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Scenario: "Dude, let's do anything and everything. Yay!" You know the deal:

  • "BusinessWebMagazine 2.0 predicts CRM to be next big opportunitiy!"
  • "AJAXWebToday see CRM entrepreneurs as next frontiers!"
  • "CRMToday: We're the hottest frickin' thing since sliced bread!"

So, the ten gazillion adventurous entrepreneurs hop on the bandwagon craze-fest, thinking they'll make their billions chasing the latest-greatest opportunity. What happens?

  • A tiny few succeed.
  • Most fail, miserably.

Chasing the next-great-big opportunity prevents you from capitalizing on your strengths (Hot opportunities dissipate within years before you could really do anything, anyway.) Instead, boost your chances for success by exploiting the talents you've built your entire life.

How Hot Opportunities Suck

Take 35-year old Jimmy in May 2005.

  • He's a passionate Italian cook for 15 years, but wants to be rich.

He picks up a local business magazine, and sees its headline screaming:

  • "Opportunities Galore in the Web 2.0 Social Networking Industry.".

He soon researches the power social networking players, then studies PHP/CSS/XHTML/Ajax programming books to "create even more features than MySpace, where peeps will go nuts for my site!"

Flash-Forward a Few Months Later

Several issues happen:

  • PHP bugs galore.
  • Programmers slack on feature development.
  • Beta testers spend only average 20 seconds/visit.
  • Beta testers have no friends.

Days pass by: He's $20K in debt, still 50% of the project away from completing, and he needs money. Bankruptcy to the hizzle.

What Went Wrong?

Jimmy competed on technology, where he:

  • barely knew programming effectively
  • underestimated the time it took
  • speculated what people wanted
  • competed against industry veterans

Those industry veterans would've destroyed whatever application Jimmy developed -- quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly.

  • They knew more about (1) structuring fast-loading CSS/XHTML design markup, (2) programming cleanly, (3) marketing online virally, (4) incorporating complex technology, (5) developing rapid coding, etc., etc.

Whatever Jimmy thought he could do, the veterans would've done it a gabillion times better. In other words -- even with a glimmering of hope, he severely decreased his odds for success by competing in something completely foreign to him. It's akin to a ignorant 7-year old deciding he wants to compete with heavyweights.

Remember: Business is an Odds Game

The strategy's oh-so-simple, but seemingly only business rock stars use the two-rule approach:

  1. Increase your odds for success.
  2. Reduce your odds for failure.

Simple, simple.

  • When you do something completely foreign, you boost your chances to fail at it.
  • When you do something you know, you boost your chances to rock at it.
  • When you try to make millions within a viciously short time, you boost your chances at failure.
  • When you compete against people you know for certain you can beat, you boost your chances to succeed.
  • When you compete against the world's best right off the bat, you boost your chances to fail.

What Jimmy Should've Done

Jimmy wanted millions. To boost his chances for success, our advice:

  1. Stick to the Italian restaurant industry since that's what you love and know.
  2. Co-own a restaurant to build equity.
  3. When you've built enough, open/buy a new restaurant.
  4. Automate the processes such that it runs itself.
  5. When the system's in place, apply it to a second restaurant.
  6. Then, a third. And, a fourth. Then, fifth.

(Hey, you just got a system in place. Go wild -- but, smartly.)

The Not-So-Obvious Reality Check

  • A few social networking sites netted millions last year.
  • A few thousand restaurants netted their owners millions the same year.

Jimmy's best chances of making those millions didn't lie in that hot social networking opportunity, or wherever some outdated magazine overly hyped. Oh, no: it lied on what he knew best -- and where he maximized his odds for success: The Italian food industry. He could rock the competition with his 15-year track record, knowledge, passion, and instincts in the industry. To build that next million-dollar mutha-!@^^%&, stop chasing 'opportunties' -- and find ways to:

Capitalize on your world-class talents.


Posted on May 24

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Scenario: "Dude, we need to build a rockin' beta-ready product first. Then, we'll test it. Yay!" The problem with waiting until your product reaches that beta stage? Your financial risks increase exponentially in:

  • Resources.
  • Time.
  • Morale.
  • Lost opportunities.
  • Cash, cash, cash.

