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April 9, 2020

155: Why Your Business Needs to be More Human Than Ever During the Coronavirus Pandemic [Mark Schaefer Interview]

155: Why Your Business Needs to be More Human Than Ever During the Coronavirus Pandemic [Mark Schaefer Interview]

Today's episode is a special interview I had with a special friend, Mark Schaefer. Mark is one the true few thought leaders in the marketing space, whose most recent book Marketing Rebellion talks about how the most human companies will win in the marketing of tomorrow. While we planned to talk about a lot of issues, as you can imagine the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic weighed over our conversation. However, this current pandemic only served as a poignant reminder for Mark's message, which now has more urgency to it because of the situation we are in today. You can find at Mark at BusinessesGrow and also on social media on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. After listening to the podcast, I do hope you'll reach out to him.

On another note, as mentioned in the podcast, take a screenshot of your online review for The Age of Influence and send it to neal@nealschaffer.com to schedule your 15-minute consultation.

Stay at home and stay safe everyone!

Key Highlights

[02:32] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Mark Schaefer

[07:26] Pivoting Marketing To Nurture People's Hierarchy Of Needs

[16:46] The Ways Companies Approach Being Human Today

[18:34] How Big Companies Have Pivoted Under Circumstances Like Pandemic

[23:06] Now Is The Best Opportunity To Enable Strong Loyaly

[25:25] The Importance Of Paying Attention

[27:08] The Three Things An Entrepreneur Can Learn From The Pandemic

[30:22] Connect With Mark

Notable Quotes

  • I think a lot of our messages need to go to the bottom of the pyramid, right, we need to connect with people where they are in this moment, and they're afraid, and they might be panicky, they might have lost a job. They're grieving, they're experiencing loss.
  • One of the lessons that we're learning is, is we always need to be serving and helping and asking those questions. And maybe, for a lot of marketers who have never done that it's going to be I'm not going to say a positive thing, because we're in a crisis. But these are good skills to learn if people haven't done them, and that should remain with them for the rest of their life.
  • And a lot of that goes on with our marketing today, where we say we're being human. But it's a formula, or it's legally approved. There's no compassion. There's no vulnerability, there's no human voice.
  • If you haven't read on your website, in the last five years, you've been wanting to do it, this is a great time, right? There's this infrastructure, but it's also developing and working on relationships.
  • This is an opportunity to work on your infrastructure and all those things that you've you know, that you've been, you've been, you know, leaving to another time, but it's also an opportunity to help others to help your customers and your partners, get to the other side, that's the goal right now, conserve cash pivot, do what you need to do to be relevant, and fight and get to the other side. Because we will get to the other side, it's going to be different, but you know, it's gonna come back.
  • So we just need to be aware of the people that we live with the people that we work with, the people that we care about, just pay attention, and just show grace, show compassion, be understanding, you know, we need to be infinitely patient right now.
  • Don't judge, you know, just just try to believe in people and, and, you know, just know that everybody's suffering and grieving right now.
  • Life is about choices. What choice are you going to make and with everything you do, you're making a choice. So make the right choices.
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

