…they will come, or so goes the line from that classic movie Field of Dreams. The actual quote is “if you build it, he will come”, but for many of us it is often quoted as “they”. It is something we hear quite often in business, someone, some company, some product, or some service is absolutely perfect, yet the desired end result is unfortunately never reached. The person does not find the job, the company does not find the right candidate, the product or service does not sell. The issue is not that it was built, the issue is that no one came.
The closing scene of Field of Dreams shows cars lined up to the horizon, coming to the baseball diamond in the corn fields of Iowa. Not only did “he come”, but “they came”. The main character and his father are re-united for that game of catch, and the struggling farm is saved thanks to all the people coming to visit what was built. It is pure hollywood and pure fantasy. A great movie, but pure fiction. Yet we have all heard “if you build it, they will come” not just as a cliché, but pointed to as a strategy for success.
Creating something is half the battle, the other half is advertising and marketing, sales and messaging. The world’s greatest mouse trap is useless if no one knows of it. Yet, so often all the efforts are placed on the front end, the creation phase. Though some businesses drop the ball on the marketing front, where we do see the disconnect quite often is with those folks who are in transition.
“My LinkedIn profile is updated”, “I have applied online”, “I created an online profile”, “I have a great social media page”, “I am on The Ladders”, or whatever the website du jour might be, are refrains we hear often. Are those actions appropriate – sure. However, they are all, to one degree or another, passive behaviors. Real success is much more likely if one actively markets what they have created. Relying on the fortunes of luck, of someone “finding you” is completely passive and completely arbitrary. Yes, it can work, but the odds are certainly improved if one is actively promoting what they have created.
Opening Day, well at this point Opening Week, always has my mind turning back to baseball. It is another of those baseball related sayings “hope springs eternal” that tends to get batted around during this week. It is ironic in a way, the classic baseball related quotes: “if you build it, he/they will come” and “hope springs eternal” are both passive phrases. They are wonderful and make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but they are completely built on faith and hope of what might happen to or for you. They do not reflect the reality – playoff baseball teams and World Series winners are not created by hope, they are created through work, planning, practice and grinding through the season, along with a bit of luck. Just like successful business and just like successfully finding opportunities.
Bull Durham, Major League and Field of Dreams. Three movies I can, and certainly have, watched over and over. With it being opening week, or weekend, I can hope they will be on TV at some point, or I can take positive action and ensure I see them.