Archive of posts from October 2019

October 31, 2019     Daily Post

What Gmail And Malnutrition Have In Common

Work being done to address global malnutrition has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Deaths under 4 have halved from 12 million to 6 million between 1990 and 2017. The next 20 years, as outlined at the 2019 Professor Hawking Fellowship Lecture in Cambridge, is incredibly promising.

This is in no small part because of the contributions of CSR and cause-driven corporations; R&D in these areas take many years to create breakthroughs, the ROI won’t show up on the P&L, and short-term thinking businesses can’t make the math add up.

Which brings me to the Gmail example. Gmail, while a wonderful tool that powers capable email productivity for millions of people at no cost, suffers from a short-term thinking challenge at the moment: stock option valuation for those building the tool.

When a corporation commits to executively assuming the responsibility of change, the buy-in throughout the organization enables everyone to contribute to the degree they are able and comfortable with. But when the activities of the organization hurt the value of everyone’s options and the contribution creates a tangible loss of tens of thousands of dollars per employee, short-term thinking is born.

Hiding promotional emails under a promotions tab so companies need to buy more ads to be heard increases ad spend, profitability, and the value of stock options. Pledging ad spend grants for NGOs helps boost awareness but also keeps ad spend relevant in an increasingly cause-tolerant marketplace.

Google is in a great position to create change and brings many powerful contributions in areas such as open AI development, education and open-source software. But an organizational structure needs to thank those involved for being optimistic about the future if it’s to create change at all levels.

My question for you: are you building systems and culture that celebrates bravery and the production of a better future, or are you making it too risky to try?

October 30, 2019     Daily Post

Taxis, Busses And Chauffeurs

Every business is one of these three things. Which is yours?

The bus says, “We’re all going over here.” It leads to a singular destination and you lead yourself to the decision of whether or not it’s best for you. That destination may or may not be what is best for you, you decide. If you think it is, you get to join the journey with the others. If not enough people want to go there, it goes there less often.

The taxi says, “Where would you like to go?” It doesn’t lead to any destination in particular, you do all the leading. You pay for someone to do the driving. It doesn’t matter to the taxi where you go; if it knows how to get there, it’ll get you there.

The chauffeur says, “This is where you specifically need to go next, and I’m going to take the best path to get you there.” It leads you forward based on your unique vision for your destination. It knows whether your decisions are wise or ill-advised, and finds the best path to get you to where you want to go.

All businesses do one of these things. None of the answers are wrong, but which you choose has profound implications on the way you will do business, the opportunities available to you, who you’ll attract as customers or clients, and what kind of experience and result you can produce for those people.

October 29, 2019     Daily Post

You’re My Client Too

If I buy something from you, am I your client, or are you mine?

Trick question: the answer is both.

I am your client – you are going to render the service I paid for by representing yourself in the best manner you possibly can. To advise me and create as much success for me as you can in your chosen field.

You are also my client – it’s my responsibility to engage as fully as possible for the benefit of my companies. To represent myself and our work in the best manner I possibly can.

Often, as a buyer, we lean back and just expect to be served. We don’t always consider how differently we behave compared to if we were the one doing the serving ourselves.

The direction that money happens to be flowing in isn’t the point. Money flows everywhere, it’s the energy of the market. It may flow out today, but it may flow back tomorrow ten-fold, in no small part from the advantage we’re experiencing from our present engagement with you, but also in part because those serving us too have problems we may be able to solve. Or perhaps those they know may have problems we can solve.

In every market engagement, it pays to maintain the mindset of, “You’re my client, too.” If you’re doing work that matters, even more so.

For whom are you a client? How can you mine ores of value from this engagement, to enhance your perception and help that energy flow to your benefit too?

October 28, 2019     Daily Post

Your Product Or Service Isn’t The Point

I mean, people are buying things they need, but hopefully that’s not all you have on offer.

Otherwise, you run the real risk of being commoditized.

