Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shawn Phillips - When The Soul is Murdered in Search of Profit

Good post from Shawn - go leave him your thoughts about the people/business/whoever sold out quality and service for profits. But I want to use this as a jumping off point.

Men do this same thing in their own lives in many ways - soul murder in exchange for wealth.

A quote from one of my favorite bands: "You sell your soul to feed your ego."

How many men do you know who have sold out their passion (or their families) to make more money, to have a bigger house, to have more toys, to go on better vacations? When these same men are on their deathbed, looking back over their lives, what will they regret?

Will it be not having gotten that third car, or not having bought the 60" plasma television? Or will it be not having spent more time with their families, not having enjoyed the millions of moments that make up a life?

I have hijacked Shawn's post here to make a point about our individual lives (while he is looking at the ways businesses sell out their souls to be bigger and more profitable, but lose their purpose in the process) - but we all do this is various ways.

A few years ago, I was seeing 40+ clients a week. I made a lot of money, and that was great. I was chasing the dollars. But the quality of service for my clients, which is what allowed me to have that many clients, declined as I became overworked with long days, tired from lack of good sleep, and less able to focus my full attention on each client.

One day a husband and wife I was training asked me if I was OK. They felt like I wasn't giving them the attention that had made them want to work with me on their health and fitness goals. I assured them I was fine (but I wasn't really listening to what they said). They ended up quitting the gym and stopped working with me.

That was a hard lesson for me - and I feel bad that I let them down. But it woke me up - I decided that I couldn't chase the money and still be effective as a trainer. That wasn't why I started doing this and it isn't who I am. I made a choice to not work more than 25-30 hours a week so that I could give each client my full attention and my best self.

Anyway, here is Shawn's post.

When The Soul is Murdered in Search of Profit

Invisi_Man You’ve felt it—we’ve all had the experience, more often than we care to admit.

Perhaps it was a favorite local eatery that after a decade of perfection one day become every bit as mediocre as Denny’s. It could have been a favorite line of shoes that you were excited to finally find on sale at Walmart, only to find it wasn’t the same shoe at all.

“It,” invisible to the naked eye, is the soul sucking sound of the move from passion and purpose to profit. And it’s happening right now to shoes, clothing, hair salons, tires, coffee shops, and in all manner of business large and small.

I suspect “it” may even be happening to Facebook as we speak.

In the beginning businesses are less a cunning strategy than an expression of passion by a person on fire and on purpose. Plans are often drawn after to justify the insanity.

On the extremely rare occasions when everything goes according to plan you and I get to touch and feel the products or services, we like them. They are new, fresh (even when they often aren’t really) and authentic.

There’s an energy and aliveness that is exciting.

We rush to wear, ride, drink, consume, and experience them in every way. There’s almost no wrong the people or company can do. And we share them. We rant and rave to friends about the new thing they absolutely must experience.

Enter the Wizards

From the outside looking in—the vantage point of well educated folk—it looks all too much like there’s a great product here, a nice shoe, a terrific new supplement in an amazing round bottle with a lid. That’s to say, they “smells like money.”

But what this well-educated yet partially blind eye doesn’t see is the Mojo—the real magic that is propelling the phenomenon; the wave of energy we’re all surfing.

The “soul wave,” is the 3rd and 4th dimensions of the product or service that doesn’t show up on paper, and can’t be weighed, measured, picked up or packaged and thus escapes the perception of most of the people who wear their ties too tight.

The Soul of a person, product, community or company is the invisible, intangible source of magic, energy, attraction—that thing which made it extraordinary. It’s the 21 grams that makes you and I, you and I.

Tragically, because it’s invisible to most people it’s the first thing to be extracted when the “new regime” comes marching in with their calculators and spreadsheets—or when the current leaders are being “coached to profits.” Profits, profits, profits is the motto of as the once soulful, inspired company is quickly “exercised.” Out comes the new, soulless entity often with a new tag-line or logo in its place.

Fast forward months later…Sales plummeting, consumers no longer excited, the "Exorcists" are puzzled. "What happened to our perfect profit machine?,” they mumble as they stagger in a daze.

They have no clue what happened. All their “indicators” point to success. They can’t see for they see but two-dimensions; the black and red ink of a PL statement.

This sort of “Soul Exorcism” has happened to thousands of products you know and have at one time liked and trusted. It may even have happened at a company you worked—I’ve seen it myself, first-hand.

Where have you felt the “Elvis leave the building” on one of your favorite brands?

Tell me your stories: here.

1 comment:

The Barking Unicorn said...

Well, Shawn really doesn't get it. Products do not have souls and there's no feeling or exorcising them. That isn't what happens when a hot products stops selling.

People just change. What they get excited about changes.

The more they learn about a product; the longer they do business with a company; the more things they find about the product and company with which to be unhappy.

Then they move on to the next new thing, seeking happiness in stuff they can buy.

Greedy professional "company builders" simply accelerate the process by degrading the quality of the product or service in order to save expenses and increase profit margins. The customers would have a drifted away from exactly the same product anyway.

The problem is that both customers and greedy professionals are never satisfied.

A person doing business can steer clear of greedy professionals, but it's difficult to avoid customers while doing business.