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  1. You're somewhat succeeding at X.
  2. But the "somewhat" makes you unhappy.
  3. So, you switch to Y.

Then when you're slightly finding some success with Y, you switch over to Z -- thinking:

  • "That's where I'll find SUPER success!"

But you don't, because you suck.

You go through the continuous cycle of succeeding-being-disappointed-start-over-yadda-yadda.

You = cow.

Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods started out sucking.

So, did Michael Jordan.

So, did the most successful business/CEO/entrepreneur/sales-star/competitor you secretly envy.

  1. When you start out doing X, you will suck at X.
  2. The longer you stick with X, the freakishly better you'll be at X because you find new and better ways to be successful.

Take Bob.

Bob sucks at his graphic design business.

  • His clients are 1-employee shops who pay him a whopping $6.50 per hour.
  • "It's okay," Bob tells himself. "Someday, I will build a million-dollar business."

So Bob, continues helping his clients -- doing whatever he can to stay afloat.

  • Good news comes one day when he gets a call from Senorita Amiga Ti Tatta.
  • Senorita Amiga Ti Tatta runs a 5-employee a bakery in Chinatown because she is French.
  • She needs designs for her shop and menus.

Bob does ridiculously impressive work for her.

His business gradually grows.

As he's running his business, he reads a case study about Dan The Design Man.

  • He learns that Dan The Design Man grew his freakish business by knocking on doors of mid-sized candy factories.
  • "Eureka!" Bob says. "I too will knock on similar doors in my area!"

He starts growing his business even more.

THEN BAMBOOOMBASHOOKA.

A large company -- referred by one of his happ-eriffic clients -- invites him to bid on its $50K project.

BOOSHKA.

BOOSHKA.

BOOSHKA.

He wins.

...then wins more contracts.

...then wins even more.

AND THEN FLASHMESOMEKITTENS:

He builds a multi-million dollar graphic design business.

...because he stuck with it.

Stick with it.

Posted on April 27

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  1. You're tired.
  2. You were tired yesterday.
  3. You were tired last week.
  4. You were tired last month.
  5. You were tired last year.

It seems like yo-bad-self has been tired throughout your ridiculous life.

"HOW DO I STOP BEING TIRED %$^@^$?!"

Fatigue normally signals:

  • You = dehydrated.

Your heart has to fight harder to supply your body with sufficient oxygen and nutrients.

  • That is, you're needlessly destroying your energy reserves because you're not drinking (water).
  • Your heart expends freakish energy trying to make up for your laziness in cleansing your body.

BOO.

Take Bob.

  1. Bob is tired.
  2. Bob drinks more water.
  3. Bob saves his energy reserves to spend in more meaningful ways -- like rocking his biz-niz.
  4. At the first sign of fatigue, he knows he's sucking at his water-living-ways.
  5. So, he drinks more water.

And, gets more energized. His productivity exponentially goes up.

Stop being tired.

Pump yourself up to be more productive.

Hydrate Yo Bad Self.

Posted on April 24

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  1. You're running a ridiculous business.
  2. You have a ridiculous number of customers to call.
  3. You have a ridiculous number of tasks to do.

You keep everything in your head.

Then you ask yourself why you're sucking.

How to Get More Brain

Your brain is like a memory chip.

  1. You can only hold so much information.
  2. The more you hold, the worse you perform.
  3. The more you free up space, the more powerful/smart/efficient you become.

The key?

Write every %$@^^^ thing and its mother down.

  • Get everything out of your head.
  • Free up space.
  • Keep a notepad right by you.

Then, organize them notes/files/stuff into a sweet system that lets you recall that information quickly/efficiently.

The benefits?

  1. You get more brainpower to focus on rocking.yo.business.
  2. You unstress your brain -- boosting productivity to complete things faster.
  3. You free your brain to learn 908754098640 new things.

Say NO! to information overload.

Conserve more brainpower.

Free space. Rock like a chicken wing.

Posted on April 23

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Analysts scream:

  • "XYZ Company is on the cusp of the hottest market ever!"
  • "ABC Blue Chip will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry!"
  • "MNO Co.'s new breakthrough innovation will destroy competitors!"

Business gunners -- thinking companies with the best strategies -- win, so they start going on their little retreats and coming up with "breakthrough" strategic advantages to:

  • "Win market share!"
  • "Kill our competitors!"
  • "Make a lot of money!"

Then they go out, expend filthy resources implementing their "strategies" -- only to see their efforts go to waste.

Companies don't win on strategy.

  • Wells Fargo doesn't win on strategy.
  • Geico doesn't win on strategy.
  • Gillette doesn't win on strategy.
  • Google doesn't win on strategy.

What are the "revolutionary strategies" that those companies adopt?

  • Serve the customer better than anyone else can.

That's it.

