Run in the rain: Think this way about your business

This post isn’t about being so hardcore you’ll do things no one else will do. (We see you, winter sea swimmers.) But this is definitely about being different. Maybe not unique — who’s really unique in our world, agencyland? — but doing things your way.

I’m a regular runner. Nothing advanced like Andy Mac. But I get out there. And running in the rain is my preference.

You’ll be hot and sweaty anyway, so a little cooling rain feels good. But that isn’t the main reason why I like it.

No, the thing about running in the rain is that other runners stay away. If you live in the countryside you won’t notice this so much (I guess), but living in a crowded city, avoiding crowds while running is difficult. And it’s even worse running in the time of Covid, if you can’t avoid narrow paths and pavements.

Running through wintry — and crowded — Tooting Commons

So there’s a sweet spot here, the centre of a simple Venn diagram: stuff you’ll do that others won’t… overlapping with stuff you don’t mind doing anyway.

What, in your business, satisfies that Venn god?

One example: a few years back I realised my team was competing with agencies of seasoned copywriters, but some of the competition had never really interviewed people. We, on the other hand, had each done hundreds of interviews — maybe even low thousands — when we were journalists. Interviewing isn’t daunting or unusual for us. The team’s confidence in this skill shines through.

For some types of work — for example, case studies — interviewing our clients’ customers is essential. All our team have this covered. Our clients know that we won’t let them down. The customers come out of it feeling like they’ve faced a proper examination of what they do.

It’s good for our clients. It’s good for their customers. It’s good for us.

And it’s just running in the rain.

Other people won’t go there. But for us? It’s our preference.


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Media, marketing, tech, b2b, London. Runs Collective Content (UK). Previously: CBS, CNET, Silicon, Japan.