Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is Anyone Honestly Honest?

Is it possible to grow from zero to 500,000,000 customers in 6 years?

The answer is yes.

The answer is Facebook.

Based on the sheer number of registered accounts, it is the most successful social networking company ever.

Let's look at another one: Starbucks.

Most of their customers are unaware that Starbucks is nearly 40 years old. Founded in 1971.

Today Starbucks has over 17,000 locations worldwide.

Step back in time to 1962. That's when Sam Walton opened the first Walmart. Last count was 8500 stores in 15 countries.

One more blast to the past: 1940, the year the McDonald Brothers started selling burgers. Now they have over 31,000 stores around the world.

These are just three companies that came to mind as I was thinking of Mega-Success Stories.

Each one of these grew because they had the money to grow.

A couple years ago I read the book, McDonald's - Behind the Golden Arches by John Love and learned the struggles and near bankruptcy that McDonald's went through in the early years. (The book was published 25 years ago and McDonald's is one of my clients.)

Each of these companies have had to fight the temptation to rip off their customers. And each have had their share of controversy in their lifetimes.

Many people misquote the Bible, "Money is the root of all evil", and then proclaim a gospel of poverty as a more honest way of life.

Let's clear up the quote.

From Wikipedia: The phrase derives from a saying attributed to Jesus in the Apostle Paul's First Epistle to Timothy in the New Testament: "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV). The expression is commonly misquoted as simply "Money is the root of all evil". A more accurate rendering from the original Greek may be: "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil," (New American Standard Bible).

Ah, ha... It's not money, it is greed and what how people act out their greed that causes the evil.

So, back to the question, Is Anyone Honestly Honest?

Look at the motives, look at the heart. Everyone is tempted. The small business owner is tempted to pay someone under the table. The millionaire is tempted to sock away assets in an offshore account.

The man in poverty is tempted to rob, steal, even kill for money.

Temptation does not always result in bad behavior. It 99% of the temptations we face we overcome. The same is true in the business world.

So what does this have to do with marketing, and advertising?

Advertising is the paid form of marketing that you buy for your business.

Marketing includes advertising and everything else related to your business and that includes you and your staff.

Are you honest? Look at your motives.

Is it okay to want to earn lots of money? Look at the motives behind it.

If you let greed take over as you primary motivation for making money it will fail eventually.

If your primary focus is on helping people by selling them a product or service, and set your prices and fees accordingly, everyone wins.

Enjoy the Holidays.

1 comment:

  1. I asked a few friends their Christmas wishes. Many mentioned success, continued growth of their organization, profit etc. The thing that gave me a warm and fuzzy was most also mentioned their motives were to use the profits to help less fortunate. Is it my friends or the tone of our culture?