Now, let's say you build your beta-ready product 9 months later.

What if the market reacts negatively to that product?

  1. The pessimistic side would tell you to give up.
  2. The optimistic side would tell you: "Wait, that just means we have to refine the product to their needs more!"

You're choosing the right path with that last answer. But when you do, it hits you: "We wasted 9 months in lost resources, time, morale, lost opportunities, and cash -- when we could've received the same frickin' feedback 8 months earlier!" Instead, do this:

  1. Build something quickly that's test-ready.
  2. Then start testing the sucka.
  3. Measure the results: Are they promising?
    • If not, dump it -- you just saved lots of resources for better innovations.
    • If results however looking promising, juice up more investments into it.

Do that in a continuous cycle, and you'll build one ridiculously awesome innovation machine.

Why Spending Loads of Time on Something Sucks

You're no fortune teller. No one is.

  • Yet, you hear stories of Timmy Toothie on the other side of the town locked in his basement conceptualizing the next world-changing innovation that will make him billions.
  • You hear a similar story happening with Susie Saddy in Tulsa.

In fact, a close acquaintance just told you (1) he has the perfect idea, but (2) he can't tell you, and (3) he's so self-assured with his looming success that he's acting all self-pretentious on yo ass wondering why the !@^^ you don't have a spiffy idea of your own. They're all trying to predict the future. In other words, they're speculating what will happen. They're using a snapshot in time to predict a frickin' moving world months/years/yadda later. If the most experienced Silicon Valley venture capitalists still get it wrong, what makes them think they're ridicuslously better at predicting the future?

  • Segway -- heralded by Innovation Machine Man Steve Jobs as one of the greatest ever inventions, and the best VCs -- took a nosedive when it hit the market.

Predicting the future seems plausible; but, it's frickin' impossible. But, if you still think you can: trash whatever idea you have; those multi-billion dollar Wall Street firms want your brain. They'll give you trillions. The better way to innovating:

Build Just Enough for Testing

Only the real-world market decides if your product's successful. So:

  1. Get your idea into your customers' hands as quickly -- with as few resources -- as humanly possible.
  2. See how much you could sell.
  3. Measure the results, then proceed accordingly.

That way, you:

  1. Minimize risks.
  2. Maximize chances of success.

Religiously follow that cycle over the long-term, and you'll boost your success rate like a mofo.

You'll Lose Money. No Big Deal.

Think about it this way: If you played a coin-flip game where:

  • You'd get $100 for every time the coin lands on head.
  • You'd lose $90 for every time the coin lands on tails.

You'd play that game with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Sure, you'll lose from time-to-time. $90 here, $90 there. But the more you play it, the more the odds will favor you -- and the more money you'll eventually make. Your winnings will more than make up for your losses. As in Poker, you don't worry about the individual results; instead, you focus on making consistently good decisions over time that will pull you ahead in the long-run.

Think of innovating the same way.

Conservatively, think:

  • 1 product will succeed for every 10 products you do.
  • That 1 product will more than make up for the failures.

The more times you go through that cycle (e.g. 20 products will produce 2 successes, etc., etc.), the more you'll pull ahead -- and, the more ridiculously rich your company will be. You could:

  • (1) take years draining resources to go through 1 cycle, or:
  • (2) take a few months conserving resources to go through it 10 times.

The faster you do it, the sexier off you'll be.

Go through it like a juiced-up ostrich on 'roids:
  1. Build test product quickly.
  2. Test how much you can sell.
  3. If results look promising, invest more. (If not, dump it.)
  4. Restart at ^1.

Posted on May 23

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Scenario: "Dude, that last advertising campaign sucked. We give up. Ahh!" New players advertising their wares:

  1. Do it once.
  2. See shabby results.
  3. Quit.

Star advertisers on the other hand:

  1. Do it once.
  2. See shabby results.
  3. Do it again.
  4. See better results.
  5. Do it thrice.
  6. See awesome results.

Notice the trend? Advertising effectively takes repetitively exposing your business's value to an audience. The more you do it, the much likelier you'll boost your sales.

