Despite the amount of bills and junk mail I receive, I actually look forward to getting the mail. I like sorting the mail to find my red envelope from Netflix and the occasional greeting card surprise from a friend or family member. Recently, I have a new reason to be excited about what is in the mailbox. I signed up to sponsor four WorldVision kids. One could argue these kids need more from me than I need from them, but I am certain the opportunity to learn and grow with them without the influence of media and marketing is something my core is crying out for.
As I sort through the mail, my eye is always drawn to handwriting on an envelope. On a recent trip to the mailbox I received the piece of mail in the photo. As first glance, the standard envelope with no return address inspired the following questions: Could this be my first letter from one of my kids, a letter from an old friend or boyfriend with a confession of love? I tore open the envelope with enthusiasm. As I looked at the copy of an article supposedly sent from someone I know named Cory, my smile faded. This was nothing more than a marketing message of trickery. I actually considered if I knew someone named Cory and found myself getting upset. How dare someone without consideration of my circumstances take my time in this way? What if I was concerned with memory loss and the letter triggered an emotional breakdown of remorse over forgetting a friend and/or conversation? What if there was an unfavorable Cory of the past and the note triggered fear, sadness and/or anger? No matter how I think about it this tactic is dirty and wrong.
We are over-marketed too. Everyone is trying to come up with the latest tactics and tools to break through the noise and be at the top. As I work with clients, colleagues and the people I meet struggling to find their way through personal life struggles and business success I am certain the only tactic worth investing in is a practice of caring. In the mix of caring: authenticity, transparency, understanding and empathy. The willingness to grow should not be a process reserved for an individual buying a self-help book. The willingness to grow should be a process that every company no matter how big or small subscribes too. If recent American economic history has taught us anything it is for certain that cheating and lying catches up with companies in the same way it destroys personal relationships.
How far does your practice of caring go? What does it mean to care about your employees, vendors and customers? How do you care for the people in your life that contribute to your well-being? How do you manage your day and expectations in order to maintain self care?
There are many more questions I could ask here. My point is if you can’t seem to figure out how social media will work for your business and how to evolve to maintain and improve your position in the marketplace it is not because you don’t understand the tools it is directly related to a disconnect in caring about what you are offering and who you are offering it to.