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How analogies drive effective messaging in business. What are some that have changed your way of thinking?

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tjgott

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Jan 13, 2021
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In business, I've realized the best speakers/leaders are ones that always have a colorful way of communicating and it's not necessarily by being the most articulated. Rather, it's more a matter of clear messaging and thinking through analogies, idioms, rhetorics, business terminology etc, but especially analogies.

What are some great business analogies you've heard that have impacted you and how you think about business?

Some examples: the term: 'flywheel', static vs noise, Uber being the Airbnb of cars, "you can't pick cherries with your back to the trees", start-ups being like 'building a plane while flying it', and then there are the great business minds of Buffet, Jobs, Rockefeller etc, who have no shortage of great analogies.

Whether you recognize it or not, effective analogies drive marketing, strategy, negotiations, and in sum draw connections that audiences remember. I'd love to hear if anyone has any great ones of their own or that they know of! I love to use new ones when working with my team.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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My favorite is the cat analogy...

Excerpt from my upcoming book...

Attacking money with a positive charge (money chasing) is akin to chasing a finicky cat around the neighborhood who outwits you in every pursuit, up the tree, behind the bushes, under the car. This is how most people attack the rat-race, but it’s the wrong way to win the chase. Instead, grab the cat's attention. Offer the feline something he wants. A can of tuna? Catnip? With a polarity reversal, suddenly, the cat scampers right into your lap. Chase not required.
 

afrankmore

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In business, I've realized the best speakers/leaders are ones that always have a colorful way of communicating and it's not necessarily by being the most articulated. Rather, it's more a matter of clear messaging and thinking through analogies, idioms, rhetorics, business terminology etc, but especially analogies.

What are some great business analogies you've heard that have impacted you and how you think about business?

Some examples: the term: 'flywheel', static vs noise, Uber being the Airbnb of cars, "you can't pick cherries with your back to the trees", start-ups being like 'building a plane while flying it', and then there are the great business minds of Buffet, Jobs, Rockefeller etc, who have no shortage of great analogies.

Whether you recognize it or not, effective analogies drive marketing, strategy, negotiations, and in sum draw connections that audiences remember. I'd love to hear if anyone has any great ones of their own or that they know of! I love to use new ones when working with my team.
I learn best with analogies... Its how I learned to cultivate plants, trade options, and even build my business.... Every aspect of my life is about attaining an army to fight daily battles
 

tjgott

New Contributor
Jan 13, 2021
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I learn best with analogies... Its how I learned to cultivate plants, trade options, and even build my business.... Every aspect of my life is about attaining an army to fight daily battles
Absolutely. Analogies allow us to easily conceptualize foreign concepts and I love how you used one there to help describe an element of your methodology lol

For those that are fixated on health and personal development (myself included), I like to think of my body as a machine and my mind as a computer that I'm continually programming and updating (in the efforts to upgrade a better version of my current self).
 

afrankmore

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Absolutely. Analogies allow us to easily conceptualize foreign concepts and I love how you used one there to help describe an element of your methodology lol

For those that are fixated on health and personal development (myself included), I like to think of my body as a machine and my mind as a computer that I'm continually programming and updating (in the efforts to upgrade a better version of my current self).
I am very much the same way. I use the plant analogy for health, personal growth (I grew up in an agriculture environment).
 

maverick

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I find the fisherman and business man analogy quite amusing:

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.
The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”
The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.
“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.
The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”
The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”
The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”
The fisherman asks, “And after that?”
The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”
The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
 

Andy Black

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