Archive of posts from February 2019

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 28 2019

What Banks Can Teach Us About Customer Care

If you started your meaningful business and lead it to some level of success, you may have experienced these two scenarios:

  • When you go into a bank without much money, you’re pointed to a chair and asked to wait, before someone batches you through their paperwork with below-average rates at an open desk.
  • When you go into a bank with lots of money, every rep wants to shake your hand, the manager is called over to meet you, and you’re seen in a private office with all the time you need.

If banks treated every customer like a VIP, how many more members would they keep? The only change is the degree of love and respect their teams need to extend to those in their care.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 27 2019

Are You An Accidental Expert?

If you do something for long enough, you’ll be an expert at it, for better or worse:

  • An expert craftsman is someone who practices a craft for long enough to be perceived as better at it than somebody else is. If you’re practicing a lot, you might just have something valuable to share with the world.
  • An expert whiner is someone who looks negatively (no, it’s not being a ‘realist’) at things for long enough that everything seems negative to you. This is a habit more tough to quit than smoking, so watch those thoughts.
  • An expert leader is someone who lead others for long enough to figure out how to finally do it right. You don’t need to be perfect or profound to be an expert, you merely need to be getting it right, at long last.

For better or worse, if you stick at something long enough you’ll become an expert at it. T’is a blessing and a curse. Choose wisely.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 26 2019

The P.I.E. Breakdown Of Setting Goals

We could break down people’s goals into… a P.I.E. chart… comprising of 3 types:

PIE: People, Ideas, Execution.

  • Execution folk discuss what they’re doing, and how they could do it differently. It’s always about action with these people. Ideas come up as a means to execution. Goal = action.
  • Idea folk discuss what they could do that differs from what they’re doing. They even believe they will, one day. They won’t. Goal = talk.
  • People folk discuss other people, places, and events. Not ideas, and definitely not the eminently uncomfortable execution. Goal = comfort.

What’s your goal?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 25 2019

Are You Who You Really Say You Are?

I’ve met two vastly different types of self-proclaimed proponents of cause-driven capitalism. Which do you feel more intrinsically resonates with you?

  • “We make donations to several different charities” – This type of proponent is a pseudo-proponent. They do it for seemliness and accolades as a vehicle for progress and unethical market advantage. Buyer beware.
  • “We took full responsibility for this problem” – This type of proponent is a genuine artifact of difference-maker culture. They do it not to appear generous or for the ‘feel good factor’, but because it’s the central reason for being in the marketplace in the first place.

As sellers, a critical look at these extremes will reveal to us where we stand. As buyers, a critical look will reveal who deserves our hard-earned dollars.

Where do you sit on the scale?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 24 2019

Having The Confidence To Be “The Best”

We have it backward:

  • The people who like to claim to be #1, normally aren’t. They collect a lot of market share undeservedly and unashamedly through their claim, while delivering mediocre results via their ethical void.
  • The people who don’t like to claim #1, often are. They collect people who realize their genius, providing they’re able to look beyond “#1”. Those able to will receive more powerful results via a heart of service.

Here’s a script-changer: if you’re the best, have the confidence to say so. Otherwise someone half as skilled and half as ethical will.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 23 2019

Can Our Beliefs Positively Influence Our Work?

Beliefs divide people. What if they didn’t?

  • If you believe dressing for success helps you create important work, does it matter if “it’s true”? Might believing it make it self-fulfilling?
  • If you believe feng shui can create more luck for you as you do important work, does it matter if “it’s true”? If you believe it helps you, then let it help you.
  • If you believe the divine is helping you achieve your important work, does it matter if “it’s true”? Maybe the strength you derive from thinking so is no bad thing?

Believe what you want. But use it to do something great.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 22 2019

Serving The Market ‘In Haste’ vs ‘In Taste’

When we first get in touch with someone we can serve, we get to serve in one of two ways:

  • Serving in haste: Trying to prove ourselves on a ‘discovery call’ so that the prospect will pay to see more of what we’ve got. This crass marginalization of our work–suggesting their problem can be addressed in under an hour, for free–is part of what’s holding our work back.
  • Serving in taste: Honoring those we want to serve by listening to their problems–instead of trying to dazzle them with knowledge–allows for diagnosis instead of treatment. Diagnosis is supposed to come before treatment, isn’t it? Perhaps your caring skills, not your closing skills, are what matter here.

You may need a sale before you can do your great work. But by serving in taste, you’ll give those you wish to serve the appetite for a solution.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 21 2019

A New Look At Inequality (And Where Social Change Comes From)

We had equality 500 years ago. Everyone was poor, and nobody was empowered to make an impact that benefits others in a significant way.

  • Now, we aren’t all equal. Some people have a shot at making an impact, using the marketplace, and others don’t, yet.
  • The opportunity makes us different. Not equally down on our luck, or equally powerless to create change.
  • We need people taking shots on those who need our help, so they too may have a shot of their own one day for the benefit of their communities. That’s how progress is made.

We like the idea of everyone being equal. But what if it’s inequality that creates opportunity for social change?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 20 2019

You Had Me At…

So why say anything else?

