So let’s recap. People in general, not just marketers, are:
And that’s a nice compact little acronym for us, S.L.I.M., and that gives me a nice convenient little name for the kind of guy who’s like this: Slim Jim.
There are a lot of Slim Jims out there. Sometimes they can be tough to spot. But basically, you can expect anyone to behave this way. If you want to know whether someone will do something, simply run down the list.
Is there any benefit in it for them? Because they’re Selfish, so if there’s nothing in it for them (or an alternative with more in it for them), they won’t do it.
Does it take work? Because they’re Lazy, so they’re not going to put a whole lot of work into it.
Do they need to learn anything? Because they’re Ignorant, so they don’t want to.
Is it nice to others? Because they’re Mean, so they don’t give a shit about that.
A lot of people will object that they’re not Slim Jims and shouldn’t be treated like that. Bullshit. Try it out. Nobody wants to admit they’re like this, but the fact is, they naturally and normally are. If you want to not be like this, there’s nothing in it for you, and you’ve got to work at it – so right off the bat, you probably won’t do it because you’re selfish and lazy.
But what makes us human is our ability to transcend our natural tendencies and do something that has real meaning. It is not the thieves and slackers and morons and bullies who define humanity; it is our Mahatma Gandhis, our Mother Teresas, our Albert Einsteins, our Vaclav Havels.
You don’t have to define humanity. You don’t have to become an icon of human achievement. All you have to do is set aside the selfishness, push through the laziness, conquer just a little of your ignorance, and try not to be mean. Even a little is worth a lot.
But bear in mind that you can’t control anyone else, and they probably don’t give a crap about it. All you can control is you. So either take a few steps and better yourself, or don’t, but no matter which choice you make – it’s just you. You’re not changing the rest of the world. They’re all still Slim Jims.
Stay tuned, because I’m about to tell you where you should be driving your efforts instead.