Hello Awesome People!
“Those who play with the devil’s toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
I really do like this saying and watching an awesome play last night (Trial by Jury & The Sorcerer 2015 with Lisa Stewart as the lead actress) told this great tale of love in a village. The main hero who was about to be engaged had this bizarre idea of hiring a Sorcerer to drug the whole town with a love potion.
Basically, it would only impact those who are single resulting in those who take it, falling “In Love” with the first person they see when they come out of a limited coma induced by it.
The main protagonist of the show (to his Fiancee’s protest) felt it was a great idea to take away people’s free will and force everyone to pair up for their “Own Good”.
This seemingly went well until he forced his Fiancee to take the potion – and she accidentally woke up and bonded with the wrong person. The protagonist then worked hard to undo the spell (even resulting in the death of the Sorcerer) so he could win back her heart. The play ended in him regretting in taking such a course of action, despite his best intent.
Upon watching this great play, it made me immediately think of Buckminster Fuller’s quote which has always resonated with me.
It’s the perfect description of almost out enemy within in which we maybe say have a great objective, but our methods of achieving our goal is incredibly questionable / unethical (and even possibly illegal). The more we use a ‘questionable approach’ the more likely we wind up the bad guy doing things our mothers wouldn’t be proud of.
One application where I have seen this go very wrong is in Small Business Sales & Marketing. Let’s say someone has a product that *they think* a given person needs. They may use pressure tactics or unethical types of selling, all with the justification of “Well, my product will change their life so they will love it”.
Then lets say as the person was pressured into the purchase, they have “Buyers Remorse” – ask for a refund, or even worse – keep the product but hate the vendor who sold it to them.
Basically it comes down to this which I have seen many times; it doesn’t matter how noble your objective is. If you achieve it with say the “Devil’s Means” you will unwittingly be working for him. This usually ends very badly for most people and talking Small Business – there are always multiple ways of achieving an objective.
You can sell through being helpful, telling the truth and solving their problems. You can also sell through deception, lies & pressure. People who I have seen sell using the “Devil’s Toys” usually get bitten very badly as they over-promise, under-deliver and have clients turn on them.
My advice and thinking? It can be tempting to at times do the wrong thing and take the “Devil’s Path” and justify it with our objective. Probably not a good idea. Regardless of your noble objective or not – if you are doing the “Wrong Thing” it is still the “Wrong Thing” and you will probably end up regretting it.
I have made many decisions in my own business doing it the “Right Way” and sometimes it takes longer. I think that’s fine! Sustainability is important and the last thing I (or I think anyone) want to be doing is working for the Devil. Also quite often, doing things ‘The Right Way’ is often easier than the shonky way.
So keep your nose clean, do things the right way, enjoy thyself.
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Edward Zia is a Marketing Mentor and Business Leader who have worked for a very long time in Marketing and loves helping Awesome Small Business Owners get more clients.