Imitating consequences

I'm in Sri Lanka right now. So let's start with a beautiful photo from yesterday night. We stumbled upon a local bar and the team was celebrating its 1st year anniversary. Congrats to the owners and friends of The Doctor's House in Mirissa. Good vibes!

My thought of the day is about the dangers to imitating consequences. You imitate consequences when you look at a phenomenon from the results perspective. And you believe that the output is the work you should be aiming for. I have two simple stories to illustrate that. Two stories that happened today.

The first one was related to marketing. I was talking with a (new) friend of mine who wants to open a bed and breakfast in Sri Lanka. The country is filled with beautiful, charming small bed and breakfast that are promoting themselves fairly well. A lot of them are ran by Europeans (lots of Swedes actually) or American. They're advanced marketers too. They intuitively understand branding, customer experience and service, product distribution, product pricing, content creation and distribution, etc. It all seems natural, but they're tightly run businesses. So my friend, a little bit intimidated by the social media game of some hotels, opened the conversation with this: « Hey, how do I go about promoting my project? Should I hire Instagram influencers? ». Right there, he was simply imitating consequences. And it's normal for someone who doesn't work in this field. He's a finance guy, so I replied with « Well, if I want to be rich, should I just start making a lot of money? ». We laughed. The point is. you need to identify the cause before thinking about the consequence. Here, in the case of promoting a new project in Sri Lanka, I'd ask what are you selling, to who, where and why? And you'd go down to the bottom of the real questions and answer something like: we're selling weekly stays in our 4 bedroom-sustainable-house for young American adults interested in X via Air BNB because we fell in love with sustainable architecture after a trip in India. And then, it's pretty clear distributing your rooms on Airbnb (and maybe other booking sites) is the first priority in your business model. Otherwise, it just won't work. Hiring Instagram influencers? Maybe. But definitely not a priority.

The second one happened at yoga this morning. Our teacher read a beautiful section of her favourite yoga book. It went something like this: you don't practice yoga to be fit or flexible, your practice yoga to be comfortable with yourself and learn to listen to your body. The consequence might be that you end up fit and/or flexible, but it is simply an unimportant effect of an important process.