Archive of posts from April 2019

April 30, 2019     Daily Post

How To Make Things Happen

What does your company, and water, have in common?

It’s not the oft-celebrated-yet-normally-short-lived ‘hustle’ that makes things happen in our companies.

Rather, it’s the act of behaving like moving water:

So here’s the first point. A strong current pushes everything forward. Think about it. A strong current can power (or destroy) cities. It can carve a path through a mountain, right? When there’s an obstacle, it either finds a new path, or–over time–makes a way right through it. It’s not rushing. It’s not stressing. It just continues to flow.

So question number one: How could you mimic this behavior, and what would that do for your health, wealth, and impact?

Okay. Now conversely…

What happens without good leadership and good communication?

Well… without good leadership and good communication, we’re not like running water, we have no current, we’re more like sitting water. And like sitting water, this only creates stench and bacteria. Like sitting water, it settles into the lowest point. And that’s all in stark contrast to the creative–or destructive–power of a current, isn’t it?

So what can we learn from this.** When we’re doing important work, it’s our responsibility to be the current.** It creates change for our peers, our market, and our culture. Leave the sitting water approach for others.

Here’s a tip: Increasing your company’s communication skills through better marketing can transform your presence, sales, and impact – it’s your current. BuiltForImpact.net can help make that happen.

April 29, 2019     Daily Post

Are You An “Up Down” Or A “Left Right” Company?

It sounds like a cheat code for a video game, but it’s actually something more profound.

Most businesses are “up down” when they should be “left right”:

  • The “up down” business mindset: For me to grow (up), you must shrink (down). For us to win in this market (up), you must lose (down). For you to have a success (up) is detrimental to our progress (down). Here there’s a regressive attitude of finite possibilities.
  • **The “left right” business mindset: **I’m going to grow (left), who’s with me (right)? I’ve spotted an opportunity to make a change in this industry (left), let’s make that change together (right). Here there’s an abundance of opportunity to collaborate and grow together.

All ships rise when we realize we can collaborate instead of tearing each other apart in the marketplace. What direction are you going in? Will it take you where you want to go?

Tip: This is addressed with the quality of our communication with our market. BuiltForImpact.net can help you stand out in the market.

April 28, 2019     Daily Post

What If It Were Easy?

Creating great work, even with an amazing team, can feel hard sometimes.

But…what if it were easy?

  • How would that change our service? If we were to strip away all the cruft, and just do what makes us world-class?
  • How would that change our marketing? If we were to worry less about 100 new tactics, and just focus on one or two?
  • How would that change our operations? If we were to systemize check-ins, and simplify responsibilities?

Our default-setting always seems to be to over-complicate things. Good things happen when we ask ourselves, “What if it were easy?”

Tip: Communication often suffers most in this regard. BuiltForImpact.net makes marketing communications easy.

April 27, 2019     Daily Post

Your Business Needs A Chisel

The chisel is the most underrated tool in business.

The Egyptians figured out that bashing things without one was inefficient all the way back in 8,000 BC… so why do businesses do it in 2019?

  • It requires focus and aim. Focus can be hard enough when we’re told how many things we ought to be doing. But aim requires us to be proficient in our focus, ignoring other distractions around us.
  • It requires commitment. We know things will change when we commit to focusing on a particular change in our work. What’s our relationship with change? Are we ready for change?
  • It requires specialized investment. A hammer is all-purpose, everyone has one. But a chisel? Do we want to make the investment, even though it will create significant results for us?

The temptation is to approach our product development, our marketing, our advertising and our operations with just a hammer. It feels safer, easier.

Less change will happen. But is that the kind of business we want to belong to?

Tip: In marketing, the chisel is the quality of your communication skills. BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.

April 26, 2019     Daily Post

When More Effort Only Slows You Down

If you care about your work and your cause, the temptation is to do more, work more, push harder and move faster. Sometimes that’s a bad idea:

  • Energy exerted outside of your system is energy wasted: Any enthusiasm to go faster that doesn’t make the machine run better is only going to distract you and those around you. Too many good ideas at once will spoil your progress.
  • Working longer doesn’t mean working harder: As much as we’d like to think otherwise, grinding long hours usually reduces the quality of those hours. Critical thinking is usually the first to go.
  • Going deeper means losing the birds-eye view: You won’t know where to dig or why to dig there if you’re busy working away in the tunnel.

