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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Colbert’

Do you quit or find a life hack/workaround when you hear “no”?

LIFE HACK

Any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. It is arguably a modern appropriation of a Gordian knot – in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in an inspired, ingenious manner.*

Have you ever noticed how often you see the Super Bowl referred to as “The Big Game” – in advertisements in particular, but in other places and spaces, leading up to … well, the big game? That’s because the NFL has a trademark on the phrase “Super Bowl,” at one point even attempting to trademark the phrase “big game.” If unsanctioned advertisers (i.e., those that didn’t pony up beaucoup buckaroos) try to use the term, they receive near-instantaneous cease-and-desist letters. The NFL is so rigorous in its pursuit of dollars for use of the words Super Bowl that in 2007, it threatened to sue a church that planned to hold a viewing party as a fundraiser.**

Maybe you caught Stephen Colbert’s madly humorous takeoff on the nutty degree to which the NFL protects its big game catchphrase last year: The Superb Owl.

superb owl

So I’m not sure Colbert’s response qualifies as a life hack, but it got me thinking about workarounds, in general – you know, the things we do to get what we want when we hear responses like, “no,” “not now,” “not yet,” “that’s out of your price range,” and “we’ll see.”

When my son was about 11, he had a favorite online videogame. It had multiple levels, but you could only play the first dozen or so for free; after that, you had so subscribe for $5 a month. According to his adoptive mom, he would pester her and his dad almost every day about getting a subscription to this game. “No,” they said, again and again. “Maybe when you’re older.” “I don’t care if all your friends are doing it.” Typical parent answers, right? Then, one day, perhaps in a weak moment, his mom said “Maybe.” Which my son interpreted as “Yes!”

Kathy described to me how she went out to get the paper the next morning, and there was an onesenvelope, bulging at the seams, waiting for the mailman to pick it up. I chuckle as I try to imagine this ingenious, towheaded kid bundling up the sixty $1 bills he’d extracted from the jar he kept as a bank under his bed. Five bucks a month x 12 months = $60. Voila. What else did he need? She had to explain why it’s a bad idea to send cash through the mail, as well as tax and other boring grown-up stuff. But at this point, how could she say no?

So how often do we let “no,” “not now,” “not yet,” “that’s out of your price range,” and “we’ll see” stop us? Do we quit when faced with an obstacle, or do we find a life hack or workaround, simply moving one letter to change the whole game? Are we like my son who takes “Maybe…” as “Definitely!”?

Just something to keep in mind while we’re still laying out the plans for our 2015 book marketing campaigns. Trust me – I write this as much for myself as for you!

Here’s to your Superb Owl success in 2015!

Laura

Sources:
* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_hacking
** bizjournals.com/ dont-say-super-bowl

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