Why Repetitive Advertising Rocks

Say you're entertaining a client, and you're given tickets to two movies happening at the same time:

  1. An George Clooney film.
  2. A Kathie Griffin film.

Without knowing anything about the two films, what movie would you probably choose? Probably the George Clooney film. Why?

  1. You've seen more Clooney films.
  2. A handful of those films probably rocked, imprinting your unconscious with positive associations.

According to rules of psychology, familiarity -- provided it's in a positive light -- breeds liking. That is:

  • The more times you see Tomas, the more you like Tomas.
  • The more you play basketball, the more you like it.
  • The more you visit CoolMoDee Bookstore, the more you like it.

Repetitive advertising then builds that familiarity concept -- where the more you expose your ads/brand/products/name to Dave, the more he'll like you -- and as a result, likelier buy from you. According to a psychology study Virginia Commonwealth Researcher Scott Vrana that tested the effects of familiarity:

Exposure to novel stimuli increases one's liking for such stimuli. Response competition is one theory attempting to account for this effect: as a stimulus becomes more familiar, competing responses drop out in favor of one dominant response and the stimulus becomes better liked.

Think of your five closest friends. If any one of those badasses opened a shop, how likely would you buy from that close friend? Probably: 99.980989124910%. Familiarity breeds liking -- ultimately, breeding buying.

What the Best Advertisers Do

You probably can't expect to spam the shizzle out of your prospect daily, and anticipate miraculous revenue jumps. Nor can you annoy your audience with the same frickin'-ad-all-the-frickin-time. Oh no.

Repetitive advertising only works when:

  1. "I'm not annoyed when you advertise."
  2. "I actually like your advertising!"

How do you do it?

  1. You can add crafty/funny ads like so many advertisers who have caught on to its effectiveness (through positive associations).
  2. You can vary your ads to prevent that negative-annoyance-mumbo-jumbo.
  3. Or, if you want to take it a step further and be the badasses of advertising badasses: Add some frickin'-juicy value to the lives of your prospect (e.g. add some tips, resources, free advice, the yadda).

As Customer Bonnie notices your business repeatedly adding value to her life, she'll gradually grow to like you -- and open herself more to your pitches. El rulo thumbo: The more you advertise, the sexier you'll boost sales.

Advertise like a mofo.


Posted on May 22

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Scenario: "Dude, we gotta choose a location that has no competition. We'll be the only one. Yay!" Peep this: You're opening a furniture store.

Scenario 1: You choose a retail spot in a remote location.

  1. You speculate traffic will come because of the incoming high-rise buildings.
  2. Ten months later: you see some traffic, but nothing that really fits your target demographic.
  3. You thought it would happen, but you're no fortune-teller. No one is.

What happens to your company? Bankruptcy in the mutha-!@^^% ^&*.

Scenario 2: You choose a location with competitors galore.

  1. You know your target market visits businesses of your type in that area.
  2. You have real-world results/reports/data/evidence of businesses -- like yours -- thriving in that particular area.

What happens when you locate there? With more exposure to your demographic, you start making freakishly more $$$.

Common Sense Sucks

The criminal advice from all those 'business experts' who sold you books: "Choose a place where's there's no competition. Yay!" Bull-!@^^%^-!@^^. That's why most businesses fail: They start distancing themselves from their targeted demographic, then wonder why the heck no one visits. When choosing your retail location: Rule ^1: Get as near to those-most-likely-to-buy as possible; that is, where your competitors are thriving.

What happens when you situate yourself among the flourishing competition?

  1. Targeted Customer Charmaine sees your location.
  2. She visits your location (1) on impulse, (2) because she couldn't find what she needed at the competition, and/or (3) because customer service sucked.
  3. If you're good, she (1) buys, (2) comes back, (3) brings a friend, and (4) recommends you to other friends.

That cycle viciously repeats with another customer, then another, and another -- until the end of time. You win.

The Starbucks Effect

If Starbucks opens a store in the middle of several mom-and-pop coffeehouses, Starbucks would crush 'em all -- right? It's typical conventional wisdom: 'Big retailer comes to town, wipes out all mom-and-pop coffeehouses!' Bull-oney. While the few sucky ones who-provide-!@^^%&-shoddy-service-and-deserve-it do die, the ones who provide customer value thrive -- even more. Why?

