A common interview question is “What do you think is in store for X industry?”
In my mind, there are two types of predictions. One is based only on what you see, think and feel from observing, taking notes and talking to others. These are easy predictions to sell and they’re typically self-fulfilling prophecies.
The other type of prediction, the one that you can be most sure will occur is similar to the first type of prediction except one critical element–you’re actively working to make the prediction a reality.
You can predict the death of newspapers because that’s what you’ve read online and your colleague said, but, what’s more valuable in your prediction is that you don’t have a newspaper subscription, you write for a digital-only pub, you rely on Facebook ads and the Craigslist marketplace instead of the papers. Your actions make the prediction true, if only in your world.
And, it turns out, what happens in your world has a more significant impact on the world at large than you might think.
Stay Positive & Spoiler Alert
If you’re reading this, there’s no doubt that you work with numbers or know you should.
But putting together numbers, analytics, data can be…exhausting. Maybe you’re not good at excel. Maybe you don’t want to measure with quantitative data. Or…maybe you realize a lot of the measurements you’re told to gather are a waste.
Sure if more people see your post, then more will buy, but not enough. It’s not a 1-2 ratio, and not because there’s competition for eyeballs, but because people are telling themselves different stories at different phases on their path to purchase.
“Measurement is fabulous. Unless you’re busy measuring what’s easy to measure as opposed to what’s important.” – Seth Godin
Before you dig into any data, be sure you know the answer to these three questions.
- What’s your specific goal? Did you want conversions? Email sign ups? People to just see your name? There’s valid reasons for all these goals, but you need to pick one per initiative.
- How will you measure it? Is it cost per engagement? Is it those who sign up for your email list and open 10 of your emails in a row? Is it an ad recall rate?
- Are you going to use those numbers? If you learn one method is better than another, do you have additional resources to invest in it? If you’re not happy with your impressions, will you stop using that ad unit despite everyone saying you shouldn’t?
Every initiative needs an answer to each question. If there isn’t one or it’s not communicated well-enough, then that’s when measurement reports become a waste.
Stay Positive & Bring Measurement And Meaning Together Again
Your imagination is limitless when you give it space to work its magic.
Space in terms of imagination, is time. Time to think. Time to create. To ponder. To connect.
You can make anything better–naturally I might add–by investing in the moment. Pausing to let your brain think. Going down one path instead of a hundred.
A pillow is just a pillow that you put your head on to sleep, but when you invest in the moment with two minutes, you begin considering what more a pillow could be. What if you did this more at work, with your significant other, with your muse?
Now is also a great opportunity to remember that time is not something you have.
Time is something you make.
Stay Positive & Choice Is Yours
I’ve stepped into a number of breweries and brew pubs that have nailed it with the decor.
Their social media is on point and engaging.
Their staff is excellent.
But… you guessed it, their beer was sub par.
Too many entrepreneurs and marketers-alike focus on creating a buzz instead of directing their attention on what matters first.
If you boiled your business down to the one thing that must work for it to exist, survive, grow; What is it?
Are you doing everything to make that one thing remarkable first?
Stay Positive & First Things First
You don’t need to come up with an idea that’s out of this world.
The majority of ideas any one person can come up with have already been done.
That’s not a bad thing. Quite the opposite.
The truth about ideas is that while it’s difficult to come up with new ones, it’s often easy (or at least easier) to make current ideas better.
Yea, that book you’re thinking of writing? Someone has already published one just like it. Instead of wondering what else you can write about, why not question what you could do to make your book better than theirs?
Think of everyone who has played a well-known song on the piano, shouldn’t they all be famous? Or is it how they perform, the emotion they put into it, the care that makes the difference?
Stay Positive & Better Is The New New
Our egos makes it easy for us to admit that we’re needed.
Certainly you can think of someone who can use the information or a skill you have.
What’s more humbling is that they have something you don’t.
If you want to connect, set your ego aside to
1. discover what they know that you don’t and
2. learn from them.
There’s not a teacher in the world that’s not also a student.
Stay Positive & You’re In Need Too
Each year, recap or team pow wow, people leave with holistically productive intentions.
Yet, as time wanes on, those intentions become funneled, they fall out of sight and the work that gets done is only the work that’s directly on one’s plate.
I’ve found that the best way to uphold those intentions (and subsequently erase the path to hell that’s often paved with them) is to keep as many items top of mind as possible.
You can do this by setting calendar reminders, daily, weekly or monthly (anything beyond monthly ceases to be kept top of mind). You can print out a list of what you want to focus on and hang it up in the bathroom and read them while you brush your teeth. You can save a document in your Dropbox or Evernote and read it every Monday morning before the start of the work week.
The possibilities are endless, but it’s this method of keeping content top of mind that keeps you acting on your good intentions.
Stay Positive & This Year’s Got Nothin’ On You