Lessons from Mr. Miyagi

Ever read a blog post or article only to be left unclear about the message at the end? I follow a good number of company/corporate blogs; not because I love all of them, but because I like to see how businesses are using them, and look for what I think are successful implementations.  A consistent flaw in many of these blogs is this general lack of a message, or a message that’s so generic it’s almost like the blog is saying nothing at all.

I understand why a lot of corporate blogs are written this way. There’s a fear that if the company says something too direct, or potentially objectionable by a customer, the company could alienate said customer. The flaw with this type of thinking is that in this effort to be all things to all people (which is an impossible goal for anyone, let alone a business), the post says nothing – making it unremarkable and ineffective.

Most of you have seen The Karate Kid with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. At the point in the movie where Daniel is about to begin his training, Mr. Miyagi shares some good advice. He says in his rough English,

“Walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, get squish just like grape.”

What Mr. Miyagi was trying to communicate here is that you can’t walk along the center undecided. If you want to make something happen, and not get squished, you need to make a decision, pick a side, and make a statement.

Balance has its place, but an abundance of balance can also stop something from moving. You want blog posts to move and inspire, and that can’t be done with generic messages. It’s okay to say something that’s not all that popular. Most blog writers are looking for more subscribers, attention, and comments. Posts that make a statement will make all those things happen. So, throw things off balance a little. Pick a side. Say something.

Agree/Disagree? Feel free to “make a statement” below.

Dennis O'Neil

Dennis O'Neil


Dennis has spent over 19 years using the internet to sell and market new homes. He blogs about internet marketing for home builders here, wrote a book about technology's impact on the sales process, and is a respected speaker on advanced internet marketing and the online sales process.