Archive of posts from March 2019

March 31, 2019     Daily Post

So Good They Can’t Believe You

Two types of company have to fight to be believed:

  • Inauthentic or unconfident: Where those you wish to serve don’t believe you because you’re a mediocre company selling a mediocre product or service.
  • Authentic and disruptive: Where those you wish to serve don’t believe you because your work is so exquisite it appears too good to be true.

For those in the former camp, I’ve no interest in helping you. But for those in the latter, we should focus on connection: the trust we need comes in direct proportion to the quality of the relationships we form and the promises we keep.

(Tip: The trust comes when we keep our promises and keep up the quality of the relationships. tryABC.net can help with these factors so you can focus on bigger problems.)

March 30, 2019     Daily Post

Urgent Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Everyone’s got an urgent matter to attend to. Only yours is urgent to you, though, isn’t it?

  • AIDS only feels urgent if all your friends are dying from it. Yet it’s likely not as “urgent” for you as that important presentation you need to make next week. Seems odd in perspective, doesn’t it?
  • Your presentation only feels urgent if you’re the one responsible for it. Nobody else in that room will feel its urgency like you will. It may not matter to anyone at all in 3 months time. Seems odd in perspective, doesn’t it?

When placed side by side, we can deduce that one is much more of an urgent problem than the other.

Are you allowing the right things be “urgent” to you?

(Tip: Many “urgent” business problems can be solved with better market communication. tryABC.net can help solve that so you can focus on bigger problems.)

March 29, 2019     Daily Post

Your Business Problem Is Probably One Of 2 Things

We think that problems come at us from all angles. They don’t. Usually they come from one of two places. For example:

  • ‘Not enough sales’: a communication or systems problem. Are we saying the wrong things to the wrong people, or is our system flawed?
  • ‘Not enough customer satisfaction’: same again. Are we not communicating the value of our work, or is our system flawed?
  • ‘Not enough imp act with our work’: same again. Are we not connecting with the right people and saying the right things, or is our system for creating that impact flawed?

Your next business problem will probably be a communication or a systems problem. How much energy do you invest in those areas?

(Tip: For the communication side of things, tryABC.net will help you sort that right out.)

March 28, 2019     Daily Post

Disruptive Businesses Mostly Disrupt Themselves

Srikumar Rao, MBA business school professor, said, “Everything is nothing but a vehicle for your growth.” Vishen Lakhiani cites this quote online in relation to career, business, life, even love and kids:

  • Business challenges exist for our growth: The way we embrace them (or become engulfed by them) are merely an opportunity for us all to grow. Not only in our aptitude for what we do, but in our attitude toward life.
  • Social issues exist for our growth: By taking responsibility for them and then tackling them, we move humanity forward through progressive betterment of society. It’s everyone’s responsibility to rise to this challenge.

Your next problem is right around the corner. How will it help you grow?

(Tip: If standing out in the marketplace is your next problem, tryABC.net can help with that.)

March 27, 2019     Daily Post

How Our Beliefs Affect Our Results

Does what we believe about a situation, such as a sales conversation or a social issue we want to solve, affect the outcome?

In many ways, yes, thanks to all the ways we humans communicate that we don’t control:

  • If you expect your problem to perpetuate, be it a sale you think will fail or a deal you think you can’t make, others will smell that all over you. Your words may be perfect, but your lack of belief will be contagious.
  • If you believe your problem will be solved, be it that sale, that deal, a systems problem or a social issue, others will smell that all over you, if you’ve reason to believe beyond that of a hope and a prayer. Your belief will be contagious.

We wouldn’t be able to deliberately control things like eye contact, humor, familiarity, mirroring and disclosure all at once, all of the time. But if we genuinely believe in our work–if we commit to doing the best work of our lives–then we don’t have to.

(Tip: If we’re intentional about our communication in our marketing, we can put our best foot forward every time. tryABC.net can help with that.)

March 26, 2019     Daily Post

You Are Not Your Failures

Being in business to make an impact is a hard, hard road. Cause-driven companies shoulder more burdens than any other entity in the market. Consider this a short reminder:

  • A soiled $20 is still $20. The value doesn’t decrease just because it’s been in circulation for a long time. Your harsh lessons learned are still lessons learned. If you didn’t ignore them as do many do, you’ve grown.
  • A fine wine is fine because it’s old. The value increased just because it’s been around for a long time. Your skills aren’t what they were 6 months ago. If you look back and cringe, celebrate: you’ve grown.

