I was enjoying comedian Brian Regan’s Comedy Central special last week, titled ”Standing Up,” when a line caught my attention. It was more of a truth really. The back story to Brian’s joke was that when we have kids, we tend to do things we otherwise wouldn’t do. Go places we otherwise wouldn’t go.
Like visiting a butterfly pavilion.
When Brian and his family started the tour at the butterfly pavilion, the guide announced to the group “I’ll be happy to answer all of your butterfly questions today.”
To which Brian replied in his monologue, “ All of them? Where do you begin when you get that kind of green light?”
But to me it hit another green light, the fact that to most people our interests are like, well, butterflies. Most couldn’t care less. But to that Butterfly Specialist, that’s his thing, it’s what he does, maybe what he loves. To him, there is nothing in the world more interesting.
Did you know that some butterflies have developed symbiotic and parasitic relationships with other insects such as ants? Or that the butterfly’s hind wings are said to allow it to make swift turns to evade predators? I didn’t. I had to look it up. Butterflies aren’t my thing.
For me, it’s advertising & media. I’m sure when I speak, others feel like I’m telling them that I’d be happy to answer all of their butterfly questions.
I’m sure you’ve encountered the same problem. That’s ok. You can’t please everyone. And you can’t expect everyone to be engaged. You can only hope to inform and entertain those that are listening, those who are genuinely interested. Or those who some day might be.
The reality is, my business, my interests, will only attract a small percentage of people. The same goes for everyone. Your business, your interests.
Most couldn’t care less about our work. And there’s nothing we can do about it. Nor should we.
All we can do is speak to those who are interested, and do our best to make what we say engaging, compelling and exciting for ourselves and for our customers.
It’s about enthusiasm, and transferring that passion to others. Like a great ad, transmitting an idea, a thought or a feeling to a listener or viewer. Be passionate about your business, ignore those that aren’t necessarily interested in what you have to say.
Act like the tour guide at the butterfly pavilion. And be happy to answer any questions.