Done.

Win.

How Focusing on Strategy Sucks You Up

Johnny The Executive Customer wants one thing:

  • "Satisfy me."

Most companies do nothing but satisfy Johnny -- as their executives go on retreat thinking about the best strategic penetration into a new market to grow %$^^$ revenue.

That leaves them with a deteriorating client base, willing to part ways once a better vendor comes along.

Business is simple:

  1. Satisfy people.
  2. Don't ever stop satisfying people.
  3. Repeat.

Yet, crazy folks make business seem as if we're battling the Galactic Empire with one-hand tied behind our butts, holding a toothpick, and a unicycle that has a flat $^^^$^ tire.

Business is simple.

Reach out.

Make good on your promises.

Execute.

Satisfy people.

Posted on April 22

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  1. You're building X.
  2. X falters in some way.
  3. You say you'll return to it when there's a better time.

Chances are:

  1. You'll have bigger issues arise -- consuming your time, and shifting your attention away from that particular problem.
  2. You'll procrastinate on the problem.
  3. You'll forget about the problem.

Because customers judge quality by every little %^^^$ aspect of the product, your company's reputation for quality suffers with every tiny issue.

Fixing Production Problems

Toyota's ridiculous quality relies on this simple concept:

  • Stop and fix things before you move forward.

Any member on a Toyota production team can stop operations and ensure something is fixed before operations resume.

That way:

  1. The follow-up batch won't experience the falter.
  2. The 2rd follow-up batch won't experience the falter.
  3. The 3th follow-up batch won't experience the falter.
  4. The 4th follow-up batch won't experience the falter.
  5. Yaddas.

That way, you keep costs from escalating from the successive batches you produce, and keeping quality at its mother-^^^^%@! peak.

Stop. Fix.

Posted on April 15

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  1. You assume Bobbi knows X, Y, and Z.
  2. Bobbi goes to a client thinking X=A, Y=B, and Z=C.
  3. Bobbi loses the client.

OH NOES.

What do you do?

Use a two-step approach:

  1. Quiz Bobbi.
  2. Teach Bobbi.

It's a never-ending process where you're helping Bobbi understand fully what you need her to understand.

Example.

For instance, say you're trying to teach Bobbi how to serve small clients.

  1. You give her a 10-question quiz about what-not-to-do, what-resources-to-bring, when-to-follow-up, etc.
  2. She answers the quiz.
  3. You go over the quiz to patch up her weak spots.
  4. You quiz her again to make sure she understands what you just taught her.

She soon becomes more knowledgeable about serving small clients.

KABAM.

Even better, say you want to train her to understand the technical aspects of client projects.

So you give her more quizzes:

  1. The first quiz is to let you understand her current technical expertise.
  2. The second quiz lets her answer questions that she missed on the first quiz.
  3. The third quiz forces her to learn new technical things on her own to answer the quiz successfully.
  4. etc., etc., etc.

She soon becomes a customer-service-technical-$^$^-superstar.

Simple like a freak $@!.

Quiz.

Posted on April 02

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You're running your business, but you're experiencing problems-upon-$^@^-problems:

  • You can't get anything done
  • You constantly misses deadlines.
  • You never meet your quota.

Your business is gradually bursting.

What can you do?

When did you perform your best?

  • When did you write the bulk of your term papers?
  • When did you complete the chunk your presentations?
  • When did you finish most of your client projects?

Chances are:

  • You did most of your work toward the end of X's due date.
  • You didn't get much done beforehand.

That is:

  • Urgency drove you to kick X's ass.
  • Urgency drove you to rid distractions.
  • Urgency drove you to get X done in style.

If you're having trouble:

  • getting X done
  • meeting your quota
  • the yaddas

...create a sense of urgency:

  • Set a meeting with the client before you finish the client's demo.
  • Give away 20% of your earnings this quarter if you miss your quota.
  • Do Y before X, knowing that X is due tomorrow.
  • Cut your deadline in half. Then do it again. Then, again. (Then, again.)

Urgency helps people excel beyond their natural abilities:

  • like escaping from vicious captors
  • like saving kittens from disastrous fires
  • like demolishing five term papers in one day

The more urgency you incorporate into your business/employees/life, the more:

  • ASS = YOU KICK.

Done.

Urgency.

Posted on March 31

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  • How did Google get millions to switch email providers?
  • How did Craigslist attract a freakish number of employers to post job listings?
  • How did Plentyoffish, run by like two people, become the most populated dating website in the world?

They did this:

  1. They took something that people previously paid good money to have.
  2. They made it free.

The masses came.

Revenue opportunities skyrocketed.

How?

  • Google did it by offering 1GB of email space, 10x the amount of any other free service provider.
  • Craigslist did it by allowing Bay Area residents to post free classifieds instead of shelling out $30 to local newspapers.
  • Plentyoffish did it by letting the masses of singles view their entire database for free, instead of paying the high monthly fees of other dating online services.