Growth is a decision, just as taking responsibility for a good cause is. Ours is a hard road. You are not your failures.

Tip: If standing out in your market is one of your trials, tryABC.net might be able to help you grow, too.

March 25, 2019     Daily Post

Good Companies Ask For Trouble

“Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. Why? Because it’s all we ever have.” – Peña Chodron

In a company, cause-driven or otherwise, there’s always a problem waiting for you once you’re done with the current one. Welcome it:

  • A problem resented costs us our progress: When we become reactive–perpetually putting out fires and awaiting the net–we don’t grow. We merely survive. It costs us our progress, and our work (and our causes) suffer for it.
  • A problem invited is a vehicle for accelerated growth: When we invite problems into our world, something shifts… We move from firefighter to candle-maker. The lessons we learn from each problem, thanks to our preparation and expectation, catapult our growth forward.

There’s always something; unhappy customer, market crash, vendor bankruptcy… if you’re a Good company, start asking for trouble. It’ll help you grow.

March 24, 2019     Daily Post

Sustainable Business Doesn’t Mean Soft Business

There’s a lot of emotion in sustainable, eco, social-conscious, or cause-driven companies.

That doesn’t mean they should be soft:

  • No screwing around: There’s important work to do. All the more reason to take it more seriously than our conventional counterparts.
  • Take what belongs to you: Whether it’s unpaid invoices or slanderous competitors, do not be afraid to use force when necessary.
  • You can give what’s yours: Abundantly and lavishly… but only when it’s yours to give. Grow to give – to not grow is to steal from your cause.

If your business has a bigger heart, make sure it has bigger balls to go with it.

March 23, 2019     Daily Post

The Difference Between ‘Failure’ and ‘Loser'

We struggle to think of failure as good because ‘something’ needs to be ‘the bad one’, right?

  • Winners must have skills, hustle, and direction to be winners. Failure is needed to develop skills, hustle pushes through it, and direction makes it worthwhile.
  • Losers must lack skills, hustle, and direction to be losers. Avoiding failure avoids the development of skills, lacking hustle stunts growth, and lacking direction would make it largely pointless anyway.

So there we have it: Failures win. Losers lose. Now we can embrace–and pursue–failure without wondering if it might be a bad thing.

Tip: You have to fail in order to succeed. tryABC.net can help you to find what you are the best at.

March 22, 2019     Daily Post

Taking Care Of You To Take Care Of Business

Ever noticed how you never feel inspired to work on anything important after eating cheap pizza?

  • Junk food is bad for business: It’ll fog you brain and drain your focus. A 10-hour work day may yield only 2-3 hours of useful output.
  • Your mind is fed by your gut: An unhealthy gut creates an unhealthy mind. You may be smart generally, but under these circumstances, you’re really not anymore.
  • An unhealthy lifestyle isn’t noble: It’s actually taking away the very thing that your meaningful, important work needs most: you.

Increase your health, to increase your wealth, to increase your contribution to work that matters.

March 21, 2019     Daily Post

Why nobody wants your sales coupon anymore

As enticing as they can be (albeit a little desperate) there’s a better option for the enlightened consumer of today:

  • Coupons are for people who are already interested. But what gets them interested? Unless it’s the mere pursuit of a bargain, initial interest must come from somewhere altogether more emotional.

  • We want to buy things that stand for something. What we stand for. Be it sustainability or sex slavery abolishment, as consumers we wear our hearts on our sleeves, feet, backs, legs, necks…

  • Great brands never seem to ask for the sale. Not like coupons do. Cause-driven organizations share their vision for the world not to ask for a sale, but to enable you to buy as an expression of a shared belief.

What if you traded a coupon for a cause? ​ (Tip: Work your cause into your communication instead of your coupon.)

March 20, 2019     Daily Post

For those who think “I’ll contribute to good causes when we’re rich”

Ever caught yourself staring at a good cause and saying, “One day, I’ll contribute to that cause…when we have more money.”

I think we’ve all caught ourselves saying it at one time or another in our lives. The problem is, it’s completed backwards:

  • If TOMs Shoes didn’t have its 1-for-1 campaign, would you have ever heard about them? Would you have cared if you had? That campaign put the cause on the map–the shoes came along for the ride. Their shoes are good, but lots of shoes are good. Their cause is why you bought.
  • If Product(Red) products didn’t support Red, would you ever buy Red products? Or would you just not bother, or just buy the color you actually prefer? The products selected are usually great, but would we care if it was just… red products? Their cause is why you bought.

