Captain’s log, stardate 20180816


[BESTOF] I want a marshmallow

Sent by Jonathan Stark on August 16th, 2018

FYI - I’m currently off-grid at a lodge on a lake in a remote corner of Maine. I’ll be back in the saddle on Monday, August 20th. In the meantime, here’s a greatest hits post from the last year:

I want a marshmallow

Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 19th, 2018

My 4yo daughter starts most sentences with the words “I want”.

For example:

She knows how to ask nicely but she almost never remembers to do it.

She simply proclaims her desire to the world and expects someone to satisfy it immediately, as if she were the Mother of Dragons.

(It happens so often that my wife and I have taken to mumbling “Yes your grace” to each other 😂)

I’ve tried a bunch of tactics to try to get her to break this habit. Recently, I’ve stumbled upon approach that seems to be working: a catch phrase.

Now, when her excellency says “I want $thing”, I say:

“It never starts with ‘I want’.”

She’ll then laugh and ask politely. She’s even started correcting herself unprompted. W00t!

Okay but... why am I telling you this?

Because I see folks making the same mistake in their marketing, in their proposals, and in their pricing.

It’s quite common to start by thinking “I want...”

For example:

It’s understandable to want these things, but they’re bad places to start.

Better places to start are:

It never starts with “I want”.



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