This is the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, build, leverage and monetize their influence in digital and social media. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer. And welcome to episode number 155. Of the maximize your social influence podcast. I am in the same situation that all of you listening to this right now are probably in that is under lockdown at home, doing our best trying to shuffle, remote work with family with children that are home all the time. And I feel the same that you feel we're sort of all in this together. And I heard this on a nother podcast recently. But it really struck me. As professionals, we always say, when we have time we want to do this or when we have time, we want to do that. And we never have time Well, now we have a lot of time on our hands. So I truly believe those that invest their time wisely during lockdown, obviously, first and foremost in your family and health. But after that in professional education, and in terms of my own podcast and new book on influencer marketing, on developing relationships with other people, it's really going to help you reap dividends have spent the last three weeks in lockdown, you know, looking to develop a lot of old relationships and create new ones. And I hope that you find ways to do that as well. And it's going to be a reminder for today's episode that I'm going to get to in just one second, I do want to remind everybody that this podcast is being sponsored by the age of influence my new book, which just came out, not the best timing, because it came out in March 17. But it is available everywhere. For those of you that have already read it and that I've written an Amazon review, I really appreciate it reviews, as you can imagine in this age of digital influence are critical to the success of the book on platforms like Amazon. And I hope that if you've already read the book, I'm going to continue that offer that if you have read the book, and you leave a review, please let me know. And I'm going to offer you a free 15 minute consulting, or just 15 minutes to chat about life, whatever you want to make of that time together. I've already had some take me up on that offer. And I hope you will as well. So today is a very special interview with one of the true leaders in marketing today. Mark Schaefer, Mark is the author of many books, you'll hear me reintroduce him when I get to the interview. So for those of you that know marketing rebellion, or the DOL of Twitter, the content code, he's written several books. He also teaches at Rutgers business school as I do, I often bump into him there. He is, obviously a true thought leader and more than that, just one of the kindest people that you will see or hear or meets in marketing. Now, when Mark recorded this interview, which was literally just a few days ago, it was for the first time that he mentioned that his wife actually had Coronavirus, and therefore he was in literally in quarantine, and trying to be very careful. It is very unfortunate that since we had that interview just a few days ago, he has announced on social media that he has also tested positive. So obviously I send my utmost prayers and positive vibes Mark's way. And I hope that you will as well, especially after listening to this podcast, this podcast episode. It's sort of like the pandemic that we're in. We threw the script out the window we were going to talk about something completely different because Mark has also written a book on influencer marketing, ROI Return on influence that he wrote several years ago. So we were going to talk about a lot of different things about influencer marketing, personal branding, but with Coronavirus, and with his wife situation, we ended up tapping into a theme that Mark talks about in his latest book marketing rebellion, which is that the most human company wins. And if you have any doubt as to what your company or what you should be publishing in social media today, I think this podcast episode is going to be perfect for you. Because we really have a chance now to be that human brand. That Well, marketers have been telling us we need to do all along. So now's the time to not just really serve your community, but to actually proactively help them. And there's a lot of things that we can all be doing. And I hope as part of this podcast, that you'll look at marks I'll link up to his social media profiles, but I hope that you'll sort of leave him a positive word of encouragement and of prayer. Regardless of your religion. I'm confident that Mark's going to come out of it. Okay. But I think any positive vibe you can send his way would be appreciated by him. And I know his his friend and all of his friends, we'd all appreciate it as well. So with no further ado, here is my interview with Mark Schaefer. Alright, everybody, Hey, thank you all for tuning in, in these troubled uncertain times, I cannot think of anyone that is more of an expert in the space, someone that I look up to, and I know a lot of you do as well to interview. Without further ado, you know, there's been so much said about Mark, I don't know how much more I can add. I remember my first interaction.

Mark Schaefer:

Try Neil.

Neal Schaffer:

I remember, I think it was like 2010. Or maybe it was 2009. I joined Twitter in 2008. It was really in the early days of Twitter, when I saw I don't know if if you came up with my stream, or if someone shared it, but I went to a SlideShare. And I saw a presentation that Mark had done. And I think it might have been social media marketing for nonprofits. I forget, it was like this 127 Page slide deck. And he basically uploaded it to SlideShare, which I don't time was really unheard of. And I remember like, you know, tweeting to mark I'm like, that's, that's pretty incredible. And marks like, yeah, it's like, that's what I do, right. And I think if there's anyone that's been, you know, very giving to the community, and giving back and all of his knowledge, and really, you know, it's funny with all this virtual school going on, and I'm going to stop here, and then I'll let Mark talk. But there's one last comment with all this virtual schooling going on by kids soccer team, I have, I have a ninth grader and a seventh grader. So my seventh grade boy, they did an Instagram live stream, and the coach was talking about all the different positions. And he goes, You know what, at the end of the day, we're looking for the complete package, the kid that can run that can pass that can score. And that's there's no better way to describe mark, because no one has written and spoken and done just everything related to digital and social the same way that Mark has. So Mark, welcome. It's such an honor to have you here. And

Mark Schaefer:

you're so kind you really are there.

