Daily Archives: January 21, 2012

Learning the ABCs of Success, Social Media Style

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Danny Silverman writes,

Success = Ambition * Selling Skills.  


Okay, let’s discuss.  What do you mean, Danny?

I know people with (competency and determination) but they can’t sell it… and so they fail.  That’s my thought of the day.  “Everyone lives by selling something.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

Yes… and..?

For any career, whether you craft violins, collect garbage, write law or heal people, if you can’t sell yourself and your craft, the rest doesn’t matter.

I like this guy, Danny S… and he’s articulating an idea that I have to sell to clients constantly, especially those clients who insist that they “aren’t salespeople.”

Yes. Yes you are salespeople.  All of you. What’s more, sales is the oldest and most noble professional. Sales is what makes the world go around.

Sales done right, that is.

I try running my flurry of formulas and models by Danny.  There’s the old Skill x Will matrix.  There’s the rogenSi (Knowledge+Skill+Process) x Mindset = Exceptional Performance formula.  Nope, Danny doesn’t want any of that. I don’t bother trying my A.V.O.C.A.D.O. performance model on Danny, or my Competency x Warmth x Intention framework.  Even though he started off with a mathematical formula, Danny is not buying my equations or models today.

Selling ain’t about telling.

Let’s throw away the models and open up the question of how to build-out the components of Danny’s success formula, by making a list of attributes, going from A to Z. (Learning Consultant Jargon version: We can generate an ad hoc sales competency framework using the English alphabet as a convenient brainstorming scaffold.)

Yes Danny, to be successful you have to be able to sell your ideas and your talents…. and to do that, it helps tremendously if you can develop the following:






…and with that, I and turn the discussion over to the Facebook Peanut Gallery:  What are the attributes of a successful performer?

Here’s some of my other friends had to say:


Aptitude; Ambition


Braggadocio; Blandly attractive appearance (being blonde helps);


Calm; Connections


Direction; Determination


Ego; Effort


Faith; Fearlessness; Friends and family to ground them; Funny


Grace; Guile; Good scripts/songs/etc that catch on


Honesty; Heroism; Hot body; Humor


Innovative; Imagination; Intelligence (if they want to have a long-lasting career); Information


Just doing it; Jeterian (for Yankee Fans = comes through in the clutch); Jokes (for being amiable and thus likeable by industry insiders); Juice


Killer instinct; Kan-do attitude


Lovable; Likability; Lack of scruples; Luck


Mastery; Marketability; Maniacal devotion to the Pope


Nerdiness; Noble; Nose for good songs/scripts/whatever; Narcissism


Openmindedness; Opinion; Organic; Officials (ie agents, etc)


Potent; Preparation; Perspiration; Perspicaciousness; Practice; Physical beauty


Quixotic; Quitlessness; Quirklessness; Questionable ethics; Questions (be ready to answer them)


Resolute; Resources; Resourcefulness; Risky/Risk-taker


Selfless; Smarts; Sobriety; Style (especial attention to the tie)


Talent (optional, but nice to have); Tyrannical; Teeth (make them gleam); ‘Tention t’ det’l


Unbridled; User-friendliness; Utilizing the restroom facilities prior to performing; U, the fans


Vibrant; Viciousness; Validation of romantic relationships; Value (from the point of view of the promotors and investors)


Willing; Wakefulness; Winsomeness (aka  appeal to the audience); Wages (it’s best to get any money up front in case things go awry)


X-treme; XXX (like moonshine, not the other type of performance), XRay vision; X-rated gossip about them to raise their profile


Young; Youthful; Yoda-like; Yesmanliness


Zeal; Zealous; Zen; Zero tolerance for failure

(ht Lev, Ben, Avi, Aliza… apologizes for partially sanitizing your submissions, especially yours Ben…  hey, this is a somewhat family-friendly operation here…)

Tellingly, by changing one term in this exercise — generalizing competency in “sales” as a “performance” —  it opened up an interesting analogy between sales and the entertainment industry, which of course was unintentional. 

Ultimately, it’s the serendipitous connections that make an exercise like this so valuable.

Various entries were given for each letter…. but what is the X-factor?

Xenophilia, I think…. the embracing of that which is unknown and different, especially the different perspectives you can get if you ask a question to a few friends in an safe learning environment…. yes?

Yes, I just called Facebook a safe learning environment.  For whatever reason, some people open up on Facebook personal status update comment threads in a way that’s different than what you see in blogs, public forums, Twitter, or even email and instant messages. Perhaps the mid-size semi-private conversations on sites like Facebook and Google+ are the Internet’s equivalent of a small group discussion…. not as intimate as a 1:1 conversation and yet not as open as a large group discussion. In terms of places to generate online conversation, a circle of friends-of-friends seems to be a uniquely interesting zone.

Zeroing in on the lesson learned: It’s more interesting and fun to learn/sell when you let other people do the teaching/selling. Thank you Danny and friends for your excellent, LOL (Learning Out Loud) input!

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