I'm finding lately (lately meaning in the last couple of years) that if I don't read something when I have the first opportunity to read it – I seldom get around to it again. I used to save things written by my favorite writers until later so I could savor them at just the right time. But, just the right time is getting to be very elusive for me.
I don't recall experiencing this 20 years ago. Is it because I read less then or were there more moments of just the right time back then? Or is there just so much more information to try and absorb today?
I don't have an answer to these questions.
Do you experience this? What's your solution?
Starting right now I am going to run an experiment and read things right away.
Or, not at all.
But, I'm not going to save them to enjoy at a later time.
Here's how a new rock singer is using a team that thinks outside the box to create her marketing. Using hand-drawn, animated, video from the brain of Martin Whitmore, Megan Elizabeth Morris, and Paul Durban is one way how Emii is capturing minds eyes, ears and minds.
All these creative people know that it's getting more and more difficult to get the attention you want. You have to educate and entertain your prospects – your audience – in order to engage them and get their permission to come back with more.
Last week I wrote a blog post at The Water Cooler Blog expressing my opinion that having average employees is a recipe for failure for small companies. Actually, I think it holds true for all size companies but I’m more concerned about smaller business and start-ups like some of you might have or be contemplating.
Big businesses tolerate and cultivate average employees.
Small companies can’t afford to have average employees.
Everyone working in a small company must be exceptional leaning towards extraordinary.
Average in small business leads to failure.
Today, a friend sent me a link to a slide deck written by Netflix CEO Reed Hasting that reinforces my opinion. For example, Hasting says at Netflix “adequate performance gets a generous severance package.” They cannot tolerate average or adequate. I don’t think of Netflix as small as they are now a public company. But, if a public company can think this way, I can only imagine how this kind of progressive thinking might help a small company.
I’m going to give you the link to the slide deck. It very well may be the best expressed description of what a company expects from itself and its employees and what it is willing to do in return that I’ve ever read. He calls it a Reference Guide on Freedom and Responsibility Culture.
Take time to read it and see if it resonates with you. You might really enjoy reading about their vacation policy. Hint: They don’t have one! In fact, they don’t have many corporate policies. I think you’ll find their thinking quite unlike what you may have
experienced in your careers. It doesn’t have to be that way.
One last thought from the deck just to convince you to take the time to read it.
Hastings also says:
Thrive on Freedom,
and are Worthy of Freedom.
Last week, I met with people at 6 companies who told me how well things are going in their businesses. Some of them are start-ups, one 5 years old and the rest have been in business at least 10 years. They are all very busy and making money. The only common problem I heard voiced is they are too busy and want to dial back the chaos a little bit.
What are they doing to stay both so busy and profitable?
They know how to tell a prospect why they should do business with them versus all the other competition including doing nothing.
This, by the way, immediately separates them from almost all their competition.
They give exceptional customer service and have exceptional products and services.
They follow-up with customers proactively to make sure expectations weren't met. They all want to exceed the customers expectations and they work to make that happen.
The communicate with prospects and customers all the time using all types of media. All of them are using things like Skype video,
To a person they follow my advice of sending out cards, letters, and pictures just to say hello, thanks, happy day, etc.
They consistently blog and they engage their readers by asking them what they want to read.
They make it point to talk about customers and other people on social networks at least 6 times more than they talk about themselves.
And, most importantly, every single one of them said they do not pay any attention to main stream media's cry of doomsday, that the world is ending as we know it, and all the reasons they should be afraid.
New Orleans – 2005 I was there for a conference and Joann and I spent several days wandering the streets and taking photographs. One of my favorites is of the street musician pictured here. I didn’t know his name. He never stopped playing the entire time I photographed him.
Hurricane Katrina – August 2005 I wondered if the man I now called The One Eyed Blues Man made it out.
I have a very large print of him hanging in my home and I had planned on going back to New Orleans to give him a copy. I had no idea how I’d find him. Or, even if I’d find him after Katrina.
Then an amazing thing happened today!
Mark Ayers sent me a video called Stand By Me | Playing For Change | Song Around the World. It’s a great video and I recommend you take time to enjoy it. Turn up the speakers and dance! I did the second time I watched and listened to it.
But, the first time I watched I was floored about a minute and ten seconds into it. There he was – my Blues Man. And, I now know his name. He’s called Grandpa Elliot. He’s famous – an icon in New Orleans! He even has his own Wikipedia page and here is a great blog post about him.
Paul Durban is one of the most creative people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. You might remember he did the cover design and layout for Listen First – Sell Later.
Paul, Megan Morris and I were talking a few weeks back about eBooks and Paul voiced his desire for a new type of book – one that would be more than a PDF file. He wanted to be able to add video, author biography, contact information, a way to purchase the hardcover if there is one, and more.
Not one to waste time, Paul went to work and found a way to do it. A few days ago Paul sent me an email and said, "Want to see something cool?" When he asks you a question like that you definitely want to see it right away.
I was surprised and very happy when I saw he had chosen my book as the subject for his new creative concept. You can see it by clicking here.
If you're thinking publishing your own eBook, I suggest giving Paul a shout to see about doing something like this. It's a whole lot more than your typical plain and static eBook.