Often when I see a specific example I ask myself: What is happening here? Who is benefiting?
I would like you to take a moment to watch the embedded video of Ivanka Trump and what was requested of her through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and then I will suggest what I think is going on, and you can share your opinion…
So first I want to make a point that I believe Ivanka is an extremely competent marketer and business person in her own right. She is not just a celebrity air-head using her good looks and connections.
Why do I believe this? Well I was invited to meet her at the GKIC Marketing conference a couple of years back. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the conference that year, but I know that crowd and if she didn’t have a high level of knowledge they would have eaten her for lunch. Celebrity or no.
In fact I believe part of Ivanka’s presentation included how she uses her celebrity status to market and drive her business.
But let’s put that aside for now, and look at this video. This is a story it is a story that encapsulates both charity (helping others) and mentoring. So who wins here?
Well obviously Linda is benefiting from the knowledge of Ivanka, and also significant exposure. Not just through this video, but I am betting that Ivanka will be planning to ‘trot Linda out’ at some strategically chosen events in the coming year, and will likely wear some of Linda’s jewellery at Red Carpet type events where the designers name will be included in magazines.
All of these things could be charged for by Ivanka, and in other circumstances I believe she does get income this way. -So is she doing this out of the goodness of her heart? Yes… and no.
Yes she is definitely helping Linda, who has an incredible opportunity her if she plays her cards right. But at the same time it makes perfect business sense for Ivanka. It is giving her exposure as well. But a special kind of exposure; it is linking Ivanka to a story that didn’t exist before.
This is a story that can be viral, and that positions her in a certain way.
This story has legs… This video is embedded on my blog, but it is also embedded on a number of blogs that match the demographics of Ivanka’s business, and that is what she is counting on.
Again don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Ivanka is a cold calculating person. Quite the opposite. She has found a way to really help someone and at the same time use that opportunity for a real win-win.
Ultimately that is the point of this post:
It is your job as a business owner to see how you can creatively help someone in such a way that it becomes a compelling story, which aids both the other person or cause and your business.
Because I think this is the ultimate ability of an entrepreneur: Creativity
The creativity to make something happen in a way that helps everyone. And it shows up those who are managers rather than entrepreneurs.
When you see something that looks “forced”, a situation or story that seems fake in some way, that you believe in your gut is only done in such a way to benefit the business itself, then I would say you are dealing with a business that is lacking in some entrepreneurial input.