Awhile back, 8 Women Dream Editor in Chief Catherine Hughes wrote about her encounter with Guy Kawasaki, author of the book Enchantment (among many other books). I put the book on my reading list, but I just now got around to it. It’s an awesome book, and it made me realize: Dreams require enchantment.
My dictionary says enchantment means:
a feeling of great pleasure; delight; and the state of being under a spell; magic; allure, delight, charm, beauty, attractiveness, appeal, fascination, irresistibly, magnetism, pull, draw, lure.
Guy Kawasaki writes, “Enchantment…causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions. It is more than manipulating people to help you get your way. Enchantment transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility. It reshapes civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers.”
I don’t know about you, but where do I sign up for the enchantment lessons?
If you are enchanted by your dream, and if you can enchant others with your dream, you can’t hardly help but succeed.
Another word that Kawaski popularized is evangelism. He was Apple’s Chief Evangelist. That word used to be restricted to religion, but not any more. All the cool companies and brands want evangelists nowadays. Evangelists are people who seek to convert others to the faith, whatever the faith might be. In fact I am applying for a job as an evangelist, myself, which is what got me thinking about this topic.
When you add enchantment and evangelism together, what do you get? You get engagement. You get raving fans. You get people who fall in love with what you are doing, and who can’t wait to offer their help. They feel a sense of ownership in your success, and they will go an extra mile or more to get other people interested in what you are striving to accomplish.
We can use the formula enchantment+evangelism=engagement to get jobs, mediate arguments between the kids, negotiate with our spouses, or even achieve our dreams.
Interestingly, engagement is a hot topic in business, but it’s almost never discussed in connection with enchantment and evangelism. Most businesses are working overtime to get their customers engaged – but they are missing the boat. Many of them are simply bribing their customers to act as advertising agents in return for a chance to win something, or a discount coupon, or some other special offer.
If you spend any time on Facebook at all, you can see this in action. Just this week, several of my Facebook friends shared daily advertisements for a cowboy boot manufacturer who was giving away a pair of boots. To be entered in the drawing you simply had to like or share their ad every day. And that’s not unusual; many, many businesses consider that a social media strategy.
But that’s not engagement. It’s just passing stuff on. It requires almost no effort and costs virtually no social capital. The people who share ads in return for a perq are not talking about how these are gorgeous boots, and they look great on everyone, and buying a pair is a great investment because they last so long. They’re not evangelizing. If they’re enchanted, they’re not saying so. They’re just sharing the ad so they can get in on the drawing.
I can’t prove it, but I suspect that not many additional sales happen as a result of a campaign like that. It’s too passive and too impersonal.
When it comes to engaging people, special offers and discount coupons can’t hold a candle to enchantment.
True engagement happens only when there is enchantment and only when there is evangelism. All the marketing and public relations in the world cannot make up for a lack of enchantment and evangelism.
And the thing is, enchantment and evangelism are contagious.
You dreamers have all seen that yourselves. You’re in a restaurant and you order the chocolate mousse. It arrives in a deep, generous white bowl, the way they serve it in France. A cloud of softly whipped cream drifts over the dark surface of the mousse. A heady whiff of brandy wafts from the dish. You lift your sliver spoon and dip it just along the edge. You take your small first bite, close your eyes, lean back in your chair, and sigh. You can’t help but say, that is the most delicious thing I’ve had in months. Maybe years. Possibly ever. Voila, you are an evangelist.
Now, do your dining companions not lean in and hope for a bite? And if you grant them a bite, do they not also sigh with delight, and say they wish they’d ordered the mousse instead of the apple crumble? They have been enchanted by your chocolate mousse, and by your fervent evangelism. And all of you will go out and tell your friends about that chocolate mousse, effectively becoming evangelists for the restaurant.
Thus it is with dreams. A dream never happens without the help of others.
So find enchantment in what you dream, and become an evangelist. That’s how you can engage people to want to help, not just as a favor to you, but out of a sincere belief in and passion for what you are dreaming.