This may be one of the only time you ever really hear me talk about it, but today I want to talk politics. To be clear, I do vote but I don’t enjoy all this nasty back and forth they do up to the voting day or the ridiculous amount of money spent on politics that could be used much better elsewhere. One person I’ve been following, naturally being a business owner, is Donald Trump. What I want to talk about today was said well by a 65-year-old retired teacher in Michigan who drove an hour to see Donald Trump speak this month, on his candidacy (shared via NY Times), Jan Mannarino:
“Even if he doesn’t win, he’s teaching other politicians to stop being politicians. He comes on strong. He could say it gently. But I think no one would listen.”
Wow. It’s a great lesson for politicians, and an important one for us business owners too. Let’s take a look at some lessons presented by Donald Trump and this very smart retired teacher.
First, go ahead and break the mold.
Lessons from Trump: Trump knows exactly what is expected of people in politics, or what’s been the norm, he has to be if he’s considering being president. However, Trump knows that the mold needs to be broken or at least changed a bit if we’re going to have any chance of fixing what’s broken or not working to its fullest potential in this great nation of ours. Beyond that, Trump knows that the mold won’t work for him.
Lessons for your business: The mold is great for someone, but that doesn’t mean it has to or even will work for your business. You can learn how one business, Amazon for example, has been successful, but that doesn’t mean their techniques and tactics will work for you right now or ever. Go ahead and see what their mold looks like, take some lessons from it, and then decide if it’s really feasible for you, your vision, your passions and your community.
Second: speak up and stand out.
Lessons from Trump: Trump is OK with leading the pack and standing out for being difference. It’s never easy to stand out as much as he does, but he seems to be comfortable and certainly unapologetic about it. Whether he wins or not he’s certainly changed politics forever because it’s no longer possible to just quietly say what you think will get you the votes and spend the big bucks bashing your opponents.
Lessons for your business: if you really want to make an impact you have to get your voice heard. That means doing the work to cultivate the relationships and partnerships, building trust little by little with potential customers, spending the money on the marketing and creation/implementation of your services. If you want success you have to make a difference, and in order to do that you have to get the message to people that you have solutions and answers for them.
What lessons are you learning from this year’s political adventures for your business?