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Scenario: "Dude, just..a...few ..more...minutes of browsing these webpages. Then, I'll work. Yay!"

What happens to most people when they turn on their computers?

  • 0:01 (1 minute): "Hey, I'll check my email. Then, I'll work!"
  • 0:05: "Hey, I'll browse ESPN.com. Then, I'll work!"
  • 0:10: "OSU made the Final Four! I'll read, then I'll work!"
  • 0:20: "I wonder what the key match-ups will be!"
  • 0:40: "I wonder who the favorites will be. Work after!"
  • 1:00: "Oh crap! I just wasted an hour. I gotta read articles on how to manage time better. Yay!"
  • 1:20: "Whoa! I gotta check out these productivity blogs they recommend. Then, I'll work!"
  • 2:00: (Looming deadline) "Okay, I'll have to do the work now. I just wasted two hours. Ahh!"

As a result, you start doing crappy work because:

  • You limited the amount of time you could work.
  • You drained your kick-ass-rate with negative self-talk when you started working.
  • You boosted your chances of procrastinating again thereafter.

The solution? Shut off your computer if you've set no purpose for your computer time; you'll save super-massive time -- and boost productivity like mofos with wings.

How Sexy Internet Time Can Destroy Productivity

You know what happens when you tell yourself you're just going to spend a few more minutes browsing the web? Like a freakishly juiced-up Energizer bunny, you keep browsing...and browsing...and browsing -- until a looming deadline forces you to work (chaotically). As Newton's Law of momentum goes, as you continue browsing the web more-and-more, it becomes harder-and-oh-so-harder to stop.

  1. That is, first you might think: "Oh! I'll just browse so-and-so, and then I'll work!"
  2. But in reality, what happens? "Oh, I'll just browse another page -- and then I'll work!"
  3. And the cycle freakishly continues, reverting back to ^1.

Uh-oh.

And what happens to your self-esteem?

You drain it like a mutha-fo in deepo shizzle. Peep this:

  1. When you start browsing the web, you start feeling a little guilty. Result: -1 self-esteem.
  2. As you browsing the web a little more, you start feeling a little more guilty. Result: -3.
  3. As you do it more, you feel much more guilty. Result: -10.
  4. Yadda, yadda.

Not only do you limit your time to do your magic, but you also destroy your confidence to kick-ass doing your work. Productivity = Massive Drainage. Double-uh-freakin-oh. But, don't fret. Here's a solution.

How to Use Your Computer Time Efficiently

Simply:

  1. Set a purpose for your computer time.
  2. Viciously stick to that purpose when you're on your computer.
  3. Get off the computer when you're done.

Simple, sweet, and effective. Because you likely browse aimlessly on the web, know precisely what you'll accomplish before you touch that computer mouse. That could mean:

  1. Respond to weekend emails.
  2. Create user's manual for Judy.
  3. Buy 100 leads from LeadsABC.
  4. Find five facts about Lincoln's leadership.

Accomplished your mission? Now, get the !@^^ off the mutha-!@^^%^ computer -- and congratulate your badass: (Restart the cycle for other tasks, as necessary.) You've just saved precious time from your beautiful day. More importantly, you prevented your booty from wasting hours on the web doing useless nothing-ness.

Yay.

"So I can't have my computer sexy time?! Ahh!"

Not at all. If you're not scheduling carefree fun-time on your computer, you're actually draining your productivity even more. So, start incorporating those computer-sexy-fun-times into your schedule. For instance, that could mean:

  1. Read 3 Final Four articles on ESPN.com.
  2. Spend 10 minutes on Digg.
  3. Browse 5 Amazon.com bestsellers.
  4. Play a game of Warcraft. (Can't leave out you geeks.)

Then, start noticing how fabulously productive you become.

Sidebar: Scheduling Your Computer Time

Have trouble scheduling your stuff? Read this. The template to get you started:

"I'm touching my mouse because: ____________________________."


(The sharper, the better.)

Posted on March 26

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Scenario: "Dude, I'm so out of it. I cannot go on. I'm going to give up. Ahh!"

Imagine chubby Teddy running the marathon.

  1. He's 10 miles from the finish line.
  2. He feels tired, depressed, crazed, and alone.
  3. No one cheers for him. Instead, they point.
  4. "I want to quit!" he screams silently. "How can I possibly continue?!"

Now, if:

  1. You're his coach.
  2. You're deaf.
  3. (i.e. You can't speak to him.)

How would you boost his confidence to continue running?

  1. Give him a thumbs up.
  2. Send him a note: "Be your biggest cheerleader, playa."

Did ya answer (b)? If so, yay for your behind. When you're down-and-out, and lack that mutha-!@^^%^ confidence to continue building your business, just use this deliciously sexy tip that always (always!) come in handy for us: Become your biggest cheerleader. It's simple, useful, and non-trendy. Here's how.

How to Become Your Biggest Cheerleader

You know that voice inside of you when you're lacking motivation?

  • That thing's telling you: "Hey...you suck."

Now, you probably don't realize this -- but that inner-voice has the same effect on you as an overbearing teacher, a crazy boss, or Lindsay Lohan. That inner-voice is like another person -- albeit: super-negative -- living inside of you, draining your motivation like crrraaazzzy. The solution when you're down-and-out and need a quick confidence booster?

  1. First to that hater inside of you: Knock him the !@^^ out.
  2. Now imagine a team of 20 cheesy cheerleaders all-around-you, cheering you.
  3. Act accordingly.

(Note: Cheerleaders can be anybody -- e.g. random fans, parents, family, best buddies, actual cheerleaders, etc.) What happens? Subconsciously, your mind starts hearing your very-own-personal team of cheerleaders chanting:

  • "Let's go Billy. Let's go!"
  • "Yeah, you can do it, Billy! We know you can!"
  • "B-i-l-l-y. What does that spell? Billy!"
  • "Hey you! Yeah you! We believe in you!"
  • "You can do this, Billy, you mutha-!@^^%^ badass who eats meatloaf for breakfast. Yeah you!"

With positive-thinking from all dimensions, your mind starts boosting your confidence immediately. That's according to a study by Harvard University's Bacca Levy; when you surround yourself with positive associations, you start kicking-ass-and-taking-names. You team of cheerleaders: one of sweetest tools in your arsenal you'll ever have. We promise.

"Where my cheerleaders at?!"

 

Posted on March 23

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Scenario: "Dude, testimonials clutter our message. No testimonials. Yay. High-five!" Oh, but you'd be losing sales in bunches if you're hiding those testimonials. Why? Testimonials psychologically increase Johnny Beebob's chances of buying from you - by tapping the - herd effect': "So many people buy from you; that must mean you're good. So, you've automatically boosted my chances of buying from you, too." (Yes, that sucka goes through a person's subconscious when they see testimonials. Troof.)

What Influences Us

Peep this -- What initially influenced you to buy your last:

  • Car?
  • Movie ticket?
  • Business book?
  • Watch?

For the ridiculous majority of us: Somebody else. That could've been:

  • A colleague.
  • Our friends.
  • Reviewers on Amazon.com.
  • Bestselling lists.
  • Positive reviews from movie critics.
  • Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda, oh yadda.

It's a psychological phenomenon that most kick-booty marketers know, use, and overwhelmingly embrace: In our fabulously-awesome world of democracy, the power of the people has the most power in influencing what we buy.

If you haven't used the power of the people in marketing your company:

You're losing sales. Lots of - em.

Why People Buy What Other People Buy

When people don't have sufficient information to make a super-wise decision (and: the masses almost always don't have that info), they'll base their decisions on what other people do. That's according to our main man, Psychologist Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University. For instance:

  • If Sally Fro's professors all shout a political ideology, she'll likely shout it too.
  • If Craigy Willy attends a big football school, he'll likely become a football fanatic too.

And in the business sense:

  • If voracious reader Timmy Toothboy discovers a new bestseller, he'll likely buy it.
  • If Pinky Blue's friends all have MacBooks, she'll likely purchase it.

People subconsciously think: "If everybody around me is doing it, it must be the ideal decision. So, I'll do the same thing!" That's why you see:

  • Segments of idealistic rebels.
  • Segments hating big business.
  • Segments with the Mary Jane.
  • Segments loving Britney Spears.

"If others feel the same way, it must be the ideal way!"

So, if you're trying to sell to those completely unaware of your brand: Stick those testimonials into your marketing materials - to show potential customers that: "Yes, other people buy from us. They love the experience. You'll feel the same way." (Provided, of course: You actually do kick butt in your customer service.)

How to Gather Those Testimonials

(1) After every transaction or (2) when talking to a past customer, ask for delicious feedback. Now, you could do that one of two ways by asking:

  1. "Can you describe your customer experience?"
  2. "Can you provide us a testimonial?"

Why Prefer Asking ^1

It's objective. Instead of potentially getting testimonials filled with superlatives that make people more cautious of them; e.g.: "OMGOSH! This company is SO GOOD, that I sometimes wet my pants! Oh-YAY!" You get objective feedback about your service - which unconsciously influences Johnny Beebob much more to buy from you. Now:

  • If you're good: You have nothing to worry.
  • And, if you suck: That just means you have to improve your service for next time to get those testimonials you're seeking.

(As always, remember: Strong mutha-!@^^%^ ethics build long-term businesses.) So, start embracing your fabulous testimonials. Flaunt it. Love it. You'll boost sales. We promise.

Embrace testimonials like the sexy-^^!@^^! that they are.

 

Posted on March 22

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Scenario: "Dude, we have to keep finding answers. We're geniuses, and we know everything. Yay. High-five!" Most entrepreneurs who start companies think this way:

  1. Start a business.
  2. Search for answers.
  3. Then, they brace themselves for success.

But, that's why 90-some-odd percent of businesses fail. Kick-booty entrepreneurs instead lead their shizzle this way:

  1. Start a business.
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Seek answers to those questions.

Why? Asking questions drives you to understand the opportunities, the booby-traps, and the best resources for your business's goals; that drives you to understand the smartest route to your destination.

What Not to Do: Follow Johnny Boy's Route

CEO Johnny Boy -- thinking he's the king of the mutha-!@^^%^ jungle -- tells his "people":

  1. "Yo Marketer! Send 1000 flyers to Jomomma City."
  2. "Yo Manager! Tell employees to increase widgets count."
  3. "Yo Finance Gal! Cut costs on benefits. We need profits!"
  4. "To Everybody Here: Dream! Dream! Dream! High-Five!"

What happens to his company's potential? Potential = Drainage. Instead of capitalizing on his people's expertise, he tries to be a jack-of-all-trades -- killing his company's potential to kick-ass in every facet of his organization.

Why Asking Questions Rocks

Your current business situation is akin to being lost in a foreign country. That is:

  • You don't understand precisely what to do next.
  • You're ignorant of the the threats to your adventure.
  • You have super-duper-knowledgeable people around you if you just ask.

So, when you're in a foreign country, what would the smart brain inside of you tell you to do?

Ask questions to those familiar with the area (e.g. the best road to get there, sections to avoid, what to expect, maps you need, etc.) That is, if your business destination is to build the next-great-sexy software company, you'd:

  • Question those who've already built successful software companies.
  • Ask analysts what's the brutal realities of the industry.
  • Ask experienced managers the best way to build software from scratch to sell.

And if you already have a business...

In the same vein for instance, if you already run a software company, your knowledge sucks compared to those already near the situation at hand. So:

  • You'd ask your managers what's holding up productivity.
  • You'd ask your marketers the best customer segments.
  • You'd ask your customers the best way to improve your service.

Result: You build a company revolving around freakish strengths to pull you through any freakish barriers to your destination. Win.

How to Ask Those Questions

Three steps:

  1. Know your company's ultimate destination.
  2. Understand what expertise you need to get there (e.g. the geography prodigy, the driving guru, the terrain wizard, etc.).
  3. Apply their expertise by asking them unbiased questions to get to that destination.

Oh-Yes-It's-In-The-Research

The best leaders ask the most questions; they never have all of the answers. That's according to a study by Stanford Business School researchers on leadership, as well as another study by GW Professor Michael Marquardt. Questions > Answers (x 984180958209819289421)

Ask questions, playa.

