After delivering a strong, and at times over-analyzed message about passion, Jared Ganem is back with a look at the unique customer wrestling has, and how the customer is not always right.
Apparently there was a lot of noise being made about last weeks article, where I said the notion of “Passion” in it’s current form is actually holding a lot of really talented guys back.
In my estimation, a lot of that backlash was from people who actually just read the title, and might have missed the core of the message.
That core of the message being:
“Passion, meaning love for the business, is great. Passion, meaning sacrificing your life, career, health, and well being, for the sake of this business, while you WAIT for an opportunity, without ever taking action on your own – is NOT great.”
Seems like such common sense, doesn’t it?
There’s this weird notion where somehow suffering got linked up with “winning the prize.” Have people had to make some sacrifices on the way to the top? Meaning tough decisions? Meaning time away from their families? Dealing with injuries? Dealing with the uncertainty of not knowing if their dream was going to work out or not? Absolutely. And the people who see it through to the other side ARE passionate, and earned their spots.
It’s another thing ENTIRELY – and I speak from a talent consultant perspective, I’ve spoken one on one with hundreds of talent – who say, “I’ve quit my job, I have no money, I’m about to go broke, my car is being repossessed, I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I LOVE THIS BUSINESS so much, why isn’t anyone discovering me?!”
And then I ask the question, “Well, what are you doing to be discovered, are you sending emails out? Are you contacting people?”
“Well… no… but I had a really good match this past weekend locally. Eventually I’ve GOT to get an opportunity, right?”
And it NEVER works out like that. There’s never a magical glowing contract that appears magically.
I went to a seminar one time, the person in charge of the seminar was a high ranking Impact Wrestling official.
He goes: “Who here wants to make it?” Everyone raises their hands. He goes, “Who here has emailed, contacted, or made some sort of attempt to get booked at a bigger company in the past 6 months other than this seminar?” And all the hands go down. He goes, “…. I’m happy you’re here… but otherwise, how are you expecting us to find you?”
So my point of the whole last article was:
“Positive thinking, passion for this business, is great – but positive thinking and passion for this business is NOT enough on its own. It HAS GOT to be combined with strategy and action.”
And when I put that article out last week, it made a lot of noise.
But the interesting thing is it wasn’t the WRESTLERS who were upset.
As a matter of fact, a lot of the wrestlers, especially those at the higher levels, or people in former office positions, applauded the message and said it was 100% spot on.
The people who were MOST upset were the casual, internet Facebook fans.
Now I feel confident that me and you can talk about this today, because as a reader of The Chairshot, you’ve already qualified as not just your average run of the mill Facebook fan. You often times choose to follow the site’s motto of Always Use Your Head. So I feel we can have a little bit more of a real, yet friendly conversation. Is that fair?
Now the casual Facebook fan took that to mean, “Jared is saying PASSION for the business is BAD.” Which they automatically in their mind assumes I want wrestlers who AREN’T passionate, in it for the money, don’t care either way, that type of person.
That’s not what I was saying AT ALL. What I’m saying is I’m tired of seeing these passionate, well meaning men and women in this business suffer in careers that aren’t serving them just because they’re WAITING for opportunity instead of taking it. I want them all to do really well!
And then it struck me – The customer is not always right.
I know – “2 for 2, Jared, you’re really winning us over here. First, Passion is wrong, and now, the wrestling customers aren’t right.”
Stick with me – because this is about to come into focus.
There was a movie, the name of it escapes me right now, but there was a portion of it about business and taking an audience survey.
In the movie, the person in charge of taking the survey says this, and it always stuck out:
“When surveying an audience, the 1’s through 5’s are never going to be happy with anything you do. The 10s are great, they’re your biggest fans. So appreciate them. But when you’re looking for true, honest feedback, look for the 8’s and 9’s. They’re the ones who enjoy what you’re doing, but are smart enough to know it could be better, and their feedback is going to be valuable for you to grow.”
That always stood out to me, and it got me thinking about the wrestling business.
Wrestling, at least on a WWE level, is geared towards a general audience. Those are your 8’s, 9’s and 10’s.
But then you have this large, vocal minority of fans, who are literally upset at everything. Every booking decision, every time their certain favorite isn’t used the exact way. Every time their opinion isn’t met in the way they expect it to be met.
Imagine watching a movie, and every audience member in attendance yelling, screaming, and complaining online about the movie, because the director didn’t write the movie the way THEY personally expected the movie to be written as they were watching it?
In some ways, that’s the Facebook wrestling fan.
And that’s why I tell people – listen to your audience, but be careful who you listen to. You’ve got to listen to the 8’s and 9’s and appreciate the 10’s. The 1-5’s are going to be miserable no matter what.”
It’s so funny – people say, The Customer Is Always Right. Then they also say Forget The Haters. So what do you do when a vocal minority of customers are the haters? Exactly what I said above.
You CAN’T always listen to the internet. It’s a fickle beast. They change their minds so fast, the trends change so fast, and at times I’m not sure they really know deep down what they really want.
Take this whole Roman Reigns incident for example.
By the way – I have always liked Roman Reigns, you can check my first article on The Chairshot to prove I’ve always liked him – and I’ve never used him in any type of political way. So this is coming from a pure place. I really hope as a human being he does well and he battles this Leukemia thing successfully. It’s happened in my family and I understand the implications.
Here’s the thing of it, and here’s why I’m very reluctant to tell guys, “Listen to the internet fans for advice.”
The lower level internet fan, that hated Roman Reigns with a passion, goes to suddenly loving him when tragedy hits. Total 180. Which I agree- they should respect the guy – but my question is, what changed? How can they go from legitimately HATING him, calling for his head, saying he sucks and should be fired, to suddenly LOVING him out of the other side of their mouth?
Then the next stage after that, some of these same people go on to suddenly love him so much they’re selling bootleg “Get Well T-Shirts” for profit!
This is why you don’t listen to the internet’s opinion as to how you should do your life and career.
What do they actually stand for?
The lower level internet fans, their words and opinions are cheap because there’s nothing behind it. The proof that there’s nothing behind it is they change with the wind.
I tell talent:
- You are the performer…
- You’ve got to take into account general preferences to give the real audience what they want…
- Otherwise, never let them dictate to you who you should be, how you should behave, or what you should become…
- Listen to the 7’s 8’s and 9’s…
- The 1 – 5’s, they change so quickly they’ll leave you broken…
- You must develop the certainty in yourself as a performer first.
The 1-5’s, They’re the vocal critics who sit in the stands to tear you down for no reason, who never had the guts to step up. They hate you because they hate themselves. The only audience you have to worry about is the audience who is sincere in appreciating what you do. If THEY want changes, those are the only fans you aim to please.
I’m not anti-passion, anti-talent, or anti-fan. I’m just pro-common sense, and guys being successful with the least amount of unnecessary suffering possible.