I was thinking back to my high school days and wondering what I would do differently if I could go back in time and do it again, and I realised my marketing experience has taught me some valuable lessons that would have made those days much easier on my teenager self. I decided to share these with you, as they aren’t only applicable to high school teenagers, but to your marketing in your business as well:
1) Never go for the most popular pretty girl.
The competition is just too fierce. She has so much choice that she can afford to be extra picky and difficult (which makes her less desirable anyway). Even if you were the most popular guy and she was into you, it would still be better to go for the 2nd or 3rd prettiest girl, who would appreciate you way more. In your market, are you going for the customer who has everyone vying for their business? Often these are the most difficult customers to please.
2) Don’t try to be “cool”, try to be yourself
The coolest people didn’t have to try to be cool, they just were. No matter how much you try, you can’t “be” like someone else better than they can be –you’ll always come second best. The only thing to do is to be yourself to the best of your ability. If you really do this well, you’ll stand out naturally and those who WANT to be associated with the “real you” will be attracted to you. If you are never being the “real you”, those who think they know you will be disappointed when they come to know you and you are never really authentic in the eyes of those who see through the act. Are we letting our own brands stand by themselves and not trying to imitate our market leader or competitors?
3) Don’t let others define your success
At school other people always set the bar for us: teachers, parents and coaches all told us what we had to achieve to be successful. This was all based on their ideas of success – an “A” or “B” aggregate, the 1st team in Sport, Prefect, etc. However, no one knows your own strengths and weaknesses and situations like you do. For some, an A was as easy as 1-2-3 whilst others battled to pass at all. No one taught us to set our own goals and measures for success that were tailored to our own situation, or said it was OK not to be good at everything. No one in business is good at everything, that’s why we have different jobs and roles. We set our goals to be better at what we already do well, and get help for those parts we aren’t good at. Are you letting market norms and external factors dictate your measures of success?
What lessons have you learned in business that you could have used during high school? Please share with us.