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972: Meet Mort

Meet Mort.

Mort’s one of the voices inside the minds of many digital marketers and self-proclaimed internet millionaires.

He’s the voice that advocates following all the “best practices” and dark patterns available in the digital marketing toolkit, never missing an opportunity to capture a lead or up-sell a funnel order.

He’s got an eBook about how you too can become rich, available for $47 during his limited time offers.

Following this voice doesn’t necessarily help people solve their problems; he’d argue that selling untested information that may or may not help the recipient is just a reality of business.

Mort’s all about Mort, and how Mort can get ahead.

Don’t be like Mort.

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971: Challenging Mental Models

We all have them: mental modals are shortcuts we design for prompt, patterned reasoning.

Anne-Laure Le Cunff challenges our mental models by asserting we should look for reliability and validity:

“When it comes to mental models, questioning the validity of a mental model is equivalent to asking yourself: is this the right mental model for the situation? There are many mental models, and it may be that you apply the margin of safety mental model, when really you should be paying attention to your illusion of control.”

This applies to your body of work, and even your body.

If we’re tired midday, we want sugary treats. Our brains tell us we’re low on energy and that treats address this for us. Makes sense. Could be anything – a nap perhaps – but sugary treats is a familiar route so it pursues that.

If the economy gets shaky and we’re less sure of certain revenue, our brains tell us we protect our team by spending less of what we have. Makes sense… doesn’t it?

Not so fast.

If everyone contracts, the market contracts, and we all suffer. If many contracts but we don’t, we gain outsized exposure opportunity thanks to less competition (because others have the above mental model).

If everyone hunkers down, but you’re the only one out there continually spending time with those you wish to serve, that connection will guide your path – you may even encounter new problems to solve during these difficult times!

The reliable and valid answer to times of uncertainty is to create certainty not by contracting, but by pursuing your people with equal or greater fervor and empathy than you would when times are good.

What mental models do you hold that ought to be revised?

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970: Clever Marketing, Dumb Product

Great products don’t seem to require a silver tongue to sell, do they?

Their value is clearly understood by their target market. Perhaps the product is obviously superior from first glance. Rarely is this the case.

More often, the product designer has spent time getting to know those the product was designed for, learned of their pains, solved them, then told them about it.

The connection between problem and solution has no space between them. Isn’t this what makes a product great for someone?

Bad products, on the other hand, need all manner of smooth moves to peddle toward unsuspecting victims. Either because the product is bad, or because the product designer spent no time learning what those it’s designed for actually need. Oh wait, that makes it a bad product, too!

Connection converts.

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969: Need to Learn Basis

Try learning things on a “need to learn” basis.

When you “need to know”, you probably don’t need to know, do you? You just want to know.

But what does the knowing amount to?

You’ll have to learn how to apply it as soon as you know it, so might as well learn things on a need to learn basis instead.

That saves you from the wasted hours or evenings “researching” things that don’t impact the week. Or “preparing” for things you don’t yet need to prepare for.

It focuses you on moving the tasks at hand, making progress every day toward the goals we’ve set that matter.

Isn’t that what the learning was for in the first place?

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968: Draw It For Me

If you understand it, you can draw it.

Your idea. What does it look like? If you can’t draw it, you don’t get understand it. Until it can take form, you can’t shape that form into anything.

Your product development. What does it look like? When our team worked on defining narrative structures to help brands connect with their audiences, the work wasn’t done until it could be drawn, simply and plainly.

Your vision for the future of your work. What does it look like?

Draw it for me.

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967: The Gift of Pursuit

No, it’s not annoying, if done correctly:

If you didn’t message your spouse again that one time after you first met, perhaps you’d never have gotten together.

If you didn’t call your sales prospect again that time after you’d sent them an email full of lovely goodies, perhaps they’d never have been able to benefit from your gift.

If you didn’t offer to solve that problem for that person or company even though they hadn’t asked, perhaps they’d still have that problem. Or worse, they’d have paid twice as much for half a solution.

Sales and marketing should include the gift of pursuit. Not harassment and stalker-tracking and wearing people down…but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater here: the gift of pursuit is a noble pursuit and a wonderful gift.