  • It could be a sense of significance being bought; the feeling of accomplishing something worthwhile.
  • Or protection; the feeling that they’re being well looked after as a result of making this investment.
  • Or advocacy; buying not only from need but as an expression of a shared belief.
  • Or momentum; the belief that this action will propel them forward in their pursuits.
  • Or time; either to be able to spend it where they love spending it, or to be free from spending it where they’d rather not.
  • Perhaps offering a high-touch concierge experience in an industry full of low-touch do-it-yourself experiences.
  • Or the ability to go on a journey; a process they’ve never been through before in a market that never shows how the secret-sauce is made.
  • Or the offer of accountability; buying while knowing you’ll be personally assured of progress regardless of your willpower or distractions.
  • Perhaps it could be novelty on offer; the ability to engage in a service in a way never offered before that makes it stand out and noteworthy.

Whatever meaningful work you produce and whatever you sell, the product or service isn’t the point. Are you taking people where they want to go? Will it be the ride of their lives, one they’ll tell others about?

October 27, 2019     Daily Post

The Services You Don’t Know You Offer

The services you don’t know you offer aren’t truly services until you treat them as such:

Helping someone figure out what to do: Oftentimes, those in your care don’t know what to do. Whether it’s purchasing professional services or deciding what to add to cart on an eCommerce store, knowing what to do is a process in need of a solution. If you’re able to be there to help them solve this problem, you have solved an important problem that neither of you may have fully appreciated.

Do you skim straight past the fact you did that, or do you inform those in your care that you’re able to offer this concierge problem solving service? They can’t appreciate your level of care if they don’t see it.

Helping someone figure out what it should cost: Establishing the right price for a project is often riddled with concerns and insecurities. A client may not want to disclose a budget in fear of being drained of every last cent of it. A company may not want to extend price options without a budget in fear of guessing too high or low.

So skip the guessing: the ability to understand a client and lead them toward the right purchase, the right volume of purchase and the right frequency of purchase is a valuable service you may be offering to the market. They can’t appreciate this moral and professional level of care unless you educate them.

Helping someone back on track when they’re getting distracted: You probably know what success looks like in your industry. Those you serve probably don’t, because it’s not what they do. As such, it’s juvenile to suppose anyone you serve could ever appreciate the leanest, most effective, most powerful way of having their problem solved better than you do.

As such, it’s your responsibility to steer them right with every opportunity you get. This act of leadership and support is a valuable service they may not experience anywhere else. They won’t know that unless you educate them.

There are services surrounding what you currently know to be your important, meaningful work. If you can only see them, show them the dignity of elevating your commitment to each of them, then educate those you serve that these are valuable services with problems being solved throughout, those in your care are sure to be thankful for your fiduciary support.

October 26, 2019     Daily Post

Exactly What I Was Looking For

How often do you find yourself saying this?

“This is exactly what I was looking for”?

I’ll bet not very often:

It’s not because there aren’t many great products or services out there. There are. Not as many as there are average or marginalized ones, but some nevertheless. They’re usually well packaged, using all of the latest marketing whiz-bang and have produced good results for people like you. So why’s it not exactly what you were looking for?

It’s because you weren’t on the packaging. When you can’t see yourself and your unique life situation in what you see on the screen or on the shelves, you’ll not assert that it’s exactly what you were looking for. Because what you were looking for is a direct solution to a specific life situation you’re currently facing. He who articulates it clearest, wins.

While working on your meaningful work, the temptation is to “pour yourself into your work.” Instead, consider “pouring those you wish to serve into your work.”

October 25, 2019     Daily Post

The Weaknesses You Don’t Know You Have

We all have them.

We all have weaknesses we know about; we can work on those. Those aren’t the real problem. The real problem is the weaknesses you don’t even know you have:

What’s yours?

Perhaps your contracts aren’t strong enough, or implemented correctly. Your important work can be hindered by misunderstandings or malice when you don’t protect yourself appropriately. Most companies we encounter tend not to think these are very important, until it’s too late – when the weakness becomes known. Knowing it before it hurts helps keep you on course.

