Friday, April 30, 2021

Have you caught up yet?

If you keep matching your competitors in all that they do, all you'll end up doing is being similar to them. Essentially, this is what you try to avoid when you do branding. Now you end up commodifying you and the category.

Try being distinctive. Be different.

When you and your competitors offer the same value, eventually you are training the consumer to buy on price.

How similar can you get?

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

What should I look out for?

As a new entrepreneur, you will look for that one thing that will propel you to success.

There is none.

There is no single moment. There are a bunch of small minute actions. Seemingly trivial even. But they accumulate momentum to push you forward.

There is no fairy tale program to implement. There is a bunch of plans that you execute; some succeed. Some you fail. Yet others, you aren’t too sure. But you keep doing.

There is no lucky break. There are a lot of nice tiny moments. Referrals from friends. Clients who say a good word or two. Suppliers who support you when need it. You be thankful and pay it forward.

Then that moment comes.

What are you looking forward to?

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What fuel are you using?

It’s only a matter of time before your business growth grounds to a halt if your organization does not have intellectual discipline and creative fervour built into its culture.

The rigors of thought and the discipline to think through thoroughly each strategy and tactic are important. Things can’t be decided at the whim and fancy of the founder. What got you here can’t get you there. Your business size now needs a new way of thinking. You need a team of thinkers. You can’t be doing this alone.

The fervour of creativity must accompany that thought process. Otherwise, your company can’t stand out and be distinctive. Nothing your company offers will be different from what your competitors offer.

How do you get on the next trajectory?

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Do you think this is sad?

Achieving success but wrongly interpreting what brought about the success.

How do you duplicate your luck?

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Are you spinning in too deep?

As an entrepreneur, the ability to be mindful of your own thinking and emotions is crucial. Every decision depends on your objectivity and you likely shoulder every responsibility of that action. Hence, when you are caught in the spiral of doom it’s even more crucial that you react with more discipline. Not less. To be disciplined in your thinking and action. Not to grasp at every promised magic pill or miracle guru that comes along. Stick to disciplined thought and action.

How do you get out of the spiral of doom?

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Do you need to learn more?

For heaven’s sake, of course do not stop learning. Pick up new skills and pick up new knowledge. But don’t let learning be an excuse for not executing. Wait, let me learn this new skill. Wait, let me have this new knowledge.

Start with a few things and stick with a few things for a while. No, make that for a long while. Then see what works and what doesn’t. Take notes and make adjustments. At this point, if you want to, inject some of the new knowledge that you learned. Apply that new skill if you want. But don’t keep tinkering with the plan that eventually you don’t know what works and what doesn’t.

Knowledge in someone who doesn’t have wisdom can be confusing.

How would you progress? 

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

What do they want?

Sure, you are good at making ready-to-use cooking paste. But is it what they want? They being the consumer. If that is what they want, can they get plenty of this from the myriad of brands out there? What is your distinctiveness then? You have to think hard about all these.

Look at your market, segment them. Truly ask yourself what your consumers want and what are their choices now. Then decide how you can offer them what they want with something more distinctive than what they can get now. Distinctive being the key word. Experts call this being consumer-centric.

Being too focused on yourself is just being product-centric. You think you are great but consumers grade you three levels down.

What do you offer?

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Have you tried everything?

Just because you have not found a solution doesn’t mean there is none. Don’t assume you have done everything. If you have done everything you would likely have found a solution. When looking for a solution, try progression rather than perfection. Some challenges can only be overcome in bits at a time. But you and your impatient self wants to overcome it in one shot. Be patient. Progression. Not perfection.

Have you tried patience?

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Are you a victim?

Bad things happen to everyone. How you overcome it starts with how you view it, then feel it and how you experience it. If you think whatever bad things that happened, happened TO you, then you view it like a victim. What you tell yourself matters because it dictates how you will react to it.

If you view bad experiences as happening FOR you. You see them as something you can ‘use’. It is ‘useful’ for you. That way you view it as someone who can strategically use that experience to enhance yourself. Make yourself better.

Are you cut out to be a victor?

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Do you want to be creative?

Stop editing yourself. Go on and write that sentence. Paint that colour. Share that promotion idea. It’s the fear that is holding you back. If you keep thinking you are wrong, then nothing creative will come out of your mind. If you keep pouring your thoughts and work out there, eventually you get good at it. Creativity is a skill, the more you do. The more “mistakes” you make, the better you get. But first, overcome that fear of being “wrong”.

Can you come out with better ideas?

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Are you disruptive?

You may like to disrupt. You may think your brand is a challenger brand. You may think personally you have a rebel streak in you. So, it makes sense to disrupt the market. It even sounds sexy as it rolls off your tongue, “I want to disrupt the market.” Sure. That is one way but not the only way. Inevitably when you choose that route, you make the giant notice you. Be aware that the giant can eat you for lunch because you are going after its lunch.

Sometimes you can start small, focusing on your own niche and keep your competitive advantage close to your heart. Grow to a manageable size that gives you the ability to fight before you have your ego on full display may be a wiser move.

Can you fight till the end?

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

What needs to be done?

