The keynote speaker at Inman Connect New York this year was hotly anticipated, and marketing guru Seth Godin did not disappoint. From dips to purple cows, he took the audience through what he called “ENT” words, as an homage to the late guerilla marketing expert Jay Levinson, and his words sparked excitement and motivation.
The keynote speaker at Inman Connect New York this year was hotly anticipated, and marketing guru Seth Godin did not disappoint. From dips to purple cows, he took the audience through what he called “ENT” words, as an homage to the late guerilla marketing expert Jay Levinson, and his words sparked excitement and motivation in a crowd ready to hear about how they can become and stay relevant in the changing world of real estate.
Watch him on stage at ICNY while he talks about:
And several other words that can help you navigate through the murky waters to find your niche and demonstrate your value.
Please see the entire transcript of Seth’s talk below:
Are you a linchpin? Have you found your tribe? Meet the man who made purple cows famous. Welcome the bestselling author and marketing guru, Seth Godin.
Thank you. Thank you Inman. Where to start? Can we start by agreeing that golf is the worst spectator sport? (Laugh) There are two reasons for this.
The first one is nothing good ever happens. And the second one is that if something good does happen you’re not allowed to rockisly applaud.
There’s this thing they have called golf applause which is a weird oxymoron. If you could just give me the weirdest, quietest, wimpiest, worst golf applause you can muster please. That was terrible. Thank you. (Laugh) Can you double it? Can you double it one more time? And one more doubling. (Clapping) Beautiful. Thank you.
That’s what you do for a living and that’s what I came to talk about. I came to talk about this idea of finding small threads of interest, small threads of people who care and connecting them and amplifying them and making them into something that matters.
Now I wasn’t in the woods 20 years ago when Brad started Inman but I was at one of these a long time ago. And the world has changed dramatically since that one. And what I did today was bring with me some talking points about this new normal because anyone who thought it was going to go away 20 years ago or 15 years ago has been proven wrong. But I also want to argue that the technology isn’t going to be fundamentally different going forward. It’s just going to have different flavors to it. So if this is the new normal, if this is the world we live in what is important?
My colleague who passed away a couple years ago, Jay Levinson, used to talk about the E-N-T words. So as a tribute to him into guerilla marketing that’s what I want to talk about. A whole bunch of ENT words. Accomplishment, development, experiment, excitement, on and on. So let’s just dive right into it.
The first word I want to talk about is Assessment and what that has to do is this. It means looking at the world as it is not as you want it to be. I don’t know if you’re like me and you grew up with bats and dinosaurs but if you did the internet is about to give you a wakeup call. Because if you take a picture of a bat and turn it upside down it turns into a badass. Here are three bats that are getting ready for bed except they’re actually at a cocktail party. (Laugh) And so I think that for the rest of your life you’re never actually going to look at bats the same way. This seems sort of silly until we think about how much it could cost you to be wrong.
I have on my desk up the river in Casings on Hudson this box from Pier 1 and the contents of this box cost me $40 billion. And I am not exaggerating. And I’ll tell you how it happened.
In 1991 and 1992 I had something you did not have. I had access to the internet. And there was no worldwide web then. There was a little bit of email. There was Archie and Veronica online databases. I was a book packager, sometimes a freelance writer and I would, I had written an article about this internet thing. And it occurred to me that I should write a book about these cool things that were on the internet.
So working with my colleague Lisa we put together a book proposal. I found a book publisher who paid us $50,000 to write a book called Best of the Net. I hired six people to work full time for six months. We made this book. This is the t-shirt inside the box. This t-shirt was for the salesforce to go out and promote the book Best of the Net. It went on to sell 1,842 copies. It was a complete and total failure.
During that same period of time with the same resources I had two guys in California named David and Jerry saw what I saw but they didn’t write a book about it. They started a website called Yahoo. And I figure my half would have been worth $40 billion. (Laugh) And all I got was this lousy t-shirt. They saw what was possible. I didn’t. I saw what I wanted to see. They said there’s a blank slate and we have leverage and we have power. I said I have a factory that makes books.
What should I make? And you are in the same situation. On one end if you’re really saying what about your current state of your industry ask a travel agent what might happen next. On the other hand if you don’t think you have the leverage and the power to make a difference go look at what some of the other folks on the internet are doing in terms of making a difference. We have more power than we know.
