Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Neophilia Devours Its Children

Back in the 18th century, the French government was in trouble. France was deeply in debt thanks to funding the American Revolution and the people with the money, the nobles and the clergy, never paid taxes.

All attempts to put a dent in the debt failed and France declared bankruptcy. To make matters worse, ruined crops spiked food prices to an alltime high, causing widespread hunger.

But King Louis XVI and his nobles who were growing fat off foie gras and coq-au-vin, didn’t look ravenous or broke.

Outraged, a group of revolutionaries formed the National Assembly and set out to create a constitution with equal rights for everyone. The beginning of the French Revolution.

But as the people embraced more radical ideas, the original revolutionaries were seen as fuddy-duddies.

The new radicals rose to power and judged the king an enemy of the Revolution and sentenced him to the guillotine, marking the beginning of the Reign of Terror.

You see, if the king’s head can be lopped off, you can kill everyone. Which is pretty much what happened: over 16.000 people were guillotined, including the revolutionaries who beheaded King Louis.

A journalist of the time famously wrote, “The revolution devours its children.”

The engine behind the world’s economy also eats its own young.

The economy driving powerhouse is known as neophilia, the love of the new. And it downright hates tradition, repetition and routine.

Andy Warhol and his soup cans are passé. Les Misérables is yesterday’s musical. And nobody bats an eye at your wireless AirPods.

If you launch your own business, you’re jumping into a world where the most important question is, “What’s new?”

But new is subjective. Everyone moves through life at their own pace. A minority only just upgraded from cassette to MP3.

So you don’t have to be at the edge of innovation to be a success. Although that is the easiest way to serve the trendsetters.

Selling to the skeptics asks for a different tactic.

To become the top seller to the middle-of-the-roaders, you’re not looking to offer the best product—because that’s at the edge—so you create the most valuable product.

Which comes from listening, understanding what’s wanted and delivering more.

The over delivering copywriter and photographer don’t write a few extra hundred words, or snap five photos instead of two.

The remarkable writer knows her client and sends an email saying, “I think the copy on your website can be improved. Here, I already did it. Check it out.”

The photographer who goes the extra mile schleps his equipment to his client’s office because he knows time spent traveling is time wasted.

While the new keeps the world turning, empathy keeps your business running.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach