One of my honors as a Vice President of Rainmakers – the fastest growing networking group in Indiana – is to give a brief ‘wrap-up’ presentation at the close of some of the meetings. A unique feature of Rainmakers is that we do an activity each meeting that focuses on marketing, making connections and referrals, goal-setting, being accountable, finding motivation; the list goes on.
A recent activity allowed me to use a personal experience to show how important it is to THINK BIG. Each group was asked to be creative and help one of the people at their table to come up with a Million Dollar Idea to market their business. Wouldn’t this be fun? Even if pretending, coming up with a Million Dollar Idea would really get the juices flowing and creativity will abound!
Unfortunately, as we enter adulthood, we bring a lot of baggage from being told that we can’t, we shouldn’t, we aren’t good enough or being asked, “Who do you think you are?”. And then we begin to believe this negativity. Our creativity diminishes; we are all too conservative with our thoughts. We lose our ability to dream, to think outside the box, to believe in ourselves.
During the Million Dollar Idea activity, I saw a couple people with their calculators out, keeping track of their estimated expenditures!
Be a kid for a few minutes and pretend you can do anything you want, that anything is within your reach, that you can make it so just because you believe you can. What if you did have a million dollars? What if you had a billion dollars?
While creating the 2009 marketing budget for our home inventory business, Mike and I thought of what we’d do if we had no financial restrictions. Some of the ideas? Advertise on TV during the super bowl, buy a full-page ad in the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ), the premier business publication in the State of Indiana, and place our message on billboards all around the state.
Since we didn’t enter into the planning session with the attitude that we had limitations, we allowed ourselves the ability to think big. So, what did we decide? Everything I just mentioned, but within the reach of a small business’ marketing budget.
Instead of a TV ad during the super bowl, we purchased a Tip of the Week radio spot for 2 months on Radio Brownsburg, a local start-up radio station. Instead of buying billboards all around the state, we purchased billboard ads that will drive around the city. This company, EyeLVL, mounts large banners (small billboards) on trucks and drives the message around the Indianapolis Metropolitan area. Three times a day, at the heaviest-traveled times when traffic is moving very slowly, our ad is in the target area. And instead of an ad in the IBJ, we have ads in Coffee News, a free, good-news, local information weekly publication distributed by local business owners for their customers. Additionally, I write a column for Morgan County Business Leader. Though not an ad, it is an opportunity for monthly exposure for our company.
Without the far-reaching ideas that an activity like A Million Dollar Idea helps create, we wouldn’t have thought of these scaled-down versions. We wouldn’t be advertising at all, because we would have believed that we couldn’t.
So give it a try – be a kid. Let go of your restrictions. Pull off your blinders. Escape from your limitations. Think big. Billion dollar idea big. And make 2009 the greatest year yet!