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People like new things.

  • You're happiest at the start of relationships.
  • You're happiest on the first day of your new car.
  • You're happiest when you travel for the first time.
  • You're happiest when you meet somebody new for the first time.

Happiness soon fades as the novelty disappears.

You + Brain

Researchers say dopamine (the happy juices in our brain) rises when we experience something new.

The first time you bought something new:

  • "OH I SO HAPPY! I SO HAPPY! I SO HAPPY!"

But then, as the days went, the happy juices faded, we went back to our old selves, and looked for something new and novel to release those happy chemicals.

Why Do People Love Apple?

Apple attracts peeps by repeatedly producing new innovations that surprise the freak out of us -- releasing our dopamine happy juices, and attracting us to the company with every new/pending innovation.

Without Apple's endless stream of bringing us something completely novel that revolutionizes how we see a product category, we'd focus on other innovative companies that can supply the happy juices for our brains.

  • To make your customers happy forever, provide them something new forever.

You don't need to revolutionize X like Apple, but constantly innovating and providing new things for your customers over an eternal period will keep their eyes on you.

New stuff forever.

Posted on January 16

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  • You're at work. You think about home.
  • When you're at home, you think about work.

That vicious cycle continues as you become super unproductive at both and just SUCK like the SUCK that makes you suck.

How do you not suck?

To become fully-focused at what you do, you must clear your mind such that the only thing that bothers you is that motherbuffkin task in front of you.

To clear your mind, recommends productivity guru David Allen, simply do this:

  • Write down what you're thinking to stop thinking about it.

That lets you mind think: "HEY! I can get to it later!"

BAZAMBAZAAAAAM

What happens?

Because you've emptied your thoughts to your tidy little collection bucket away from your fabulous brain, your productivity soars as your mind clears to let you focus 100% fully on the work.

  • Mik: HEY BOB? WHAT U THINKING?
  • Bob: I'm not thinking about ANYTHING BUT THIS TASK because I emptied my brain to focus on THIS TASK! HIGH FIVE!
  • Mik: OMG OMG OMG U DA MAN. OMG OMG OMG

WOOHOOOO!

Dump thinking to bucket. Focus freely.

Posted on January 15

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Marketing is a game of pitches.

  • Your chances of selling to a prospect is 0% (or virtually nil) if the prospect doesn't hear your pitch.
  • Your chances of selling something to the prospect is > 0% if the prospect does hear your pitch.

And, the number of pitches (almost always) correlates linearly to the number of conversions; the more people who hear your pitch, the more you'll convert.

So, here's one pitch:

  • If you can spare something, please donate to the Red Cross (http://redcross.org) for Haiti.
  • And if you can, pitch the Red Cross in a tweet, email signature, Facebook status, etc.

The more people who read/see the pitch, the more donations we'll raise for Haiti.

Posted on January 14

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  1. You're eating.
  2. You're thinking of something, which makes you eat longer.
  3. Your eating and thinking starts sucking.

The Tip

  1. Finish the task in front of you as quickly as you can.
  2. You leave yourself more thinking/focused time.

Your increased focus makes you more productive.

  • For instance, Bob's taking a shower -- but he's multi-tasking by thinking about X at the same time. It takes him 20 minutes  to finish.
  • Scenario B: He focuses on finishing the shower as quickly as he can. That takes him 10 minutes. Now, he has 10 minutes to do nothing but THINK. His thinking time is now more focused and productive.

BUT WAIT

Bob might just need 2 minutes to think of the same things as he would in the multi-tasking shower (Scenario A); if that happens, he saves 8 minutes to do whatever he wants.

  • Multiply those 8 minutes by 10 mundane things he does that say, and he ends up conserving 80 minutes per day.
  • Multiply those 80 minutes by 30 days = 40 hours saved/month.

%^+# WIN.

Stop thinking:

  • In the shower.
  • On your bed.
  • When you're eating.
  • When you're brushing.
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Try this:

  1. Finish the task in front of you as quickly as you can.
  2. Then think.

You free up ridiculous time to think + do other things.

BAM.

Finish first.

Posted on January 13

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  • John does consulting for ABC Company.
  • He helps ABC Company with X.
  • He thinks charging them $10K for X is outrageous.

