I would write about marketing more

I would write about marketing more if that would help my audience “do better marketing”. As it turns out, doing good marketing is the second-order consequence of doing other things well. And so I write about those other things instead — the causes rather than the effects — knowing that better marketing will flow from these things quite naturally: Your quest to find a place in the market where your self-made expertise produces exceptional value. Your quest to deepen and strengthen that expertise. Your quest to package that expertise in an attractive way. Your quest to make yourself and your …

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Do right… but not right now

“Oh me, oh my-ohLook at Miss OhioShe’s a-running around with her rag-top downShe says, I want to do right but not right now.” —Gillian Welch, “Look At Miss Ohio” You certainly have standards. Some questions about them: Can/do you relax them? Are there principles or heuristics that guide when you relax them? Who designed your standards? What purpose do your standards serve? I’ve noticed that I’ll relax my standards to gain learning, constrained of course by ethics and law. I’m pretty sure many of my standards were designed by me at around age 7, when I had some kind of …

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Everything All The Time

A core problem of the Internet is information oversupply. Despite this, there are still opportunities to earn visibility online. A list: Be more useful. This requires market insight, so that you know what would be more useful to a group of people. Be a match for an information-filtering heuristic: “Who has the most succinct, fact-based take on this?” “Who seems to have a no-BS take on this?” “Who can speak from strong experience about this?” “Who is going to make gorging myself with information fun?” “Who can I most easily remember as a source of information on this?” Be ubiquitously …

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By-products

Sometimes the thing we want is the by-product of doing something we don’t want to do. Being able to articulate a clear, powerful point of view (POV) can be the by-product of publishing a lot.  There are other ways to arrive at a good POV, but I’ve seen publishing a lot get folks there reliably enough to recommend it. People say writing is haaaaaard. Bullshit. Digging a 30′ french drain in rocky soil by hand is hard. Throwing bales of hay up into a barn in 90/90 heat/humidity is hard. Surviving on minimum wage is hard. Being willing to be criticized can …

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A 10-year overnight success

I love a good 10-year overnight success story. In a recent TEI call, a member shared one. Here’s the timeline: The year 2013: Matthew Skelton creates language for an idea, calls it DevOps Topologies. Around 2016: Matthew publishes the idea to this website: https://web.archive.org/web/20160305153422/http://web.devopstopologies.com/ 2019: Idea becomes this book: https://smile.amazon.com/Team-Topologies-Organizing-Business-Technology/dp/1942788819 March, 2021: TEI member says “I’m seeing team topologies everywhere!” I think a lot of 10 year overnight successes look a lot like that. Consider the mushroom. There’s a lengthy phase where the mushroom spores grow into a mycelial network. Important stuff is happening, but it’s mostly underground; invisible. Then …

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Losing battles

Would you intentionally choose to fight a losing battle? Admirable people do this all the time. Depends on how you define “victory”. If victory is 100% of your market radically changing for the better, every battle is probably a losing battle. If victory, on the other hand, is a small percentage of the market changing for the better, you’re playing the same moves, but you’re winning, one inch at a time. -P

The Building and Investing Journal, Issue #2

Preview: “I’m just generally saying “yes” to conversations these days.” From Brad Farris: “We’ve created 2 new online courses to help you to develop more leads from online sources based in part on some learnings from a cohort that Philip and Tom Miller did last year.  Start with our Sales Growth Assessment to learn what you need to do next to create a more consistent sales process. The results page will help you decide if one of these courses is right for you: https://socialselling.anchoradvisors.com/sales-readiness/“ Whelp, here’s evidence of how far behind the ball I sometimes get. Sorry for the late share, …

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What is structural intelligence?

A good referee is structurally smarter than the players in the game. The ref is outside the action but close enough to it to observe infractions. A good coach is structurally smarter than the player they’re coaching. The coach is not inside the player’s body, so they can see how unhelpful this motion or that response to a situation is and how it interferes with better performance. A symphony conductor is structurally smarter than the first chair violinist — or any other player. They can see and hear from a vantage point that is closer to the audience than any single player and can …

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Value creation, swagger, and arrogance

Certain artists understand entrepreneurship and value creation better than many business people. Nick Cave is in that group. He writes one of my favorite email lists, and this is an excerpt from a recent letter: I just wasn’t that talented. I couldn’t play an instrument as well as most other musicians, I was a less than capable singer, and my songwriting was in no way as strong as that of some of my contemporaries. I was acutely aware of these shortcomings, and felt set apart from that world. Having said that, I was also aware that there was a force at work …

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What are false dichotomies good for?

At first blush, they can seem like a cheap, jokey way to think about the world. But if we’re willing to take them seriously, I think they might be good for clarifying what the individual parts of the false dichotomy are good for. What their purpose is. Or what job they are the best tool for. False dichotomies can help us think about context and how the individual parts of the false dichotomy operate within a system.  Chris Ferdinandi, the “Vanilla JS Guy”, is in a great position to comment on this from firsthand experience . He did, and he gave me permission to share …

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