Why Calvin and Hobbes is Right About Business

Apr 19, 2013Work Uncaged


Cartoon credit: http://bestofcalvinandhobbes.com/2011/10/a-swifty-kick-in-the-butt-is-for-sale/ (And a thanks to Thomas Umstattd who showed this cartoon to his mastermind group in January).

I had a conversation with a friend of mine who probably didn’t know his words would affect me so. He said something like, “It’s not about what you think folks need, it’s about giving them what they actually want.” So simple, yet so profound.

And the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon perfectly illustrates this. He believes folks need a swift kick in the posterior, and that may be true, but people will never think they need that. They need joy. They need hope. They need money. They need a coach. But not a kick.

I’m thinking a lot about this as I put on the finishing touches of my sexual abuse book. The book is for those who want to be set free from that kind of victimhood. It’s about walking the path of healing. Which can be scary. I need to remember that what folks want is wholeness, hope, change. They don’t want finger pointing. They don’t need to know, yet again, that they’ve failed. They need a pathway out of the pain.

This helps me even as I speak. I don’t need to berate my audience with their problems, but offer hope for change, to paint a picture of a life truly uncaged, blessedly free.

Because we seldom grow based on reacting to a negative experience. We grow when we’re wooed toward a better end.

So remember that when you’re selling something, or offering a product or talk for others. Don’t give folks what you perceive they need (this makes you out to be the know-it-all-guru). Instead, offer hope for what folks can be (this makes you out to be a fellow pilgrim on the same journey).

Q4u: What do you think? How have you tried to offer people what you think they need? How/why have you changed your thinking?