Earl Nightingale would be proud

In a regular air travel column in Conde Nast’s Portfolio called “2B” (referring to a first class seat, whatever that is these days), the column’s author talks about Southwest airlines non-standard (for the airline industry) behavior.

Decades ago, Earl Nightingale said something along the lines of “If you enter a market and don’t know what to do, watch what everyone else does and then do the opposite if you want to be successful.”

He also noted, as has Dan Kennedy, myself and others have repeated and witnessed, that people will stand there and watch you do something different than commonly-accepted industry behavior, become wildly successful at it, and yet, they’ll never bother to change their behavior.

The newsletters I mentioned yesterday are a prime example of it, but that isn’t the subject at hand.

As the author of this column asks rhetorically, “Whatâ??s the airline-industry jargon for unconventional wisdom?” – Southwest Airlines.

Much of what they do is common sense, yet none of the struggling “major” airlines bother to emulate any of their strategies as the slide into the tar pits of their industry.

What are you doing simply because every other business in your industry does so?

Is there a good reason, or are you simply following the Pied Piper?

In any other industry, would people DO those things?

Think about it. If you need some context, ask yourself “What would Southwest do if they bought your business?”