business, customers, Social Media

“If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times…”


I started working on a project for an independent school that needed some inspiration.  Like every business, they have challenges to their growth, employees who are unhappy and complain, parents who don’t get what is happening with all the changes, and the children of course.  Change is hard.  Learning new processes is hard.  Adapting to new expectations is hard. Wave after wave of change, and leaders breathless over how to motivate everyone.

“If you’ve told a child a
thousand times and he still
does not understand, then it 
is not the child who is the 
slow learner.”

-Walter Barbee

This hit me like a ton of bricks–all the changes the director was trying to make, her big vision, it was beyond the scope of everyone.  And she was breathless trying to get her people to understand the vision.

Is this what we do to our clients?  Our prospects? Our networking buddies?  Are we telling them, thousands of times, about the benefits of social media, the importance of branding, the misuse of fonts—and they are grabbing their heads and not understanding us—a thousand times?

And is it true, “it is not the client who is the slow learner”?

If I look back at my most recent proposals (and networking speeches) I can see a pattern there…eyes glazing over with a slight drool forming at the corner of the mouth.  I thought it was anticipation, NOT.  It was despair and misunderstanding, just like that toddler who is trying to figure out why people keep yelling at them to hold those metal devices and stick them into delicious food and then put the food in their mouth. “Why?” the child asks. “why can’t I just want to pick everything up with my very convenient fingers, like I use to do, and fill my mouth?  Why do we have to use those metal things?

Perhaps its time to sit back and look at our pitch and proposals from the perspective of the other side.  They don’t want to change, they don’t want to think about change, they don’t want to learn new stuff.  They want 1992 back when we just placed a yellow pages ad and waited for the phone to ring….I know, from the social media side you shake your head and cannot figure out why you have to tell them again, in a louder voice why these things are important and necessary.  “If I have told you once, I have told you a thousand times…” I hate the expression, and I think I understand why.

Anyone figured out a better way to spread the word?  Tell me, tell me a thousand times please.


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