 

Posted on March 21

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Scenario: "Dude, you gotta meet each other in our offices to get things done. Yay!" 99.948739287432% of companies run their teams similarly:

  1. "Be on time at 9 a.m."
  2. "Do your work in your cubicles."
  3. "Take your lunch at 12 a.m."
  4. "We all meet at 2 p.m. to discuss!"
  5. Leave at 5 p.m."
  6. Yay!

Yet, what Worker Jeffy, Worker Jesse, and Worker Jacky really do throughout the day:

  1. Slacking off 70% of the time.
  2. Working the rest like a vicious slow-!@^^%^.
  3. Draining individual productivity like M.C. Hammer's buh-bling.

"Hey, we get paid based on fixed incomes," they tell themselves. "What's the incentive for working faster?" Result: $$$$$ lost in company productivity. If your team suffers from an production drainage, boost output/input like a villain by virtualizing them. We'll explain.

"Virtualizing?!"

"Virtualizing" teams mean:

  1. Deploying every team member to work solo.
  2. Collaborating when necessary.

That removes "junk/trash/down"-time, dramatically increasing output-per-input.

How?

Why Virtualizing Teams Boost Results

Virtualizing teams forces you to set clear destination points for them.

  1. Instead of compensating input, you start driving and rewarding productive output.
  2. Instead of paying "how many hours we've worked!," you start rewarding: "how much ass we've kicked!"
  3. Johnny Boy, now knowing his slack-off-time won't pay him diddly, accelerates his production-per-hour.

El Resulto: Ridiculously Sexio Resultos.

It's in The Research.

Researchers from USC and North Carolina, and a team of consultants researched the output generated by successful virtual teams in the Harvard Business Review's May 2004 issue -- finding:

  • "Several team members...contributed much more during virtual meetings than...face-to-face settings."
  • "[They] felt compelled to articulate their views more precisely than if they had depended on visual cues."
  • "Although many did affirm the value, in theory, of meeting together in the same room, few in practice found it essential."
  • "Holding such traditional meetings would have harmed the teams' work processes."
  • "Everyone expects [meetings] to be where the real work will take place and avoids doing anything of value until the meeting occurs. Our [virtual team] leaders dealt with that problem by never holding one."
  • "Decisions in a complex project have to be made continually. Postponing them until everyone assembles slows everything down - way, way down."

Indeed.

How to Virtualize Your Teams

Simple two-step process:

  1. Set a clear objective + deadline.

    For instance: Case ^1: "Finish 5-page informational website for YoMama Associates, by April 5th, 2006 @ 5:00 p.m." works more rad-ass than: Case ^2: "Work for 8 hours on the website, and see what you get done. Yay!" Then when you've set your objective + deadline, start setting compelling rewards if teams meet those objectives + deadlines -- e.g. bonuses, promotion, trips, etc.
  2. Step 2: Connect the team through collaborative tools.

    Without tight collaboration, you'll generate a team with clashing interests/ideas/goals. [The researchers found the best teams communicated regularly (i.e. once/day).] Fortunately for your badass, you're living in a Web 2.0! world filled with collaborative tools, project management applications, and wikis to keep you connected. (Tip: Google "collaboration tool" -- and you'll find a host of solutions.) If you have the bling, consider a customized collaborative solution.

Sidebar: The Awesomeness of Virtualization

Once you get the hang of virtualizing your teams, you get your pick of: (1) The most amazingly awesome workers (2) from anywhere around the world (3) at the best possible prices. Instead of limiting yourself to Johnny Boy's abilities, you open a can of optimal ass-kicking. Your team sucks at design? Don't fret. Let's hire Efrain in Japan. Win.

Virtualize.

 

Posted on March 20

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Scenario: "Dude, we're just trying to make money and buy Porsches. Yay. High-five!" Beethoven, Gandhi, MLK, Gates, Jobs, Jordan, Lincoln, and Carnegie had one common denominator. When you performed like an all-world rock star, what drove you to perform at your peak?

  • a) Self-rewards (e.g. money, rewards, etc.)
  • b) Interests beyond self-rewards.

Probably the latter. Ridiculously meaningful work drives you to perform at your freakish peak.

Why Meaningful Work Rocks

Psychologist Abraham Maslow terms fulfilling meaningful work as, "self-actualization." That is, people perform like a ridiculous mutha-!@^^%^ when they tap their inner passions:

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.