Perhaps your process isn’t clear enough, or implemented correctly. Great work has processes in place to give it the leverage and momentum it needs in order to be great. But if that process isn’t understood or used, all of that leverage and momentum is lost. Think back to the last time your work lost an enormous amount of momentum – was it a process problem?

Perhaps your mission isn’t clear enough, or implemented correctly. Where are you going? Does everyone involved in your important work know that? If you or anyone you work alongside isn’t clear on where you’re all going, entropy ensues. Think back to the last time there was confusion among those involved in your work – was everyone as clear on the mission as they could be?

The trouble with weaknesses you can’t see is, you can’t see them. Thankfully, hindsight is 20-20 – you can see what you need, if you look.

October 24, 2019     Daily Post

The Problem With Your Skills

…Is that you think improving them is all that’s needed.

Many times we’ve heard, “We’re the best in the business and we give to good causes, why aren’t we more successful?”

It’s often not skills you have holding your meaningful work back. It’s often the skills you don’t have – either within yourself or within your team – that are holding your work back. Could it be that you’re great, but you need others to be great alongside you? Or that you’re not great in certain areas, and need someone who is to join you for the journey ahead?

It’s often not the practice you’ve dedicated to your skills, but the commitment to a learning and development regime that echoes the needs of those you wish to serve. What use is a carefully-crafted discipline that doesn’t solve the very problems you’ve a moral responsibility to solve? Your craft isn’t about you, but for those who benefit from it, isn’t it?

It’s often not the care you bring to your work through skill, but the care you approach fully understanding the needs of those in your care. Great code won’t help if it’s incompatible. Exquisite design won’t help when it doesn’t express those who will experience it. Mouth-watering pastries and confectionary won’t necessarily address your coeliac customers.

We win when we nurture the skills around our core skills, too. We owe it to the causes we advocate for to do great work and bring it to market. To listen and empathize with those we serve. To fall in love with helping our market on its journey, not our way of getting them there.

October 23, 2019     Daily Post

They’ll Do Wonderful Things

“Give people wonderful tools, and they’ll do wonderful things” – Apple Inc.

The skeptical side of us could assume this is a likely quote from a company that sells premium-priced tools. Remembering that businesses must sell things is wise.

The practical side of us could recognize that people who use ‘wonderful tools’ spend more time and money using those tools, so are perhaps likely to spend more time creating. Facing facts is a good idea.

The optimistic side of us could envisage a team of wonderful people being empowered by wonderful tools to create wonderful things for a wonderful future. Investing in greatness is a great idea.

With an interest in entertaining all three sides in most scenarios, I’d like to think that all three of the above are true.

October 22, 2019     Daily Post

What Nobody Can Take Away From You

These things can’t be taken away from you, if you remember what lies beneath:

What’s worse than losing lots of money? Losing the ability to produce it. If money is just energy, consider how we all waste energy every day. But another day comes and yet more energy to fuel it is produced. We only stop producing when we’re dead.

What’s worse than losing your campaign to create change? Losing the will to try again. Campaigns and missions are usually hard, against the odds, audacious. We can’t – and won’t – win every one. It’s the act of trying again and again that changes the culture.

What’s worse than losing those you love? Losing who you are. Whether it’s team members who move onto other things, or those in our family, you love and lavish upon people once again because that’s who you are. Unless you forget who you are and stop.

The power in a meaningful company doing work that matters is in the people’s will to sustain the pursuit of being better. Nobody can take that away from you besides you.

October 21, 2019     Daily Post

Getting More Done Without Hacks

Ever find yourself reading about “life hacks”?

Those moreish articles and videos that claim to help you get more done, in less time, with less effort?

I’ve only ever found one life hack worth following.

The discipline of practice:

That blog post that used to take you 4 hours to write will only take you 1, with practice. Not because you found the right ‘swipe file’ online, or ‘template hack’, or because you spent more hours reading about new organizational tools. The way to write faster is to write more often. This is post 679 of this daily post, it’s not the only content I produce, I’ve never missed a day, and it barely makes a dent in my day. Practice is what made that happen.

