There is a fascinating thing called Cargo Cults. I first heard of them at Burning Man last year. It was the name of one of the camps. I didn’t think about it much deeper than that – thought it was a cool name for a camp 🙂
Then recently there was a post in a private group that I am in about them and it sent me down the rabbit hole – which happens often for me these days it seems.
Cargo cults are natives on islands in the south pacific that are waiting for WWII pilots to return. Crazy right? How the fuck are there still people out there waiting for pilots to return from the war? Here’s the backstory…
During the war, there were lots of little bases set up on islands in the pacific. These bases were for pilots to refuel or get supplies or what have you. On these islands, the pilots would enlist the help of the natives. Then they would give them some of their cargo to reward them for helping out. Of course this was a big deal for the natives – who quickly became conditioned to run help the American pilots.
Then the war ended. And the pilots never returned.
You can only imagine what happened next. The natives waited… and waited. But nothing. No pilots. No cargo. Nothing. Then over time something weird happened. The natives started building their own copies of the landing strips that the Americans had used years earlier.
The natives built planes, towers and other relics of the days gone by and they re-enact the days when the planes came in hopes of bringing back the American pilots – sort of like a “rain dance” to bring the gods back from the sky who gave them cargo all those years ago. They are still doing it to this day.
Silly right? They should know that just making bamboo planes and towers isn’t the same thing as a REAL PLANE!
We do the same thing.
With our businesses.
All the time…
Think about the thing that used to work for you that you keep hoping will come back. For Rob it was newspaper advertising. For me it was cheap clicks and no competition on google adwords. But those days are gone – we can either sit around waiting for them to come back like the cargo cults or we can move on and find something that works now.
But there’s more… And it’s even worse.
We build bamboo planes and hope they will fly. Do it all the time. We see someone else’s website and “hack their funnel” as people like to call it today. I call it ripping off their shit. Whatever you call it, you are copying their hard work. Or actually in many cases today you are copying a copy of someone’s hard work.
And we wonder why that plane don’t fly?
Here’s the deal. You can get away with copying. You can. Until it stops working. Then you are out of business because you never really understood what you were doing to begin with. I’m not trying to be a dick here. Just speak the truth. Doing lead generation for your business is a job itself. Actually it is the most important job you have. If the leads dry up then so does the revenue.