“When you believe a thing, believe it all the way. Implicitly and unquestionably” – Walt Disney.
I was unhappy. I started my business because I wanted to help Entrepreneurs.
I struggled so much to get my first business off the ground and almost gave up.
One of the worst days of my life was when I told my business partner, “I quit.” I was tired of putting in all this time, and effort, and money, and not seeing results.
“I wanted to share my experience and advice with others. Because I almost didn’t make it.” – Evan Carmichael
I was tired of working for less than minimum wage.
I was tired of losing respect for myself and feeling like a total failure.
I managed to pull through, beat the odds, and be one of the success stories.
And I wanted to share my experience and advice with others. Because I almost didn’t make it. I wanted to make their path a little easier then what I had to go through. But I was unhappy.
I was unhappy because I started doing all sorts of different projects. A website, YouTube videos, radio shows, media interviews, and so on.
But I wasn’t getting people talking about my business enough. It seemed too scattered. People couldn’t wrap their heads around what I did, because it was all over the place. I needed clarity.
I thought it was a marketing problem. So I met with a friend, Jason, to try to come up with a tagline for my business.
Over the years it had gone from, “Helping You Build the Company of Your Dreams,” to, Motivation and Strategies for Entrepreneurs,” to, “Over 20 Million Entrepreneurs Helped and Counting.” Weak sauce.
What we came up with was, “Hungry Entrepreneurs “Deserve Help.” This felt better, but still wasn’t quite right. Something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Then Steve Jobs changed my life. One day I stumbled upon what would become one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time.
It was Steve Jobs, talking about marketing. It hit on exactly what I was missing.
The core selling that made Apple so successful. It had a dramatic impact on my business and my life. Here’s part of what Steve said.
To me….. Marketing is about values! This is a very complicated world, its very noisy world. And we’re not going to to get a chance to get people to remember much about us, No company is. And so, we have to be very clear on what we want them to know about us.
Now, Apple, Fortunately, is one of half-a-dozen best brand in the whole world. Right up there with Nike, Disney, Coke, Sony, it is one of the greats of the greats, not just in this country, but all around the globe. But even a great brand needs investment and caring, if it’s going to retain it’s relevance and vitality and the apple brand has clearly suffered from neglect in this area in the last few years. And we need to bring it back.
The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and fees, It’s not to talk about bits and mega-hertz, it’s not to talk about what we are better than windows.
The dairy industry tried for 20 years to convince you that milk was good for you, it’s a lie, but they tried anyway.
And the sales were falling and then they tried “got milk” and the sales went up.
Got milk wasn’t even talking about the products, in facts, it focuses on the absence of the product.
“Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” – Steve Jobs
But the best example of all and one of the greatest jobs of marketing that the universe has ever seen is Nike.
Remember, Nike sells a commodity – they sell shoes! and yet when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company.
In their ads, as you know, they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about their air soles and why they are better than Reebok’s air soles.
What does Nike do in their advertising?
They honor great athletes. And they honor great athletics. That’s who they are, that’s what they are about!
Apple spends a fortune on advertising, You’d never know it. You’d never know it.
So, when I got here, apple just fired their agency and there was a competition with 23 agencies that four years from now would pick one and we blew that up and we hired Chiat\Day, the Ad agency that I was fortunate enough to work with years ago and created some award winning work including the commercial voted the best Ad ever made, 1984 by advertising professionals.
“Those people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do.” – Steve Jobs
And we started working about eight weeks ago and the question we asked was: “Our customer want to know who is apple and what is it that we stand for, where do we fit in this world?”
What we’re about Isn’t making boxes for the people to get their jobs done – although we do that well. We do that better than almost anybody, in some cases.
But apple is about something more that that! Apple at the core, its core value – is that, we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better, that’s what we believe.
And we have the opportunity to work with people like that, we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like you; with software developers, with customer, who ave done it in some big, and some small ways. And we believe that, in this world, people can change it for the better. And that those people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do.
Evan: If you act on what Steve Jobs said, you’ll spark a movement. This speech was given just after Steve Jobs returned to Apple.