We should measure our day on the quality–not number–of hours worked. Good quality focused work is made from good quality focused time.

Tip: A little focus on saying the right things to your target audience goes a long way BuiltForImpact.net can help with that.

April 25, 2019     Daily Post

Your Work VS Your Marketin

These two things can work together, or they can be at odds with each other. Most of the time, the latter is true:

  • When you do great work, you focus on making it the best the world has ever seen. It’s why you got into business as a team in the first place, isn’t it?
  • What about sharing it with the world? It can feel like a distraction or a disservice to your talents to focus on that rather than doing the doing.
  • But the real disservice is not elevating your market communication to the level of quality and elegance of the work you render to that market.

To riff on the popular tree metaphor, “If a product enters the market, but nobody clearly hears it enter, does it even exist?” Raise your marketing and communication skills to the level of your work.

Tip: Use a tried-and-tested system when you do this. BuiltForImpact.net is ours, if you’d like to use it.

April 24, 2019     Daily Post

Leading VS Merely Keeping Up

Many companies claim to be the leader of their space. But are they leading, or are they merely good at keeping up?

  • If you follow the popular path, you’ll get the popular outcome. 8/10 businesses fail. Popular doesn’t always work in our favor.
  • If you read the same books as everyone else, you won’t get ahead, you’ll just keep up. There’s no edge in covering the same ground.
  • If you play above your level, be it books beyond your understanding or techniques that outthink the masses, you can amass an edge if you put in the work.

To keep up, do what everyone else does. To lead, go further.

Most merely try to keep up. You can do better, if you commit to doing the hard work of growing yourself to further your important work.

Tip: What are you doing to get an edge over everyone else? E.g. out-communicating your competition with tools like BuiltForImpact.net?

April 23, 2019     Daily Post

The Important Work Between The Work

Being good at what you do is one thing.

…That’s the point: it’s one thing. What about everything else?

  • Being good vs communicating well: If you’re great at what you do, but you’re unable to communicate that to the market effectively, nobody will experience your skills. There is little connection between skills in your craft and the ability to sell.
  • Being good vs being present: If you’re great at what you do, but you’re never around to actually do it, are you really that great at it? If nobody can rely on you to deliver, your craft skills mean very little to the market.
  • Being good vs staying good: If you’re great at what you do, but you don’t approach learning with a beginners mind, you’ll stagnate and lose your luster in the eyes of the market. You’ll go from being great, to being great once. And you won’t even notice.

You may be great at what you do, but if the market can’t hear you or see you, you don’t exist. Are you committed to the act of serving, or are you just gathering head knowledge?

Tip: Communicating well is much easier when you have the blueprint. You can grab the best one at BuiltForImpact.net

April 22, 2019     Daily Post

Normal Marketing VS Ethical Brands

When you’re looking to upgrade your marketing work as a sustainable or ethical or B-corp style company, you’ve got a problem.

The stuff that most normal companies are doing in their marketing, won’t work for you. Because you’re different – you’ve got a different kind of message, different kind of proposition, and that’s a good thing. You’ve got superpowers that’ll make your marketing work 10x easier than theirs, if you know how to harness them.

Normal marketing goes like this… “I wanna get a lead, then I want to have them on my email list or something, so I can give them info about my stuff, then they’ll somehow like me and buy my stuff.”

The formula there is, “Stuff, relationship, stuff, sale.”

The relationship is what we want. The stuff… nobody really cares about.

Let me ask you a question… when was the last time you formed a relationship based on only focusing on what you want all the time? And getting them to do everything you say?

This is a customer or client in the marketplace we’re talking about, not your little sister.

We must make it all about them, then.

The only thing they care about in your story is what connects you with them. What beliefs you share. What problems you see in the world that are important to you. Things like that. That stuff connects you to people fast.

Ever watched a vegan meet another vegan in public? Instant-rapport.

So here’s what you have to do.

  1. Stop thinking about yourself. You need to sell stuff yes, but that’s not going to happen until you stop thinking about yourself.

