Nurturing Success

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
― Lao Tzu (老子: Old Man) a philosopher said to be a contemporary of Confucius known as author of the Tao Te Ching,

The Tao of Marketing

The Tao Te Ching (道德經: 道 dào “way”; 德 dé “virtue”; 經 jīng “power.”) urges man to return to the unseen, immensely powerful yet supremely humble  root of being ( Dao – or Way).  While many act “unnaturally”, against the natural balance of things,  The Tao Te Ching intends to lead one to a “return” to one’s natural state, in harmony with things.  Rhetoric and conventional wisdom are critically assessed as inherently biased and artificial..

The Wu Wei Principle

Wu wei (無爲 ,”non-action”) is a multifaceted concept and practice, reflected in the words “not forcing”,”acting spontaneously”, “flowing with the moment,” or “effortless action.” Laozi used the term broadly with simplicity and humility as key virtues, often in contrast to selfish action. On a political level, it means avoiding such circumstances as war, harsh laws and heavy taxes.

Wu Wei also reflects an important marketing principle, the Voice of The Customer, which involves attaining a deep understanding of and responding to your customer’s hierarchy of values and beliefs.

To create a successful marketing strategy you have to bridge the gap between hearing your customers’ voices and being able to translate them into tangible results. This requires a process for:

  1.  Getting to know your customers and learning their point of view;
  2.  Charting a course of action based on your customers’ preferences;
  3. Aligning the organization around new insights acquired;
  4. Gaining buy-in for the resulting initiatives;
  5. Rigorously executing for successful outcomes.

Recommended reading: Voices into Choices: Acting on the Voice of the Customer

Applications to Social Media Marketing

Brian Clark at Copy Blogger describes how theWu Wei principle can be applied to online Marketing:

Are you beating your head against the wall trying to tell people a story they don’t want to hear? Stop…Wu wei means your marketing story is in harmony with the desires of your market. On the other hand, when you exert your will against your market, you disrupt that harmony and hit the wall.

The successful online marketer understands her audience first and foremost. She focuses less on what she’d like to say and concentrates on finding the story the audience wants to hear…

Micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses are perfectly positioned to provide that consistent authentic relationship with online content marketing…If you’re tuned in to your audience, they’ll tell you everything you need to do and say to benefit them while succeeding yourself. Acting in harmony with the desires of your market is entrepreneurial effortless action, and it’s the way social media marketing works.

Recommended Reading: Seth Godin’s  All Marketers are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World