A new local grocery store around the corner from us finally opened its doors last weekend. For weeks we’ve been pressing our noses to the window as the new tenants swept the floor and stocked the shelves ready for the big day. The previous grocer stocked only organic produce, operated a juice bar and sold…

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When I was growing up, my mother tried selling various products from home to earn extra money to support our family. I remember cookware and cosmetics being demonstrated to small groups of her friends over cups of tea and homemade sponge cake in the living room. From day-to-day, Mum used the same old pans that…

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Almost three months ago, when restrictions due to the coronavirus began rolling out across Australia, panic-buying ensued. The CEO of one of our supermarket chains began writing a weekly email newsletter to customers in response. In it, he addressed customers’ genuine concerns about the availability of everything from flour to toilet paper. He gave people…

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When an aspiring author is pitching her work to a publisher or agent, she needs to address the agent directly. In her query letter, it’s not enough to be aware of her book’s strengths—she must also know who it’s for and why this particular agent will care enough to read the first few chapters. It…

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We’re usually excited about growing our audience or expanding our customer base. It’s hard to close the door on what might look like an opportunity to serve or scale. But we do our best work when we know exactly who will get the most benefit from it and who it brings us joy to serve.…

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I once worked with a startup in the financial services industry. The foyer of their office building was all polished floorboards, high white walls and minimal seating. Inspirational magazines were strategically arranged on low tables, next to the espresso machine. The walls were completely bare apart from a big decal that declared how many customers…

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Think about the last time you were influenced or persuaded by a message. What was it that changed your mind, opened your heart or compelled you to act? I can guarantee it wasn’t facts or data alone. The most effective way to move people to act is by telling them a story. These past weeks,…

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I had so much fun talking about how to save a story, with my friend and colleague Michael Bungay Stanier on his new podcast. Some of the things we talked about were: The anatomy of a great story Building resilience, trust, and connection through everyday storytelling Why storytelling allows you to navigate the present and…

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When you and I were at school, many students had a reputation. We can recall the smart and funny ones. The artistic or athletic ones. The introverts and the extroverts. Those reputations were not bestowed—they were built. People’s opinions about you are based not just on what you say, but on what you do. You…

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Over the past few weeks, my inbox has filled with emails from organisations I’d forgotten I’d ever had contact with. I must have signed up to an email list or bought something from them many years ago, but it’s so far back, I can’t remember why. We’re all still trying to work out how to…

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