This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are you pissing off the right people?

C'mon, look at this face. Who do you think I'm pissing off?

"Who are you pissing off?" That's the question that's sticking in my mind since hearing the keynote presentation a marketing consultant gave this weekend at a meeting I attended on Saturday.

Let me be frank. It's hard for me to consider this question. It really is. I don't like to piss people off, though I've certainly been on the recipient end, as I'm sure most of us have. And I know I've pissed people off before, but not necessarily on purpose. Still, when this guy asked that question of a group of us Arizona speakers, it certainly got our attention.

Seeing as I'm in a transitory state of mind, rethinking my business model and what I have to offer the world, I'm thinking I now have to consider the uncomfortable question. I have no choice. Not only am I curious about who I should be pissing off, if I'm not already, but I'm wondering exactly how I might do that effectively. Go figure! I'm also wondering if this might be something you want to consider for your business. It could be a little liberating.

You see, according to David Newman, the question has everything to do with how well you know your business, right down to knowing not only what service you're offering and why but also who will be your very best market to receive that service and how will you reach them. He said when you take a stand on what topic you're going to pitch or sell to others, you should be pissing somebody off.

You can't be "middle of the road," he said, "that's roadkill." Your business won't go anywhere if you remain in a neutral position. In other words, you want to own your expertise. The niche that follows will not only be yours and yours alone, but it will also be more valuable.

And that's going to piss someone off. 

He asked us to pair up and discuss the idea with a partner. Once we did that, he asked us to share what we learned. A writing consultant said she pissed off authors who think they know it all. They really don't want to be edited. Yet, it's clear their copy needs improvement. Oh, the arrogance! Another marketing consultant in the room said he pisses off general marketers by having a niche market that nets him more work and more money than they earn. Well, why wouldn't they be upset?! As for me, I had a hard time deciding who I pissed off purposefully and what it might mean for my business if I did come up with a list. After all, the writers I hang out with make a point of trying not to burn bridges. We don't want to piss people off. Newman's idea veers off from that philosophy, doesn't it?

Then again, I don't want to be middle of the road but am not sure which way to turn right now. It's equally as uncomfortable. But I know I won't get too far without solid footing. Taking a stand, of course, sounds like a very good idea. While pissing people off seems a little, well, off. I'm not so sure about that.  

One thing I am sure of...I'll be thinking about it this week as I continue assessing the next steps in my career. Who am I pissing off? The more I think about it, the more I think this is actually going to be a fun experiment. It'll be like getting in touch with my "inner child," the little girl who marked up the basement walls in crayon when I was five years old. After I was forced to clean that mess up, the wall looked better than ever. Now, that's an interesting prospect.

What about you? Who are you pissing off these days?  


Stay tuned for more detail about pissing people off and why it might be good for your career. David Newman has agreed to chat with me further about this later in the week. I'll either post the transcripts or the audio. This should be interesting...

8 comments:

Tia Bach said...

Love this!! I will be focused on who to piss off for days now! I, like you, have a hard time burning bridges. If anything, I go overboard to make people happy. But I've found it leaves me drained and some people are NEVER happy.

But it's a delicate balance. I don't want to piss off the wrong people by not giving this VERY careful thought.

Thanks for bringing this up. I have some soul/business searching to do this week.

motherlogue said...

Interesting concept. I had the same initial reaction as you, Jackie, and then came around to see the value in what the speaker was saying. It's about having convictions and knowing what you're here to do. Thanks for sharing this -- good info for the uber conflict avoider in me!

BIKE LADY said...

Yeah, he doesn't mean just go around making people mad just for grins. I'm interviewing him later this week to gain more insight on this. I'll post what I learn on the blog, possibly by Friday.

Anjuli said...

Actually I've always been aware that I must make alot of people 'grrrr' angry at me- or whatever- but my husband has a saying, "You can't stop a dog from barking" :) and I've always kept that in mind and figured (as your speaker said) if you have something you are focusing on- there will be those who do NOT like you or like what you are doing or saying- that is fine.

BIKE LADY said...

Anjuli, I remember one of the first times I gave my BIKE presentation (you'll have to read early in this blog to find that story). At a significant moment in the story, a small group of women laughed made an odd noise, almost a cackle. I think my story made them uncomfortable. I gathered from that they could be my perfect audience. But how to reach them? That was my question. How to get them to know they are my perfect audience, or would they eventually figure it out. I can't wait to hear what David has to say later in the week.

Diane Faulkner said...

I know I piss off writers, speakers, copy writers, etc., when I correct/edit their work. I piss off business owners when I tell them they can't continue breaking/skirting labor laws. That's all I can come up with now, but I'm MOST CERTAIN there are others out there I irritate by merely drawing breath.

FreeBZone said...

Hi Jackie,

I always enjoy reading your articles in AAA Magazine and wherever I run across them. I think you have a gift for writing about travel, the outdoors, and adventure in ways that others can't. (And I'm sure there's people po'd about that!) In thinking about your business model, I hope you'll continue taking us on travel adventures!

BIKE LADY said...

FreeBZone,

Thank you. I am working on how to marry a writing and speaking career more effectively, with a focus on joyful living. Travel is definitely a part of that for me. I'm not quite sure how to package it, though. I love my B.I.K.E. work, but it needs some tweaking. Working on figuring all that out. Thank you for your very kind words.