So the second ENT word I want to share with you is Development because you’re going to make choices going forward. And I want to argue that we are in the middle of a revolution. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these. It’s called a record album. And I show it to you because in 1972 the record industry was perfect. Right? If I had a record and I liked it a lot I’d wear it out I’d have to buy another one. Or if I loaned it to you I wouldn’t have it anymore. I’d have to buy another one. Where would I buy another one? I know. A record store. There used to be these buildings you’d go to to pay money for records. And how would you get there? You would drive. Right? And the driving to the record store you’d have the car radio on. We used to have these boxes in our cars that played music that the music industry wanted us to hear that they didn’t have to pay for. And we had Rolling Stone and we had MTV. It was perfect. You couldn’t help but succeed.
Now we all know what happened. It only took five years. The industry went from perfect to impossible. Every record ever recorded to anyone who wants to listen to it who has a smartphone for free at any time. More music than ever before but the music industry is over. It’s gone. That’s what revolutions do. They destroy the perfect and they enable the impossible. And if we are living in a revolutionary time, a time where the industrial age is going away with the age of scarce information is going away and entering a time of connection you’re going to have to figure out what you want to invest in because you understand what it means to invest in a tangible asset like real estate. But you are going to have to invest in what you do and how you do it. Maybe with money, maybe with time, and mostly with effort.
So the next ENT word is Moment. And moment has to do with what’s going on in the real time world. So what we know from the National Association of Realtors a few years ago more than 80% of people looking for a broker to list their home picked the broker who calls them back first. That is the single greatest success factor in getting listings. Call people back first. So the question is how can you reorganize what you do so you are present in the right moment? One big commercial insurance company in Seattle called me. They said that they had ripped out their voicemail system for a big firm. It cost them $2 million. So that 24 hours a day if you called them on the phone a human being was going to answer. Was it worth it? It changes everything when you are in the moment.
Another example, a guy I know is in the business of organically killing weeds in the city in Pennsylvania. Well he told me that the way it works is this. Wife says to the husband, his words, wife says to the husband get rid of the weeds. Husband says sure, sure, sure, doesn’t do anything. Next week wife says get rid of the weeds. He says I’m going to get around to it. The third week she’s pissed off and he realizes he better fix it. So he calls every single weed killing firm he can find in the yellow pages. The first one to call him back gets the gig. Right?
Well this guy used technology to scan every property map by satellite in the city to figure out the price before you called him on the phone. So instead of taking three days to give you a price he does it instantly on the phone. But not only that but he understands that you have neighbors. So when he sends the guy out to do the job he sends him out with a stack of Frisbees. And on each Frisbee is an address on the front and on the back he writes the price. And it says I’m in the neighborhood fixing your neighbor’s lawn. And as the guys driving down the street he’s throwing Frisbees out of the car landing on people’s lawn. So Bob gets home from work says there’s a Frisbee on my lawn, picks it up, his business grows.
The next idea is one that you probably heard me talk about before which is this idea of permission, the privilege of marketing to people who want to be marketed to. Right? One way to get married is to go online. Click, click, click, swipe, swipe, swipe, propose to every single person you meet. This is a stupid way to get married. It is much better to go on a date. And if it goes well go on another date. Wait till the third date before you’re out on parole. And then you meet their parents. They meet your parents. You get engaged. You get married.
It worked for me. Maybe it’ll work for you. So why aren’t you dating your prospects? Why are you only showing up when you think there’s a listing that’s imminent? Why are you only showing up when someone’s about to buy from you? Here’s the deal. What permission means is simple. Would they miss you if you weren’t there? If you didn’t send out that email blast, I hate that word. If you didn’t send out that email blast would someone call you up on the phone and say wait I didn’t hear from you today? What’s going on? It’s this idea of showing up with anticipated, personal and relevant messages. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t be persistent.
It’s not the persistence of bothering people. It’s the persistence of being there. The persistence of saying this is what I do. You know better than everyone that you can track the value of real estate by the number of brokers. That as soon as real estate values go up people enter the field and as soon as they go down people leave the field. But you know who wins? You win because you keep showing up, because you are persistent in your presence. Technology isn’t going to change that.
