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Category: Strategy

Don’t Be Afraid To Share Ideas

We all are afraid at times. Afraid our ideas will come across as small, not well educated or not complex enough to seem impressive.

And if someone thinks this about our ideas then what? It gets disregarded or not taken into consideration. Now the onus is on that individual to come up with something better. Your job is done until your ideas were proven to be of no effect.

This needs to be our thought process when we experience fear in offering our solutions and strategies at work, in creative groups, with business partners, etc.

There’s value in what you have to offer until someone proves otherwise. And if they happen to, you simply try again. professional growth comes with repeating this process over and over.

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Finding Solutions Already Provided

My kids don’t go to an after school arts programs. They watch drawing tutorials on YouTube.

Creative thought should go beyond the physical manifestation of an idea. It’s about being able to solve a problem using the simplest means.

For kids art classes at home, YouTube already solved the complex part of the problem. Our part is locating the solution already provided.

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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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The Truth About Our Creative Passion

Yesterday I posted an article on LinkedIn about 4 titles you need to read while in quarantine. One of the books on the list is Todd Henry’s Die Empty

You can read my thoughts on the book here.

One of the topics Henry talks about is the idea of our passion and what in reality it looks like in our lives:

“’Passion’” has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means “to suffer or endure.” Therefore, at the root of passion is suffering. This is a far cry from the way we casually toss around the word in our day-to-day conversations. Instead of asking ‘What would bring me enjoyment?’ which is how many people think about following their passion, we should instead ask ‘What work am I willing to suffer for today?’ Great work requires suffering for something beyond yourself. It’s created when you bend your life around a mission and spend yourself on something you deem worthy of your best effort. What is your worthwhile cause?”

I’m currently in the process of writing my first book. For as much excitement and anticipation I have, the actual writing part is a grind. The intentional focus and discipline needed are not for the faint of heart.

We walk away from Henry’s description understanding why so many people start but never finish. Our internal fortitude needs to be ready for the daily grind our passions lead us to.

Write this down somewhere you can read it every day: Falling in love with your passion is falling in love with the pain of hard work.

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If Nothing Else, Be Consistant

Today is a big day for me. It’s my 31st post on this blog. It’s significant because it’s also the 31st day straight that I’ve written at least something.

Even though I love to write, doing it consistently has never been easy. It’s been straight up challenging.

I could blame it on my full-time work as a manager or raising a family but in reality, they’re just excuses. Aren’t they?

If we love something enough we’ll find the time to do it right? That sounds like a nice motivation quote found on a greeting card, but it rarely applies in our lives.

A big reason for that is planning. We often want to be successful but don’t really plan around the priorities of our lives to make it happen.

This has been my story for years. Until 32 days ago I finally got it right. I challenged myself to blog. Every, single, day. Whether it was 400 words or 40, I was going to write something. I was going to share my experiences in business, the corporate world, creativity, life and anything else I could think of to inspire.

My motivation was clear: I needed to grow as a writer. What better way than to write every day.

It doesn’t have to be flashy. It doesn’t have to even be that deep. But it needs to be informative, helpful and inspiring. And it needs to be written and posted daily.

Want to be an entrepreneur? An author? A speaker? Web or graphic designer? Find a small step you can take daily towards that goal and commit to it. Track your journey after 31 days and then again after 60 days, and then 90.

We undervalue the power of being consistent, but it’s the very thing that will propel us to achieving our highest potential.

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Its Okay to Change Your Mind

Last December I decided to stop operating a creative services business I had launched part-time outside of my full-time career.

It was a difficult decision to make as I had built strong partnerships with several of my clients over a short period of time.

I knew it was the right decision at the time, but it didn’t feel like it.

These words from the shark Robert Herjavec in his book You Don’t Have to be A Shark changed my perspective:

“In current business circles, a change in course is known as a pivot. You are not giving up and you are certainly not abandoning your dream. You are recognizing that success doesn’t lie in quite the same spot that it once did. There is no shame in changing course when aiming for success. It can be both a source of pride and a demonstration of wisdom.”

Changing your mind about pursuing a project or business is not giving up. It’s a strategy for your own well being and personal success.

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