Father’s Day Insight

I am one of the lucky ones. Although I’m about to turn 50 any day now (but who’s counting), my father is still around to bug me. In fact, it’s one of his favorite pastimes.

“How’s business?” he asks on a near-daily basis. Usually, I actually do share the details because, since I don’t play golf, it’s our most common of grounds. He’s always got plenty of opinions; and the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. One of the reasons I always felt so confident in business is because in the early years, I just repeated things I had always heard him say—and it made me sound both smart and like a bit of a smart ass—but in a good way.

Father’s Day got me thinking about my dad and my business. Had it not been for my dad, I would have been a psychologist, my original major. But, because I grew up hearing so much about customers, employees, management and sales, it seemed like a “no brainer” to avoid graduate school for a few years and get a job in business. Yet, as karma would have it, my interest in human psychology is one of the most valuable things I believe I bring to business—to branding in particular.

Developing a brand that attracts people is all about understanding people’s desires and offering them a way to acquire what it is they want. There are brands that work by attracting what I call our most “base” desires – and then there are those that call to our “higher” selves. I made a decision in recent years that I would only work with those who wanted to create the latter—that want to tell the truth about what they offer in an authentic, meaningful voice—without the layers of
BS (Business-Speak) and sales “jargon.”

As other entrepreneurs know, it takes courage to be authentic because it means you’ve decided you’re only going to attract a certain clientele. It means you have to be confident about leaving others behind. Others that might have had the ability and the desire to pay you, but that you knew, deep down, aren’t the right fit, for whatever reason. In order to strongly attract, you will also repel.

When I discuss these ideas with my dad, he loves it. He doesn’t call it branding; he just calls it “Good Business Sense”. And he enjoys going big with the “repelling” aspect.

“If those SOB’s aren’t smart enough to want to invest in their brands and in their ultimate goals, that’s their own damn fault,” he swears. “If they don’t know what’s good for ‘em, let em die on the vine,” he continues. The rant becomes more colorful as he gets going. You get the gist.

Maybe my dad’s a bit gleeful in his delivery, but I’m glad he agrees with the message. Maybe it’s because he’s the one who started it.

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