What Someone Can Get and What They Can't

June 8 2021

Doing extensive work in personal development—and concurrently doing extensive work in business—it becomes clear, a series of the reasons why someone does not succeed, why businesses can or cannot connect certain parts of the creation.

This is handled popularly now, in terms of “limiting beliefs”, or little exercises about believing in yourself, or otherwise little self-help aphorisms, etc. But it can go so much deeper than that.

It is subtle, and I may have explored a good portion of the catalog, myself.

I will give the example that sparked this. The Kobo home page:

Kobo Home Page

I want to support something like Kobo, because I would much prefer not to support Amazon; because they can potentially support my local bookstore; etc. However, their branding is terrible. I mean, it’s one of the most un-branded larger companies I have ever seen. They have absolutely no sense of who they are, who their customers are, why their customers would buy. It’s really weird, actually.

As a personal development teacher, the equivalent would be seeing someone with a lot of potential, who was plainly not realizing their potential. As a potential partner, they would be someone who you wanted to pull the beauty out of, someone who you wanted to rescue, or had “so much potential, if only they would stop drinking”.

Any value Kobo might offer me in terms of what I care about—supporting my local bookstore, feeling more like I have a place where my values are supported, more of a community feel—is completely and absolutely nonexistent. Their design is so terrible that it looks like someone built the site in 2009 and never updated it. Not about the design per se, but the utter lack of any personality, any human message whatsoever, any kind of community, any sense of who they are, why they are… it is all completely absent. To a weird degree.

But let me make my point about all this, before I run out of energy to get my thought down. None of this is explicitly relevant to my idea; it is the trigger, the precursor, to the idea.

We must seek change that wants to happen

Whether we’re talking about someone who wants to give up a bad habit, a couple who wants to turn their marriage around, or a company that wants to reinvigorate their brand, nothing very interesting really happens until someone really wants to change. Things get created and re-created based on the realities, the beliefs of those involved. They attract more and more of the same. So, if you want that to change, you have to change the belief, the energy. Of course then, the behaviors will change as well. But by looking on the surface, you will not see the underlying thing.

How does change really happen? This is the true question, whether you are helping someone lose weight, get more sales, find a romantic partner, or anything else.

This is supposedly what training is about:

  • Someone does not know how to do something; but you tell them how to do it, and then they know how to do it; then they do

This is supposedly what service delivery is about:

  • Customer wants a change; you do the work to make that change; the change happens

But businesses are about people. If you call someone to replace a broken pane of glass, it really is straightforward. The pane was broken, now it’s not, and they go. But marketing? Sales? Operations? Sooo complicated, and all human-based, relationship-based activities; coordinating many efforts. And most often, the very interesting parts are the areas that are the most human (example: you can run a series of Facebook ads, and the automation will run it for you; perhaps a human will look at it for a few seconds to approve it; but the interesting part is in learning how to understand the market—subtle; and how to communicate with them—deep).

You can only expect so much change for people. Seek out people who want the change. Who are ready for the change you offer.

Pre-train them to expect the change you offer, don’t surprise them with the change you offer.

Let the automated work of pre-qualifying them do as much of the work as possible, so you don’t have to do it for them. As much as possible, seek people who want to do the work you are proposing, and are excited about the results of the work—as opposed to someone who is excited by magic, as though someone were going to do it for them.

Don’t look for people to rescue. Instead, look for people who are looking for the kind of help you offer

Don’t eople who are not realizing their potential, versus people who want help in realizing their potential

Look for allies, not people to rescue

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© Alexander Feller 2018