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Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 23 2021
Entrepreneurs, Enter The Beehive

Entrepreneurs, Enter The Beehive

“What brings no benefit to the hive brings no benefit to the bee.” – Meditations 6.54

What can beehives teach entrepreneurs about being better entrepreneurs?

Let’s take a look:

An entrepreneur can choose to focus only on the bee… producing shrewd deals that undermine partners and maximise personal gain… to the detriment of the hive. This leads to having few friends, and desires that can’t be met despite increasing assets.

An entrepreneur can choose to focus on the hive… producing an environment for the group to thrive… so that the hive can take care of itself (the entrepreneur included). This leads not only to friendships and a trustworthy reputation, but the ability to stop hunting and still be taken care of.

Marcus Aurelius used the beehive metaphor to distinguish something important. That while the individual pursues virtue and “the good life” (as Zeno of Citium called it), we should do so while staying focused on the common good of the communities we belong to. For our own sake, and for theirs.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 22 2021
Mortified!

Mortified!

After another round of bad news from the hospital, my wife was feeling really down.

I wasn’t doing too much better.

But when I showed her a picture of a silly jpeg online (an ‘NFT’), it made her smile. Then she enjoyed looking at all the different NFT projects, and their silly little outfits.

Anything that makes her smile, earns my attention.

Perhaps it’s because we met in 2008 in a metaverse… and the ridiculous world of NFTs felt familiar to her.

Or maybe it’s because we’ve enjoyed collecting silly objects for years anyway.

So we made an NFT. Actually, 5,555 of them.

You can check them out at https://mortified.io (you might recognise the lead character from the daily comics!)

Take a look.

Maybe they’ll make you smile, too.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 21 2021
Recipe For Peace

Recipe For Peace

A few recipes to think about in your work today:

Needing a quick sellout is a recipe for anxiety. Committing to long-term value creation is a recipe for peace.

Needing a prospect to say ‘yes’ is a recipe for desperation. Committing to being the kind of operation prospects say ‘yes’ to is a recipe for peace.

Needing to have skills or services that you don’t have is a recipe for dissatisfaction. Committing to mastering what you know as you explore the market with curiosity is a recipe for peace.

Needing markets or individuals to think certain things about you is a recipe for disappointment. Committing to being the sort of person who embodies things you value is a recipe for peace.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 20 2021
Do Less Things

Do Less Things

“Shape clay into a vessel; It is the space within that makes it useful.” — Tao Te Ching

Most ‘productivity hacks’ turn us into more efficient computers. But not into more effective creators.

Apart from one productivity hack: Do less things.

Doing less things means you will be a less efficient computer. But the seed of creativity gets to show up more often.

Doing less things means we have space. Not to deem ‘wasted’, but to deem ‘opportunity’.

When we’re ‘doing’, we’re divided between creating and productivity. When we’re ‘not doing’, we can commit to creative thought, undistracted by productivity.

This can be a tough one for me to make happen. Maybe it is for you too. Start by making just a few spaces in your week dedicated to space. Since it’s the space that makes you truly useful as a creator.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 19 2021
Let’s Go, Creators

Let’s Go, Creators

There’s room for your project:

There could be a thousand others launching today (there probably are). And yet none of them are more (or less) deserving than yours. Launch.

There could be 600 million blogs already out there (there are). And yet there is still space for your blog to create great content and readership. Publish.

There could be 37 million YouTube channels already out there (there are). And yet we still want to see your face, hear your voice, and see your creativity. Create.

Let’s go, creators.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 18 2021
The Regardless Project

The Regardless Project

You might have an idea already about what your “Regardless Project” would be.

It’s the project that will change your life, but are too afraid to pursue.

It’s the project that you’d enjoy more than anything else, but you don’t know where to start.

It’s the project that, if your finances taken care of, you’d pursue regardless of what anyone else says or thinks about it.

It’s your “Regardless Project”.

It’s the project that nobody else could do but you. One that would benefit from your best self showing up.

One that would blast through the usual dips of fear and doubt without without touching the brakes.

One that you’d drive to success in spite of any rejection, challenges or distractions that would try to stop you.

The more I think about it… the less risky it sounds, after all.

What do you think?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 17 2021
Things That Will Make You Burnout

Things That Will Make You Burnout

Here’s a shortlist of things that will burn you out, eventually.

And what to do about that.

#1 Things you hate

I suspect this one goes without saying.

Most of us have done it. It’s not inherently bad, it’s just totally unsustainable.