What if those brands decided to defer doing social good until “later”? (Tip: Weave your chosen cause into your existing message, and let people know what you stand for. tryABC.net will help you integrate your message.)

March 19, 2019     Daily Post

Ad value = Add value

Your secret recipe is about to be exposed.

  • Ads that sell are dying: Not because they used to be good and now they’re not. But because they were never that good and prospects got wise to it.
  • Ads that serve are rising: Not because it’s a new trend we should all hop on. But because solving problems for others is what business is all about.

There’s no need to wait for permission–or renumeration–to start serving your market. Why keep what makes you such a great fit for them a secret?

(Tip: If we communicate our value right, we can stand apart from competitors who are still merely ‘selling’. tryABC.net will help you make the shift.)

March 18, 2019     Daily Post

Meeting Your Heroes VS Becoming Your Heroes

They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes. I’m not sure it makes any difference:

  • Meet them and see their flaws, or don’t meet them and remember they’re flawed. Meeting them doesn’t make them flawed any more than believing they’re perfect makes them so.
  • Meet them and learn from them, or don’t meet them and learn from them. Meeting them doesn’t make them easier or harder to learn from if they’re producing books and trainings you can use.

Learn what you can from their successes and failures so that you can have more of the former and less of the latter. Meetings optional.

(Tip: It’s easy to get started on those two key things, take a peek at tryABC.net to find your focus.)

March 17, 2019     Daily Post

What Comes First In Marketing Online

I get asked all the time, “we want to improve our ability to sell online, what do we do?”

And my team and I have routinely seen people approaching this from as many different angles as you can possibly imagine. So what’s the answer?

  • Not where you think you should start: This is the first clincher. Folks tend to start from a linear, tactical mindset where they’re looking for a tool or website hack to make everything work better. That’s not where you’re supposed to start.
  • Where you’re really supposed to start: Getting clearer on who you’re talking to. Getting clearer on what you should be saying to them. If you get those two things right, and then execute on them in the right way, you win. If you don’t, you lose.

It’s really as simple–and as complicated–as that. The temptation to pursue the latest hot marketing hack is compelling. If you stay focused on what matters, you’ll outperform all those with shiny-object syndrome.

(Tip: It’s easy to started on those two key things, take a peek at tryABC.net to find your focus.)

March 16, 2019     Daily Post

Why prospects ask so many questions

It’s not because they need lots of information. It’s because of them, and you:

  • You don’t know what to say: If you’re unsure how the industry works or you’re not clear on how someone does something, you’ll ask more questions.
  • You don’t feel confident: If you’re not confident in your own decision-making ability, you’ll avoid making a decision by asking more questions.
  • You’re not being led: If who you’re talking to isn’t leading the conversation, you’re left to lead. So you’ll ask more questions.

What if you empowered them to understand the process, the criteria, and the lingo? What if you led those you wish to serve before the ‘Yes’?

(Tip: these factors are addressed with better communication. Tryabc.net can help you communicate better with your audience.)

March 15, 2019     Daily Post

Protecting The Market From Bad Alternatives

Your market probably has a lot of mediocrity in it. That’s your problem now:

  • Most should be worse: If you’re able to deliver an elevated experience and greater difference, and you’re cause-driven, you’re probably among the best in your space. If you’re not, that’s another problem entirely.
  • Set the criteria: If they choose you or not, they should at least know what the right buying criteria is. Providing that to them is your fiduciary responsibility if they go elsewhere, and a comfort that you look after their best interests.
  • Be there: Where they are, regardless of whether you like where that is. Otherwise your protection won’t affect them, and you’ll have willfully allowed them to be taken advantage of by lesser alternatives.

It’s our responsibility to share the full buying criteria with those we wish to serve, so they can proceed with their eyes open, whoever they choose. The act of doing just so happens to position you as even more valuable.

(Tip: these factors are addressed with better communication. Tryabc.net can help you communicate better with your audience.)

March 14, 2019     Daily Post

Our Expectations Break Our Progress

When we build things, we give them form: structure and expectation.

What if we gave them neither of these things?

  • When your ad campaign fails, it‘s because of the form you gave it. Lose the form and it’ll take the form of your audience, through lots of small ongoing tweaks.
  • When product sales aren’t up, it‘s because of the form you gave them. Lose the form and you’ll reach the numbers through listening to what your audience needs.

