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The Fox and the Hedgehog-Im not that good at a lot of things

I’m Not Very Good At a Lot of Things || Eps 41 #InTheLab

The first thing I tell my class when teaching is that I’m only good at two things, baking chocolate chip cookies (I’m really good at it) and getting excited about Volleyball, as in coaching or helping a team. Everything else I’m not that good at. When you really think about it, no one is amazing at a lot of things. I mean some people just seem to be really good in several areas of their life. But when you find someone who’s amazing at something, usually they lack in many other areas of their life. And when I say “lack” I don’t mean we’re bad at those things, we just haven’t had the practice we need. I feel a lot of people need to have the power of being “smarter” than others, be it ego, self esteem or lack there of. Anyone in a leadership role (coach, teacher, professor, manager, boss) should never deliberately act smarter than anyone else. This comes out in correcting others, arguing, overtly disagreeing, putting others down, and generally being a know it all. Don’t be that person in life. No one likes a know it all.

The Oxford Philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote the now famous essay, The Fox and the Hedgehog. The Fox knows many things but the Hedgehog only knows one important thing. It’s an analogy that works for many different life situations. Psychologist Phillip Tetlock studied the political predictions of two different types of expert speculators, foxes and hedgehogs. Throughout the 20th century Hedgehogs were more likely to get prime time television slots on Fox political hour(they made the big bold predictions) but Foxes seems to be right far more often in their predictions. An anomaly in political predictions, the more press you get, the more you think you’re right.

“I am not very good at a lot of things.” -Jeph Maystruck

I like to look at the Fox and the Hedgehog in regards to my life. I was never the Jack of all trades growing up. I didn’t fix things around the house, I wasn’t overly helpful when things broke. I still don’t fix things around the house, I just not a fox. This amuses my family. I don’t change my own oil or winter tires. They usually bug me about it. Not any more!!

I say not any more because of what happened the other weekend. I bring my car over to my parents place and my family is going to help put on my winter tires. We get half way done when two tires won’t come off the vehicle. We literally tried and tried to no avail. I went home with two winter tires on and two summer tires. The next day I had to explain to the folks at Quicklane why I had two tires changed out already! ha! I told my family they can’t make fun of me for not wanting to be “handy”. I trust experts to do what they do best. Long live the hedgehogs.

You can get great at many things but you’re much better off to focus your attention on one thing and try to be the best in the world at it.

How not to suck on facebook

Social Media Etiquette (How Not To Suck On Facebook) || Eps 22 #InTheLab

I’ve heard this question a lot and people ask it all the time, how are you supposed to “be” on social media? Not just share this, talk to this person, what’s the norm? What are other people doing on social? Better yet, what are the best people doing on social?  Read more

Marketing plan

Why Would You Need a Marketing Strategy?

Do you actually need a marketing strategy?

Unless your product or service is so in demand that business just falls into your pretty little lap, then you probably don’t need a marketing strategy.

So to the 90% of businesses that DO need a strategy here’s a framework to help you.

 

strategy-lab-marketing-pyramid

Why

First you must understand your company’s “why”.  Why do you exist?  Why do you sell products or services?  Remember, people rarely buy your product for “what” it is, they more often buy products for the why behind it.  If you can identify “why” a company exists it’s much easier to understand “how” they can help potential customers and “what” their product needs to include.

“We are the lowest cost, no frills airline.” -South West Airline

“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” – Google

“Invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of the people around the world.” –Cirque Du Soleil

“To provide the best customer service possible.” – Zappos

“Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.”

-Amazon Kindle

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”  -Starbucks

BHAGs

Once you have established your “why” you must then set a bhag, a big hairy audacious goal.  Jim Collins first mentioned this concept in Built to Last, in the context that the visionary companies who were in fact built to last, had a major goal in mind that would seem, for the most part, unattainable.

That’s the weird thing about goal setting, no matter how far out the desired outcome may be, these companies were resilient in trying to achieve these goals.

Does your company have a BHAG?  Why not?  A BHAG shows a company has a long term outlook, that they aren’t just around to make a quick buck, that they actually care about how they grow.

Sam Walton set a BHAG for Wal-mart that they still haven’t achieved yet.  Key word in that sentence is “yet”.  I have no doubt in my mind that they one day will.

How, What, Who, When

Once you have your BHAG set you’ll have an idea of the direction of where the company is going.  Now you must determine how you’re going to achieve it.  What your short term objectives will be.  Who your target audience will be (no it can’t be everyone).  And when you can begin implementation.

Gone are the days of the “master strategy” you must have objectives to be moving towards but any detailed planning past a year is useless.  Things change, industries shift, and the only thing you can guarantee is that change will occur.  Being ready to pivot and to adapt means you have an intimate knowledge of your customers and you’re always trying to provide them with more value.  It’s your loyal customers that will be the gasoline to your firestorm of growth.

Tactics: Awareness, Purchase, Experience

As Jim Lecinski points out in “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” you must understand the complete purchase cycle of your customers.  From awareness of your product to comparison and consideration.  If the product holds up after research (ZMOT) you will move on to purchase (FMOT).  Once the item or service is purchased the experience (SMOT) will be a part of the marketing mix because the service it’s self can influence repeat purchases and/or spreading the newly found delight to social circles on and offline.Zero Moment of Truth

It’s naive to think a little big of advertising here and there will suffice anymore.  You have the option to strategically breakdown what stage your potential customers are at in the purchase cycle and deliver them an anticipated, valuable, dare I say, enjoyable message to help make their decision easier.

Yes, fine-tuning your website will satisfy the zero moment of truth but what about the first and second moments of truth?  Are you taking advantage of every stage in the purchase cycle?

Hint: The secret is in finding your “why”.