No One Cares About Your Project

No one cares about your business.

No one cares about your non profit.

No one cares about your do gooding initiative.

That’s what Mike Rowlands (pictured here) a Vancouver based marketing and branding expert is telling us.

But it’s surprisingly good news. Because when you finally hone in on what people do care about, it makes everything so much easier. And most positive change makers work too hard.

There are 30 or so of us gathered together on Cortes Island in BC at the beautiful oasis that is the Hollyhock Retreat center for the Social Venture Network. We’re spending five days doing our best to support each others’ initiatives (which range from green products, to local food to organic restaurants and more).

He invites everyone in the circle to ask themselves the question, ‘Without referencing your product or service, what is it that makes you unique?’ That is a hard question.

Because no one is buying what you sell.

They’re always buying the result it offers them. It’s like a boat that take them from Island A to Island B. They don’t actually care about your boat. They just want to know it can take them where they want to go.

Let’s imagine you sell bikes. They have aluminum frames. I don’t care. They’re lighter. Fascinating but not compelling. They’re easier to carry and ride up hill? Ding ding! That matters to me.

They don’t want the boat. They want where it will take them.

What if you’re an accountant? (joke: do you know how you can identify the extroverted accountant at the party? They’re the one staring at someone else’s shoes. HAYoh! (you see most accountants are introverted and stare at their shoes because they’re shy . . .)). No one really cares about the fact that you’re an accountant. There are so many accountants. So, what makes you different? One accountant came up with a compelling answer, ‘I make you feel confident when you visit your banker.’ Another one might say, ‘I help restore peace and ease to conversations about money with your spouse.’

They don’t want the boat. They want where it will take them.

You’re a branding or marketing coach? So what. ‘I help people find their most profitable clients’? Ding ding! You help people feel confident, relaxed and proud of their marketing? Ding ding.

They don’t want the boat. They want where it will take them.

You operate a microfarming venture out of people’s backyards? I don’t care – ‘microfarming’ confuses me. But, ‘I show people how their ignored backyards they aren’t using can provide local green jobs, make them the envy of their neighbours, a hero to the community, provide them with delicious food and maybe even make them a little money (without them lifting a finger?’

Sign me up.  

They don’t want the boat. They want where it will take them.

Scroll to Top