Instead of tapping the conscious mind to motivate you, you start exploiting your unconscious mind -- that houses creativity, discovery, and intuition -- to tap where you most kick booty.

"What is meaningful work?"

Beethoven had a different meaning of 'meaningful work' from MLK, who himself termed it differently from Carnegie. The world won't define it for you; only your sexy-self can. Start asking yourself a simple question: "How meaningful do I find my work?" Ta-da: now you have a clearer perspective of your unique definition of meaningful work. What your answer probably means:

  • Response ^1: "Blah!" - You're performing very sucky.
  • Response ^2: "It's something I have to do!" - You're performing very sucky.
  • Response ^3: "I was meant to do this." - You're kicking ass.

If your answer's not similar to Response ^3, don't fret: ya got some hope.

"How do I seek meaningful work?"

Start off with a simple: "If I had five years to live, what would I do?" That should generate a good road map to what you really should be doing -- whether that's altering course, changing business goals, building particular social networks, etc. Seeking meaningful work, according to Maslow, involves a huge exploration process. (That is, you won't get your answer overnight.)

"So how I know I'm there?! Ahh!"

Once your unconscious mind starts telling you: "I was meant to do this," -- you're on the right path. And, without realizing it, you'll start performing like a peak mutha-!@^^%. The rule of thumb: The more meaning you find in your work, the sexier you'll perform.

Seek freakish meaning.

 

Posted on March 19

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(After you read this article, you'll undoubtedly change your fabulous life. We'll explain at the end.) Scenario: "Dude! I'm as smart as I can be. I learned everything in college. Yay!" An American television show that's receiving a semi-plethora of media attention calls itself: "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" The kids intellectually destroy the adults in answering basic elementary questions -- seemingly -- 95% of the time. The culprit? As adults get older, they're less likely to work their brains; as a result, their brainpower starts draining like a mofo. Think of it this way:

  1. Your brain is like a muscle.
  2. The less you work it, the more you weaken (atrophy) it.
  3. The more you work your brain, the more you strengthen it.

How to Weaken Your Brain

Like most adults progressing through their lives, Teddy lives his life this way:

  1. 1st-6th Grades: "Yay! I'm learning the basics!"
  2. 6th-12th Grades: "Yay! I'm learning more complex stuff!"
  3. College Years: "Yay! I'm learning specialized stuff!"
  4. Entry-Level Years: "No need to learn! I learned everything in college. Yay!"
  5. Managerial Years: "I learned everything in college. Yay!"
  6. Executive Years: "I learned everything in college. Yay!"
  7. Retirement Years: "I learned everything in college. Yay!"

The ^ of times Teddy goes on a learning rampage after his learning years: Zilch. As a result, his brain gradually becomes dumber...and dumber...and dumber -- until he starts a daily habit of forgetting his keys, birthdays, appointments, yadda, yadda.

Competing in this world by relying on your school years?

That's like arm-wrestling the current Ultimate Fighting Champion by relying on your bench-presses in college. To keep your brain fresh, remember: Knowledge = Power boost = Sexy.

"But...what if I've learned nothing in decades?!"

Don't fret. It's all good. According to researchers, it's never too late to start strengthening your brain. Think of it this way: a frail 88-year old dude can start working on his biceps, and he'll see noticeable effects within a week. Because your brain is like a muscle (like your biceps), you'll start strengthening it with some frickin' good knowledge -- and see super-rad effects within the same week.

"So, how can I strengthen my brain?"

Anything that involves a mental exercise works great.

  • You wouldn't want to train with 2-pound weights to build muscles.
  • Likewise, you wouldn't want to pick up some 2nd grade arithmetic textbook to boost brainpower.

Instead, seek arenas where you can get that mental energy workout -- you know, the ones that give you that super-sexy-fresh-feeling afterward. Some examples:

  1. Read a well-researched management book.
  2. Brush up on your marketing studies.
  3. Learn something new in your industry.
  4. Study how humans/employees work.
  5. Do a crossword puzzle.
  6. Solve the Rubik's cube.
  7. Play some chess.
  8. Learn a language (for you nerds: a programming language!).
  9. Read Trizoko! (He He He..)

