Stop Sucking Now!

Tue, Nov 15, 2011

The economy sucks!

You can put a positive spin on it but that’s the plain and simple truth.

Obesity sucks! Healthcare sucks. Fast-food sucks. Cancer triple-quadruple x1000 sucks. Divorce sucks. Hurting children sucks!

I’m sure you can agree that there’s entirely too much sucking in this world.

Well, on that note… I say it’s time to stop the sucking!

Yes, You Too Can Stop Sucking

No, I don’t mean to suggest that YOU SUCK. No, that’s not it at all. Of course, maybe you do—lord knows I’ve got more than a couple places that “suck” might be a good spin on my abilities—but that is not at all my intent here.

I believe there’s a virus in our culture, a hidden agreement we’ve made with the world around us to turn a blind eye to things, places, business, products that suck. And that many of us have come to accept this suck as a given, a fact of the evolving world.

Service Sucks

For one example of sucking, we took the kids to JumpStreet this past Sunday. And as I try to forget each time, we were greeted by the giant sucking sound of the “good enough” service. The service and entry experience is text book “suck.” The place is simply broken.

But it’s fun for the kids. So we go, I complain a little about it and then we move on. Granted, it certainly limits the times we go. I’m completely over ever having a b-day party there. But what else can we do?

You see, as long as you, I or we are tolerant of suck, for as long as we turn our thinking, discerning mind off (or on low), we are keeping “suck” alive. We’ve essentially kept a co-dependent relationship with it.

So, in the case of JumpStreet, I’m clear that I am not in a position nor would I be able to inspire better service from the bottom on, from the staff. So, it’s about not going, making the drive to places like Xtreme Challenge Arena , where real people own it, care and manage it. Where they care about your experience. A place where you feel good about sharing your money.

There’s also places you can share reviews, be social about the negative experience. That helps these days, I think.

Why Sucking is Personal to Me

As I mentioned, my inspiration for this call to “Stop Sucking” comes from an excerpt of Seth Godin’s book, Free Prize Inside, and a passage about Panera Bread (below).

But first the point of this part of the book is that, The problem lays with…

[This is from Seth’s book, but written by a food critique writer]

“Panera’s products are remarkable, though, in that they’re developed an entirely new style of sucking. Their products don’t suck in any usual ways; they’re a fresh take on suckiness built from scratch. Since nothing sucks familiarly, Panera’s stuff can fool you at first if you don’t play close attention.”

“Marketers who don’t bother to make truly great stuff at the same time that they build the facade that makes people expect great stuff. The incremental cost of making a truly great pineapple upside-down cake (like the incremental cost of Starbucks making truly great coffee) is tiny.

What separates a product that grows the the ages from one that just grows and crashes is the ability to appeal to both worlds–the folks that want the fortune and the ones who want the cookie.”

Now, that is well said. It’s not enough, truly, to make the story that you make a premium beer–you must actually make the great product. And yet, so few get that. For there are still a large enough majority who don’t attend to the experience. They assume the story and let the product fill their expectation regardless of the actual experience.

And this my friends is how sucking survives,, and even thrives, like “The Thing” creating a life and energy of its own.

How I Put a Stop to the Sucking

I recall how this passage inspired me years ago when I started this crazy idea that became the Full Strength nutrition shake. How I set out not to just make “another” product, another protein shake, but to make a difference. To make a total nutrition integrated “nutritious & fast food” that would simplify and amplify my life and the lives of all those who would take the step up.

Step-up to incremental cost, as mentioned in Seth’s book. For Full Strength the true premium nutrition shake, that step-up is functionally a leap–for it’s created with more intention and intelligence than any protein shake or MRP’s. It’s a different sort of animal, in a entirely different zip code of quality. We improve on every small, hand-created batch produced fresh every three months. And for all that, the incremental “step-up” is about a dollar per meal.

When you’ve been trained to believe that the only difference between Met-Rx and Myoplex is packaging and price, it’s price that you learn to buy on. The thought of experience, of feeling a difference from the inside out, seems like fiction. So, price becomes the grade. And so goes the agreement with sucking.

You forget to expect more, you don’t know you can have more, so you unknowingly settle for crap that sucks. And so the suck goes on.

The Choice to Go Suck-Free

Your choice is simple, accept the mediocrity and continue to tolerate the suck or invest in the incremental cost of great, of Full Strength. Maybe you’re not discerning enough…Yet. Maybe you don’t yet know what great nutrition really feels like. But maybe you do. But you can’t find out what swimming in the ocean is like by standing on the beach.

That’s why I start every one of the faithful Full Strength Inner Circle members with the 14-Day Challenge. It’s as simple as it gets. One great Full Strength a day for 14 Days… and you open you mind and tune in and feel the difference. The difference in energy, in attention, in quality of life. The way you eat all day long, the way you sleep. Even the way you attend to the people around you.

If it sounds like I’m challenging you, you’re right. I am.

Because I believe that the SUCK has to STOP somewhere. And when you’re making the conscious choice to step it up, from the inside out, when you’re elevating your energy and awareness, awakening your mind and Strength, you’ve resourced what you need to begin making the choice elsewhere in your life.

I believe you’ve got the desire to be better, stronger and more empowered. No matter how absolutely great you are now, we all have that drive. And I know that the better, stronger and more awake you are the faster we will rise up to conquer SUCKING, and the sooner we and our children will live in a world free from the suckiness that pervades our world today.

Here’s to the End of Sucking one Great Shake at a Time.

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- who has written 190 posts on Shawn Phillips | Start Strong Monday.

Author, speaker, sprinter, trainer, fitness guru and Integral philosopher...Shawn Phillips

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One Response to “Stop Sucking Now!”

  1. Scott Tousignant Says:

    I love the message Shawn. Reminds me of some of the stories in Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth, where he describes an amazing experience that he had at a certain hotel, that went above and beyond your expectations. There was no sucking going on there.

    Lately I’ve noticed that more time goes into crafting a nice fairy tale story about a product than time spent on developing the quality of the product itself.

    I refuse to settle for suckiness and demand quality… after all… that’s what I deserve.

    I’m hooked on Full Strength. I have yet to see it’s quality matched.


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