A Story About Perfect

About 18 months ago I did something I won’t do again. I decided to change my process for planning. I started using Slack to automate my organization. Here was the problem-my process wasn’t broken. Yet, I felt I had to fix “it” to stay on trend. I have never stayed on “trend” with anything. I am more of a Buffettologist by nature. I only see a reason to go with a trend if it actually is necessary. So what happened with the decision to change my process? Did the marketing for the Slack platform really work on me? I sat back and put my marketer hat on. From a macro view, Marketers are getting pushy again. This happens when the consumer attention starts to get more expensive in the marketplace. Eventually if the marketplace gets too pushy then the consumer will put their attention somewhere that isn’t as crowded or spammy. But for now, social media advertising has our attention and we are still paying attention. It forces marketers to try harder to make the promise of something perfect outweigh the current good enough. I felt I should change when I should have thought about it instead. Perfect is never the answer over good enough. It bottle necks efficiency. It is a human desire and not a requirement for business. If your good enough is better than what other people brag about being perfect then whatever you do don’t spend any more time on perfecting the thing you already to better than everyone else. Focus your attention on something else…literally anything else is a better use of time.

Here are things to do instead of perfecting the thing you all ready do good enough:

  1. Tell more people about what you do.
  2. Ship more of your product.
  3. Deliver more of your service
  4. Do what you do for people who have more money to spend on you.

Lesson: Change is only necessary when it needs to happen. We are living through a time where we will see many things change. It is good to be ready to change when you have too. It is even more important to know when not to change something. The person who can make wise decisions about change will always be good for the company they work for. The first thing I put at the top of my agenda now is- “Don’t make perfect the enemy of good enough.” #todolist #organizationalpsychology #organizationdevelopment#lists #marketers #attention #agenda #goodenough #mentor #fix

Here is a great post on the topic  “To Do Lists” By Olivia Goldhill

#StrikeaMatch

If you build it, they will come

“If you build it, they will come.”

This is how business worked in America for a long time.

A store would go up, and people would go to the store.

There were fewer choices of stores to shop and spend money in.

There were also fewer products to choose from.

Customer service did not have to be a priority because customers had fewer places to take their money.

The tables have turned over the past 50 years.

Today you can go to millions of stores without leaving your couch.

It is your choice, any and everything you could possibly want to buy is at your fingertips because of the Internet.

This is a massive marketing challenge for even major name brands.

So where does that leave the contractor/agent/freelancer?

How can you compete with everyone else in a sea of consumer choices?

How will you get prospect/clients to find you, much less pick you?

Relying on “If you build it, they will come” does not work anymore.

The rules that applied 100 years ago do not exist any more but it is still possible to be the go to person in your field of work.

The new rules for success require you to do more than build a good presentation.

You have to connect first.

Find people and engage with them.

Connect with people.

Before you ask for a sale, start a conversation.

People can get anyone to sell them a service.

It is harder for consumers to find people who care about how outcomes will impact them and their family.

People refer people to service providers who make them feel taken care of and safe.

That is how people decide now.

Passive Aggression

Passive aggression is sugar-coated anger.

It is a cover-up.

A sneak attack.

A covert way of getting someone back.

Some people turn it into a behavioral art form they become so good at it.

But passive aggression is a no-win power struggle.

A no-win means no productivity, and there is usually some form of pain involved.

Passive aggressive people satisfy their own anger by pushing another person to publicly displaying anger.

It is nothing more than a coping mechanism.

Displaced anger stemmed from a long time of being directly ignored.

Before you label a colleague, client or partner as passive aggressive and throw your hands up feeding the negativity with more negativity…

Try assertive communication.

Call a spade a spade.

Talk about the elephant in the room, and resist any urge to do this with sarcasm—passive aggression’s evil twin.

The reality is that a person who is passive aggressive is not being heard and acknowledged like they deserve by someone in their life.

They may never admit it.

But it hurts them.

Badly.

They may never feel like they can say what they want to say in the moment.

And eventually, all that bottling up becomes too much.

They tried being heard and were ignored.

Again…and again…and again.

A person can only take so much; so one day they stop asking for people to listen.

They make people listen by taking their cooperation away.

Although this may be frustrating, talk to them.

Talk to them assertively.

Make it known that you want to make a collaborative effort to achieve the same goal.

Above all, mean it when you say it.

Be willing to connect on a genuine level.

The situation won’t get worse if you try this approach.

It might even get better.

I work so hard

“Does this client not know how hard I worked for them?

I spent countless hours keeping this deal together and they “changed their mind”? 

They had the nerve, after all my hard work to go and work with someone else after I did most of the work for the person who replaced me.

How could they not understand all the time I sacrificed on their behalf?

Do they just not care?!”

Basically.

