Sunday, February 10, 2008

Post-It Forward

Marketing, Money and More (Issue 6) 2/10/08

Skip It
All this talk of recession is making people think more about "recession." As we further and further promote the idea of recession, the general public will act in a manner that they think will get them through the recession. Save money, spend less, pull out of the stock market, sell your home. This is perpetuating the problem. The power of perception is strong.

Consumer spending is down and foreclosures are on the rise (especially in Nevada - #1 in the country.) This economic downturn is expected to worsen into the summer of 2008. The government is trying to stimulate the economy going into a very important political year with a tax rebate of $300 - $1,200 for Americans. This will help, but to what extent. We need a mind change.

Think Growth
It is worse to think gloom and doom. Think of your every day life. When you think negatively about your situation it tends to get worse. It's the Law of Attraction. That is what The Secret is based on. The power of your thoughts to influence your environment. If we could unify the thoughts of the many to stimulate positive activity, then the economy would follow.

Think of value. People provide value to society in many forms. I provide value to society when I took the time to sit on the board of my local American Advertising Federation, buy a friend a coffe or get up 10 minutes earlier in my day to sort the recyclables. My contributions have an economic impact. If a million people get out and buy a coffee for someone, that is an increase of $1.5 million in consumer spending over the course of a day.

The Experiment
You've seen tons of these types of emails. "Don't buy gas today! It will spur a price war between the gas stations and that will help to bring gas prices to a manageable level." I think that requires too much participation from too many people. It sounds logical, but humans are emotional and these attempts to influence the public don't take into account the impracticality of not buying gas for a day.

I would like to start by being realistic. I would like to challenge a few people I know each month to do something that they wouldn't normally do as we head into tough economic times. If we can produce high levels of value in 2008, the economy will follow. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Buy someone a coffee

  2. Volunteer time at a charity

  3. Join a trade association

  4. Buy a toy for a friend's/family member's child

  5. Give someone a ride

  6. Stay an extra 10 minutes at work each day (productive minutes)

  7. Sell/buy something on ebay

  8. Write a blog

  9. Share success

  10. Register to vote

I know this sounds like a movie...Pay It Forward. Well, I'm not Haley Joel Osment. The principle is sound. Do something for someone else that provides a value. If you own your own restaurant business, buy someone's meal tonight. If you have a tool that a neighbor needs, offer it. Find a charity that you have an interest in and ask them how you can help.

I am starting with myself. I am going to make an effort and lead by example. I have already begun. I will do more with my time in 2008 to provide value to myself and society and push through this period of recession. I hope this blog is one step toward eradicating what could potentially be an economic downturn. It is about reconfiguring resources. If you have a resource and have the ability to share with those that do not, you will be helping yourself in the long run. This will stimulate spending, goodwill and social activity.

Today and each month after, I will be sending out an email to close friends and business people to persuade them to do anything that is beneficial to someone else and society. Mobilization of those that have the energy and resources to make an impact, even just a small one. If you read this, please send out an email to your close friends asking them to do the same.

The Email
"Hey. I'm urging everyone to get involved. In 2008, times will be tough... or will they? If you can do something extra such as help a charity, spend a few extra dollars for someone else, help a friend or do something that creates some sort of value, we can help curb some of the impact of the recent economic trends that lead to a recession. Please forward this message on to a friend and keep the string going. This is not chainmail, but if we can "make change" now we won't have to wait for Obama or Hilary to get into office. Write down what small thing you can do extra this month on a post-it and put it somewhere on your desk. Don't take it down until you've done it. Once it's done, write on another Post-It. Do this all throughout 2008 and you can look at all the Post-Its that you've been able to accomplish. I want to get "Post-It" to construct a page where people can post "Post-It's."

Feel free to use this and pass it on.