Friday, March 31, 2023

Can you commit?

Daily small habits are harder than you imagine but harder than you think.

Reading 20 pages of a book a day. Every day.

Workout 15 minutes a day. Every day.

Save USD50 every month till you retire.

Write every day.

The rewards depending on what you are seeking is sometimes immeasurable.

What’s easy?

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Do you overestimate big steps?

Learning to make good small decisions is a skill. Like any skill, it takes hard work and practice. It takes consistency to keep making the right small choices. These choices eventually accumulate to big results even though they do not show it each time you make them. Over time they compound and when the time is right, it ripens. Just because it doesn’t happen now doesn’t mean you are not on the right track. It’s just not the right time. Each correct decision puts you in better stead for the big results later.

Health, fitness, finances, career, relationships and yeah…. branding too.

Do you underestimate small steps?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

What did you say?

Everyone can have an opinion. Whether an opinion is a valuable one depends on the person’s intellectual capability, experience, core competence and importantly her intellectual curiosity when it comes to her core competence. Meaning, she must be hardworking to research and do her homework on seminal work in the field, long held principles and critically, knowledge in the field that perhaps does not work or is no longer valid in order to include new ones. These are the bare minimum in order to have a valuable opinion on a topic.

Does your opinion have value?

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Are you intimidated?

The incompetent jerk in your office that wreak havoc in your workplace and intimidates people typically does these in meetings.

Speaks loudly. Speaking loudly shows their aggression and hides their own inferiority complex. They need this not just to intimidate you, they do this to bolster themselves too.

Speaks fast. Perhaps they are sub-consciously nervous or maybe they think by speaking fast people will be able to comprehend them less.

Asks a lot of irrelevant questions. These questions are often unrelated to the issue or topic. Typically, questions that are intended as ad hominem.

Talk a lot. Watch closely these talks are not related to the core issue. They circle around the core issue giving the mirage that it is the issue. One reason why meetings with them usually takes longer than usual.

Management soundbites and claptrap. What they say in meetings (and out of meetings too) are filled with management soundbites and claptrap that means nothing when you strip these words away. They sound impressive to the ignorant and inexperienced but fail to make a dent in the realm of productivity as far as meetings are concerned.

Parroting. Either repeating or paraphrasing what others say in a meeting but they don’t understand what they are saying themselves and have not added anything valuable into the meeting.

Know all. They speak like they are the expert on many subject-matters even though it is merely anecdotal, hearsay and nowhere near the truth nor substantiated. Nonetheless, they are firmly insistent and convicted that it is the truth. And even earnestly swears it's the truth.

Personal stories. These personal stories happen before a meeting. Most often how bad their day is, how horrendous the traffic is getting to the venue, how they had a bad morning, anything along those lines. 

One way you can neutralize them is to keep quiet most of the time in meetings. Choose the right time to talk. Often waiting till he has stopped talking or when others have had their unproductive arguments with them. Write down no more than 3 points you want to counter them on. Speak slowly, sternly and into their eyes and asks for an answer to the few points you want. It works better when you are a senior but it can work even if you are a junior. Anyway, you will need the practice since these incompetent jerks are plenty in the corporate world.

What do you say?

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Why write?

I have written before that writing clarifies your thoughts. But writing really does more than that. For example, writing makes you realize how much you do not know. The proof of what you truly know really happens when the ink hits the paper. You will be surprised how much writing revels your true knowledge. It’s humbling. Therein lies the advantage of writing. It allows you to discover what you do not know. Things you should research deeper on. Stuff you should throw out. Knowledge you are missing. Information you should include.

Think you know a lot? Start writing.

Why not write? 

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Friday, March 24, 2023

Right for what?

Every person in the business must be the right fit in executing the business plan. No matter how small the role is and no matter how far down the hierarchy it is. Problems happen when they do not know what is the business objective they are supposed to achieve and what their specific role is in the grander scheme of things. Their roles need to be contextualised for them. If it wasn’t explained to them, hold the manager responsible.

Do they know?

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Did you keep the other for another day?

The fastest way to your objective maybe one that you have not taken. Because it is one you have not taken, it will look risky because you are unfamiliar with it. That is anxiety, not risk. Yet, sometimes the riskier path is the one that can get you to your objective the fastest.

Which road will you take?

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

What happened yesterday?

Forget yesterday, embrace today so you can make tomorrow better. Learn to let old concepts go and embrace new ones if they do not work. Focus on what you can do better today, too much analysis of what happened yesterday will cloud your decisions. Do whatever post mortem you need to do, make a decision and move on.
  Eventually, it is not as important as the decision you will make today to impact tomorrow.

What good can happen tomorrow?

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Is it worth pursuing?

For those who think they have to do what they love totally ignores the fact that many of us doing what we love actually “fell into it” or it happened by “accident”. If you don’t go with the flow and keep focusing on pursuing what you “love”, you may miss serendipity which is very much a part of how love happens.

Did you allow it to happen?

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Monday, March 20, 2023

What did you ask?

