I recently was reading a newsletter from my friend Chris Brogan. In the newsletter he talked about the metaphor of making mashed potatoes. He said there has been a change in the market place. That change is no one wants to buy potatoes and mash them, they want the store to provide them with mashed potatoes that just have to be heated and then eaten.

What this means in a practical sense is our customers want us to do it for them, DIFY instead of DIY which stands for do it yourself.


I was recently reading a newsletter from my friend Chris Brogan. In the newsletter, he talked about the metaphor of making mashed potatoes. Now just hold on with me for a second. I know mashed potatoes have very little do with your business, but there was something he said that was really important. He said there has been a change in the marketplace and that change is no one wants to buy potatoes and mash them themselves. They want the store to provide them with mashed potatoes that just have to be heated, taken home, and then consumed.

You know, this is really a new way of looking at what we want. In the past, before the Coronavirus came around, most people in the world of education or in consulting or advice really were in what we call the do-it-yourself mode, where they were putting together programs where it’s do it yourself. Now, we’ve moved to something completely different.

Now it’s DIFY, which means do it for you, or do it for me, which is what they really want. And by doing that, we’re making a change or the customer’s making a change about what the expectation is. And we in the advice business have to change along with that.

So here’s where the challenge becomes real in our world. Our customers don’t want to do it themselves, instead they want not only to have us do the ideas, but they want us to come up with how to implement the ideas as well. And they want us to implement the ideas for them.

So we have the assumption that our customers wanna just have knowledge and then be left alone to do it themselves. And I’ve really never believed that because what I found over the years is I can come up with tons of ideas and we can agree that these are good things to do. And if I just leave you with those ideas and I walk away, and I come back three months later, there’s a really good chance you’ve done nothing on them.

So, what we need to do is we need to come up with a way of doing DIFY, or done for you in a way that makes sense and can be affordable.

You know, I’m gonna bet you have probably signed up for one of the zillions of online courses. And I’m gonna bet there’s a good chance you looked at the course, saw how much work there is, and just closed it up and never looked at it again. Now the problem with this is you never get any of the value from the course. Now I’m wondering, could there be a lesson in there for us? Do you think there might be a changing world when it comes to what our customers want?

You know, I get it, I understand how frustrating it is to try to figure out what your customers want. Then when we find out, we have a challenge in providing our customers with what they really do want and it’s even harder when they try to do this on a cost-effective basis.

You know, let me give you an example. I can provide you with all the information you need to create a sustainable business easily. The hard part is the implementation. The strategies that you need to use and how do you take those strategies and make them real.

Now, if you want to do it yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll never be successful. At the same time, the cost of havin’ me hold your hand on a one-to-one basis is just too high for almost all the businesses I run across.

So we figured out there has to be a third way. A third way is often what we look for and what we offer isn’t what a customer wants. And this is how we’ve decided we can make the change over.

  1. One, we have an alignment conversation with you, helping you figure out what you really want.
  2. Number two, if a potential customer really wants us to do it for them, then there are very things that we can do directly that are gonna be relatively inexpensive.
  3. Number three, if it’s really a DIFY thing, we have to help our customers find experts in the area that can prepare them for successful engagement with those advisors. In other words, it’s really useful and actually pretty cost-effective for us to hold your hand as you go through the process in finding the expert you need. I’ve been doing this a fair amount recently when it comes to helping people put a StoryBrand marketing message together in a company. I know lots of really good StoryBrand consultants. We don’t do that work ourselves, but I know enough about to get myself in trouble. So what we do is that we hold your hand and look over your shoulder as you’re going through the process to make sure that you’re getting what you want. Because as I have seen over and over and over advisors, consultants, and providers of services to privately-held businesses often go off in their own direction.

So the best way to get both worlds is to work with an advisor who can help you figure out what you want and then find a way to have it actually show up in your company. That’s why we like the idea of combining a course to teach you what you need, have it delivered in bite-sized chunks, and then we combine that with a small group mastermind that allows you to use the expertise of the group, as well as the moderator. From there, you can implement using a hybrid method where you are combining learning what you need to do with having advice from your peers on how to get it done.

You know, I would love to have a conversation about this. So feel free to contact me at jpatrick@stage2planning.com to set up a time to talk. In the meantime, if you’re not ready to talk, DOWNLOAD our Free Infographic on our Alignment Conversation. You’ll learn what an initial conversation looks like and how it can benefit you and your long-term needs. And while you’re at it, scroll down and let me know what you think about the challenges you have in implementing solutions in your business.

Hey, this is Josh Patrick. You’re at The Sustainable Business, thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Topics: Video, Sustainable Business, do it for you, what the market wants, DIFY, DIY, making mashed potatoes, do it yourself, market place shift

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