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All posts from November 2019

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719: Four Hour Work Week For Meaningful Work?

Does the four hour work week apply to cause-driven work?

It could… but it’d miss the point:

The goal of cause-driven work isn’t to suffer the least amount of pain necessary to get through the week. If doing work that matters is uncomfortable, you have a “why” problem, not a “what” problem. Without a daily commitment to “why” you’ve chosen to make this contribution to the world, you’ll invariably start nitpicking “what” or “how” you’re doing it.

The goal of cause-driven work is to do as much of what matters to you as you can possibly fit into the week. It engages you, it fulfills you, it energizes you. The conventional four-hour premise was predicated upon freeing up time to do what engages you, fulfills you energizes you. When you’re striving to create a lasting contribution, they’re the same thing.

When it comes to doing meaningful work, long-lasting impactful work, work that makes a difference, get your “why” right and do work that engages you, energizes you. That way, forty hours will be the dream, not four.

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718: Client in Your Pocket

Not a real client, of course.

But it’s worth keeping a note describing your client in your pocket. Your full, intimate understanding of them and their world should always be close by. In your pocket.

Everything you’ve identified about your people, from where they live to what they are interested in on social media, makes up your audience.

Everybody else is merely a distraction. They can’t afford the opportunity cost of your time or attention. And you can’t afford to give it to them.

The more you serve only these people – the ones in your pocket – the more your organization succeeds.

So keep them in your pocket. Keep it written down, close at hand, and think about them often. Dedicate your work to them. Write them letters of advocacy and appreciation. Think about ways you can help them live their best life. Go where they go. Be interested in what they’re interested in. Talk their language. Be in their world.

Your marketing isn’t about you, it’s about them now. Same for every piece of communication, design, every ad and every email. Make yourself meaningful in your Person’s world and meet them where they are, on their level.

They need you.

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717: The Importance of a Safe Pair of Hands

Why did you buy that?

Why did you choose that particular car dealership to do business with? Was it because of the broad inventory or the fact they were the only one who didn’t lie?

Or that smartphone manufacturer? Was it because of a gimmicky feature, or that you trusted you’ll be well looked after years after your purchase?

Or that tailor for your new suit? Was it because they were cheaper, or that you trusted they’d take good care of your investment?

Or that business consulting service? Was it because of flexible pricing and fancy closing scripts, or that you felt like they were a safe pair of hands?

Being ‘a safe pair of hands’ rarely makes the list of things sales teams and businesses consider while presenting their products and services.

And yet, often, it’s the very thing we’re all looking for.

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716: Ew, Salesperson

And yet, we are all in sales.

We sell the idea of going to a particular restaurant this evening.

We sell those close to us on the ability to believe in themselves.

We sell the assurance that we can complete a project for someone.

And we believe those things when we’re told by people who aren’t “a salesperson”.

To be a great salesperson, you must not be a salesperson:

To do the opposite of what they do is to get what they desire.

If they chase and ask for the sale, don’t ask, be chased.

If they pitch and impress, instead advise and set expectations.

If they’re high-energy and cheesy, be calm, stoic.

If they follow up to excess, be chased. Be professional.

If they’re attached to an outcome, be unattached – let your advice to taken as it will.

If they’re in cheap suits and fake watches, be genuine, real.

If they call you with interruptions, be called upon when needed.

We are all in sales, but we don’t need to regress into becoming ‘salespeople’.

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715: Is This That Which I Feared?

A famous Stoic phrase, “Is this that which I feared?” lends itself to meaningful pursuits of important work:

Your vision isn’t as far along as you’d hoped. “is this that which I feared?” You never had it, so you never lost it. You can still have it, providing you work smart. Everyone has their own timing, their own journey; it’s what makes yours special, a story worth telling one day.

You lost everything on some bad deals. “Is this that which I feared?” You didn’t lose your will, nor your capacity nor your capability to do it again. You came into the world with nothing, you’ll take nothing with you, and you’ve every capacity to create what you decide to create.

You fudged an important sales presentation. “Is this that which I feared?” You didn’t lose your ability to improve your skills, nor your ability to have another presentation with someone else. Possibly even with the same people. None of us were born into the world with such skills.

Embracing “Is this that which I feared” reminds us that in darker moments, “Yes, this is what I had feared.” And here you are, healthy and able.

So, with less fear in your way, go. Make a difference.

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714: One Kick 10,000 Times

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee

They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Until it’s truly mastered, there’s a game we like to play in our ignorance:

The “Make it way more complicated than it needs to be” game. It’s no different while producing meaningful work for the marketplace:

The better the product, the less ‘features’ you need.

What better way to disguise a lack of design prowess than to pepper work with gimmicks?

What better way to mask a weak product than a littering of bonuses?

Complexity is a place to hide. Mastery lies beyond.

The harder you qualify, the easier you close.

A fear of turning anyone away becomes a fear of qualifying prospects.

Which turns into desperation during closing time.

Which turns into more ‘features’ and other distractions.

Fear is a place to hide. Mastery lies beyond.

The simpler the pricing, the easier the enrollment.

A lack of clarity over how to price something becomes ‘options’.

Options become an elaborate matrix of confusing configurations.

Elaborate matrixes of nuanced configurations turn away prospects.

Nuance is a place to hide. Mastery lies beyond.

You might have too many ‘kicks’ in your training. What if you traded them for mastery?