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Category: Business

Match the Right Intensity

If you’ve ever played organized sports at any level, you would have experienced your coach telling you to “match the intensity level” of your opponent. If they played hard in the trenches, you would need to do the same. If they trashed talked after a play, you’d trash talk back showing you aren’t intimidated.

Physical displays of domineering fortitude are commonplace in the athletic field of play and often provide a physiological advantage against your adversaries.

The same can’t be said in the professional workplace or when engaging in entrepreneurship leadership.

Contrary to popular opinion, matching the intensity from a physical or vocal standpoint in the boardroom is more of a sign of insecurity than it is a display of strength.

Stirring you passions away from an emotional reaction, and into making a strategic impact should be the focus. A well developed strategy that highlights the disadvantages or weaknesses of other suggested options (fact based of course) is the best way to match the intensity of your professional opposition.

In other worlds, intensity in the the workplace is more about brains than brawn.

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Take Time to Be Meticulous

When great ideas come we tend to put our focus on the end results. The idea of what we want to see. The picture perfect manifestation of what it should look like.

As is the case since the beginning the 21st century, how fast we can complete something seems to be just as important as completing the project itself.

Our preoccupation with being the ‘first‘ almost always leads us to skipping important details along the way. Or wanting a title because it assumes a specific social status (entrepreneur or CEO) but not being meticulous enough to understand all the prerequisites required.

But that’s just it. As much as we aim to avoid the rat race we still subconsciously compete with one another and over look some of the most important life details that need to be considered.

As I’m writing this I’m 2 months into a new role with a new company. In an effort to prove myself to my new colleagues, jumping into projects and issues before understanding all the specific nuances and inner workings of the company is something I’ve fallen prey to.

Luckily I’ve had support from multiple executive level associates, including my manager, tell me to take time to learn and don’t feel pressured to jump right in, right away.

It’s not just in business or your professional career. In the many facets of life, taking the meticulous approach in all things will provide you with the insight to make better decisions and ones that ultimately will last longer.

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Creative Loyalty Doesn’t Exist

Giving your word to someone and keeping is standard practice for maintaining your integrity throughout business and in life.

The same doesn’t apply to your own personal pursuits. Contrary to popular opinion, quitting or giving up can actually be a good thing.

Since 2010 I had launched and subsequently took down several online blogs. While I know there could have been some benefit in continuing with even just one of them, I was honest with myself about how much passion I really had for the project.

Each time I quit I opened myself to experience something new, while adding what I learned from my past experiences to help me excel.

There are those who are okay to continue working on something to uphold the moral code of ‘not quitting’ and ‘finishing what you’ve started’.

You don’t have to be that person. Feel free to quit and start something at your leisure. You’ll come to realize trail and error is the gateway to longterm success and growth.

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Your Brand: Aim To Be A Proprietary Eponym

Kleenex, Q-Tip, Xerox, Band-aid, Jeep are just a few iconic brands that we broadly use to identify all products in their specific market.

The official term is Proprietary Eponym. It’s brand recognition at its finest. And it’s something we should strive for.

Here’s a brief description:

A generic trademark, also known as a genericized trademark or proprietary eponym, is a trademark or brand name that, because of its popularity or significance, has become the generic name for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service, usually against the intentions of the trademark’s holder. (Wikipedia)

Realistically there’s a very low percentage of us achieving this feat. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to make it happen.

It’s all about the mindset we need to have when building our personal or business brands.

Our brands need to be strongly connected to a value proposition (A promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged) to be effective but more importantly memorable.

Proprietary Eponyms have strong value propositions. We know what they can offer us just by their name alone.

Again we may not become generic trademarks but our brand strategy should be designed and established around this idea.

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You’re Customers Should Love You

About 8 years ago I had a scheduled quarterly business review with a major client from the the company I worked for. The meeting just happened to be on my birthday.

When I arrived at the client’s office and began prepping for the meeting, 2 of the client’s employees who I deal with frequently approached the boardroom where I was located with a cupcake in hand.

A few seconds later they were serenading happy birthday. I blew out the candle and after some pleasantries we eventually continued with the meeting.

Some might think gestures like this should be offered the other way around. Make no mistake we always take care of our customers. But when customers reciprocate in the same way then there’s something you’re doing right in the relationship.

This only happens when you see your customer more than just a transaction to hit monthly revenue goals.

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Autonomy Over Everything

Anyone can be an entreprenuer. But not everyone should pursue entreprenuership.

Social media has glamorized many things, most of all being an entrepreneur. The idea of not having any boss to answer to is of course appealing. But just like many things online we get sold just on side of the story. Driving sales, accounting, product development, marketing, networking, customer trouble shooting, IT and so much more goes into operating a successful business.

I think what some of you really want is autonomy. Read the following definition from Vocabulary.com:

When a group wants to govern itself or a person wants to make independent decisions, they are looking for autonomy. Autonomy comes from the Greek roots auto meaning “self” and nomos meaning “custom” or “law.” This reflects the political sense of the word — a group’s right to self-government or self-rule. When a person seeks autonomy, he or she would like to be able to make decisions independently from an authority figure.

