Time for a change

You are at a party.

You have been nervous lately at the idea of coming to this party, so while you drive there you rehearse some situations in your mind. You prepare interesting stories, a couple of funny anecdotes, think about how to invite people to your own party next week, and mentally remind faces and names of the people you’ve heard are looking forward to meeting you.

As this happens in your mind, confidence builds and you enter the main room with your chin up high. You walk to the bar, and a guy standing there politely asks: “How are you?”. “Well, thanks. Actually, the most funny thing happened to me this afternoon..”, and you continue for about ten minutes telling your little story.

The nice guy disengages from you to rejoin his friends, and you notice the host a few steps away from you. You approach her and the group she is talking to, and you overhear her sharing that she’d had a problem with her car, and she’d had to walk back home for 10 kilometres, leaving the car on the side of the road. Fortunately, you know everything about cars, so what better chance? “As you describe it, it sounds like a problem with the carburator. I have a list of three things I do weekly to avoid problems with the carburator. First, …”, and you continue with your advises for a perfect carburator maintenance routine for the next five minutes. As the group slowly disperses.

Just after you’ve put something in your stomach (the food is not great, but at least you got to share with some bystanders the story of how you have overcome the challenges of combining work and study, and managed to graduate with distinction), you spot one of the people that you’ve heard wants to meet you. You rush to her with steady steps, and after a quick intro, you invite her to join the party you are giving at your place a week from now. “It’s to celebrate my recent promotion”, you explain, “I am inviting as many people as possible, so that together we can celebrate this unbelievable achievement of mine. Just think I have only been with the company for five months!”.

The party continues, and after the initial confidence, anxiety surfaces once more, as you have the feeling people are trying to avoid you. Why would that be? Did you perhaps choose the wrong stories to tell? Or the wrong words? Is your place too far away from the city center, and people will not join your party for that reason?

You are beaten, and you can’t make sense of what is going on.

Here is how most marketing feels today. Self-centered, obnoxious, bogus and irrelevant. Time for a change?

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