  2. Next, get very clear on who you want that relationship with. You’ve probably spent most of your time thinking about who you want to be, or how you want to be seen, but a fraction of the time thinking about them. Flip it.

  3. Next, you get super-clear on what they want to hear from you. Not what you want them to hear. Again you probably spend lots of time thinking about what you want them to hear from you rather than what they want to hear. Flip it.

  4. Remember to include your mission here. This is your super-power. But talk about it because it’s their mission too. Something they can believe in. Something important to them. Do not miss this, this is something most companies don’t have but you do.

  5. And then execute that message, to that person, on your website and on your advertising. And only that message. Anything else, leave it out, until the relationship is there.

That’s all you need. If that’s your focus, you get to use your super-power and build those relationships without all the stuff. Things get real simple. You might even find yourself resisting it because you’re used to it not being simple, and if you accept it’s simple you’ll have to work on something else instead.

Tip: Before inertia kicks in, you can go to BuiltForImpact.net if you want to get super-clear on who you want to build a relationship with and do the things we talked about.

April 21, 2019     Daily Post

Overthinking, The Silent Killer

Failure never stood a chance against the monster that is Overthinking.

It lulls us into a false sense of security that goes something like this:

  • This work needs to get done, because it’s important work. You wouldn’t be working on it if it wasn’t important…would you?
  • But it’s not finished, or so you think. And so you keep trucking–agonizing–over getting things done properly, at long last.
  • You’re probably the reason it’s not finished. If you’ve worked on this for any length of time, you may have gotten comfortable fighting the same fight.

Overthinking is fear: “Better the devil you know” is the silent killer of meaningful work.

(Tip: Some things will be the death of good companies if they don’t do it properly and put it out into the world. Things like good communication with their market. Use BuiltForImpact.net to get it right then move onto the next piece of your puzzle.)

April 20, 2019     Daily Post

Follow The Clues To Build Your Vision

Cause-driven companies are, by nature, solving un-solved problems.

That makes knowing what to do decidedly more difficult. But there are clues:

  • What others did to solve problems like yours can be found in books and articles with a few short online searches. Follow the clues to get the results.
  • Who others became to solve problems like yours can be seen in autobiographies and social footprints. Follow the clues to get the results.
  • What to do and who to become can change based on your muse and the clues you’ll invariably uncover.

Your vision is unique, but the blueprint to realizing a vision is well-documented. Follow the clues left behind from those who went before you and make your difference.

Tip: Solving problems is easy if you follow the clues. If you need clues in your marketing messaging, follow them at BuiltForImpact.net

April 19, 2019     Daily Post

Why You Go The Extra Mile

“Going the extra mile” may sound cliché, but there are two scenarios where we find ourselves doing it. Which sounds like you?

  • Because you need it: This is when your team needs to sell more, so you go the extra mile in order to ensure a sale. This fire fizzles when the emergency is over, and contributes to a frenetic culture.
  • Because they need it: This is when your team recognizes a need in an audience it cares for, and strives to meet it regardless of pipeline or inventory. This fire grows in response to the number of people you serve.

When we go the extra mile for their benefit–instead of ours–they’ll feel it in your continuity of service and quality of output. Business benefits when its heart is in the right place.

(Tip: Service is first extended into the market by the way we communicate. BuiltForImpact.net is our way of making that happen.)

April 18, 2019     Daily Post

When ‘Good Service’ Ruins Your Brand

Turns out the customer isn’t always right. We have two choices when we hear a request from someone we wish to serve:

  • **‘Yes that’s fine’ **is fine, unless you’re pandering for the sale. Oftentimes, there’s a better way, and not doing the emotional labor of educating your prospect commoditizes you into a replaceable cog in their wheel.
  • ‘There’s a better way’ is what we say when we care enough about the results of our prospect to propose something different; a different product, order volume, or frequency of purchase. This self-elected fiduciary role sets you apart.

“The customer is always right” is a fast-track to commoditizing yourself into a replaceable cog. Do you have the confidence to show your market a better way?

(Tip: The best way to educate prospects is through a good narrative. tryABC.net can help you get clear on what that narrative should be.)

April 17, 2019     Daily Post

Surviving to Thrive

What’s the first requisite step toward thriving and making a difference?

