So, as Fall Week comes to a close at Surprise Central, here's the lesson emanating from yesterday's diatribe about my Corvette:
It Pays To Stand Out
"Generating Surprise" is a tactic. It's an incredibly effective one, and the inspiration for this blog, but just a tactic. It belongs to the greater strategy of "Attracting Attention." And that's a key strategy to survive in today's hyper-competitive biz world. Other than the CIA, I don't care what business you are in--going unnoticed is the highway to going broke.
Back to the Vette for a second. My office at Airborne has an underground garage with a dangerously steep driveway that peaks and opens onto a bar-and-restaurant-filled pedestrian mall called Prince Arthur Street. I have two cars, a black Jaguar X-Type and the aforementioned Vette. When I roar up the driveway in the Jag, nobody gives me a second look (unless I almost run someone over at the top). I am anonymous.
But when I do the same in the Vette, all the action on the street freezes. The car is a retina-magnet, a conversation starter, a target for pointed fingers. People instinctively gather around, start to chat, give me the thumbs up (for some strange reason). It adds at least five minutes to the journey every time I leave work.
Such is the power of drawing attention, of standing out.
And remember, this car is close to a half-century old. Most people on the cusp of 50 are starting to slow down, to gravitate towards beige and boring. The Vette shows that audacious old guys can still cut it. To that end, I saw two older gentlemen this week. One wore a shapeless pair of khakis and an off-white, long-sleeved polo shirt. The other wore a navy blue sport jacket, red flower in his lapel, and an aqua blue cap.
- Who do you think attracted more eyeballs?
- Who would you think has better tales to tell?
- Who would YOU rather hang out with?
Rhonda Byrne made a fortune with her book The Secret, which she says "reveals the most powerful law in the universe." That law is one called The Law Of Attraction.
But as much as you wait for it, Attraction doesn't come on its own. You have to draw it out. You have to be the worm on the hook, jiggling for the eyes to bite.
And the only way to do that is to stand out from the crowd.
Not everyone can drive a classic Vette. Or wear a turquoise hat.
In fact, it can be quite intimidating trying to stand out. But it can be done.
Lemme put it another way--it MUST be done.
I'm taking the weekend off, but next week, I'll be back with a short primer telling you how to do it.
Right now, I'm off to take the car to its winter resting spot.