Summer is a bombastic time. Epicurean blockbusters saturate the theaters, larger-than-life hip-hop records drop, and it’s the season when our hemisphere is closest to the sun.
We feel our astral position on a philosophical level, and at lotus823 we know that perspective is the difference between good marketing and great marketing. So, in the season when Kanye West has released a record with a title comparing him to Christ (“Yeezus”), when Superman returns to the skies for the first time in years, we’ve decided to examine what separates excellent work from unprecedented greatness.
We’re interested in taking our own marketing strategy to heights it’s never been, and the best way to shift your perspective at work is to shift your personal perspective. Remember, “super” mean “above,” so how can we take our thought patterns above?
Remember that we all exist in the same world.
It’s easy to become intimidated when we feel inferior in certain situations. Remember, you are not inferior to anyone. We’re subject to the same limitations: lifetime, gravity, etc., so level the playing field in your mind.
When I was in a creative writing seminar in high school, a grad student facilitator told me my proposed plot was un-writable, and my first instinct was to believe him. Then I wondered: why should this person be my compass on what’s great and what isn’t? There was no reason, I continued my story, and it went on to be published in an anthology in the Stanford University Library.
There are no limits unless you impose them. Though we are beholden to our clients, we see the market where it is, where we all interact, and in doing so, we see how to climb above it.
Don’t get in the way of your ideas.
How many people do you know who begin their ideas with phrases like “this might sound kind of dumb” or “maybe I’m completely wrong here, but?” At lotus823, when we have our brainstorming sessions, we throw everything at the wall. Oftentimes, the best ideas make people laugh when they first hear them. If this is your idea, and you laugh with them, then you’ve lost something important. Your innovative ideas may sound ridiculous because society is miles behind their perspective.
Rock ‘n roll was rejected by most of our culture when it first came out. In the words of Steve Jobs: “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Let your ridiculous ideas exist, play with them, and you’ll be rewarded. The world will thank you years later, but by then you’ll even further out there.
Know that no one is a cardboard cutout.
You may forget that interaction, like innovation, is a complicated web. The base response to a conversation is to assume that we understand the person we are talking to. At that point, the communication is lost. Listen. Really listen, and together you can take an idea above the norm. The most important lesson to learn is that you know very little.
Superman fell in love with Lois Lane because even a superhero has something to learn from a mortal. Together, they broke boundaries in ways Superman alone could not. David Foster Wallace breaks down the ways we dismiss people we don’t know in an address to the Kenyon College class of 2005:
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Remember your perspective, always. See the person you’re talking to, see the town where you’re talking, the country, the continent, the planet, and the solar system. See the universe, and remember that you can take an idea from the other side of it, bring it to earth, and become a superhero of marketing if you don’t waste time wondering how to get across the universe.
Since most people you’ll encounter are not thinking this way, the process is a self-fulfilling prophecy, because if you believe you can innovate, you are already innovating.