I’m a big fan of the blog The Art of
Manliness. It’s nice to find a men’s health website that realizes
there’s more to a guy’s health than six-pack abs and how to make a connection
at Friday night’s single mingle.
One article posted recently was titled “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa” -- basically,
the lost art of a proper shave. Personally, shaving is one of my least favorite
things to do in the morning. So at the end of last year I finally broke down
and bought a classic razor to see if it would improve my morning ritual to a
level that was at least tolerable.
The results have been quite enjoyable, and shaving has
turned from a morning hassle to almost a morning zen. This morning I found
myself contemplating how my trip from cartridge to safety razor could actually
be used as a metaphor for business and life in general.
You will bleed –
I had never shaved with a straight blade before, and let me tell you -- the
difference between a cartridge and a razor was definitely felt the first
morning. When I finished, my face looked like I had been clawed by a rabid
badger. I had cut everything from my ears to my chin.
It was a painful experience, but I learned from it. We have
a saying at The Personal Marketing Company -- “Fail Fast,” which basically
means get out there, try things, make mistakes, and then adjust quickly. Plus,
don’t be too proud to learn from others.
In my situation, I literally have an entire generation of
men who learned to shave with a straight razor that I could go to for advice.
If I had taken two seconds and asked for some help, I could have saved some
face, and I mean that in the most literal sense.
Quality takes time –
We live in a world of go-go-go, and sometimes we get so caught up in it that we
feel rushed and can never truly complete a task. I know several people who seem
to think it is better to do six things poorly than three things well.
In life (and in marketing) you only have 24 hours in a day.
You should be sleeping for eight, and life’s too short to just work the rest
away. So take time to find out what works for you, and what gets you the best
results. Stay focused and see a project through. Also take a second look at
your work -- metaphorically speaking, you won’t remove all the hairs in one
You get what you pay
for – It’s my belief that in business you pick between quality, price and
service. The secret is that you only get to have two of the three. Now, I’m all
about saving a buck, and I understand the importance of a budget. But my
experience is that penny-pinching can end up costing you more in the long run.
If I add up all the money I’ve spent on razor cartridges, I could probably have
bought my new straight razor 10 times over.
This isn’t only something you should understand with your
own spending, but something we need to make sure our clients understand, as
well. Sure, someone could save a nice chunk of change by doing a
for-sale-by-owner and not having to pay a commission to a REALTOR®. But in the
long run, they could save the time, energy and money it would cost them to
effectively market their house by simply hiring you.