  1. Starbucks introduces ignorant-coffee-dude Cletus.
  2. Cletus becomes a coffee fan.
  3. Cletus: "Hey! I love coffee! I'm gonna try these other places around Starbucks too!"
  4. Cletus: "Yay! Rockin' coffee. High-five! High-five!"
  5. Cletus: "Let's visit this other coffeehouse too. Yay! High-five!"

Starbucks initiates the new-who-then-become-fanatic peeps, who soon venture further into other coffeehouses -- opening up more opportunities for the mom-and-pop shops. As the mom-and-pop shops develop and keep their loyal following, they grow their revenues with new market opportunities created by their 'crushing competitor.' Win for every frickin' solid coffeehouse in the area. Situating your business in an area of "supposed" competitors does the same thing: It creates more opportunities for your business to attract those most likely to buy from you. Another example:

The Mall Effect

Big apparel shops go krrr-aaa-zzzy situating their stores among the competition in malls across the world. Levi's, Diesel, Seven, Lucky Jeans, Mark Jacobs, Guess, Polo, True Religion, and the yadda, want neighboring competition. Their mindset for doing so:

  1. You want jeans.
  2. You'll visit multiple shops within a small vicinity for your jeans.
  3. "We want to be there when you're buying your jeans."

Multiply that scenario by 94839820358209094803325832532, and you'll see why almost-every-frickin'-gosh-dang store thrives off the competition. More competition = exponential increase in traffic = more purchases for all.

What You'll Need to Succeed

Sure, you can't expect to (1) imitate an already-established competitor, (2) locate yourself in that same area, and expect to succeed. Those 'business experts' say that you'll need "differentiation." We say bull. Just ask yourself:

Where can you kick the competition's ass?

Don't toot your own horn; be a realist.

  • If you're competing against them multi-million-billion-dollar competitors on (1) prices, (2) inventory, (3) marketing, (4) incentives -- you'll lose.

But say you're opening that furniture store, and you have a world-class degree in interior design. You can't compete on prices and marketing dollars with those big mutha-bastards, but you can demolish the competition on your interior design skills. So, you build a furniture store using an interior design theme, where your store:

  • Provides assorted color psychology tips throughout the store.
  • Trains employees your interior design skills to consult with customers, anytime.
  • Offers free interior design workshops on Tuesdays, enticing future orders.
  • Tags furniture item (e.g. coffee table) with placement tips -- what matches with what.
  • Complements neighboring competitor services with interior design services.
  • Offers a monthly newsletter on interior design sent to their email/mailboxes, ensuring you'll keep that prospect/customer for one frickin' long time.

By focusing on where you can rock the competition in the area, you gear yourself to kick major ass.

Piggy Back 'Em Off the Heezy

Existing 'competitors' have done all of the hard work for you, which likely took years/decades:

  • Generating key demographics to the location.
  • Gathering real-world data of your target demographic.
  • Doing target market foot-traffic research studies.

No bottlenecks. No rough starts. No need to push any freakish momentum -- which takes years (if ever) -- by your lonesome. Nada. Real-world evidence tells you:

  1. Key customers gravitate to a certain location.
  2. Businesses of your type are thriving there.

Now, be the opportunistic badass and hop on the mutha-!@^^%& train that's already running full-steam ahead. Choo! Choo!

Takeaway: Most Business Competitors Suck

We'll close with this takeaway: we'd rather not hate -- but we think it's certainly true: Whether that's customer service, fulfillment, bugs, defects, horribly-trained employees, non-responsive management, or the yadda: Most business competitors suck -- and yet, they're still flourishing in several locations. You can do a much more bang-up job than most of 'em sucky-suck-suckers-who-only-care-about-frickin'-dollar-bills, and-not-servicing-customers. Scared of competitors? You shouldn't. Just visit them.

'Where's the mutha-!@^^%^ competition at?!"


Posted on May 21

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Scenario: "Dude, I rock because I read books everyday. Yay!"

  • Why is every frickin' business guru McKinseyites?
  • Why is every frickin' power nerd Googlers?
  • Why is every frickin' financial player Goldman bankers?

