“Your Marketing Strategy starts, ends, lives, and dies with your customer.
“So in the development of your Marketing Strategy, it is absolutely imperative that you forget about your dreams, forget about your visions, forget about your interests, forget about what you want–forget about everything but your customer!
“When it comes to marketing, what you want is unimportant.
“It’s what the customer wants that matters.
“And what your customer wants is probably significantly different from what you think he wants.” (p. 218)
“…People do not simply want to work for exciting people. They want to work for people who have created a clearly defined structure for acting in the world. A structure through which they can test themselves and be tested. Such a structure is called a game.
“And there is nothing more exciting than a well-conceived game.
“That is what the very best businesses represent to the people who create them: a game to be played in which the rules symbolize the idea you, the owner, have about the world.” (p. 202)
“Great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day. They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives. Their lives are spent living out the vision they have of their future, in the present. They compare what they’ve done with what they intended to do. And where there’s a disparity between the two, they don’t wait very long to make up the difference.
“They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.
“I believe it’s true that the difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next.
“The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.
“Let me repeat once more that great quote by Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Peace: ‘The difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that the warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse.'”
“…On its own, Innovation leads nowhere. To be at all effective, all Innovations need to be quantified. Without Quantification, how would you know whether the Innovation worked?
“By Quantification, I’m talking about the numbers related to the impact an Innovation makes…
“The sad fact is that Quantification is not being done in most businesses. And it’s costing them a fortune! …
“Begin by quantifying everything related to how you do business. I mean everything.” (p. 127-8)
“Innovation is the heart of every exceptional business. Innovation continually poses the question: What is standing in the way of my customer getting what he wants from my business?
“For the Innovation to be meaningful it must always take the customer’s point of view. At the same time, Innovation simplifies your business to its critical essentials. It should make things easier for you and your people in the operation of your business; otherwise it’s not Innovation but complication.
“Innovation, then, is the mechanism through which your business identifies itself in the mind of your customer and establishes its individuality. It is the result of a scientifically generated and quantifiably verified profile of your customer’s perceived needs and unconscious expectations.
“It is the skill developed within your business and your people that is constantly asking, ‘What is the best way to do this?’ knowing, even as the question is asked, that we will never discover the best way, but by asking we will assuredly discover a way that’s better than the one we know now.” (p. 121)
“Instead of asking, ‘Hi, may I help you?’ try ‘Hi, have you been in here before?’ The customer will respond with either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ In either case, you are then free to pursue the conversation.
“If the answer is yes, you can say, ‘Great. We’ve created a special new program for people who have shopped here before. Let me take just a minute to tell you about it.’
“If the answer is no, you can say, ‘Great, we’ve created a special new program for people who haven’t shopped here before. Let me take just a minute to tell you about it.’
“Of course, you’ll have to have created a special new program to talk about in either case. But that’s the easy part.
“Just think. A few simple words. Nothing fancy. But the result is guaranteed to put money in your pocket. How much? That depends on how enthusiastically you do it.” (p. 119)
“So the work of an Entrepreneur is to wonder…to imagine and to dream. To see with as much of herself as she can muster the possibilities that waft about in midair someplace there above her head and within her heart. Not in the past but in the future. That’s the work the entrepreneurial personality does at the outset of her business and at each and every stage along the way. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder. Just as every inventor must. Just as every composer must. Just as every artist, or every craftperson, or every physicist must. Just as every baker of pies must. I call it Future Work. ‘I wonder’ is the true work of the entrepreneurial personality.” (p. 33)