Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Category: Professional development (page 1 of 78)

Are you going to do your best work today?

If not, what story are you telling yourself, which is motivating you to do less than you’re capable of?

Just for today

Tell yourself a more empowering story. Choose to give everything you do your very best shot. Then, do the same tomorrow.

The world deserves to see what you are truly capable of… not a cranked-down version of your amazing self.

Could this mindset have a direct, positive impact on your business and your life? Yes. Yes it could!

How to be an overnight success

overnight success

Here are some proven examples, of how to be an overnight success.

  • Angry Birds creator Rovio became an overnight success, after 51 less successful games, 8 years of hard work and almost going bankrupt.
  • Harry Potter author JK Rowling, became an overnight success in 1997… though she started writing fantasy stories as a child, more than 20 years earlier.
  • The Beatles become an overnight success, after playing more then 1000 gigs.
  • The fastest selling Kickstarter book ever, was written by Seth Godin. Most people say it took around 3 hours. Godin said it took around 8 years. That’s how long it took him, writing blog posts almost every day, to build a big enough community to reach his Kickstarter target in 3 hours.

The overnight success formula

So, here’s how to be an overnight success in 2 steps:

  1. Choose the date you want your overnight success to happen.
  2. Work hard for years, leading up to that date.

Be extremely cautious of anyone suggesting otherwise.

How to find an extra 35 hours a week

By far, the question I get asked more than any other, is: How do you find the time to write as often as you do?

Here’s the answer

I don’t watch TV. The ‘average’ person watches between 5 and 6 hours of TV a day (it varies from country to country). By avoiding it, I have an extra 35 hours a week available. I use some of that time to write.

Here’s a great question for you: What would YOU choose to do, if you were able to find an extra 35 (or even 5) hours every week?

Bonus question: How would that improve your life?

Growth Hacking, shortcuts and building something of value

What kind of work (or art) are you going to produce today?

I was prompted to ask this question, after remembering a radio interview with Cyndi Lauper. Cyndi was talking about her career, when the interviewer asked her, what advice she had for aspiring artists. I’m paraphrasing here, but Cyndi’s reply was to never compromise your work for short-term gain. Instead, think about your legacy.

Cutting corners

In the age of Growth Hacking and shortcuts, it’s worth remembering that our reputation and legacy is built on the quality of our work.

It’s about the value of what we do… not how quickly we do it or how many corners we cut.

There are no traffic jams on the extra mile

I heard a great quote the other day: “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile”.

Whilst every business I have ever encountered claims to go the extra mile, we all know that in reality, very few businesses actually do it. They try hard, sure, but they try hard without going a mile beyond what we expect.

So, why does this happen and what can we do, to ensure we’re truly going the extra mile?

I can’t or I won’t?

I have found that there’s some confusion with the words can’t and won’t. People often say they can’t do something, when what they really mean is that they won’t.

Here’s the thing: When a service provider tells a customer (and themselves), that they can’t do something extra, they end the possibility of it happening. Can’t is a dead end. It can’t be done. That’s it.

Here’s an alternative approach, which can help you retain your clients and attract massively more referrals too.

An opportunity to disappoint or to shine

Think about it: When a restaurant stops serving at 2:30pm and you arrive at 2:33pm, to be told they can’t serve you, what they really mean is that they won’t serve you. They can serve you. However, they’ve chosen not to serve you… not to go the extra mile. By pointing to a sign that says they stop serving food at 2:30pm, the service provider has an excuse not to try.

You leave disappointed.

Of course, the best service providers would use that same situation as an opportunity to go a mile beyond what you expected of them. They’d explain that it’s a few minutes after they stop serving, but that they will make an exception for you. In doing so, they would have delivered a great customer experience story, for you to share with your friends.

The lesson here?

Before you tell a client or prospective client that you can’t do what they want, ask yourself if what you really mean, is that you won’t do what they want.

Now, if they are being totally unreasonable or selfishly trying to get you to work for free etc., you shouldn’t allow them to abuse your good nature.

However, if what you are being asked is something you can do and you believe they are sincere, you have a decision to make. You can do what they expect, and refuse.

Alternatively, you can be one of the rare few, who actually goes the extra mile. You can build stronger, deeper bonds with your clients.

Plus… you can give your marketplace a story about your business, worth sharing.

If you don’t like the way your future looks, change it!

Your future has not been written yet. No matter how things look today, by making better decisions and backing them up with action, you can turn things around.

What a wonderful, empowering opportunity.

Apple died in 1996

According to one of the world’s best known research companies, Apple were already finished when Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1996. A Forrester Research analyst was quoted in The New York Times saying:

“Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.”

Of course, what followed was the transformation of Apple, into the world’s most valuable company.

Start today

Rewrite your future, starting today. Be the star of your own success story. Let go of the failing familiar and embrace the changes required, to take your life and your business to the next level.

A great way to start is to answer the following question: “If my business (or life) was perfect in every way, what would it look like?”

Then, get writing!

Include as much detail as you can. Don’t compromise — if you can imagine it, no matter how amazing, exciting or scary it sounds, write it down and make it a part of your future.

Once you know what your ideal future looks like, you will have the focus and clarity required, to start moving in the right direction. You will find it easier to avoid distractions and make progress like never before.

Then take just one step, each day, to an amazing future. YOUR amazing future.

Need help? I’m here.

Do you have a strong will or a strong won’t?

It’s hard to achieve anything of real value, without a willingness to persevere.

It started when you were a baby

You persevered for months, falling and getting back up, before you learned how to walk. Then you persevered for even longer, learning how to talk. And today, your results are largely defined by your decision to persevere… or quit before victory.

As Henry Ward Beecher said:

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.

Sometimes it isn’t our strategy, our tactics or our intelligence that blocks our path to success. It’s our commitment to persist for long enough.

When we improve our mindset, everything else follows.

Learning from the uphill climbs

I recently started cycling again, after a long time away from the saddle. One of the things that immediately struck me, was how hard it was to climb hills.

For the first couple of weeks, I’d see a hill ahead and dread it.

Then it struck me that the climbs were the most valuable part of the ride. Climbing hills built my stamina and worked the rest of my body more than the enjoyable, flat part of my route. The climb was my friend.

Soon, I started looking for routes that had hills. Hills equalled growth. Hills equalled progress.

The business cycle

In many ways, business is the same. We often achieve our most remarkable results, when faced with an uphill challenge — for example, the loss of a major client. These challenges force us out of our comfort zones.

  • They cause us to grow in a meaningful way.
  • They show us what we’re capable of.
  • They make us more resilient.

Embrace the climbs, my friend. After all, no challenges equals no progress!

Tip: Read this – What everybody needs to know about comfort zones.

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