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…

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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…

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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…

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The biggest mistake a brand can make is to try being all things to everyone. Weak brands settle for doing what’s easy or obvious. They appeal to the market of everyone, avoid the edges and thus become interchangeable with their competitors. Strong brands know they are this and not that. They intentionally aspire to be something…

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Conventional business wisdom suggests that success is dependent on achieving scale. We’ve come to equate fulfilling our potential with being number one—having the biggest piece of the pie. In our quest for success, we sometimes forget to question how much pie is enough. Exceeding the optimal amount of pie has consequences. We fail to deliver…

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The best investment I ever made in myself and my business was buying a copy of Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow. Seth taught me that remarkability was a choice. Just as business owners don’t work just to pay the bills, writers don’t write just so they can eat. They write to create the change they…

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Every business begins with a choice to be better. Not necessarily to be better than the competition, but to be a better option for the people it hopes to serve. As we become mired in the day-to-day work of business building, we can lose sight of our original intention. Nike’s Bill Bowerman chose to be…

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The bus headed back over the Golden Gate Bridge as we neared the end of our tour of Sausalito. The driver pulled over at the second last stop and turned off the ignition so that he could ‘address his guests’. Then Dwayne Johnson (the man who had the name before the celebrity who made it…

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Enlightened entrepreneurs and visionary leaders don’t simply try to predict the next hit. They spend less time wondering about what people are interested in and more time caring about why people are drawn to it. Yes, it’s important to notice trends, but it’s far more valuable to understand what’s driving them. When we know what…

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The kind of marketing we practice is a result of what we’re most curious to know about our customers. Many marketing campaigns are created by asking the following questions: A. What will they buy? B. How can we get them to buy? The resulting tactics become about near-term targets, buying more attention and competing on…

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