We are all born with survival instincts, some of which just boil down to common sense, right? Come out of the rain, look both ways before crossing, take a deep breath.  However, sometimes in the heat of a situation, we completely forget to use that instinct.

We’re so busy being clever and analytical and creative that we forget to say, “Hey! Does this even make sense?”

There are countless ways to get out of a difficult situation, but one of the most effective ways is your common sense. It seems silly, but sometimes people forget to use it in the most practical situations. To be successful all we have is to develop a well-trained, instinctual form of thinking.

Ignoring the gut feeling

An experience of mine years back made me realize this fact and might spark some feelings of familiarity with your own experiences.

Michelle and I had been in business together for around six years and we were doing great. But despite Wasabi’s success, I knew there was still something missing. At the start, we decided that Wasabi would be a boutique PR company because we are committed to working intimately with clients to ensure their success in the world. Even though this felt great, there was an entire market that we weren’t able to serve under this model.

We decided to create a training program and market ourselves online. We consulted some of the best internet marketers in the world and they told us exactly how to achieve success. We started modeling the program according what they told us. We spent an incredible amount of energy putting the program together and launching our internet product. However, while we were in the process of carrying out this new campaign, something just didn’t feel quite right. Looking back on it all, I realize that I didn’t pay much attention to what we were being told to do by our consultants. I just followed their instructions with no second thoughts. I didn’t bother to consult my own common sense and instinct. Heck, these guys were experts!

Let me cut to the chase. We launched the program and we were expecting to have a 100 people in the course. We got 12. The 12 people in the course got amazing results and, by the end, they were doing PR as well as any other publicist out there. This got us scratching our heads. We knew the product was high quality, but we didn’t know how to communicate that; which seems pretty strange for a PR company that specializes in communication, right?

Finding our unique expression

We continued to follow the advice of the experts and kept hitting our heads against a wall. After working on this project for six years, a light bulb went off: the issue was that the program wasn’t aligned, it didn’t fit with our value to personally work with people. Not just to teach them, but mentor them; not from the stands, but out on the court. That’s what made the difference for our students and why they got great results.

Now we don’t focus on our internet training programs. We simply mentor people, one-on-one, who want to learn the art of PR.

Looking back, if I had been paying attention to the signs and if I had used my common sense and instincts, we wouldn’t have wasted all that time and energy.

We could have made a bigger difference in the world by simply paying more attention.

Our school systems and our advanced training emphasize our left side analytical brain. We get trapped in being more and more clever in our thinking and strategizing. But sometimes we really need to rely more on our instincts to be more in tune to uncover and reveal what is really going on. It is our access to getting unstuck. It is about using our simple, common sense rather than our fancy schmancy cleverness.