In a single afternoon, how I defined success changed forever…

As a member of the bX business network, I have access to countless webinars spanning several years, featuring experts from a variety of backgrounds and industries who share their particular secrets to success.

I’m a “whatever it takes” kind of guy, so I’ve got into the habit of putting an hour aside each weekday to go back through the catalogue of past webinars, watch one, take notes/ screenshots and compile it into an easy-reference Word Document. I did this with the fantastic 10-Part Tony Robbins series Time Of Your Life that (in itself) was a big catalyst in Scribe becoming more than just a business concept- but that’s a story for another time…

So I was watching a webinar by bX Director Matt Alderton, titled ‘Preparing For Your Best Year Ever’- and he spends 45 minutes or so breaking down the art of goal-setting. I listened, took notes (and screenshots) and put it into my Word document- but in doing so, it reminded me of a day a few years back where I changed how I defined success. Here’s how it came about…

See, I’d recently celebrated a birthday, and as is customary, I’d taken a day out to go and brainstorm my goals for the next 12 months. While Matt recommends doing this at the end of the year, I prefer to do it when my birthday comes around. As people get older they begin to dread every looming birthday more. But as I see it, why dread the inevitable when you could celebrate another year of opportunity in front of you? So I make it a time for appreciating the last 12 months’ worth of milestones and to devise a plan of action for the next 12 months.

This means I unplug from social media, get outdoors, reflect- and strategise. I always get pumped for the year ahead, full of anticipation for the new outcomes I’d listed and committed myself to achieving.

But this time around?

I was thinking of the sacrifices I’d made. The time spent working solo, pressuring myself to do stuff barely noticed by the outside world. The amount of things left solely up to me to organise and put into place every day. Sure, it was all done with a clear destination in mind. Yet…

I was putting a line through these outcomes but feeling no particular sense of pride. No rush as I achieved another ‘Mission Accomplished’. As a result, I’d begun to wonder:

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

So here I was this particular Monday morning, having freshly clicked over another year, aboard a city-bound train, mountain bike swaying gently at my side, iPad and helmet stuffed into my Kathmandu backpack. After arriving in the city, I spent hours riding through the parks and beachside suburbs on a clear and sunny day, as all along I pondered:

What exactly do I want to achieve over the next 12 months?

Then it dawned on me:

I was unsatisfied because I’d come to define success by what I did, rather than who I became.

I’d become too engrossed in a legalistic, paint-by-numbers, cross-it-out view of achievement. It’s all well and good to look at your list of action items and see that you did a, b and c. But, more than anything-

I needed to pay closer attention to my attitude.

After all, attitude is the fuel that powers achievement.

The problem is that we’ve been encouraged to judge success simply by surface layer metrics, with no regard for the underlying story:

How many followers have we attracted?

How many subscribers do we have?

How many people have watched our videos or heard of us?

How much did we bank last financial year?

Where do we live?

What car/s do we drive?

Who do we know on a first-name basis?

What events have we attended and who else was there?

Where do we get to go on holiday?

These can all be indicators of some forms of success, sure- but they don’t mean that you are a success. Imagine you had all of these great things disappear overnight- what would you be left with, then?

Because if we can’t truthfully say the following:

  1. We enjoy our work and the difficult, frustrating parts are worth it
  2. Our attitude brings us fulfilment
  3. We’re confident we’ll reflect on the person we are now (one day) and be proud of us, even if we didn’t always make the right decision

Then success is being done wrong.

See, it’s one thing to do what needs to be done and simply to go through the motions-

But becoming that individual who does more than tick a box, who takes pride in what they do and who they become in the process? That’s next level stuff. It’s the kind of quality people can’t help but sit up and take notice of.

Succeeding is an event. But being a success is a state of mind.

Succeeding is temporary. But being a success is permanent.

Succeeding shows you stretch the limits. But success shows you persisted.

Succeeding gives you the chance to learn. But success continues learning.

I’m not sharing this to stand on some platform and boast of “enlightenment”. I share simply because I remember when I defined success the wrong way- a way that doesn’t necessarily equal fulfilment and won’t save you from a sense of imposter syndrome or victories that feel hollow.

