Saturday, January 2, 2010

Go Boldly Where No Sheep Has Gone Before: Adventures in India Part 2

[In this series of blog posts, Leader of the Flock Aimee Woodall recounts her two-week trip to India and the lessons she learned along the way.]

Before I left for my trip, I was frequently asked, “Why are you going to INDIA?” My usual response was something along the lines of “Because I’ve always wanted to,” which never seemed to satisfy the skeptics. But that’s the truth. I’ve been many places in this world and stretched my comfort zone, and I wanted to do a little bit more.

And when I got there I took it another step forward.

When clerks in the market put their feet down and insisted it was their final offer, I gave them MY final offer. And I came home with four amazing Indian tops for less than 8 dollars.

When I was repeatedly told, “Don’t hug that camel,” I did it anyway. And it didn’t bite me. (Perhaps, little man, the camel just doesn’t like YOU.)

When they firmly stated, “Don’t touch the monkey,” OF COURSE, I was going to touch it. And hold its hand. And dance with it in the street.

In case you haven’t noticed, I dance to my own tune on a regular basis… monkey or no monkey… and my life is better for it.

But even for someone like me who consistently pushes the envelope, India was inspiring. The people, the buildings, the culture… heck even the incessant honking in traffic encourages bold attitudes and vibrant mindsets.  It’s pretty safe to say that in a place that houses the Taj Mahal, it pays to “go big or go home.”
Bedazzled, brightly colored clothing. Spicy foods. Loud voices. Flying kites. Elephants. These things resonated with me and confirmed my belief that we should all strive to get noticed by amplifying our assets and taking risks. Clients, I’m talking to you.

Doing things beyond what we know and trust can be scary, but it’s TOTALLY worth it. I came out of what could have been an uncomfortable situation, spending two weeks half a world away in a country whose language I don’t speak, with more confidence than before. And you can do the same with your business.

Today, it’s almost the New Year. So try something you haven’t before. If you find yourself saying “We’ve done it this way for 15 years…” I urge you to reconsider. If you think your image is should be “corporate” and follow the formula of those before you, think again. If you’re more comfortable doing something because it’s conservative, don’t do it. In marketing, the goal is to make your business memorable, and to do that, it’s going to take some pizzazz, some sparkle… and maybe an elephant. The results could be HUGE.

Happy New Year, everyone!


1 comment:

CAT said...

I've always wanted to go to India. I've seen plenty of shows, read great books, and have wonderful friends from there. One such book is called "Holy Cow" by Sarah Macdonald and it was a great read about the place.

Thanks for your photos and story! Looks like you had a wonderful time!