What Bruce Can Teach You About Marketing…Seriously (Part 1)

I have a serious addiction towards martial arts and in particular Bruce Lee. Maybe it’s because I was born when Bruce Lee’s fame was at its height. Everyone talked about Bruce.

Although Bruce was a martial artist/founder of Jeet Kun Do, and later a movie star, Bruce is seriously a marketer. He was a business man at heart even though he seemed more brawn than brains.

Bruce’s martial art philosophy is something I take to heart because I practised martial art too when I was in school. Back in the 80s, everyone I knew learnt taekwando, a sport which gave one the reason to wear the all white uniform, a pride of many boys. (In fact, besides taekwando, I practised chinese wushu too.)

I say Bruce was a marketer at heart because his martial art philosophy is like business – it’s simple, straight to the point and results-orientated.

Bruce’s Jeet Kune Do moves were all about cutting out the ‘fluff’ of regular martial arts and going for the results – martial art isn’t martial art if you cannot win over your opponent. No amount of fancy legwork or brick-chopping will get you anywhere if you don’t win a fight.

Sure the fancy legwork and stuff will make you look like you know what you’re doing during training practice but the real question is: can you produce the results with all those moves when it’s crunch time?

I can tell you that fancy moves may look threatening but one lethal kick or punch is all you need to down your opponent in the fighting ring.

And I can tell you fancy moves get you NOWHERE. This video below shows a fight between a Muay Thai boxer and a taekwando black belter. Watch the fight closely.

Because when you are in the fighting ring, your objective is to knock down your opponent, using the least effort. Don’t flap around with all those cool moves you learnt during practice. They look wonderful but can they be used when you need to use them?

As in the case of Bruce Lee, he didn’t have any fancy moves. His legacy was a powerful, no-fuss, direct ‘one-inch punch’. Watch how he executes this elegant yet powerful punch and what happens to his opponent.

So what has Bruce got to do with business?

Bruce focused on RESULTS.

And business, no matter if you have an MBA or not, is always about results. Your boss wants results. That’s why he hired you.

Our our clients, that’s why they hire us. Even non-profit organisations these days talk about results – what are the results of their campaigning?

Bruce focused on SUBSTANCE.

Business is also about substance. Don’t start a business thinking you don’t need to know much. For sure you can con your way around but you cannot con yourself. Do you have the substance instead of fluff and fancy legwork? At the end of the day, can you provide real knowledge to help your customers or are you just bluffing through hoping no one will see through you?

Bruce focused on SIMPLICITY.

Remember his one-inch punch? He cut out all those ‘martial art’ fancy stuff and just focused on the simplicity of his lethal punch.

Business is about simplicity. It is not about making things complex or difficult. It is about paring down or peeling away the difficult parts to reveal simplicity. Simplicity is not stupidity or laziness. It is about brevity and elegance.

That is why I cannot understand why people also say they want a simple website (no one has ever told us they want a complicated website) yet they will want to have Flash and all the unnecessary add-ons to their website, making their website so unfriendly to users!

A simple website does not mean a easy-to-create website. It is easier to be complicated – just dump everything the client wants on the website regardless if he needs those stuff or not. A simple website means we need to really know you and your business and go right for the essence of your business.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of Bruce and Marketing… and how to apply them in your business.

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