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Everything Starts With Something

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

When we’re starting a project or working towards a business development goal we typically have a laundry list of everything we want to do. From developing a new product to filing our tax returns, it’s in our nature to want to make immediate and visible progress all at once. That desire to do everything often results in paralysis. Everything seems overwhelming. Everything is daunting. Everything is impossible. So we end up doing nothing.

When we’re in a state of indecision or overwhelm about the next step to take there’s a magic question we can ask ourselves to clarify our options and create momentum.

‘If you could do anything, what would that be?’

The simplicity of some of the things on your ‘anything’ list will surprise you. Suddenly everything you could do becomes the things you should do. From there the trick is to pick one thing you will do. Everything starts with something. But only if you begin.

Image by Simon Q

A World Built On Promises

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Scott and Joanna are planning to open a two-hundred-seater restaurant along a small shopping strip that backs onto a residential area in their local suburb. They know the neighbours will be concerned about the prospect of increased traffic and noise from the venue, especially at the weekend when they open until 1 am. So they draw up a plan to mitigate the negative impact their business might have on the people who live in the area. They commit on paper to limiting the number of patrons allowed in the rooftop bar and to monitoring late-night noise levels. The trouble with the plan is that the restauranteurs’ intentions are at odds with the commercial reality of running a viable business. Their success depends on having a restaurant and bar full of happy customers spending money late into the evening. They will find it almost impossible to make the business profitable while simultaneously keeping the neighbours happy. Their goals are at odds with each other.

We sometimes make promises we know in our hearts won’t be easy to keep. There will inevitably be times when we must balance good intentions with commercial imperatives. But saying one thing then doing another is the surest way to erode, not only the trust of others but our sense of integrity. The alternative is to make more honest promises, to focus on why we’re committed to keeping that promise and how exactly we’re going to do it, rather than just simply on what’s being promised.

We live in a world built on promises.
The people who keep them are the ones who win in every sense of the word.

Image by Elisa Dudnikova

 

Who Trusts You?

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

We spend a lot of time wondering who we can trust. We are careful to work out who is worthy of our friendship, business or time. And yet, we often fail to make the connection between trust and success when it comes to ourselves.

You don’t become trusted by being more successful.
You become successful by being more trusted.
Start there.

Image by Zi Krostag

In Praise Of Intangibles

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Think about all the things you didn’t charge your customers for today, those things that don’t appear as line items in your budget. The care with which you choose ingredients. The way you treat your employees. The time you spend listening to a prospective customer’s problems, so you can excel at anticipating your future customer’s needs.

The intangibles that differentiate your business may not be visible on the balance sheet today, but they might just be the reason it endures.

Image by Creative Industries

A Measure Of Progress

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

In the animal kingdom ‘more’ is often the best measure of success. Herds and hoarders have a better chance of survival. But ‘more’ isn’t always the best measure of human progress.

The longest queue isn’t always a sign of better quality.
The most sales don’t always lead to a more sustainable business.
The greatest number of Facebook likes isn’t always an indication of the deepest impact.
The biggest accolade doesn’t always lead to the greatest fulfilment.

A lot of what we do every day is done in the blind pursuit of attaining more without making a direct connection to the benefit we hope to reap. But the largest number isn’t always a measure of progress. Is accumulating more followers on social media the best way to grow your business? Can you continue to produce more products with the same sense of integrity? Will you be able to give the additional customers the experience they deserve? Why is this growth strategy right for you?

It’s just as important to be intentional about the reasons we desire growth as it is to grow.
Grow because you must, not because you think you should.

Image by Jamie McCaffrey

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