"It's the opportunities!" one camp may say. "It's because of the money!" another camp might go. "It's for the reputation!" another might scream. Blah, blah, yadda, wrong, yadda, no way Jose. The right answer? Stars empower their badass-edness by working with -- *drumroll*: Other stars. If you're looking to be an even more awesome dude/tte, surround your bad-self with those stars who will rock your world.

"Just read books!"

Yeah, superstars are self-motivated -- persistently seeking to improve themselves each and every frickin' day.

  1. They strive for excellence.
  2. They strive for growth.
  3. And, they'll do anything within their power to rock your business.

You leave Superstar Jenny in a room, with a problem -- and she'll work her magic. But:

  • Can she heighten her performance?
  • Can she work X times faster?
  • Can she solve problems X times quicker?
  • Can she complete X projects within X weeks?

Sure, she's a badass. But to increase performance, she needs those extra pushes. Superstars fulfill that by one-upping each other daily/constantly/persistently/endlessly in a continuous cycle.

Says the Research...

According to a recent study by Harvard's Boris Groysberg and Linda-Eling Lee:

We found that even though an individual's past performance can indicate future performance, the organization also significantly affects top performers' ability to maintain their performance. Specifically, top performers rely on high-quality colleagues in their organizations to improve the quality of their own work and to deliver it effectively to clients.

Rule of thumb: The more stars around you, the higher you perform. To empower your superstar-edness:

Surround your badass with other badasses.


Posted on May 18

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Scenario: "Dude, we have so many repetitive things to do. That means we must hire more people to do those repetitive things. Yay!" Thriving businesses focus on repeatability; that's the easiest/fastest/sweetest way to grow their revenues. Yet, with repetitive tasks -- comes tedious time-wasters.

  1. Now, what if your company could increase its productivity by 40%?
  2. What if you gave your salespeople of 30% more time to sell?
  3. What if you freed 50% more time for other creative tasks?

How much would your profits increase? Good sign? Consider automating your business with software built to the soul of your company.

Why Off-The-Shelf Software Sucks

Off-the-shelfers make your business run according to the software -- instead of having the software complementing your already-fab business. That is, instead of accelerating your profits by making your company more agile, you start impeding its momentum by working around software built for different agendas. Like a billion personalities in this world, your company is unique to you -- and you need something that improves how well you already run your business.

Why Custom Software Rocks

Custom software helps you increase productivity by automating those uniquely-repetitive tasks catered to your business's needs. For instance, instead of:

  1. Hiring a team to send a hundred invoices a day.
  2. Sending informational email to every single lead.
  3. Manually organizing your appointment times.
  4. Upselling a thousand customers on Product X.

You automate the process where you decrease/eliminate labor. Instead of taking hours, you now take minutes (or nothing) doing the same task. That saves you resources, energy, money, sanity, and your business's creativity juices for other -- more lucrative -- opportunities. Beautiful. Growth. Ahead.

But Do You Really Need the Thang?

Two drawbacks to a custom software:

  1. It's costly.

    If you're just starting -- unless you see tremendous/concrete signs of growth -- hold off on it. You could always get by with off-the-shelfers (e.g. Excel, Quickbooks, etc.) Remember: you only want custom software to accelerate your already promising results, not build something that you speculate you might need.
  2. It rarely comes to fruition.

    Most software projects never get built because of: (1) incompetent programmers, and (2) enormously-big ambitions. Be cautious if a software team promises a 500-day completion. Those long project cycles rarely get built competently -- and in the unlikely scenario that it does, your needs will have already changed.

The type of software your business gets depends on the adaptability, smarts, and experience of your software team. Get those who have proven track records, and can help you build a releasable Version 0.1 within weeks.

Growth Like a Beast

If you can overcome the barriers, a custom-built application will grow your revenues astronomically. Just don't let it run your business. Instead:

Make your software your company's b!@ch.


