Wrapped-up people

Have you noticed how some people carry on in their own little world oblivious of their surroundings. They don’t see the sights and hear the sounds around them, or rather they see and don’t observe, and they hear but don’t listen.

A few weeks ago I passed a guy walking quite fast along a path beside a cornfield; the one in the photo below. The birds were singing, there were flowers in the hedgerow, the sun was out and the sky was blue. Yet there he was trotting along looking straight ahead with headphones connected to his MP3 player (couldn’t tell you the brand).

It is the same with some using or trying to use social media for business. They haven’t looked round to see what might be successful. They haven’t learned what could work for them. They broadcast their sales message on Twitter and don’t converse, or they think they can increase their “influence” by recycling banal quotations from famous people. Not all quotations are banal of course, but the banality comes from those who repeat them without thought, but with auto-feed.

It is not so difficult to observe and to listen. I was trying to think how I learned to do that and I came to think that it must have been from my old biology teacher. Actually for some reason I think he never liked me much. However I do remember that he would interrupt a lesson in the summer, exclaiming “hear that?” There would be a bird singing or tweeting outside.

It was the same teacher (or master as they were called at our school) who made us get up at three in the morning (and our parents of course) to take us to the woods to hear the mid-summer dawn chorus. Certainly I have always noticed bird song since then and listened to all the other sounds many others hear but don’t listen to. I am lucky to have the habit.

Early summer cornfield

Still, I bet the auto-tweeters of their wares and repeaters of quotations don’t hear the birds and very probably bump into lampposts while listening to their iPods. How do they fare with their businesses and with their marketing? They are the people doing the same old thing and wondering why it doesn’t work.

I wonder if those who don’t notice their surroundings learn from their business experiences at all, or whether they are so wrapped up in themselves that they are doomed to failure by not taking the proper action to remedy problems or to advance their businesses.

Do you know any of these wrapped-up people? If you do, see if you can bring them to me and we will unwrap them and help them see what others see by looking and observing. That way they might start to earn some money.

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