Narrative connections

No Shortcuts

No Shortcuts

We won’t allow failure, yet we are failing them. You see, I figure there are countless parents who could not bear the idea of their children getting a poor grade. They sit at the kitchen table and make sure the kid gets all the answers correct or that their project looks professionally done.

We rarely send our kids off to their room to do their homework without help. And when the parents aren’t around, Google steps in to give them the answers. Either way, it seems as though we’re not arming the next generation with the kind of self-reliance and resilience needed to be successful.

We have been slaves to results in the 21st Century. Everything from quarterly calls to student report cards is about the result rather than the intrinsic knowledge that comes from committing to a process. Too often, marketers shy away from investing in the kind of trust building activities that don’t offer immediate results. They are under the watchful eye of the corner office. Results are all that counts.

Whether we do our kids homework or relegate marketers to counting pennies rather than building a relationship with the marketplace, we’re weakening their resolve and curbing long-term effectiveness. The bottom line is that there are no shortcuts to true growth.

Just as our kids must find themselves through trials and tribulations, marketers must be allowed the opportunity to learn through experience and earn the trust of a community. The process is difficult to commit to because of the magnetic pull of immediate gratification. But the magic exists in the journey.

Self-esteem is earned. Ultimately, a kid will know if an “A” he received wasn’t truly his. And over time, the world will let him know he really isn’t as special as mommy and daddy say he is. His place in the world will need to be carved out by him and only him. He will need to fall down, dust himself off and learn things for himself.

Learning–real learning–comes over time and includes real experience. You cannot learn by having the answers provided to you. And you certainly cannot learn if you are unable to invest in getting to know the market intimately. In turn, we must allow for growth by optimizing our businesses for relationships rather than results.

Publishing affords us the chance for growth. It is a mechanism for learning and taking the time to understand. In the past, media was an object you would consume, like a hit record.

Today, media is something you do; an action you take, something that you’re a part of. In fact, great brands are now acting like media companies and utilizing the publishing process to deepen their understanding of the market.

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Mark Potter

Founder / Consultant

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