Posted on May 17

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Scenario: "Dude, we want to grow our company with many employees. Yay!" You have two options when 'growing' your business: * a) increasing revenues * b) increasing employees Those crazy -- but well-intentioned -- people, thinking they have to be little kings in their frickin' little worlds, inevitably choose what? * Increasing employees. That creates a rigid organization that becomes super-difficult to move. It's like you're throwing twenty peeps in a VW, and heading for your destination. Unneeded Overhead = Sucks. ---------------------- Instead, start outsourcing those non-critical functions to be more flexible/adaptable -- and in turn, grow those revenues freakishly faster.

The Problem with Hiring for Everything

* You'll have to go through the hiring process. * Then, the training process. * Next, the management process. * Then if they suck: the firing process. Instead of growing revenues through more profitable ways, you're focused on that operational madness. There's a better way.

How Outsourcing Saves You $$$

No more: hiring masses of people, training them, then monitoring their progress -- ultimately, wasting precious resources. You leave it up to those outsourcing partners. When you outsource to independent firms, they're all-set-ready-and-pumped-to-rock for your company -- right now. * Need lead generators? You can readily set up a campaign by week's end. * Need custom software built? You can recruit a high-flying team by tomorrow. * Need a pretty website? Get a fan-tab-ulous one in two weeks. * Yadda, yadda, yadda. You'll save massive time getting what you want.

And if some contractors/outsourced-firms sucks?

The minute some firm underperforms/sucks, you can dump it instantly. Instead of losing several months of productivity/resources/$$$, you lose a fraction through outsourcing.

How Outsourcing Helps You Grow

Consider two firms: Firm A vs. Firm B.

Firm A

Firm A has its own customer service department, a team of programmers, IT folks, accountants, and assemblers. How long would you say Firm A has existed? Probably decades: it likely took years to train a high-flying customer service team, hiring and managing programmers, recruiting knowledgeable IT folks, attracting those accountants, and building systematic processes for the assemblers. Now, consider:

Firm B

Like the first firm, Firm B has its customer service department, a team of programmers, IT folks, accountants, and assemblers. Yet, Firm B assembled that team within months -- through outsourcing those functions: * It got its 50-person customer service department through the Yellow Pages. * It built its website using a Silicon Valley design firm. * It got its accountants through a local firm. * It took care of their IT support through GeekSquad. * It got its assemblers through a fulfillment company. Instead of expending resources over decades, Firm B saved astronomic resources, money, and freakishly good time.

And, oh: it doesn't just stop there. Oh no.

  1. Because of its flexibility through outsourcing, it can choose better providers instantly if some partner ain't performin'.
  2. It can grow its team even stronger, and sexier; by outsourcing, it can pick up a top-flight team of hundreds within days -- without hiring, training, and managing.

The result?

  1. With its flexibility, Firm B can/will see that exponential growth in revenues.
  2. Meanwhile, Firm A -- if it's trying to grow revenues -- will move in an unfortunate linear fashion as it tries to keep every-little-frickin'-thing together.

When to Outsource

Outsource when:

  1. You truly cannot be the absolute best at something.
  2. Some function lies at the bottom of your company's profitability scale.
  3. You can grow revenues quicker through a outsourced partner.

You'll make your company more flexible, and adaptable to grow those sexy revenues. Whenever possible:

Outsource like a mofo.


Posted on May 16

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Scenario: "Dude, they just have to do well in the interviews. Yay!" How do you best measure somebody's potential awesomeness?

  • a) obedience
  • b) people-oriented
  • c) teamwork skills
  • d) results

Did'ya answer (d)? Ding-ding-ding! A socially-awkward dude who produces freakishly good results would destroy some swift-talking-Ivy-league-promoting-pseudo-intellectual any day of the frickin' week. Yes, most companies hire for the 'impeccably good' interviewing skills above and beyond everything else -- then ask themselves why they can't achieve ridiculously good results. Blah. To predict somebody's future ass-kicking, focus on concrete results they've accomplished in past positions.

What to Ask

Because of its sexiness in filtering out the best, we love it:

  • "How did you increase profits at your last company?"

