In the afterglow of hundreds of millions spent on marketing before and during the Super Bowl, I’m shifting away from the fascination of creating impressions en masse to thinking about the everyday efforts everyday career people make to create business opportunities for themselves.
If you think about it – and I do a lot – the economy hums when those in sales positions actually make sales. Though there are many compensation scenarios, the hundreds of thousands of manufacturers’ reps, commercial and residential salespeople – really anybody in sales – eat only when they have successfully tracked it, killed it and skinned it. What I find particularly fascinating are the personal and innovative marketing efforts people make to achieve or surpass their sales goals.
Over the years, friends and acquaintances have not only run scores of business propositions by me, but also marketing ideas (read gimmicks) to solicit my opinion on the potential success of same. Not all the efforts are good or fruitful – some are downright hokey or weird. Some people do things not so much because they know there’s a direct pay off, but rather their efforts inspire them.
The other day I was speaking with a relatively new friend and business acquaintance about one such effort he makes which, fortunately, seems to be no effort at all, because he loves it. He’s a commercial real estate broker and fellow YMCA of Metro Atlanta board member. He asked me on the phone about his MBA, which caught me by surprise because I hadn’t yet opened his email from the day before. So, I quickly clicked and my appreciation for the hustle of the self-starter was once again satisfied.
I knew since first meeting Sean Moynihan that he was a big reader and lover of business books – you know those tomes that analyze your business environment, motivate you and cause you to ponder your earnings potential. He had sent several different hard copies to me and there was always something to learn or about which to reflect. In a short period of time, I’ve simply enjoyed having Sean as my gateway to what’s trending in the application of business these days. He’s passionate about career satisfaction for himself and those with whom he interacts and that kind of attitude is, well, infectious.
Anyway, Sean determined that few people can give the time needed to keep up with what’s hot in business books, so he created his own template for Abstracts (that’s the A in MBA) on what he reads. The M stands for his last name, Moynihan, and the B is for Book. There you have it: Moynihan Business Abstract.
You know what? I love them. I hit the high notes of Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg and John David Mann – via Sean – in under a few minutes. We’re talking Cliff’s Notes for you and me, about topics that are relevant to our everyday business settings. The authors win too. Not because Sean buys their books in volume and gives them to friends and clients, which he does, but because now that I know a little about what’s inside, I’m not hesitant to purchase them for others.
The fact that I gleaned a few pearls of wisdom from each MBA is a bonus. My favorite from Start with Why is: Leaders never start with what needs to be done. Leaders start with why we need to do things. Leaders inspire action. From Go-Givers Sell More, I liked: Influence accrues to those who become known as the sort of person who is committed to helping other people get what they want.
But those are beside the point. The point is that Sean is creating his MBAs because he enjoys it and it’s a business opportunity – what a great way to start a conversation with a prospect or to get a little name or company recognition in a thoughtful, purposeful way. The fact that people simply enjoy his synopses is a bonus for him.
None of us are going to have the opportunity to drum up business because a commercial with Tim Tebow touts our products or skills, nor will we be able to take prospects for a ride in the Budweiser carriage. Nope, most of us are simply on our own. So it’s the effort around little innovative things people do that creates visibility and relationships which can culminate in sales.
And the more I learn about business, I’m pretty sure this is what makes the world go ‘round.
If you would like to receive Sean Moynihan’s business book abstracts, write to him at Sean.Moynihan@AvisonYoung.com