  • Because we talk about what interests us. And we like to share with people what we find most compelling about our work. Regardless of whether it’s what will be of most value or benefit to those listening.
  • It’s harder to talk about what interests others. Especially when we’re so passionate about our work. Being able to articulate what they’d like to hear most–with as much passion as what excites us–is a skill earned through empathy and practice.

Our teams have the opportunity to focus product development, sales and marketing on whatever has our audience say, “You had me at…”

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 19 2019

The Scrollable Web

Remember when we used to search on Google then click around on websites?

Ever noticed how much less you do that now?

  • We have new homes. Google is our old home. Instagram (and its brethren) is home now. It knows us, it asks less of us, and it’s more enjoyable than our old home ever was.
  • We don’t search or click now. We scroll. And scroll. We slow down when we see something worth slowing down for. We click only when we can’t not click.
  • And it’s still changing. We want our new homes to know what we want and give it to us without us telling it. We can thank social platforms for making this possible, as they help us make the scrollable web more intimate.

Yet most of us still aren’t ready for our new home. We still buy all our furniture for our old homes. Why?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 18 2019

Things That Stay

Not everything is here to stay for long. For teams doing important work, it’s important to know what does and what doesn’t:

  • Tactics tend to change every few months. For instance, Instagram feed ads and squeeze pages were hot for advertising, until suddenly, they weren’t. Leaning exclusively upon a single tactic or channel is irresponsible of those leading important work.
  • Yet the fundamentals rarely seem to change. Platforms may evolve quarterly, but humans take much longer…millions of years in fact. Long enough for you to invest energy into things that last a lifetime once, such as better understanding the hearts of those you wish to serve.

Nothing lasts forever. But how much of your team’s time is spent investing in what is fleeting, versus what lasts?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 17 2019

The Same Deck Of Cards

Everyone would have you believe that they’re always doing great. They’re not:

  • They’re dealt the same hand we are, in the same time in history with the same economy.
  • They can play their hand differently, be it better or worse, but it’s all the same deck of cards.
  • They can play for different reasons, be it for selfish or mission-led pursuits, but it’s all the same deck of cards.

It’s your turn.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 16 2019

Success Filter

Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting an unsuccessful day. Or to die having lived an unsuccessful life. Success is relative:

  • When you care about the opinions of others, you’ll measure success against how many likes you get on Instagram.
  • When you care about money, you’ll measure success against how many shiny objects you can flaunt to your peers.
  • When you care about change, you’ll measure success against how much of an impact you made.

Success is a lifestyle choice, not a destination when we create a lifestyle that enables us to do what matters every day.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 15 2019

Not Quite To Plan

If we’re lucky, some of our plans will go to plan.

Usually, that’s not how it goes:

  • The idea was good, but it just didn’t quite work out. Not because you’re no good, but because that’s just what happens sometimes. Otherwise, you could go to the Plan Store and buy any outcome you wanted, couldn’t you?
  • The idea was no good, and you lost something because of it. Not because you’re no good, but because that’s just what happens sometimes. The art of planning is to respond appropriately, rather than accept this as the end of the road.
  • Things changed, and your plan is no longer relevant. Not because you’re no good, but because that’s just what happens sometimes. Update the plan.

The value of a plan isn’t in the plan but in the art of planning and executing. Plan to execute, not for things to go to plan.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 14 2019

Market Respect

First rule of engaging someone in the marketplace? Respect:

  • Get to know me: We can’t expect others to engage us without first giving the opportunity to know us, our ways, our beliefs, and our character.
  • Let me get to know you: They can’t expect us to engage them without first having the opportunity to know them, their ways, their beliefs, and their character.

We can choose between respecting the market by respecting our value and being disrespected in the market by disrespecting our value.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 13 2019

The Worst Idea Is A Good Idea

Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to a good idea is another “good idea”:

  • A bad idea won’t get actioned. Because it’s a bad idea.
  • A good idea might distract you from the important work you’re already doing. Good ideas need saving for later, or they risk undoing your current work.

Don’t forget, you might already be working on a good idea. Don’t let having another one ruin it.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 12 2019

Your Words Matter

More than almost anything else.

  • What you say to your market will make or break your company. No advertising channel or hot technique can save you from the wrong words.
  • What you say to your team will make or break the team. No skillset or job perks can save you from simply not liking who you’re working with.
  • What you say to yourself will make or break you. No outfit or online course can save you from having the wrong dialog inside your head.

Your words matter. More than almost anything else.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 11 2019

“Worship With Us”

I saw a sign on the street that said “Worship with us” today. It got me thinking about the pond we fish in:

  • A small pond is where everyone may already be ‘converted’, and so we must compete and poach converts over to our corner, instead.
  • A big pond is where we’re not fishing for merely the ‘converted’, but rather for those who may not yet belong to a competitor at all.

We can poach the converted or we can invite the underserved to a new market. Which will help more people, do you think?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 10 2019

On Changing Reality

When tackling major social issues, it’s easy to think it’s an impossibility.

