Monday, November 3, 2008

What's your "EQ?"

I enthusiastically assert that I am one of the few people I know who doesn’t dread Sunday night.

That’s because I really enjoy what I do – whether it’s the marketing and advertising hat I wear, or that of the caricature artist (reminder: holiday parties are coming up!), it’s fun to get the old creative juices flowing and keep that right side of the brain percolating.

I get to work with graphic designers, photographers, web developers, printers, media people on occasion (even they have “creative” ideas)…and, for the most part, clients who are willing to try something arresting and engaging.

I mention this – which, frankly has nothing to do with talent but everything to do with attitude and mindset – because every now and then I run across folks who give their 30-second elevator speech at networking groups with a dulled indifference that is disappointing if not downright discouraging.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

Anyway, “enthusiasm” is something that marketing guru Robert Middleton -- -- seems to find in short supply. And that can have dire consequences for those out there marketing their business. Like, er, um, everyone…

“Look at some of the synonyms for enthusiasm,” he writes in a recent entry from his weekly e-zine (edited for brevity):

“Keenness, ardor, fervor, passion, zeal, zest, gusto, energy, verve, inspiration, excitement, vigor, fire, spirit, avidity, devotion, motivation, commitment, willingness, earnestness. ”

"What can you do to generate (enthusiasm) in a society that's become increasingly skeptical, let alone downright cynical?

“1. Fall in love with good ideas. (I was convinced that the next step in my business) was to offer programs at graduated levels. It took me five months to implement it, but the idea took hold and never let go.

"2. Trust your inner voice. If you feel you can do something, feed that feeling. You feed your enthusiasm by sharing your ideas with like-minded, supportive people who are just as enthusiastic about their ideas.

"3. Act as if. I used to call this ‘fake it until you make it.’ When you exhibit enthusiasm, it's contagious and you can become addicted to it. I can certainly think of worse addictions!

“4. Question your unenthusiastic attitudes. When we're feeling apathetic, bored, disinterested, hesitant, stagnant, or fearful, it's useful to ask, ‘What would I have to believe to feel that way?’ Often it's something like: ‘If I really went for it 100% I might fail,’ or ‘I really don't make a difference anyway.’ Are those thoughts true? Probably not.

"5. Take on a huge project. Think of Kennedy's speech: ‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.’”

Okay, this soap box is getting kind of rickety; I better get off and save it for another time. Such as the first Tuesday of next month, for another enthusiastic shout-out of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.