So my wife & I are driving down the road – back to my house after making a trip to the hardware store for some round-the-house chores – this past Saturday afternoon and traffic is just a mess…can’t tell if there’s a stalled car up ahead, an accident, whatever…but it’s moving a little s-l-o-w. As with times like these, my mind begins to wander off (more than usual) and I begin to mentally plan out my day (alright, get home…walk the dog…don’t forget to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home…get to that office project I keep putting off) when I get suddenly jolted out of my head space from what sounds like pre-teen girls excited that the Jonas Brothers just pulled up…!
I looked over to the right, and sure enough, there they were: 5 girls (girl scouts to be exact) holding up pink and yellow homemade signs, mixing it up with the cars as they strolled by at a snail’s pace. Two were chanting ‘C-O-O-K-I-E-S – THEY’RE Y-U-M-M-Y! We Got Em’!’ while the other few were working the crowds and just being…like kids: screaming, jumping up and down and doing just whatever they could to make people pull over to buy some girl scout cookies. One was chatting it up with a car that had a senior couple, while the other two were just smiling and waving their signs, chiming in when they could about how ‘nutritional’ their cookies were.
They were ADORABLE. So adorable, in fact, that we made it a point to pull off the road and go out of our way to buy a few boxes (I’m quite fond of thin mints myself) – do I need em’…?….no…in fact, I am supposed to be getting a few more boxes from a niece that happens to be a girl scout herself. I believe I’m supposed to be getting those delicious treats later this week.
But this brings up a couple of points that I’d like to make:
- The More Authentic You Are, the More Unique Your Message Will Be: Everyone is doing what they can to get some attention (did someone say #skittles …?) and it can be a little unnerving because there are ALOT of folks out there just making themselves a nuisance. But when you speak from the heart or from a place that just comes naturally, people pay attention to that. Why? Because it’s unique, it’s real and it’s you.Those girl scouts sold oodles of cookies because they were just being themselves, having fun and mixing it up with the locals. Can you imagine if they had gone against their instincts and tried a more ‘professional’ approach to selling their goods? It would’ve never worked – people have places to go, cheaper cookies to buy and a much more convenient place to get em.’
- Take Advantage of The Panic That is Sending People to the Hills: It’s scary when you consider that fact that people are losing their homes, their jobs and, in some cases, their minds in the middle of this economic freefall. But you’ve got to find it in you to see that as people are ‘ducking and covering,’ they’re basically giving you much more of a clear view of everything around you: OPPORTUNITY.The girl scouts probably made a KILLING on Saturday. Whether they planned on the traffic moving as slow as it did doesn’t really matter – they used it to their advantage and rocked it out in sales with their charm, enthusiasm and energy. It’s easy to give yourself some time off these days and lay low – no one will fault you for it…heck, most everyone will understand. But if you nudge yourself just enough to take a peek outside, you’ll see that, more than likely, your brand of umbrellas is coming back in style. And the rainy season is about to start.
So, whether you sell widgets or expertise, now is the time to take charge of the market. Take charge like a lion does his den; like a queen bee does her hive; like Roger Staubach did with the Dallas Cowboys – with grit and leadership. And seize this moment like those girl scouts did this past Saturday – with originality, creativity and without airs. Just like you.