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  • 'You gotta brand your company!'
  • 'Warren Buffet loves brands!'
  • 'You're a nobody if you don't brand your business!'

True words; but what-in-the-mofo-soko?

How do you brand your company?

Conventional wisdom thinks it's this:

  • 'Get a nice logo. Get nice letterheads. Get nice business cards. Get nice ad templates.'


But-that-ain't-branding; that's-just-Corporate-Identity.

Corporate identity != Branding.

What is Corporate Branding?

Why do you go to Doctor Bob despite his higher prices?

  1. You have a positively strong relationship with him.
  2. You've built the relationship with Doctor Bob over X years.

Branding revolves around one question:

  • What relationship does Bob have with your company?

The stronger the relationship, the stronger your brand -- and the likelier Bob will choose you over competitors despite your higher prices, your slower service, your yaddas.

Branding is about one $^^@%^@%@^%^@%^ thing:

  • Relationships.

Why So?

The more you see somebody, the more you like that somebody.

  • The more you see a friend, the more you like the friend.
  • The more you see an ad, the more you like the company.
  • The more you do business with a company, the more you like the company.

For instance, you're more likely to prefer Geico over another competitor because its crazy commercials have steadily solidified a long-standing happy relationship with you.

Building a relationship doesn't simply involve a financial transaction; it involves everything where a customer gets in contact with your company:

  • It can involve your after-service relationship (e.g., support, warranties, etc.).
  • It can involve your pre-service relationship (e.g., ads, presentations, etc).
  • It can involve anything and everything that connects you to the customer (e.g., blogs, newsletters, etc.)

The more you connect with the customer, the more you solidify your brand to that customer.

Relationship, Relationships, Relationships

Why do big-time brands rarely change their corporate identities?

  1. Bob builds a relationship with a certain corporate identity over X years.
  2. Like a human relationship, because he's been in contact with the corporate identity a freakish number of times, he likes it more.
  3. As a result, he subconsciously prefers the identity over any new one presented.

(Think Coke vs. New Coke; blind tests said New Coke; yet, people still claimed they preferred the original Coke.)

Changing your identity/product/mission/yadda constantly erodes any long-standing relationship -- making your incessant reinventions pretty-fricking-fruitless.

Think of Cousin-Vinny-Who-You've-Never-Seen in Years

  1. You last saw Vinny 15 years ago.
  2. You meet him for the first time since then.
  3. You kind-of-sort-of-like the new Vinny -- but you still prefer the Vinny-15-years-younger edition, because you have a stronger relationship with the younger one than the new reinvented one.


  1. Keep a unifying, consistent X.
  2. The longer a customer builds a relationship with X, the more he or she likes/hearts/loves it.
  3. If you're going to change something, do it subtly/cautiously/gradually -- while keeping what they like/heart/love intact as much as possible.

(X is everything your customer touches -- e.g., products, colors, uniforms, telephone numbers, customer service, etc.).

Warren Buffet Buys Brands for a Reason

Branding is absolutely crucial because it prevents you from competing directly on prices, features, smarts, technology -- which destroys your profit margins, and makes you likelier to see bankruptcy.

  • It's impossibly difficult to compete on prices.
  • It's impossibly difficult to compete on smarts.
  • It's impossibly difficult to compete on technology.
  • It's impossibly difficult to compete on features.

The high maintenance of even attempting those things drastically increases your expenses -- eroding your margins.

  • Low margins = less room for error (which can destroy you if a bad economy hits).

If you're going to do just one thing to improve your company this year, do this: Brand your company.

Say it together now:

  • 'Branding is critically important for my company.'
  • 'Branding is critically important for my company.'
  • 'Branding is critically important for my company.'
  • 'Branding is critically important for my company.'
  • 'Branding is critically important for my company.'

BAM! HOORAY! HIGH-FIVE!!!!!!111one

The Cardinal Rule:

  • The more people build a relationship with X, the more they like X.


Posted on September 29

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  1. Bob wants to learn X.
  2. The minute he starts tackling something, he finds the material too difficult to grasp.
  3. He gives up forever.

His knowledge of X sucks.

Here's a better way to learn anything effectively:

  1. Get your feet wet.
  2. Eventually, the more you immerse yourself, the likelier you learn even more.
  3. Little-by-little, day-by-day, you become more proficient in the material.
  4. Ultimately, the longer you stick with it, the likelier you start becoming an expert on the material.

For instance, take "discount cash flow analysis" (a.k.a. DCF analysis).


Try reading the Wikipedia material on DCF in one sitting; it seems horrifically difficult to grasp.

But, as you get your feet wet, you start learning in stages:

  1. "I get the big picture! Peeps use DCF to value a company."
  2. "Oh I see now. Money has a time value."
  3. "Ahh okay. $1 today is worth more than $1 tomorrow."
  4. "Oh, oh okay. You value a company by discounting its future cash flow."
  5. "You discount future cash flow because money in the future is worth less than money today! YAY! HOORAY! HIGH-FIVE!"
  6. "....and to do that, you use these formulas...."
  7. and on, and on, and on, and on, and on until you = expert-tastic.

Depending on how quickly you want to learn the concepts, you can break the steps into minutes/days/hours/weeks, etc.

The key:

Get your feet wet.

