You may have looked around you and thought: how has so-and-so managed to get their business up and running so quickly? Why do they have customers lining up outside their doors? They don’t have a radio spot, they don’t have a two-page spread in the yellow pages, and I have yet to see a billboard with their logo on it!!

The answer is both simple and yet subtly complex, and it’s been called “The Connection Economy”.

Seth Godin, the author who coined the term, is a well-known guru in the era of digital marketing, and he has a lot of great things to say on the topic. One idea he presents is that we are moving away from an industrial economy towards a connection economy, that is, one where there is a human interaction at the heart of every business.

He posits that our labour and material production has reached the limits of scalability, and that we have branded ourselves to death. So what does the world need?  An economy routed in trust, permission, remarkability, leadership, storytelling, humanity, connection, compassion and humility.

But what does that mean in simple terms as someone who is running a business?

Your job as a modern business owner is to find the right tribe, connect and create a culture of being that tribe. Make your product or service so great that people will happily sing their praises of you on their Facebook update, tweet, or in an Instagram post. Word will spread; but the integrity and dedication to your product has to start with you.

Another way to look at the same problem is to ask yourself this question: Are you invisible or remarkable? Again, using Seth Godin’s voice, in an interview he gave to the blog Craft of Marketing (

“Basically what happens is people come to me knowing I don’t do consulting. So they’re looking for free advice, and they ask,

“How do I make a big splash?”
“How do I get the word out?”
“How do I get to the size that you are?
“Please write a post or tell me how to get my Kickstarter to be super successful, or whatever.”

My answer is from my own experience, the way I did it, which is to tell ten people. If those ten people tell no one else, then there’s something wrong with what you built. But if they tell other people, then the word begins to spread. And if you show up, day after day with something important, and notable, and remarkable, and generous, people will talk about it. They will miss you if you are gone. And that is the slow and steady route to actually making an impact, that I know of.”

…Invisible or Remarkable? My column here will take a closer look at what this might mean for you as a local business owner in Elgin County. I can’t wait to get started!