The next ENT is the idea of building of movement. Bob Marley did not invent the Rastafarians. He just showed up to lead them. And these spots are available to you because you are local and because you care. Charlton Heston invent the idea of tribes 5,000 years ago. (Laugh) A tribe is a group of people who are connected by a costume, by a ritual, by an approach, by a point of view. We grew up with only three, a spiritual tribe, a work tribe if you’re from New Jersey, and a community tribe. But now the tribes are everywhere.
So we’ve got the red hat ladies in hundreds of cities around the world having a few drinks over lunch and getting uppity. Right? We’ve got the red hat guys who go to Hawaii, pay $15,000 to enter the Iron Man triathlon even though they know they’re going to lose. Why do they go? They don’t have water where they live? They don’t have bikes where they live? Why go to Hawaii? They go to Hawaii because the other red hat guys are there. Or these red hat guys who train all year round in Portland for the big day. You know I don’t get this mindset. This is a fan thing. These guys I understand. Right? 50 years of showing up, of looking each other in the eye, of standing for something together. So let me show you how deep this runs.
You’re a fairly competitive group so I’m going to time you. Ready? Go. Okay stop. Seven seconds. Seven seconds. That is a Marriott Marquis record. One group, one group took 28 seconds to get it in sync. I was sweating bullets. (Laugh) But it always works sooner or later.
Here is the question. How did you know which cadence to clap? Some groups are fast clappers, some groups are slow clappers. It took you seven seconds to get in sync. I made no eye contact. I didn’t say everybody follow me. How did you know? You knew because people like to be in sync. People like to do what other people are doing. Look around the room. Is anyone in a prom dress? Anyone in a tuxedo? How did you know what to wear today? Was there a memo? Right? You knew what to wear because you’re good at that. Because we’re good at figuring out what people like us are doing.
So here’s the question. Who in your community, and I don’t define community by zip code, I can define it by whatever someone thinks of as their community. Who in your community is showing up and leading, in connecting people, committing to the community challenging to go to the next level, being clear about it over and over and over again intentionally building a culture? If you want to understand marketing today in only seven words here it is. This is what it means when we market.
When people like us do things like this the person who establishes that culture is marketing. And the person who leads us going forward is the person that we need because they are the connector. So if you think that you are in the business of revealing cleverly concealed data in the moment to people who need it because there’s no other way to find it you are now mistaken. There is no longer a shortage of real estate data. It’s over. Our long nightmare of the shortage has ended and you have all the real estate data that you want. We don’t need a middle man to help us find the data. We need something else and you are perfectly positioned to be that something else.
Another way to think about this, nobody gets a Suzuki tattoo. (Laugh) And so you get to decide today if you want to be in the Harley business or the Suzuki business. Harley takes disrespected outsiders, aligns them, gives them a badge, and makes them feel like insiders. Harley made more money last year from clothing than they did from motorcycles because they decided to, because they needed to make something change. Alright?
So, the next big idea, another ENT word. The opportunity to be different. You’ve all seen this. It’s the bell curve. Some people call it the normal distribution because the two standard deviations, 92% of the people in any population are normal. They’re in the middle. The outliers, the weird ones you don’t have to worry about. There’s only 7% of those. So what everyone pushes you to do is be normal. Get normal clients. Have a normal car. Have a normal wardrobe. Get normal listings and just be in the center. Fit in more than everybody else and you will be fine.
And now something is changing because bit by bit, day by day, inch by inch the curve is melting and there are more people outside of normal than inside of normal, more weird people than middle of the road people. The reason is simple, because if you give people a choice they will take a choice. If you like Jamaican polka music you can listen to Jamaican polka music. It doesn’t matter if Tower Records carries it or not because there isn’t a Tower Records anymore.
This young woman right over here she goes fly fishing with a friend for the first time. She has a great time so she goes to the big box models. Right? They sell two fly fishing rods. She buys the expensive one. She’s done. That’s normal. But today you go online to Fly Fishing ‘R Us.com and they have 400 fishing rods, including a lightweight bamboo left handed fishing rod made by monks in Belgium for $700. She buys that she’s weird. She’s over here. And what we have discovered in the last ten years is this. Normal people are ignoring you. Normal people have chosen to be normal because they don’t care. But at the edges, every one of these brands worth more than $1 billion. Every one of them for weird people. Right?
