There Is No Such Thing as Getting More Than You Put Into Anything

the impact equation

“There is no such thing as getting more than you put into anything.”

I love this quote, it’s attributed to Kim Nicolaides, I read it in Julien Smith and Chris Brogan’s new book called The Impact Equation. I’m about half way through and have been highlighting in my Kindle a lot. It’s like the no bullshit guide to marketing your company and yourself.

“Well, no matter what your stance, it’s the process of starting that matters. Starting once, on any given day, is easy. Starting every single day is hard, but it’s how your media will be created, how your book will get written, and how your empire will be built. As Kimon Nicolaides once said, “There is no such thing as getting more than you put into anything.” In other words, the work creates the results. There are no shortcuts.”

There’s no easy way about it. It takes a lot of hard, pain-in-the-ass work to accomplish anything amazing. You don’t just wake up one day and have a well read blog, huge Twitter Following or massive Facebook page, you wake up every morning and try to improve just a little bit. Being persistent, doing the work, and constantly improving, in time you’ll have created a masterpiece.

We all have the choice to do the work or not.

The Most Underrated Part of Your Business: Your HR Strategy

Coda Family PageWe never talk about our human resource strategy, HR’s never really top of mind, and we don’t attend many board meetings on specific outcomes of next years’ HR strategy. Why is that? HR has a bad wrap stemming from University, everyone joked about the crazy HR lady at companies. You know, the lady that had been there for 30 years and still hugged you on occasion but recognized it was “wrong” in the workplace?

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Why A Retroactive Customer Service Strategy is Silly

Quotes-sam-walton-the customerThe vast majority of organizations don’t do customer service properly. Without a great customer service strategy, you end up being retroactive in how you deal with customers. The smart companies understand that if they first delight, impress, or go out of their way for their customers, they will have to do a lot less apologizing.

Proactive > Reactive

Sam Walton said it best, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Instead of the putting out fires when they arise why not give your staff the training they need to do their job to the best of their ability.

Too often we blame marketing for poor sales, or we make excuses as to why people don’t like our product or to frequent our establishment. Before you jump to the conclusion of whose fault it is, maybe for a change look at how you approach customer service.

Do your employees get adequate training when they start? How do you know? 

Do they receive more training once they have experience on the job?

What do your customers think of your customer service? Do you ever ask them?

What if you incentivized your customers to help improve your customer service?

Who has the best in class customer service in your category? If it’s not you, why not?

What company do you look up to as a leader in customer service outside of your industry? What can you learn from them?

Is customer service a priority to all levels of management and employees at your company?  Be honest…

Video: On How To Stand Out

How do you stand out?

In Practically Radical Practically RadicalBill Taylor introduces the concept of “Vuja de thinking”. A way to look at a problem from a completely different perspective, or lens, like if this was the first time you had ever looked at this problem. (replace ‘problem’ with ‘strategy’) The book gives a lot of great examples of organizations that just think differently.  Here’s a good little PDF on Vuja De Thinking.

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The Greatest Myth About Creativity…

is that it just happens. Creativity is an art form, an unquantifiable, an intangible quality. It’s easy to claim “I am creative” then hide behind “but I have writers block” and not do anything, you’re not creative, you’re lazy.

Creativity does not just happen.  It doesn’t come out of no where at random. Creativity comes from discipline. Creativity only exists within constraints. Once you define the limits of your thinking, then and only then can you explore how far within those limits you can go.

People don’t just “become inspired”, you get inspired when you wake up every morning and create something. When you have a religious discipline for the creative process.  You have bad days and good days, brilliantly creative days and horribly useless days. The most important part isn’t the act of being creative, it’s the fact that no matter what happens the day before, you get up the next day and try again. Creativity is a habit of the relentlessly disciplined.

7 Ways to be an Awesome Person to Work With

1. Be excited to work with other people.cute-smiling-cat

If you’re always more excited to work/meet with the other person, they’re sure to have a great time meeting/working with you. When you go to a restaurant and a server is happy, it’s contagious, the same goes for when you meet with someone. If you’re happy and have a positive outlook on things, it’s difficult for others not to have the same view. As the song goes… don’t worry, be happy.

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Walks With Jeph Episode 3: Westjet (Video)

Today on walks with Jeph we talk about Westjet and the social object they’ve developed; being the “fun” airline. They tell jokes on flights, are extremely friendly, and just seem to care more than the other airlines.

Do you remember the first time you flew Westjet?  I sure do. It completely blew my mind that this airline actually wanted to make my flight more enjoyable. I went home immediately and told my parents about it and have been a loyal Westjet supporter ever since. You see, just the fact that I had to tell someone about my first experience with Westjet makes what they offer a social object.  They’ve baked the marketing right into the product and I don’t think anyone can argue the success they’ve had.

So here’s your excuse to have a crazy, wild, loud, awesome idea for your company. The next marketing meeting you host tell everyone to think about the Westjet story and how it all started.  Someone had the idea of telling jokes on flights. Even more importantly, someone high up in that company liked the idea and gave them permission to try it.

A smart culture breeds smart ideas.

People don't pay attention to boring things.

Video: The Future of Marketing – Social Objects

If you think it’s social media is the future of marketing you are way off kilter.  Social media is merely a means to and ends, a tool, a medium for communication. Social media is not a strategy.

What happens when communication goes from being expensive (press releases, billboards, 30 second spot) to relatively free (website, blog, Twitter account)? We get a fire-hose of information, which makes it much more difficult to standout amongst the crowd.  (more noise than signal)

Enter Social Objects, they are the videos we share with friends, the pictures that get retweeted, the reason we tell stories about companies, the reason we remain extremely loyal to some brands.  It’s all because of social objects.  If something is worth sharing then it is a social object.  Billboards can be social objects, commercials can be social objects, products can definitely be social objects.  Anything that’s worth telling somebody about, is by definition, a social object.

As a marketer it is now your job to create social objects.

Here’s a video on Social Objects:

Sidenote:

Social objects aren’t created over night.  What usually seems like a major breakthrough, is the result of a long process of improving upon the first iteration.  The iPod for example may appear to have been a remarkable social object that happened overnight for Apple, when actually it was the product of many different versions improving upon the prior version.

Because creating a social object is difficult, many companies purposely try not to, if it was easy everyone would do it.

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