Contact lenses hurt my eyes. I wore them when I was younger because I thought I needed to, so I’d struggle through eight hours of work or school then rip them out of my bloodshot eyes the minute I got home. I kept wearing them to play basketball, but when I retired my weekend warrior jersey (I was that annoying guy who plays defense even on Saturday mornings, and I kept getting my fingers jacked up), I pretty much retired my contacts, too.
That puts me in the group of people who wear their glasses all day, every day. I’ve never really minded them on my face, so it isn’t a big deal. However, over time I’ve noticed something funny about people like me who rely on spectacles: most of the time we can’t really tell how dirty they are. Sometimes I take off my glasses because I notice something weird in my field of vision and discover that my lenses look as if I just finished the Dakar Rally.
I wash them off regularly, but they still collect dust and other junk from the environment. The weird part is that as long as I’m focusing on my work or my XBOX or something else in front of me, I don’t even notice.
Ironically, I can’t see the schmutz because I’m too close to it.
Man, is that a metaphor for promoting a business or a brand. Company leaders get so focused on the things ahead of them – supply chain issues, customers, employees, the economy – that they don’t see the branding issues that are right in front of them. It’s human nature, and it’s the reason that businesses often look for outside help. I’m always a little embarrassed when my wife tells me that my glasses are covered in junk, but I’m also glad she does.
It’s one thing for her to tell me I need improvement. It’s another thing for a kid at the airport to point at me like I’m one of those guys in the Mad Max movies who gets pushed off his motorcycle.
My advice? Wash your glasses regularly and get an outside opinion on the state of your brand. Both can improve your vision and ensure that you are pointed in the right direction.