So I defined success wrong, and I’d begun feeling burnt out. Remembering what it felt to be truly inspired was like the memory of a romance full of passion that’d since grown cool and practical. I wondered if the juice was really worth the squeeze and if it wasn’t, then what was the point?

But this particular afternoon- revelation came:

Because a change in attitude would lead to me accomplishing things beyond a mere list. So instead of defining the coming 12 months by a list of accomplishments, I had to scale it down to just a few, intangible things. In the end, I was left with just these 3 questions:

  1. What do I enjoy doing?
  2. What attitude do I want to embody?
  3. Who would I be proud of, as a person?

From there, it was actually fairly easy to plot out the next 12 months, based around just those 3 questions.

Attitude is the fuel that powers achievement.

So I rode out the rest of the afternoon, grabbed a late lunch and then boarded the evening train home, weary but content- and with clarity about my future.

So I encourage you to ask yourself these three questions for yourself. Get clear on them. Make your answer the foundation of your goals and your vision. Then go forward.

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7 Lessons In 7 Years: A Copywriters’ Tale…

I don’t know, I mean…winning has a price…and leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenge people when they don’t want to be challenged. And I earned that right, because my team-mates who came after me, they didn’t endure all the things I endured…Once you join the team you live to a certain standard that I played the game- and I won’t take any less. Now if that means I had to go in there and get in your ass a little bit, then I did that. You ask all my team-mates: “One thing about (me) was (I) never asked me to do something, that he didn’t fuckin’ do”. When people see this, they’re going to say “Well, he wasn’t really a nice guy, he may have been a tyrant…well that’s you. Because you never won anything. I wanted to win, but I wanted them to be a part of that as well. I don’t have to do this, I’m only doing it because…it is who I am…that’s how I play the game…that was my mentality. If you don’t want to play that way? Don’t play that way.

– Michael Jordan

Last November marked 7 years since Scribe Copywriting became a registered business...

7 years since I completed the NEIS course. 7 years since I took on my first ever client (a personal trainer named Chris, and I still have a copy of the final draft I sent him, as I do with every other piece of client work I’ve ever written)…

Then something happened recently that made me think of this milestone, and I was quite flattered by it: an old associate of mine, a guy who’s been in business longer than I have (since he was a Primary school kid, in fact!) reached out and asked if I would step on board in a mentoring role with him? It’s not one-way traffic, because while there’s a lot I can help him with, there’s much he can offer me when it comes to business ideas.

This got me thinking…

After 7 years in business (and Scribe is the first business venture I ever founded) what are the biggest things that have stood out to me? If a young entrepreneur reached out tomorrow and asked if I would help to guide them, what are the lessons I would impart on them?

When I stop and I think about that, these are the things I would hammer home to save them the time it took me to discover it for myself:

#1- Be Specific

When I started out, I figured the easiest way to attract (and build) a steady client-base was to provide every service I could think of. So I took a “Yes we can!” attitude to every lead who came my way.

The problem with doing this?

I spread myself too thin. In doing so, I held myself back from focusing on an area of speciality and developing that craft. I lacked a unique identity. I could have spent more time getting better at providing those services I enjoyed the most- built a reputation based on that- and got paid more for it as a result!

If you narrow your demographic, you lose leads in the process. I’ve turned potential clients away because when I looked at what they were doing and found out what their goals were, I realised I wasn’t the ideal fit and disqualified myself. I missed out on the sale. But I gained the time and energy to instead focus on the important stuff- whether that was working with my ideal clients or working to attract more of my ideal clients.

All I can say is I have no regrets about changing tack with this, and my vision is clearer. My goals more straightforward.

#2- Choose Quality Over Quantity

I’ve long held to the belief that life is too short to go for what I don’t really want. Like if your heart’s not in it and doing the work to get it feels pointless, then chances are the reward isn’t that great for you. So why bother?

When I started out, I wanted to earn as much in a short space of time as possible, but realised after a while that I was sacrificing an opportunity to become the best, for the sake of making the most. So I narrowed my focus and it proved to be a better usage of my time and energy with better returns!

Before you think of how you could scale your operations up, consider what you already have in your possession. Take note of your existing customers, and ask how you could provide more for them- especially if it increases the opportunity to get more testimonials, better referrals and more money as a result of this.

