Obscurity Is Your Enemy

Obscurity

The face of obscurity

Do you want business success? The biggest thing holding you back is obscurity. If you want to drive the nice cars and take vacations whenever you and your family want, people have to know who you are. This post is another Grant Cardone inspired blog. His works have played a major role in my awakening as an entrepreneur and business owner. A great article he wrote for Entrepreneur magazine is titled “Businesses Die in Obscurity.” I own four of his audio books, and he mentions that “Obscurity is Your Enemy” frequently. Grant was on a recent Blab I attended, and he went on to clear this up. “No one can do business with you if they don’t know who you are.” When Grant said that, it cleared up any debate for me.

The Basis of All Sales Activity

Fighting obscurity is the basis for all sales and marketing activities. Marketing is about attracting attention through a variety of different channels, such as social media, press releases, banner ads, or television commercials. All of marketing is to fight not being known. Let’s say that we have built the greatest product in the world. It solves hunger, creates world peace, provides prosperity for everyone, allows real-time communication with distant galactic civilizations, and comes in three attractive colors. But you decide to let “word-of-mouth advertising” handle it for you. You tell a few people, wait for word to spread like wildfire, and then wait for everyone to beat a path to your door. And you wait. Nothing happens, and you and your product die in obscurity. Even if you have the best product or service (or app) since sliced bread, if no one else knows about you and your business, you can fail. You must market to fight not being known.

Even an Annoying Ad Can Be Positive

Back in the late 1990’s, there was an extremely successful television show called Seinfeld starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld. I was working as a waiter in Birmingham, AL at a place called The Mill Eatery, Bakery, and Brewery, which was also very successful. I began working there in 1996, and their ad agency put together a radio ad that played on the success of Seinfeld and danced on the edges of copyright infringement. The ad was annoying, but it had some great hooks in it. Everyone hated that ad. But everyone knew The Mill and where it was. It was one of the most successful restaurants in the Southside area of Birmingham, and that ad played a major role in the success of the restaurant. When Seinfeld ended its run in 1998, the ad stopped. The restaurant rode on its popularity for a few more years until the market shifted geographically. The Mill went out of business in the early 2000’s, but it was one of those legendary businesses that people still talk about to this day. It was that annoying ad that kept The Mill on everyone’s mind for years and drove a lot of The Mill’s popularity for years.

Obscurity is Failure

I have built some great businesses, but I have always let my fears hold me back from going forward with any great marketing. I always had a fear that the people with college degrees were better than I was. All my friends told me over and over again that you had to have a degree to succeed, and I finally bought into their story. Without a degree, I did not know the limits that they face and prove to be a tough adversary in business. Instead, I caved into my fear that my friends were right, and that I would never be good enough to be successful in business. This fear kept me from marketing some great businesses that I had built. Since no one knew about them, no one did business with me. Therefore, I failed. Since I remained in obscurity, I did no business, I made no money, and I failed in business.

Fight Obscurity

Don’t let this happen to you. Succeed in business by making sure that other people know who you are and how you can help your customers and clients. Make fighting obscurity the chief task you work on every day. Make it the primary reason that you are in business to meet new prospects, find new opportunities, make sure that someone new knows what you do every day and build your business. Don’t do it a little. Fight obscurity every chance you get!

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