Spit in the Witches Eye

by Dan Kennedy | Oct. 9, 2011

Witch At a past Gold/VIP-Millionaires Group meeting, Dr. Jim Fairfield talked about running a very aggressive promotion for his practice at a time of year regarded as "slow" by his entire profession. He called it "spitting in the eye of the village witch."

Wow. Been doin' that my whole life. You should too. Industry norms are to be violated. Rules are for mere mortals. The 212 ways it can't be done, irrelevant as soon as you find one way it can. Criticism from others, immune to it.

Most people fear the village witch. Do everything they can not to draw her attention, not to provoke her. Actually, most people go through life like the painfully shy kid in the classroom or frightened pedestrian on a dark street at night; they actually shrink themselves and pray they go unnoticed. Don't make waves.

When Bill McGowan at MCI challenged the entire telephone industry and the federal government and said "Who says AT&T owns long-distance?", he spit in the eye of the village witch. Similarly, when O'Steen took the prohibition on lawyers' advertising, when the chiropractic profession sued the American Medical Association, they spit in the eye of the village witch. When Disney ignored all expert advice and built the first amusement park with a single entrance/exit, he spit in the eye of the village witch.

After the fact, of course, everybody celebrates such courageous folks who win. (Some who lose are cursed, reviled, imprisoned, boiled in oil. There is danger.)

I don't think you need to go looking for trouble. But I don't think you can prosper living fearfully or timidly, either. Healthy, prudent paranoia, yes. Fear or timidity, no.

I recently visited with some very smart people running a 'successful' franchise company, proud of their having established 250 franchises in 10 years. A client of mine started a new franchise company less than 60 days ago and has established 6.

At that pace, he'll hit 250 in 82 months... .6 years... almost twice as fast. Although I think he'll pick up speed and get there in less than 5 years.

Why? Because he has taken a very strong, confrontational, opposite position to just about everybody else offering other means of building businesses in his industry, to the immediate annoyance of some. Because he has taken a very different approach to selling franchises than franchising norms. Because he has spit in the eye of the village witches, plural.

Dan S. Kennedy is the provocative, truth-telling author of thirteen business books; a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur; trusted marketing advisor, consultant and coach to hundreds of private clients running businesses from $1-million to $1-billion in size; and he influences well over 1-million independent business owners annually through his newsletters, tele-coaching programs, local Chapters and Kennedy Study Groups meeting in over 100 cities.


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