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All posts from April 2019

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505: How To Make Things Happen

What does your company, and water, have in common?

It’s not the oft-celebrated-yet-normally-short-lived ‘hustle’ that makes things happen in our companies.

Rather, it’s the act of behaving like moving water:

So here’s the first point. A strong current pushes everything forward. Think about it. A strong current can power (or destroy) cities. It can carve a path through a mountain, right? When there’s an obstacle, it either finds a new path, or–over time–makes a way right through it. It’s not rushing. It’s not stressing. It just continues to flow.

So question number one: How could you mimic this behavior, and what would that do for your health, wealth, and impact?

Okay. Now conversely…

What happens without good leadership and good communication?

Well… without good leadership and good communication, we’re not like running water, we have no current, we’re more like sitting water. And like sitting water, this only creates stench and bacteria. Like sitting water, it settles into the lowest point. And that’s all in stark contrast to the creative–or destructive–power of a current, isn’t it?

So what can we learn from this. When we’re doing important work, it’s our responsibility to be the current. It creates change for our peers, our market, and our culture. Leave the sitting water approach for others.

Here’s a tip: Increasing your company’s communication skills through better marketing can transform your presence, sales, and impact – it’s your current. can help make that happen.

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504: Are You An “Up Down” Or A “Left Right” Company?

It sounds like a cheat code for a video game, but it’s actually something more profound.

Most businesses are “up down” when they should be “left right”:

  • The “up down” business mindset: For me to grow (up), you must shrink (down). For us to win in this market (up), you must lose (down). For you to have a success (up) is detrimental to our progress (down). Here there’s a regressive attitude of finite possibilities.
  • The “left right” business mindset: I’m going to grow (left), who’s with me (right)? I’ve spotted an opportunity to make a change in this industry (left), let’s make that change together (right). Here there’s an abundance of opportunity to collaborate and grow together.

All ships rise when we realize we can collaborate instead of tearing each other apart in the marketplace. What direction are you going in? Will it take you where you want to go?

Tip: This is addressed with the quality of our communication with our market. can help you stand out in the market.

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503: What If It Were Easy?

Creating great work, even with an amazing team, can feel hard sometimes.

But…what if it were easy?

  • How would that change our service? If we were to strip away all the cruft, and just do what makes us world-class?
  • How would that change our marketing? If we were to worry less about 100 new tactics, and just focus on one or two?
  • How would that change our operations? If we were to systemize check-ins, and simplify responsibilities?

Our default-setting always seems to be to over-complicate things. Good things happen when we ask ourselves, “What if it were easy?”

Tip: Communication often suffers most in this regard. makes marketing communications easy.

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502: Your Business Needs A Chisel

The chisel is the most underrated tool in business.

The Egyptians figured out that bashing things without one was inefficient all the way back in 8,000 BC… so why do businesses do it in 2019?

  • It requires focus and aim. Focus can be hard enough when we’re told how many things we ought to be doing. But aim requires us to be proficient in our focus, ignoring other distractions around us.
  • It requires commitment. We know things will change when we commit to focusing on a particular change in our work. What’s our relationship with change? Are we ready for change?
  • It requires specialized investment. A hammer is all-purpose, everyone has one. But a chisel? Do we want to make the investment, even though it will create significant results for us?

The temptation is to approach our product development, our marketing, our advertising and our operations with just a hammer. It feels safer, easier.

Less change will happen. But is that the kind of business we want to belong to?

Tip: In marketing, the chisel is the quality of your communication skills. can help with that.

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501: When More Effort Only Slows You Down

If you care about your work and your cause, the temptation is to do more, work more, push harder and move faster. Sometimes that’s a bad idea:

  • Energy exerted outside of your system is energy wasted: Any enthusiasm to go faster that doesn’t make the machine run better is only going to distract you and those around you. Too many good ideas at once will spoil your progress.
  • Working longer doesn’t mean working harder: As much as we’d like to think otherwise, grinding long hours usually reduces the quality of those hours. Critical thinking is usually the first to go.
  • Going deeper means losing the birds-eye view: You won’t know where to dig or why to dig there if you’re busy working away in the tunnel.

We should measure our day on the quality–not number–of hours worked. Good quality focused work is made from good quality focused time.

Tip: A little focus on saying the right things to your target audience goes a long way can help with that.

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500: Your Work VS Your Marketing

These two things can work together, or they can be at odds with each other. Most of the time, the latter is true:

  • When you do great work, you focus on making it the best the world has ever seen. It’s why you got into business as a team in the first place, isn’t it?
  • What about sharing it with the world? It can feel like a distraction or a disservice to your talents to focus on that rather than doing the doing.
  • But the real disservice is not elevating your market communication to the level of quality and elegance of the work you render to that market.

To riff on the popular tree metaphor, “If a product enters the market, but nobody clearly hears it enter, does it even exist?” Raise your marketing and communication skills to the level of your work.

Tip: Use a tried-and-tested system when you do this. is ours, if you’d like to use it.