded with no thumbs.
In today’s cut throat crowded world of commerce, it will take more than just marketing your business. In order to capture the hearts and minds of new and loyal customers, you’ll have to ask yourself a question. And only you will be able to provide the correct response.
What am I doing that is remarkable?
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P.S. If you need help finding your “remarkable,” give me a call. Two minds are always better than one! 815.441.2219