Beware of tourists
Taking a slightly different spin today by featuring an article by a close friend of mind, CJ Britton, the CEO of JuiceBox and one of the best marketing minds I know. In his article, CJ shares some insight on the dangers of those that are simply tourists in our lives vs. those that invest in us and support our pursuit of something more.
While not specifically sales focused, this is an excellent business reminder for day to day interactions as well as those we surround ourselves with, but I'd also note the tie into the salesperson's daily conversations. Where and with whom time is spent shapes productivity and ensuring that you're investing in the right areas is key to succeeding.
You can find the article here and I have the copy from CJ listed below.
"Any view worth seeing is unavoidably filled with a large number of tourists and a small number of locals who always feel at odds with one another, even though each one relies on the other.
My family and I reside in Northwestern Florida between Destin and Panama City, in a small beach area referred to as 30A. 2.5M tourists flood this area every summer with families, bachelorette parties, and honeymooners as they enjoy all the views of the Caribbean but with the accessibility of the continental United States. Pretty remarkable influx considering the total number of locals is just south of 15,000. Living in a tourist destination is incredibly fun and frustrating all at once. It's hard to be in a bad mood when everyone around you in the tourist months (summer for us) is literally saving up their vacation days at work for a year just for a week where you live.
But on the flip side, there is a small amount of sadness to it. Tourists don't care about a place you live the way you do. This is their escape, their time to let loose. They worked all year for this! So who cares if you drop a bottle outside your car, or take up 50ft of beach with 10 tents, inflatable furniture, a sound system, and a BBQ set up?
This concept is a good allegory for your professional life.
Beware of tourists.
Let's tie it all together, what makes a "life tourist?" A Life Tourist is the kind of person who floats into your life, enjoys all the best parts of it, has the best intentions, says all the best things, and then after a short time move on to the next destination. It's the kind of person who chooses to only focus on certain aspects of who you are and never really gets to know you. As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging not to become enamored with these kinds of people.
Tourists are wonderful, they bring attention and validation to who you are and what you offer. They make you feel special like they're completely invested in your wellbeing or potential. But at the end of the day simply move on without ever really investing in what you could be. Additionally, if they have a really incredible experience they may share you with their close friends to experience but for the most part, they do not want to share it with other tourists. Because if you become more popular it'll be more difficult for them to access you and then you lose your shine to them. Who wants their favorite hidden beach spot to become suddenly popular anyway? That takes away that feeling of exclusivity we all want on our trips. Hopefully, you've picked up on the fact that I am not just trying to sh*t on people who visit new places. Instead, I want to encourage you to take stock of the people in your life and really ask yourself who is there for the long term, and who is there for a quick trip. Tourists are great, entire businesses are built off of the temporal nature of tourism, however, it can become sticky when you decide to go into business with a tourist.
Tourists vs. Partners
These people will claim to understand who you are, who will choose one or two elements of your life to focus on and they place you into a box. A tourist's perception of who you are is limited only to who you currently are. There are no aspirational elements to a tourist's validation. In fact, if I could boil down the difference between a tourist and a partner it would be this.
A tourist sees you as you are now and who you have been. A partner sees who you are right now, and who you have been but focuses on whom you can become.
A partner, on the other hand, is someone who's invested in your success. This is the kind of person who is concerned with who you are as a person, vs. what you can do for them professionally. They ask questions about your vision for yourself, your personal life, and your personal goals. They take the time to understand a more 360 view of you, what makes you tick, and work to help you get on the road to success. Typically, these people are on the same road as you and see the value in making the journey with you.
You need both in a business to really grow. You need people to give you temporary attention and resources to give you a base to build on. But more than that, you also need partners, people who catch the vision and want to grow with you in your professional journey. Learn to distinguish the difference. There will be 1 partner for every 100 or more tourists that come through your life.
But, you have to be aware of who is in which role and protect yourself accordingly."
About CJ: CJ has been writing content for different digital outlets since he was 16 years old and started his first blog. Since the 2020 pandemic, he really fell off of his writing and is am working to get back into some longer-form content. Currently, he's not on any social media outside of LinkedIn but if you'd like to get in touch with him, shoot a DM or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.