Bright glimmers of hope are starting to radiate from what had been some ominous, dark clouds of an economy that looked to be in retreat. Jobs continue to be created, industrial production is nearly back to its pre-recession levels, blue-chip stocks have re-couped their losses, and consumer confidence is finally climbing. These are the glimmers of hope that show an economy on the rebound. You can see the data that backs up these points in last week’s Wall Street Journal column, The U.S. Economic Recovery Shows Signs of Accelerating, but Still Has Lots of Ground to Cover.
Make no mistake, a recovery is on the way. It’s time for each of us, as companies and people, to get up off the ground, dust ourselves off, and get back in this fight. Fear still has many companies and people frozen however. But the best way to kill fear is to completely commit yourself to your goals, plans, objectives with intensity and passion.
The best strategy of all is to double-down on what you stand for and who you are. It’s time to revisit your marketing manifesto, both at a personal and corporate level. Why? Because when the rebound gathers more momentum and hits, it will be too late. It’ll be like trying to get in shape for a very long, fast race when the starting gun goes off. Now is the time to get in shape for the rebound. That’s why you need to consider your own marketing manifesto for You. Inc. And even if you work for a company today, your own marketing manifesto is even more relevant – because in the end each of us are actually in business for ourselves, regardless of who signs the check. Here are five ideas on how to get started:
- Define yourself by your competencies, expertise and passion and forget about titles. When economic growth hits full stride and this rebound fully takes hold, the people who will be excelling and benefiting from it will be the ones paying the price right now of working to excel at their jobs, not hunkered down in a bunker somewhere. Continually learning, striving to excel, working to create value for customers, that needs to be part of anyone’s manifesto right now. The best marketing is based on solid, real results. The results of people who are now choosing to pay the price of extra effort will be the ones way ahead when the rebound fully takes hold. Titles come and go, but who you are and what you stand for, and your willingness to excel – those last a lifetime.
- Kill Fear With Passionate Goals. It amazes me, how many of the students have in classes have exceptional analytical and writing skills. Yet they sit in class, silent, not sharing what their brilliant minds are thinking. The majority of them are Asian and Middle Eastern young women who, being new to the United States and from cultures that taught them to be silent in groups, are afraid to say what they think. They have such potentially amazing careers ahead of them if they could just crush the fear of speaking that holds them back. Go find your passionate goals in your career, and in your life, and use them to kill fear now. Life is too short to go around being so afraid.
- Be relentless in your pursuit of intelligence and knowledge. Make no mistake, when the rebound hits the people that will be getting paid the most and progressing the fastest made the decision months or even years ago to pay the price of being experts in their fields. In whatever shape the economy takes in the coming months and years, your titles from this year or years past will not nearly be as important as what you know. How quickly you can solve complex problems, the value you deliver, your ability to avert problems for your customers – all great skill sets that come when there is a passion for continual learning and the pursuit of knowledge. It’s not where your diploma is from either, it’s how passionate you are about learning over the long-term and your ability to translate that into results that matter most.
- Hit the gym and start training for the rebound – you’ll think better and be stronger. The excellent article this week in Scientific American How Exercise Jogs the Brain makes many outstanding points about how increased energy supply allows the brain to work faster and more efficiently. As part of any marketing manifesto, there must have energy to propel it forward. Working out and making yourself stronger for the rebound is key.
- Realize economic fatalists and pessimists love company – choose to say “no” to them and “yes” to your goals and the vision of the future you want to make a reality. A truly great marketing manifesto makes the decision to say “no” easy because there is a much bigger, compelling, valuable and important ”yes” waiting to get done. Say “yes” to your goals and define yourself by them. The fatalists want to see economic failure to make their theories correct. Refuse to ride on that train of thought, find compelling goals, objectives and create a manifesto you can be totally committed to instead.
Bottom line: With an uneven yet promising recovery on the way, now is the time to define who you are, both as a company and a professional, creating a manifesto that gives you many more reasons to say “yes” to your goals and “no” to the naysayers, negative, pessimistic people who may drag you down.