August 23, 2016 by Scott Howard
I’m going to tell you a little story.
A story about Collective Wisdom.
Collective Wisdom is the name of the first blog I created in 2004, but Collective Wisdom has a deeper meaning:
The best way to learn something is by learning from others.
If you’re smart, you already knew that.
Thirty years ago, I moved my family from Indiana to Detroit to embark on a new career in a city I had never been to before.
It was my transition from working on the air as a radio personality and program director to the advertising side. I was 26 years old and had to wear a sports coat and tie everyday.
I learned from the owner of our company, Don Crawford of the Crawford Broadcasting Company; and Frank Franciosi, the General Manager of WMUZ 103.5 FM. I also learned from Doug Burns, a co-worker who I teamed up with to create some very creative and successful radio advertising campaigns before Doug advanced in the company and transferred to Dallas.
But beyond these people and our in-house training resources, I also sought out wisdom from others.
I became a student of marketing, advertising and sales. Every week I learned from the business owners and managers I worked with as we created advertising and marketing plans. Most were successful but we learned from those that weren’t successful too.
I also took responsibility for furthering my education by reading certain books and articles and today I’ll share some of those with you.
Harvey Mackay caught my attention with his book Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and his 2nd book Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt. These two books laid the foundation for me in how to conduct myself in the business world and you should visit his website, subscribe to his weekly column and read all of his books. You’ll be a better person if you read some of Harvey’s wisdom.
Another book, Positioning, The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout began to open up my thinking about marketing and advertising beyond the idea of how to write a commercial. Al and Jack have since gone their separate ways, but I urge you to pick up any or all of the books they have authored. Jack’s website has links to his books and there’s more at Al’s website.
Fast forward a few years (about 15+) and I was introduced to the writings of Roy H. Willams. Roy is the self proclaimed Wizard of Ads and is extremely knowledgeable about not just the advertising world but also the way to use what I call Human Relationship Principles in your marketing. I have my own copies of his first 3 books which I need to read again. Roy also offers them free as downloadable PDF Files. I also subscribe to his weekly newsletter which is also free.
Another author that you may have heard about is Seth Godin. I’ve read most of his books and although I don’t always agree, I appreciate reading his material and comparing his thoughts with my own. Seth also has a blog that he posts on daily that you can subscribe to.
In a world where it seems like everyone is trying to sell us on the new bright and shiny marketing tool, platform, or gimmick, I urge you to do what I have been doing for the past 3 decades and learn the basics that can apply to your life and business dealings.
Learn how to learn.
Learn how to think.
Learn how to discover your own thoughts, and formulas on how to do stuff.
Take the knowledge and wisdom from others and see how you might apply it to your life.
That’s what I call Collective Wisdom.