Do this only for as long as you absolutely have to. Then stop it, even if you sort-of-like the rewards it brings.

#2 Things you don’t like

This one is a little tougher to stop doing.

It feels sustainable if you’re a gritty go-getter. Trust me, it’ll get you…eventually.

When you can choose to stop doing these things, remember it’s a choice. And you should choose to pave that path.

#3 Things you’d rather not be doing

This is one of the hardest things to stop doing.

We could do these things all day if asked. Many of us do.

But we get attached to these things. Remember you can’t say Yes to Great until you say No to Good.

#4 Things you want to do in a hurry

This is the hardest thing to stop doing.

FOMO lives here. Gambling lives here. Adrenaline lives here. You can’t survive on a diet of those things.

That leaves only one thing:

Things you love to sustainably do. These are things you bring your best to, and reveal your best self.

Like Lao Tzu’s writing: If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.

Are you bringing your best self to your work?

What’s stopping you?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 16 2021
Creating Online Is Getting Better

Creating Online Is Getting Better

Our ability to create online has changed a lot over the last couple of decades.

Gatekeepers and algorithms spoiled the fun.

We’re getting the fun back again.

Here’s how, in a timeline:

#1 Flat The beginning.

Creating online meant publishing nice things that people can look at. A pretty picture, or a nice brochure-site.

At best, you might get a congratulatory email from someone who ‘surfed’ over to it from a directory.

#2 Centralised We went from artists to publishers.

Creating online meant publishing nice things that people can comment on and respond to directly.

Bulletin boards meant we could all talk about what was published, together.

#3 Over-centralised Then things got a bit rubbish.

Creating online meant publishing as many things as possible in hope 1-in-10 would receive favour from an algorithm. That algorithm would show it to people within a walled-garden.

If you received enough favour, you could then publish nice things…but somewhere else, so the algorithm wouldn’t take your community away.

#4 Decentralised This is what’s happening now.

Creating online means publishing nice things together, owned by a community rather than an individual or a platform.

A community who want to make those nice things even nicer, without gatekeepers getting in the way.

Business owners and creators shouldn’t fear decentralisation.

It’s not taking power away.

It’s giving power back.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 15 2021
Do What Doesn’t (Necessarily) Work

Do What Doesn’t (Necessarily) Work

“Doing what works” works for some things…

Here’s where you should do the opposite:

#1 Boring content Safe content ideas are boring. Risky content ideas are interesting.

We’ve all read the article you’re thinking of writing already. We’re all desperate to read the one you’re scared to write.

#2 Boring mission Ambiguous goals are boring. Ambitious goals are interesting.

Most corporations have CSR now. What makes your mission something we can get emotionally involved in?

#3 Boring connection Pleasing everyone is boring. Pleasing your chosen crowd is interesting.

Pleasing those people will put off lots of other people. Are you brave enough to push them away to draw in your chosen crowd?

Safe ideas are boring (everyone is doing them). Risky ideas are interesting (nobody is doing them).

Want to be interesting? Take a chance.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 14 2021
Consult the Greats With A Mental board

Consult the Greats With A Mental board

What if you could have the foremost minds in your industry on speed-dial?

You can.

Let’s take a look at how:

#1 Know who they are Who are the best minds in your industry?

You can’t harness their insights if you don’t know!

Find out who they are. Write their names down. It starts here.

#2 Locate their brains Where are these great minds?

Most don’t exist only at the source (in their heads).

Some might be in books. Others may be on (or have their own) YouTube channels. Perhaps they go on Facebook Live. Maybe they publish a regular blog.

#3 Spend time with those brains Once you’ve found those brains, spend time with them.

This is not empty consumption. This is getting to know the greats.

You can’t consult them until you know how they think.

#4 Consult them daily When you know how they think, you can ask questions.

The answers won’t be from their lips, yet you know what they might say.

You’ll know if your ideas are on track, too small, or missing a key ingredient.

You’ll know the face they might pull when they look at your schedule for the day.

It’s not as good as having all of the greatest minds sit no your couch for a private 1-on-1 every single day.

But if it’s even 50% as good, might that not represent a geometric lift in your business or project?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 13 2021
Hercules and You

Hercules and You

Hercules is Hercules because of his story.

He’s the guy that kills the hydra.

Without challenges, the story would be of a luxury layabout with no problems.

Sometimes we wish for no challenges… and it’s like writing ourselves out of our own story.

Your next project may fail. Or it may not get the results you wanted. Or maybe things aren’t working out right now.

Don’t resent your version of the Hydra. It made Hercules, Hercules.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 12 2021
To grow, break some rules

To grow, break some rules

Do you obey all the rules?

You know you don’t have to, right?

#1 Your industry has rules.

Such as how you conduct yourself. Or how to present your offers. Or how to package your services.

Laws you must follow. But Rules you can change. It’s where lots of innovation comes from.

#2 Your culture has rules.

Such as how you treat each other. Or the entertainment you deem appropriate. Or the way you dress.

Laws you must follow. But Rules you can change. It’s where change comes from.

#3 You have rules.

Such as what you ‘do’. Or how you love. Or what you tolerate in yourself.

Laws you must follow. But Rules you can change. It’s where personal development comes from.

You should obey the law. And you should break some rules.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 11 2021
The People Tax

The People Tax

Did you know that you pay a tax for everyone you work with?

(Even yourself?)

Imagine you have a huge rock that must be moved to the other side of a field. How do we move that rock?

By paying taxes:

#1 The people tax code for Employees, Business partners, and Contractors

These are people who, together, can help move that rock.

But they don’t care about moving it like you do. And they’ll push it without a plan, unless you provide the plan.

And they won’t follow the plan, unless you give them more coins than you think they deserve.

And it will end up close to where you wanted it, but not perfectly where you wanted it.

This is the people tax.

#2 The people tax code for doing it all yourself

This takes longer. The rock is just as big. You still need a plan (albeit a different plan).

You’ll move the rock, it just takes more sweat from you. You’ll keep more coins, it just takes more time from you.

And it will end up close to where you wanted it, but not perfectly where you wanted it, because of the sweat and time it took to get it there.

This is the people tax.

The third option is to not move the rock.

But when we want to move the rock, we pay the tax.

Making peace with these taxes frees us from ongoing feelings of anxiety, regret, disappointment, frustration and resentment.

We simply get to choose how we pay.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 10 2021
How to Chill

How to Chill

Ambitious? Energetic? Talented?

Here are a few thoughts on how to harness those things…

…by learning how to chill:

#1 Ambition goes long

Good things happen fast. Great things take time.

Ambition benefits from chill so that you can plan your work, work your plan, and make your way toward goals others didn’t have the stamina for.

#2 Energy goes long

There’s a reason why professional poker players don’t play 100 games per day. The energy and focus required to produce 100 wins, every day, would be unsustainable.

“100 games per day” sounds cool. “Losing 90 of them due to fatigue” does not.

Energy benefits from chill so that you can use it wisely and make it all count.

#3 Talent goes long

Talent is deceptive.

Being very talented and very frenetic doesn’t look like talent. It looks like someone who’s doing lots of things at once… …without talent.

Talent benefits from chill so that you can work on your skills and bring “the full you” to each piece of work you tackle. Now the world can see what you’re capable of.

You may like moving fast, with high-energy, frenetically.

Know the trades you’re making when you do that.

And if those trades don’t seem acceptable to you… chill.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 09 2021
People Remember

People Remember

Facebook’s had a bit of a week.

They’ll make a good example for a business lesson in today’s post.

So, following the whistleblower’s account of inaction against the toxic effects Facebook has on teen girls, Zuck responded:

“I don’t know any tech company that sets out to build products that make people angry or depressed.”

Responding to a truth with an unrelated truth doesn’t mitigate the original truth.

People remember what you say: Deflection doesn’t nurture trust. Especially from a person who is on record for calling users who trust him “dumb f**ks”.

People remember how you make them feel: Harsh quips like the one above aren’t easily forgotten, nor are the emotions they invoke when people hear them.

People remember change: Change is rare in people. So we remember the “Saul becomes Paul” moments when they happen (sometimes immortalising them into books that are thousands of years old…!)

There is “salvation” (to continue the Paul metaphor) available here.

It’s as available in the business world as it was on the school yard.

Even more so because it’s rarer in the business world than on the school yard.

“I’m sorry.”

People remember what you say (“I’m sorry”), how you make them feel (surprised, empathy, trust), and when people change (“I admire the change he’s made”).

And we have the opportunity to change for the better every day.

Y’listening, Zuck?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 08 2021
On Not Being Left Behind

On Not Being Left Behind

What’s the best way to not be left behind in a fast-moving market?

Here are 4 ways (can you spot the pattern among them?)

#1 Courage:

Courage enables you to take action when you’re unsure.

You’ll be unsure a lot. So this will increase your resilience, while helping you embrace the impermanence of each result that comes your way.

#2 Wisdom

When things are moving quickly, you need to pay attention, filtering and focusing on what matters.