You can experience this at a well-paying job. As a matter of fact, having autonomy in your career before you step out and run your own company is an advantage. You would have experienced what it’s like to work on your own, be personally responsible for your work and make decisions for your self.

Fubu founder and Shark Tank regular Daymond John has expressed on multiple occasions that contrary to what some people think he never quit his day job at Red Lobster to launch Fubu. He kept his well paying job until he was absolutely ready to make the full-time entrepreneurial jump.

If you have the itch to make the same jump, think to yourself if that’s what you really want right now. To be a business owner or have autonomy in your daily work. The latter is a real possibility without having to jump prematurely into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship.

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Integrity: The Foundation of Your Business

Burger King has been banned from showing adverts suggesting its Rebel Whopper, which is cooked alongside meat and contains egg, is vegan-friendly.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the chain’s claim that the burger is “100% Whopper, no beef” could be understood to mean it did not contain animal products.

Burger King said it had been “clear and transparent” in its marketing. (from BBC.com)

You can be ‘clear and transparent’ and still be misleading. An applicant for a writing position can claim to be a writer if the extent of their writing is only on social media. But are they really a writer?

Society has become smarter and more knowledgeable about the products and services they purchase. Our claims of ‘Clear and transparent’ is nothing without integrity.

Integrity not only gets you the customer, but it helps you keep the customer.

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Outsourcing: Pay Someone Else to do It

A few weeks ago I was commissioned to write a piece for a reputable online magazine. It was contingent on conducting several interviews with individuals related to the topic I’d be covering

Once the interviews were recorded, the tedious task of transcribing the audio to print laid ahead. I was operating under a tight schedule in order to get the 1500-2000 word piece done, so the last thing I wanted to do was take 2 hours to transcribe.

So I chose not to. I simply outsourced the job based on the rate I was making on the project. For $30 I received transcripts of the interview responses. I compared the rate to what Fiverr gigs were charging for roughly 25 minutes.

You may decide to keep your money and do it yourself. And that’s fine too. But, there will come a time when you’ll find value in saving time by outsourcing.

Trying to cover every minimal task of your business or creative project can end with us not putting our full energy into the core essence of what we’re trying to accomplish.

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Benefits of Unconventional Partnerships

Back in the summer of 2019 I attended a the General Mills Carrier Summit. It’s an opportunity for the iconic cereal brand to connect with their supply chain network and provide a business outlook for the upcoming fiscal year.

General Mills also uses the event to review their successes from the previous year. One initiative I had no idea about was the Reese Puffs x Travis Scott collaboration. Here’s an excerpt from Hypebeast.com:

The Astroworld superstar and the Minnesota-based manufacturer are working together to release a special-edition line Of Reese’s Puffs cereal boxes. Although this product’s exterior packaging will be different, the pairing’s collaborative effort does not involve changing the taste and flavor of the standard Reese’s Puffs cereal. Travis Scott reportedly handled the design of the packaging, taking his inspirational cues from his Cactus Jack record label and the artwork that adorns his latest studio album. These new boxes will also carry a different price-tag: $50 USD.

The boxes reportedly sold out in 30 seconds at the initial collab in Paris. A few days later they could be found selling online for hundreds of dollars targeting hard core collectors.

As much as General Mills understand the cereal market, they were bold enough to partner with a pop culture icon to help them build a presence with a particular democratic. While at the same time not compromising the integrity of the Reese Puffs brand and popular recipe.

Some of the most effective strategic partnerships are ones we least expect. It shows us that being open to unconventional ideas can unveil a whole new world of opportunities for extend our brands and business awareness.

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The New NBA

The National Basketball Association isn’t in the basketball business. They’re in the entertainment business. Just like any other North American professional sport league.

So when the COVID-19 outbreak effectively shut down the rest of the NBA season, the players turned to social media to provide fans with their most treasured resource: themselves.

Players have jumped on Instagram Live with each other and media personalities. Players posting their Tik Toks if anything has increased since the shutdown (see Lebron and family). And Twitch has seen an increase in viewership partly due to NBA players streaming their 2K sessions online for fans.

The NFL, NHL and other sports leagues are beginning to follow suit. They are all at their source entertainment companies. Nothing more and nothing less. Just the means by which they entertain has changed.

10 years ago we shook our heads when older entrepreneurs said they’d never use Facebook or Instagram for business. Are we making the same mistake now by not seeing the benefits of Twitch and Tik Tok? Facebook and Instagram once upon a time also looked like nothing more than a social site for teenyboppers to pass time. Now they’re both critical platforms for business marketing.

Before scoffing at the new strategies sports leagues are using to connect personally with their audiences, take time to understand the competitive advantages they provide. Not doing so could hinder your business growth when our COVID-19 global quarantine comes to an end.

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