"In this new connection economy your success is no longer about your ability to simply do what you are told, and do it well."
~ Adapted from Seth Godin

“In this new connection economy your success is no longer about your ability to simply do what you are told, and do it well.”
~ Adapted from Seth Godin

Keys to Success from Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s book, The Icarus Deception, does an excellent job of describing how the business environment has shifted from an industrial economy to a connection economy, and with this shift comes a new set of criteria for what creates success. As he describes it, competence is no longer enough. Why? Because there are too many good people out there who can do the job just as well as you, and probably cheaper. What is essential for success now is trust, connection, and surprise.

Because it is so easy these days to send out thousands of emails, or put up a slick website and promise the moon, people are much more reluctant to believe advertising copy. Instead, they are looking for who they can trust. Not that an online presence isn’t important, it is, but only as an introduction. Once you have established that you do indeed have the credentials, skills, and/or experience that they are looking for, now the question is, can I trust you? Are you looking to sell me something or are you wanting to help me in some way?

Of course, just saying “trust me” will almost guarantee that they won’t. However, seeing that other people have trusted you and that this trust has been rewarded is a good place to start. This is why review sites have become so popular. Next, you have to be someone that people can trust, which means at least part of your mission must be focused on what you can do for others. Once you have the “social proof,” meaning that other people have vouched for you and you are clear about how your product or service will be helpful to others, then it’s about your connection with them.

This second concept is important for two reasons. The first is the fact that we are all so much more connected these days thanks to the advent of the internet and mobile devices. This means that your information needs to be able to be accessed by a mobile device if you want to participate in this new economy. While this is important, it’s not enough. Being accessible on the web is what is known as necessary but not sufficient.

The essential element of connection is really how you connect with people. How do they feel while interacting with you? Is their initial level of trust enhanced or diminished? Are they eager to connect with you again? Given that there are so many people at least claiming to offer the same service/product that you do, this ability to connect with people will either set you apart in a positive way and have them recommending you to their friends (more connections), or send you to their “junk” drawer where your attempt to connect becomes an annoyance.

While the first two secrets are important and need to be established in order for you to be considered as their “go to person” when they are looking for your particular service or product, this third and final secret to success is the most powerful. Part of the reason is that it is so uncommon. However, you can turn this into an advantage by surprising people with what you do and/or how you do it. For example, when people ask me what I do, I tell them that I help people access their best in any situation by accessing a specific part of the brain, to which they almost always respond with “Really! Tell me more.” or “Wow! How do you do that?”

This initial “surprise” sets me apart from all the other psychologists, speakers, coaches, consultants, etc. Of course, I must continue to meet their expectation of someone that connects with them in a meaningful way, and someone that they can trust. However, I am now no longer competing with all the other professionals out there who deliver services similar to me because of that initial “surprise.”

So, what are you doing to connect with people in a way that inspires trust, and what is your surprise? What sets you apart from everyone else? Now that we are no longer just cogs in the wheel of a large organization… no longer just doing what we are told in exchange for “security,” we must recognize that we are in a new economy, and therefore we must be willing to embrace a new criteria for success. The good news is that trust, connection, and surprise are all components that are within our control, which puts our success where it should be… in our own hands.

~ All the best, Dr. Bill