That sales process that used to return 10% close rate will return 80%, with practice. Not because you listened to more podcasts or read more posts. Any great sales team will tell you the magic is in the role-play, or ‘practice’ as we’re calling it here. Scripts melted into your mind, rebuttal a natural part of you, allowing your conscious to focus on engaging people with a fiduciary responsibility to listen and lead people. Practice makes that happen.

Those live talks you deliver that make you want to cancel or throw up, will become effortless, with practice. Not because you watched more TED talks or went to more events. But because you practiced your material to the point you can deliver it at a second’s notice. And because you practiced being live in front of others without a safety net.

Time spent looking for “life hacks” could have been spent doing the hard work most “life hack” websites exist to distract and excuse you from: the discipline of practice.

October 20, 2019     Daily Post

Getting What You Ordered

We always – only – get what we order:

If you order a specific scope of work be built for you, but you change your mind, don’t lose sight of the fact you got exactly what you ordered.

If you called in a pepperoni but wanted four-cheese, you can’t complain to the delivery man for bringing you the pizza you asked for.

If you want to stand out and serve your market better than anyone else, but spend all of your time agonizing over trying to make yourself look good instead of them, you can’t complain when they don’t pay attention to you or do business with you.

If you want to make a difference in the world, but spend your resources on toys for your own pleasure, you’ve no business whining in your final days when you only got what you ordered.

We get what we order. Sometimes we don’t order well, sometimes we don’t order specifically enough. Sometimes we’re not brave enough to send it back if it was genuinely wrong. But we always get what we order.

October 19, 2019     Daily Post


Doing the right thing isn’t usually very comfortable.

Anticomfort is about taking yourself out of the picture:

Taking yourself out of your marketing gives you room to make it all about those you wish to serve. Marketing isn’t about you. Prospects move forward when they clearly see their journey represented in your words and a clear path from problem to solution. All of that is about them, not about you. Are you brave enough to tell their story rather than your own?

Taking yourself out of the center of your world gives you room to put others and their needs in the center. What does your team, or your family, or your industry need from you that only you can bring? Is there a cause in need of support that your team could commit a percentage of profits toward? These things won’t happen if you’re focused on yourself.

Taking yourself out of familiar territory gives you opportunity to test your skills in new ways. Expert at writing PHP? Spin up Rails and give that a whirl; its opinionated nature could help refine your code. Comfortable on camera? Try talking to a live audience; the inability to “take 2” helps you get your words right the first time around.

Taking yourself out of a negative environment gives you room to grow into your best self. If each time you find the energy to create something new and exciting, you’re shot down with negativity and skepticism, you’ll train yourself to not create new and exciting things. Does your team – and family – both build you up? If not, changes are required.

Anticomfort may not be comfortable, but there’s comfort to be found in the knowledge that you’re building a better future.

October 18, 2019     Daily Post

We Need You To Do It

There are some things you can delegate.

Others, though, we need you to do:

Perhaps it’s that video. We need your face on that video, your voice, your energy. Those other things, you can delegate those, we need** you** to do this. Were it to be somebody else, we wouldn’t connect with that audience in quite the same way.

Perhaps it’s that client conversation. We need your voice on that call, because it’s you the client turns to when they need someone. We need you there, representing all of us. Were it to be somebody else, that client wouldn’t feel as amazing as they would were you had been there to nurture them.

Perhaps it’s that piece of code. We need your hands in that codebase, because nobody knows it quite like you do. The other pieces you can delegate, this piece needs your touch. Maybe it needs to be updated so that others can touch it too, but when things get down to it, you’re the last line of defense, the single best person on earth to do this, right here.

Delegation and systemization is really important for growing teams. Those activities should help reveal what we need you to do more than anybody else.

What does your team need you – and only you – to do?

Do that today. We’re relying on you.

