Archive for the ‘specificity’ Tag

Metaphor

This door represents the specificity of one business.  Note that there are doors everywhere, and they tend generally not to compete with one another.  But the opening of one often leads to the opening of another.  And note the tremendous personality one door can have.  Note how much one glance at it can tell you.  Note not only the visual experience, but the emotional one.  You get a feeling from this door, as well as factual info. 

There are millions of doors, but none exactly like this one.  This one services a few people, and they are grateful.  It does its job, it prospers. 

Can your business be so specifically and personally described?  Is it known and loved the way this door seems to be?  Does it have a well cultivated, useful, proud personality that is not afraid or suspicious regarding other businesses, but serves its own purposes faithfully?

Specificity in business

There’s an old fashioned notion still strongly prevalent in small business circles, one that works against success in today’s economy. But people cling to it like a right and priviledge of which they’re proud. And the issue relates directly to all my previous blather about specificity.

Newly established as a small business, and needing to make my presence and services known, I joined a couple business networking/referral groups. It’s been useful and fun so far, and I’m happy to contribute. But there’s a dyed-in-the-wool rule these networking groups abide by that deeply turns me off: no two businesses of the same type can be members simultaneously. So the group has one realtor, for example, and all others in town are barred. The thinking is that in referring business to one another, there will be no conflicts.

It used to be that one realtor in town could cover the needs, and if another set up practice, that meant dividing the spoils. But any aware person nowadays knows no one organization can answer the needs of our mushrooming population. There is plenty of room for the energies and innovations of all of us, and the more we open up channels of communications, the better off we all are.

A small business distinguishes itself through specificity. An individual business becomes successful through careful identification and cultivation of individual strengths, always unique, always useful in some way, to some people. Realtor A is not inherently better than Realtor B. If they have both precisely identified and defined the specifics of their services, they’ll each find more-than-sufficient markets. And in the meantime, they can help one another to self-define, if only they’ll open up communications!

I would love it if other virtual assistants were in my networking groups. I prefer to see other people in my field as friends, not competitors. In a global economy, competition retards growth, while cooperation makes clear the specific offerings of each.

So far, however, I see no cracks in their armor, and raising this issue with the groups to which I belong is not likely to happen anytime soon. The pride and paranoia are impenetrable! But I’ll chip away behind the scenes, perhaps, because change is inevitable eventually.

Specificity and emotion

David Armano at Logic + Emotion had this to say about specificity a week ago:
“We live in a world where the little things really do matter. Each encounter no matter how brief is a micro interaction which makes a deposit or withdrawal from our rational and emotional subconscious. The sum of these interactions and encounters adds up to how we feel about a particular product, brand or service. Little things. Feelings. They influence our everyday behaviors more than we realize.”

There’s an assessment of being that the Easterners deliver to us: we are at every moment either accepting or rejecting. With absolutely everything we encounter, our first reaction (which is most often subliminal) is attraction or aversion. Our attitude about the ‘other’ is unfailingly conditioned by this emotional, and essentially paranoid response.

Check out this premise as the hours unwind today; or even just over the next few moments. Look around as you sit at the monitor right now, and notice your immediate responses to objects nearby. I love the coffee cup; I’m afraid of the to-do list; I’m attracted to the letter from my father; I’m skeptical about the hi-tech, oddly-shaped felt tip pen; I adore the big pile of painting supplies; I become slightly ill when viewing the floor’s clear need for a vacuum.

Why do we muddy our progress and perceptions with these persistent automatic judgements? The coffee cup and the to-do list have equal rights to existence and to my attention. Do I not make things more complicated than necessary by coating them with my emotions?

The answer is, of course, yes and no. In our quantum universe, we know our responses create our reality. We are born responders, and will always emotionally judge our experiences. But getting a handle on this, and realizing clearly that this is the nature of your humanity, will help to liberate from any shackles emotions create.

So while our creativity is anchored in the specific, it remains relatively useless until you manage to see past your native prejudices.