What mark do you want your business to leave on your community? How do you want what you do to change the world?
As community-focused Business Owners, we want to right the wrong of social injustice. It’s a noble goal. But, according to Dr. Tony Pennells—the founding director of MindShift.money—too many of us stop short of driving widespread change. “Standing up, alone, against $30 billion marketing budgets and entrenched government policies seems impossible,” Dr. Tony says. “We lose faith in our abilities. So we focus down on creating massive change for individuals, instead of launching changes in community behavior.”
While influencing even one man or woman’s life is profound, together we can do more. We can create a new normal.
How To Challenge The Norm
Dr. Tony believes that consistent marketing is the shaper of society today, and it shouldn’t be. The average person sees more than 5,000 ad and brand exposures every single day. Whether or not these exposures represent good life choices and beneficial products, the consistency makes them “normal.”
As social creatures, what is normal has a powerful impact on our behavior choices. So, by definition, one lone voice yelling for a different path is unlikely to tip the scales.
To elicit widespread change, we need the proper media and marketing to reach those who most need the change we are offering. Then we need the ability to educate them on how an alternative lifestyle can benefit their lives and what they need to do to experience the promised change. And, finally, we have to offer them the community support and services they may need as they break long-held habits, so they don’t ever feel alone.
We can’t do this on our own. One business can’t possibly offer all the pieces of the puzzle—especially as you dig into the social change you wish to make.
Finding other businesses and voices whose services you believe in and working together takes time. But collaborating makes connecting with your ideal customer and creating change in the community easier.
Finding Your People
So, with whom should we be out there connecting? How do we find other Business Owners who also wish to create change?
Start with putting a stop to viewing other community-focused and socially-conscious Business Owners as competitors. No social or economic issue exists in a vacuum. While your solution may solve a piece of the puzzle, your ideal customer likely has other problems that relate to the one you’re trying to fix. Connecting with others helps you improve your customer’s lives and better understand their needs.
There are numerous options to get out and connect with similarly minded entrepreneurs. Online communities, LinkedIn, forums and even simply asking your customers what other products or services they regularly use are the low-hanging fruit.
But Dr. Tony believes the most personal and productive conversations still happen when you’re sitting face-to-face. Conferences, inviting someone to coffee or joining your local business networking group creates a ready place for collaboration. These are the venues where you have the space to understand where your missions align, improve your offerings and trade best practices for reaching an audience.
The focus of your business network should be reaching more people and generating more change with fantastic resources. Because the more significant the audience, the closer we are to a tipping point.
Reaching And Changing Your Audience
Your business probably won’t run a TV ad in next year’s Super Bowl. You may not have $30,000 a month to spend on Facebook ads. But technology has changed the game.
In Purple Cow by Seth Godin, he comments that “as consumers, we’re too busy to pay attention to advertising, but we’re desperate to find good stuff that solves our problems.”
The ad itself is no longer the dominant force. Individuals take action because of the testimonial. We don’t want the product. We want the result.
This means we need to speak to a person’s needs, understand their pain point and change their lives for the better. Do that, and we’ll make them a lifelong voice for our mission. And when they share their experience on social media and with friends, we quickly access new markets. And create more discussion and more change.
Dr. Tony founded MindShift to influence the conversation about money. In turn, he and his partners created the Transcend Alliance to help Business Owners achieve greater social impact by working together. He wants every Business Owner to know that every time we influence thought and conversation, our message creates a more significant impact. And, together, we create a tipping point in community behavior.
Working Together To Drive Change
When we find a community of like-minded, community-focused Business Owners we step beyond the realm of changing one life.
Together, we better understand our community’s needs. We reach more people by accessing one another’s audiences with complementary offerings, and we solve even more pain points. We create raving fans who add their voices to our mission.
Alone, our voices can’t be heard over the loud hum of what society has decided is “normal.” We’re stuck running in place, trying to create massive change alone. As Dr. Tony says, “Together, we are loud enough. As a village, we are strong enough to change the world.”
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/siam.pukkato
Chelsea Brennan is a former Wall Street financial analyst and investment manager who changed gears in her career to chase her passion of improving financial literacy and independence. She is now a personal finance writer and content marketer. Chelsea shares her obsession with budgeting, investing, and raising financially smart kids at MamaFishSaves.com.