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“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Although the above quote is widely attributed to Albert Einstein, there is no substantive evidence that he ever said or wrote this. The phrase “everybody is a genius” first appeared in a book called The Rhythm of Life 50 years after Einstein’s death. The “fish climbing” part is based on an allegorical framework that has been in the education circle for decades.

The original author of the story was Amos E. Dolbear of Tufts College. It was written in 1898. Alterations of the allegory are what ensued until its essence was reduced to a quote later merged with the statement that everyone is a genius and attributed to Einstein.

There are different variations, but in a nutshell, the story goes like this:

An elephant, a monkey, and a kangaroo were set for the animal school board. It was up to them to establish the educational and grading system as well as the content the pupils were going to learn. After a long discussion, they agreed that all animals should be equally good at everything. They expected every being to be able to jump like kangaroos, climb trees like monkeys, and look wise like elephants. So when fish were unable to climb trees, they were deemed unintelligent or incompetent. When a monkey couldn’t hop as fast as a kangaroo, he was put in remedial classes to learn how to hop. When an elephant tried to fly, he was laughed at, ridiculed, etc.

You get the picture. It applies to how we teach and evaluate students in the K-12 education system, and how Equal Outcomes are a flawed concept.

So what does this have to do with implementing your marketing ideas?

Figuring out how to enhance your marketing especially when first starting out can be a daunting task. There are a million and one different approaches, and it can be tough to figure out where you should start.

But it doesn't have to be such a complex thing. Everyone is capable of harnessing their abilities and the resources they have one way or another to promote their brand, strengthen their message, or sell their product. You just have to use what works for you.

Simply put, when building your marketing, making plans, and implementing, focus on your strengths.

If you are good at writing, do these:

  • Newsletter
  • Blogging
  • Emailing

If you enjoy client-facing activities, do these:

  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Videos (interview format)
  • Facebook Lives

If you prefer to strategize and come up with big picture ideas:

  • Join coaching/mastermind groups
  • Attend seminars or conferences
  • Build a strong team

Operate in Your Core Strengths

Those activities may sound like work, but you get them done faster and with greater ease when they are rooted in your strengths. It’s good to look at what others are doing for ideas and inspiration, but stay in your lane and operate in your core strengths to avoid unrealistic comparisons.

As you progress, you can expand out to different marketing tactics, implement different ideas, and try new things. But, the times when your marketing will be most effective are when you're doing what you're best at.

We have all been given gifts and strengths that are to be used to benefit us and those around us. If you’re not sure you are operating in your strengths, step back and determine the things you enjoy most, and which activities require your core strengths. For everything else, delegate, hire a team, or work with vendors you trust. When everyone operates in their strengths, everyone wins.

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