Any Canadian who has ever watched hockey in the last 30 years knows who Don Cherry is. For those of you who aren’t from Canada, you may find it hard to believe, but Don’s comments have often overshadowed his suits. If you’re interested, here’s a great top 10 list of Don’s Best Quotes, I particularly like these two.
On who should have been the game’s three stars in a particularly bad game: “No. 1 – the Zamboni driver. No. 2 – an usher. No 3. – a guy selling popcorn.”
On the Canadian Football League: “The best thing about this game, there’s no Russians or Swedes playing.”
In any broadcast of his show called Coaches Corner, I’ve come to expect Don to talk about one of three things a. his love of tough Canadian hockey players b. his admiration and passion for the Canadian junior hockey players and the leagues they play in and c. breaking down game film to teach kids and minor league hockey coaches what they should do.
Don put in his 10,000 hours long time ago and in the process found his voice. You may love him or hate him for his opinion, but in either case, he consistently delivers his own personal brand of commentary that is unique from any other broadcaster in the history of hockey.
Don Cherry’s fashion sense is as much a part of his voice as his dog Blue. In the same way, Johnny Cash‘s actual voice is as identifiable as his moniker “the man in black”. Willie Nelson’s ratty old guitar (named Trigger) with the red, white and blue strap just seems blend seemlessly with his peircing twangy sound. Jean-Michel Basquait unique use of color and eccentric imagery helped to make his work immediately recognizable as his own.
Businesses that want to connect with their customers and develop sustainable communities need to also spend time to develop their voice. It cannot be done overnight, with one tweet or 1000 likes or 365 days of TV ads. It takes time. According to Malcolm Gladwell (author of Outliers), the key to success in any field is time. 10,000 hours of it. If you break it down, that means an average of 20 hours per week for 10 years.
Sounds like a long time? Well, how long do you plan on being in business for?
Doesn’t seem worth it? In a marketing sense, you’re 10,000 hours will be spent trying to learn about your customers, how they communicate and getting a better understanding of what makes them tick. Doesn’t that seem like a worthwhile endeavor?
Where am I going to find 20 hours in my already busy work week? What about hiring a part time marketing assistant? What if you could spend an hour a day and delegate 15 hours a week to someone else? There are ways around it if you schedule time for it.
Over the last year or two, I’ve logged I’m about 1000 hours. I’ve loved every minute of it. I feel energized and excited about what I’m doing and want to share with people like you all the things I’ve learned about marketing. When it comes to a unique voice, what I’ve learned is that every sentence I write, every link I create, every picture I insert and every blog I post helps define my brand and adds to my voice. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but I’m starting to find my range.
How do you like my voice so far?
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