In a recent podcast, Google (Alphabet) billionaire Eric Schmidt outlined two key success indicators:
“THE COMBINATION OF PERSISTENCE AND CURIOSITY IS VERY GOOD PREDICTOR OF EMPLOYEE SUCCESS IN A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY.”
The concept: Sticking to your goals and values and not giving up despite failure — but being curious and open and interested in discovering new things — certainly has merit, but how do we apply it in our marketing and business development strategies, and are there limits?
Persistence — Does this mean you bang your head against the wall until it breaks?
The challenge: Many (most?) things don’t work. So if you keep on pushing with a failing strategy, you’ll end up broken-hearted (and possibly with some broken bones. The issue becomes: Where do you want to go? You can try to push through the wall, or you can figure out possibly to go under (tunnel), over (fly) or around (flank) the wall. And in some cases, wait for something else to happen to break the hole in the wall for you. In that option, you just patiently wait for the new story.
Persistence undoubtedly is vital in AEC marketing because this is a long-sales-cycle initiative (coupled with cyclical economic challenges). Sometimes giant projects/commissions happen quickly, but generally they’ve been in the planning stages for some time and there is a catalyst that suddenly opens the doors, which hadn’t been possible before.
Curiosity — Do you flit from one thing to another, hoping to find the magic solution?
Curiosity invites distraction. You see the shiny object in the distance and think you maybe should divert your path to find it. Only it turns out to be a piece of tinfoil, or a mirage, or a false end — and you’ve wasted your time to get to nowhere.
Yet the fanciful and unknown solutions may help you on your persistence, if you have a reasonably clear idea of your destination and values.
How do you apply these concepts in real-life marketing?
Take a few moments to visualize where you want to be in the future. You could set a time or triggering event to find end-point.
Think about how you can move closer to your goal, and set out a couple of core strategies and one or two “wild goose chases” to reach it.
Carry on, carry on, but don’t be afraid to drop a strategy if it isn’t working (after reasonable effort) to replace it with another approach or perhaps that wild goose chase turned to reality.