Experience helps with this. And wisdom comes from experience. The wise are able to make informed choices from clarity in an ambiguous world.

#3 Temperance

If you’re excessive during the wins, you’ll be excessive (and perhaps lacking) during the losses.

The ability to do what is essential and necessary while maintaining “the golden mean” between extremes gives you the balance you need to keep progressing.

#4 Justice

Stand for something. Love. Be kind. Maintain composure through difficult situations.

Bring your sense of justice so others can join you in a mission led by a man/woman of balance.

Noticed the pattern yet?

You got it! You clever cookie: these are the four Stoic virtues.

So… what’s the best way to not be left behind in a fast-moving market?

Focus on your virtues.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 07 2021
No one right way

No one right way

When someone asks, ‘How do I put the customer first?’ the first mistake has already been made:

Assuming there is only one right way to do it.

There is no one right way to put the customer first:

#1 Customer complaints?

Some businesses choose to apologise and chase a resolution to ensure happy customers.

Other businesses choose to shun complaints to not slow down the pursuit of great service.

Both are examples of putting the customer first, in different ways.

#2 Great product offerings?

Some businesses choose to do everything deeply custom, every detail unique to every project to increase customer satisfaction with flexibility.

Other businesses choose to create specific packages, with only a small number of details unique to each project to increase customer satisfaction with consistency.

Both are examples of putting the customer first, in different ways.

#3 Great customer support?

Some businesses choose to offer indefinite one-on-one support to ensure everyone is totally happy with their purchase.

Other businesses choose to offer support providing you pay for it, to focus on greater levels of support for customers who value it most.

Both are examples of putting the customer first, in different ways.

There is no one right way to put the customer first.

There is simply knowing your particular audience, the journey you help them take, and building your processes to facilitate that journey.

What does it look like for your business?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 06 2021
End-Game

End-Game

What’s your end-game?

Not knowing gives room for jealousy, envy, desperation, and freneticism.

Knowing breeds confidence, peace, and freedom.

For example…

I’ve experienced “lots of assets and no family time”. I’ve experienced “no assets and lots of family time.”

I liked the latter so much better there’s absolutely no contest. And so I’ll happily trade assets for time with family.

Time spent with family while making creative things is, for us, living the dream. And the funny thing about living your dream is, the rest often takes care of itself.

It makes our output great. Great output is often deemed valuable. The marketplace is happy to exchange that value for what you need (money, time, etc).

Knowing your end-game is a safe, calm path to a fulfilled life.

So whether you’re working on your market offers… Or you’re thinking about what customers to support… Or you’re wondering what you’d like life to look like in the future.

First ask yourself, what’s your end-game?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 05 2021
You Have A License For That

You Have A License For That

James Bond kills people.

It’s okay, he has a license for that.

What licenses do you have?

#1 License to Create

The journey between idea and execution has become too complicated for most of us.

It doesn’t need to be.

  • Ideate
  • Decide
  • Act

It’s okay: you have a license for that.

#2 License to Quit

Many of us do things we don’t want to do because we feel we have to.

Because what we earn and own have become more important social cues than how happy we are.

You decided that. You can change your mind.

It’s okay: you have a license for that.

#3 License to Hold

Once you find something you LOVE doing, you can…

  • do it until you master it
  • do it for free or money
  • do it for yourself or others

Feeling guilty for doing things we love because it “doesn’t feel like work” is a life sentence.

You made bail: you have a license for that.

We change lives when we put our customers at the heart of our services rendered.

Don’t forget that you have permission to choose who those customers are, and what services you’ll render.

You have a license for that.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
October 04 2021
Embrace The FUD

Embrace The FUD

FUD = “Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt”.

It’s the feeling that comes with new things. It’s what prevents us from doing those things.

Here’s how to embrace the FUD, instead of FUD embracing us:

#1 Not having a map is the point

Uncharted destinations have no map.

Having no map means getting lost before you find your destination.

If getting to your destination is the goal, having no map is the point.

#2 The opportunity isn’t unique to you

Everyone else on your journey is experiencing the same FUD.

They don’t have a map either.

Those who try, try as blindly as you are.

Those who don’t try, don’t because of the same fears you face.

#3 FUD is all bark no bite

Fear, uncertainty and doubt are invisible forces that exist only in your mind.

So are self-awareness, reason, and virtue.

Embrace the former by focusing on the latter.

All projects with unknown variables contain an element of FUD.

Embrace it. It’s where your biggest growth opportunities come from.

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