The seven deadly sins were designed as a guide to keeping on the straight and narrow. But sinning can be constructive too – especially in business!
The sin of pride can be a reminder to celebrate and acknowledge our achievements.
Many of us are so focused on achieving the next (big hairy audacious) goal that we quickly forget, and thus discount, our achievements.
This is not valuing ourselves, nor the gifts and opportunities we have been given. And that really is a sin!
Valuing our achievements is not about grandiose PR, although there may well be a public component such as an online portfolio or resume.
I believe that the greatest value of pride comes from private contemplation and internal enrichment.
Is lust the Holy Grail of advertising or what?
Creating want is often no longer enough in this hyper-competitive world. Creating lust in our customers (for our goods and services, for the quality time spent with us) is far more powerful.
Look at what you have to offer. Does it inspire lust in your customers? How can you up your game and inspire not just interest and affection, but physical longing for your product?
Hunger is a primal driver, always demanding to be satisfied.
We all know the importance of identifying a hunger out there and then satisfying it, such is the basis of most business.
So the question here is, how can we cultivate a continued desire for our offerings even when the hunger has been satisfied?
(And no, I don’t mean by asking ‘Would you like fries with that?’)
I see this as creating such a wonderful experience for our customers in satisfying their initial hunger that they actively seek out new ways to engage our services. They are then inspired to tell their friends about our business. This is the up-sell that requires no selling!
Everyone wants the easy way out, we all want the rewards without the hard work.
So how can your offering make someone’s life easier? Perhaps create free time for them? Or enable them to achieve more with the same effort? Or deliver a better result with the same cost/effort?
Pre-packaged and frozen foods are a great example of sloth-enabling convenience. So are outsourced services like cleaning and babysitting.
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We all compare ourselves to other people now and again. This comparison has been perfected by the cosmetics and fashion industries and can be the cause of much misery, or it can be a useful driving force for excellence.
Identifying successes you can be envious of is a great way to set up inspiring goals for yourself. “If they can do it, so can I!”
Simply buying an HP Envy laptop may not work though. To avoid the “keeping up with the Wongses” trap, get clear on what success means to you, what truly matters to you and make sure you stay true to your values.
With profit-at-any-cost and blind consumerism seemingly being the rule, the sin of greed is the hardest to spin in a positive light.
Delving deeper into the nature of greed may present a solution. Greed is endlessly wanting and amassing some ’desirable’ thing. And we can choose to make what is desirable, good.
The business world could use more greed – greed for creativity, passion, care, respect and authenticity!
If consumerism is an attempt to fill the emptiness inside, then why not offer something that actually fills the hole?
Can you turn attention, engagement, affirmation, support and even love into a business? A socially responsible business that offers these stands to go far.
The next time a product or situation gets your goat, stop and see if you can identify any opportunities for improvement or reinvention. Maybe it’s a much needed improvement, a new process, or a brand new product category altogether.
Wrath can be a great trigger for creative work, because it’s such a strong emotive force.
A solution that has its genesis in a strong emotion like wrath is potentially ripe with emotional hooks for customers to identify and connect with. More emotional hooks mean easier marketing!
Enter the confessional and be blessed, my children. What sins are you guilty of? Tell us below and receive absolution.