Listen, it seems in 2016 everyone wants to be their own boss. Everyone wants to go out and buy a macbook, chill at Starbucks and look important and trendy. Andy Frisella from The MFCEO Podcast calls that “playing business”. It’s so true though. Every time I pop into a Coffee shop during the day I see all kinds of millenials sitting there in these Starbucks or whatever trendy hipster joint is fashionable in their city. They have a super trendy looking hair cut often looking like the EMD DJ Skrillex. They have some trendy glasses on that scream, “I’m so fleek, yet I try and play like I’m nerdy”. Honestly, I had to look up a super trendy word for stylish and “fleek” popped up.
So yeah, that’s what I see when I roll up to my favorite coffee place. Whether or not these people are actually getting anything done remains to be seen, but as Andy observes on his podcast most of the people like to “front” that they are busy and that they are “hustling”. Yet very few people actually make money on Instagram. There are a few notable exceptions, see Mr. Good Life as an exception to the rule. To be a money making influencer you have to give massive amounts of value. And posting your food pics on Instagram are most likely not going to earn you a comfortable living. So next time you think you are “working” while on Instagram, really think about “am I actually building something through sustainable activity that will and can actually pay me?”.
Ok, so I still want to talk about the “Doing Whatever It Takes” mentality that is becoming popularized by so many thought leaders in the market place. When you hear Grant Cardone or Gary V speak, you might only hear a small sound bite of what their actual message was about. So when these industry leaders say that you have to go out and grind and 10X your activity levels, and “Do Whatever It Takes To Win”, you are also not hearing their whole message. That whole message is “Do Whatever It Takes”, but it was prefaced with the idea of “Do The Right Thing”. Businesses that are long lasting and that provide value to their customers and the marketplace consistently do the right thing. That right thing is typically based off of some sort of moral compass.
Yes I am advocating that there are moral absolutes. No, I am not going to recite the 10 Commandments and preach to you. Rather I am talking about the “Golden Rule”. Yep, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do To You”. All these great leaders I have talked about follow this idea. They do the right thing for the customer with the idea that if they wow the customer, their company will eventually win. Which benefits their employees and themselves as well. Yes, the customer is not always right. It is ok to say no to outrageous demands. But doing the right thing is the right thing to do all the time.
So what happens when people decide to do whatever it takes without regard for whether it’s right or wrong? Well, sometimes these people win. Yep, you heard me. These people through their hours of hustle and dedication can and often do win. They impost their will on the market place and can scale faster most of the time than people who do the right thing. I am talking specifically about E-Commerce selling right now. If you are a clothing company and you have a unique design. You start selling that design that you trademarked, ie- doing the right thing, then it gets super popular. People start to recognize that shirt as being associated with your brand.
Well, then Mr. Do Whatever It Takes, takes notice and decides to rip off your design or product or fill in the blank. He then undercuts your pricing and starts scaling out on whatever platform he decides to advertise on. Well, sooner or later he or she is going to get what is coming to them. Whether it is in the form of a Cease and Desist letter (which sometimes doesn’t work) or a lawsuit or an outright ban of their account from certain ad platforms. These types of people always have to stay one step ahead by stealing ideas and IP, rather than innovating and creating themselves. It boggles my mind as these “copycats” are always reactive rather than proactive.
Yes Doing Whatever It Takes is necessary. I do whatever it takes in my business to make sure my family is provided for and that my customers-partners and their families are taken care of as well. But I also know that Doing The Right Thing in addition to a take no prisoners work ethic, will put anyone ahead long term. So for the benefit of mankind, do the right thing then go Do Whatever It Takes.