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All posts from June 2019

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566: Does This Work Really Matter?

Ever have the fear in the back of your mind that your product or service may not be worth it?

If so, good, it’s a healthy concern:

It reveals what matters.

Perhaps there’s an add-on you’ve been pondering or a piece of work you’ve been thinking of cutting. By allowing ourselves the concern, “Does this work really matter?” we can isolate what was missing that we were too afraid to add. The things that we’ve pondered before, but were scared to implement because “that’s not how our industry does things.”

It reveals what doesn’t matter.

At the same time, allowing ourselves this concern will reveal the things that–actually–we should have stopped doing long ago. The parts of our work that we do “because it’s what we do”, and perhaps turned a blind eye to the fact that our customers and clients never seem to get much value out of it.

How could the quality of work you render to the marketplace benefit from being challenged with the concern, “Does this work really matter?”

Tip: Asking this question is a key part of the ABC exercise that’s designed  to help you stand out, sell better, and make more impact. Get it free at

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565: How Not To Be D.U.M.B.

Are you unintentionally, unknowingly being D.U.M.B. in your cause-driven or sustainable business?

D is for Desperate.

When we don’t believe there’s more out there, we hang onto opportunities far too long. 

It could be an idea that stinks…but if it’s your only idea, you’ll run with it.

It could be a prospect that doesn’t need your product or service…but you continue to chase against your better judgement.

There’s always more out there if you keep at it. Don’t be desperate.

We’ve all seen people who have been unfortunate. Perhaps they didn’t get that project they wanted. Perhaps their market collapsed and they fell victim to that. Whatever it may be.

U is for Unfortunate

You can only be unfortunate if you came up short of expectations in a particular situation. But those who keep at it–who work smart–don’t allow themselves to lean upon only one or two opportunities. If some fall short, others succeeded.

You come out on top if you play a bigger game. Don’t be unfortunate.

M is for Me-Focused.

Everyone else is me-focused.

So the only thing you need to do to be different here, is to focus on them too, instead of yourself. As they say, to be interesting, first be interested. To be fascinating, first be fascinated.

Knowing your audience is the first step to standing out and serving them.

B is for Blabbering

Blabbering is the fine art of saying a lot…and yet saying nothing at all.

Most marketing messages we see and hear are the result of a company’s blabbering. Many words, none of which captivate us. None of which engage us.

To avoid blabbering, building upon ‘knowing your audience’ above by ‘knowing what to say to them’. Communicate better.

Most companies are at least a little bit D.U.M.B. How about yours?

Tip: If you want to get crystal-clear about who your audience is and what they want to hear from you, can help you with that.

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564: It’s All Messaging

How involved are you with your own marketing.

If you’re like many cause-driven or sustainable brands, not nearly enough:

You can’t delegate marketing because marketing is everything you do. Your message is at the core of who you are. To delegate that is to delegate the vision behind the company.

But your company can recruit a team where marketing is operationally executed and philosophically discussed with you, if you choose. Ideally, with people who are excellent at defining your message. Brilliant at refining that message. Exquisite at consequently representing your vision in the marketplace.

Delegate marketing to lose your soul.

Recruit a team you trust to earn your choice of market by developing and nurturing the message that connects you with those you wish to serve.

Tip: If you haven’t found the winning messaging structure yet, go to

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563: Trivialities in Cause-Driven Businesses

Do you get caught in the weeds in your cause-driven or sustainable business?

Checking your sales figures. Again.

This is a popular one for eCommerce companies. Did they change? We turned on the ad, is it working yet?

These distracting “checking every couple hours” activities can be addictive, the and the FOMO will cost time as well as breaking your focus.

Setting a scheduled reporting check-in schedule allows you to put the FOMO and anxiety aside, so you can focus on doing important work designed to drive your vision forward.

Emotional responses to your numbers.

This is popular for cause-driven businesses of all sizes and stripes. Whether it’s your CPAs, or what your CPA says, allowing your numbers to produce emotional responses is a killer.

