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The Box Is Still Important

by James Ball on November 9, 2009

This side up“You need to be thinking outside the box.” We hear that a lot, don’t we? This statement is not exactly something I can get behind 100%. I’m all for pushing the envelope, getting past boundaries that don’t make sense, and being original. I’ve been known to champion creativity and boldness, but I don’t feel like re-inventing the wheel is a prerequisite for success. More and more, businesses are getting involved with social media as a way to think outside the box, and rightly so. Think too far though, and you risk getting lost. You may even forget why there was ever a need to push boundaries in the first place.

Statistics seem to support the idea that social media has facilitated a whole new breed of internet addicts. I can’t say for certain, but I can’t shake the thought that many who fall into a bad state with social media started out with great intentions. I’m sure that there were goals, well laid plans even, that were aimed at growing a business.

In my mind, some see social media as the cure for much that may be ailing their business. I believe that some with this viewpoint get so involved with social media itself, that the original intent wanders off. Now, we have a phenomenal social media hero with a broken business. FAIL. Where’d the box go, what’s left to think outside of?  

Social media is only one side of the box; the other 5 sides of my own box represent hundreds of other important day-to-day aspects and concerns. Social media itself IS thinking outside the box for me. It’s one way that I’m doing something different to grow my business.

Stopping periodically to look at the time and efforts we put into our social media spending is a good idea. Are we getting off base? Can we afford to put this much time into it? Have we gotten off track at all? These are all important to consider, and the box we think outside of should itself be remembered and cared for. The box is still important; it’s all we brought to the party in the first place.

What helps you to mind the store while thinking outside the box?

Dennis Lynn November 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Great article, James.

Here is what I see…

We are living in a unique time where a bad economy is coming together with a new economy – and it's killing businesses that are refusing to see this new economy taking shape. Often it isn't the bad economic conditions driving them out of business – it's the fact that they continue to do business like we're living in 1990.

They don't use social media. They don't have a blog. Many times they don't even have a website. For whatever reason they don't really understand how any of this new marketing can benefit their bottom line.

We would have far fewer business failures today if more of these companies would pull up a chair to the 21st century and start using some of this cheap technology…

I heard yesterday that someone purchased a Yellow Page ad. lol

James Ball November 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Thank you Dennis, for your comment. I see much of what you describe, especially here, in North Georgia. I want to explore this some more over the coming days.

@CrazyMikesapps November 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm

A couple of comments, social media is not the end all be all, but it has a lot of merit and each business needs to determine how SM will work for them if they use it. Social media is a tool and an additional tool, new tool that is going to suck some time away from others. You must determine if this tool will work for you and if so realize something is going to have to give. CM

James Ball November 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Exactly! You make an excellent point, something IS going to have to give. Time is valuable, and everything needs tending,…finding a balance is very important. Thanks Crazy Mike!

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