That's short, sweet, and pinpoints how much they could rock for your company. If they give some half-hearted-shoddy answer that gives broad responses (e.g. "I took customer service calls, and I was good. Yay!"), heed caution. That could mean they lack initiative (i.e. just put in their hours to make their bucks). But, if Sally B, goes into some sweet-detailed response about how profits improved -- and importantly what she did to improve those profits when she were there, you've got a hot one. At the end of the frickin' day, it's all that matters:



Posted on May 14

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Scenario: "Dude, we need to plan everything, then work incrementally by parts until we get there! Then, we'll get super-awesome product on time. Yay!" You know how it works:

  1. Plan every-and-all project details.
  2. Work on each part one-by-one.
  3. At the end, combine everything.

You'd think you'll make it by the deadline; but weeks/months -- no years! -- pass, and you're wonder what the !@^^ just happened.

The problem with completing big projects using conventional methods?

  1. It's inflexible.

    If you need to change something, it affects everything else. Planning stages? That's right: seemingly, it's time to plan everything all-over.
  2. It's long.

    You won't get a working product until you're done; by then, market conditions change -- meaning you'll have to adapt from your plans. Oh no!
  3. It becomes de-motivating.

    Remember building that last big project? "I had passion when I started, but that quickly faded..." you're probably telling yourself. By the latter stages, you're tired, groggy, and working like a snail on weed.
  4. It gets you a blah-product.

    Complacency produces mediocrity. Instead of filling the every nook-and-cranny of the project with juicy-good fillet mignon, you start filling it with burnt-soggy-steak. Need real-world examples? Demo 95% of business software.

To rock a big project, do sumthin' else.

The Solution: Adopt Agile Development

All-world software developers use a method they crazily call: Agile Software Development. (We call it by its street name: ASD.) That is:

  1. They build a releasable product within weeks.
  2. Then, they build outward to create successively bigger product releases.

The first releasable product has the most important stuff done. They'll term it Version 0.1 (or, something similarly nerdy). Next, they'll expand that version outward with additional features -- where those krazy-kids will term it Version 0.2 -- releasing that version within weeks as well. Gradually, the successive small releases ultimately form one frickin'-juicy-good completed software item. Completo.

Why Does ASD Rock?

You start focusing on the most important sucka in the project -- get that out of the way, then fill in the other parts. That way, you allow yourself (or your team/business/yadda) to use the magic right away -- instead of waiting for a completed product with lesser important parts. Remember, in whatever humongous product you're building, keep this in mind:

  • 20% of the project serves 80% importance.

Likewise, regarding that above 'twenty-percent':

  • 20% within the twenty-percent serves 80% importance within the twenty-percent.

In other words, completing 4% of the project (i.e. 20% * 20%) serves as the absolutely-freakishly crucial role in the project's success, which you can complete within weeks (or days/hours).

  1. So, instead of aiming to complete 100% of your big-frickin' project, complete the crucial 4%.
  2. Then, build outward with successive releases.

Example: You + Your Web Design Business

Let's say you've decided to build the most influential web design business in the world.

So what does your butt do?

You start building business with its most crucial parts -- where you set a two-week launch date. After those two weeks: "I gotta start selling my web design services, or else!" you scream at the mirror. So, you get the essential parts done to sell web design in 2 weeks:

  • You produce a 1-page website detailing your awesome stuff.
  • You provide screenshots of your 5 previous homepage designs.
  • You get a phone number for people to order your shizzle.
  • You solicit testimonials to wow prospects on your marketing collateral.
  • You create an order form on that 1-page site to order online.
  • You get a business license, and a DBA.

Ta-da! You start selling your web design services by your deadline. Now, seeing how magical you were, you now tell yourself:

"It's time to service the B2B sector!"

So, how do you expand your web design business?

  • You give yourself two weeks to target the B2B sector.
  • You contract with one full-time experienced B2B salesperson.
  • You expand on the 1-page website with an additional link to your new service.
  • To not confuse your initial service, you term the new B2B service: B2Bdezigns2.0.
  • You describe the bottom-line advantages of having a pretty web design.
  • You emphasize how you optimize your designs to generate the most leads.
  • For marketing collateral, you solicit testimonials from your previous B2B customers.
  • You provide screenshots of your previous B2B designs, and show the % increase in leads.

