What Can Mascara Teach Us About Business?

The last time you went shopping for mascara... did you feel as confused and overwhelmed as I did? Yikes! We seem to be suffering from a plague of sorts in our society. It's known as the "Over Abundance of Choice," and it tends to drowns us on a daily basis... even when shopping for something completely mundane and ordinary... like mascara.

While at a photo conference in Las Vegas recently, I found myself at the CVS along the strip and couldn't resist documenting this outrageous collection simple products used to extenuate eyelashes. The sales clerk laughed along with me as I pulled out my camera and started capturing the different choices.

Voluminous mascara, lengthening mascara, voluminous & lengthening... in one. There were shimmering mascaras, water-proof options, and mascaras that provide 'lash definition.' With names like "Colossal," "Falsies," or my personal favorite, "Stiletto," they all sounded... kinda the same. There's even nutritional mascara which claims to make  your lashes "soft and healthy."

Some brands promised 11x the volume or claimed to increase length up to 85% (though I'm not sure I could see, let alone hold up my eyelids if my lashes suddenly became 11x heavier and 85% longer). Remember a year or so ago when one of the companies had actually produced a battery powered mascara with a vibrating wand? I laughed out loud when I saw the commercial for that one... (who wants vibrating pointy objects near their eyes?) which curiously, was nowhere to be seen on the Vegas shelves. You can, however,  still find telescopic "Last Explosion" wands that appear to posses magical powers of some sort...

(These photos represent only a small sampling of what was available... as there were so many, I actually got bored photographing them...)

The kicker is... they all basically do the same thing.

What you may or may not have realized, is we have a very real problem on our hands. All of this choice is actually becoming problematic, as discussed in the article, "The Tyranny of Choice" or in the TedTalk video with Dr. Barry Schwartz, referring to the notion that less is  more in what he calls "The Paradox of Choice."

There is substantial research showing that too much choice actually prevents us from being able to make decisions (on everything from shampoo to mascara... to 401(k) investment options), and tends to diminish our overall satisfaction (regardless of the outcome) if/when we finally do make some sort of decision.

When I stumbled across some of this research, I was actually... thrilled. I had been feeling like our society's tendency towards an over abundance of choice was bordering on burdensome rather than liberating for quite some time... and felt avenged to know I wasn't nuts... that there were other people who felt this way, along with research to back it up.

Of course, that's not to say that no choice would be any better. Somewhere out there is a middle ground... but we seem to have lost sight of it in blind pursuit of limitless options.

Over the past two years, with this gut feeling (and now solid research in mind), I've made several very conscious choices in the way that I run my business to ensure that it's easy for my clients to have a great experience and feel completely satisfied with the end result, all in record time.

The only real choice they have to make, is to hire me in the first place. From there, the rest is easy. You can read all about it in my recently released ebook, "A Guide to a Wickedly Fast Wedding Workflow." In fact, you can even download a sample chapter if you'd like. (PLUS--> now through Sunday Feb. 27th, you can save 20% with the discount code: WICKEDFAST)

With my workflow and business philosophy completely redefined, I'm proud to say that all of my 2010 wedding clients received their wedding photo proofs and album designs within one week of their wedding.

Less fuss, more satisfaction and time to enjoy it. :)