Learn what your Gucci bag says about your business.
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We like to think that our problems are new and unique to us.
But more often, they’re just repackaged versions of old problems that have already been solved by others.
You just have to dig to find the solutions.
For example, everyone on social media wants to grow their status. They want more followers, a better reputation, and to be known for the quality of their work, the impact of their insights.
It’s easy to think that you can “fake it ‘till you make it,” but this is a dangerous trap to fall into.
Let me explain why:
Believe it or not, businessmen in the 1970s had a similar problem: How to stand out and their demonstrate value in a sea of people who look and act the same way.
Here’s how Egon von Furstenberg puts it in his book, The Power Look:
“It’s often better to carry nothing, or a small manila envelope, while saving for a good leather attaché case than to spoil your look with a really cheesy plastic case.”
Furstenberg goes on to say that young businessmen will often scuff their briefcases to make them seem older and more seasoned than they actually are.
More often, this makes them seem careless... a true professional keeps his briefcase in mint condition.
Tying to mask your weaknesses in this way only draws people’s attention to them. You shows them that (1) you have a weakness and (2) you are self-conscious about it.
And so it is on social media.
Everyone wants the social media “power look,” where everyone can tell that you know what you’re doing and having a lot of success doing it.
There are two ways to get here: you can build it, or you can fake it.
If you choose to fake it, know that the people who you truly seek validation from will be able to tell if you’re not being authentic. Sure, you might fool a few bystanders, but your reputation will suffer more because of these cheap shortcuts.
In the film, House of Gucci, the last of the Gucci family are trying to save their family company and survive the circling vultures.
Patrizia Reggiano, the wife of Maurizio Gucci, arrives home one day to find her maid with a Gucci bag.
She is furious. She asks the maid how she got this bag. Was it stolen? There was no way anybody on a maid’s salary could afford a Gucci bag.
Turns out, this maid bought a cheap plastic knock off from a pop up stand downtown.
Side note: She obviously hadn't read and of Furstenberg's work.
But if you’ve ever bought “Apple” headphones off of Amazon, you’ll know what this is like. They are always cheap Chinese knockoffs.
Not only do knockoff denigrate the person buying them, but they disrespect and devalue the original.
If you want to build a quality brand, you can't take any shortcuts, and you also can't allow people to knock off your work with a cheap plastic copy.
You have to make your work different. Indistinguishably you. You have to become a master of your craft.
There is no shortcut to mastery.
Further, there is also nothing to be ashamed of in walking the path to mastery. Everyone must do it.
Masters respect those who follow the path in their footsteps. If you want to get the attention of someone who is a master of your craft, dedicate yourself to it and work hard with passion.
You will remind them of themselves years ago when they were in your shoes. And they will want to help you.
But if you try to “fake it till you make it,” you’ll be mocked privately, and shunned publicly.
And that's a wrap on Day 1 of the Library Challenge.
If you want to read Day 2, click here.