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Why Cheating Is Over, Dude

will-smith-2The actor Will Smith gave me some brilliant advice this week. It’s the secret to business success today. Get it wrong, and you’re stuffed. Here it is.

I’ve never seen a Will Smith movie, nor paid him any attention. So when he spoke to a packed room at the Cannes Creativity Festival this week, I was ready to be underwhelmed. Well, he was brilliant. Impressive. Focussed, with a genuine purpose to make a difference. It was this advice given to him by his son, who he’d flippantly advised to cheat on his girlfriend rather than end a 10 year relationship, that was the deepest insight. Will’s son told him this:

“Dude- cheating is over!”

Technology has killed cheating in relationships. You stray, someone snaps a pix, and everyone knows. But that wasn’t his real message. The bigger story is this. And it was the most consistent theme of the Cannes Festival.

In everything we do, we have to be authentic.

Yes- I know. Sounds like New Age wank- but there is something going on here.

The days of smoke and mirrors in marketing are over. So too insincerity and lack of candour in our business and personal relationships. If you’re not real, genuine, authentic – then you get shot down, and quickly. Same applies if the work you do is not great. When something is excellent, you spend time with it. As David Droga told us: “It takes the same amount of energy to try to do something great as it does to justify doing something average.”

Here’s Will: “It gets you focussed on making great work. Hollywood used to be able to launch a movie, market like crazy and it took the public till Wednesday to find out it was shit. Now the first guy who sees it is tweeting after 10 minutes – ‘Will’s movie is shit. Don’t bother seeing it.’ You need to do great work. You need to be genuine in your intent, and your conduct.”

So in the interest of authenticity and candour, and letting those in London know I was speaking absolute rubbish, here’s a story. I launched my book, Savage Oxygen, last week. I sent out a Possums post to my 11,000 readers. We tweeted like mad, and leveraged LinkedIn.

Possums CEO Martine was thrilled with the response, reporting to me there had been an immediate and big ‘click through’ rate. Now- I took that, mistakenly, as ‘purchase’ rate. So I liberally gloated to my audiences at a packed series of seminars and speeches in London last week how brilliantly my social media efforts over the years had been, and how this had created the foundation for “1,400 books sold while I was having coffee at Dome this morning.”

Problem is, it just wasn’t true. I did not know it then, but do now. Yes- click through was BIG. Purchase? Well, apart from 45 copies kindly purchased by Richard and the CEO Forum folk in Melbourne for their 45 CEOs who attended my speech there the week prior, I have sold…wait for it…wait for it…..drum roll……. 43 copies!

43. Forty three. Four tens and three. Seven shy of 50.

Oy vey!

CRM guru Phil Smith from brilliant Sydney business Apparent told me the insight as I sobbed into my beer and escargot in Cannes last night. There is a big difference, says Phil, between an audience who subscribe to a service because they are wanting free content, in comparison to those subscribing to receive great offers on topics / products they want to buy. It is a massive hurdle to genuine engagement.

Makes me smile. You live and you learn!

And I’ve lived and learned in Cannes this week. The big message. Be authentic. Try to do the very best you can, every time. Face reality. Tell the truth. Show vulnerability. That’s when true connections are made.

I am so grateful for everything I have. I am a lucky guy. Surrounded by love. Learning. Opportunity.

Would not swap it for quids.

Au revoir!

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13 Responses to Why Cheating Is Over, Dude

  1. Paul June 29, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    We’ve got a copy with pride of place on the company bookshelf – second member of the team to read it gets an arvo off. I was the first!

    • Chris Savage June 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

      Thanks Paul- I reckon they should get a week off to recover!

  2. Tony Walford June 29, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Oh Lordy! 43 books? When you said “1,400 sold during coffee” at our seminar the other week, I gasped! Thanks for walking the talk in the blog my friend, true authenticity is indeed important and, with you, “what you see is what you get” has always been your stock in trade. Folks reading this – BUY THE BOOK – It’s great!

    • Chris Savage June 29, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

      Thanks Tony- yes, I am embarrassed about that claim!! You live and you learn. Chris

  3. Tom June 30, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    I’m one of those 45 with a free copy and have joined your blog Chris since listening to you at the CEO forum lunch. About 1/2 way through the book and all good so far. The book deserves a bigger reading audience – Tom

    • Chris Savage June 30, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

      Thanks Tom- appreciated!

  4. Patrick Looram June 30, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

    I’m just waiting for the kindle edition…

    • Chris Savage June 30, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

      Patrick- am in contact now with Amazon people and they are in process of getting the Kindle done. Will let you know once done. Chris

  5. Maha Krishnapillai July 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    Chris – it’s also because Amazon is such a US-centric rip-off when they add currency conversion/P&H which makes it a $50 book …. How much do you get??!! Couldn’t you distribute through Booktopia or another Aust online site?

  6. CraigCharnock July 6, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    There may be far more varied feedback and I hate to be a critic, but I find the cover makes me think of an Albert Camus novel, which is fantastic (and obscure), but I can’t for the life of me see the connection between the cover of the book and the content. Its beautiful but it doesn’t resonate for me!
    I would suggest a different cover for the second edition. Even the Possums design that is further down on the website is far more appropriate. I would have kept the visual possums theme on the cover. It’s powerful, its your brand, it’s consistent, its relevant!

    • Chris Savage July 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

      Thanks Craig. The picture is a painting of Hydra, a little Greek island which I am very fond of. It’s also the logo of my business, The Savage Company. It’s on the business card, permeates the website wwwthesavageco.com and is prominent on The Savage Compnay LinkedIn page. This is all the branding of my business, and is quite separate from the blog. The great thing working for yourself and only having yourself to worry about is you can do anything you like! I wanted to spend every day time with an image that reminds me about what really drives me in life, of sanctuary and a gentler, kinder world. And that little painting of Hydra takes me there…many times a day! Chris

  7. John July 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    I’m also waiting for the Kindle version. I’d guess many are.

    One thought though, do you think the shipping charges might be hurting sales for the many that clicked through but didn’t buy?

    I’d be happy to pay the $24 for the book. Well worth it. But the US$10 in shipping just pissed me off. Especially because I’m buying an Australian book by an Australian author shipped to Australia but it seems Amazon ships it from the US. I couldn’t find it in amazon.com.au.

    • Chris Savage July 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      Thanks John. Yes I know it is frustrating. Problem is Amazon are the publisher and I have no say in how they market/distribute. The Kindle version is underway. Will let you know once done. Thanks! Chris

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