The following is the 14th and final chapter from Peter Nevland’s book, Wiener Dog Marketing. His interview with Roy Williams about the business lessons from the Buda Wiener Dog Races continues from where it left off in Chapter 13. If you loved it, consider buying it for yourself or someone who could use a copy in Hardcover and Digital on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, WalMart or any other online bookseller…
Peter: It’s interesting, you know this book was about evaluating, perhaps even dissecting wiener dogs in order to take those principles and put ‘em into what you’re doing. But in actuality what you’ve got to get out of this book is stop trying to tear apart wiener dog activities to figure out what you can take and apply, and become a wiener dog. You’ve got to become a wiener dog. If you don’t, this thing is over before it even starts.
Roy: These will be my final comments. And I’ve been saying this for many years, but, people say, “follow your passion, follow your passion, follow your passion.” Those people are idiots.
Peter: Right, right, right. I’ve done it. I can tell you how that turns out.
Roy: The truth is, don’t follow your passion, follow your commitment.
Roy: Commitment that does not depend upon your feelings today. The commitment doesn’t depend upon this moment. You’re never reevaluating your commitment. You are committed to your commitment. Your commitment doesn’t change. It’s unwavering, it’s unflickering, it’s undeniable. My commitment will determine my future, regardless of how I feel at this moment. Passion follows commitment. Commitment does not follow passion.
What’s standing in the way of you being a wiener dog? Are you one already? Are you just a wiener? Are you committed to a cause bigger than yourself? What will you give your life for? Are you a good talker who loses interest when the going gets tough?
So many marketing books focus on your unique offer, targeting the right customers, how to craft your message or positioning yourself against your competitors. But if you don’t have rock solid commitment to an identity, purpose and adventure, you’re destined to fail before you even start. Or perhaps you’ll taste a little bit of success, but never reach your dreams, much less surpass them.
You’ve done a bunch of writing in this book to look at who you are and how you can focus on the things that matter to the people you serve. I want to challenge you to take one more look at yourself. And after you’re done writing down the answers to these questions, go show them to someone you know who will tell you the honest truth without sparing your feelings. Ask them if you’ve answered honestly, if you’re full of it, or if you have some blindspots that may be skewing your view.
Once you’ve decided and made your commitment to being a wiener dog clear, I encourage you to commit to taking steps towards it every day, whether you feel passionate or not. Look for the areas in your life and team where you’re not living out that commitment or calling your team to do the same, and make a plan to change that. Find the people in your life that can hold you accountable to your commitment and check-in with them regularly. Empower your wiener dog storyteller to weave the most powerful version of your story possible. If you don’t have one, find someone with talent and a similar wiener dog commitment to shout out your awesomeness to the world.
Perhaps the best thing about wiener dogs is how oblivious they are to their own silliness. They don’t cover up their floppy ears or stubby legs. It’s almost as if they know how much joy they bring the world as they run wholeheartedly to reach their master. If you cover up the vulnerable and imperfect parts of yourself, the most you can ever hope to be is good. If you embrace them and let people see them, you have the opportunity to be truly remarkable and extraordinarily successful. It’s vulnerability that changes lives. Confidence merely attracts attention.
The biggest weakness of wiener dogs (and business owners) is that they easily become distracted by things that lead them away from their goals. When those dogs are in the starting gate, their only hope is finding their master again. Once it opens, if they can’t spot their master or recognize his or her voice or scent, their head starts moving back and forth, up and down. They begin an aimless and slow search, punctuated by movement toward anything that looks immediately fulfilling but doesn’t contribute to them reaching their ultimate goal. It may be so distracting that they begin moving in the opposite direction from the finish line and the safety of their master’s arms.
You as a business owner are inundated by payroll issues, customer complaints, building maintenance and employee performance, not to mention marketing agencies trying to shove both hands in your pockets. As soon as you put this book down and attempt to start moving toward your wiener dog commitment, all those distractions will swarm you, attempting to steal your attention. The thing that will save you is keeping your commitment in front of your eyes. Every day, look at it and do something to move toward that commitment.
I remember when I lived in a house with 10 other guys that shared 1 kitchen. Man, our dishes could get gross and messy. Being a clean guy myself, I couldn’t stand it. I often found myself cleaning up other people’s messes while uttering curses under my breath. Soon I implemented a behavioral change that helped my attitude. Sure I wanted it completely clean. But I didn’t always have time or emotional bandwidth to do that. So I always washed my dishes and would at least wash one thing that someone else had left. It gave me the emotional win of moving toward my goal without sucking all the energy and motivation I had. It also kept my goal of a clean kitchen in front of my eyes.
If you’ve made it this far in this book, I know you have that same kind of commitment somewhere inside you. Agree with it. Do extraordinary things. Grab hold of courage and don’t let go when your passion fades. Get sight of what’s really important and move toward it with all of your wiener dog heart. I believe you can do it. Now run, wiener dog. Run!
Read the rest of the series:
- An Introduction to Wiener Dog Marketing
- Wiener Dog Marketing: For the Love of Wiener Dogs
- Body of a Sausage: The Way Things Are vs. The Way Things Ought to Be
- The Wiener Dog Question: What Can You Count On Not Changing?
- Wiener Dog Focus: Helping the Customer vs. Helping Yourself
- Wiener Dogs on the Wrong Track: Having the Qualities of Success Without Being a Success
- Embrace Your Wiener Dog: Identity, Purpose and Adventure
- Becoming a Wiener Dog: What it Takes to Have Enduring Success
- Magical Wiener Dogs and Storytellers
- Follow the Wiener Dog: How Employees Become Wiener Dogs
- Once a Wiener… Repurposing the Proven
- The Heart of a Wiener Dog: Character Diamonds
- Wiener Dogs Forever: The Power of Crowd Promotion
- Are You A Wiener Dog? Last Chance to Commit