Right FIT Newsletter #136 – Opinions, Purpose corruption, A short story

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you get more sales and marketing done in less time. . . next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Not all opinions are equal. One of our human brain shortcuts is to give equal weight to expressed views. “Not all dentists agree that brushing your teeth is beneficial,” says the woman in the white lab coat. Oh, that must mean that dentists are split on the issue, we think. No. Not all opinions are equal.
  • Don’t confuse quantity and volume with truthfulness or accuracy. Get suspicious. Chances are the person pouring it on is trying to convince themselves of something.
  • Are you not hearing back from someone you’ve been pestering and you still want to stay in touch? Try, “I apologize. I was under the impression this was a high priority for you, but I don’t want to bother you. I’m here if you need me. Best wishes.”
  • Try to get to the bottom of where a quote originates before using it. Once something is out on those interwebs, it tends to replicate like rabbits.


Being Human – When purpose is too much . . .

“If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche


There’s been a lot said about the value of believing in something bigger than yourself. As a matter of fact, it’s one of my eight essential resources for living (belief in a higher purpose), but as with all great truths, it has a dark side. 

When you believe in your purpose so much that you’re willing to adopt a “by any means necessary,” approach to realizing that purpose, bad things happen. It’s called noble cause corruption, and this week I bumped into it when talking to a startup founder. We were discussing the idea that people need to buy into your company’s mission. I told him that people buy-in for multiple reasons, not simply a belief in the company’s stated mission. 

This founder disagreed and told me that wasn’t his experience. He only wanted people that were bought into his vision. Investors, employees, advisors, everyone. While I admire the sentiment, my cynical nature didn’t buy it. Still, I gave it some consideration because I may be wrong. 

My conclusion is everything is good in moderation. Too much of a good thing, even belief in a grand purpose, leads to bad decision making. If a life insurance sales rep misleads a prospect because she believes that if an untimely death happens, she’ll be vindicated, is a self-delusion that will lead her to make more false statements in the future. I just listened to a life insurance sales trainer go down this path last week. “Jack Welch gets $4MM a year from his whole life insurance policy. Do you think he knows something you don’t?” he said. He continued on and on with statements like that. “Buffett and Gates just bought single premium $1.5BN policies. What do they know you don’t?” 

I want to jump in as he keeps challenging the crowd via extreme examples to believe in whole life policies, not because of I hate whole life, but because his analogies are misleading at best. He is a walking, talking version of “by any means necessary,” and thank goodness he’s only selling insurance. A guy like that repping something dangerous would cause an epidemic. He is all emotion with drips of questionable logic peppered in to support his arguments and keep challenges at bay.

This approach is what my startup friend wants me to acknowledge. He needs evangelists like that for success and untold riches. I try to caution him, but he’ll find out on his own. 

Balance = momentum. 

Good stuff.


Random Stuff

Dancing ’round in a ring

Next week I’m taking my youngest to his freshman year in college. While reminiscing with the family about my university years, some of the untold stories dripped out. I am reminded ofof a short story I wrote a few years ago, “Dancing ’round in a ring.” I’ll share the first part with you, click through to read the rest. 


Dancing Round in a Ring

A bump in the road jerks my son out of a light slumber and he shifts in his seat, blinking. He’ll be 19 this year, a thought that makes me shift in my seat too. As the sun sets, the smell of feet begins to fade, and the overstuffed Febreeze scented Hefty bags jammed into every inch of this ride comes on strong. I expect this battle of smells will rage on and leave its scars in the little Toyota for months to come.

The interstate is crowded with trucks. Important cargo being transported to meaningful places. Like this big eighteen­-wheeler with a giant arrow on the side that points to “our most important cargo,” who comes into view as we pass, perched in the cab and steering the rig from beneath the nod of a yellow cap. There are lots of trucks in this area. Big­-pick­up­-trucks and small-­pick­up­trucks. Some with hard rubber reproductive glands hanging from the bottom hitch. All of them have decals competing for space in the back window, 23, or 88, or 3 versus Chevy and Ford Calvins pissing on Dodges. Occasionally a solemn Calvin is on one knee paying homage to the cross. Does my son even know what Calvin and Hobbs is? I can’t remember when that stopped being published. Would he remember the Far Side? I’m pretty sure I showed that to him. Some things you can only pass along while their little hard drives are still open to parental input. A time that seems to have passed by years ago.

The boy’s head perks up, fully alert, as we come upon a careless motorist who must have been speeding. The trooper’s piercing blues, reds, and whites make little imprints in my brain that show up long after we pass each time I blink.

We slide back into the right lane after passing them safely into the rear view mirror.

“Have you ever been to prison?” he asks.

(click to read the rest of the story. . .)


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