In his absence, Apple had struggled. It was a few months away from bankruptcy, had only 4% market share, and was losing over a billion dollars a year.
Asking Jobs to come back was a desperation move. Apple had just been through three different CEOs and nobody could make it work. Jobs agreed, and took his company from life support to being the most valuable company in the world.
It might be the single, greatest turn around story of all time. It’s time for your business to start taking off too. In this speech, Jobs outlines the basics of core selling.
“You need to get just as clear about who you are and what you stand for.” – Evan Carmichael
The way to do that is not to talk about speeds and feeds. It’s not to talk about bits and megahertz. That’s feature selling. “It’s not to talk about why we’re better than Windows. “And what we’re about isn’t making boxes “for people to get their jobs done, “although we do that well.”
That’s benefit selling. Marketing is about values. “We have to be really clear on what we want “them to know about us. “Apple, at the core, it’s core value “is that we believe that people with passion “can change the world for the better. “That’s what we believe. “And we believe that, in this world, “people can change it for the better. “And that those people who are crazy “enough to think they can change the world, “are the ones that actually do.” That’s core selling.
Mind blown. I finally had some clarity. It was time to get to work. If you want to model Steve Jobs’ amazing results, you need to get just as clear about who you are and what you stand for.
Once you have clarity, everything else falls into place. I was frustrated that my business didn’t have enough momentum. And I didn’t have the clarity I needed to move forward.
So I made a list, to try to find my core value. I started with my,
“Hungry Entrepreneurs “Deserve Help,” tagline. I wrote down ideas of how to convey the emotion behind my work. Something that really got my blood pumping. I purposely tried not to think too much. Instead just started writing whatever entered my mind.
Here’s what I came up with. “Hungry Entrepreneurs Deserve Help.” What I do, what I believe, but not inspirational. “Entrepreneurs change the world.” “Entrepreneurs are heroes.” “Celebrate Entrepreneurs.” “Rallying Cry.” “Gets your heart pumping.” “It’s on you.” “Take your shot.” “Believe.” “Follow your passion.” “Overcome.” “Persevere.” “Keep going.” “Step Up.” “Don’t Settle.” “Start.”
I didn’t love anything on the list yet. Nothing felt quite right, yet. So I decided to sleep on it. If you’re struggling to make a decision, sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning.
I felt inspired by Steve Jobs, and was ready to act but was frustrated that I couldn’t get my clarity. I wanted it badly but it wasn’t coming. So I slept on it.
I came back to the same list, the next day, and one word jumped out. “Believe.”
It was right there, in the middle of my list. I thought about what believe meant to me. I came up with this. Believe in what you’re doing, passion. Believe that you can do it, confidence. Believe that it will work, conviction. Finally, because I felt, “believe,” on its’ own was too simple, I started looking for ways to add to it. Believe you can. Believe in the possible. Believe more. Believe it all. Believe in belief. Believe in believe.
“You need to find who you are. Then you can start making some important decisions.” – Evan Carmichael
The more I look at the list, the more I realize that I just like, believe. So I decided I was going to do this crazy thing and rebrand my entire business around, “believe.” It felt right, and my life was about to change.
The one thing that hit me pretty quickly was that this was more than just a slogan. This was a value. This was a personal mission statement. This was a way of life. “Believe,” became #believe. It started my movement.
I look back at the people that I had hired on my team, and the ones who were still with me were the ones who also had believe as a core value. I reflected on my personal life and realized that I’d always been about believing but I never realized it.
I loved reading books about the little guy who overcame the odds, to be successful. My favorite book is, Seabiscuit. Which is the story of an undersized racehorse who’s victories lifted a nation in the middle of The Great Depression.
My favorite entrepreneur is A.P. Giannini, the founder of Bank of America. Who made loans of as little as $25 to people who’s only collateral was the callouses on their hands. He would lend money based on a man’s face and a signature. My friends are about, “Believe.” The songs I like are about, “Believe.” Everything that makes me come alive, somehow relates to, “Believe.” “Believe,” isn’t a marketing slogan for me. It’s who I am. You need to find who you are. Then you can start making some important decisions.