Early in my career, a mentor shared with me a piece of advice that would change me forever.
"Perception becomes reality"
Those three simple words changed how I approached business, and my personal life.
Instead of being the floundering kid with a mediocre business, I began to change how the world perceived me.
I started dressing sharp, I talked up the business like we were bigger than we were.
I manufactured these myths that created a perception in peoples mind.
And it worked.
Over time, that perception became reality .
Reality is reality
Perception is a dangerous tool to play with.
It isn't hard to throw up a website, practice a pitch, or put on a face that creates a perception of someone different than you are.
But the truth is that perception is not reality.
Reality is reality.
Mark Ecko stresses this in his book Unlabel. He talks about trying to act bigger than he was.
While building the company 'Ecko' he put of the perception of being huge. It worked for a while but it eventually reality caught up with him.
Soon his company couldn't fill orders, was missing payroll, terribly in debt and gaining a bad reputation.
He built a perception that was huge, but reality was still reality and he couldn't keep up with the demand.
Perception becomes reality
Part of growth as an artist, a creative, a business or any organization is perception.
At the core, as marketers we tell lies about the business or the person that we want to become.
These lies that we tell are ultimately rooted in the core of what we believe in, but we have to work to make those lies become true.
If we create a perception that is bigger than we can handle, then it really is a lie.
Seth Godin talks about this in his book All marketers are liars
"Lying doesn't pay off anymore. That's because when you fabricate a story that just doesn't hold up to scrutiny, you get caught. Fast."
How to create a perception that becomes reality
To turn perception into reality, we must create an achievable perception.
We create perception of a future that we are striving for, yet a future that is realistic.
Perception can become reality, but we must be careful.
We must create a realistic perception, and then work to close the gap between the perception the world has of us and the reality that exists today.
Creating a perception that is unrealistic is deception.
Creating a perception that is tangible is smart marketing.