Survival:

  • What matters more: If your balloon ever risks losing altitude, you need to know what matters most. Those are the things you protect above all else.
  • Cut the ropes on the rest: When you know what you’ll sacrifice to stay airborne, you’ll know what ropes to cut.
  • Stay in the sky: With the costs counted, you can rest assured you’ll stay in the sky, whatever nature and her rota fortunae throw at you.

You can’t make a difference if you don’t survive. So survive, at all costs.

(Tip: The better you communicate, the better chances you have of survival. tryABC.net can help you with that.)

April 16, 2019     Daily Post

You Just Need One Thing

In your cause-driven company, you just need one thing:

  • One acquisition channel can take you to the next level. If you target the right people and say the right things to them, one channel is all you need.
  • One service system can change the industry. If you build the right thing for the right people and make the experience exquisite, one service is all you need.
  • One retention model can explode your company. If you develop your world around your audience’s needs rather than your own desires, retention takes care of itself.

Expanding your work without focus or results is ‘diluting’, not ‘expanding’.

One acquisition channel, service system and retention model is all you need to grow to wild new heights.

(Tip: These pieces live and die on good communication. tryABC.net can help you with that.)

April 15, 2019     Daily Post

What We Can’t See In Ourselves That Holds Us Back

Ever watched one of those TV shows like Kitchen Nightmares or Hotel Inspector?

The ones where a guru enters a restaurant or hotel and picks it to shreds, revealing 2-3 key alterations that will change their lives?

We watch thinking, “Gosh, how obvious, how did they survive this long?” Thing is, we’re all that restaurant or hotel owner:

  • There are those in the market who are mediocre compared to us. We can look at their operations and clearly see our advantage.
  • There are others who have surpassed us. All of us. They could look back at our operations and see what we’re missing, too.
  • Our skills got us where we are so far. We’re doing the best we can with what we know and what we have. But we can do better.

As cause-driven businesses, the better we do, the more impact we create. We would all benefit from asking ourselves, “What would the hotel inspector say about our operation”?

(Tip: Those shows often focus on communication and marketing. tryABC.net can help you with that.)

April 14, 2019     Daily Post

Serve Your Market Better By Remembering This Phrase

When you create value for your audience, be it paid or unpaid, what’s the driving incentive?

  • ‘I want them to buy more stuff.’ This may be true, but if that’s your reason, you’re trading your fiduciary hat for one of a street merchant. That’s perhaps not the look you’re going for, nor is it the motivation you’d like to extend to your audience.
  • ‘I need to support my chosen cause.’ This may be true, and it’ll even resonate if you’re speaking to a true fan. But what about everyone else? In those cases, you’re trading your position for one of a beggar. Again, not the look you’re going for.
  • ‘It’s my moral responsibility.’ This is true if you have a lot of value to share with the market, and for reasons that will also contribute to the change you wish to create in the world. This focuses you on helping people for the sake of helping people.

If you carry the phrase, “It’s my moral responsibility” into every opportunity to serve, you’ll serve more fully and intimately. In turn, it just so happens that you’ll get the other things you wanted, too.

(Tip: Weave this heart of service into the way you speak to the market. tryABC.net can help you do exactly that.)

April 13, 2019     Daily Post

“This might not work”

When we do work that matters, it’s important to remember, “this might not work”:

  • When looking for partners, we can extend camaraderie or desperation, depending on our relationship with this phrase. Are we okay with the risk, or are we looking for someone to assume the responsibility?
  • When looking for fellow team members, we can extend fellowship or fear, depending on our cultural alignment with this phrase. Do we all know the risks, have we all committed to do our bit?
  • When looking for customers or clients, we can extend scarcity or abundance, depending on our peace with this phrase. Do we believe there is plenty of business to go around, or do we sign up anyone regardless of fit just to get the money?

Risk and responsibility come with the act of doing work that matters. If we can’t embrace it, why do it at all?

(Tip: Good communication attracts the right people and repels the wrong people, and makes enrollment that much easier. tryABC.net can help with that.)

April 12, 2019     Daily Post

Avoid Perfection If You Want To Grow

What’s your goal for your work? Perfection? I hope not:

  • Perfect is a lie: A perfectly manicured hotel lounge or new-car-smell luxury car lease lulls you into thinking you’ve made it, it’s done, things are now perfect. If things are perfect, where can you go other than down?
  • Kintsugi is reality: The ancient tradition of filling flaws with gold is a reminder that we can improve things whenever we see opportunities for growth. Surrounding ourselves with imperfect things develops our vision for innovation.