None of them said everyone come use this thing. They said people who care come use this thing. And eventually more people will use it. But for now we’re going to talk to the people who care. Which means you are forced to segment. You are forced to pick who you are for. That changes what you do all day. It makes you stand for something. It creates an environment where you must plant the seeds where they will grow and walk away from the place where they root.
Totally interrupting that thread is this idea of agreement. That we’re all so eager to close this thing and get on to the next thing that as soon as get an inclining of a yes we’re done. Okay we agree. But it’s in that moment when that person is truly interested that we get to bring all the tension to the table, all the buts, all the things that might not work, all the stuff that if we get it over with now we can actually build a real connection. As opposed to glossing it over and racing across town to do the next thing.
Now what about consistent? Jay used to say you should only change your ads not when your spouse is tired of them, not when your employees are tired of them but your accountant is tired of them. And what we are faced with here in this ever new now, this world of online blogs and everyone else is going to tell you what the next thing is, the next thing, is, the next thing is, we race from one thing to the other. But the people who are winning have a consistent focus to the kind of work they are trying to do. They don’t say I’ll do this for two weeks and if it doesn’t catch on I’ll switch to another platform. They show up and they show up and they show up. Which leads to my next one, the super important one, management.
Most of you work for yourself which means that most of you have the world’s worst boss. And what you need to understand is if you are working for the world’s worst boss you need to speak up and say wait a minute. How am I training myself? How am I deciding to do next? Am I slave to whatever has vibrated this box in my pocket recently? Because if your agenda is being set by this it’s not your agenda it’s somebody else’s. It’s the crowd’s agenda. It’s getting in the way of keeping you from being potent. Right? Yet potent means that there’s actually some sharpness to what you’re doing and you’re not just everywhere a little. You’re a few places a lot. If your motto is hey you can choose anyone and I’m anyone you’re in trouble.
Because in the old days hey that meant I had to get in my car and drive across town. I’ll take you. But now I haven’t even left my living room yet. I’m one click away from the next person and one click away from the next person. If the motto is we’re just a little cheaper you are signing up for a race to the bottom. And the problem with the race to the bottom is you might win. Worse you might come in second. And so sort by price is the enemy. Sort by price is a game you can never win so you don’t want to play it.
So a little story. This one’s sort of true. My, about, how many? Fifteen years ago I planned a trip for my wife and our two little kids. My wife has transportation narcolepsy which is a fictional disease she got shortly after we were married. (Laugh) And I know it’s fictional because if there’s a really good movie on the plane she doesn’t fall asleep. Anyway, we planned this trip to France. We missed a flight, we missed a connection and for 17 hours my kids had been making a ruckus and for 17 hours my wife has been asleep. And we’re in the car. We’re driving through this pasture. It’s a beautiful day.
And I realized finally the noise in the backseat had subsided. I figure my kids are asleep. And I look in the rearview mirror. They’re not asleep. They’re staring out the window at this perfect specimen of a cow for about three seconds. And then they went back to making a ruckus. You know why? Because cows are boring. If you see one cow, five cows, a hundred cows they’re all the same. Right? No one talks about cows. I was in Omaha talking about this seven weeks ago and after the talk no one came up to me and said I like talking about cows. No one talks about cows. (Laugh) But what?
What if that cow out the window had been a purple cow? That’s a special effect. I’m going to do it again. What if it had been a purple cow? If it had been a purple cow I would have pulled over. Right? My wife would have woken up and what’s going on. She would have gotten out the camera and taken pictures of the cow to show her friends. I would have gotten on the phone, called transatlantic to tell my friends I’d seen a purple cow. And my kids, my kids would have ignored me as usual, opened the door, run across the street, jumped over the fence, and rubbed the side of the cow so that they could tell their friends at show and tell two weeks later about this thing. So what’s a purple cow? It’s remarkable. And what does remarkable mean? Worth making a remark about. So let’s go through the scenario.
Someone moves in. Two weeks later they have their old college buddy come over for dinner. The person is admiring the house. Does the homeowner say, “Let me tell you about the person who sold it to me”? Because if they don’t your work isn’t remarkable. Not in that situation. If someone chooses to make a remark about what you do then by definition the word spreads. And if the word spreads all the SEL in the world doesn’t matter. If the word spreads all the pricing doesn’t matter. If the word spreads you have a chance to connect. Oh Inman Connect. Yes, this is the connection revolution and we win with two things, trust and attention. And you don’t get attention by yelling at people. You get attention by having people talk about you.