October 17, 2019     Daily Post

Mediocrity vs Creativity

Creativity might not work.

Social media posts that routinely share awards and team members favorite coffee won’t get you any attention. Nobody cares. But it’s safe and easy. You can pay anybody to make these.

Social media posts that share vulnerability, that reveal your secrets, that do something different, may not work. People may or may not respond. But at least they may actually respond, right?

Mediocre is safe. It’s buying Google Ads not because it’s the best fit for you, but because your boss understands where the budget went. Bravely investing in sending small toys to prospects because they tell your story might not work. The boss will wonder why you’re buying toys when their competitors are buying Google Ads.

But what if it worked, what if it delighted those you wish to serve? When we’re you last delighted by a Google Ad?

Mediocrity is job security. Creativity is the risky act of trying to make change happen.

October 16, 2019     Daily Post

Where Are You ‘Out Of Order’?

“I can’t do that.” “That scares me.”

How often do you catch yourself saying these things?

Nobody can escape these questions from popping up from time to time. The best we can hope to do is know what to do when they do pop up.

These statements we make – either to ourselves or to others – are valuable signal informing us that something is out of order.

To which we get to ask ourselves, “What must I get ‘in order’?” Perhaps I could do it if: <

  • “If my finances were in order and I knew what I could invest to make that happen / make that problem go away.” Your work benefits when you know what you can invest in it. Your opportunity benefits when you know what you can commit to and what you shouldn’t. There’s no “can’t” or “scared” when you know, there is only an informed “will” or “won’t”.
  • “If my home was in order and I could make the time to invest in this new thing.” Your work benefits when you know you have the support of your family. Your opportunity suffers if ‘opportunity’ becomes ‘an argument waiting to happen’. There’s no “can’t” or “scared” when home is in order, only a unified advance toward opportunities that matter.
  • “If my business was in order so I’m not stuck grinding on the wrong things.” The vision you’re building toward benefits when you’re doing the right work. For instance, if you’re in Ops, focusing on building amazing service systems rather than putting out customer support fires helps the company grow. Or if you’re the CEO, focusing on leading a strong culture toward what’s next produces a stronger company than if you’re “Chief Firefighter”.

If you’re in business for reasons beyond the dollar alone, if you’re trying to make a difference, you’ve a responsibility to overcome “can’t” and “scared”. When these things emerge, remember to ask, “What must I get ‘in order’?”

October 15, 2019     Daily Post

Just Be Thankful For The Day

Just because you’re brilliant, doesn’t mean you’ll only have good days.

Or weeks. Or months.

A developer can build the most popular blog on the Internet, but still be scrambling for full/part-time work for the coming months. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s OK. There are no guarantees, no ‘guaranteed successes’, no sure-things. We can just be thankful for the day.

A designer can win a worldwide award, but still struggle with elements of design that to this day elude their mastery. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s OK. There are no perfect designs, or perfect designers. We can just be thankful for the day, and what we’ve achieved so far.

An entrepreneur can build many amazing businesses, but still find themselves on their knees in crippling discomfort at home. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s OK. There are no perfect lives, or individuals who have it all worked out – they only make it seem that way. We can just be thankful for the day, and the opportunities to build what we’ve built so far.

As Seneca the Younger, the famous Stoic philosopher once wrote, “Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.”

October 14, 2019     Daily Post

Things Worth Getting By Email

Not many things are worth getting by email.

So many requests for your email address, so few things worth the exchange.

Herein lies the problem: it has become an exchange. It’s a barter.

Things we barter for

  • When they entice us with a super-secret hack we just have to know about (we’re fully aware we’re going to be spammed as a result, otherwise they’d have just told us?)
  • When they want to send us a some sort of very-important PDF (we’re fully aware that won’t be the end of it, otherwise they’d have just linked to the PDF?)

When the opt-in wasn’t really necessary, when we know it’s a gateway that didn’t need to be there, we know we’re bartering. When we barter, we know they’re playing games, and they know we’ll enroll with our ‘buyer defenses’ up.