When you’re focused on delivering more value first and foremost, you take more pride in your work, you do better work and the numbers take care of themselves anyway. Quality over quantity, every time!

#3- Meeting, Greeting & Mingling

In the very beginning, I asked a mentor what my top priority should be in order to drum up business? They said networking, and this answer seemed unusual- backward even. It was 2013, and didn’t modern marketing mean you should have a great website, a strong social media presence and plenty of videos to highlight how awesome you were?

But I took their word for it and so off I headed to this business breakfast or that event, loaded up with business cards and ready to chat. Looking back now, it was a great idea. Sure, a lot of business these days is carried out online, and by next year its’ predicted that any company who doesn’t have a website is as good as dead in the water-

Yet, the need for human interaction hasn’t been phased out by technology. We still want to connect. Think about it, who do you trust more?

a) Somebody you’ve only heard about online, or

b) Somebody you’ve met, whether they were introduced to you by somebody you knew or you’d never heard of them until your paths crossed

I’ve picked up new clients just through chatting to the right person down at the pub. I’ve picked up new clients because I met them through a networking event. I’ve picked up new clients through a referral from somebody I’ve sold to in the past, or somebody I’ve never directly done business with but who knows what I specialise in and is happy to recommend me.

I don’t know how tech-savvy you are or how polished and up-to-date your online marketing presence is. Neither do I care- you’ve got to be meeting and greeting. If business networking is still good enough for the likes of Richard Branson, then it’s good enough for you, too.

#4- Just Turn Up

Looking back, I notice how I’ve often found success or discovered breakthrough at a moment where I wasn’t expecting it. Either I hadn’t expected a lead to green-light a proposal I’d sent them, or I’d woken up without any sense today was going to be anything special.

As the Scouts motto says: Be prepared. There are times I felt unprepared or not in the mood to go to some event I signed up for. The day came and there was other stuff I’d prefer to be doing. But I went anyway…and on several of those occasions, I either learned something new and useful, or I was introduced to new people or opportunities that came in very handy for my business.

To become great, you’ve got to be consistent. Do the work, go to that event and be seen- even when it seems like nothing you do is making a difference. Don’t die wondering. The people who turn up and fail are still better than the ones who don’t turn up because they thought they would fail. Talk is worth $0. But action (ultimately) delivers real results. Remember that…

#5- Make Connections And Share Ideas

“It is a well-known fact that a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery. It is also a well-known fact that an individual battery will provide energy in proportion to the number and capacity of the cells it contains. The brain functions in a similar fashion. This accounts for the fact that some brains are more efficient than others, and leads to this significant statement- a group of brains coordinated (or connected) in a spirit of harmony, will provide more thought-energy than a single brain, just as a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery

Think & Grow Rich

You have great ideas that other people need to hear. But other people have great ideas you also need to hear. This is where networking and finding great referral partners comes in very handy. Instead of doing the work of one horse, you find a team of horses who make it much easier to pull that load.

Of course, you need to make sure you find the right connections, and I’ve spoken in the past about how to set apart the good people from the people holding you back

Yet when you’re brainstorming ideas or troubleshooting in the presence of other people- especially those who understand your business and have shown their worth- metaphorically your thinking goes from just one horse to a team of horses- and discovering that brilliant new idea or breakthrough becomes much easier…

#6- Make Every Day Count

I heard somebody a little while back lament that “the days are long, but the decades are short”. The older you get, the more you realise the truth behind this.

I can’t see the point in wistfully lamenting how quick time goes or how short life is- because the fact is that, to our knowledge, life is the longest thing we’ll ever experience.

So in light of that, the most you can do is to make every day count. At the end of every day, if you can reflect, think back and recognise that you did something of value- be it learning a skill, becoming better at your craft or having a valuable interaction with somebody who is important to you- then you made it count.

In business, I know I made the day count when I look back and through the day I worked on client projects, wrote more of my own content (be it a draft for an article idea, a video or an e-mail) or I spoke on the phone with referral partners or business connections. On top of that, if I went to the gym or headed out for a walk or took part in some other past-time that was more productive than just sitting in front of a screen and contributing nothing of worth- then sure, I made that day count.

