The inspiration for this article came from a Perry Marshall marketing piece. Its title was: "What are you fighting for?"
It went on to give a history lesson of America in the 1860's: "all the saber-rattling between the North and the South was about, you'd probably get a complex answer about "states' rights". Or he might ramble on about the question of whether the Union was a permanent and indivisible contract or merely a loose confederation that could be dissolved at will."
It then went on to explain what the answer would be in you asked a current American: "It was about slavery."
While the complicated arguments about "states' rights" and the "definition of the Union", loyalty and family were very important, that was not what the conflict was about at its simplest and most important level.
Marshall: points out that "Six hundred thousand people would not have given their lives for complex, constitutional arguments but they would and did die for the simple, yet profound cause of "setting the captives free". Independence. Democracy. Freedom."
We do not agree with his revision or history, but do accept that that is the message that survived in the popular history. Why? Because of the communication skills and savvy of a smart President Lincoln who knew that this simple message had to be delivered in way for all to understand and rally to. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and The Emancipation Proclamation, were his attempt to bring clarity to the message. THIS is what we're
fighting for: All men are created equal...People are not property.
That's a message people can get behind. Defend. Fight for. Die for.
So, what are you fighting for, Perry Marshall goes on to ask.
He them argues that you need to be able to state your message in simple terms. Simplicity is the friend of good marketers. He goes on to share three examples:
- If you don't have a Unique Selling Proposition, I'm not sure you really have a business at all. The well-crafted USP is an elegant simplification. It's a one- or two-sentence condensation of all the complex features and benefits, products and services you provide. It's the irreducible core of what you do. Don't have one? Then you don't know what you're "fighting for" and your prospects don't either.
- Gary Halbert, perhaps the greatest direct response copywriter who ever lived, often wrote copy that a third grader could understand. Dick-and-Jane simple yet profoundly compelling and seductive. If your copy is complex, it's killing your conversion rates. Guaranteed. (My www.PerryMarshall.com/grade tool gives you immediate feedback on this. I use it on my own copy.)
- And Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle and The 80/20 Manager, believes that simplification is the only way to insure sustained and profitable growth over the long term. Not differentiation. Not lower cost. SIMPLIFICATION. (Much more on this in the days ahead).
Mr Marshall then goes on to pitch an upcoming course that is based on Parotti's 80/20 principle. We like the 80/20 principle - in fact we have written about PFactor, as we call it but we wish to talk about another P today.
Lincoln had passion for his cause.
Lincoln's followers had passion for their cause.
Historians have focused on that passion. Passion and the ideas that fuel it are stronger than property or possession. They truly are!
So what is your passion? Are you ready to incorporate it into your business, your message and your results?
Are you ready to show part of your soul?
Are you ready to say:
- We are making the best sausage in town!
- We are making the best burrito's in the county!
- We deliver business plans that deliver results!
Or is that too dangerous for you? Too likely to make an enemy of a former competitor or neighbor or colleague?
We leave you with the words of Winston Churchill: "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
So if you want to achieve something, you have to be ready to upset some. Good luck with incorporating your passion into your business.