They will talk about you when you make a statement. Do you have a point of view? Do you stand for something or do you stand for nothing? It’s not surprising that most people don’t have a point of view because we live in a country where this is a real sign. Who else’s risk are you supposed to play at? (Laugh) It means saying no what I do is not for you. Thank you for your call but I will not be able to help you. That’s very interesting. Here’s a phone number of someone who I trust and like. My competitor who will be happy to lower his price for you. No that neighborhood isn’t what I specialize in. No and no and no because I stand for this. I don’t stand for that.
And so when you call on people and they object, when you try to make something happen and they give you an argument the answer isn’t to win the argument. The answer it to listen, to understand why it’s not for them because there’s a big difference between selling to everybody and selling to someone. That we got trained a long time ago to be obedient. And we need to think about what it means to be a student and to come up into a system.
A quick little experiment if we could. Raise your right hand as high as you can, please. Thank you and now raise it higher. Hmm. What’s that about? (Laugh) You learned that when you were three or five or seven and twelve from teachers and parents and coaches who realized that once you gave everything they were going to ask for a little bit more. Right? And then you got bosses and you got quotas and you got sales and everything else. Always hold a little bit back because the industrial system, the system that invented public school, the system that said we need you to sit still for eight hours a day with a number two pencil, the system that said we are training you to be an obedient Todd wanted you to so that then they could ignore you.
Because if they’re ignoring you they can go ahead and win for them. You don’t need to be a cog in this vast system. We have built all of these leverage points for you. An enormous amount of leverage and just a few people are using them. Just a few people are showing up and actually saying something. The number one use of Twitter is reading tweets. The number two use of Twitter is retweeting. Right? That it’s so hard to say something original, so hard to say no why don’t we think about going this way.
So one way of thinking about this is this. When people talk about you what do they say? If you’re not in advance confident of what you want them to say how is it likely that you will be pleasantly surprised when you hear what they say. On the other hand if you say I need to live up to what they’re going to say it changes everything.
About five years ago the boiler system in my house completely stopped working. I appreciate the sympathy. And I called four different venders that I could find that were nearby. And the first guy shows up and he rings the doorbell and he says, “One second. I need to put on these little surgical booties.” And I said no, no, no you’re just going to my basement. It’s right here. He said, “No. I insist. I don’t want to track anything into your house.” And he said, “But before I go downstairs while you’re up here waiting for me just hold onto this.” And he hands me three page stapled 8.5 by 11 sheets with two columns, twelve point probably Times New Roman font. Two columns listing my neighbors by name and their phone numbers. More than a hundred of them. He says, “Just look that over. I’m going to go look at your boiler.” So while he’s downstairs I’m looking. There’s name after name after name of people I know with their phone numbers. And he says, “Just call anybody you want.”
Do you think I waited for the second bid? This is someone who has devoted his entire career to this moment. To being able to do a job in a way that would make me eager to say you can add my name to that list. So that what you get to do is document this series of wins, document the fact that you showed up in a way that you’re eager to talk about. It means a commitment to more than just doing the next deal. It’s the difference between management and leadership. Management, which is important but not what we’re talking about. Management means getting what you got yesterday but faster and cheaper. Management is the act of getting compliance. Leadership means saying to your people we need to go over there. I’m not sure how we’re going to get there. I’m going to need your help to get there. But that, over there, that’s where we’re going. We are making a change happen and we are making it together.
Which leads to this idea of enrollment. You cannot lead people against their will. You lead them when they enroll in going where you want to go.
So here’s a sort of sad story with a good ending. Until recently in the United States four million dogs and cats were killed every single year. Four million by the ASPCA and the Humane Society. Their job was to take dogs and cats off the street and kill them, usually within 24 hours. My friend and colleague Nathan Winograd went to work for the SPCA for San Francisco. He had no authority. He had no budget. He was not in charge. He saw what was happening and he stood up and he tried to change it. He went to the city council and they turned him down. So instead he went to the people of San Francisco. Not all of them, just some, some weird ones. Not all the weird ones, just a subset of them. And he got enrollment. And in less than 100 days San Francisco became the first no kill shelter in the United States. Not one healthy dog and cat has been killed in San Francisco since that day by the SPCA. (Clapping)
Some people say well sure it was San Francisco. Nathan left there and went to Tompkins County New York outside of Ithaca and did it again. Then he went to Raleigh, North Carolina and he did it again. And then he went to Reno, Nevada and he did it again. And now hundreds of cities around the world are part of this movement because one person said, “Follow me”. You are in exactly the same spot except you have way more leverage than Nathan Winograd ever did. Way more leverage. We’ve given you a megaphone. We’ve given you a microphone. We’ve given you the ability to sing if you want to sing, speak if you want to speak, write if you want to write.
