What Really Counts: The Trophy On The Mantle Or The Millions In The Bank

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 2nd, 2011 3 Comments

At least the infomercial industry’s annual awards dinner I attended was honest. Shows nominated were successful.

At the Emmys, Julia Louise-Dreyfuss won an acting award for a truly abysmal sitcom that was cancelled almost immediately upon airing. Other cancelled shows won various honors.

At the Oscars, movies the public hated won awards; movies the public loved were snubbed. All that’s fine as long as everybody admits what they’re up to; gathering in their own little clique and giving each other awards with no relationship whatsoever to the only judgement that really matters: the marketplace’s.

No, I’d rather not say that every movie has to be a blockbuster at the box office to get recognition. And there are movies that have taken off after public attention was drawn to them by such awards. But it does seem sort of silly giving awards to actresses in cancelled shows or actors in movies nobody went to see.

Hollywood, however, is supposed to be about fantasy and make-believe, so maybe none of this matters at all.

What is important is you not falling into a similar trap. In business, in sales, there is only one judgement that counts: the buyers’. Every other opinion, good, like an award, or bad, like your mother-in-law’s, can never be given even the slightest bit of attention.

In the advertising business from whence I came, agencies get away with murdering clients’ wallets and businesses, setting aside market realities, deliberately producing advertising with the top objective of winning awards – which are, in turn, given out with no connection whatsoever to the actual success or failure of the advertising.

This is sick, and sickening.

Usually, by the way, if your peers applaud what you’re doing, it’s an alarm bell warning of marketplace rejection. Peer approval and recognition ought to be AVOIDED.

At the Renegade Millionaire Retreat, a long-time Member who should be much farther head in his business than he is, finally faced the conclusion that he was being handicapped and held back by his deep involvement in his trade association, by his seeking those peers’ approval, by pursuing their awards, by hanging out with a whole crowd of people who desperately seek each others’ approval as a means of being validated and important – because their faulty approach to the business denies them the validation of marketplace success.

If you really need a trophy on your shelf, take a few bucks from the millions you make by not pursuing trophies and buy one for yourself. Your local trophy shop will “give” you whatever award you like.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

3 Responses

  1. Bob Goranson says:

    You make some good points, though that’s kind of an antiquated view of agencies. Client’s control their money and generally aren’t letting most agencies run wild. A few, a very few get away with it for a short time. Then get fired.

  2. Greg Hyer says:

    Very good “no-nonsense” post! I have heard of too may awards programs that businesses participate by paying to win the award. It is very misleading to prospective customers and current ones. I would love to hear about examples of businesses that receive awards from their community and their customers collective. Any suggestions?

  3. Marc says:

    Good point. Kind of how you say in Ultimate Infomation Entrepreneur about focus groups and how Caples discovered mail-order results were completely reversed in his experiment.

    “1. Never inclue friends, associates, relatives or others who know you in your opinion groups.”

    Although this is hard advice to follow until you figure out for yourself. It is the same reason I refuse to share what I’m working on with friends or relatives.

    Because they simply don’t get it.

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