sly : marketing

I had to walk away to find the true meaning of life and marketing

sign one way driving

I’ve been outside all day. I woke up at 4 am. I got dressed, I walked outside, and that’s it. I’ve been walking ever since.

I have no idea what time it is, or where I am. It’s been dark, I’ve seen a glimpse of the sun, and now it’s dark again. I’m wet, but I’m still warm.

I didn’t consider what clothes to wear. I just had to get outside. I was dreaming. I got a brief look at the future. I was still the same man. I looked the same, I behaved exactly the same, and it was like the future was just like the past, until I turned around and realized that a crowd of people was looking at me. Hundreds of people staring at me, without saying a single word.

The boy on the far right, he looked exactly like my dad – from the pictures I’ve seen from his youth. The girl next to him reminded me of my first love, a dark haired girl I was too shy to talk to. The woman just behind them, she looked like one of my teachers. I realized that I had seen all of them at different times in the past. Hundreds of people from my past, staring at me. Their eyes. Their faces. Their mouths. They looked angry.

I could see some of the people in the back holding signs above their heads. The signs were white, and in big black letters, the signs stated:

– My name
– My age
– My education
– My work

Nobody said a word. They didn’t have to. They were just standing there holding the signs.

No feelings.
No emotions.
Just facts.

I started running. I was running away from the facts. I didn’t want my life to be about:

– my name
– my age
– my education
– my work

I’ve been sharing the wrong things. I love emotions. Emotions are the only reasons I ever feel happy. It’s how I feel loved and it’s how I feel safe. Emotions are about love and honesty. Emotions creates trust. And all I’ve been sharing with the people who really care… are the facts.

I woke up.

I had to get outside. I had to start walking. I had to calm down.

It’s hard to walk when it’s all dark. But it’s even harder to market when you’re only selling the facts.



52 responses to “I had to walk away to find the true meaning of life and marketing”

  1. Yes, we are more than just a machine a robot. We have value with our emotions to connect with people. We are not a name or a number or our education. The facts can be delivered by anybody, but it is the heart in which it is delivered that makes people comeback time and again. The love, trust and honesty people build with others. Great perspective of what we all should aspire to.
    Mary

  2. Carolyn says:

    Brilliant and powerful, Jens! You have such a talent for grabbing the reader’s attention and staying in the moment. Amazing.

  3. Josh says:

    I love the new look. Very clean and inviting. It makes the graphics pop.

  4. Bill Dorman says:

    Clever story, and the meaning was so true and distinct.

    You probably don’t remember the American TV show Dragnet, but Detective Gannon I believe, famous line was ‘just the fact ma’am.’

    I take that to mean push marketing instead of pulling people to you and engaging.

    You need to quit walking in the dark or people are going to think you are ‘that guy.’ It will take a while to bail you out from the US………..

    • I have heard of Dragnet, but I have never watched the TV show. It’s all about pull marketing, that’s the thing and when we’re talking about emotions that’s when it gets powerful and scary. That’s why we keep buying the new iPhone or iPad even though the one we have is close to perfect 🙂

  5. joe says:

    Read Altucher confidential. At first I was disturbed about his writing but now I look forward to his posts. He bleeds on the paper. Thanks for the post.

  6. Lisa says:

    You just taught me a great lesson as I can tend to be a “facts” person. I’d be real careful walking in the dark again too.

    • I believe most people are talking about the facts instead of opening up and telling a story and making an impact. We need to understand how to make a difference, and the only way we’ll be able to make a real impact is when we’re real people talking about things that matters.

  7. Jens, this post is pure gold. You should submit it to other publications, because it should be seen and read by many. By far the most impactful, important post you’ve ever written, in my opinion. Great look on your site. Even greater writing. Cheers! Kaarina

  8. Jens, I was so excited to see this post! We are all here on the planet to make a difference in our own unique way. If we forget that and get too focused on just the facts and we dilute the message only we can bring.
    Woot! More like this Jens. 🙂

  9. Dee Ankary says:

    Jens,

    This was an amazing post. Very vivid.

    I agree with the previous commenter – you should submit it for publication somewhere.

    Gave me goosebumps …

    Have a great, full of emotions day

  10. joseph12 says:

    It is a very awesome post.Thanks for sharing it.

  11. I enjoyed your post immensely. The writers I enjoy the most are those who share emotions in their stories. You did this so well here in your post. Enjoyed.

  12. Adrienne says:

    Ah, the master at work. Love this post Jens and you do know how to capture our attention.

    I also agree that I want to be remembered for who I am and how I was able to touch people. About the relationships I’ve built, that’s what means the most to me.

    • That’s what I’m saying to. We are all unique, but if we just focus on the facts, we’re not that much fun are we? It’s so much more interesting to understand how we make others feel. I want to make people smile and I want them to be happy, that’s the impact I want to have on other people 🙂

  13. Sergio Felix says:

    Hey Jens, you just reminded me of Tim Ferriss my man.

    On his book he says he did not enjoy the cocktail question of “what do you do?” because it ties a job description to a self-description.

    Something I can completely relate to.