We can’t stop time from marching forward as it always does. But we can start making every day count for something- and doing it consistently. Then one day we’ll look back with few (if any) regrets.

#7: Decide

To wrap up this piece, I want to confess something here-

When I started Scribe as a venture, I only viewed it as a short-term career. My real goal was still to get into film and TV, especially TV. I’d done 3 years at uni, completed my bachelors’ degree and I had ideas for creative projects I wanted to pitch. THAT was how I’d make a name for myself, and copywriting was just going to be my flexible “side gig”, something to pay the bills in the meantime…

But something changed. Too long to list here in full, but I started wondering if getting into film & TV was really worth it? Growing channels like YouTube made me realise that much of what I’d envisaged could in fact be achieved by this new platform, without the traditional constraints of network television. On top of that?

This whole copywriting thing suited me more than I expected…

Because in turning up

In writing

In learning time-management and self-discipline

I was learning more about myself than I’d imagined!

I’ve spoken about the power behind making a decision before

I remember doing the same with Scribe. I made the decision that whatever it took to build up this business how I wanted it to be- with maximum satisfaction in what I did and how I did it, with a healthy balance sheet to match- I would do it.

So whether you’re a start-up or an established business, whatever you envisage when you dare to dream?

Just decide.

Looking back now, after 7+ years, I think of how there was so much I was yet to realise when I started out. A website, a set of business cards, a signed document from ASIC and a registered ABN and it’s developed into this?

But for me, the story continues to be written. There’s always more to learn…

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5 Questions You Need To Be Asking About Your Post COVID Content Strategy…

So it looks as though maybe (just maybe) we’re now over the crest of the lockdowns and the economic halt the COVID pandemic brought us all to

Businesses are opening up again, the footy is back (with strong rumours the crowds are soon to follow) and just this last week I even got to enjoy that dimly remembered, pre-March 2020 pastime of enjoying a cold one and mingling down at my local. Bliss!

All things considered, we look set to enjoy something else too: a renewed surge in customer activity. And if times have been tougher than usual for you these past couple of months, then this is welcome news! However- as the boy scouts motto says: Be Prepared.

It follows that if you want to be ready for this coming surge and fully capitalise on it, you need to have the right strategy in place when it comes to your business marketing. To find the right answers, then you need to ask yourself the right questions, and be doing it NOW-

But there’s no need to panic, because I’m about to share the cheat sheet with you here. As the world begins to open up once more, and people are looking to buy from you once again, THESE are the questions you need to be asking:

#1- What do people associate your business with, as a brand?

In other words- what values and attributes do your leads and your customers think of when they think of your business?

And more to the point- does this match what you want your brand to be associated with?

#2- When your target audience thinks of your industry, do you come to mind?

Or is it somebody else who they’re associating with what you sell or what you do?

Because it doesn’t matter how superior your product is or how much better your service is, if your ideal leads are thinking of somebody else who’s in the same business as you- and going to them instead as a result- that’s x amount of dollars you’re missing out on. Every single time.

However…it doesn’t have to be this way….

With the right content strategy, you can become the #1, front and centre whenever your leads think of your industry….

#3- Do you have a clear process of converting your leads into sales?

If you don’t, then every time a prospective customer reaches out to you or your team, it’s really a game of chance. Some might buy from you and that’s great- but how many are slipping through your fingers, simply because you aren’t clear on your steps to conversion?

If you were clear on the steps to conversion, you could boil this down to a process, and following this process you’d be converting far more leads than you are currently. With this surge of customer activity incoming, the difference between leaving it to chance and having a process in place could end up equalling hundreds of thousands of dollars difference to your bottom line…

So needless to say- it literally pays to get clear on this!

#4- What should you be sharing with your target audience online?

The way to become a prominent voice of authority in your industry and make a connection with your target audience is to be sharing information that’s relevant to them- but also telling them about your business, and sharing your story. Which begs the question:

What information should you be sharing?

What are they going to find engaging, and what would be a waste of your time and energy to be talking about?

As I discussed recently, in 2020 publishing regular blog articles should be one of the top priorities (if not the #1 top priority) in any content strategy you implement, and with good reason. If you’re still not sure why this is, then take a look at these current stats:

#5- What should you be writing about, and how do you do it?

