If you haven’t seen the original animated Grinch movie from 1966, you’ve likely seen the Jim Carrey version from 2000. But if you missed that one, too, here’s the recap: Green Grinch hates Christmas and hates the Whos, the sweet and lovable inhabitants of Whoville, who adore the holiday – but who have lost sight of the true meaning. So Grinch, accompanied by his long-suffering canine companion, Max, steals all their presents and decorations so he can extract his revenge.
The twist: Aided by pure-of-heart and diminutive Cindy Lou Who, the Whos celebrate the Christmas spirit, even without the wrappings, and the Grinch’s frozen heart melts. And in the Carrey version, he also finds true love with the sexiest Who of all, played by Christine Baranski.
It’s the updated version that brings us our lesson for today, and the lesson is this: There’s really someone for everyone. If a grumpy, stinky, pants-less Grinch can capture the heart of the nubile Martha May Whovier, then out there, somewhere, there’s a customer base for you.
Go online and you can find plenty of proof of this belief. There are people selling gun-shaped soap, frozen yogurt for dogs, and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavor Beans. If they can make it, you can, too. Take these tips from the Grinch:
- Be absolutely clear on who you are. Don’t waffle. If you’re strange, revel in your strangeness. The more clearly you reveal yourself, the more easily you’ll appeal to your “tribe,” as Seth Godin calls it.
- Don’t apologize for who you are. If you’re a gun-toting survivalist, so be it. If you are a tattooed, be-ringed 60-something, go with it. Your customers don’t want someone who is embarrassed; they want to be led by someone who’s confident and embraces their different-ness.
- Come down from the mountain. It’s not until the Grinch leaves his hermit-like cave at the top of Mt. Crumpet and emerges into the “real world” that he finds acceptance and love. You need to be where the people are.
- File down your rough edges. “Authenticity” can be an excuse for bad behavior. There’s a difference between being transparent and honest, and being downright unpleasant and rude. Even at the end of the movie, the Grinch softens a bit – without losing his Grinch-ness.