How Aikido Can Save Your Business Marketing

Aikido & Creative Marketing StrategyAikido is a Japanese martial art based on “blending with your opponents’ energy”. As I learned during my 12+ years of training on the mat, victory over others is a matter of physical and mental training. In business, you need to win over your customer prospects and stand out from your competition.

  1. Ground Yourself/Center. Masters are confident and aware of their own expertise. They also know what they don’t know, creating partnerships and learning opportunities to improve their limitations.
  2. Relax. Focus on your goal, but don’t try to be able to do everything well. Do your homework, then let your knowledge pick your best choices through grounded intuition. Know how you use the tools at your disposal, and use them optimally.
  3. Awareness. Know your competition. Don’t be afraid of them. Pay attention to what they are doing and their intentions. Know your own relationship to your business environment.
  4. Extend. Reach out to your customer, but don’t lose your own business “center”. Keep your core values intact, and you’ll be able to authentically offer your services.
  5. Don’t Resist. See what your customer is asking of you, and adjust to their needs. If what you’re doing isn’t working, stop struggling and be willing to experiment with something else.
  6. Pay Attention. Great marketing is about leading, not reacting. Don’t try to play “catch up”, seize new opportunities and anticipate needs.
  7. Connect To Something Larger. See the big picture of what your customers need and how your offering fits into that image. From your customer’s perspective, it’s not all about you, it’s about their needs.
  8. Lose To Win. A great strategist knows when to give (“lose”) to get (“win”). By focusing on a business strategy that builds on your skills, you can adjust your short-term actions to achieve your long-term goals.

Martial arts and marketing mastery both require continually improving and practicing. You must constantly be willing to seek out new information, try it out, and see what works (and why it works). Just because someone offers a technique that works for them doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you or your business. If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t learn. Seek out senseis (teachers) to get feedback on your practice.

The Art Of LearningIf you’re interested in learning more about martial arts strategy, I recommend “The Art of Learning“. It’s a fascinating introspection of the training necessary to produce martial arts “miracles”, written by a former chess master who became a world champion at Push Hands.

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