The answer is simple. I pay attention and try to stay in the moment. If you’re creating intellectual property (IP for the rest of this article), then you need to find a way to use real-life, every day events that people can relate to as a metaphor for not-so-simple “stuff.”
Take Jerry Seinfeld. The dude made a boatload of money over 9 years making a television show about “nothing.” Add to it, that all of that material came from a highly successful comedy act, which he still uses today. Making money on “nothing.” That nothing, however, is what we deal with in our daily lives. One of my favorite episodes was when the gang lost Kramer’s car in the mall parking lot. An entire episode was dedicated to the goofy search for the car. How many of us have ever lost our car in a parking lot? I have…and recently at a grocery store when I realized that I have a new car and I should stop looking for the old one! That episode, as well as all the others take a real-life situation and engages the audience because we can relate.
If you follow my blog posts, my newsletters, and my speeches, you will hear stories about my dogs, my kids, my wife (although she scares me most so I have to be careful), my parents, my basketball coaching, my cooking, and my professional experiences. You’ve heard about me walking the dogs, moving furniture, burning my hand, hitting poor golf shots, and walking around New York City with $5,000 in cash. Why? Because you can relate to all of these things. They make the “stuff” I talk about – insurance, crisis leadership, risk management, executive leadership, and change management more palatable. I hope that when I draw a metaphor, the light goes on and you say “Ah Ha!”
So when you write your next blog post, article, or executive brief OR present your next speech or video, consider your uniqueness. As my professional mentor, Alan Weiss always says, there is nothing new under the sun. You’re methodology, theories, strategies, and the like are not necessarily new. However, you are unique and your experiences make your IP different from everyone else!
To create great IP, you have to add one key ingredient…YOU! Pay attention to your life. Don’t think nothing happens to you. It does. Be in the moment and find those crazy little things that make you chuckle or shake your head. Most likely, it’s the start of a great new story.
Now, if you only had a neighbor like Kramer…
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved