When I got into marketing years and years ago, I did it because I was trying to prove someone wrong and prove something to myself. One of my college professors told me that I needed to master their way of “marketing” and that would be only way that I would ever amount to anything in the marketing business.
The professor had very good information for the time and I can’t knock them for teaching what has traditionally worked, however he was almost entirely wrong. What we know as modern marketing tactics, was highly feared and laughed at even not that many years ago when I was in college. I guess that puts me in the early adopter category, not to toot my own horn too much because I passed up on many opportunities that I thought would have never been possible.
I’ve been putting in a lot of thought lately, on what I’ve been most successful in my life and on different projects, businesses, etc and what separates the successful from the not successful.
Does luck play a role? Yes, I think it does but I also think that “luck” is something we can all control. When the fighter knocks out the other fighter, you could say “he got him with a lucky punch”, but in reality the people that know the fighter know that he’s trained that move or combo 10,000 times and “luck” is only a minimal part of the reason he knocked the opponent out.
Does education dictate success? I guess this is the age old question, and I don’t want to get into a debate here on education vs street smarts/alternate education. I think it’s really a combination of the two, that makes a particular business or project successful. You have to have the general background education needed for that industry and all the components that make people successful in that particular business. And, you also have to have those street smarts and learn the small stuff that you can’t pick up from a book or teacher, the things you have to learn on your own.
The biggest thing in my mind this Thanksgiving morning is limitations.
I think the death of a marketer is setting a limitation on themselves. Every project that I’ve had massive success with, I wasn’t thinking “Ok, I want to make a modest $X with”, on the complete contrary I was looking to turn that into the next Facebook (or bigger) in terms of success. When you aim THAT high, and if you fall short, usually you’re going to be one of the most successful in your industry at minimum.
I don’t want you all to go out and set unrealistic goals. That’s not my point here. I think small incremental goals are a great thing. Make sure you don’t limit yourself, that’s all I’m saying. There’s virtually no scale to a lot of the businesses we get into and I don’t want to see any of you settling for mediocre.