It’s an abstract concept, but letting our work be formless–void of any structure or expectation that doesn’t focus on pursuing your audience–is the fastest route to better acquisition, service, and retention.

Or, as Bruce Lee would say, “Be like water.”

(Tip: audience-centric communication is hard, but totally worth it. Take a peek at TryABC.net to get help with that.)​

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Adam Fairhead (@adamfairhead) on Mar 18, 2019 at 2:19pm PDT

March 13, 2019     Daily Post

Why Personal Branding Is Overrated For Meaningful Companies?

Personal branding is wonderful for creating reach for your team’s work. Entire empires have been build upon them.

But if you want to build a living legacy, for those you serve and those you serve alongside, what happens when you die? When your name becomes a distant memory, and your insights become old-hat?

Your work stops. All because you were careless enough to die without a legacy plan. So, what’s a legacy plan?

  • Your death means nothing to anyone but your closest family and friends. The best one can hope for is one news cycle. If your work is important, it deserves better than to die with you.
  • Your work lives on when you have a legacy plan, not to survive, but to thrive beyond what it ever did during your lifetime. Your passing is inconsequential to the work you started.
  • Prepare for that scenario to be a sure-thing.

It’s not about you. It’s about the problems you solve and those you solve them for. Have a legacy plan.

March 12, 2019     Daily Post

Plan To Lose To Win

A winning plan may win for a while. What about when it stops working?

And when the next one stops working, or if it never works to begin with? We need a ‘best, worst-case scenario’:

  • Assume your plan will flop and leave you needing to adjust course immediately. What do you do then?
  • Assume your next one’ll become saturated, and everyone starts doing it the same way. What do you do then?
  • Assume the one after that’ll go out of style, and becomes ineffective. What do you do then?
  • Assume someone crucial leaves, putting the whole plan in disarray. What do you do then?

The negative cascade of “what if”s will lead you toward stronger, more robust, more disruptive ideas that will give today’s plans a run for their money.

Unless you’re absolutely certain, plan to lose, to win.

March 11, 2019     Daily Post

When Projects Seem Impossible, Add Vision

We’ve made lists for as long as we’ve been able to write.

When we say ‘list’, we can visualize what that looks like. Work we can’t visualize, doesn’t get done:

  • A series of to-dos you can list out and complete can be mapped out and worked through. You can see how many you’ve done, and what’s left. Easy to visualize, easy to do.
  • A series of tasks you can’t mentally visualize, such as complex network relations or projects with multiple in-progress dependencies, are much harder to visualize. Harder to visualize, harder to do.

Without good vision, good work doesn’t get done. Add vision and watch impossible tasks become merely logistical.

March 10, 2019     Daily Post

Sustainable Businesses Need Sustainable Pricing

If you want to have a sustainable business, and you want it to last a long time, you need to have a sustainable price.

  • An unsustainable price is something which is cheap enough to commoditize you. It’s when you get buyers because the price was good.
  • A sustainable price is when people buy from you not because your price is competitive–it may not even be–but because the product is exquisite. The offer is exquisite. The experience is exquisite. The cause it supports is worthy.

For your sustainable business to be sustainable, be sure to operate with a sustainable price.

March 09, 2019     Daily Post

The Problem With Most Online Marketing Funnels

When in history has marketing ever magically worked by copy/pasting a template and blasting it with traffic?

Never:

  • It’s attractive because it sounds easy. We like easy. Just copy some pages and immediately succeed? Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?
  • But it starts with them. Not with you, or your pages. If your choice of market doesn’t care for the page, the page doesn’t work.
  • Service starts with them. To pursue shortcuts like funnel ‘templates’ is to attempt to skip serving your audience by better understanding them.

You can’t skip service. And if you want to, why be in that market at all?

March 08, 2019     Daily Post

When You Don’t Know How To “Make It Work”

Cause-driven teams routinely find themselves asking “I don’t know how to make this work”.

It’s part of the journey to making work that matters. But there are few circumstances where this excuse is permissible for long:

  • Domestic space travel: This is a great example of not knowing. There is no map. It’s being drawn as we speak. Not knowing means paving the way as a pioneer.
  • Selling more of your product: This is a great example of there being no excuse. There are many maps. Pick one and learn to follow it properly. Not yet knowing is no excuse.

