This is a piece of wisdom which is very useful for people who are selling their own stuff – either their own products and services… because it helps you deal with the inevitable rejection which will occur from time to time… through putting things into perspective.
In fact… scrap that… this wisdom is useful to anyone who happens to be alive… and interacting with other people… which must apply to a few people out there.
And it also shows that you can learn practical wisdom in the most unlikely of places… I learnt this from an article on the life of the British comedy great, Bob Monkhouse (1928 to 2004)… who was a kind of British Bob Hope.
Because back in the 1950s he was the absolute king of British T.V. and one week he read a magazine survey where he came out on top as the most liked man on T.V… and, unsurprisingly, he was on a total high for the rest of the week.
But then the very next week, he read a different survey in the same magazine, saying that he was the most disliked man on British T.V… and in total disbelief, he was thrust down into the pit of despair… and he couldn’t understand how he had gone from top to bottom in the space of 7 days.
Until, he had the good fortune to come across an article in a psychological magazine (he obviously read a lot) which helped to explain what was going on.
You see… according to this psychological research… in life 30% of the people you will meet will actively like you, 30% will actively dislike you, and the remaining 40% will be largely indifferent to you…
So for Bob Monkhouse, in the 1st magazine survey, all the people who liked him had voted for him… and in the 2nd magazine article, all the people who disliked him had voted… which explains the very different results in the space of a week… and from that day forwards Bob Monkhouse decided to focus his energies on those people who liked him… his fans… and forget all about trying to win over the “others”, who never going to be on his wavelength.
Indeed, a lot of people spend their precious time and energy trying to win over people who are not wired to be their friends… rather then focus on those people who are their true friends… and I saw evidence of this time and time again during my 3 years at University.
But for the internet marketing person, the important thing arising from this research is that this is also true for what we create and sell… our products and services… the ones which we have spent long hours creating and crafting and promoting… and so are close to our heart, and leave us open to the possibility of rejection when people don’t like what we have created.
The thing is… not everyone is going to like them, or get them… it’s a simple fact… no product or service is universally liked.
But if that is the case… and here comes the Big Idea.. don’t waste your life swimming against the flow, and trying to convince the 70% that they should really love you… instead, focus on the 30% who do get you… life is a whole lot easier & fun when you start doing that… and same for your products and services as well… not everyone likes Harry Potter.
But… having said that… enough of the 30% who do “get” J K Rowling turned out, bought her books, and made her a very rich woman… and all because she remained true to herself, and didn’t try to be someone else. So nowadays, I focus on the 30% of the cake / market which resonates with me… and happy to let the 70% go to people who are able to best serve them. And if there are 7 to 8 billion people on the planet right now, even 30% of the cake is enough to make someone very, very rich.So that is the Weird Wisdom of Bob Monkhouse… thanks Bob!
Below, one of Bob Monkhouse’s last TV appearances on The Parkinson show… where he joked about the prostate cancer that was killing him… (and one year after his death, he had arranged to appear in a series of commercials warning men about the cancer which had killed him… a class to the end and after).
(c) Brian Parsons September 2016