You have to make a decision about whether you’re the establishment or an insurgent. Because the insurgents are going to keep trying new things. The establishment is going to say don’t change it. And your community is going to smell on you whether you’re interested in being involved or not. You’re involvement doesn’t mean can I get to one more open house because that’s not a scarce resource. We have an unlimited number of people who are willing to go to the next open house.
No, what we have to realize is we have an instrument and we have to take care of it and we have to imagine how to use it to play the music that hasn’t even been written yet. And part of it is you want people to hire you for your judgment, for your taste, for your ability to see what is possible and to connect and to lead, to build trust and earn attention.
Now it’s easy at a conference like this to say okay I get it. The industry is changing. I need to improve. I need to embrace this. Where do I take it next? But it’s too soon. It’s too soon for me to launch this innovation. It’s too risky for me to shift from this to this, to change my business model completely. It’s too soon. I’ll let other people go first. Isn’t it interesting that when Guttenberg launched the printing press 93% of the people in Europe, his addressable market, were illiterate. And it takes years to learn how to read. He should have waited until they learned how to read. Not only that reading glasses. 10% of the market needed reading glasses, which has not yet been invented. He should have waited until they had brought those to market. And Barnes and Noble there were none of them. It’s a stupid time to launch the book. He did it anyway.
When Karl Benz launched the automobile it was against the law to drive a car in Germany. He needed this letter from the king to be allowed to drive his own invention. Not only that there were no roads. Not only that there were no gas stations, a real problem. And worse there were no all night drive through liquor stores. (Laugh) He should have waited.
There is a really big different between being ready and being prepared. All of you are prepared. None of you are ready. It is impossible to be ready because ready means you’re sure it’s going to work. And you can’t be sure it’s going to work because you’re going first. Because you’re in the business of making an experiment. There’s another word for an experiment, Art. Right?
Art is what I call it when a human being does something that might not work. When a human being does something personal for another human being. Here, I made this. Can we connect over this? So let’s break this into bits a little bit.
Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending Staircase early 1900s causes a riot. This is clearly a work of art. Pablo Picasso 10,000 paintings and sculptures, works of art. Jackson Pollock without a question an artist. But Jackson Pollock had a brother. His name was Charles. This is a painting that Charles Pollock did. Charles Pollock was a painter. That’s why you’ve never heard of him. Charles Pollock painted copies of the work of Thomas Hart Benton. We don’t need somebody to paint. We’ve got plenty of painters. We need someone who’s going to go out to this other edge. Joseph Boyce didn’t use paint. He used fabric. He was an artist. William Shakespeare was an artist using words.
Here’s how I think about it. Back to Marcel Duchamp. Marcel Duchamp installed an upside down urinal in an art exhibit, 1917. Caused a riot. This is art. The second person to install a urinal was a plumber. (Laugh) And that’s the choice on the table here at Inman today. You can leave here committed to the life of an artist or you can leave here ready to do more plumbing because we need plumbing but plumbers don’t play with the same palette, the same rewards.
Six weeks ago I was in a village outside of Shenzhen called Dafen in China. And in Dafen they paint one-third of all the oil paintings in the world. In this little tiny village they just paint all day over and over again. You can buy anything you want there. This is the Mona Lisa $29. It’s not worth the Mona Lisa. It’s not worth $29. Right? It’s a copy. Why would someone hang this in their house? Right? Because the fact is it’s not art. It’s merely a painting. So what we need to think about if this simple question. What is our best work for? And it turns out the answer for your client on either side of the transaction, the people you work with. Your best work is to make change. And change, Harley Davidson changing outsiders into insiders, Apple computer changing people from not having good taste about digital stuff to having good taste about digital stuff. (Laugh)
That’s what they get everyone hooked on. Right? Change has an ugly, evil step-brother and his name is tension because people push back against change because it might not work. It’s having to live with the idea of it might work and might not work at the same time. Which means that the big MENT, replacement, has to live large. Will we miss you if you were gone? When you show up is there excitement? Not drama but excitement because something great is about to happen, something anticipated, something wonderful is right around the corner. You could put on that show. You could put on that uniform. It’s open if you want it.