A good question to ask in order to get to the right answer is “What do I NOT know in this case?” This is your blind spot. It gets you to learn what you do not know. Asking the right question is a skill. The more you do the better you get. When you get the answer, be humble and wise enough to accept it even when it is inconvenient and uncomfortable.

Who is the best person to ask?

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Friday, March 17, 2023

What is the true cost?

Good strategy and planning are expensive. So is good execution. Bad strategy and planning will cost you a fortune. So is bad execution.

Whether you realize it or not, either way you pay.

Choose well.

How would you be paying?

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

This works for most things?

An idea.

Some faith.

Add confidence.

Take action.

Have patience.

How do you start?

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Did you focus on the process?

Crawl, walk, run. That’s how it is. One before the next. You can’t rush through what takes time to build. Keep doing what you are doing and focus on the process. The progress will take care of itself.

How fast do you think you can go?

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Do you want it bigger?

If you run a business perhaps these three are questions that you should ask yourself.

Is it a perennial seller?

Are you profitable?

Are you proud of what you have now?

If you answered yes to all of these, then the size of the business is just a matter of choice.

Is bigger always better?

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Monday, March 13, 2023

How did you scale?

13 years ago, when we started our business, some friends said it’s not scalable. Some said it is an old model. Some said the market is too crowded.

We went in ahead because that’s all we know what to do. We were too stupid to learn the new things they were talking about. Too ignorant about new business ideas they were espousing. Too lazy to learn easier ways to build a business.

13 years later we are still here. All of them have successfully changed jobs a few times.

What did you scale?

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Friday, March 10, 2023

Do you deny yourself success?

We worked on a project recently where the client has run a campaign for the past 2 years and sales was still stagnating and slow growing. We came in, adjusted some parameters and sales went to an all-time high. All data points to the media selection and budget allocation. Yet some members of the team deny that the new initiatives worked.

Some people defy logic. They failed earlier and people say you learn from failure. They didn’t. Now that they have succeeded and people say success leaves traces and breeds success. They didn’t learn either.

Denying some things work when it works for you is suicide.

Will ego help you decide?

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Thursday, March 9, 2023

Why would you listen?

Write down your personal objectives when you start your own business. What do you want this business to do for you? Then reread it 
often. Monthly if you can. Weekly even better. Because along the way, you will get distracted by what others say, you will question your own direction, you will want what others do and you will cover what’s others have even though these things have nothing to do with why you started your business and your personal objectives when you started it.

Did you get distracted?

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Would you like to learn about business?

Everyone who wants to learn about business should start their own business. It doesn’t even have to be big. Technology has evolved so much that it has opened up so much opportunities to everyone. You have a hobby that you want to monetize? There is a platform for it for you. You want to test your business idea without having to quit your job? You can. The tools are all right there for you.

Start a business and I guarantee you will learn a lot about business and a lot more about yourself.

Would you like to learn more about yourself?

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Tuesday, March 7, 2023

What is it trying to tell you?

You begin to develop a professional gut feel the longer you stay in the industry the more practice you have in your craft.

While it is not data based, this professional gut feel is priceless. It helps you make decisions that no one and no data can help you decide.

After 30 years in the industry (out of which 13 years running my own business), my business partner and I have developed a good feel of what kinds of clients will work well with us and which ones won’t.

We make decisions to take a client or otherwise pretty quickly after the first meet. When we stop to trust this feeling, it starts to punish us.

How long before you know you know something?

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Monday, March 6, 2023

What did they advise you?

People can tell you a lot of things about running a business. But one thing they forget, they aren’t in your shoes and probably won’t understand fully your situation. They also don’t understand what you want to build and how you want to build it.

That’s not to say you do not listen to well-intentioned advice. Take in all the advice. Then reflect. Sometimes act. Turn these into something that works for you. You need not take all the advice because it’s your business and it requires YOUR magic.

Who’s best to listen to?

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Friday, March 3, 2023

Can you face the facts?

Regardless of how bad your business situation is; confront the facts. Face them with courage and take the painful steps that you need to do. Understand that even with the best efforts, you may fail. It may take longer than expected to turn your situation around. But never ever lose confidence that eventually you will prevail, no matter how tough it is.

Recognise that you may fail, but never lose confidence that you will prevail.

Can you hold on to your confidence?

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Did you write it down?

If it's not written, it's not counted. Many people talk about all sorts of ideas over beer, at parties and at meetings. Writing commits your thoughts on paper. The process of writing it down shows the seriousness of your thoughts and ideas. It can be referred to at a later time. Heck, even resurfaced after you have long forgotten about them. Don't keep saying that you have thought about it or you have come out with the idea. If it's not written, there's no proof you had that idea.

After writing it down, explore it further. Give it the details and the flesh it needs to be bulky and actionable. Sometimes after writing, you would realise that it is not a very good idea at all or that you can’t even further it on a piece of paper; much less bringing it to live.

Did you flesh it out?

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Is it too expensive to sell?

You can make something expensive and sell it well as long as it is worth a lot more to your consumers.

Are you pricing too cheap?

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