It’s all about that bass, about that bass… No treble
Yes, I have pinched my headline from Meghan Trainor.
Meghan isn’t our archetypal middle-aged business guru who has made millions from her business. She’s not even a world-renowned speaker with a sage like wisdom that will transform our business and earn us millions.
No, Meghan is a 21 year old American singer, songwriter and record producer.
Last year she had a massive, worldwide hit with her song ‘All About That Bass’; a bubblegum pop, doo wop song that was a call-out to embrace inner beauty, positive body imagery and self-acceptance.
Trainor criticizes the fashion industry for creating unreachable standards of beauty in the song, singing: “I see the magazines working that Photoshop / We know that shit ain’t real, c’mon make it stop / You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll”
Her song is really about insecurities and self-esteem and that elusive search to aspire to be just like someone else by spending lots of money on whatever has been touted as the ‘next big thing’.
Is this starting to resonate? Stick with me….
Us entrepreneurs have our very own Meghan. I’m not talking about a 21 year old woman from America, but rather a Yorkshire man in his late forties. Yes! Nigel Botterill is our Meghan Trainor.
However, whereas Meghan was all about the bass, Nige’s version of the pop hit would be ‘all about the basics’ – and I totally agree with him.
I have worked alongside Nigel since 2011 as one of his original Business Growth Advisors (BGA) in the Thames Valley area. Actually, my first real meeting with him was at the BGA induction training in April of that year. Over those three days we covered all the BASICS we needed to set up our new business; how to set our goals, define our customer avatar, attract customers via 12 marketing pillars, keep customers, deliver great meetings and finally, how to really know our numbers. To add the cherry on top of the business cake, we were all provided a set of manuals/workbooks to remind us of what we’d learned and what we should be doing.
Now I’ve come to realise that these manuals were a summary of what we were told week after week, month after month at every BGA meeting and every National Event. As Nigel said at the time (and still says now), “Even though some of the contents are probably familiar to you, this should really act to reaffirm what you know you should be doing and remind you to actually do it.”
Fast forward to January of the following year (2012) and the success of the Thames Valley area meant that we found ourselves in the top 5 performing BGA’s in the country. As a result, we were selected as a finalist for the prestigious BGA of the Year Award and at a big BGA get together we were asked to present a summary of what we’d done in order to achieve this success.
Innovative approaches and new techniques that had been learned even and quickly implemented didn’t make it into our 20 minute presentation. Instead, we explained how we had started on the first page of the BGA manual and worked our way through it, implementing exactly what it said – we did the basics and, consequently, got our results.
The biggest shock to me at the time was that I had assumed that all of the other BGAs were doing the same, however, it became very apparent that a few had completely ignored the basics, in favour of trying to create shortcuts or focusing their time on trying out new ideas – their subsequent result was very little success.
And that’s why the world of entrepreneurs has many parallels with the fashion industry that Meghan Trainor sings about.
Much like the girls aspiring to be the next top model, as entrepreneurs we all want to be the next Branson, or someone like him. Therefore, we are easily drawn to the ‘next big thing’. You only have to look at the number of new business books released every week, espousing a new, never-before-told theory about how you can go from zero to hero by following it, the new seminar in which you will learn the 99.5 secrets of running a successful business, or even the radical new product that we must have, because it promises to change everything for us.
However, none of those things really make anything change for us, apart from lightening our bank account and leaving us feel a little more dissatisfied with the world of business – especially when we hear that one of our colleagues is now nailing it and has just booked our dream holiday. What do we do next? We just keep on looking for the next BIG thing.
Well, here’s the reality; these ideas, concepts and products will only enhance a business that is doing the BASICS well.
Take a look at Top of the Pops, to use another analogy straight from the world of pop music. The BBC ditched Top of the Pops in 2006 for being something of an anachronism in the internet age. But, with Top of the Pops gone, the increasingly fragmented world of “on-demand” catch-up television, and a lack of mainstream music programs, other than the likes of The X Factor, it’s no wonder that production teams are looking at going back to basics and want to bring back the show on which an established musician can play their music, rather than appearing on random cookery shows to plug their new album.
And for those of you still not convinced, Top of the Pops may well be a relic from a long-gone era, but who would have imagined, 10 years ago, that the BBC’s highest rating show would be a turbocharged reimagining of Come Dancing? Back. To. Basics.
So, before you reach straight for your sequined leotard in an effort to go back to basics like the Beeb, why not revisit your notes from seminars and courses gone by, dust off your workbooks and spend your next few 90 minutes implementing the stuff that you already know.