We expect our effort, our sweat, and our time to count for something.

The reality is your time and your effort will never mean as much to other people as it means to you.

When it comes to legwork and the physical labor of your work, no one is going to understand the sacrifice in the same way you do.

Remember the saying that lasted a really long time: “Don’t work hard! Work Smart!”

You could pick in the past.

You could make a decent living working really hard or working really smart.

In the past.

People have endless choices for who they can work with today.

That is why working only hard or only smart does not set you apart from your competition.

It isn’t that the people you serve do not care about you.

They just care about themselves more.

Hard work and smart work are not things that directly impact clients.

Those things are required to do a good job.

Emotional labor, on the other hand, is quite different.

It is different because it is the one thing that you can do with your effort that means more to someone else than it means to you.

The following is a motto I wrote down. I hope you like it, but more importantly, I hope you find it works for you.



Work hard.

In every aspect of your life.

Being average is not good enough for you.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Being phenomenal means doing what you do well, and pushing your own limits.

Work hard for you, because that’s who cares most about the toll of physical work.

Work smart.

Not to get out of working hard, but because thoughts become things.

Do emotional labor.

Be willing to connect with people.

Listen and acknowledge people.

Comfort and calm people.

Guide and give your attention to people.

People care about the way you make them feel.

People work with people who make them feel good and safe with decisions.

People are loyal to other people based on feelings.

Not if you only contribute sweat.

Not if you only contribute intellect.

Work with intent to contribute to people’s dreams.

And one day, you will wake up in your own.

Did my client disappear?

If your primary job is to provide people with a personal service, you have likely experienced a disappearing client.

Sometimes no communication is worse than unpleasant communication.

At least with unpleasant communication, you know where everyone stands which gives you a sense of direction.

Assumptions most often occur when no one is talking, leaving you as your only point of reference.

Assumptions create distance.

Distance does not help productivity.

Productivity is a fundamental necessity for success, especially in service industries.

With trust, it is likely that a person is untrusting of you not because of you but something else making them uneasy.

Discover what makes them uneasy.

Did something happen to them in the past that the current situation reminds them of?

Tell them you sense distance.

Remind them you are their partner and tell them again what being a partner means to you.

If you have an agreement with a client and they disappear it is natural to assume you may be the problem.

It must be your fault since they have stopped talking to you right?

Doubt it.

Most of the time if someone vanishes out of thin air, fear is the culprit.

Something has scared them.

You need to find out why they are scared.

You cannot do much with just knowing fear is the reason everything stopped.

That would lead to more assuming: “oh! You are afraid? Well don’t be afraid to buy now it’s a great time”

That isn’t a horrible thing to say, but what if that’s not what they are scared of?

You have to play detective when communication stops.

Not just to find out a general reason… to find a specific reason.

More importantly, you have to make it ok for them to be afraid and still move forward.

Values & Morals

Having value behind your motives means doing groundwork.

Literally.

Groundwork on yourself.

Motives are the seeds we sew in hope of reaping our future success.

The value behind your motives determines what kind of success you can expect to reap.

People can have success with bad motives.

Happens all the time.

But truly sustainable success almost always comes from honesty and wanting to do right by other people.

You cant cut many corners when you start from this place.

It is going to be hard work.

But it will be good work too.

Rewarding work.

The kind of work people will refer to their friends.

The kind of work that is hard to retire from.

Not because eventually, you won’t be ready to retire (because you will be).

It is just that when you begin with value at your core, it ends up reaching the core of many other people.

Spiraling, spreading and reaching in every direction.

You will be ready to retire if you live a life like this.

The problem will be everyone who has come to know your core service value won’t want you too.

That is a good retirement problem.

“If you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want” Zig Zigglar

One of those days

When you stumble in public and then you get back to the car, still red from embarrassment and the keys are laughing at you behind 4 locked doors…

When you can’t remember someone’s name and they even had a nametag on, waiting there to save you…if you had only looked down…

When you tell your child they are going to be late for school, and you get to the front door only to realize it is Sunday…

You do not know why it seems the universe is against you.

You just know for sure…

You are having one of those days

From the moment you woke up you just knew this was not your day.

You think to yourself: If anything else can go wrong, it will go wrong. 

Almost every person can relate to this feeling.

When other people make an attempt to understand how you feel because they have felt similarly it removes your isolation.

You just want someone else to understand, to listen, and be present.

When someone takes the time to acknowledge your struggle it is powerful enough to turn your whole day around.

That is communication.

It doesn’t have to be a long conversation.

Just someone standing there and making you feel like you exist, they see you, and today has been hard.

They get it.

Now, it is up to you to reach back into the world and be that person for someone else.

Your clients, your friend and strangers need that kind of communication.

Everyone does.

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