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All posts from July 2020

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963: Riches On The Journey

Bezos makes over $3,000 per second. Many Amazon workers earn poverty wages. What can we learn from this?

If you’ve ever been money-driven, consider reconsidering. If a goal is a moving target, how can you ever meet it? At what cost might you pursue it?

Before Bill Gates was loaded, a newspaper stand twice extended a kindness (a free newspaper when Gates didn’t have the change). Gates later described that man as richer than he – not because of the man’s bank balance, but because of what he was prepared to share before he had it all.

Riches are found on the journey. Thanks to the examples of Bezos and Gates, you don’t need to wait until you have it all to notice.

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962: Beyond Brand Identity

Knowing who you are is important. Same is true for your company, that’s what your brand identity is for.

But, as in life, it’s not all about you.

If a person figured themselves out then proceeded to talk about themselves at every turn, you’d deem them shallow and unworthy company.

One of the reasons so many “get rich quick” social media advertisements turn you off so readily.

Same is true for your company once again: if it talks about itself at every turn, making it all about itself, we’d be dissuaded from engaging with it.

What lies beyond the end of your company’s nose? There’s a whole world out there. One where your ideal customers and clients live.

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961: Up Down Left Right A Start

It sounds like the start of a cheat code for a game, doesn’t it?

It’s not – it’s actually just a reflection of our work when we’re getting marginal results.

If we’re up and down, we lack the emotional energy to do our best work.

If we’re left and right, we’re here and there, we lack the focus to master what we’re working on.

If we want a start – or to make real progress on what we’ve started – we need to stay onwards and upwards, centered on your area of focus until it’s your area of genius.

(P.S. It was the “level select” cheat code from the original Sonic The Hedgehog!)

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960: Maintaining Focus

Like new toys?

‘Course you do! We all do!

Creators like new toys because they get to explore their creativity in new ways.

Businesses like new toys because they can try hot new operational or marketing techniques.

We enjoy the act of forgoing focus.

Creators that focus get to master their existing tools, to produce a higher caliber of work, or a greater quantity of work – they get to create more.

Businesses that focus get to master their current marketing and communication channels, serving more of their people with care and precision – they get to serve more.

The act of maintaining focus is harder. But out of the two scenarios above, which sounds better to you? Which sounds more worthy of our craft and our work?

We all benefit from maintaining focus. From not getting bored of our winning campaigns. From not forgetting what those we wish to serve need from us, today.

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959: The Market Doesn’t Shrink

We hear a lot about how the market is shrinking due to COVID.

Here’s a shot of reality:

There are the basically same number of people in the market today as there were in January.

It doesn’t shrink. It changes.

The market is like energy in this regard. You can’t “use it up”, you merely change it from one form to another.

Here’s another shot of reality:

The market is always changing. This year is no different to any other year in this regard.

We have the opportunity to change with it, or wish things were as they were.

Restaurants (for instance) are discovering this truth in 2020 as the market changes, much like taxi firms did in 2014…when the market changed.

The market doesn’t really shrink. It just changes.

Will you change with it?

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958: A Business Case For Not Being A Jerk

Heard of “dark patterns”?

You’ve probably experienced them, even if you’re unfamiliar with the term.

“No thanks, I don’t want to grow my company” – we’ve all seen pop up dismissal links that say things like this. They work, we feel them at work in ourselves as we click on them anyway. We’re aware that we’re being manipulated, and we don’t thank the website (or the company behind it) for it.

“Read this article in our new app!” – we’ve all been to blogs that will insist we read their post (that we’ve yet to experience) in a form other than that which we have specifically elected to use. Those which just so happen to obstruct our reading every time we go there. These endearingly titled “Dickbars” were crowned as such for a reason.

Things like this are touted as good design, often alongside shortsighted claims of increased user acquisition.

If all you see is top-of-funnel metrics, without the context of the tempered relationship (not to mention blood pressure) you introduce to those people that lead to higher downstream churn, you may be lulled into trying these cheap tricks yourself, too.

Don’t fall for it. There’s a solid business case for not being a jerk.