End the day with one sweet question: "What did I learn today?" Keep us in touch when you win a Nobel.

Sidebar: "Will this article really change my life?"

You betcha. Regardless of what you do after this article, you've already changed your life by altering your subconscious (just for reading this article -- thanks!). It's in the sexy research

:

  • In a single semester, [Columbia Researcher Lisa Blackwell] reversed [her] students' longtime trend of decreasing math grades.
  • The only difference between the control group and the test group were two lessons, a total of 50 minutes spent teaching not math but a single idea: that the brain is like a muscle.
  • Giving it a harder workout makes you smarter.
  • That alone improved their math scores.

Yay for you!

Work your brain like the !@^^% that it is.

 

Posted on March 16

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Scenario: "Dude, you are the frickin' smartest frickin' person to walk the frickin' Earth. Wow! You-so-so-A+-intelligent! A+! Booyah!" Let's say Anuj just developed the most super-sexy-fabulous project report for your client, that's now raking in loads of cash. Now if you want to train an all-world superstar-in-the-making, how would you praise Anuj?

  • a) "You are the most amazing person in the world!"
  • b) "Your project report was super awesome. I admire your extremely hard work and perseverance!"

Untrained managers would go: A! But since you're a super-dope manager, you'd guess the answer is B. And, you'd be right. The rule of thumb to tack onto your managerial wall:

  1. Praise how your people work -- not their intelligence.
  2. You'll build superstars who continually rock the world with you.

"What's wrong with praising intelligence?"

You know those sayings:

  • "You're super smart!"
  • "You are the best designer, ever!"
  • "I could never hire anybody who can paint like you can!"
  • "You're crazy-sexy-awesome!"

The problem: You build perfectionists who lack motivation, abandon perseverance, avoid risks, and drain performance. According to Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck (courtesy of GK):

Labels, even though positive, can be harmful. They may instill a fixed mind-set and all the baggage that goes with it, from performance anxiety to a tendency to give up quickly. Well-meaning words can sap children's motivation and enjoyment of learning and undermine their performance.

To Positively Praise Your People...

Two simple rules:

  1. Don't praise them (directly).
  2. Praise their work.

That is:

  • Instead of: "You're a great designer! Yay!"
    Go: "You designed a really fabulous kitchen decor."
  • Instead of: "You're so smart! Booyah!"
    Go: "You were amazingly dedicated to your client."
  • Instead of: "You're like an eagle: You just soar, and soar, and soar! Yay for you. Oh-tay!"
    Go: "I love how you interact with our customers."

When you find your employees doing something well, instead of praising their intelligence -- as tempting as that might be -- tell your fabulous people:

"Yo! Yo work = super-fab!"

 

Posted on March 15

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Scenario: "Dude, we can't play. We gotta work. Yay!" Say you have a client project due next month.

What's the best way then to "Wow!" your client?

  • A) Schedule play everyday.
  • B) Schedule work everyday.

Conventional wisdom would tell you: "It's B! It's B!" But, conventional wisdom -- as seemingly always -- sucks. Locking yourself up into your office will get you shabby results, where you keep yourself busy without producing much -- according to Berkeley Psychologist Neil Fiore. Scheduling play everyday instead stimulates your soul to work much more productively, while keeping your morale higher than a freakish eagle.

How Play Speeds Productivity

Remember a big 10-page term paper in college that you had due in about a week, but hadn't yet started? Did something interrupt you between those days (e.g. a ball game, a concert, a night club, an evening run, a yadda)? Let's decipher two scenarios that could happen:

Option ^1: "Nope! I wasn't interrupted."

If you didn't let anybody interrupt you, you probably still completed your work -- albeit, you felt pretty dull during most of the process. Instead of driving your entire heart, body, and soul into every minute of your working hours, you instead went through a similar route:

  • 1st day: Go over notes.
  • 2nd day: Go over notes.
  • 3rd day: Go over notes.
  • 4th day: Write 1st page.
  • 5th day: Edit 1st page.
  • 6th day: Write 2nd page.
  • 7th day: Write 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th pages. Proofread, cite, review, design cover letter, print, yadda.

You scheduled 7 days to work -- but, you really completed the majority of your work within a fraction of the alloted time. According to Fiore's study:

The anticipation of extended isolation from friends and recreation is likely to promote procrastination.

