Don’t die with your music still in you.
— Dr. Wayne Dwyer

Do you believe that strong relationships can increase your creativity?  I recently heard Elizabeth Gilbert describe creative living in this way, “Creative living is any life where you routinely, habitually and consistently choose curiosity over fear.”

I love that viewpoint, which brings me to share with you our new neighbors that recently moved into our backyard. They are two little finches that moved into an old birdhouse that has not seen any “tenants” for several years.

Well these two moved in with a flurry and began remodeling the interior immediately.  Throwing out the old as they brought in new grasses and other natural elements to build their nest. To our delight they brought with them the most beautiful songs that they sing while they do their work.  Whistling while they work at it’s finest!

I found myself in a better mood all around just because they were singing right outside my office window.  Shouldn’t everyone we hang out with make us feel that way - to make us curious and want to get to know them better?  

I find myself stopping my work at various times during the day just to watch the energy in which those sweet little birds are utilizing to prepare their nest. This morning I was able to hear them again chirping they sweet melodies to the world, as it rings true that a true melody from the heart can never be silenced.

The same should be true I think with the customers in our businesses.  Those special human beings who make our business work so well or … not work so well.  Something we have been paying special attention to in this months coaching work in the Victory Circles Marketing Mastery Circle.

In the book I recently had the pleasure of reading, The Contrarian Effect, Michael Port and Elizabeth Marshall share the 9 Contrarian Principles that I think makes for a good neighbor policy as well as a customer retention policy.  The cool part is by utilizing them we can’t help but to make the planet a better place to hang out on.

The 9 Contrarian Principles

1. Build relationships and make connections.  Remember that each potential customer is human first.

2. Respect your customers and honor their wishes.  Every connection is an opportunity to build trust, credibility and earn the right to keep in touch.

3. Target specific groups of individuals and the people with whom you do your best work.  Cut through the noise and look towards just reaching the customers that are meant to buy from you.

4. Make relevant and timely offers.  Listen to your target audience and be relevant with the offers that you make to them.

5. Increase your “likeability factor.”  You must be someone that they know, like and trust.

6. Practice radical transparency.  Gone are the days of trickery selling, disclose honestly what is happening in regards to being able to fill their needs.

7. Establish yourself as a trusted advisor.  Give value above and beyond just the sale – give them a multitude of reasons to build a relationship.

8. Collaborate with strategic partners to leverage your efforts.  Partnering with others who server the same market allows you to reach more potential clients in less time and with less effort.

9. Think bigger about who you are and what you offer your clients.  You have the opportunity – the ability to make a difference in the world and make an impact in the lives of your customers. 

As you move into the week ahead, choose one or two of the principles to focus on and see where it takes you. Just imagine if you incorporated all of them :)

Here’s to a great week ahead full of whistling while you work!

To Your Successes and Victories, 
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles


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