Ah, Ted Lasso, the beloved show that marries the world of football – or soccer – with humor, heart, and hope. But who’d have thought this popular series could provide us salient lessons for business? Today, let’s unravel a key takeaway from season three episode seven and understand its significance in the world of business.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
- What this Ted Lasso moment can teach us about business
- Focusing on the most important aspects of your business
- Applying this new approach to your marketing
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Sam Obisanya: When you’re too focused on the “spoons”
The episode I want to discuss delves into the life of fan-favorite Sam Obisanya, a talented soccer player and successful restaurant owner. Sam’s father, who lives in Nigeria, is coming to visit Sam for the first time since his restaurant opened — and the pending visit fills Sam with anxiety. He wants everything to be immaculate, especially his restaurant. As he prepares, Sam becomes excessively concerned about every little detail — right down to the restaurant’s spoons. Simi, his chef, delivers a line that’s both poignant and insightful: “If the food is good, which it is, nobody cares about the spoons.”
Applying this story to your online business
Isn’t that an apt metaphor for business? Many entrepreneurs, especially when starting something new, find themselves obsessing over the “spoons”. These can be things like impeccable website designs, the perfect social media post, or the most eye-catching image. However, just as Simi pointed out, what truly matters is “the food” — the core offering. This means the quality of products or services that businesses offer, how effectively they assist their customers, and their focus on garnering genuine results and feedback. At the end of the day, if your product or service is top-notch, the smaller details – though important – will fade into the background.
Where can you focus on “the food” of your business?
Taking this analogy into the realm of marketing, it’s essential to prioritize “evergreen content” – content that remains relevant, providing value over an extended period. This could be SEO optimized blog posts that continue to draw traffic, podcasts that provide lasting insights, or YouTube channels that build communities. On the flip side, we have the “spoon” or “toilet content”, which might be those one-off social media posts or reels created in a hurry just to ride a fleeting trend. While these can be fun and sometimes even successful in the short term, they may not provide sustainable value in the long run.
Where does your business stand? Are you expending too much energy on the spoons, losing sight of the food? Redirecting focus towards the core offering, the “food” of your business, can be transformative. The clarity that arises from understanding what truly matters can revolutionize your approach, setting you up for long-term success. So, the next time you find yourself sweating the small stuff, remember Sam, his spoons, and chef Simi’s wisdom. Prioritize the food.
Sam Vander Wielen:
Hey, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. And today, we’re doing a little hot take episode. It’s always what we do on Thursdays, little quickie episodes. And today, we are talking about an episode of Ted Lasso. And don’t worry if you’ve never seen Ted Lasso before, that doesn’t matter. And I’m not spoiling anything either if you are a Ted Lasso fan.
But this actually came to me from Season 3, Episode 7. I think one of the fan favorites, Sam, one of the soccer players on the show and he owns a restaurant in the show. And his dad is coming to visit him that week. And I think on the show before, we’ve heard him talk to his dad a lot, but we’ve never seen the dad in person. That’s what I remember. But he’s really anxious. Sam is feeling really anxious that his dad’s coming to visit that week, and he wants to impress him and make sure that the restaurant looks good. And it’s a really big deal for him and his family to have built this restaurant. And actually the restaurant is doing really well.
And in all of his, you know, fretting and anxiety, Sam is nitpicking over the spoons, the silverware in his restaurant. And his chef, Simi, says to him, "If the food is good, which it is, nobody cares about the spoons." And I thought that was such a great line.
And it was just so apropos to business, because in business we focus a lot on the spoons. In our businesses, maybe it’s our websites, what our websites look like, or having the perfect picture and the perfect filter and the fonts, and making sure our social posts look good, and that our copy is great, and all of these little things, like designing the perfect link page for your Instagram bio. All of that kind of stuff, we focus on that a lot.
But, honestly, I think what is much more helpful is focusing on whether the food is good in your own business, right? So, I talk a lot about, like, Is your product really good? Is it actually helping people? Is your service good? Is there something that you need to bump up your game to really be helping people? What kind of results are you seeing? What kind of feedback are you getting?
I think we need to focus more on that kind of stuff, you know, and actually making sure that the food of our businesses is so good that it’s not only bringing people back, it’s getting them some kind of good experience, which is then leading to them being foot soldiers and talking to other people about your business and talking to other people about your product. I think that’s what’s really important.
If I was to take this a level deeper, too, it would be, yes, to focus on creating a great product or service for people. I think that’s the best starting point. But when we’re talking about it from a marketing perspective, to me, the food is the bigger picture evergreen content that you’re creating that actually go out there and work for you over time, and not what I call toilet content, something you put out there and just goes away right away, it goes right down the toilet.
So, instead, focusing on things like SEO optimized blog posts on your website, or optimizing your website, having a podcast that you optimize the titles and posts elsewhere, having a YouTube episode or a YouTube channel that you do the same thing for. Focusing more on that, which to me, the spoons of the marketing part of your business are more like social media, like the individual little pieces.
If you’re creating a lot of one off toilet content, like creating reels just for Reels versus creating a podcast episode and taking a video from your podcast episode and then using that as a Reel. Or then starting with that foundational content and then using it elsewhere so that we’re not wasting our time. We’re directing traffic to something else that’s going to take our customer on the next step in their customer journey in our business.
So, let’s all think about a way this week that we can focus more on the food and focus less on the spoons. Even just becoming aware in your own business, like, "Oh. I think I’m focusing a little too much on the spoons here, or this is like a spoons thing, and I need to get back to the food," I think that that could be really transformative in your business and it’s just such a simple mindset shift. I love that Ted Lasso gave us this little example.
So, I hope you liked this little quickie episode. If you did, please pop it to a text to a friend real quick, hit like, subscribe, follow the show wherever you listen. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll chat with you in a few days.
Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
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