Albert Einstein once said “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
That is what I want to talk about in this video.
First, let me share a short story with you. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been receiving text messages from a bank I stopped banking with. My account had gone dormant and they were trying to get me to reactivate the account. A few days ago, I clicked on a link to read an article. Guess what I saw – a banner ad from the same bank promising to treat me better if I would return and reactivate my account.
I mean this advert was directly targeted at me, a previous customer with a dormant account.
Think about that for a second.
I have never visited the bank’s website; not ever. I’ve long deleted the bank’s app on my phone. Yet they were able to track me to a website that had nothing to do with banking.
Stay with me because I’m yet to get to the point of this video.
If you are digital marketing or are tech-savvy, you may already understand the concept of remarketing or retargeting; they both mean the same thing.
For the benefit of those who don’t understand, let me explain how this works. And I’m sure you have experienced this before.
You are randomly surfing the web. You click on a link to a website that sells shoes to check out some of their collections. Then, you move to Facebook to see who has posted pictures of what they are eating for launch. You are shocked to see a creepy ad from that website on Facebook inviting you to complete your checkout. Two days later, you are on another blog to read about how the new government policy will affect your rent, and you see another banner from the same website informing you of a 10 percent discount with limited time offer.
Leave a comment below if you have experienced something like that before. In a few minutes, I’m going to tell you what you need to understand from all of this.
To be clear, this is what remarketing or retargeting is all about. Interestingly, a business doesn’t need you to visit their website before they can target you with their online advertising. It’s not as complicated as it seemed. In fact, anyone can do the same thing.
You see, most advertising platforms like Facebook, Google offer advertisers the option to create a target audience with their customer’s email addresses. And since Google controls the larger share of the email market and almost everyone is on Facebook, these advertising platforms can easily find you wherever you are and show you what they need you to see.
So what the bank basically did was to upload the email addresses of customers with dormant accounts to Google Ads and create ads that target these people.
…Simple, yet powerful.
Now here is the important take away.
There are two ways to live your life
Think about how technology has flipped the game upside down. It’s just crazy, and amazing at the same time. With what I just described, most people will look at it and say there is nothing spectacular about it because they have seen it over and over again. Just like most people have a Smartphone today, and no longer find anything spectacular about a Smartphone.
Most people have reduced the fascination and possibilities of technology to mere gadgets to show off social status. If the possibilities of technology don’t blow your mind, that is exactly the problem.
Let me take you back to the quote I mentioned at the beginning of this video by Einstein, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
When you look at the endless possibilities and abundance technology has unlocked, do you see a miracle or do you just see more tools to have fun with? For instance, most people have gotten used to seeing retargeting adverts while browsing the internet that it’s no longer fascinating to them.
Over a decade ago, when I discovered that I could seat down in my room, in a tiny corner of the planet, put something out there and reach thousands and millions of people, I was blown away; and till this day I am yet to recover from that fascination.
The euphoria of being able to reach thousands of people across different parts of the planet got me to invest 24 months creating content online without earning a dime. The satisfaction of reaching a wide audience with my content was rewarded enough for the time being.
You see, I have experienced the other side of doing business. I have traded physical items from jewelry to movies to laptops. I have done house to house sales. I’ve don’t trade shows. All these bows to the possibilities of digital technology; and it still amazes me till today.
The Problem with Familiarity
You see, one thing about humans is that we often lose interest in what is readily within our reach. It’s like two people in a relationship. The spark is there while you are dating and seeing each other from time to time. But once you move under the same roof, most people quickly lose the steam. Suddenly, an outsider becomes desirable.
People don’t cherish what they are already familiar with. People are getting too familiar with the technology that they fail to notice the power they carry around in their pockets; they fail to notice that social media gives them access to connect with millions of people; they fail to notice that their interaction with technology is enriching a few groups of people.
In other words, nothing about this is a miracle to them. It’s just the times we live in. However, only those who choose to see the miracle in all of these go out to do great things with it. The moment you start seeing all of these as a miracle, you will begin to notice the gift of abundance around you.
The Outsider Perspective
Imagine, you didn’t have access to the internet in your country. Your teachers in school have been talking about this technology that allows you to connect to people around the world, reach millions of them with a single message and even create wealth from it.
You read about this tool from books and magazines. It’s such a fascination to read about. Then one day, you got an opportunity to travel to a country where you can finally access the internet. Would you use the internet differently than you are using it now? You will most likely use the internet differently because it was something you dreamed about and yearned for. You will want to explore and milk every opportunity this tool provides because you have an outsider perspective. You will cherish this tool more than people who have had it with ease.
Think about what this report had to say. A Kaufman Foundation report states that of all technology companies in Silicon Valley between 2006 and 2012, half had at least one founder who was not born in the United States. Likewise, according to the Entrepreneurs Center, one in seven companies in the UK was founded by an immigrant entrepreneur.
Why is this?
There could be many reason to it, but we can both agree that when you dream of something like moving to the united states, from the outsider perspective and imagine it as a land of opportunity, you are more likely to maintain this ideal when you get there.
So what’s the point I’m trying to make?
If you are not seeing the enormous opportunity technology has created, it is because you have gotten too familiar with it. Because you can download cool apps, stream videos, and play around on social media, you now feel like an insider.
Here are two interesting quotes I picked up from James Carse’s 1986 book, Finite and Infinite Games;
“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.”
The bottom line is this; allow yourself to step back from time to time and, like an outsider, observing the things you take for granted. Permit yourself to be amazed and fascinated. After that, be curious to educate yourself on the things that fascinate you. For instance, you can decide to look at the remarketing I explained at the beginning of this video as a miracle. Then go and learn how it works. Typically you don’t need to be a technical person to understand and use the technology. With some practice and study, anyone can get good with it. You may just develop a valuable new set of skills.
Remember this; you can choose to live as though nothing is a miracle. Or you can choose to live as though everything is a miracle. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!