How’s that for a good start to a relationship?

Better than barter

  • When I want to be notified when something that doesn’t yet exist, exists (if they can’t contact us, there’d be no way for them to let us know?)
  • When I want a copy of something sent to my inbox for safekeeping (because I may not know where to store the PDF copy right this minute?)
  • When I want you to contact me (because that’s what mail is for?)

These are times where it makes more sense to share our contact information than to not. No bartering here – the very act of opting-in is a service to us in the first place.

The question is, if not bartering for emails makes us feel so much closer to a company or an individual than when they do barter… why barter for emails at all?

October 13, 2019     Daily Post

Why Should We Believe You?

You know those things you claim on your website?

Why should anyone believe you?

‘Red Fred Theory’ is a metaphor of mine that points to the answer.

Red Fred is an alien. From outer space. If I said he’s real, you couldn’t disprove it, could you?

Herein lies the problem: to assert something is “true”, one needs to specify under what conditions it would in fact be “false”.

  • “We are the best, because _____.” The ‘because’ is important. It explains that, were someone else to exceed that criteria, we would no longer be.

  • “We are the fastest, at 0-60 in ___ seconds.” The proof is important. It explains that, were someone else to beat our time, we would no longer be.

  • “We make a difference by contributing __% toward ___.” The details are important. This means that, if someone asks us for a report as proof, we could produce one.

So. About those statements you made about your work.

Why should we believe you?

October 12, 2019     Daily Post

To Be Everywhere

“How to get you get to be everywhere”?

Your marketing message, the value you create for the world, the contribution you’d like to draw attention to for the benefit of those it serves… how do you put all that… everywhere?

It depends how we define ‘everywhere’:

Definition 1: Everywhere is all over the world. The street signs, the inboxes, mailboxes, television sets, Facebook profiles. Et cetera. All of it. How do you be everywhere in this definition? You don’t. Your pockets aren’t deep enough, nor your thinking linear enough to wade into such a mess.

Definition 2: Everywhere is all over their world. “Their” being the people who will genuinely thank you for connecting with them. Just those inboxes, mailboxes, profiles, websites. Not everywhere for everyone, just everywhere for them, as an expression of affectionate pursuit and benevolent desire to make their lives better. How do you be everywhere in this definition? Easy, however you like is up to you, it’s really not that many people, is it?

‘Everywhere’ is relative.

October 11, 2019     Daily Post

If You’ve Never Done Marketing Before

How do you spot someone who’s never done marketing before?

They think it is “done” when it “works”.

Marketing is never “done”. Anymore so than the act of showing those you care about that you care about them is ever “done”. Nor should you want it to be – the nature of moving targets is that fewer ever hit them, sustainably, time and time again.

Marketing doesn’t “work”. You work. Marketing simply creates opportunities for you to “work” – either to work on optimizing its ability to create such opportunities, or to lavish upon those you wish to serve when it does.

If your meaningful work is designed to better lives and make the world better, your marketing must do the same. And like your work, it’s never truly finished.

Now that you know it’s never perfect – forever a pursuit of those you wish to serve – you’ve learned the most important lesson in marketing behind that of “Marketing isn’t about you”.

October 10, 2019     Daily Post

Do You Pay The Meddler Tax?

What is your job description?

Whether you were given one or you created your own, you nevertheless have one. What is it?

Is it to edit and manage your website? No? Then why are you doing that? You’re welcome to do it, but remember you’re paying a Meddler Tax (in time, effort, focus And opportunity) every time you edit a single thing that your web team should be doing for you. It’s their job description, not yours.

Is it to do customer support? No? Then why are you doing that? You’re welcome to it, but remember you’re paying a Meddler Tax every time you decide to do it all yourself instead of equipping others around you to create leverage around you to enable you to do what’s in your job description.

Is it to chase prospective customers for something? No? Then why are you doing that? You’re welcome to it, but remember you’re paying a Meddler Tax every time you decide to engage in a system that you don’t belong in, rather than allowing those who are great at those things to do it for the benefit of the entire team.

