Business Lessons From the Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is an exciting tale that has delighted people for several generations. When young Dorothy is magically transported from her home to the magical land of Oz, she and her companions must outsmart witches and other dangers in an effort to find the famed Wizard of Oz, who they believe can help her find her way home and grant her companions gifts of their own. Upon finally finding the wizard, however, they learn that he is not some great and powerful wizard after all. Instead, he’s just an ordinary man behind a curtain, projecting his voice and image to appear to be a magical being. Still, in the end, Dorothy does learn how to get back home.

The Wizard of Oz and Business

There are two key lessons we as business leaders can learn from the wizard. In one situation, he’s an excellent example of what we should do. In the other, he does the exact opposite of what would be appropriate in the business world.

What the wizard gets right

In Oz, the wizard regularly projects his voice and opinions for all the kingdom to see. He providers personalized information for each person who visits him.

In social media, we’re often asked to be like the man behind the curtain. We must project our voice and opinions in a variety of media, communicating a sense of authority and wisdom. With all the demands of the modern business world, it can be tempting to resort to automation. There are a number of ‘tricks and cheats’ available in the social media world. From programming social responses to buying followers to automating tweets, it’s very easy for those who desire it to completely remove themselves from the actual social media process.

If we’re to learn anything from the mysterious wizard, however, it’s important to remember to always have an actual person ‘behind the curtain.’ This will allow us to engage potential leads when they arise and avoid missing opportunities to bring in new customers, which can easily happen if all our responses happen automatically and we aren’t actually monitoring the conversation.

What the wizard gets wrong

Although it’s important to remain actually present behind all our social media campaigns, we also need to be authentic. The wizard made the devastating mistake of casting himself as something he wasn’t: a powerful wizard. When those who actually needed his help (like Dorothy and her companions) turned to him, he was virtually powerless to help. If we cast ourselves as something we’re not, nothing will destroy our reputation faster than our customers realizing it. We must always be realistic about our capabilities and strengths. Play up what you can do for customers and be confident in your abilities, but don’t ever let yourself get caught in a web of lies.

What to take away

Social marketing is an important part of branding and finding new customers. It requires authenticity. That means broadcasting a solid message based on what you can do for customers and always keeping a person involved with every stage of the campaign to communicate with customers. When you stick to these two rules, you’ll have a great chance of success.

Are you ready to get a new campaign started? Come talk to us! We’d be happy to help you get started.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go (In Business)

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.


And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening, too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

The opening lines of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! have been read by graduating students, entrepreneurs, and business professionals alike. The words are inspirational, calling upon each of us to contemplate what we’re capable of accomplishing. Even the most monotonous worker will find that the language can stir something deep inside them, propelling them to try to accomplish great things. Beyond just the immediate emotions the words stir within the reader, however, Dr. Seuss’s wisdom about success and inspiration also rings true at a much deeper level.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know. /

And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Business leaders need to have confidence in their own knowledge and direction. When you’re at the helm of a company, you cannot rely on others to tell you what you can accomplish or what direction your should take. It doesn’t do your business any good to copy another company, no matter how successful that company may be. Instead, use the knowledge and experience you have about your industry to plot your own course. Find a specific industry niche that you can uniquely fill and work to build a company with that specialty in mind.

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, /

you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

Like anything else, there are plenty of ways to cheat in business. There are ways to take advantage of people, to steal, to doctor books. While taking these shortcuts might pay off in the short term, such actions can come back to haunt you in the long run. Major corporations have been brought down by uncovered cheating scandals. On a small scale, burning bridges with possible connections only makes it harder to build a business, not easier. You might find you need to change course, relocate and establish yourself elsewhere, or take some unbeaten paths to success, but that’s ok. Don’t be afraid to set off on your own path, even if it takes you ‘straight out of town.’

And when things start to happen, / don’t worry. Don’t stew. /

Just go right along. / You’ll start happening, too.

It can be difficult to see everyone around you start to become successful. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure or that you won’t succeed. If you’re pulling in clients and slowly growing your business, you’re on the path to success, and you will ‘start happening.’ Sometimes, it just takes a little time to see fantastic results. Be realistic about your goals and the progress of your company, but don’t begin to despair over what others are accomplishing.

Dr. Seuss’s words of wisdom can apply to everyone, from students to successful business leaders. Taking the time to listen to the entertaining rhymes can help inspire you and encourage you to accomplish your dreams. If you’re looking for more advice or help with growing your business through marketing, reach out to us. We would be happy to help you get started on the right path.