That’s just in your mind:

  • Happiness comes from gratitude, a state of mind.
  • Worry comes from fear of things that haven’t happened, a state of mind.
  • The largest sex organ is the brain. Aka it’s mostly in your mind.
  • Taking ownership of a problem only feels impossible, in your mind.

Turns out it’s all in our heads.

We’ve all the power to create change – we need only change our minds.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 09 2019

The “Social” In “Social Entrepreneur”

It’s a matter of the heart:

  • Corporate exec: This is what people searching “entrepreneur” on Instagram actually want; authority and the trappings of disposable income.
  • Entrepreneur: This is what people searching for new opportunities to innovate want; adventure, and the opportunity to create new market value.
  • Social entrepreneur: This is what people searching for a bigger purpose want; a vision for a better planet, and the opportunity to make it happen.

Each gives vastly different rewards. Choose wisely.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 08 2019

Answers Under Your Nose

Ever been on the phone and asked yourself, “Wait, where’s my phone?”

Sometimes what we’re looking for is already very close by:

  • The right word to describe the benefit you render to the marketplace will be revealed by those you’ve served.
  • The right connection to catapult your team forward will come from someone who you know, who trusts you.
  • The right cause to support and create a difference it will make itself clear by how it affects those you care for.

The right answer is normally right under your nose, the last place we normally think to look.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 07 2019

When You Think You’ve Tried Everything

Is there more that you can do for those you wish to serve?

  • If yes, get making. Be it content, calls or campaigns, if it’s gone unmade, it’s time to uncover it and get it done. You owe it to your team to serve more, and to those you serve to receive everything you’ve got.
  • If no, it’s over. You’re already on the path to closure because there’s opportunity you don’t want to see. Your competitors will get making, and become the better option for those you serve. It’s time to let someone else take charge.

It comes down to this, every day. Have you tried everything?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 06 2019

What’s Today’s Score?

We’re not so binary as to have just ‘good’ days and ‘bad’ days. So what’s today’s score?

  • We have a formula for our days. We may not have defined it yet, but we judge our days on a few select criteria that are unique to us.
  • My formula is Impact + Growth + Legacy. If I score each of them out of 5, I know a “15 day” is a pretty great day.
  • Your formula will be different to mine. But you’ll have one. And the sooner you define it, the sooner you’ll be able to ‘solve’ bad days.

We can’t make a difference in the world if we’re caught up with having bad days. Life’s too short for that.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 05 2019

The Difference Between Toil And Hustle

In the entrepreneurial and social-entrepreneurial worlds, we hear a lot about hustle.

We know what that means. So what’s toil? And what’s the difference between the two?

  • Hustle is a constant state of motion, frenetic or otherwise. A rapid pursuit of an objective for an undetermined length of time. It’s powered by a drive born of emotion that compels us to move forward.
  • Toil is a slow disciplined grind toward a specific end. A steady pursuit of an objective for a determined length of time. It’s powered by a discipline born of a stoic duty to continue moving forward.

The difference is subtle. Both work, differently. I like toil best. Which is your favorite?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 04 2019

What To Do When You Don’t Want To

Sometimes the toil gets tough. What do you do when you don’t feel like pushing ahead?

  • Remember who‘s at stake. If you support a cause, who are you leaving to receive a fraction of what’s possible for them, as a result of your inaction?
  • Prehend why you decided to do it. If this thing you don’t want to do will move your team or company toward a place that enables you to do better, be better, or serve better, is that worth leaving behind due to inaction?
  • Imagine what your future self would say when you’ve no time left to put into motion what you could have done today. Is the inaction worth the disappointment?

Sometimes the toil gets tough. Remember why you’re toiling.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 03 2019

We Are What We Are

This is particularly important to appreciate if we’re doing important work (and if you’re reading this, that’s probably the case).

We are what we do repeatedly, whether we like it or not:

  • Procrastinate? Then we’re a procrastinator. Our teams probably know it already, but we may not have admitted it to ourselves yet. Our work can’t grow under those conditions.
  • Avoid hard things? Then that’s what we do, there’s no sense telling ourselves otherwise. It’s our biggest roadblock to creating change, if true.
  • Or do we change bad habits? Then that’s a part of us. If we can pick either of the above and stop it, this is a part of what we are.

We just need to be real with ourselves about what we are. That–in itself–is a transformative gift to our work and our cause.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 02 2019

Eyesight And Company Vision

Our eyes have a lesson to teach us about the future of our work:

  • Eyes relax when they look further away. We lose the ability to see the big picture if we only look at things close-by.
  • Eyes tense when they focus on nearby things. That tension can be relaxed with practice, without the need for glasses.

Your work may lose its vision if you strain and fixate on the immediate. But the damage isn’t permanent, we need only remember to relax a little.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
February 01 2019

Taking Part vs Winning

What if winning isn’t for you?

  • If you don’t enjoy taking part, is winning rewarding? Maybe a little, but delight needs context to be long-lasting, otherwise it merely becomes a quick thrill.
  • If you enjoy taking part, is winning important? Maybe a little, but not really: it’s simply a bonus on top of already having the time of your life.

Of course, it’d be nice to take part and also win. But which matters more? Are you ready to believe it now?

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