So when you think about what people measure, if someone’s arguing with you about the price that’s just because there’s nothing interesting left to talk about. That low price is the refuge of the marketer who’s run out of imagination. That what people really pay attention to is how does it make them feel? What will they tell their spouse? What will they tell their boss? What will they tell the neighbors? Those are the things that we’re in the market for. So, yes, the market is going to fragment and you can be part of it if you want to. Some of you have seen this video of the free hugs movement. Pretty funny. This guy hates it because he worked really to be in the expensive hugs business. Right? And then these people show up and they want to give it away. Guess what? They’re not going away. Here they come. All these people are going to ignore what you worked so hard for.
Because if all you’re doing is standing in between data it’s not going to make a difference. Yes there’s going to be disappointment as an artist but that’s okay because you can match it with encouragement. The encouragement of your mastermind group, the encouragement of your mentors, the encouragement of people you will see today that you can sign up to keep in touch with each other about. That your job is to create engagement. Not the engagement of ads with babies in them or with people who are too cold running an open house. Maybe if you have babies with saran wrap that would be different or triplets really works. (Laugh) But the, what I’m talking about is people eager to hear from you. And when you screw up will you own it? Because if you do we’ll be closer still. By big chance to put a French MENT word in there. A rapprochement created, thank you, created because you cared enough to do it. You can’t blame somebody seeing the wrong colors here. They see the colors they see.
So here we go. I can talk about enjoyment and how we’re going to judge you and accomplishment and entitlement but I’m going to skip over those and talk about your ability to create astonishment, your ability to create amazement. When you do those things as the leader people will choose to endorse you. I am not naïve enough to think this is going to be for everyone.
There’s a lot of people you give them a mile and they will take an inch. Right? But maybe you will see this differently. That you realize that if you can become aligned with the people you serve so that your win and their win are the same they’re going to want more of it. When they are enrolled, when you amaze them because you show up with understatement and overwhelm them with amazement, when you realize that you can increment the process day by day by day to make a bigger and bigger impact. Brad talked earlier about Uber having one ride the first day. Well of course they had one ride the first day. How many rides could they possibly have the first day but one? That’s where you’re going to start. But it’s not where you’re going to end up.
So, yes, along the way things aren’t going to work which lets me talk about my top ten favorite movie Singing in the Rain. In the movie Singing in the Rain in the epic scene Gene Kelly does this song and dance number in a downpour. What you may not have realized until right now? He had an umbrella the whole time. (Laugh) But it’s not called Singing with an Umbrella.
It’s called Singing in the Rain because the rain is the point. The vulnerability is the point. The ability that you have as an experienced mark veteran to show up and look people in the eye that’s the point you can make a dent, the shortest ENT word there is, a dent in the universe if you want but you might not because you’re afraid. You might not because our culture is filled with warnings. Because the resistance is saying to you keep quiet, don’t raise your hand, don’t show up. An alligator will bite you. You’ll fall off the building. A shark will land on your house. (Laugh) But what I’m arguing is instead we could fly higher.
So the last slide I’m going to show you is this. It’s my favorite one. Every three years there’s a conference called the Solvay Conference. They invite physicists from all over the world. The best physicists there are. Right? Here’s the 1927 conference. There are 29 people in it. You may recognize there’s Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Neils Bohr. It’s said that Eisenberg was there but it’s uncertain. The cool thing about this photo is that of the 29 people in it 17 won the Nobel Prize in physics. And almost all of them won if after the photo was taken. You didn’t get invited because you won the Nobel Prize.
You won the Nobel Prize because you got invited. So the question is when is your Solvay Conference? When is the place you’re going to be where you are going to choose to make this difference? You’re already successful. But as my friend Shalane says will you choose to matter? It’s really easy to look at the doom that’s coming of the traditional agency model and say oh boy we’ve got trouble. (Laugh) But I think it’s way more interesting to say I have the passion to show up and lead. (Laugh) I hope you will. Thank you for your attention.
(Clapping and cheering)