Neal Schaffer:

Give me a minute or two to bash me or whatever you want. No, no, no,

Mark Schaefer:

because dude, you could you know, you know, everywhere I go, I tell Neal Schaffer, he is legit, man. I mean, he is a he is an intellect and he's legit. So I love everything that you do. And congratulations on your new book, too.

Neal Schaffer:

Thank you, sir. Mark, obviously, you've you've come up with a number of books, what are you? What are you talking about today? What's your marketing?

Mark Schaefer:

Well, you know, I think Neil, it really reflects the times, what I'm telling people is, you know, we're in a, truly an unprecedented crisis right now. And I like to think about our conversations and our content like that, that old Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right? Remember that whole pyramid we learned in Psych 101? Right? And so, you know, at the bottom of the of the needs, it's like, do I have a roof over my head? Am I going to eat? Am I going to be healthy? You know, and then right above that is like, am I going to be lonely? You know, am I going to be afraid? And then at the very top is aspirational things, like, am I going to buy a boat, right? are, you know, the world is, is suffering, and, and, you know, I, you know, 99% of the people I know, anyway, are grieving, and they're experiencing loss, and they're afraid. And so, right now, I think a lot of our messages need to go to the bottom of the pyramid, right, we need to connect with people where they are in this moment, and they're afraid, and they might be panicky, they might have lost a job. They're grieving, they're experiencing loss. And so I've pivoted my content really starting a couple weeks ago, to just try to help just try to nurture, I actually am fortunate for this for this time, because I have a background in Applied Behavioral Sciences. So you know, I have some skill set around coaching and counseling and that sort of thing. So it's just like, I haven't used those skills in a while, but it's what I can do. You know, it's the skills I can apply to the bottom of the pyramid right now. And that's, that's all I can do. And so that's the messages I've been trying to get out there. How do you deal with disorientation? How do you deal with business uncertainty? How do you sell in this kind of environment? How do you just, you know, cope, and start to deal with with the stress? So those are sort of the things you know, I've been working on, you know, for the last couple of weeks that all the other stuff is kind of on hold right now.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, yeah. You know, I have a bunch of friends that from high school that ended up becoming doctors and we had a virtual reunion the other day, and they were all saying, you know, one of my friends is a dermatologist, but you know, the hospital say, what else can you do? Right? Yeah, and everybody's gonna chip in.

Mark Schaefer:

What else can you do? What a world huh? Yeah, yeah. I mean, I saw the press conference today saying, you know, if you're in the medical field, please come to me New York City, we need your help, you know, it's Wow. I mean, you're I mean, what a world you know. And I think as marketers and communicators, we've just got to be super, super sensitive to that. Just super sensitive to where the world is and, and try to find our place in that.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, my, my doctor friend referring to New York City said it's, he didn't call it a suicide mission. But if you don't have the PPE, the personal protective equipment, it's obviously very, very dangerous. In fact, he said, and for those of you listening, I don't really talk a lot about this and social media. But he basically said, there's a, there's a new belief among doctors that a lot of the spread is actually happening in hospitals, people go in for testing that may be negative, but then go back positive. So you know, I cut my you're not gonna be able to see this, but I cut my finger really bad. It's healed now, like two weeks ago, my frozen bagel stupid thing to do, and it was bleeding really bad. And I would have gone to urgent care, but I'm just trying to, to, you know, take care of myself. And and just, you know, stay indoors as much as possible. I'm sure you're doing the same mark. So yeah, it's a new reality for sure.

Mark Schaefer:

Well, absolutely. And something that I, you know, I shared with you, Neil, that I'm just beginning to talk about is, is my wife tested positive? So, you know, that's, you know, you talk about stress. And, you know, I'm fine. You know, I haven't shown any symptoms yet, but she's been, she's been sick for about two weeks, but she hasn't had to go to the hospital. And she's on, she's, you know, she's on the other side of the curve now. Good, good. You know, the fevers gone. And she's, she's vertical, which is a big improvement over the last couple of weeks. And so, you know, I've got to be careful. And, you know, I've been in a highly contagious environment, but, but I'm strong, I feel good. And I just, you know, I've got to be quarantine. And I've got to be super careful. Yeah, over the next over the next couple of weeks. It's just like you say, I mean, you start thinking about, I can't really do anything risky.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And every time you go outside with every person you meet, your risk goes up. And that's with every package that you touch coming from the outside.