Once you have a bunch of targeted customers in front of you, you create multiple opportunities to sell:

  • "Hey, we're providing Service A for $x this month. You can buy it now at..."
  • "Hey, we just built Product B for $x. You can purchase it at.."
  • "Hey, we're coming out with Product C next month. Would you like to be on the waiting list?"

The Approach

Try this:

  1. Pick your target customer segment.
  2. Give away the "basic" version for free.
  3. Attract eyeballs galore. Grow.

The easiest way to attract masses of customers?

Free+Valuable Stuff.

Posted on March 25

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Think of:

  • McDonald's
  • Google
  • Coca-Cola
  • Disney
  • Apple
  • Nike

Contrast that with:

  • Compaq
  • Burger King
  • GM
  • Palm
  • Reebok

One set has built a special place in the minds of folks.

The other hasn't.

One set has emotionally connected their brands to the hearts of people.

The other hasn't.

One set has built competitive advantages that don't depend on features, upgrades, or pricing.

The other hasn't.

Ridiculous success comes from entrepreneurs imprinting special/permanent brands into the hearts of people.

(Equally important, it's also understanding where you cannot compete.)

If tomorrow, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Google, and McDonald's increase their prices, you'll barely notice any hitches:

  • People would still buy.
  • People would still refer their friends.
  • The brands would still thrive.

How do you be special?

Exploit your X.

  • Nike: human performance
  • Apple: emotional innovation
  • Disney: making people happy
  • Google: information to the masses
  • McDonald's: happy food

10 years from now, those brands will continue exploiting their Xs.

You won't see:

  • Google trying to compete with Apple's sex appeal
  • Nike building search engines for the masses
  • McDonald's doing music

X doesn't depend on a hot product; X lasts for eternity; diverging from X only dilutes the Special Stuff you've been constructing (and quickly destroys the meaning people will associate with your brand).

Choose an X that will keep you flowing for eternity -- and one where competitors with billions at their disposal can't compete with your X.

You'll gradually build that Special Stuff into the hearts of folks who experience your brand.

Build something special.

Posted on March 24

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  1. Decades ago, companies ran their stuff on one server.
  2. Then: KABAM.
  3. The server went out.
  4. "What do we all do now?" the employees would say.
  5. "Well, let's just wait until they can fix the server!" the managers would respond.

Result: Productivity Drainage.

Why Make Your Stuff Redundant

Ask yourself this:

If Person X leaves your company tomorrow, will that hurt your company?

For instance, take Superstar Seller Sammy.

  • Superstar Sammy is responsible for generating leads for your company.
  • Without Sammy, you get no one to get your field team into the door.
  • Sammy makes sales happen for your company.

What if Sammy leaves tomorrow?

That means until you find a replacement:

  • You'll generate no sales.
  • You'll generate no leads.
  • You'll generate no revenue growth.
  • You'll quickly burn through cash as you try to find your next Sammy.

When companies back in the day crashed their one server, computer geniuses came up with the redundancy concept:

  • If one server fails, the mirroring server comes to the rescue.
  • Things continue normally as the failed server gets replaced.
  • Productivity continues like it ain't not thang but a chicken wing on a string.

Instead of preventing masses of people from rocking their work (which drains exponential dollars and resources from the company), the company continues like nothing happened.

Productivity stays at its peak.

The redundancy concept:

  • keeps your business flowing
  • helps you leverage your fixed costs as much as $^!@ possible
  • keeps productivity soaring

Create backup plans -- such that if X fails, you have Y ready-to-go immediately.

What Do You Make Redundant?

Select stuff that's crucial to keep your company flowing:

  • your sales stuff
  • your management stuff
  • your products stuff
  • your ______ stuff

For instance, if you have only Sally B as the lead generator:

  • Hire someone that mirrors Sally B to generate the leads for your company.

Can't afford it?

If you can't afford it, do this:

  1. Put out a job ad.
  2. Start interviewing and filing qualified candidates into your database.
  3. Have that database ready when Sally B departs.

Your CEO?

If the CEO of your company goes on vacation, who takes his/her place?

  • Consistently train and groom a CEO-in-waiting.
  • If the real CEO gets retires/quits/gets-hit-by-a-bus, WABAM: you have someone to take over and keep your business flowing.

Your product?

If your ^1 product gets a bad review in a popular magazine, do you have another product to take over the inevitable revenue drainage?

  • Constantly innovate and build equally profitable replacements.
  • Know that if your ^1 product falters, you'll have another (possibly many) to take its place.

Redundancy acts as your insurance against disaster.

It keeps your business flowing.

Mirror vital business X.

Posted on March 23

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