“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” -John F. Kennedy, 35th US president (1917-1963)
Wow – imagine what this former President might have said about social media and small business marketing today!
I continue to be amazed at the ease at which a very small number of people can rally a huge crowd to support or refute an issue. I’d feel better about it if the groundswell of individuals speaking with conviction and vile toward “the other side” took a moment to understand what they’re supporting.
Who painted that picture?
This is particularly apparent in the horse industry (one of my other hats).
New York City carriage horse abuse was last year’s rallying cry. Of course, most are unaware of the land-grab underpinnings.
Defenders of the poor horses (read real estate moguls with help of their political buddies) painted the small business owners who understood better than anyone how important good care and consideration for their animals was to their livelihood as villains.
This is similar to the media plants over the last decade or so concerning the racing industry.
Most horses are happier with a job that suits them and includes humans. We’ve been breeding them for millenniums to make this so. That’s judgment call for generations eons ago, but a reality we face today that’s being exploited by some to progress their (often self-serving) cause.
Long gone are the days when domesticated horses were content being free in a field to do nothing. Those who can’t tell the difference between a mare, a stallion or a gelding ought to spend some time around horses being treated kindly to see how reality plays out before they blackball an entire industry.
In the case of the Thoroughbreds, there used to be a whole cottage industry culling out suitable transition prospects, helping these horses understand and adjust to new career paths and focusing on finding ideal matches for their new human partners. They’re gone.
Now that off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) have been redefined as worthless by those claiming to want to save them, those happy often life-long partnerships between horse and human are rare. Dumping a Thoroughbred that lacks transitional training to cope with cues opposite of what they’ve learned into green hands isn’t kind to either the horse or human. Turing a young, domesticated horse out to pasture for life isn’t either.
Curiously, the result of the passionate groundswell to save the least desirable OTTBs has made those ideal for new careers much harder to place. To my mind, the message conflicts with the mission.
Is what you’re doing going to get you what you want?
As more women take leadership roles in business, prosperity is being redefined. No longer is money the primary measure of wealth. Making a positive difference in the lives of others is foremost. That’s been the norm with successful entrepreneurs (men too) for decades (sorry Millennials, you didn’t invent this).
Part of that means making the right kind of difference. It’s easy to get caught up in a groundswell of hype – whether that be jumping on social media bandwagon crusades (persecutions) or leaping into the latest promised silver bullet marketing craze. Will those decisions help get you where you want to go? Before you believe all Google reveals, consider if the provider of information has their own agenda.
You’re likely to regret leading with opinion devoid of thought (or research). In this internet age, you can’t take these things back. Someone has it archived, ready to use against you.
We’ve all responded passionately when baited (I’m guilty). Consider spending some time away from the debate – or offer – before you let passion rule.
It’s a challenge finding credible information borne from research in this internet age – even major news media providers have been embarrassed by broadcasting fiction presented as fact. If you watch for a while, you’ll be better able to let prudence lead over an impulse to short-sighted hype.
Small business marketing is about the long-term
Opinions are fine. Frankly, I’m enjoying the opportunity to express them in this blog format after having to silence them as a (paid – silly this seems necessary as a qualifier these days) freelance journalist for so many years.
If you’re trying to present yourself as a credible resource – or a business worthy of a prospect’s trust – know how what you say might play out.
You’ll need to do some research. Primary, secondary, online, print, audio, video – it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you recognize there’s a cost to expression, on so many levels.
Prospects and clients value providers who act smart; being there fast rarely trumps being thoughtful over time. Quick money has never been a solution for long-term success with small business marketing. Opinions without facts don’t lend well to prosperity either.
More than 50 years ago, a great orator spoke for his time, but his words are timelier now.