Mark Schaefer:

Yeah, that's yeah, you got to think about all those things. Yeah.

Neal Schaffer:

And you know, that the hierarchy of needs is really interesting, because my parents are 93 and 92, still healthy knock on wood. And they live in a, you know, assisted living facility. And my father had to go to er, last week, right? And, and I have four older brothers, and we're, we're texting each other, like, do we go to er, or not? I mean, there's a caregiver with him, thank goodness. But we ended up not going. It wasn't serious. He ended up coming back the next day, but you know, it that loneliness that you talk about that that next step, it brings up a really, really sad reality of today. And I hope no one has to go through those those 10 hours that we had to go through. But

Mark Schaefer:

yeah, well, it's happening a lot. It certainly is. And, you know, my parents are isolated now. And, you know, and, um, they were going to go to the grocery store the other day, I said, Nope, just know. You're there. Their 80s Just know, for my parents as well. Yeah. You know, we'll find somebody to do that for you. So, yeah,

Neal Schaffer:

exactly. So you know, it's funny because I am always, I'm not like Mr. Evergreen. But I always want to make my content evergreen, because I know and you know, as well mark that certain types of content have have a longevity, right? And podcast, how the longevity, you listen to the podcast a few months from now, when, hopefully, things are better. And I'm sure they help me. And then they go back and listen to this. And it's almost like reading a blog post about Google Plus, right? It's yeah, of antiquated.

Mark Schaefer:

But yeah, I did set that, like on my podcast, I said, you know, I said, you know, a few months from now, people are gonna be listening in they're gonna say, What the heck was that? What are they talking about? Exactly. But I think it's just like, you know, my view right now is just is just screw it. You gotta you just got to do what you got to do. Worry about the SEO later. And, yeah, help people now be relevant now.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And as I said, you can't ignore the elephant in the room, right? I mean, it's, it's there. And everyone's every minute. So yeah. But you know, at first, I sort of thought, you know, there's the concept of newsjacking, right. And whenever something happens, you see all these bloggers, and they all and I don't like to be part of that crowd. But in a certain point, obviously, when your clients start to ask you and other marketers and your readers start to ask you, you know, Mark, what should I do? That's when it's like, okay, this is something that we have to talk about. Right, we have to serve our communities.

Mark Schaefer:

Right. And, you know, I think there's a lot of sort of, you know, awkwardness going on right now. Because, you know, there's no, there's no template for this. There's no strategy for this. You can't read a blog post and know how to, you know, navigate this. So what I try to counsel people is, look, let's just really try not to be too judgmental right now and have a lot of patience and grace with everyone because we don't know their situation. And maybe they're asked acting in a really awkward and desperate way because they're really desperate. Maybe got babies to feed? You know? Yeah, I don't know their situation. And so right now, I just think we just need to give grace to everybody try to be understanding. I mean, there's people out there, you know, doing stuff, I kind of roll my eyes. But I think, you know, look, they're just, they're, they're, they're doing their best. They're good people try to do their best. And they'll, you know, they'll they'll learn as they go, like, we all will. But I think, you know, the, the, the overarching thing is, we just need to be present, you know, we need to be present where, where people are now, it's such a weird time because, you know, it's people are grieving. I've talked to people about, you know, how would you sell to somebody who's at a funeral, right? You wouldn't say, Hey, I've got this new online course on how to create a podcast is 25% off today. What people need to hear right now is, I'm sorry, for your loss. What can I do for you right now? What can I do to help you? What can I do to nurture you, I was here for you before I'm gonna be here for you in the future. And I'm, I'm with you. And that's the fundamental foundational message that we that we need to have, you know, as marketers right now,

Neal Schaffer:

and maybe marketing, we're obviously I, you know, I have our notes for the show, I could almost sort of tear these up. We're obviously gonna be fine. We're staying relevant to the times, but it's almost like, you know, one of the lessons that we're learning is, is we always need to be serving and helping and asking those questions. And maybe, for a lot of marketers who have never done that it's going to be I'm not going to say a positive thing, because we're in a crisis. But these are good skills to learn if people haven't done them, and that should remain with them for the rest of their life. And it's going to help them I mean, not just their business, but themselves personally as well. Right.

