Lindsey Dawson – Use your power

2501 lindsey dawson feature
2501 lindsey dawson feature

Courtesy of Lindsey Dawson.

Are you feeling powerful today? You should be. Because you are in an unprecedented position of power.  

Yes, I know, some rude shop assistant has just made you feel gnat-sized. But you really do have power. Why? Because, as a consumer, you are responsible for the world’s financial health. Governments, manufacturers and retailers know that pleasing you is crucial because it’s your decision making that keeps economies and nations humming.

If you’re a woman you’re even more important. Women, according to market researchers, are responsible for around 85% of all household purchases.

That old question, “what do women want?” is asked very often in business. Marketing executives know their brands must be loaded with enough warm fuzzies to be considered a “Lovemark” – a term created at Saatchi & Saatchi’s to describe the next step beyond branding.

“Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without,” coos the blurb at Apparently it’s no longer enough for products to be well made. They must also be imbued with attributes like mystery, sensuality, commitment, empathy and passion before we jaded consumers will respect and embrace them.  

Now, as everyone works harder to supply what customers want, female consumers are being wooed even more ardently. And older women (accustomed to being absolutely invisible in the past) are surprised to find themselves being courted by major beauty and skincare companies, who are suddenly using older models like Jane Fonda to push their wares.

Business has discovered that women of 50-plus have more money to spend than their younger sisters and are really keen to buy creams and potions  that might keep them looking younger – even if, deep down, they know even the most expensive products aren’t going to make much of a difference.

But as we all know, we do much more in our lives than go shopping. Things we buy – whether skin cream, lamb chops or cars – are just stuff. Where we really want more power is in our search of happiness. We hang out for the day we’ll win Lotto or stumble on some fantastic stroke of luck, but that doesn’t happen often. Chance events and accidents can slam-dunk our destinies, just like in the movie Sliding Doors. Few of us actually direct our lives. Instead, life happens to us.

That’s why ‘ra-ra’ seminars on goal setting and achieving can be such a pain. After all, we can’t be controlling our lives 24/7. There’ll always be times when other people’s needs have to take priority. Ever had a baby in the house? Or a frail elderly relative? You know then what I mean.  

Responsibility often stands in the way of our own wants. But what we can do is try to be in charge of the moments that matter.
You know when they’re upon you because they’re gut-churning. It’s when you’re afraid or excited, maybe goose-pimply, teetering in a situation which demands that you make a big choice. Should I use my savings on buying that business? Should I uproot and try my luck somewhere else? Should I grab this scary chance now because it might never happen again?

Those seconds when you can be in charge of your life have the power to make all the rest of your years fulfilling and rich.

Next time you’re at a point when what you decide now is going to set the scene for everything you do next, then listen to both your head and your heart. (Note: Go with the signals being broadcast by your heart. They’re likely to be the ones that really count.)
And as you make your big decision, remember, you deserve to have that power. As the famous advertising line says, “you’re worth it”.  

P.S.  Get more power and clarity in your life by coming along to my one-day writing course in Auckland on Aug 31.
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By Lindsey Dawson