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The Number That Matters

filed in Brand Strategy, Success, Worldview

Every so often I look at the list of readers who have subscribed to my blog but have stopped opening the emails they signed up to receive. When I see that they’re no longer interested, I unsubscribe them. I’ve personally done this almost 10,000 times over the past seven years. It’s harder than you think at first because we’ve been conditioned to believe that the only number that matters is the biggest one. What’s more important to me, and I’m guessing you too, is to reach and serve the people I can make the most difference to. That means respecting the choice of the people who are no longer engaged.

What would our world look like if we doubled down on only making work for the people we can move and only paid attention to the things that have the power to change us?

Image by Karina Yeznaian

Goal Getting

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

At this is the time of year of reflection and resolutions, instead of thinking about and working towards the things you want to do—create that new product, increase revenue, write a book, get fitter or finally visit the place you’ve promised yourself you’d see. Consider the outcome.
Explore the reasons why any one or any number of these things are something you must prioritise.
You get to where you’re going when you know where you’re going.
You enjoy the journey when you know why you’re going there.

Image by Luke Behal

The Measure Of Success

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Success doesn’t have to be a number or a word that ends with ‘er’—a sliding scale, determined by others who decide when enough boxes are ticked. Success is not always first over the line, less of this and more of that, a game of it depends. Success doesn’t even have to be someday soon, that destination in the distance, over there, one day, never now.

You can choose the means and the measure.

Image by DennisM2

The Value Of Subtraction

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

We spent an estimated $85 billion on hair care in 2017. Sales of products to combat dry and damaged hair are on the rise because more women are using straightening irons to get the ‘perfect look’. We have eaten our way through a $500 billion fast food mountain, then paid $83 billion for gym memberships to work it off. We have whiled away 2 hours a day on social media and tried to claim our time back by investing $56 billion in productivity apps.

When it comes to creating change, we often begin by thinking about what we can do differently to fix the problem. We question what we can add to the mix to make life easier, better, more productive.

Often it’s not what we start doing that makes a difference, but the thing we stop doing that creates the biggest shift. Maybe the growth and change we want begins with subtraction.

Image by David Phan

Better Than Before

filed in Brand Strategy, Success, Worldview

Our plumber, Evan, spends every minute of his day solving problems. There are no breaks to check email or to see who’s commented on Facebook. He’s too busy working things out, wondering where the source of the problem is or deciding how he might make the repair more robust than what was originally installed. Evan regularly deals with frantic customers and unreliable suppliers. He crawls over hot tin roofs in summer and trawls through muddy backyards in winter. He squeezes his head under toilet bowls and his body into roof spaces. A lot of his workmanship is invisible, hidden behind plasterboard and covered by tiles.

Evan’s job is a juggling act, tough work by every measure, yet he acts as if the work itself is a privilege—not just a means to an end—but an end in and of itself. He takes pride in his ability to use his hands and his head to make things better. He seems to see challenges as opportunities to do something right.

Of course, it’s not possible to always see a problem as an opportunity, but we can choose to be grateful for the chance to leave something better than we found it, no matter what work we do.

Image by Nikk


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