Option ^2: "Yes! I was interrupted."

Now, if you scheduled play: You not only (1) had a frickin' good sexy time, but (2) your productivity most likely soared. Why? Your badass subconsciously told yourself: "Since I have limited time to work on my paper, I will have to work more efficiently. Therefore, I will have to smartly plan my working schedule."

  • 1st day: "Crap! I only have four days to write ten pages. I'll go over notes and write the first 3 pages today, so I don't feel guilty about going to the concert tomorrow."
  • 2nd day: Fun-sexy-time! Attend concert.
  • 3rd day: "The concert energized me. Let's write the next 3 pages."
  • 4th day: Fun-sexy-time! Attend ballgame.
  • 5th day: "My morale's rockin'. Again, let's write the next 3 pages."
  • 6th day: Fun-sexy-time! Run the College Invitational.
  • 7th day: Write final page. Deal with logistics. Finish!

Cheesy language aside, scheduling play ironically drives you to be much more productive according to Fiore:

We are more likely to work productively when we can anticipate pleasure and success rather than isolation and anxiety.

How to Schedule Play

You'd think to schedule play, you'd have to:

  1. Schedule work first.
  2. Schedule play second.

But when you see your work schedule filled with work, scheduling play becomes super difficult. Instead, do what performance psychologists recommend:

  1. Schedule play first.
  2. Schedule work second.

You'll start seeing yourself churning the shizzle out of every working hour. We promise.

Play first, playa.

 

Posted on March 14

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Scenario: "We really don't like our customers -- but only in secret, so that they can love us and buy more from us. Yay!" Like most bad businesses-builders, Oblivious Opie recounts his experiences dealing with customers:

  1. "I always smile at them."
  2. "But inside, I'm thinking: 'Would this bastard hurry up?!'"
  3. "It's always a me-against-them mentality. I have to make my money, so I'll put up a false front."
  4. "That's the best way to run a business."

You ever hear about those business bosses/owners/reps/yadda (like Opie) talk smack about their customers at the local pub? As in:

  • "They're always so ignorant!"
  • "I really don't like them!"
  • "They think I'm Superman!"

Well, you awesome folks, it runs both ways: If Opie's talking smack about Hector, Hector's probably talking smack about Opie. The rule of thumb: Whatever you feel about your customers = how your customers likely feel about you.

"Why should I care how customers feel about me?"

Customers that don't like you:

  • Don't come back.
  • Tell their friends to avoid your business.
  • Create a spiraling effect of lost customers.
  • Severely, drains your bottom line.

Customers that love you:

  • Become repeat clients.
  • Bring masses of folks to your business.
  • Fatten your bottom, exponentially.

One customer relationship has a massive impact on what happens to your future business. If you can cultivate it into a strong relationship, you'll start seeing some pretty rockin' things coming to you.

"But, what if my customers really suck?"

Two solutions:

Option ^1: Fix the relationship.

It takes a lot of humility, but here's how we'd do it: Blame everything on you.

  • If a Sally's ignorant about corporate design, mock up those manuals for her.
  • If Billy Bob requires too much service, create a FAQs message board on your website.
  • If Cristofolo's slow on his invoices, help him pay more efficiently (e.g. offering online payments, etc.)

Option ^2: End the relationship.

If a customer's an incurable pain, your next best bet to building a rockin' business: End the relationship, so you can focus on those customers who get you out of bed everyday. You'll boost your business's morale, longevity -- and of course, those future transactions. (The more you work with those you love, the more future transactions you create.)

"So, how do customers feel about my business?"

A rough-but-good guideline for ya:

  • If you feel indifferent about them = they couldn't care less about you.
  • If you secretly despise them = they secretly despise you.
  • If you like them somewhat = they like you somewhat
  • If you love them = they love you

Sure, outliers do exist, meaning you could love Customer Cassie with all your heart -- but she just thinks you're super-creepy. For the most part, however -- by psychological rule of reciprocity -- you'll discover how much customers like you by asking yourself how much you like them. The rule of thumb to guide your success:

"If I'm loving all of my customers, I'm doing something super sexy awesome."

 

Posted on March 13

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