Yesterday Joey Strawn wrote a blog post called “There’s no ‘I’ in brands, but they’re surrounded by a lot of BS.” His whole point is that our brands, the way people feel about our companies, is determined not by a creative ad or the news release that was just distributed; rather by our customers.
Really great point and I agree with him. In fact, I agree with it so much that I blogged about the lack of control you have around your brand last summer.
But Joey used an example of advertising that really got under my skin (and I hijacked his comments because of it):
Statements like “Debbie lost 65 pounds by using ___________ without having to change her diet!” will normally be followed by small text at the bottom that reads “Results not typical. Debbie used _________ for 14+ months plus exercise and a sensible diet.” Miracle weight loss powder, my ass. If I could regulate a perfectly sensible diet and exercise daily, I’m pretty sure I could lose 65 pounds in 14+ months without sprinkling sawdust on my food at every meal.
This really bothers me about our society. We’re get rich quick. Lose weight fast. Don’t work for anything. Overnight success.
It’s total bullshit. (Yes, Jay Dolan, I just swore in a blog post.)
Tim Ferris is the biggest contributor to this load of crap. First with the 4-Hour Workweek and then with the 4-Hour Body.
I’ve not read either because they’re so highly offensive to me, but I am here to tell you that NO ONE, and I mean no one, works only four hours a week. Period. Even if you’re doing what you love, which I think is the whole point of the book, you still work more than four hours a week. Because your passions, sometimes in a week, turn to work no matter how much you love doing them.
And transforming your body and losing a bunch of weight in four hours? Load of even more crap. Ever notice how hard the contestants on the Biggest Loser work? They’re not taking some magic powder and losing a bunch of weight overnight.
I burn about 10,000 calories a week during cycling season. And, while I’ll have a bite or two of dessert here and there or I’ll eat French fries or cheese, I do so in moderation. So yeah, it may look like I can eat anything I want, but I work really hard to be able to do that. And it certainly takes more than four hours. It really is a part-time job.
The thing is, we allow this kind of crap. Ferris is speaking to the mass audience and we’re making him rich.
To Joey’s point in his infomercial example: We don’t want to work hard for anything. We just want it handed to us. And all these people who give us the easy way out? Sure, they look like they’re overnight successes because we made them so. We’re buying their crap, maybe some of us try it out, and then when we end up working 60 hours a week or gaining back all the weight (and then some) we did lose, we go on to the next thing.
That’s why self-help books sell out. We are constantly looking for the easy way. When will people stop trying to make a quick buck on our insecurities and, instead, show us the way to work hard and lead to success?
We launch Spin Sucks Pro on Monday (!!!) and it is not going to be easy for anyone who joins the community. We’re going to make you work hard. In fact, you’ll be working so hard, it may become a part-time job. But you will be successful. And you will learn a ton. And you will move your careers forward more quickly than you can trying to learn the new technologies on your own.
But we are not for the masses. We are not going to pretend to give you some secret key that is going to make you the CEO, with a phat salary and a company-owned Mercedes Benz, tomorrow. You are going to work hard and you’re going to have days where you think, “I”m not sure this is worth it.” And that’s OK.
Because this is not a get rich quick scheme nor is it a lose 65 pounds tomorrow deal. Spin Sucks, no matter which part of your life it hits, and we’re here to stop it.