How To Make Yourself Happy

Happy ElephantYou’re in a bad mood, you need to cheer yourself up. Some people go on a shopping spree, some people eat their feelings. If you think spending money on yourself is going to make you happier you’re wrong, kinda. The feeling you get after you spoil yourself with materialistic gifts is short lived and your long-term happiest isn’t affected at all.

So how do you make yourself happy?

It’s a remarkably easy solution.

Do something nice for someone else. Biologically we get more of a benefit from spending money on other than we do on ourselves. If you don’t believe it check out this article on how to buy happiness.

Here’s a video of me talking about how to make yourself a happier person.

If you want to learn more about the study on how to buy happiness here’s the Ted talk.

3 Reason Why You Won’t Change And What To Do About It

We need to changeThe three reason why you won’t change and inevitably never get out of the hole you’re in.

1. You can’t admit to being wrong.

Usually not being able to change for the better comes down to one thing and one thing only, ego. Yup, you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to major business decisions. To change your organization into an innovative, growing, even thriving company you must take a long hard look at yourself and ask what’s holding you back.

When’s the last time you admitted to being wrong in front of your employees?
How well do you take feedback?
How well would your co-workers say you take feedback?

Are you usually right about everything around the office?
Are you too busy?(cliche answer) Is it you don’t want to let go of control?

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Darwinism of Business Strategy

Digital Darwinism

Your customers are changing. Your customers want more, they want different, they want new, the want fully-loaded, and the want minimalism. How will you adapt?

It’s easy to stay with the status quo. A wise person doesn’t rock the boat, the old adage goes. But that’s assuming the sea is calm of course. What if the sea has transformed into a turbulent hurricane and the only way to stay afloat is to rock the boat and embrace the waves?

Business isn’t getting less turbulent, you may think your organization is immune but when it comes time for layoffs, a horrible “I told you so” is going to be the last thing you remember from your obsolete job.

It’s survival of the fittest on a whole new level.

The only constant is change. You must adapt. You must cannibalize your own products. Steve Jobs said this. His rationale was that if you don’t cannibalize your own products your competitors will.

Your core ‘why’ may never change but you’re probably going to change everything else about your product/service offering. Why wait till the market forces you to change? Why not lead change?

Plan to innovate. Plan to get feedback on your innovation. Plan to measure what works and be willing to change the plan based on the feedback you receive.

The organizations that thrive in 2013 and beyond will have a determination to adapt. A willingness to change for the better. They will take calculated risks and understand that the riskiest place to be is standing still avoiding change.

(Photo Credit: Digital Darwinism: survival of the business)

Professional Stock Photos-the we can make a mobile and a desktop website

9 Websites Brandon Built That Got To The Front Page of Google

@Brandon_wuThe other day going a bunch of websites that Brandon had built a while ago we started noticing something odd. Whenever we would Google the obvious search terms that a website should be ranking for they turned out to not only rank but usually rank within the top 3.

And yes I checked the actually universal search terms not just the Google results on my laptop. Any time you Google something it’s customized based on your past search, location, and activity on Google+. For a true search you must turn off personalization.

Here are some examples:

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17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising

These quotes were found in eight different, wonderful books.

Books-on-Strategy,-leadership-and-advertising

Killing Giants is a fascinating read especially if you like business strategy. I made more highlights in Killing Giants than any other book on my Kindle thus far.

The Big Leap is about taking on the habits of successful people and not self-destructing when finally achieving success. This book isn’t for everyone but a short read nonetheless.

Winning is a ridiculously smart book, Jack Welch is one badass CEO. You’ll get a lot out of this book, I use quotes from Winning in presentations all the time.

The Ad Contrarian is a breath of fresh air in our social media crazed world. Bob Hoffman is on a Podcast I listen regularly, he’s knows his %&$#. I like his point of view because you don’t always agree with it, but he makes you think about marketing in a different way. Read his stuff, he’ll make you smarter.

101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising is similar to the Ad Contrarian in writing style and that’s about it. You’ll learn even more in this book. Bob is one of the influential voices on marketing of our present time.

The Impact Equation is by two of the smartest minds on online marketing and personal development. They give you a new formula to look at your social media strategy. I got a lot out of this book but I’d read Julien and Brogan’s first book Trust Agents first though.

Confession of a Madman is a hilarious journey through the life of George Parker, one of our fore fathers of advertising. He’s also on the Beancast (podcast) and swears his face off. He’s one of the ol’ boys. He doesn’t care about what anyone else says so you know he’s always being genuine. His book is entertaining with stories about his experience in the industry. Not a real heavy academic theory read at all.

A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink is a book you should read. It’s about how society is getting smarter and a different type of brain is helping us in the future. Full of stories and real life lessons you can apply. I highly recommend this book.

On Strategy…

1. It doesn’t matter how nice the packaging is if the product sucks.

 

Quotes-Killing-Giants-if-dogs-don't-like-your-dog-food

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Regina city scape

6 Ways To Make Your Website More Trustworthy

Have you ever heard about a company and look up their website to find what looks like a Chimpanzee’s art project in MS Paint? Five years ago you could get by without a website and still do business just fine. Today very few companies can get by without having something resembling their brand online.

Today just having a website doesn’t suffice. If Google can’t find your website you’re not going to acquire search traffic. If you’re not putting anything worth while on your website no one’s going to care (no your newsletter doesn’t count as something people care about).

People buy from people and companies they know, like and trust. Here are six things you can do to make your website stand out and be more trustworthy.

1. Have your contact info (e-mail and phone number) very easy to find on every page. Make it easy for people to ask a question. If it’s difficult to find your contact info it feels like you don’t want me to contact you. Unless of course you in fact don’t want people to contact you ignore this one and move on to two.

Display phone number on your home page

2. Give your “About Us” page some love. Of the websites analytics I’ve seen, the About UsStrategy Lab Regina About Us Page page is by far the most popular page other than the home page. Your potential customers want to see who you are before they do business with you. The more the can find out about you before you meet the better. Lots of pictures and video if at all possible.

3. Have blog posts that get comments, Retweets, Likes, Shares, etc. The more social shares and comments a website has, the more you know people actually give a damn about what they’re writing about.

4. Have links to your company/personal Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages, Pinterest Pinboards, LinkedIn Pages. But only on the very important caveat of “if thou shall keep a link to a social network on thy website, be certain to stay active on thy social network”.

Social Media Icons

5. Display badges of associations, affiliated websites, and awards you have won. If you’re a home builder a link to the Home Builder’s Association google-analytics-qualified-individual-usermakes a lot of sense. Being on the AdAge Power 150 or completing a course in Google adds a lot of credibility to your company. As long as it doesn’t seem sleazy or to cheesy, include your Best Employer award, Your Customer Service Award, Your JD Power & Associates, heck if you win a Juno, put er up! If you’re winning awards you must be doing something right, right? If you’re associated with websites that add to your credibility ensure images and links to those sites are visible.

6. Include testimonials either on the home page or one click away. People often hide their testimonials or keep them on a page deep in their website. If you’re as good as you say you are, other people will say really nice things about you. Put what they say on your homepage. There’s no more powerful marketing than a recommendation from someone with authority.

 

“I’m Too Busy”

When you say I’m too busy you’re making an excuse. You’re prioritizing in your mind, you’re telling yourself you couldn’t possibly do one more thing. It’d be too much, you couldn’t handle doing any more.

You’re telling yourself a story to justify how busy you are. It’s a defense mechanism of the lizard brain to protect our primal self from the uncertain outcome of whatever it is you’re too busy to do.

99% of the time this is not a good thing. Making excuses to do less is not going to help you get ahead in life. But we all do it. Have you ever said no to going out when a friend asked because you were too busy? Have you said no to a special volunteer project at work because you were too busy? Do you not get involved, help, volunteer, draw, sing, play guitar, write or dance anymore because you’re too busy?

Sorry to burst your bubble but everyone is busy, you’re not special. I’m not saying I’m immune, I’m saying this is something we all need to desperately work on, our success depends upon it.

The only difference between really successful people (who weren’t just lucky) and regular people is that successful people have figured out a way to do more. They work harder than the rest. They regularly commit to things beyond their capabilities. They stretch their personal boundaries enough to be out of their comfort zone a lot, that’s where the major learning lies.

On the contrary what if you weren’t too busy? What if you started trying to say yes more(it worked out well for Jim Carrey) What if you started doing things more efficiently to give yourself more time*? What if you committed to something beyond what you think you’re capable of? What if you made a goal to not say “I’m too busy” anymore?

The easiest way to help yourself is by helping other people.

The next time someone asks you to do, join, or be a part of something and you want to say “I’m too busy” ask yourself if you really are too busy.

* – In an 8 hour day performing 8 tasks within that day, at a rate of 10% faster than usual(8 hours=480 minutes 480×10%=48 minutes). You’d have an extra 48 minutes in your day to do whatever you want with.

 

My 2013 Goals

This will be the biggest year of my life and hopefully yours too.  As such I thought it would be helpful to set a couple goals.  Do you set goals?  You should.  I could help you.

1.  Win the last game of the season coaching volleyball.

My favorite pass time for the past few years has been coaching volleyball. It’s the best.

2.  Read 52 books this year.

Came up several short last year.

3.  To have a family dinner once a week.

I have a 15 month old nephew who thinks I’m just the funniest.

4.  To help the University of Regina Alumni create something to be proud of.

Already in progress. Will report back.

5.  To fall in love with the organizations that want my help. (Ehem, Capital Ford, Regina Police, Regina and District Association for Community Living).

6.  Have SIAST ask me to teach more. (I’m teaching a marketing class for the first time ever this semester).

7.  To speak in a province or state that I’ve never spoke in before.

Yes I’m still giving out lottery tickets during presentations if you were wondering.

8.  To grow Strategy Lab to five of us.

Yeah that’s right, tell yer kids, tell yer wife.

9.  Lose 20 pounds.

(I’ve been trying for 7 years but love cooking and wine far too much)

10.  To always give credit when do.

A teacher in grade 11 once told our class when ever you receive amazing service you should tell the person or company. They may never know the impact they’re making unless you tell them.

11.  To admit being wrong more often.

This is more so for Brandon and Linden. We argue a lot. Good arguing though. I think.

Where do you want to go?

Cheshire Cat - Alice in Wonderland

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and Saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
“Which road do I take?” she asked.
His response was a question:
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

If you don’t know where you’re going it’s going to be difficult to get anywhere. In life you must set goals, have a direction or a general purpose. The more you know about where you’re going, the easier decision making is when you come to the fork in the road.

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