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Something For Everyone

Pineapple Chili flavour ice lollies aren’t for everyone. And plenty of people hated Go The F**k To Sleep, which became a best seller by delighting parents with a particular worldview.

If everything was created for the market of everyone, there would be no room for art by Banksy, t-shirts by Threadless or $500 beats by dr dre.

Your job is to tell the best story you can to the people who want to hear it. To surprise, delight and bring joy to those people and to gently close the door on the people who don’t want to listen. Don’t worry about converting the life long Egg McMuffin eater to your Green Juice detox regime.

Unsubscribers, critics and naysayers are a gift. Say a mental thanks to them for saving you the job of working out who your right people are. Then go out and do everything in your power to woo the people who matter.

Image by Gavin Golden.

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Embrace Your Singularity : An Anthem To You

The secret of the most successful brands and similarly the most fulfilled people in the world, is that they know what they’ve got and they are not afraid to show it. They embrace their uniqueness and singular ideas, then tell the best story they can to the right people. Do you?

That’s how I started this post about brand story. I changed the title six times. As I wrote on, it became so much more. It morphed into an anthem to my clients, my dear friends and you.

For years I carried around the legacy of a convent education that taught me if I wasn’t a round peg, then I wasn’t good enough for university. My square peg story was my greatest asset and I didn’t even know it. My eventual epiphany? That degree I once mourned would have smoothed out my edges, given me information, not the knowledge that would serve my growth or my legacy. In the short term it might have made it easier for me to tell my story. Over time it would have made me lazy instead of self directed. Not having that piece of paper set me free. It forced me to trust my gut, to listen harder and made me embrace my singularity.

“I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them” ~ Pablo Picasso

Don’t be afraid to go out there and live your singular life. Be aware of what only you can do. Know that your singularity is your friend and embrace it. Allow it to embrace you. Shout it from the roof tops. Tell the world the truth you see when you look deep into your eyes in the bathroom mirror.

You really are one of a kind. Stop pretending you’re not. You are genius with a capital ‘G’. A sparkler of dreams. A muse. Gifted. The evidence is there for all the world to see. So stop being afraid to taste what those words feel like on your tongue, spit them out. Articulate your dreams, then go live them. Step into the story you were meant to live. The world so wants you to do that…. me too.

Image by Amarit Opassetthakul.

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How To Tell A Good Business Story

Start with the truth.
Identify the worldview of the people you need to reach.
Describe the truth through their worldview.
~ Seth Godin

What picture are you painting of your business? Are you trying too hard to sound more professional, bigger, slick, more polished than the competition? Is your story riddled with jargon instead of illuminated by truth? Does it make customers feel something?

Jargon puts your clients to sleep, kills the conversation dead,
and sucks the soul out of ideas

Think of your business story as the first date. As a way to start establishing the kind of relationship that leaves people wanting more. Your story doesn’t need to give all of the information, it simply needs to foster the next conversation.

Here’s some inspiration for you;

Skype is software that enables the world’s conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles.”

“37 Signals ~ Goodbye to bloat. Simple, focused software that does just what you need and nothing you don’t.”

And you don’t have to be one of the big boys to do this either, tiny businesses are doing this too.

”At Sherbet we keep it simple; freshly baked goods handmade on site in small batches, using the best quality ingredients- Madagascan vanilla beans, French Valrhona chocolate, free range eggs, and fresh seasonal fruit. Inspired by the cupcake bakeries of New York city. Welcome to Sherbet.”

Future Shelter products are designed by Adam Coffey and Jane King. We are driven by the need to create new and interesting products that are not mass produced but carefully hand crafted and locally made. It matters to us that our products experience a happy life from start to finish. We produce them lovingly in our workshop with care and attention to detail. We like to choose environmentally friendly ingredients (either recycled materials or reclaimed from local businesses) but we also consider the life of the product too. We want our products to last and be passed down through future generations.” [retired copy]

Ristretto Perth’s Coffee and Espresso Specialists. Source, Roast, Share. Doing good things to good coffee in the Perth CBD.”

“The gifted people at Rochelle Adonis create a decadent feast of cakes and confections that will close your eyes and widen your smile.”

Does your business story make your best people breathe a deep sigh of relief, as they whisper;
“Thank God I’ve found her, where do I click, how do I book, when can I buy?”

Image by digitalexpress.

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The One Thing To Remember About Website Traffic

Of course you want more ‘traffic’ to your website. After all;





Behind that ‘traffic’, every statistic, every blip on your analytics, every search term that brought them there. Behind every Tweet, Like and +1 is a person just like, you who wants to matter.

Think about that for a second. They too scraped ice off the windscreen this morning, took their kids to soccer practice last night and commuted to work so they could pay next week’s grocery bill, or next semester’s college fees. And they found you by sitting on the other side of this screen searching for something beyond information.

Remember them every time you sit down to post, design a product, or open your shop doors and you’ll do your ‘best work’, the kind of work that earns more than just traffic and eyeballs and authority.

Bonus — 56 tips on how to get traffic to your blog from Seth Godin.

Image by crazy stitch.

