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All posts from September 2019

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658: Watch Out For The Downside Of Growth

Are you growing?

Many pursuing work that matters are eager to spot-train areas of life, but do so to the detriment of other areas:

We might spot-train growing in sales but neglect training our teams. Any perceivable improvement we’d find on our balance sheets would only produce an equal-and-opposite decrease in customer satisfaction.

We might spot-train investing in business but not invest in our relationships. Any richess found in our bank accounts would only produce an environment where one has nobody to share the spoils with.

We might spot-train feeding the mind but over-feed the body. This disciplined pursuit of knowledge and understanding would only produce a mind less disciplined to sustain the habit of ongoing personal development.

The downside of growth to watch out for is that our focus may lead us to forget other areas important to a full life.

We’ve heard that If we’re not growing, we’re dying. We should make sure that while we’re growing, we’re not letting other parts of ourselves die in the process.

We need you in good shape so you can make a difference in the lives of those you wish to serve.

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657: When Businesses Grow Up

I was surprised to see the amount of traction a particular tweet got this week.

It said something to the tune of, “The secret to success is doing the things you NEED to do, not the things you WANT to do.”

We live in an era where this sort of advice is transformative, garnering huge numbers of retweets and comments appreciating the concept.

Entrepreneurs and companies who ride the wave of picture quotes preaching ‘hustle’ often appear to celebrate the idea of comfortable busywork done over many long hours, rather than the discipline of getting real work done. Things you didn’t want to do. Just like you had to do at the cubicle job you quit in order to do this.

There’s a better way.

We find it by looking past the “what” in the picture quotes we see. Past the “how” in the blog posts we read. We find it in the “why” behind “what” we do or “how” we do it that really makes real work worth it. It makes real work meaningful.

Meaningful work is seldom glamorous, usually no more so than the aforementioned cubicle job you may have left behind. But meaningful work is done not because we’re in the right mood for it, or for how it makes us feel, but simply because of the meaning it carries – the “why” behind the “what”. No task is too arduous if it moves you – and those you serve alongside – toward a greater goal of contribution and impact.

A business owner – or team member – grows up when he/she understands this valuable distinction. If you’ve already learned it, well done. If this is new for you, congratulations, you’ve come of age.

If you still haven’t learned after reading this, please scroll up and try again.

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656: Redefining “Mobile”

What’s the main device in your life?

Your phone? Same here.

How often are you using that ‘on the go’? Not very often? Same here.

It’s time to redefine ‘mobile’:

Most of our devices are mobile. Phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, it all fits in a backpack and goes with you wherever you’re going. They’re no more or less “mobile” than we are.

We are not “on the go”. Phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, we use all of these in our offices and in our homes far more than we do while ‘on the go’. Cars are mobile devices. Smartphones are not.

Your website’s “mobile” experience is likely being viewed by someone sat close to a laptop, but deliberately chose to browse from their phone because it’s their main device. It need not be a reduced experience “while on the go”, but as immersive and memorable as whatever they’d get on the big screens.

Your communication strategy is likely lagging behind the preferences of those you wish to serve. 46% prefer messaging over email. 49.4% prefer messaging to phone calls. Not because they’re “on the go” or “mobile”.

The world changed, but it’s not mobile anymore.

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655: Honoring The Process

How much you honor the process affects how much you succeed.

The sales conversation desperate to go off-course is far less likely to help the prospect move forward unless you can keep it on course. Providing there is a course, of course: to bring them maximum ethical advantage in the best timing for them.

The customer or client eager to buy right now is far less likely to get the result they’re looking for unless you keep them focused on their own goals. Providing there are goals, of course: your process is to keep the main thing for them, the main thing.

The marketing system that “isn’t working” is far less likely to “work” unless you can honor the process of seeing it through to fruition. Providing there is a process, of course: the one where you remember to be disciplined, methodical, and strategic.

Honoring the process is what keeps you away from frenetic tactic-switching and inconsistent performance.

Do you honor the process?

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654: You Were Lucky

How do you feel when you hear that?

“You were lucky”?

We often hear it and think it’s demeaning our hard work. Marginalizing our progress. Mocking our sacrifices.

We give ourselves too much credit.

Being the lucky one that hits the egg. Born into a developed nation to parents who raised us well. At a time in history we’re all so connected. Luck abounds. We’d be fooling ourselves if we tried to overlook how lucky we are who are able to read this post.

As you work on important projects, investing yourself into bodies of work that matter, let’s not lose sight of how incredibly lucky we are to be afforded the opportunity to do this work. Even our rough days where things don’t go at all to plan are days to be thankful for.

Keep working at it, you lucky duck.

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653: School Mottos and Failure

Some schools are setting kids up for failure.

Today I drove by a school sign that said, “We will not tire, falter or fail.”

It sounds good. Determined. Resolute. Able to overcome obstacles. But those who reject these things can’t succeed.

To tire is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on made me tired at one point or another. You press on through it some times, you get some rest others. But the only way to not tire is to never do hard things.

To falter is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on has been peppered with mistakes. Or they’ve experienced moments where I’ve sat back and thought, “Is this worth it?” It’s these moments that remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. To avoid such realizations is to work without a why.

To fail is part of the process. Every work of significance or importance I’ve ever worked on has had failures in and around it. The ideas that don’t work out teach you and lead you toward the ones that do. The features you build that aren’t needed point you toward where those in your care want to go. To avoid failure is to avoid progress.

If it sounds good as a school motto, beware. The reality of meaningful work is far less glamorous, but far more fulfilling.