Assuming you’re not selling tickets to the moon, what steps do you need to take to move beyond “I don’t know how” now you know you know?

March 07, 2019     Daily Post

When Creators Get To “The Selling Part”

What comes after creating something that matters?

Selling it.

For those who feel unnerved by that fact, and have excuses preventing them from getting to it, let’s sabotage your self-sabotage:

  • Unsure how to do it: The way you know, while you learn the ways you don’t.
  • Unsure where to do it: Where your audience hangs out. Not sure? Ask them.
  • Unsure when to do it: Yesterday.

Remember, if you’ve make something that matters, it’s your responsibility to sell as much of it to the marketplace as you ethically can. You’re not inconveniencing anybody, you’re saving them.

March 06, 2019     Daily Post

Market Outreach and Self-Respect

If your work is trying to make a real difference, chances are you’re actively engaged in market outreach activities.

Rightly so. You need to get the word out. But could doing so be hurting your cause?

  • ‘Outreach – respect’ is when you engage the market while focusing on the need to engage more people to stay solvent or to make your impact a reality. The way you engage the market diminishes the perception of worth.
  • ‘Outreach + respect’ is when you engage the market while recognizing the inherent worth you possess, and the power to change businesses and lives that your work has. The way you engage the market** enhances** this perception.

Think about how you engage the market. Which sounds more like your business?

March 05, 2019     Daily Post

There’s No Such Thing As Feeling Ready

We like the idea of feeling ready. Here’s why we shouldn’t:

  • There is no such thing as feeling ready. Whenever we do finally feel ready, we feel anxious, don’t we? That’s because “ready” means we’ve passed the time to act.
  • There is only feeling unready, and feeling behind. And if we wait to feel ready, we miss the former entirely and instead land dead-center in the latter.

We can act from the former or from the latter–both contain fear. There’s no escaping that.

So which is it to be for you?

March 04, 2019     Daily Post

The Market Makes Us Indecisive

Most of the problems facing our important work is caused by inertia. Our inboxes are a great example of this:

  • We request emails we don’t read. Not because we’re aren’t interested, but because we think we’re too busy to read them. So we decide to “read it later.” So email apps start offering Snooze features that perpetuates our problem.
  • If we have a problem and the sender has our trust, we often lack the decisiveness to act on it and get our problems solved. We perpetuate our own problems due to inertia.
  • If we don’t have a problem or the sender lacks our trust, we could take action by simply unsubscribing…yet inertia lets them continue to roll in.

Taking back our ability to decide enables us to escape many of the problems we face daily. Alternatively, we can continue to be mastered by inertia.

March 03, 2019     Daily Post

Important Work Takes More–And Less–Than We Think

The greater the work, the greater this is true:

  • It takes more effort, time, and money to make things happen than we ever expect things will when we start things off. Serial-entrepreneurs already know this, but for many of us this is a first-time lesson quickly being learned.
  • Yet it takes less effort, time, and money to make progress from an idea, or from traction to scale, than we’d ever expect when we make the decision to act. Serial-entrepreneurs also know that more is done through action than pondering.

There’s a long road ahead. Don’t forget that, but remember the road is a lot shorter when you commit to take real action.

March 02, 2019     Daily Post

Increasing The Quality Of Your Training

Cause-driven work demands a lot from us, and hustle becomes a default setting. Have we the appetite to slow down and immerse ourselves in good quality material?

  • Masterminds or Netflix? They’re both ways to spend an hour each week. Which environment would we prefer to turn into a habit?
  • Great courses or endless posts? I love a good educational post, but few things outshine the deliberate crafting of a well-made course.
  • Digested email or fast-food tweets? A length email from a knowledgeable expert will deliver more than a dozen random tweets will.

The racing term, “Slow down to go fast” rings true when it comes to getting the most out of the effort you invest into important work. That includes your continued professional education.

March 01, 2019     Daily Post

What’s Holding You Back?

Picture this: a world-renowned mentor offers you to spend a week with him, unpaid, so that you can learn from the best. What reservations come to mind?

  • “My team wouldn’t manage without me”: Perhaps that’s worth addressing now then, do you need to make recruiting or training a priority?
  • “The pipeline would be empty upon my return”: Perhaps that’s worth addressing now then, do you need to get your marketing right, now?
  • “My significant other wouldn’t like it”: Perhaps that’s worth addressing now then, do you need to get life aligned?

When you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. When potential knocks, and it could truly help the important work you’re doing, it’s your duty.