    Sergio

    • Wow, that’s a huge compliment. Tim Ferriss has become a legend. I was actually asked by a six year old boy today, what’s your job? I told him that I was a clown at a circus, and that I was doing tricks on the backs of elephants. He laughed and he had never expected me to say that, and it was the best job in the world. I thought that I could never have explained to him what I really do, so I made up a story instead 🙂

  14. Awesome Jens!

    You Do have a way with words and just like someone above mentioned, this could easily go as a best seller short-story writing post! And yes, it the words hold the attention of the readers right till the end. 🙂

    And yes, walking at that time would surely get your imagination running. 🙂

  15. Garen says:

    Very creative piece of writing. Kind of can relate to this post as I ran one of the top hosting review sites on the net for about 2 years. Life was good and I relized I had been successful; then everything came crashing down. Made some rookie mistakes, but nothing I can’t overcome. I had repeat dreams of my Dad telling me to never quit and once again started to become successful.

    As I read your post over and over again I realize, my education, age, and the negative influences around me pushed me and for that I am thankful.

    Garen

    • Hi Garen,

      I’ve made all the rookie mistakes as well. But the thing with mistakes is that it’s all about the mind set. If we think of mistakes as part of the learning process, then mistakes will only be a good thing. That’s how I see it. The more mistakes we do, the better we’ll become 🙂

  16. Aayna says:

    What an engaging post this is!!! The way in which you have woven the entire post is indeed very creative. I agree that emotions are the only thing which keeps us alive. In the similar light, an emotion less marketing is a sheer waste of time and can never create an impact in the mindsets of the customers. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

    • Hi Aayna,

      That’s awesome. Thank you so much for the feedback. Emotions are very powerful and when we understand how much impact we can have on people by manipulating emotions, we also understand how much power we as marketers can have. It’s actually a little scary 🙂

  17. richa says:

    Hey Jens
    This is a great way you have put up things, very engaging and informative as well. Marketing is not only about facts. If we are dealing with humans, there has to be an emotional side to things. You just have to hit the right nerve of the target customers. That way you will never be out of their mind.

  18. You know what I love about this post, Jens?
    It’s so damn simple.
    But, so powerful.

    Life.
    I hear all sorts of things about life – on how we should live (not the ethics, not more on success and personal development).

    And of course, I myself have endorsed a lot of these things.

    Such as living life to the fullest.
    Or living life to the moment.
    Or planning for tomorrow.

    All sorts of nonsense (or is it really?).

    Sometimes, I think.

    Why.

    What’s the purpose?

    True meaning of my life? Did I just come to this world just to do the things I am doing now?

    What’s the meaning of this life?

    Sometimes, I just get all too serious and say to myself “Why should I worry about all that?” (let the philosophers handle that, right?).

    Ah, life.
    Ah, emotions.

    Everything is so simple.

    But, yet so complex.

    • Hey Jeevan,

      I’m sorry for the late reply. But I’m finally here, and that’s also part of life, living life at the moment and focusing what’s important right now. Juggling family and business isn’t easy, especially when we’re trying to build a business and do everything right on all levels in life.

      Sometimes I think that we should be chosing what we want to accomplish in life in order to just focus on the important parts. When we try to do everything we’ll just end up failing in many aspects. But, that’s the hard part, what’s important in life?

      To me, emotions have become a lot more important than facts. Emotions is what makes me feel happy and sad, and it’s the same with marketing. Emotions sells…

      Thanks a lot for your aweosme comment Jeevan.

  19. Tim Bonner says:

    Hey Jens

    This is what I love about your writing. You can tell a story and make it so gripping. At the same time, you always have an important message for us!

    It’s certainly an impressive thing to be able to do. I am a facts kind of guy but maybe in my next post I’m give the story-telling a go and use my imagination for once.

  20. dipa says:

    Everything about this story is amazing-from the word Go! You have caught the attention of the reader right from the first word. Very few bloggers have that ability. Thanks for sharing this with us. You have conveyed a very deep meaning through this insightful share.

  21. Fatima says:

    Effective selling happens when people can relate to a product or service emotionally. You can list down numerous practical uses of a product but they will be weighed down by all the emotional affiliations that users have with that product. Appreciate the way you have put it down. Thanks for the great share.

    • Hi Fatima,

      Thank you so much for the feedback. Most people are talking about facts, but like you, I don’t think facts are what sells, most of the time it’s what emtion we have with the product that makes us buy.

  22. Kristine says:

    Hello Jens, you never fail to amaze me with your candor and your expressive posts 🙂 Marketing can be extremely challenging given that competition can be tough. The ability to stand out takes a great deal of conceptualization, planning and a load of creativity! Thanks!

  23. Oliver Tausend says:

    Hi Jens,

    wow, what an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing it.

    The ability of feeling and expressing emotions is a huge asset that many people regard as a liability:”You’re too emotional.”, “It’s all about facts and figures.”…blah blah blah

    If we decide something intellectually, chances are our emotions won’t follow or support us. On the other hand, if we decide something emotionally in a moment of joy and happiness, we still have to deal with the longterm consequences when the good feelings are gone.

    Well, your post gives me something to chew on.

    Best,

    Oliver

  24. Nawaz says:

    By reading your this post I admit that a writer only market the facts but for marketing purposes a variety of products is required.

  25. Joy says:

    Thanks for the engaging share Jens, you really do have a way with words. Making a lasting impact is definitely the key in achieving success in marketing, plainly stating facts will not get us anywhere.

  26. Sonia says:

    Jens you always know how to tell a story and get others to look within. This was brilliant, you are a brilliant story teller. How is the family doing?

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