Meanwhile, the government and the media have been throwing around numbers in the trillions. Did you notice that just a few months ago, $300 billion was a huge number? But after hearing $300 billion for a few weeks, $700 billion didn’t faze us anymore. Then it tripped into trillion. WOW. That was HUGE, but now I’m hearing $1.7 trillion and $3 trillion and this morning I heard $20 trillion! As I was driving around, it dawned on me that I had absolutely no perspective of what “a trillion” was – and here someone was quoting 20 of them!
This is what a trillion dollars looks like: $1,000,000,000,000.00.
- If you laid one dollar bills end to end, you could make a chain that stretches from earth to the moon and back again 200 times before you ran out of dollar bills!
- One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.
The human brain has a hard time comprehending this. It’s just too big, overwhelming and paralyzing.
That made me wonder about the power of exponential thinking. None of us can even put a dent in this mess on our own. But what if each of us were able to do just one small thing?
What are some things that we can each do that would make a difference and improve the economy and, more importantly, how we experience the economy?
Sam Parker and Mac Anderson wrote a little book called 212 Degrees. This short 5 X 5 inch book asks a simple question; “What would happen if each of us gave everything we did just one extra degree of effort?” After all that’s all it takes to get water that is just hot at 211 Degrees, to boil at 212 Degrees. “And with boiling water comes steam and with steam can power a train. . .” Pretty simple thoughts with the possibility of huge consequences. The book goes on to give lots of quantified suggestions as to the little things you can do that really add up. Most of them are more personal in nature, but I thought it might be fun to see how we could use them as part of a low-cost, high-impact marketing program.
“Do something helpful or unexpected for one friend each week of the year and plant more than 50 different possibilities of influence.” In what ways can you surprise your customers each week that could generate not just loyalty but opportunities you hadn’t imagined? Give them free shipping for the month or hand deliver an order. Send pizza, cookies or any food item that they can share. I know one company that sent their customers a 4th of July picnic complete with burgers, dogs, buns and a cooler.?Whatever you’re doing – give it that one extra punch of energy that will take it to the next level. If you’re in sales, make one more call or visit. If you’re a business owner, give a specific compliment or word of encouragement to your team. If you’re a worker, get one more piece of work done or out the door before you leave.
What if 20 million of small business owners decided to talk to one new customer per week. This conversation could create 50 new opportunities per year for each business! That’s 1 billion opportunities! If each opportunity is worth and average of $1,000 that would actually be a trillion dollars! Now that’s a trillion dollars we can all get behind!
Take on the challenge for yourself. Instead of just talking about an economic turnaround and waiting for someone else to fix it, let’s each make a commitment to go that one extra degree and convert potential energy into a thriving economy.
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About the Author: Ivana Taylor has spent over 20 years helping industrial organizations and small business owners get and keep their ideal customers. Her company is Third Force and she writes a blog called Strategy Stew. She is co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers.”