Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Nike Got it Right (August Article)

It never ceases to amaze me when a corporation, small business, or organization hits the nail on the head. I’ve read several books recently about storytelling in marketing, how to perfect the art of customer service, and what really creates a stir about a new product or service. These revelations have truly opened my eyes to the successes (and failures) of commercialism that exist all around us each day.

One of the keys to success for many companies is a slogan. Not necessarily a witty or catchy slogan, but one that you immediately identify with a brand. Think about it. EAT MOR CHIKIN’. We Bring Good Things to Life. Don’t Leave Home Without It. You’re In Good Hands. You Can Do It, We Can Help. You see, even if you TiVo through commercials, you likely know each of the corporations and businesses by these slogans. They are powerful tools for branding and creating positive messages in the minds of their customers.

But, without question, I think Nike set the bar with their timeless slogan: Just Do It. How can you top that? Just reading those words evokes an emotional response in all of us. If you’re like me, your mind immediately flashes to images of action – DOING something. More than an ingenious marketing tool, I think Nike’s slogan is one all of us really need to implement in our own lives. Allow me to explain.

We all lead busy lives. But, don’t confuse activity with accomplishment. Just because we’re doing something doesn’t mean we’re really doing the things that will make a positive lasting mark. Most of our time is wrapped up in the minutia of the day – emails, platonic phone conversations, work-related tasks, home chores, and deciding where to go out to lunch or dinner. You see, we make time for the things that are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of life. But, when it comes to taking action on the stuff that REALLY matters – family, faith, and feelings – we are often paralyzed by fear and uncertainty.

A couple years ago I was really wrestling with a decision – a decision that I knew would have a significant impact on me and my family. After praying about it, talking about it, thinking about it, and obsessing about it, I knew what I was supposed to do. God had made it clear. But, despite thinking, talking, and praying about it, I had DONE nothing about it. I was slow to act because I didn’t know what would happen AFTER I took action. Until one day…

I was sitting in church, and our pastor (my friend Mike Linch) ended his sermon with this statement: “Some of you continue to pray about things that God has already given you the answer to.” And, as it turned out, that was the kick in the pants that I needed.

Many of you are wearing those same shoes right now. You know what you’re supposed to do, but you continue to stew on it, or keep trying to find a way out of it. Maybe it’s a tough conversation with someone. Perhaps it’s a career decision. Maybe it’s letting go of bitterness that has consumed you. Or, maybe it’s something really positive like expressing love to someone or speaking a word of encouragement, but you can’t let your guard down long enough, and your pride gets the best of you.

What’s stopping you? Fear? Worry? Uncertainty? Did you know that studies have shown that 92 percent of the things we worry about and toil over are completely out of our control? They have either already happened, will never happen, are entirely unfounded, or completely insignificant. Surprising, isn’t it? But, it’s a statistic that should provide a world of encouragement to you and me. And, if that isn’t enough to convince you, it’s been noted that there are 366 “fear not” verses in the Bible – more than enough for every day of the year!

So, you’re faced with something that could be huge in your life. A burden eased. A relationship started. A problem solved. You’ve consulted countless friends and family. And you pray to God constantly to give you the green light. But, you keep waiting. Guess what? He may have already given you the answer. More than likely, God’s ready to act. But, now it’s up to you to make a move.

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