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ADAM’S BLOG

All posts from January 2019

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416: All growth hurts ​

Biz magazines prefer to romanticize growth as a graduation from pain. Not so:

  • Growing as a person means becoming a better version of yourself, but also means leaving some people behind. Not everyone’s going to like the new-and-improved version.
  • Growing as a company means achieving new levels of success, but also means you’re always facing new challenges. The problems don’t go away, they simply change.
  • Growing as a cause-driven company means making more of a difference, but also means a greater level of responsibility to your cause.

Healthy things grow, and growth hurts. But what’s the alternative?

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415: The money isn’t in the list ​

It’s an old marketing saying and an old marketing lie. It was never in the list:

  • A list is just a tool. Be it your own email list or LinkedIn’s entire user database, lists are just tools. If having access to these lists were money to you, LinkedIn wouldn’t be offering free membership, would they?
  • A relationship is invaluable. It goes beyond money, often refusing transactions through a commitment to extend only the right options to those in your care. They can be email, LinkedIn, anywhere. Doesn’t matter.

That level of care often translates into higher orders of purchase, thanks to the trust that comes with them. “The value is in the relationship” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “The money is in the list”, though. Shame.

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414: The gig economy isn’t the answer ​

It’s just a market response to a broken workplace:

  • Workers like it because it affords them freedom to work on meaningful projects, travel, and be near their families. Problem 1: the workplace was denying people the things that were important to them.
  • Employers like it, particularly in the US, because they can get away with less responsibility for those supposedly in their care. Problem 2: People are being treated as tools rather than valued team members.

The gig economy isn’t all bad for all people. It has its perks. But it reveals some ugly truths: what if our workplace was designed for people to contribute and thrive, rather than ship and sail?

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413: Come Hell or Hail Mary ​

Every business operating in the marketplace has problems. What’s our relationship with them?

  • Hell: We all go through it. It’s a natural part of the process, as many of us will have learned. What we often don’t learn, is that our Hell is somebody else’s Hail Mary.
  • Hail Mary: We all need these. Somebody who has the answer to address our own Hell. Another team or individual who is able to capably be our market Hail Mary.

One of the beauties of an open marketplace is that your Hell is always somebody else’s Hail Mary.

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412: The thing about handouts ​

…is that they tend not to do as much good as you think they do:

  • They make you feel good. You feel like you’ve done your good deed for the month. But it shouldn’t be about you, it should be about the cause you contributed to.
  • They may not make good use of it. A machine designed to live on hand-outs isn’t usually a machine familiar with the value of a dollar. It just extends out its hand for more.
  • What makes you and your team great, might be what that cause needs in order to be greater. What if what they really need isn’t your charity, but also your ingenuity?

This is not a call to stop giving. Rather, this is a call to give what makes you great. If a fraction of us were to do that–instead of the easy thing–how could that change the landscape of your chosen cause?

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411: TTA: time to action ​

What’s your TTA (time to action) when an opportunity arises?

  • One year, to get everyone’s buy-in regardless of whether or not its important to them. Many reports, pitches, meetings, and studies must be conducted to see if it’s viable or not.
  • One month, to get your internal “ducks in a row” and get things moving, rather than messing about with procrastination disguised as reports.
  • One day, because it’s worth taking action and learning through doing, rather than just sat thinking about what’ll happen if you were to give it a try.

We all have a TTA. What’s yours?