I was re-reading “What makes an Effective Executive?” by Peter Drucker. It’s a good reminder that the effective executive asks, “What needs to be done?” and take the question further by asking “What needs to be done now?” In case you are a manager or an owner and you think this is only talking about your employee, it is also targeted at management.

Think through what can strategically impact you most now, and what needs to be pursued urgently so it creates long term positive development for your company.

What needs attention now?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Can they get to you?

Every time we tell clients and prospects that they need to be well distributed in a traditional sense i.e., brick and mortar, they tend to say they are available online. That’s as accessible as it gets. And we agree.

What some do not get is that, accessibility means anywhere that the customer can find you and expects to find you. Seeing you everywhere signals something about your brand besides being able to buy it. Sure, the distribution costs and trade terms must make business sense. But all else being equal, getting widely distributed is being accessible to the customer as and when they want. Beyond that, it’s a signal of brand dominance.

Are you there when they need you?

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Do you want to be a monopoly?

I know, you will think this is tough. Of course, it is tough, otherwise everyone will be a monopoly. You will say it is illegal. Of course, it is. But if you can conquer a specific market that loves your brand, then essentially you have a “monopoly” over that market.

You have to be very specific about the market that you want.  Then make them love your brand. Start with your niche. All the other generic sections are over competitive and prices are at parity. There is no money to make there.

Does it always have to be a big market?

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Monday, April 12, 2021

How long will it be for sale?

Perhaps you should consider what product you can sell for a long time to come. Spending more time thinking what will consistently sell over a long period of time may actually yield you more profits than a one-off product that is in trend now.

There will always be that product people will consistently use. Your job when you have decided on that is to figure out how you can stand out. Look for your own spin on that so it differentiates you from the rest. Then consistently remind people of your presence and what you can do for them.

Are you an evergreen?

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Do you know how to think?

Thinking for yourself is the best thing you can do for your business. Don’t depend on formulas. There are no silver bullets. Look for principles and learn how to apply those principles. Learn to distinguish between principles and formulas. Then dedicate time to apply and experiment with the principles till they work for your company.

Where is the holy grail? 

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

What if I don’t have the budget?

Start small. Doing business is a marathon. Just in case you need the reminder.

If you don’t have the budget for brand building, start with your niche. Aim to be number one in that niche. Then move on to target a bigger segment. Look for new customers in a broader base. Then keep enlarging your customer base. Amazon started with books. Then CDs, then became the 27-year overnight success you know now.

Is there a way you can fly from the first year?

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

What are the short-term objectives?

When planning your marketing objectives, you need to be clear on your long- and short-term objectives. Each effect is different and can affect each other. If your strategies are too geared towards short term objectives, it would reduce the effectiveness of your long-term objectives. It’s true the other way around. If you focus too much on your long-term objectives, your short-term objectives would be affected too. To have a rewarding business at the end, you need a good balance of both. Learning to combine both is a skill you need to learn and develop.

What are your long-term objectives?

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Do you want to pay the fee?

Whether professional or personal, maturity takes a lot of years to learn. The good news is that it is never too late to enjoy the new found freedom from the shackles of misconception.

As you mature, you experience a lot less pain from the lessons of myopia.

One way of not learning things the tough way is to learn from other people’s mistakes. After all, someone has paid the fees, you can learn the lessons for free. Loosen the chains of dogmatic views and free yourself from suffering.

But even knowing this, there will be those who prefer to learn from their own mistakes.

The fallacy is that they believe they won’t have the same predicament and that it doesn’t apply to them.

You already know this. But worth repeating.

How did you learn your lesson?

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Monday, April 5, 2021

Did you ask for permission?

People request for opinions for many reasons. Sometimes they need guidance, yet other times they are confused and need clarity. But sometimes, they ask with a hidden agenda. Perhaps they need your endorsement to do something but are too afraid to ask directly. There are also those who ask because they do not have the confidence in their own answer.

Is it affirmation you are seeking?

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Friday, April 2, 2021

What happens when everything is important?

One, do what brings in the most revenue first.

Two, be happy with completing your two to three most important tasks of the day. How do you determine which are the most important? Refer to one.

Three, no matter how busy you are, set aside an hour of thinking time. Alone. Think through one challenge. Sort out the solution for it. Write it down. You can always change your mind later. This limits the emergencies that inevitably creeps up on you if you don’t set this aside.

Four, don’t get distracted. Shut off all forms of message app, emails, social media. If you will have a hard time doing this; it’s a sign you have been less than productive due to these distractions.

Five, Say NO. Really, really say No to things that do not add to your productivity. A bit of discipline and sacrifice goes a long way.

What happens if you keep wasting time?

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Do you have the discipline of thought?

Don’t get swayed by very shimmy shiny trends that are out there, whether it is a new media or even a new thought. I don’t mean to say that you close your mind to new ideas. What I mean is to have a discipline of thinking where you can measure these new things against what you know best and what you know works. Better yet, you have already developed a way of thinking through these new things or even old information that you have just got to know.

Learn to have the discipline of thought. One in knowing how to think. And two, knowing what and why somethings work or do not work according to how you evaluate it. That way you do not get distracted unnecessarily. You will also not be thrown off-track.

Are you easily seduced?

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