Why haters hate

10504246995_56e3e874a0_z

If you’re not doing anything exceptional in life then you’ll rarely see haters. But if you’re rejecting mediocrity and fighting the status quo by living deliberately and chasing your dreams then you’ll likely find haters around many corners.

What exactly is a hater? I’ll defer to UrbanDictionary on this one: Hater (n): A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.

How to REALLY start a business

3313998177_d38c471257_z

There’s no doubt about it… the number one question that I’m asked is “how do I start a business?” Most people think that a business starts with a business plan or a logo or a website. In fact, none of these things makes a business. There’s only one thing that starts a business… a customer!

For too many people, starting a business looks roughly like this: idea > business name > business plan > legal formation > branding (logo, website, business cards) > service/product > customer

My challenge to you is to flip conventional “wisdom” on its head. Here’s how you should start your business: idea > sale (first customer!) > service/product > figure out the rest as you go.

What do you choose?

7001670664_a7e2451b9a_z

The most beautiful right in life is the right to choose. To decide. Today’s post is short as I wanted to pose the question: what do you choose?

I came across a post from Derwin L. Gray titled “Mediocrity is a Choice.” The most profound line of all states that “Mediocrity is a choice. So is excellence.” How many areas of our lives do we choose mediocrity in simply because it’s the path of least resistance? How many areas of our lives or businesses aren’t getting the results that we want deep down inside just because we. choose. mediocrity.

The target market is dead

10330066024_a56c8665f3_z copy

Wake up, business schools… the idea of a target market is dead! For decades business schools have trumpeted the practice of selecting a target market for your business, which is the group of people who you aim to convert into customers. In other words, when creating new services, developing advertising campaigns, and creating sales copy, it’s your target market that you should consider.

But that’s all bogus. The idea of a target market may have worked before the advent of social media and a deep network of niche-focused websites hit the internet, but today’s advertising arena enables us to target much more than just a wide range of people. Now, we target an individual person. That’s why the concept of a customer avatar has quickly replaced the archaic target market.

Why your to-do list is a waste of time

3451608745_654471f8ac_z copy

Long before the advent of cell phones, the internet, social media, and YouTube, the great philosopher Plato once said “All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.”

Such a simple yet insightful thought gives evidence that even 20+ centuries ago productivity was a challenge. Since then it’s only gotten harder, and it’s now a very hot topic for entrepreneurs and non-treps alike. In my first job out of college, I worked at a consulting company that was experiencing rapid growth. There was more work than people, so productivity was of the utmost importance as the company locked up countless projects and Fortune 500 clients.

That’s when I was introduced to something that we all know, love, and hate: the to-do list. Every day we would all create our to-do list… it was a regurgitation of everything that we needed to get done for the day across all of our projects. It was a beautiful and intricate piece of corporate art… it was detailed, methodical, and even had little boxes that were just waiting to be completed with a quick and decisive CHECK!