“It is impossible to find a man who has everything, but it is possible to find one who enjoys the things he has”- Maasai Proverb
Naisiae was busy updating her ecommerce shopping portal when her mobile phone rang.
It was a customer from New York who wanted to place some new orders. This time about a 100% increase from his previous order!
Naisiae politely accepted the order and then “hung up” the phone.
She turned to her brother and said “quick, we need to bring everyone together”.
Sironka then stood up and left.
It took him under an hour to get to the first village, about 15 kilometres away. He only stopped for about 5 minutes and then went on to the next village, this time only 5 kilometres away.
By the end of the day, Sironka had visited eleven villages that day and had run over 100 kilometres.
You see, Naisiae and Sironka live in Tanzania on the border wit Kenya.
They are Maasai.
They also run a fair trade ecommerce store where they sell arts and crafts to people all over the world – like the customer in New York.
Naisiae needed to get everyone together because the order that was just placed, was going to be a huge challenge, but she also wanted everyone to celebrate with this great news as well. It was a time for joy.
Life is different in this part of the world to what many of us experience.
Many years ago, I had the most gratifying experience to spend time there. It is a land that is known of course for the Maasai, but also The Great Rift Valley, The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro and as Anthropologist know, the cradle or the world – where some of the earliest fossils of humanity can be found.
Every day I would walk with the head herdsman, the elder of the village, as he tended his cattle. I struggled under the hot sun, yet it was a real joy to learn from this man.
It is also a very cruel place. Drought, disease and extreme poverty.
Yet amongst this back drop, this sister, brother and community are now sharing their story, their culture to the world through their arts and crafts. In return, their communities are being transformed. Medicine, doctors, schools, teachers, university qualifications, clean water, clean energy – the list goes on.
This is the power of taking action.
This is the power of having dreams and not accepting the circumstances that you may be in today.
This is about you, stepping up, being responsible and making a difference today.
How compelling are your “calls to action”? Are they like this…
“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” – Brutus in Julius Caesar
In Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser, Brutus and Cassius are discussing the final phase of their civil war with the forces of Octavian and Marcus Antonius. Cassius has been urging that they group their forces at Sardis and take advantage of the secure location to catch their breath. Brutus, however, advocates heading off the enemy at Philippi before Octavian can recruit more men. Brutus’s main point is that, since “the enemy increaseth every day” and “We, at the height, are ready to decline”, he and Cassius must act now while the ratio of forces is most advantageous. “There’s a tide in the affairs of men,” he insists; that is, power is a force that ebbs and flows in time, and one must “go with the flow.” Waiting around only allows your power to pass its crest and begin to ebb; if the opportunity is “omitted” (missed), you’ll find yourself stranded in miserable shallows.
What if your “calls to action” had the power to change the direction of whole armies, in fact whole nations?
Or is it you would just prefer to have the power to influence your own children to clean up their room, or your potential customers to reach out to you?
Can you see how important it is to be able to communicate to your audience in a way that results in action being taken? Perhaps you want to inspire? Maybe it is to inform or to educate? Possibly it is to have your audience do something – like opting in to your business for a newsletter subscription or purchasing your products and services?
How effective are you with your calls to action today?
Well although Shakespeare, in his plays, poems, and other writings, used 29,066 unique words and introduced something like 3,000 words to the English language, while most people today only use 7,500 to 10,000 unique words in their writing and speech – you do not have to be a Shakespeare to put together a compelling call to action!
You do however, need to have an understanding of your target audience’s needs or problems and are able to package a solution or answer, that goes to someway in addressing these needs or problems. Finally of course, communicate in a way that your audience connects with you as a person. That’s the secret!
Now there is a trillion-dollar industry called advertising and marketing that has dissected this into such depth and speciality – however it is sometimes easy to get confused or lost in the labyrinth of it all. That’s why using Shakespeare as an example and possibly an inspiration to you, might give you the cut through you need. Afterall, look at what just one person could do with a pen and even after his death in 1616 – yes almost 400 years ago is still so relevent today and can bring grown men to tears in is words.
“See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that i were a glove upon that hand, That i might touch that cheek!” – Romeo And Juliet