When the infamous Grinch first entered our lives through Dr. Suess way back in 1957, he didn’t just steal Christmas. No, ladies and gentlemen, he stole our hearts, and while The Grinch was busy stealing our hearts, HIS heart was becoming dangerously enlarged, growing three sizes in just one day. Before the inevitable cardiovascular issues destroyed his quality of life in later years, the Grinch was the conduit for some powerful business lessons that we can learn from to this day.
Welcome back to another episode of our winter series, Do You See What I See: Business Lessons from holiday classics. Today we’re talking all about The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. What lessons can we swipe from this everlasting story of hope and self-improvement? Let’s get into it…
Lesson 1: Your Worldview Is Not Their Worldview
As the Grinch looks upon the town of Whoville from the top of his mountain, he witnesses the spirit of Christmas unfurling below. This is a problem for the Grinch because his heart is much smaller than the average Who’s heart and cannot… er… will not entertain such joy. As he grumpily watches on, the Grinch engineers a wonderfully, awful idea… an idea he believes will squander the happiness in all of Whoville. . Spoiler Alert, the Grinch is going to steal Christmas.
There is a massive flaw in the Grinch’s plan, however. You see, the Grinch decided that the joy in Whoville is from the materialistic side of Christmas… from the gifts and the gluttony. But to his dismay, after stealing every last bit of Christmas, the Whos gather round together and sing with joy. The Grinch’s plan… has failed.
Every person, prospect, client, you name it, holds a unique perspective and worldview. And this worldview influences decisions. As marketers, you can never assume that your worldview is the correct worldview. To truly understand your prospects, you must put the time in, conduct the research, hit the pavement, and ask the hard questions. That way you won’t be watching others share and spread love on Christmas morning while you ask yourself what went wrong.
Lesson 2: If a Solution Doesn’t Exist, Make One
While the Grinch crafts his disguise to build his imitation Santa, he hits a speedbump that has the potential to stop him in his tracks. He’s got the suit.. Check. The beard.. Check. The sleigh… check. But what about those reindeer? As far as he knows there are no reindeer to be found in Whoville. While this momentarily sets the Grinch back, he gathers his resources and sets out to create one.
There will, without fail, come a time when a problem arises whose solution does not yet exist. While you could sit back and wait for someone else to create one, you’ll miss out on the opportunities and potential gain had you developed the solution yourself. And here’s the deal, if you’re experiencing this problem, I guarantee other business owners are too… so build that solution and offer it for sale, or give it away for some sweet reputation equity.
Lesson 3: Timing is Everything
While the Grinch may have misjudged his market, he didn’t mistime his market. Much like you and I, the Whos had been undoubtedly preparing for Santa’s arrival for a while. So why did the Grinch put so much stress on stealing their ribbons, wrapping, tags, tinsel, trimmings, and trappings the night before Christmas? Why not steal all those things a few days before Christmas? Would it have made the same impact?
Of course not. Everybody knows that excitement builds on Christmas eve, and it’s participants go to sleep at its peak, all of which explodes on Christmas morning. Meaning, the opportune time to crush the maximum amount of joy would be by stealing everything the night before Christmas.
Timing is everything and must be carefully calculated with every decision. It will affect the success of your product launch, the click-through rate of your email campaigns, the units sold on your next sale, or even news from your press releases. Consider the impact timing will make on all of your endeavors to maximize your returns. Then sit back and reap the sweet fruits of your labor.
Lesson 4: Value Your Team
It’s hard to watch the Grinch transform into the anti-Santa, not because he’s a foul one or a stink, stank, skunk, but because he is a terrible leader. Max, his trusty sidekick, wearer of many hats and no doubt the backbone of this entire operation, is treated terribly throughout the entire scene. Not once is he recognized for his hard work, resourcefulness, or willingness to succeed.
Although Max didn’t abandon the Grinch…. What if he did? Sure, Christmas wouldn’t have been stolen, which would have been great, but that’s not the point. The Grinch wouldn’t have been able to execute his plans, but more importantly, his heart wouldn’t have grown two sizes too big. He would have remained a rotten, grumpy, grouch.
Your team is valuable and they ought to be valued and no one wants to work with someone who is always complaining and brings down the company culture. With so much invested, what would it cost you to lose them? What opportunities will you lose out on? I’m willing to bet that losing one valuable team member will greatly set you back. So take time to show your appreciation, whether it be monetarily, verbally, or really in whatever love language speaks to them.
Remember that there are always lessons to be learned and that we can find inspiration for our work almost anywhere. The Grinch got it right—albeit by trial and error—Christmas isn’t just about packages and bows, it means more… it means business!