par•a•digm (p r -d m , -d m ) n.

1. One that serves as a pattern or model.

2. A set or list of all the inflectional forms of a word or of one of its grammatical categories: the paradigm of an irregular verb.

3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

You may remember the old story about paradigms?

A man was taking a Sunday drive on a beautiful country road. The road was filled with twists and turns. All of a sudden a red car went whizzing by with a woman hanging out the window screaming and pointing her finger – “Pigs” She screamed “Pigs!” This upset the man greatly. Why would she be pointing and cussing at me – I didn’t do anything? I’m minding my own business and trying to enjoy my Sunday ride. He was perplexed and angry that someone would call him a “Pig”..??

All of a sudden, he drove around a blind curve, and low and behold the road was blocked by 5 large pigs! He slammed on his breaks and swerved, just missing the pigs in the road.
The woman was trying to warn him about the pigs in the road. His set paradigm was that she was angry with him about driving. He was stuck in his own paradigm and failed to see.

Do You Need To Change Your Paradigms?

You may be the one holding your company back from growing at the pace it should. Your ideas and paradigms may be reducing the profits in your company.

I do a lot of consulting work with people who are putting on seminars and events. One promoter recently came to me to talk about his events. He wasn’t happy with the results he was getting from the events.

He was putting on 3-day events and walking away with only $30,000 to $40,000. I told him outright he should stop doing these events if that’s all the money he was going to make.

It’s too much work for such a small payday. You see, most people think of an event as just the 3 or 4 days you’re in the city at the hotel, attending the event. All promoters know that’s just the beginning. You have a 3 to 6 month marketing cycle (and that time frame is growing all the time), you have all the preparation ahead of time, you have speakers to schedule and contracts to get signed, not to mention the hotel and all those issues, plus all the staff you have to send to the event, and then there’s the after-action items that happen after the event – packing to leave, event follow-up marketing, etc.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This promoter was using an event model I have never seen used before. Based on his results, it seems obvious why nobody else is using his model. He was using a very soft sell approach (actually it was more of a no sell approach) from stage. He didn’t actually bring in any outside speakers. Instead, he set the stage up to look like a bookstore with a shelf of books and courses behind him and at strategic times throughout the 3 days, he would pull somebody’s course from the shelf and talk about what it was and why it was important for them to have it. Then, he would proceed with whatever he was teaching.

He had a book store set up outside the room in the hallway where people could go purchase these various courses. His deal was if they sold somebody else’s product, he kept 60% and the product owner got 40% since the product owner/speaker didn’t have to travel to his event and incur the cost of speaking, the promoter kept the 60% instead of the usual 50/50 split.

The reason this promoter used this event model was that he felt like it was his job to teach his attendees everything they needed to know about his topic area, and since he couldn’t get all the information he wanted to teach in 3 days, there was no way for him to bring in outside speakers to sell. He also believed he could only bring in speakers that were directly related to his very narrow topic.
He was the problem. His concept, his view, his paradigm that he had to “teach” people everything, was severely limiting the profit his company could make at an event.
He didn’t even understand that people want to learn about areas that are related to the main topic, but that might broaden their views or help them grow into another aspect of their business.

He didn’t want to turn his event into a sell-a-thon, but he could be making more money, a lot more money, at his events, still give people a good education, and make a nice profit – all at the same time. A win-win for everyone.
We started by adding an additional day to his events, making them 4 days instead of 3. We also added hours to his events by starting earlier and finishing later. Both of these strategies allowed this promoter to add outside speakers while maintaining the integrity of his event, but adding a significant amount of money to his bottom line profits at his events.

Examine your ideas and attitudes about what you’re doing to see if there is another, better way to do things. You make more money, your clients are happy and everybody wins.

Moral of the story….. Don’t let your paradigms be the reason your business doesn’t grow.

Author's Bio: 

Diane Conklin is one of the co-founders of Complete Marketing Systems whereas a marketing and business strategist she specializes in showing entrepreneurs and small business owners how to use direct response marketing to integrate their online and offline marketing strategies, media and methods, to get maximum results from their marketing dollars so they consistently outperform their competition by measuring their marketing and strategically using multi-media campaigns to stand alone in their marketplace as the go-to provider for their products and services. For more information go to