Specifically, if you allow each thought or check-in to be emotional, it will eat your energy and slash your stamina for your workday.

Remembering that they’re just numbers, that what is measured will be improved or stabilized in response to your work, empowers you to actually do the work that needs to be done. Allowing them to capture your energy only slows you down.

Resting upon success.

If you managed to get past the first two, you’ll probably head straight toward this one. It’s no better than the other two, since it’ll send you straight back down to square one if left unchecked.

In this place, we start breaking our own rules. Tweaking marketing campaigns without data. Breaking what’s working, missing the reasons things improve. Behaving in ways that are counter to that which gave you your success in the first place.

Focus on the mission, and the next step to achieving it.

This rarely involves stressing over data, being lax with your processes, or FOMO.

Tip: If you want to make the marketplace focus on what makes you great, and on taking next steps with you, has the blueprint you need.


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562: 20 Years From Now

Sustainable and cause-driven companies–like their conventional counterparts–see a lot of urgency in the coming quarter, the coming year.

There are customers to acquire this month. There are competitors to outmaneuver this quarter.

From our focus on the short-term comes the pursuit of advancement, but the long-term sometimes tells us a different story:

Paper has outperformed digital media for archiving and retrieval in the past. We can still access the ancient writings of Seneca and Socrates, but not select science papers of the 80s. Paper still works, whereas files left on a NeXT computer are now a real challenge to access. We embrace the allure of digital to the degree that paper must soon be EOL (end-of-life). When we embrace technology, do we do so expecting our business to be around in 20 years? What are the implications of our technology decisions when we see it through that lens?

The boardgames I played when I was little still exist. We can still play those. But there are no TVs anymore that accept the input from the videogames that had my attention shortly after that. We embrace the allure of advanced entertainment to the degree that what came before it must be deemed ‘boring’. When we embrace innovation and advancement, do we do so expecting our business to be around in 20 years? Are we behaving like a company that will?

In our sustainable and cause-driven businesses, there are trends and patterns that draw us in, whether it’s favoring fast-fashion over quality production, or shedding human resources in favor of total automation. These trends promise further advancement and profit. It’s not an either-or situation. When we explore market trends, do we do so mindful of where that leads in 20 years? Will it help us or hurt us if we pursue that path?

Basecamp, the project management software company, invests heavily in customer service. They’re one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Send them an email, they’ll reply within the hour with a comprehensive, warm reply. That is a skill they’ll thank themselves for in 20 years time.

Agencies that focus exclusively on Snapchat marketing on the other hand, while effective today, may find themselves on the back-foot in 5 years, never mind in 20 years time.

Today’s question is this: how do the business decisions you make today affect your company in 20 years time? Do you like what you see?

If you want to make a lasting impact in the world with the work you produce and for those you wish to serve, it’s your responsibility to invest in both short-term and long-term. We all need you to stand the test of time.

Tip: Being able to communicate properly with your market, so that you stand out, and sell better, is a skill your business needs if you’re to make a lasting impact. can help with that.

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561: Things Could Be So Much Better

For your customers, that is.

See if you ever find yourself saying these phrases:

“They don’t understand”: Did you define their responsibilities? Perhaps refunds are up because your communication skills are down. What if your brand invested in better messaging, so those same customers can be secure in their understanding and appreciation for the process?

“There’s no pleasing them”: Did you understand what would please them? Or has your company simply been throwing guesswork at them in hope you’ll strike gold? Less processes = more pain. Are you the reason there’s no pleasing them?

“That customer was irrational”: Were they, or did they not clearly understand the dissonance between what they said and what they wanted? Who’s job is it to educate those in your care about what success looks like in your engagement, if they’re not yet clear?

You’re both the problem and the solution. If you’re a cause-driven company, look for the problems. Congratulations, they’re yours. Now you have the power to do something about them.

Tip: improve your messaging, improve your results. can help educate your potential customers about why you’re the best fit for them.