We all have a Meddler Tax bill. If you’re interested in lowering taxes, this is the tax you should really pay attention to.

October 09, 2019     Daily Post

Technology, Trust and Libra

Libra is a pretty good idea.

By ‘Libra’, of course, we mean the idea of a simple global currency powered by secure blockchain, governed by an independent association.

Except we don’t trust it. Facebook’s involved and people don’t trust Facebook with their photos, never mind their dollars.

It needs your trust and, unless you’re an early-adopter, it needs the trust of those you trust too.

You don’t use Square’s ‘Cash’ app because nobody you know uses it. No clear benefit over Apple Pay? Cash back in bitcoin? Great, another thing nobody you know uses (aside from your hacker buddy).

But you use Apple’s ‘Apple Card’ because you trust Apple. The stores you visit accept it and you love your iPhone. Cash back is given in…cash. That’s something you can use.

Modern breakthroughs that create progress need our support. But all modern breakthroughs need an old-fashioned component that Libra forgot: trust.

October 08, 2019     Daily Post

How We Choose To Support Other Companies

Anyone paying for a magazine or music subscription?

We get a glimpse into the world of “supporting” a company:

Buying access because we want access? Business Insider occasionally peppers your screen with upgrade options before you get a chance to read anything at all. We either experience the ‘need’ to upgrade and do so, or we don’t and won’t. We as the visitor go first.

Buying access because we support the initiative? Bandcamp artist Brin Coleman puts all his music online using a “pay what you want” model. The first song I downloaded, I did so for $0. Future albums get my financial support, not because I need to, but because I get to. He as the creator went first.

If we do work that matters, we should remember to consider our leadership role in the eyes of those we wish to serve. If we believe in our work, are we prepared to go first?

October 07, 2019     Daily Post

Sunk Costs Sink Your Best Work

“This time, this will work…”

Will it?

The project that isn’t working won’t benefit from stubborn pursuit. Listening to those you wish to serve and modifying the initiative is the path to progress. To continue to invest in a direction you’d prefer merely because of the time and money you’ve already invested is to curse your future time and resources to the same fate.

The marketing channel that isn’t working for you won’t benefit from more advertising spend. Modifying the value you extend to those on that channel so that it’s actually useful to them – or selecting a channel better suited to those you wish to serve – are the only options available to you. To continue to invest more time and resources without change is to curse future time and resources to the same fate.

The team member that isn’t working won’t benefit from being allowed to continue in mediocrity. Leading them to excellence or releasing them to find a role they can thrive in are the only options available. To enable others to produce fractional results for your cause and their lives because of the time and resources you’ve already invested in them is to curse your future time and resources to the same fate.

We can’t create an impact on the future by holding on to what got us here. If you’ve a mission to pursue, your meaningful work deserves better than to be shackled with your past.

October 06, 2019     Daily Post

Are These Results Acceptable To You?

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “What got us here won’t get us there.”

But few of us are aware of how many areas of our work this really applies to.

We typically associate it with mindset or strategy related topics. It goes further:

What your day looks like got you here, but won’t get you there. We can choose to continue our current course by maintaining our current schedule or we can change course by changing where our energy goes. What we see today is a representation of our focus, energy and heart. Are these results acceptable to you?

Your manner got you here, but won’t get you there. We can choose to be too soft, too hard, too understanding, too cold, push-over or hard-ass. We’re manifesting the results of our manner every day. Are these results acceptable to you?

Your mission got you here, but won’t get you there. We can chart a course between the size of your mission and the fervor with which you pursuit it. Those on your team who don’t believe it will not maintain pace with your leading advocates. This is the pace you have. Is it acceptable to you?

All areas of your meaningful pursuit are affected by the phrase at the top of this post. Even the decision to read these short mission-focused blog posts instead of perusing Instagram was a choice.

Are the results of your choices acceptable to you?

October 05, 2019     Daily Post

Wizards vs Gurus

Which should your company be seen as: a guru… or a wizard?

