People like to enjoy the smell of success, hoping a little bit rubs off on them, so they feel accepted
As a creative networker, trying to change a little bit of the world, a great weapon you can use is the association principle. It says people are eager to associate themselves with the successes of others. When they feel connected with other people’s achievements, even if it’s in a superficial way, they think their public image is strengthened, and they feel more accepted by the group.
I attended a class reunion a year or two earlier and I was talking with one of the ladies, who had been a girl in my class more than 30 years ago. This was one of the most intelligent pupils at the time, and I’m sure she’s still quite bright. At the reunion she told me, “This is very silly. When I found out your book is on Amazon, I felt proud, because you were in my class long ago. Isn’t that stupid?” Me being Dutch I probably replied in an honest and fair manner, something like, “Yes, that’s ridiculous. I wrote the book, not you.”
The Smell of Success
That’s how people are. When their favorite team wins the season’s finale they celebrate, “We are the champions!” while we did nothing, except drinking a lot of beer and making a lot of noise. But when their team loses, most of the fans say “They lost,” not “We lost.” Even worse, supporters can give voice to pure brain-twisters such as “We could have won the championship, if they had not screwed up!”
As smart creative networkers we use this. When we want to convince people of the usefulness of our great ideas, we allow them to enjoy the smell of success, so they can hope a little bit rubs off on them, and feel accepted. That’s why we ask ourselves: