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All posts from June 2020

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932: The Inner World

The inner world of every entrepreneur or member of an innovative team I’ve ever met is (or has been, or will be again) full of doubt and issues of some description…

It’s useful signal.

Like when your body tells you it’s too cold, or it’s hungry.

Treat it like a signal. That’s what it’s there for. It means there’s something to look at.

Take confidence issues for instance. They mean you either don’t know something you think you should, or that your perspective is blocked in some way and needs clearing up… either way, there’s something positive there for you to act upon.

It’s far better to feel those signals – and have the opportunity to act positively toward them – than to have no signal at all.

What signals do you experience in your inner-word? Are you listening to them, or pushing them down because “you’re not supposed to have them”?

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931: So Good, You Keep The Box

I’ve still got the box for the original iPod in the attic.


I loved the experience that had been prepared for me throughout the unboxing.

You probably have some boxes knocking around your house too, for things you enjoyed opening.

Perhaps it’s the one from your Mac. Perhaps it’s the one from your Hermès necklace.

You kept it because the experience was great. Because it drew you closer to a brand you’ve come to value. It was so good, you kept the box.

Question time: how can you create an experience so great for those in your care, that they “keep the box”?

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930: Don’t Agree With Everything In The Book

Read any good books lately?

I hope you didn’t agree with everything in it:

Agreeing with everything might be a sign you didn’t integrate it into your world. You’re not them, their world isn’t yours, everything is not the same. There’s value in seeing what fits and what doesn’t – otherwise we can’t apply what we learn.

Take what you can that fits your world. Read with the intention of finding those pieces. Read with the intention of discarding the sections that don’t apply. Now we’ve a list of pieces that can help us grow in our craft or other pursuits.

Here’s a worthy exercise: find at least one thing in every book you read, that you don’t agree with. That way, you know you’re using your head and are actively integrating what you learn.

What have you disagreed with lately?

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929: Familiarity and Innovation

Totally overhauling an industry, all at once, is expensive.

Comfort and familiarity are real things that we all experience.

For example, new computer interface that’s much better than our current ones may be much better, but if we’re slow using it because of the steep learning-curve, it’s unlikely to enter a production environment anytime soon. Smaller improvements that empathize with current understanding, elevating people to achieve more right away, will be far more likely to be embraced.

Take Apple and iPadOS (the operating system that powers iPads), to further the example. macOS (what Macs use) makes the smaller improvements each year that production environments can understand and use quickly.

Apple has the money to create a very different future (iPadOS) in parallel with our current world (macOS) where most businesses would have to pick one path.

If you’ve deep pockets, by all means, build in parallel.

Otherwise, remember the importance familiarity plays in the production of innovative work. It’s not a shackle, but another opportunity to empathize with those you wish to serve.

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928: Ambiguity Anxiety

Ambiguity breeds anxiety:

For your market. If they can’t tell what you do (specifically) and for whom (specifically) then they’ll greet you with the same lukewarm response the rest of the market receives. Specificity changes that.

For your customers. If they can’t tell where you’re going (specifically) just for them (specifically) then they’ll maintain the same “one foot in, one foot out” relationship with you that you’re used to. Specificity changes that.

For your team. If they can’t tell where they should focus either under your leadership or while working alongside you, work will be turbulent and unfocused, leading to dissatisfaction and a seeming lack of purpose. Specificity changes that.

For yourself. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? If you’re trying to be “in many places at once”, what are your odds of success at achieving that goal?

Focus yourself, your peers, your team, your customers and your market. Focus.

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927: Rock One First

“We need more funnels and web pages and email sequences and other marketing stuff”

Hold up.

Short answer: you don’t need all those things.

Long answer: you don’t need all those things right now, or possibly ever, depending on your body of work and audience you’ve elected to serve.

The temptation is to throw “more” at a marketing problem in hope it will resolve itself from brute force.

What we’re all slow to learn is this:

One audience + one message = one page.

Audience, we learn, represents something far more specific than we initially think. Psychographics and demographics aside, we need to remember their relationship and appreciation of their problem (and of you), too.

Message, we learn, represents the single most important marketing tool at your disposal. The quality of your success in your endeavor is in direct proportion to the quality (not quantity) of your communication.

Leading people where they are is a recipe for success all on its own.

Leading similar people who are in different places are all opportunities to serve that you can explore after you’ve created a real difference with the first group.

Clarity let’s you choose specificity and enables you to rock one first.

So focus on Rock One, first. Better to create transformation after transformation, rather than dabble after dabble.