Mark Schaefer:

I like that very much, Neil. Yeah, I'm hopeful as you are. The subtitle for my, my new book is called Marketing rebellion, the most human company wins. And one of the frustrations I have is that a lot of the ways companies approach being human today, I describe it as like, like being like a grape lollipop. So a great lollipop is not great. It's, you know, there's no grape, ever that tastes like a grape lollipop is purple, and some industrialist 100 years ago, came up with this formula and said, it's great. And now everybody's sort of conditioned to think it's great, but it's not really great. And a lot of that goes on with our marketing today, where we say we're being human. But it's a formula, or it's legally approved. There's no compassion. There's no vulnerability, there's no human voice. It's it's a stock photo, right? It's a stock photo of ethnically diverse people leaping in a field. And we call that, you know, we call that, oh, we're human, because we have pictures of, you know, fake people on our site.

Neal Schaffer:

That's the washer Pexels. They're great sites. But anyway,

Mark Schaefer:

yeah, that's, that's great. That's a great lollipop human, right. So we so we've got to, you know, we got to show our real faces and our real voices, and a real compassion. And I think that kind of builds on the comment that you made is that there is a great lesson in this is that all that stuff we were doing, you know, three weeks ago, just is fallen flat. And we've got to discover a new way, and that it demands a true human voice.

Neal Schaffer:

Indeed, and even you know, iconic brands like Coca Cola that are redoing their logos for the first time ever for to encourage social just it's a little thing, but it's actually from a branding perspective. That's huge. Right? Yeah,

Mark Schaefer:

it's it's huge. And I've actually, you know, I love watching the best run companies are always the ones to watch in a situation like this, because they do that, you know, if you're a well run company, like Coca Cola, or Nike, or Apple, they do everything, right. I mean, they have a high standard for everything. And here's the thing that's so fascinating, and frankly, inspiring to me is like I talked to a brand leader at Adidas last week, and he said, you know, Mark, all of our advertising, production has been stopped. We have no shoots, we have no advertising being produced. So if you think about it in that context, and you think about how fast these companies have pivoted under these circumstances, it's amazing.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, you know, one of my clients is, they're headquartered in California. They are a beauty company. They sell beauty products through Amazon and other, you know, retail outlets, and they also ship directly from your eCommerce store. And when Governor Newsom said that that's not a necessary enterprise, they had to close down their warehouse, they can't ship products. So I obviously pull the plug and all the things we've been doing together in terms of advertising, obviously, we still work together. I'm, it's sort of like a fractional cmo type of arrangement. But I'm like, Well, what are you gonna do now? And there There's actually and this is sort of the message, I'm telling mark, that there's a lot that you can be doing. Now, yes, you're going to stop those promotions, you talked about obviously, that, that, you know, showing empathy. And being human, really helping people. And I also look at, there's stuff about your infrastructure, if you've always, if you haven't read on your website, in the last five years, you've been wanting to do it, this is a great time, right? There's this infrastructure, but it's also developing and working on relationships. And I'm really taking this time, whether it's through this interview with you mark, or with with Zoom calls, or I'm keeping extremely busy, not just because I have a new book out, and I'm still in promotion mode, but just, you know, developing relationships with lots of people, lots of companies, because I know we're going to get through this. And I think that those same thing I tell my kids, you know, if you're not really doing your best now, a month or two months from now, when you're back at school, there's going to be a big difference between the loafers and the people that work hard. So and I think it's going to be the same for businesses and for marketers, you know, us, I'm really, really wisely right.

