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Article is syndicated from Web-Source.net.
Syndicated articles are written by independent authors and the contents represent the author's views. The content of the article does not necessarily represent the views of Company Web staff and management.
By Doug Hudiburg Copyright
UNSOLICITED ADVICE AND A HOT IRON
I recently returned from a vacation. I was
fortunate enough to leave the heat and
humidity of Memphis and go back to my home
state of Colorado and spend time with my
extended family. While I was in the laundry
room ironing a shirt, my Mom walked through
and said "are you going to iron that
Of course, I immediately thought "what
is this, I have to get ironing advice from my
Mom? I'm a grown man, I think I can handle
something as simple as pressing wrinkles out
of a shirt. I have, after all, ironed a few
shirts since I left home for college nearly
20 years ago!"
I started getting irritated and grumbling to
myself that there is no such thing as ironing
backwards. "Hot iron, ironing board,
wrinkled shirt, what difference does it make
from which direction you approach this simple
And then I paused, and realized, my Mom has
been ironing shirts her whole life. In fact,
she was a home economics teacher. She
*taught* people how to iron for a good
portion of her teaching career. This is a
woman who knows how to iron. Who am I to
argue with an expert?
So I promptly stopped and realized that if I
turned the shirt around and got on the other
side of the ironing board, I could much more
easily complete the job because the cord
would not be constantly getting in my way.
All was well in the laundry room as I was
reminded, once again, that it pays to be open
to new information.
This experience helps to illustrate a key
concept that has a lot of value for
Always send your shirts out for cleaning.
It's worth a couple of bucks not to have to
stand in front of an ironing board. ;-)
Nah, just kidding. True as that my be, I
actually do have a relevant concept to
discuss with you.
FIRST AN EXPERT...ZEN A BEGINNER
Zen Buddhism is credited with bringing us a
concept called "beginners mind."
Zen masters refer to beginners mind as a
mental state or a way of approaching the
world around you that allows you operate in
an open, learning mode all the time just like
you are when you first start a new endeavor
as a rank beginner.
Part of the reason that it works is that a
beginner knows nothing and they *know* they
know nothing. So they do not approach a
subject with a predefined set of biases.
Everything a beginner learns is knowledge
that adds to their knowledge base.
As you become more of an expert, you filter
the input based on your own personal
knowledge. This is natural and helpful. If we
didn't filter some input based on our
existing knowledge, we would constantly be
overwhelmed with data. The problem is, if you
take it too far, and become so much of an
expert that new knowledge cannot reach your
consciousness, then you cease to learn.
You have absolutely flattened the learning
curve, or maybe even started to see it
decline because your mind is so full of facts
and knowledge that there is no room for
Alright, so what does all this have to do
with marketing? The best way to approach
marketing is to stay open to new concepts and
new ways of doing things.
-> EXPERT MIND, STAGNANT MIND
I firmly believe that lack of a beginners
mind attitude is what causes leading
companies (small and large) to lose their
marketing edge. From a standpoint of
beginners mind, the worst possible place to
be is #1 in your market. If you are in this
position, you have to fight hard to maintain
your edge and keep the rest of the pack at
Take a step back and think about ways to put
your existing biases and knowledge aside and
find ways to approach a subject as a beginner
If you are a market leader, look for ways to
cultivate a non- expert attitude within your
marketing team. If you are low on the market
totem pole, look for ways to capitalize on
the fact that the market leaders are likely
to be the last to see new solutions to old
problems, you have the advantage of beginners
Good luck in cultivating beginners mind, and
until next time... happy marketing.
About the Author:
Hudiburg, Author, Marketing
Consultant, and publisher of the
Daily Marketing Ace.
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