Just Do It – Building the Winning Edge

This is not the Nike tagline that we all know. What this is, as a matter of fact, is a story I heard when I was still searching for my purpose. It was about a man who had an idea, and ten years later turned that idea into a big company where he sold $77 Billion in revenue. For this guy, business in America is in a crisis situation today, and to get the groove going for you to win in your business will be a very very big achievement.

With this man, I have learned many things about winning in the business world. First thing you have to do to win in a business is get excited. Just as how you are excited when you wake up in the morning to go to school and see your friends when you were still young, that is the excitement you should have throughout your entire life. People won’t follow a negative crybaby, what they want to follow are positive, energetic winners. Be excited to come to work, to fulfill all your tasks and it will make every day easy for you. Another key is to become a dreamer. When you are excited about something, you gotta have dreams, like you did when you were young. You were excited about getting your apartment, landing that first job and finding that special someone. Like they all say, dream, believe and survive. In order to win in business, you have to feel good about yourself. In tough times, you have to stand for something and be controversial. You can be good and tough at the same time, without any pretentions. It’s your ability to get back up when you get knocked down to the ground that will help you win in this business. In this business world, you have to make that commitment. It’s like how you win in a marriage, that you can win in business as well. Everything is not going to turn out the way you want to, but come to think of it, you can’t turn your back on your wife or husband, and it’s the same thing for your business. When hard times occur, you can’t just say I give up. Like you can’t throw your wife or husband or children away if something turns sour, you know what I mean? Another thing to win in business is to know how to take care of your employees. The only way to manage your people is treat them good. Sour times come along the way, but always treat them with appreciation and gratitude. There are a lot of people that you can find to work for you, but when you know how to say thank you and good job to your folks, you don’t even have to go through the route of finding people to work for you, because your people will stay loyal to you because you have built that trust with them.

So what is the difference with the winners and the regular business people? The regular people who has a business can do the same as the winners in the business. They can do all the things I mentioned above without lifting a finger. The difference? The regular people do it. The winners do it. And they do it again. And they do it again. And again. And again. Whatever it takes. Until they get the job done. That is the winning edge.

CREATIVE MARKETING: THEN AND NOW

What makes marketing creative? Is it more imagination or innovation? Is a creative marketer more artist or entrepreneur? Historically, the term “marketing creative” has been associated with the words and pictures that go into ad campaigns. But marketing, like other corporate functions, has become more complex and rigorous. Marketers need to master data analytics, customer experience, and product design. Do these changing roles require a new way of thinking about creativity in marketing?

Everyone likes to talk about being “customer-centric.” But too often this means taking better aim with targeted campaigns. Customers today are not just consumers; they are also creators, developing content and ideas — and encountering challenges — right along with you. Creativity in marketing requires working with customers right from the start to weave their experiences with your efforts to expand your company’s reach.

Every marketer believes the customer experience is important. But most marketers only focus on the parts of that experience under their direct control. Creative marketers take a broader view and pay attention to the entire customer experience from end to end. This includes the product, the buying process, the ability to provide support, and customer relationships over time. That takes time and resources – and it also requires bringing creative thinking to unfamiliar problems.

In the past, marketers needed to be effective managers, setting goals well in advance and then working within budget to achieve those goals. Today, creative marketers need to operate more like entrepreneurs, continuously adjusting to sustain “product/market fit.”

The measurability of digital engagement means we can now know exactly what’s working and not working. This gives marketing an opportunity to measure and manage itself in new ways. In the past, marketing measured success by sticking to budgets and winning creative awards. Today, the ability to measure data and adjust strategies in real-time enables marketing to prove its value to the business in entirely new ways.

In a fragmented media and social landscape, marketers can no longer reach their goals for awareness and reputation just through paid media and PR. People are the new channel. The way to amplify impact is by inspiring creativity in others. Treat everyone as an extension of your marketing team: employees, partners, and even customers.

The changes happening in consumer behavior, technology, and media are redefining the nature of creativity in marketing. The measure of marketing success isn’t the input, whether that’s the quality of a piece of content or a campaign, but rather the value of the output, whether that’s revenue, loyalty, or advocacy. Marketers of the past thought like artists, managers, and promoters. Today’s marketers need to push themselves to think more like innovators and entrepreneurs — creating enterprise value by engaging the whole organization, looking out for the entire customer experience, using data to make decisions, and measuring effectiveness based on business results.

Puppies for Sale

A shop owner placed a sign above his door that said: “Puppies For Sale.”

Signs like this always have a way of attracting young children, and to no surprise, a boy saw the sign and approached the owner;

“How much are you going to sell the puppies for?” he asked.

The store owner replied, “Anywhere from $30 to $50.”

The little boy pulled out some change from his pocket. “I have $2.37,” he said. “Can I please look at them?”

The shop owner smiled and whistled. Out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of his shop followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur.

One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, “What’s wrong with that little dog?”

The shop owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn’t have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame.

The little boy became excited. “That is the puppy that I want to buy.”

The shop owner said, “No, you don’t want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I’ll just give him to you.”

The little boy got quite upset. He looked straight into the store owner’s eyes, pointing his finger, and said;

“I don’t want you to give him to me. That little dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I’ll pay full price. In fact, I’ll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for.”

The shop owner countered, “You really don’t want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies.”

To his surprise, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the shop owner and softly replied, “Well, I don’t run so well myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!”

Moral of the story:

You need to make sure you understand the needs of your clients. Not because you think you know what is best for them, it’s not always what is best for them.

The Obstacle in Our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. He then hid himself and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.

Many people loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

A peasant then came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.

The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King explaining that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

Moral of the story:

Every obstacle we come across in life gives us an opportunity to improve our circumstances, and whilst the lazy complain, the others are creating opportunities through their kind hearts, generosity, and willingness to get things done.