“Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
It’s amazing how often we think that if we only throw enough money at a problem that it’ll work itself out.
Now, I’m primarily talking about how people view marketing but it’s about something bigger than that.
I remember a few years ago, some scientists taught capuchin monkeys the concept of money. It started out pretty well. They started understanding that they could use money to get stuff.
There were also studies of whether or not the monkeys understood gambling. Their behavior turned out to be pretty darn similar to ours.
They were presented with the option of getting 2 grapes or try their luck. If they gambled they could win either 3 grapes or only one.
After a while, well, they went apeshit. The problems started when one monkey tried to escape with the money. In the end he ended up back with the other monkeys.
I don’t know if the situation was more stressful for the monkeys or the researchers.
But something interesting happened during this whole debacle. One of the researchers saw a monkey exchanging money for sex.
Yeah, let’s take a moment to think about that. One monkey understood that money could be used to pay for sex. The other monkey understood they could sell sex for money.
They found a way to bypass the “natural order” of things. It used to be that you had to show some kind of skill, drawn lucky in the gene pool or put in the effort.
You could have developed strength, been ruggedly handsome/tremendously beautiful or romanced the potential partner.
Now, to be fair, some people or monkeys would probably frown on the notion of selling their bodies. Some would be OK with it. The point is not to say that one way is right and the other is wrong.
What we need to do is to look at what’s most important for the other person. Romance or Gifts? Time or Money? Tango or Cash?
I was reminded of this when I sent a picture that said “I’m proud of you!” to a friend. She’d done an amazing job and creatively combined music & cars into a fantastic opportunity in both fields. That was such a kick-ass move I’m still impressed!
She said thanks and asked if I’d drawn the picture. Then it hit me. Man, if I would’ve actually draw it myself it would’ve been so much more appreciated.
That was a moment when someone would’ve gotten so much more value from me simply investing a little time and effort in creating something for them rather than just looking for something to express my feelings.
So, we’ve been talking about monkey prostitution and how we think we can throw money at any given problem. What are we getting at, sonny?
Well, maybe we’ve reached the point where it doesn’t matter how much money we spend on marketing, romance, business, friendship, happiness, health etc. Maybe the solution isn’t putting in more dolla-dolla-bills, y’all?
What if the solution is to make time, listen, observe and put in the effort? We can always find ways of making more money. Time is our most precious resource, we can’t make more of it.
Now, I know what you’re not thinking: “What did the monkey-bine get for her money?”.
She bought a grape. A single mother effin’ grape.
Can you think of a time when it turned out that it was better to put in the effort rather than money? Maybe there’s even been times when money solved the problem better and faster than effort could?
Let me know in the comments & on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!