What in the $&@#%*+ should John charge?

Say ABC Company is 30-person company -- a super small company relative to the rest of the established ones out there.

Say the ABC Company pays, on average, $40K/year to each of its 30 employees; that means that their payroll:

  • Costs $1,200,000 per year.
  • (...or $100,000 per month)

If John is helping ABC Company work 10% faster for instance, that means he's freeing up $120,000 for the company every year to work on other tasks.

BAM

$10K Becomes Cheap

$10K becomes a bargain to the company if John saves ABC Company $120,000 every year (which works out to a ridiculous 1200% return on investment).

The average company is happy if it can achieve returns greater than 10% every year (which beats market averages and 90% of mutual fund managers); SO GUESS WHAT JOHN:

  • YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR PRICES FURTHER
  • WOOOOHOOOO!

Instead of the 'crazy' $10K John had assumed, he can skyrocket his prices and still look attractive to the company.

Pitch Concrete Value

Businesses have tremendous resources; if you can help them increase their bottom lines by even a tiny fraction, you will build a sustainably sweet business.

O U KNO!

Price by X value.

Posted on January 12

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Here's one way.

Take Billy.

Billy's picking up a basketball for the first time.

He takes his first shot. He misses.

  • "IM NOT GOOD AT THIS!" he screams. But, Fichael Bordan, a basketball superstar, slappppppss him.

KEEP SHOOTING SON.

  • So, Billy keeps shooting. And shooting. And shooting.

Until he gets better. And better. And better. And, eventually, he makes his basketball team.

His teams KICKS EVERY TEAM'S ASS during season. "We can win the championship," Billy tells his team.

The Championship Game Happens

Billy and his team lead The Rabbits by 10 points with one quarter remaining.

The Rabbits, led by their all-star backcourt, jump on Billy's team, scoring a bunch of points to tie the game.

Ten seconds left.

It's Billy's chance to be the hero.

Little Susie inbounds the ball to Billy. Billy takes the ball to midcourt when OH NOES OH NOES OH NOES

THE RABBITS STEAL THE BALL FROM BILLY AND SCORE. BILLY'S TEAM LOSES. OH NOES OH NOES OH NOES!

Billy's team loses the championship, and the glories that come with winning it.

Billy's depressed.

He can't think of basketball.

Every little mention of basketball makes him cringe. He destroys everything he owns associated with basketball (trophies, gear, etc .) to make him feel better.

"I quit," Billy tells himself.

  1. So he quits, and picks up football.
  2. ...thinking heartbreaks won't happen, obstacles will vanish, and he'll succeed in football without any struggles.

Why Do Entreprenuers Fail?

One heartbreak can cause Entrepreneur Bob to act irrationally, and make him think that every little win that he had in the past is now useless because of one heartbreak.

  • That one heartbreak clouds every single-positively-good thing he has achieved up to that point.

It's akin to having a great relationship with somebody ("This person is amazing!") and then breaking up because of one incident ("This person is worthless! How can someone not return a text within X minutes?!?! It's called RESPECT!")

BAM!

  • You'll see struggles/obstacles/barriers; don't let them cloud what you've already achieved.

Press on.

Stick to it.

Posted on January 11

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One motivator -- why we do the things we do -- is to get compliments.

A straight-A student loves the praises that come with achieving high scores, so s/he continues to seek those highs by maintaining high grades.

  • An MMORPG gamer likes the compliments that come with leading a team to victory over a rival, so s/he seeks more battles to win.

A technology blogger loves the Twitter links that come from writing freakishly resourceful topics, so s/he writes more of those articles.

  • A former Hollywood bombshell goes crazy with her face with freakish plastic surgery because she wants the compliments to continue.

When you contributed something pretty-frickin-insightful to a discussion topic online, you went back to that post 9869864797457 times to see the reactions and compliments.

And did you stop with just one insightful post?

OHNOYOUDIDNT-HIGHFIVE! You contributed even more insightful stuff as the compliments added fuel to keep YO-BOOTAY going.

Humans crave compliments.

A business that dishes out praises for good work encourages the good work to continue.

If Shimbibooboo does a great job on X, compliment Shimbibooboo.