Mark Schaefer:

Well, I think that's great, great advice, and certainly great advice for your children as well. You know, there's you there, I like to tell a little story, I told this on a on another show, and I think it's had a powerful impact on people. But this was one of the biggest lessons I've had in my career, learning from sort of a similar type of experience. I used to work for a big company called Alcoa. And when I worked, there was a fortune 100 company and I was in sales, I was a sales leader there for a while, and we had this big customer, they bought 100% of their packaging material from us, we ran into this quality problem, and we were shutting them down. They were shutting their customers down. It was a it was a disaster. But they kept buying from us. And I had lunch with the President of the company. And I said, I just got to ask you, why are you sticking with us? Why aren't you going to one of our competitors, he said, Well, let me tell you why I'm sticking with you. He said, My father was the founder of this company. And during World War Two, we were making products that nobody wanted anymore. And we had to pivot for the war effort. But we needed cash, we needed equipment, and we needed technology. And Alcoa supplied that for us, we were going down the tubes, and your company saved our company. And when my father was dying on his deathbed, he told me, he said, he said never leave Alcoa, they brought us to the dance. And so we had an opportunity in this crisis, to help our customers fight to the end, to fight to get to the other side, right. And, you know, I'm working with partners right now that are helping me fight to get to the other side, I'm working with partners who aren't, I have a friend who's who had to cancel event, and that some hotel is sticking him with 10s of 1000s of cancellation fees in dollars. And, look, he'll be around on the other side. And so will I, and so will that hotel that we're going to remember, right? So you're gonna remember what happens. So you're right, this is an opportunity to work on your infrastructure and all those things that you've you know, that you've been, you've been, you know, leaving to another time, but it's also an opportunity to help others to help your customers and your partners, get to the other side, that's the goal right now, conserve cash pivot, do what you need to do to be relevant, and fight and get to the other side. Because we will get to the other side, it's going to be different, but you know, it's gonna come back. And so this is an opportunity to also really enable strong loyalty.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, you know, it reminds me of two two stories, I'm thinking of that sort of relate to each other. So I started my career at a semiconductor manufacturer in Japan. And they have this concept of main bank. So every company had one bank that they would rely on for financing, what have you. And normally it was the big, you have these, you know, three or four really, really big banks. But our company did business with a regional bank. And the reason is that regional bank during the oil shock, like 1972 73, when there was no finance available, they were able to get it from that. It's a very similar story. And no matter how much all the big banks, the global city banks, what have you knocked on their doors, at least when I worked there? 30 years later, they still remember that and no one could get the business from them.

Mark Schaefer:

This isn't an amazing story.

Neal Schaffer:

I also remember you know, aging myself here i I was in college during the whole Berlin Wall collapsing I'll never forget my poly sigh professor was check. And it was 1989. And he said, If there's one thing I want to teach you about all this is that people remember people do not forget on permanent numbers. And I think, yeah, in this time of crisis, you're absolutely right, that the loyalty is so key and just listening and maybe going out of your way, you know, I work with A group of VAs from a certain country and when the leader reached out to me saying, you know, we're a social entrepreneurship company, and we have people need, you know, can you help us I help right when I can. And I hope if everybody just did a little bit of that, then the world would be a greater place, not just in times of crisis, but every time but it's just little things we can do that can make a big difference. And sometimes, Mark, I'm sure you'd agree, just from your background, just just being there to listen,

Mark Schaefer:

I think, right now, it's just it's paying attention. And, you know, there was a, there was a sort of a friend of mine, you know, a business colleague, you know, who posted something on Facebook about, he was like, he was exhausted all the time. You know, he just feeling exhausted all the time and sort of feeling, you know, sort of disorient I thought, you know, he's just from his Facebook's posts, he started kind of sounded like he's feeling depressed. So I just call to check it. All right, I think we need to do that kind of thing right now. And it's not really a self serving thing. But you know, we do need, we need to pay attention to everyone that we work with. Because what I'm concerned about Neil, is, we've been in this for a few weeks, but you know, we're not close to the end, yet, we got a while to go. And the the cumulative stress is going to start showing up in people in in very scary ways, and very harmful ways. And so we just need to be aware of the people that we live with the people that we work with, the people that we care about, just pay attention, and just show grace, show compassion, be understanding, you know, we need to be infinitely patient right now. And, and, you know, I want to come back to another point that I made is don't judge, you know, just just try to believe in people and, and, you know, just know that everybody's suffering and grieving right now.