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You Really Are The Heroine Of Your Own Story

Yes it’s December alright. You know this because your to do list just got longer in all the craziness and extra obligation that is this time of year, (*truth*—however much you love holiday season). You feel it in the tightness across your shoulders and you make room for it, with less sleep every night.

Imagine then, how I was stopped in my tracks, before a single vinyasa, outside my new yoga class this week by a sign that read;

I create my calm

Now I’m a girl who is used to creating opportunity from nothing, somehow though, the thought of having the power to create my own calm, in that moment, hit me like a crosswind and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Here’s the thing, you actually have the keys to your entire kingdom, not just one room in the castle. You are directing your life, one tiny frame followed by another.

We are all living parallel stories,
but we each get to script our own ending

You are free in each moment to be aware, to process, to decide and to take action on every single thing that happens today. You don’t simply create intentions and results. You really and truly are the director and heroine of your own story.

Image by Mojoey.

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If : A Love Note To Entrepreneurs

If you’re doing your best work.
If you touched one person.
If it makes a difference to a handful.
If you’re building a legacy, not just an empire.
If your values are front and centre.
If you’re launching ideas from the heart.
If you understand why you’re doing this.
If it doesn’t have to matter to everyone.
If you care.
If you can see the world as it isn’t.
If passion is your master.
If possibility feeds your soul.
If meaning is your currency.
If you embrace failure alongside success.
If permission doesn’t get in your way.
If understanding the problem to solve matters.
If people are your inspiration.
If you could change one thing.
If you know the questions to ask and aren’t afraid of the answers.
If you could ask for anything today, would ‘this’ be it?
If not this, then what?

Image by Tram Painter.

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What Makes Ideas Matter?

Ideas are formed in the mind, but triumph in the heart.

Your fabulous, worthy, well thought out ideas might have logical foundations. Logic though is not what will convince people to rally to your cause or click the ‘Buy Now’ button.

So begin everything from where your audience is. Set out to deliver to them the feelings they want to feel. Your idea must matter to them, not just to you.

Image by Madridmobs.

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Why Learning To Say No Matters

When you started out you were so glad to get email enquiries, calls and visitors. Getting people through the door, even a virtual one was the best feeling! Someone was interested in what you were doing. Your idea wasn’t going to flop, your services were needed and more importantly wanted. You weren’t going to fail and starve. You were so overjoyed to see and hear from these clients that you forgot to set boundaries. “Just email me anytime.” “No problem.” Your fear of failure created a monster. A never-ending stream of questions, requests and demands.

Now there are days, lots of them, when you feel you are suffocating under the weight of your inbox. It’s not the client’s fault, they are just doing their best to manage their own emergencies and so the cycle is never broken. Unless you do something about it that is.

When was the last time you said, “no”? What’s stopping you? Maybe you’re afraid that your reputation will be hurt, that people will stop coming back or go somewhere else. Perhaps they’ll tell their friends and that will be that. The work will dry up and you’ll be out of the game.

The thing is if you allow unnecessary admin, (the kind that you can clear up by managing client expectations), to suck all the joy out of your work, then you’re going to kill your ‘art’, and your business slowly anyway. Your impatience with clients and staff will eventually show, and your resentment will mean that you never do your best work.

If you are overwhelmed by mismanaged expectations, then you leave no space. No time to think, create, design, brainstorm, make maps and come up with ideas worth caring about. No time to say, “yes” to the right things, and no time for the thing that brought people to you in the first place.

Image by Joe Shlabotnik.

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Building A Currency Of Trust

It’s tempting when selling your product, service or idea just to focus on what it takes to make a particular transaction happen. That transaction might make a dent in the balance sheet in the short term, but it’s important not to lose sight of what will make a long term difference to your business and to focus on the legacy of the interaction.

The purpose of each interaction is not to sell your idea
or your answer.
It is to foster the next interaction,
to build a currency of trust.

Now more than ever as our networks expand and we operate in the global village, far beyond our neighbourhoods, legacies are built on tiny transactions and leaps of faith.

Trust is built over time. Bit by bit. Interaction by interaction. Doesn’t matter whether that’s in your cafe, your studio, or on your Facebook page.

So how do you focus on building the legacy of every interaction?

Image by Meredith Farmer.

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Doing Legacy Work

Legacy work is intentional. Legacy work is what made you get just three hours sleep last night. Legacy work is risky and doesn’t come with cast iron guarantees. Legacy work is the thing that will have meaning when you’re gone. Legacy work has no respect for time or circumstance.

Legacy work shoves ego aside; it is, by definition, something that is not for you. Legacy work comes from a place of abundance, not scarcity. Legacy work catalyses ten, twenty, or a thousand other legacies. Maybe even a million, or perhaps just one.

Legacy work creates a billion distant ripples you will never even know about. Legacy work involves softly closing countless doors, in order to allow the right ones to swing wide open.

Legacy work is what you are here to do, and you know it.

Legacy work is a choice. That knowledge, those choices, that weren’t open to your mother just half a century ago scare the living daylights out of you.

If you choose to do the things that truly scare you today, chances are you are building your legacy.

Image by Storm Crypt.

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