What's really bad is those who believe they are NOT dull but, who are!
Their life is one of excuses, "bad luck," and being "out of form." To be really out of form is to not do anything about "lack of imagination" but I ask you this, if you don't have it, how would you really know? Maybe someone (parent? or teacher?) may have said so, which was not really their place, was it? (You only hurt the ones you love!)
IN THE LAST TWO DAYS…
I have received 3 emails from what I call "cardboard cutouts." Two were from out of the country, across the pond. I'm not going to divulge their names but, if you ask them, they are "biggies."
They weren't really being negative, that would require a teeny bit of imagination... they were worse. There is that old axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Think about this, if a person is unimaginative how would they know whether something is broke or not? Worse yet, if by some miracle, say a discovery inside of a cereal package, they discover something is broke, how on earth would they be able to fix it?
Aha, this is where "creeping imagination" comes along... they ask someone else to solve their problem!! What is weird, I dare say, is the unimaginative guy gets paid more than the imaginative guy! As Andrew Martin would say, "Bollocks!"
But the imaginative guy probably won't be the lower paid.... forever, because, he has, imagination.
One friend wrote, "Why is it people will pay $1,000 for an airline ticket, pay $2,000 for a car repair, spend $500-1,000 per night at the Crowne Plaza, and bitch about the price of the room service hamburger there, which is maybe $20.00?"
Here's some weird news. About 15-16 years ago a catalog came in the mail. Illustrations, survival gear and food (I didn't order this BTW). What struck me is that many items were manufactured for this company and they had 15,000 people who WANTED to receive their catalogs, and were on their mailing list! They did not wholesale. Probably the year 2000 was a banner year for them!
Some more. I know of a guy who admits in his marketing letter (unfortunately, he is now deceased) that he had over 100,000 people who were on his mailing list and thousands who paid $197 a year for his marketing newsletter. (I know another company with 20,000 subscribers (how to make more $$$) at $500 per year!!)
I know of another company, overseas, whose owner told me he had 60,000 names on his emailing list but he had trouble with a lot of them ending up in spam filters. He billed himself as the "biggest thing" since sliced bread in the chess business.
I have no trouble believing these people or these numbers. But only two of them, the $197 a year guy (in 1988), and the $500 guy, were truly wealthy and they didn't make it from chess (at all). Gary was extremely honest, very imaginative, bold, and could actually solve problems. At one point he was TWO years behind in work! I know a carpenter-woodworker friend who was 1.5 years behind in making spiral, wooden, staircases. They were perfect, and he was incredible. He works a mile from me. I've been in his workshop. Craftsmanship was his to a T. The fact that he was almost IMPOSSIBLE to get to in terms of having him do something for you, no matter how much the bribe, made him even more desirable. The wood guy? Designed the cover for the original Lasker & His Contemporaries!
I've been too easy to get to and the slings and arrows of war prove it. When I am working all day long in front of my computer monitor and I hear the ding (when, it dings) I answer if it is anything "important." (Hmmm.) When I was running my typesetting studio years ago, I never answered the phone and did not have email. Business, while the typesetting industry was alive, was brisk and worth it. I was not available so that made my company MORE desirable. Customers could get to my office, but not always to me.
The day will happen when I am $$$ wise busy again. At the moment I am putting the foundation on the house of publishing, and I am finishing up the Pillsbury-Gossip book to send to the printer, this week, I hope. Proofing was necessary, and I am glad I did because there was some ginchy stuff!
But while I work, the imagination churns. It reacts to insipid emails from people who could be doing a lot better for themselves, and for me, but who do not want to move ONE THING--their Comfort Zone! When you remain IN your CZ, your imagination rots. I see it all the time. NO GROWTH! I want to grow MY business at the expense of THEIRS... that is, TAKE their customers. That's what I want to do. Those who come along for THIS ride will be favorites and will get more of my attention than the diseased and rotted buggers (I've always wanted to use that word) who do not want to share, even to their own delight because... they do not want to move OUT of their comfort zone.
Recently I discussed this with a very sharp marketing friend. She said, "I know you can use that in a tagline for your business, to their ultimate regret." I do too, and wait for it, the Chess Butler will come alive... just can't do everything at once.
Should you be interested in the Imagination end of things, pay attention to Walt Disney or to Thinkers' Press. Preferably, both. Before Steve Jobs passed away, he owned 7 percent of Disney and was on the BoD. His Pixar company made WD&C a lot of cash. Jobs had imagination and Disney had the imagination to know it. A deal was worked out, both were happy.
When I read Marketing Books by successful marketers (there are lots of unsuccessful ones out there who tell you they were successful... once) one plaintive cry keeps coming out, "You have to beat people over the head to get them out of their comfort zone and use their imagination and then convince them that something is fun, or good, or profitable because they will resist every inch of the way while telling you, 'No, I'm not resisting.'"
They say it takes one to know one. I am glad that imagination has taken over my life once again. When you are young, you are imaginative. Then family, job, and all that other stuff takes over and squashes you. As Paul Newman said at the end of The COlor of Money, "I'm back!"
Do us both a favor, MAKE a commitment. Come to the Fall Chess Clinic ($265). Don't tell me you are, you will, you hope to... I already have 5-6 of those, move those people out of the way, get in IN FRONT of THEM. Today. No more goofing off. No more waiting for your wife or girlfriend (your favorite excuse) to say "yes." No more wondering whether you will get a BETTER offer at the last minute. Get off your butt and do something. If you want a list of hotels to stay at and that is what is slowing you down, just ask and I will give you three PLUS their phone numbers. Or if you send me $300 I will make the calls for you!
PS: I've thought of writing a book on Excuses, or WHY people can't do something. Why Decisions are so hard (funny, almost NO one tells me it is price). I was talking to my PR lady the other day and she agreed, lots of folks have trouble manning-up or womaning-up any more. No balls while saying to everyone who will listen, they DO have balls! Fear of making a bad decision, fear of airlines, etc. Are we being run by fear?