How Many Experts Does It Take To Change a Battery?

By Leah Komaiko

Keeping it simple-a strategy generally easiest for a child. After that, as they say in the old gangster movies, “you know too much.” Or at least you think you do. All the education, life experience and convictions layered on old stories you’ve told yourself after about grade 3, make it a challenge to see your native genius for the trees.

Which brings me to changing batteries.

Last week, at 3 a.m., I shot straight upto the sound of a very loud chirping. A smoke detector went off every 45 seconds and continued for the next 8 hours. The new devices are both hardwired and have batteries I had recently changed.  Being deadly with a wire cutter,  I slept between the chirps and waited for the pros to show up later in the day. Perfect.

That night, once deemed fixed, “Chirpy” was back at 4 a.m. and over the next four days, licensed electricians were back on three more occasions placing and replacing systems, trying to figure out a solution to the problem. There were consultations with a general contractor, a heating and a/c specialist and a building manager on the scene and to all it was "a real mystery.” Nobody could make Chirpy go away.

Several times I asked if the carbon monoxide detector by the baseboard in the same hallway as Chirpy’s apparent “nest” could be the problem but was told hands down, "no."  So the investigation continued until finally I spoke to friends who revealed they had dealt with this same problem to discover finallythe chirping was coming from their carbon monoxide detector.

Five sleepless nights and 1500 dollars later, I replaced that battery (labeled guaranteed to last for five years), et voila – sleeping since.

Thing is when your job is to only look “inside” at the wiring – you are an expert or you are trained to look “on the roof” at the heating/ac or one aspectof your own business, it’s hard to also see the big picture. But the big picture is the place where solutions can actually appear simpler. It’s where your story lives and what makes your marketing make sense and money.

Change the battery. Stop. Look. Listen hard. Consider that what you knew yesterday may not be what you are about to know. As George Carlin said, “think off-center.” Get it simple. It’s not always easy. But it’s what the best brands and the bestsellers get right.

That's where I can help you.

Because when all is said and done, no matter what you are selling, your clients are looking for the same memorable, intangible connection to you and your product that connects a child to the "I just want that one" book – that must be read to her every night before she falls asleep. Even though she has a hundred others on that shelf to choose from.

That magic one that goes beyond the tangibles.

That magic one needs to be you.

Sweet dreams, Chirpy.

unpublished 2016