We’re sold the idea of being a guru. On always being the expert. On “building massive value” with your expertise. On growing your following, getting your message out there, monetizing.

There’s a whole lot of “you” in that description. Where does the body of people we wish to serve fit into all that?

Enter, the wizard.

You may recall a story of a certain young hobbit making his way to Mt. Doom to dispose of a ring.

That young hobbit – Frodo – had men and women of various stripes and species rally around him to lend aid to his quest.

To be the wizard – Gandalf – is to be the one Frodo can trust on his journey. Not to be dazzled with insights while being enrolled in a social media following, but loved upon. Focused on. Supported in his journey toward the goal.

To be the wizard is to not focus on your own story, but on the story unfolding in the lives of those we wish to serve.

To be the guru is to focus on yourself.

Which do you think the market needs from you?

October 04, 2019     Daily Post

There Is No Bad

If your company has a cause, it needs a guard, too.

On its time, that is.

**There are no bad clients, **only bad prospects – guard your company from them. They’re always right, God’s gift to man. Invest your time and energy educating them at your own peril.

There are no bad meetings, only bad planning – guard your company from this. A call without criteria prior to setup and goals prior to commencing will destroy your week if you let them.

There are no bad dollars, only bad projects – guard your company from this. Saying yes to everything that comes your way is a fast-track to diluting your meaningful work from that which makes it meaningful.

The guard is you. It’s all of us. Remember to protect what matters if you plan to make a difference.

October 03, 2019     Daily Post

Which Taxi Would You Take?

Two taxis pull up to pick you up. Which do you take?

The first taxi is brand-new, shiny, great new paint job and has that ‘new car smell’. There’s chilled water bottles in the back seat. It’s playing your favorite album. The driver is new to your town – he arrived last night. He uses his phone for navigation, but doesn’t know the local tricks to get around faster.

The second taxi is not brand-new. It looks like what you imagined your parents drove when they were in their early 20s. Except it hasn’t seen the sight of a carwash in a long time. But the driver cut his teeth on these very streets  – he’s taxi’d people around town for over 30 years and counts his total sick-days on one hand. He doesn’t use a phone, these streets are a part of him.

The businesses we lead and support ask the marketplace to make this same decision every day.

Many companies focus on the paint job, ‘new car smell’ and water bottles. Those are all great things to have. But without ensuring those you wish to serve truly feel you know how to get them to where they’re going, none of it matters.

They’re on a journey. How clearly do they know you know how to get them to their destination?

October 02, 2019     Daily Post

The Changes You Can’t Manage

We all say we like change.

Some like it so much they go into Change Management.

But some change can’t be managed. Do we like that change?

Losing a family member or valued client is change. These aren’t change we can manage; they’re happening precisely how they’re going to happen. We can only change the way we feel about them. To live in memory of someone, or learn a valuable lesson from loss. Perhaps it was always going to happen, eventually. There’s good in there that makes us better.

A change in relationship status or job title that you didn’t want. These aren’t changes we can manage; there’s a chance we could have last week, but not this week. We can only change the way we feel about them. To grow in our understanding or craft so that we’re better than we were last week. Perhaps it should have happened long ago. There’s good in there that makes us better.

Change is always happening. We may not always like it, we may not always be able to manage it. But it can always benefit us when we learn and grow from it.

October 01, 2019     Daily Post

The Most Important Thing To Do Right Now

Do you know what the most important thing to do right now is?

Whether you do or don’t is not the question. Rather, what you do about whether you know or not, is what really matters.

  • Do you know what the most important thing to do is right now? Great, do that.
  • Are you not quite sure what it is right now? Great, stop what you’re doing, resist the temptation to chip away at busywork, and create space to define what the most important thing actually is. Then do that.

We don’t always know the answer. But if we give ourselves permission to find out – especially when it’s inconvenient – then we’re sure to find ourselves closer to our collective goals than we were yesterday.

Now there’s no excuse not to make every moment count.