Learning one simple-itzy-bitzy-small-thing of a difficult concept will make the difficult concept easier-and-easier to comprehend.

  • It's like you're building a pyramid of knowledge.
  • You lay one brick of knowledge on top of the other knowledge of bricks you've already set.
  • One day, you look back -- and tell yourself: "HEY! I've built a ridiculously massive pyramid of knowledge!"

You = expert rock star whose knowledge of X > 98690834698495603845093498534209 other people.

Nobel Laureates didn't wake up one day with their massive knowledge databases stuck in their brains; instead, they piled new knowledge bricks atop of their existing foundations.

Becoming a rock star expert at X takes learning a series tiny-bite-sized chunks of new bricks of knowledge.


Posted on September 28

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Posted on September 27

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"A report in the June 2009 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that a nap with REM (or “dream”) sleep improves people’s ability to integrate unassociated information for creative problem solving, and study after study has shown that sleep boosts memory. If you memorize a list of words and then take a nap, you’ll remember more words than you would without sleeping first. Even micronaps of six minutes—not including the time it takes to fall asleep, which is about five minutes if you’re really tired—make a difference."

(Permalink to article is here.)

Posted on September 27

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Sports teams track their wins by the number of opponents they beat.

It's simple, straight-forward, and unites the whole-freakin-team to one singular goal.

How do you track your number of wins in business?

Here's a simple measure:

  • You win if you beat last month's earnings (OR month-to-month earnings if you're seasonal)

Use "quarter" if your sales have larger cycles.



Improved Earnings. Win.

Posted on September 26

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"Employees who feel like they control the events in their lives more than events control them and generally believe that they can make things turn out in their favor end up doing better on nearly every important measure of work performance."

"They sell more than other employees do. They give better customer service. They adjust better to foreign assignments. They are more motivated. They bring in an average of 50% to 150% more annual income than people who feel less control over the fate of their careers."

(See Businessweek's article on the study here.)

Posted on September 25

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  1. Delegate one thing.
  2. Immediately, delegating more things becomes easier.

You start freeing up more time.

You start getting more things done.


Take Beebop Bebobebop

Beebop Bebobebop has many tasks on his plate.

He has to do X, Y, Z, then help out with 900854932864930 more tasks that his company needs.

So, one-by-one:

  1. Beebop starts completing the first task.
  2. Then the second task.
  3. Then the third task.

But then, he gets burnt out, waits a while -- and later continues with the:

  • Fourth task.
  • Fifth task.
  • Sixth task.
  • Seventh task.

He's getting completely flustered; even more burnt out, but still continues working on his subsequent tasks like a robotic one-armed ostrich sipping his Hennessy in the hood.

Take Productive Beebop Bebobebop

Productive Beebop Bebobebop taks a different route. Instead of jumping into his tasks -- grudgingly doing one-by-one consecutively, he does this the first thing in the morning:

  1. He delegates one task from his schedule.
  2. He then tells himself, "Hey! I can delegate this other thing too!"
  3. So he delegates another task, then a third, then a fourth, then the yaddas.
  4. He gets more and more things done.
  5. YAY!

He's now cut down his weekly schedule to-complete-list to a day, freeing up more time to get even more things done (or to chill-ax).


Peep this financial wisdomizzle:

  1. An hour of your time costs: $X.
  2. With the internet, classified ads, the yaddas, you can delegate tasks that cost you Y dollars for a good amount less than Y dollars.

Making a little manual on how to do various things you do everyday will save you $KACH-ING$, as you're able to delegate a massive freakness out of your schedule.

Delegate. Soar.

Start by delegating one thing.

Posted on September 23

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"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

- Warren Buffett

Posted on September 23

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You're probably worrying about something.

  • It could be about a client.
  • It could be about a deal that failed.
  • It could be about X.

How do you stop worrying about it?

Peep this.

Humans are built to focus on one thing; it's a reason why:

  • We can't drive effectively while talking.
  • We can't multi-task at our desks.
  • We can't handle two simultaneous conversations.

When you worry, you worry about one thing.

  • It's your major worry.
  • It demolishes any other worry.
  • Your body, mind, and soul immerses itself in the worry.

How do You Stop Worrying About X?

As hard as you try, you likely will worry about something for the rest of your life.

So, if you find a worry that's debilitating you or destroying your confidence, find a bigger worry that makes your life more productive.

Take This

  1. Some client rejects you.
  2. You sit there and do nothing.
  3. You start worrying about your pride. You cry.

Instead, do this:

  1. Find a bigger worry.
  2. Do something productive that renders the debilitating worry second-rate-nothingness (e.g. "automating my business such that my children and their children and their children will be able to run this business machine for the rest of eternity").
  3. Your mind starts focusing on the bigger -- more productive -- worry.

Worry about something bigger.

Posted on September 23

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If you feel compelled to do X, do X.

For instance:

  • If your body is telling you to rest, rest.
  • If you feel the need to run, run.
  • If your soul tells you to stop doing _____, quit doing it.

Think of a dog:

  1. He doesn't seek happiness.
  2. He doesn't force himself to do X.
  3. If he needs rest, he rests.
  4. If he dislikes something, he stops doing it.
  5. He does X if X naturally calls him to do it.

He's about 99854654985932582930583232 times more happy than the typical person.

Seek what comes naturally to you.

Posted on September 22

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