Neal Schaffer:

So Mark, I, you know, for the, for the podcast recording, I sort of want to, you know, tie up some of the things we've been talking about, and maybe the way to serve our communities through this podcast. And really, you know, these are the things we recommend you do, just as a summary to sort of close this. And so in this situation, we talked about a few things. What would be if you could summarize you're, you're a marketer, listening to this, you're an entrepreneur, you're a small business owner, what are the what are the three things that that we can learn from this that you should be doing today and on into the future?

Mark Schaefer:

Well, I think the three things I would say, Neil is number one, you know, the theme of a lot of my content these days has been about embracing the chaos, the history of business disruption, and business is about chaos, right? It's about taking advantage of disruption and chaos and responding in the right way. So there are a lot of opportunities, but the first thing I would say, is, number one, be aware of the chaos within ourselves, right? Because even though we're business people, and we're trying to keep it together, it's okay to feel sad, it's okay to feel worried, because we're in unprecedented times. So sort of like embrace the chaos inside of you get to this point of acceptance before you know, or you're not going to be able to make rational decisions. Number two, you've got to take steps to really deal with business uncertainty, or you're going you're going to go crazy, right? You know, number one, you have to sort of release yourself and say, this was not my fault. All right. You're seeing a lot of crash stuff that you build crashing all around you right now. All right. And you might be thinking, why wasn't I more prepared? Why is this happening? You got to let it go. And you got to say this was not my fault, number one. Number two, you've got to stop doing the what if scenario thing, because we are in unprecedented times, stick to what is knowable, stick to the facts. And that would be my third recommendation is take positive actions. Focus on positive actions, right. If you have a positive frame of mind, and you clinging to anything positive, you can find that's going to spread to other people as well. It's going to help you push away the the panicked, reactive sort of part of the brain that wants to take over right now. If you are living in that part of the brain, you're not going to be making rational decisions. You got to fight to be rational. You got to fight to see what's real and what's knowable, and don't dwell in the what ifs, and the stuff that's not knowable. Just take it day by day where you'll go, you'll go crazy.

Neal Schaffer:

That's wonderful advice. Mark. Well said, I just like to add what I tell people, you can't control you can control right? So on the flip side, you can control what you can control. So how you decide to live your life like you know my kids first grade teacher Life is about choices. What choice are you going to make and with everything you do, you're making a choice. So make the right choices. It's a great time to spend time with people you know, whether it's physically or virtually resync get re energized. And when we get through this, I expect that we're all going to be better off, actually. So I know it might be hard to believe now. But I, you know, I'm a believer in that. And I'm the Parker person, Mark, where if I get knocked down, I want to come up twice as powerful. And everybody has that feeling.

Mark Schaefer:

I want to be right there with you.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I'm sure you will be marked. So thank you so much for being on the podcast today, Mark. I'm sure when you're on podcast, you ask other people as well, hey, where can we find you? I think everybody knows where to find you. But just, you know, one last time, if you could just give us a brief of of your URLs and social profiles we'll put there really,

Mark Schaefer:

it's really there's just one that you need to know it's it's businesses grow a figure get your name and my name. People can ever spell it. That. I mean, literally every single day, you know, I'm quoted somewhere, and it's spelled some different way. So I have some

Neal Schaffer:

people reaching out to me, I'm thinking, Are you trying to reach out to mark and maybe,

Mark Schaefer:

yeah, there Yeah, there was actually a guy that had my name. And in London, my same name, and his Twitter, his Twitter bio was, I'm not the Mark Schaefer that wrote that book. But if you could find businesses grow, businesses grow as my blog, my podcast called the marking companion, you can find my books and you know, everything about me is right at businesses grow.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. And if you're listening to this, we will be doing a marketing book giveaway. And Mark has been generous to donate some of his books for that as well. So it'll give everyone a chance, assuming for the 1% that haven't read his books before, that'll give me the chance to get them. So Mark, thank you so much. I do hope that you enjoyed that interview with Mark, and that it gave you a new way of focusing your efforts in this time that we live in. I also hope as I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast that you'll reach out to mark send him some positive vibes. And we will continue on our mission to serve others through our marketing, and in doing so, make friends develop relationships. And as a result of that, I think that we're all going to have enough to put on our plate at the end of the day. So everybody, stay strong. Stay safe, stay at home, and make it a great social day, virtually with social separation. We'll talk to you next week, everybody