It’s one of the beauties of cause-driven business: they’re designed to be Kintsugi artists, thanks to their pursuit of broken things.

Don’t blow it by getting too comfortable.

(Tip: An area most businesses need Kintsugi is in their communication skills. Bad communication skills break companies. You can fix that at tryABC.net)

April 11, 2019     Daily Post

How Do You Make Your Audience Feel?

Here’s a question our Creative team asks our clients all the time. And it’s incidentally a question we’re asking ourselves in the content experiments that we run.

“How do we want people to FEEL after experiencing your marketing?”

We have options, and we just need to pick one, for example:

  1. Adventurous?
  2. Amused?
  3. Emotive?
  4. Inspired?
  5. Surprised?

When people visit your website, or see your ads, or watch your videos, or buy your products and services, is this feeling present in every place your audience can interact with you?

If not, why not?

(Tip: Communication is key: tryABC.net will help you go deeper into the emotions of your audience)

April 10, 2019     Daily Post

Growth & Contribution Happens On The Calendar

Are you and your team working on something great?

Show me your calendar and I’ll show you your future:

  • If every step is in the calendar, including launch, there’s a chance it’s going to happen. Every action and event, locked into the calendar. Now we know when each important work is going to happen.
  • If every step is not in the calendar, when did you think it was going to get done? Goals without dates are just dreams. Task lists don’t keep you accountable for durations and deadlines. Calendars do.

If we care about our work, we’ll dignify it with a commitment to its completion.

Lists be damned: what’s in the calendar is what gets completed. Are you scheduling the work that matters?

(Tip: Clear communication creates wealth and wealth creates change. Put your communication skills into your calendar with tryABC.net)

April 09, 2019     Daily Post

A Big Reason Why Things Stop Working

Is because you get bored:

  • The phone you had that worked fine, but replaced it because you were bored of it. The new one that came out was more exciting, even though the utility was largely identical.
  • The service you render that works was changed, because you’re bored of rendering it. Something else caught your eye, rather than further refining what you had.

If you’re in business to serve and make a difference, it doesn’t matter if your service is boring for YOU. If we focus on making it even more amazing–rather than abandoning what works because we got bored–we can iterate our way to greater contribution and impact.

It’s not boring, it’s elegant.

(Tip: If you get your communication right, you’ll have ample opportunity to serve more in your market. tryABC.net can help you with that.)

April 08, 2019     Daily Post

Loving The Process, But Not Too Much

We’ve heard we should love the process if what we’re building is to be effective. But how much?

  • If you love it too much (selfishly), you’ll never solve anything – what you could buy off shelf you’ll instead keep for yourself and not move forward.
  • If you don’t love it enough, you won’t get started.
  • If you love it right (selflessly), you’ll hold onto it if it’s right for you and give it to whomever it’s the best fit for if it isn’t, so that it can be done in the best way and promptly.

Love is something we “do” to others and things, not something we “have”. To “love the process” and have your work thrive, remember to also love it the right way.

Tip: Do you love to communicate the right things to your audience? Whether you do or not, it pays to love it right: tryABC.net can help with that.)

April 07, 2019     Daily Post

Grow Your Vision By Staying In Your Element

But what’s your element?

Let’s look at some examples:

  • I’m in mine when I’m doing things such as designing systems to advocate for cause-driven companies. To me, it’s the ultimate leverage for social good. I’m good at it, and it energizes me. What are you good at that energizes you?
  • I’m not in mine when I accidentally get caught up keeping such systems running property. I’m not good at it, and it feels like a hindrance to things I’m great at. What do you do that inhibits you from ‘doing your thing’?

You’ll feel uncomfortable in your element because you’re pushing for growth. You’ll feel uncomfortable out of your element because you’re being held back from growth.

Follow the right kind of discomfort to stay in your element. The great work you’re contributing to will thank you for it, as will your future-self.