WIN 4 ALL

Praise good work.

Posted on January 09

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Crazy doods:

  1. We have 1 shot to succeed.
  2. If we can't hit the homerun on our first at-bat, we fail.

Smart doods:

  1. We have 98659858964 shots to succeed.
  2. As long as we keep trying, we will succeed.

Wut wut wut.

Take Marketing

Shibimbo invents a super sweet product.

  1. OMG! OMG! I'm so excited. OMG!
  2. Let's invest everything into infomercials!
  3. We will win! OMG!

Infomercial happens, Shibimbo fails; Shibimbo goes bankrupt; Shibimbo cries like an ostrich who just lost his mother to diabetes because she ate too many Big Macs while drinking orange juice in the hood.

Cows.

Take This Rule of Business Success

Everything you do has an X percent chance that it will succeed (i.e., give you a positive return on your investment).

  • Because the odds to succeed are usually low, when you do 1 thing, the odds of you failing: HIGH.
  • When you try many things? The odds of you succeeding: HIGH.

Avoid putting everything into one basket (e.g. "We will market to these people, and we'll let them define our success. OH YES WE WILL")

Entrepreneurs normally fail because they give themselves one shot to succeed; it's akin to a baseball player giving himself one at-bat to hit a homerun.

Instead, spread your eggs to give you as many shots to succeed as possible (e.g., We'll market to these readers; if that doesn't work, we'll try advertising on Google; and if that doesn't work, we'll try PR, etc., etc.)

WIN

The try-a-bunch-of-things approach goes with anything:

  • Finding a good product idea.
  • Finding a good team.
  • Finding a good strategy.
  • Finding a good way to innovate.
  • Finding a good way to get customers.
  • etc.

Then when you find the success that you've been chasing, jump on it like it just stole your momma's briefcase that she bought in Antartica because it was too cold there so she bought the briefcase.

Try 98659964498537886488548 things.

Posted on January 08

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  • "We gotta strategize!"
  • "We gotta get consultants!"
  • "We gotta lease expensive offices!"

How do you impress your clients?

BAM:

  • Reach out and help your clients.

Done!

YAY! HOORAY!

  • "I thought you might find this article useful..."
  • "I noticed you can improve your server's speed by..."
  • "I saw that you can increase your conversion rates by..."

A simple, no-strings, "HEY! I thought this might help..." establishes relationships and gets the indirect goodness:

  1. Reciprocity effect.
  2. Indirect marketing pitches.
  3. Brand-building.

Why do we put our moms above everyone else?

Because, most likely, our moms help us a 9764975587589 times more than anyone else, and every one of those interactions strengthened the relationships further.

  • Helping people = RELATIONSHIP WIN.

Try:

  1. Email 1 customer today.
  2. Help.
  3. Repeat with even more helpings tomorrow.

ROK

Help!

Posted on January 07

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You're selling tacos.

Your goal: Open 5 taco restaurants in 3 months.

  1. But, you're like: HEY! IT TOOK ME YEARS TO OPEN ONE. NO WAY TRIZLE
  2. But then SuperTreezy comes and slaps you.
  3. And, he's like STANDARDIZE SON.

What does standardizing mean?

Why do Target, Whole Foods, McDonald's, Cheescake Factory, Borders, Chipotle, Starbucks, the yaddas, look all the $&@" same?

It's because the senior managers of those big freakish thriving chains were like:

  • HEY LET'S STANDARDIZE!
  • We'll exploit what we've already built.

What is it like?

IT'S LIKE COPY AND PASTE

Bazam, bazam, bazam, bazam!!!

You copy and paste the store layout so you don't need to rehire expensive architect teams, interior design teams, etc.

  • You copy and paste the menu so you don't need to come up with new cuisines and pricings for a new store.

You copy and paste how you recruit high school and college students so you don't have to have constant meetings to get new talent every time you open a store.

  • You copy and paste your signages, chairs, tables, dishwashers, so you don't need to find new vendors and shop for new items with every new store opening.

With your business's standard way of doing things, you start growing your stores exponentially faster like YOU = ROCK STAR, with a simple copy and paste.

High five 2 U!

COPY. AND. PASTE.

Posted on January 06

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