You start selling the sucka within 2 weeks to those biznizzy-folks. Not only do you (1) now have a kick-ass web design service, but you've also (2) complemented the service with your B2Bdezigns2.0 to the business crowd. Next thing you know: Your business starts to rocket as you continually build outward -- and slowly-but-surely, it becomes one freakish behemoth with tons of profitable offerings, servicing 52 countries around the world, getting you on the cover of Forbes and Fortune, snatching you a million-dollar movie deal with Brad Pitt starring your life -- and, finally, the ultimate of it all: You get on Oprah.

To finish big stuff: Complete the releasable tiny stuff -- then build the mutha-!@^^%^ outward.


Posted on May 11

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Scenario: "Dude, we have to be frickin' profitable all the frickin' time! Yay!" You take Jimmy.

Jimmy wants to build a successful business.

He wants to ensure a 100% success rate in everything he does.

"If I lose money, then I will fail," he tells himself.

So, he studies business books, does crazy business planning, networks with the the business 'gurus' -- then grooms himself to be the biggest-baddest-coolest mutha-!@^^%^ in the business world.

"Everything I touch will turn to gold," he tells himself.

So he starts his web marketing B2B business, envisioning making millions within years.

First month in, he's getting negative cash-flow.

  1. Customers are late.
  2. Product cycles are long.
  3. Marketing not doing its thang.

He's losing money.

"Oh, crap. This can't happen. Since I'm losing money here, that must mean money can't be made here. I'll have to choose another route."

Quitting the web marketing business, he starts a web design business.

The web design business follows the same cycle:

  1. No money the first month.
  2. "That must mean you can't make money here!"
  3. "Next!"

A year later, he looks back -- then, notices he's started 12 separate businesses.

  • No success in any of 'em.
  • No money, no profits, nothing to show the world.


"I guess I wasn't meant to be an entrepreneur." he tells himself. "I give up."

Why Did Jimmy Suck?

What happened to him? Some possible answers:

    a) He wasn't made to be an entrepreneur. b) He quit too soon.

If you answered (b), ding-ding-ding-ding: corect-o-mundo to your badass.

It's excruciatingly tough to build a sustainable business that initially profits like a mofo.

Sure, you hear stories all the time on BusinessWeek, Forbes, or Fortune about some company making it big seemingly overnight.

  • But the odds of making it big with your business overnight is similar to winning the Powerball: it's freakishly tough -- and well, literally impossible.

For most thriving entrepreneurs, it took years of tears, sweat, turmoil, and dedication to build a sustainable system.

Most important of all: It took sustaining the momentum they built yesterday/last-week/month/year/yadda.

Why Sustain Your Momentum

Contrast serial entrepreneurs with those 'long-term' ones. Who's thriving like a mofo?

The ones who built on top of their experiences, then exploited those advantages every-single-frickin'-day.

Incessantly restarting your entrepreneurial career trashes whatever you took months/years/decades of learning.

  • It's like you're picking up basketball, then when seeing you're not the 'best' -- you start turning to golf, then to singing, then to filmmaking, then to -- yadda, yadda, yadda.

Then you sit back and wonder: "Why do I suck at everything?!"

To be a Michael Jordan, a Steve Jobs, or a Warren Buffett-- build on top of the sexiness that's already you.

Do it daily/hourly/every-minute/every-!@^^%^-second of your life.

Then -- seemingly 'magically' -- watch yourself rock as you capitalize on that momentum.

What Do We Mean?

Take this example: Dave's starting his web design business.

  • First quarter: He gets negative cash-flow, barely any customers, and horrible profit margins.
  • Second quarter: He decides to tweak his business model -- negotiating with contractors to lower costs, increasing rates slightly, reducing input/output. Profit margin jumps slightly.
  • Third quarter: He then automates his business with project directors to save time. To generate more customers, he works with a direct marketing firm.
  • Fourth quarter: Slowly, but surely, his profit margins increase -- and then some.
  • Fifth quarter:"Hey, we can also upsell our services with web marketing!" he screams. His profit margins fattens some more.
  • Sixth quarter: Ka-ching.

Instead of restarting, Dave builds on top of his sexiness -- slowly-but-surely creating one ridiculously thriving business.

Remember, you won't get there overnight; instead, it takes patience to build on top of the awesomeness that already makes you: You.

Sustain momentum.

Posted on May 09

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