(Tip: I find good communication to be a challenge, but always leads to growth. tryABC.net gives good companies good communication)

April 06, 2019     Daily Post

Small Decisions That Make Big Changes

It’s comforting to suppose that we were always going to end up where we are right now. That the successful people were always going to be successful, that your bills were always going to be paid when they were, and your life was always going to find its way to this moment.

But that’s not how life works.

In reality, we are where we are because of the tiniest decisions we made, compounded, over time.

  • A successful person started making small decisions that compounded, such as deciding to read a book instead of kicking a ball against a wall one day.
  • Your bills got paid because of small decisions that compounded, such as deciding to do a Google search about a new skill you thought you might be interested in learning more about one day.
  • Your body looks the way it does because of small decisions that compounded, such as delaying until ‘tomorrow’, or the single decision to make a daily habit of exercise.

We are where we are because of small decisions. It’s a blessing and a curse, but one we get to control.

Tip: Standing out, selling better, and making an impact are all things that can start with small decisions, such as going to tryABC.net to get your communication right.

April 05, 2019     Daily Post

The Element Of Marketing That’s Stronger Than Desire

The desire for an item or solution is what we focus a lot of our attention on: does the prospect want it or not?

Cause-driven companies can go one step further:

  • If you really don’t want it, it being cheaper won’t change that. A no-name phone label can’t throw a 50% off sale and expect iPhone-like sales figures.
  • If you really want it, it being more expensive won’t change that. That’s why we’ll never see a new $499 iPhone release again – it’ll only lose luster.
  • If you really believe it, getting nothing in return won’t change that. That’s why charities can exist in the first place.

Your job is to communicate that shared belief everywhere you go, beyond simply building desire. It’s part of what makes your cause-driven operation so great.

(Tip: Communicating shared belief is hugely powerful when done right. tryABC.net will sort that right out.)

April 04, 2019     Daily Post

Raising Your Ambition To Grow

What do people who are effective in Sales and C-levels have in common?

  • A good salesperson raises the prospect’s ambition as an act of service to them, so they can grow and thrive in their work.
  • A good team member raises their peer’s ambition as an act of service to them, so they can grow and thrive in their work.

It’s the same for Sales and C-levels – growth requires us all to raise each other’s ambition to make things happen.

How’s yours?

(Tip: This lives and dies on intent and quality of communication. tryABC.net can help with the latter.)

April 03, 2019     Daily Post

Making Good Work Spread

The best work spreads on its own. And not just because of some affiliate marketing system, but because of a genuine desire to share what works with others who may benefit:

  • If it doesn’t spread on its own, you need to spread it yourself. If you understand the efficiencies of compounding, you understand why that’s not the best solution.
  • If it’s designed to spread on its own, you move from hustler to gardener. You will water your garden, and it will grow. That way, nature takes care of the growth from now on.

What makes good work spread? The act of moving from hustler to gardener: caring for your small, select audience so much that it can’t help but grow.

(Tip: It starts with making your audience feel understood. tryABC.net can help with that.)

April 02, 2019     Daily Post

Success Without ‘The Root Of All Evil’

We know the quote, but it’s often a raw subject among the entrepreneurial.

Let’s fix that:

  • The quote, “The love of money is the root of all evil” cascades into modern society when we update the translation to simply “selfish people”. If money is the end-goal, it’s going to have to end up in your pocket, not somebody else’s, right?
  • Whereas, “The love of meaningful service is the root of all money” cascades into modern society as an alternative. If meaningful service is the goal, and money need not end up in your pocket, that suggests a selflessness that money is drawn to.

Money serves us in doing work that matters. To acquire it, simply keep your eyes on the work that matters.

Tip: Meaningful work and service can make all the difference. You can see how this works at tryABC.net

April 01, 2019     Daily Post

Your Team Has A Weak Link

Do you know who it is?

  • It’s the customer service rep who’s having a bad day, who doesn’t deal well with bad days, and comes off short to a client.
  • It’s the operational team member who forgot to book that important call, leaving someone in your care feeling care-less.
  • It’s the person who forgot to replace the toilet roll, or person who forgot to SOP the toilet roll.

The weakest link is everybody, if everybody doesn’t commit daily to doing the best work of their lives.

(Tip: Communication is normally where teams are weakest, particularly in marketing. tryABC.net can help you wit that.)