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All posts in the Systems category

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891: On The Shoulders Of Giants

When I designed the BuiltForImpact system – a way to clearly and effectively engage visitors on a website in order to lead them forward – the theory behind it didn’t come out of just nowhere.

It was built upon the shoulders of giants:

“Use metaphors, similies, analogies, things that are easy for people to relate to. Sometimes when you’re trying to distinguish what it is about you that makes you different or superior, no one gets it. Help the market develop their discriminators.
– Jay Abraham

“The subconsious mind will not be influenced by any suggestions made to it except those which are mixed with feeling or emotion.
– Napoleon Hill

“Establish where they are, where they want to be, what the gap is, what that feels like–not just what it is intellectually–and then how to move them to the next stage.”
– Tony Robbins

“We moved away from a pain-oriented society into an aspirational-society. Relate with their ambition–your job is to find what is the ambition for the people, and touch on that in an authentic and passionate way.”
– Brendon Burchard

“If you don’t learn how to tell your story, you’re not going to grow. Storytelling is the #1 way to build your brand.”
– Dave Asprey

“People don’t think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride”
– Jonah Berger

“Finish conversations they’re having, not what you’re having. People don’t learn from you, buy from you, appreciate you, unless they feel understood by you, not when they understand you. When people feel understood, they’ll trust you and buy from you.”
– Dean Graziosi

You get to build greatness upon greatness, instead of re-inventing the wheel for the sake of misguided attempts at “intellectual property”.

What greatness does (or could) your work build upon?

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889: The New Local

We used to market locally, because that’s all there was. There was the nearest town, the one beyond that, and that was it. At least, unless you were a mega-brand with deep, deep pockets.

Then the Internet happened, and we all got access to everyone. Facebook ads that can target anyone anywhere in the world meant that everyone can be as ‘local’ as everyone else.

Then local changed again. Because “everyone in the world” is too many people. No longer scoped by geography, our new local is “people who are just like us”. I’m typing from England with a friend in Croatia as I write this, and he’s far more “local” than my next-door neighbour.

When you go to market, you’re going to go “local” again. Be sure to select the right kind of local. Only two of the three work anymore, and only one remains when the world goes on lockdown.

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886: The Only Way, Isn’t

Everyone promises to know the way:

Instagram gurus all claim to have the secret to success. It’s either a badly kept, or ill-defined secret, isn’t it? Every time we see it, it appears to be defined differently. One day it’s Facebook Advertising, the next it’s a special social media hack, the next, email.

The secret is that it’s shiny. The fact that the advertised means of doing email (or whatever it is) is probably different to your way, is where it gets its appeal. And the fact that you keep changing course, is why you’re still looking at the shiny things to begin with.

The only way, isn’t. Each works to the degree it is worked. Methodical implementation and optimisation of your chosen practice isn’t as shiny as the secret, but it’s probably the practice you need to get what you’re looking for.

Know your people, go where they are, show them what they need in a way they understand, by whatever means they’d like to hear from you.

Avoid the shiny secrets.

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828: Fighting For Something

If you visit Mozilla’s brand guidelines, you’re met with two big boxes that say:

  • Firefox fights for you
  • Mozilla fights for the internet

Which begs the question: what do you fight for?

Your work fights for something. It could be fighting for customer goals rather than industry trends, like Firefox (which bends towards user privacy rather than rich data gathering like Chrome does). It could be for contribution rather than mere profit, like a Product(RED) does (which associates with the (RED) brand in order to fund the fight against AIDS). What is it for your work?

Your company fights for something. It could be fighting for open standards and inclusivity like, Mozilla (which invests time supporting open-source projects, web literacy and gender equality in tech). It could be to fund the fight against human trafficking, like my teams do (which spend a lot of time learning about ways to help fight that fight). What is it for your company?

We either fight for something, or we fight against ourselves. What does your body of work – and those you work alongside – fight for?

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822: Don’t Fear The Tools

The market loves a “killer tool”, doesn’t it?

For creators and builders, one of today’s is the #NoCode movement.

The #NoCode movement is for people who can’t code but want to develop things, and for developers who can code but don’t want to.

Conversely, Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” campaign takes the opposite approach, encouraging everyone in their ability to create things beyond what they thought was possible for them.

It’s exciting to think we could skip the difficult work of learning a scary skill, or having to find someone to collaborate with who can.

But how might our meaningful work benefit if we were to be brave enough to embrace the hard, scary act of perseverance, rather than merely looking for shortcuts?

Shortcuts and “killer tools” keep coming. If you do work that matters, ask yourself: will this benefit my work, or do I just fear the tools?

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819: Innovation That Kills Innovation

Uber innovated on what it means to hire a cab.

Now an Uber driver can’t innovate at all; they drive when told, in a prescribed system, with fixed prices, at unsustainable rates.

Want to turn a ride into a unique education experience or design a counseling or admin add-on? Doesn’t matter, won’t appear in the app.

The industry didn’t innovate, and now they don’t get to.

AirBNB innovated on what it means to find and rent a holiday let.

Now holiday let’s struggle to innovate; they must list on a platform that sets the buying criteria and enforces the terms and process.

Want to add a limo ride to/from the place, or negotiate preferential rates with local restaurants? Doesn’t matter, won’t appear in the search.

Your industry is innovating too. If you’re doing work that matters, you owe it to those you can best serve to innovate while the market is receptive to it.

Don’t be like the cab companies who thought it would all be okay ‘next year’.