Children with terminal illness are amazing. In spite of knowing their short life is near its end, they remain incredibly positive and have a zest for their remaining months or years. Meanwhile, as youngsters face the end of their life, unable to achieve all that they desired, Internet marketers moan and worry about a downturn in sales. Kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it?
A positive attitude certainly helps – marketers who approach the current downturn negatively are much less likely to find the solutions they need. Indeed, on this week’s BBC Question Time, there was virtually unanimous agreement that the Government had taken a negative attitude towards the recession and come up with a knee-jerk response which would not work. Justin King, the CEO of Sainsburys agreed with opposition politicians that there was an opportunity for coming up with a more positive and creative approach to the financial crisis – but the Government had just acted quickly, rather than thoughtfully.
The same is true for many online businesses; they don’t plan or think, they just react. They send out emails in a bid to raise cash, without thinking about the long term impact this has on customers, for instance. The companies are focused more on themselves and their immediate problems than having a positive attitude towards the future and coming up with a creative way of ensuring things go well.
The children with terminal and serious illnesses could teach these people a thing or two about attitude. Last week I spoke at a meeting about the potential for social networking to corporates and to a group of public sector bodies, including Government departments. I was met with constant negativity – what about the potential for abuse, what about people who’ll waste time on social networks, what about the cost of it all. Few people were prepared to be positive – and that’s what’s holding them back.
The talk I gave was unpaid, but the organisers generously gave £250 to the charity of my choice. I asked them to donate the money to Dreams Come True, a charity that makes the dreams of terminally ill children become a reality. Whether it’s a flight in a hot air balloon, or meeting their hero, Dreams Come True works to make the final years of a dying child’s life positive.
You can help too. For the coming year, Dreams Come True is my Charity of the Year and I’ll be raising as much money as I can to help those positively minded youngsters achieve their dreams. You can make a donation right now by visiting my donation page at JustGiving. No matter how small, every contribution will help. Thank you.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+