Five Words To Run Your Life By
By Eric Dixon
A business campaign, a political campaign and personal relationship all have something in common.
They are successful when they accept that human nature matters most of all.
It’s not about products, services, issues or what you say on social media. That all obscures the core point: Cater to your base and treat it like a tomato plant. Water it. Cultivate it. Make it feel special.
Business, politics, philanthropy, when they are successful it is always because they recognize the importance of feelings, of psychology. There is nothing more important than making your base feel like it is the most important thing. Or the only thing!
A quick point: Most people will disagree with me. Just watch the comments section here. They will argue on facts. They will invoke morality.
My quicker responses: First, they are forgetting and ignoring the role of feelings. And second, most of those who disagree with me, are failures! Most people fail! Success is not common! Keep reading!
Since some of you actually care about politics — the rest of us have, um, real lives — here is a political twist to the advice above.
Most candidates lose because they make one central error, and never realize it. They chase the base of their opponents. Why is that?
Because in going after other segments of the voters, you are sending messages to your base which will ensure your defeat!
Our opposition matters more than we do.
We’re being taken for granted.
He (or she) really doesn’t care about us.
We don’t matter.
Whether these messages are true or not, that’s not the point. When appealing to potential customers, facts don’t matter; feelings do.
That’s what your base will feel. Issues, social media statements, none of that matters. Real attention matters.
Give your precious time to other constituencies, and the one word message you send to your core is indifference. That will be returned, on Election Day.
Make the people most important to your campaign, feel the most important. (Just like in real life.) Nothing means more than giving attention to people.
This will sound harsh, but it is true in all relationships: personal, business, political. Give your attention to the people who matter.
When you have a scarce resource — your time — your decisions make a big difference. Be very discerning and uncompromising with your time.
Donald Trump learned these lessons a long time ago in the real estate world. What did he do when he ran for President? He ignored convention, he ignored (and disparaged) his opponents. He made his base feel special, like they were the only thing that mattered.
Trump won, by mastering five words: The carrot and the stick.
The carrot? In his presidential election it was playing to his base and deliberately ignoring his opponent’s base. Why did this work? Because to his base, their reward was his attention. And part of that reward was a second, related, unspoken message — the stick — that his (and their) opponents did not deserve his attention. The effect of that, the subtle punishment of withholding attention, is to enhance the reward to those receiving his attention.
Manipulative? Yes. Cunning? Yes. Shrewd? Yes. Nasty, even? Probably.
But this is done in retail all the time! Customer affinity points, rewards plans, frequent flyer plans, points back on your credit card. These are all rewards systems which push your buttons with messages about loyalty, rewards and punishments.
You need to do the same. Reward your constituency with attention and you maximize your shot to win.