Thriving on Responsibility and Freedom

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.

I said:
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:
Responsible People
Thrive on Freedom,
and are Worthy of Freedom.

Maybe this is how you’d like to see your company.

Imagine the possibilities.

Did You Just Sucker Punch A Potential Customer

The growth of SPAM in your in-box is supposed to be flattening out. I thought so too but since December I've seen a large growth of junk coming in here.

The cost to to deal with it is estimated to be over $130 billion worldwide. Estimated U.S. cost is $42 Billion. A number of factors make up the cost including Spam control software and hardware, licensing fees, IT cost, and the greatest – user productivity cost.

There are professional spammers who send out millions of pieces of junk mail, hijack IP addresses, scrape email addresses, and use third-party servers. Sadly, a small number of ISP's are happy to sell their services to spammers at a premium price.

Here is what I don't understand though. People hate spam. For a legitimate business (by that I mean one that isn't engaged in ripping people off) to engage in spam is like personally visiting a potential customer in their home or office and and when they open their door you sucker punch them right in the face.

In the last 5 minutes, I have received spam email from:

  • Netflix – which has become one of the worst offenders in the country
  • File Center Inc. – which wants to offer me a lower price for something I don't use
  • A professional spammer who is selling Viagra at 83% off.
  • A photographer offering some kind of software 
  • And, of course, a letter telling me I keep forgetting to pick up my $16.5 Million in Nigeria

By the end of today the list will grow to hundreds and too many of them will be from small businesses who think it is okay to buy a list of email addresses and then start sending to them. Others will be from people who got a list from a friend who got it from a friend who told them it was okay to email.

Here is the fact. If someone has not specifically told you that you have permission to send them email and you are emailing them – YOU ARE A SPAMMER!

I don't care if they did buy something from you within the last year. If they didn't give you specific permission to email them – YOU ARE A SPAMMER!

It's really simple. It's not gray. It is black and white.

No Permission = No Email Marketing

Photo compliments of Dave77459 on Flickr

We All Want To Be Respected – Then We’ll Trust

I was reading Seth Godin's post this morning about his recent experience in setting up a friends PC and how it was loaded with software that made it difficult to remove and other "gotchas" when I realized this is why I often get notes that puzzle me from readers or people who download my free eBook.

For example, I used to have something I called a Secret Password that you had to request if you wanted to download a full, free copy of the eBook Listen First – Sell Later. When someone sent me an email I would send them a personal note (not an auto-response) and I'd also let them know that asking for the secret password did not get them put on any kind of email list, etc. I only wanted to thank them and say hello.

The emails back were amazing. They were often profuse in their thanks that I wasn't making them sign-up for something or that I wanted something in return. Many realized that my notes were personally written and expressed their thanks.

I knew I was on to something. Acting like a human being who cares about his readers, his tribe is a very good thing. People like it when you treat them with kindness and RESPECT! They tend to demonstrate the same behavior back to you. In fact, there is a name for this. It's called psychological reciprocity. We (as in 99% of the world) recognize the effect.

Smack someone in the head and you are likely to get smacked back. Hug them and get ready to receive a hug.

Make me sit through a video when I come to your site and I'm likely to click away from you. Send me spam week after week because I once bought from you and I'll buy no more. Use pop under ads that I have to get rid of and I'll never buy from you. (Are you listening Netflix?)

This is not hard to understand – is it?

We all understand it.

We all hate the games that advertisers and marketers are playing.

We all hate being treated with disrespect.

Why don't they understand this?

What don't they just do the right thing? 

Then they'll earn our trust.

Learn How to Recognize and Sell to the Four Personality Types

People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Since we can’t pick or choose the “type” of person we are most likely to trust and like right away, we need to learn how to effectively with everyone’s personality style.” Learn how in this report and start increasing your sales right away!

Selling To The Four Personality Types