Once you’re sitting down, ready to brainstorm ideas then write them out and fashion them into your next article, a whole range of questions present themselves. These are all potential roadblocks to your creative flow and actually getting content out there:

  • What are you going to write your article about? More importantly, what does your target audience actually want to be hearing about?
  • How long should your article be- is it long enough, or are you waffling on too much with irrelevant details that’s going to bore your audience and risk them abandoning your article before they’re even halfway through?
  • Should you create an offer and include it in your article? Should you include a call to action in every article you publish- or is this too ‘pushy’ and an instant turn-off for your audience?

Etc etc….

So there’s all these questions you’re asking yourself in the process of putting together that killer content strategy- and implementing it. Now if this all sounds too difficult, and the idea of publishing a regular blog seems like a mountainous workload too big to handle? Then I have some great news for you-

Because I’m going to show you how you can be pumping out your own, regular blog articles- following the same easy process I follow in order to consistently write articles just like this one, whether writing for my own blog or doing it for my clients…

On top of that? You’re also going to discover:

  • How to make your target audience see you as the voice of authority…
  • The 5-step process that converts your leads into sales…
  • What your target audience really wants to know- and how to identify what this is, regardless of what business you’re in…
  • How to write informative, entertaining and engaging articles that share your story- and sells you as THE “go-to” for your leads…
  • How to consistently publish great articles that get read, get likes, get commented on and get shared by your audience- and never get stuck for ideas ever again!

Plus lots more…

So if the idea of learning all of this interests you?

Then contact me today and register your interest in attending my upcoming Blogging- Stories That Sell workshop. The course is online, so you can learn how to write like a pro from the comfort of your own home! Because I want to ensure everybody who attends is given the individual attention they deserve, spots are strictly limited to just 20 attendees– so it pays to get in quick. I have previous attendees who got so much value out of this workshop that they’re coming back a second time to refine their skills even further- and who am I to deny them that opportunity?

So contact me and register your interest today!

Storytime: Was I Born To Do It?

Back in 2002, British R&B singer Craig David released a studio album titled ‘Born To Do It’. I wasn’t a Craig David fan (his music seemed more aimed at a female audience, who swooned over his butter smooth tones), although I’ve got to admit the song ‘7 Days’ was definitely catchy- and the video clip is surprisingly funny. This is a guy who walked into a London Burger King and announced everybody’s order was on him, so I guess he’s alright.

But what I found ambiguous was the title of his album: Born To Do It.

Do what?

Do it with girls?

beavisbutthead2

“Beavis- he was like- born to score! Heh heh heh.”

Or did he mean born to do it- like- born to be a recording artist? In which case, to say you were “born to do something” is a sign that you’re fairly confident in your ability and the path you’ve chosen, isn’t it?

This notion that we were “born to do” something- it can be a tricky one if you enjoy a number of things, and have a talent for several of them. Because which direction do you choose?

When I was younger, I felt like I had a number of options, and the older I grew the more I realised that in order to become exceptional at one thing, means you sacrifice your ability at other things. After all, Michael Jordan is remembered as a basketball star- not a baseball one…

Despite a number of options and interests, it’s Scribe that has become a living, breathing entity today. I’ve spoken previously about some key decisions I made that lead to this happening (The Night It All Lit Up To me)

I’ve also shared how my boyhood career dreams differ from where I now stand, and why I don’t feel regret over the path I chose (Discovering Your Purpose- The 5 Questions Every Young Entrepreneur Must Ask Themselves)

dr-seuss_you-have-brains

But then I realised, looking back, I actually had several early glimpses of my future, which is now my present. I can still recall three particular occasions this happened. Yet in each case, I never had a moment where I thought “Maybe I should go down this road a bit more?” Unlike Ace Of Base, I didn’t see the sign- not yet, anyway:

Act 1: Carrots, Commercials & Class Kudos

It was the 90’s, and if you’re above a certain age you might recall the TV series ‘Money‘ that was on Channel 9. I didn’t watch it, but my parents had both the books from this series and I went through a period where I would leaf through them. Sure there was a lot of stuff that didn’t interest me (like talk about superannuation or interest rates) but then there was the stuff that did take my interest- like the chapter on the value of classic cars and the explanation as to why the current basketball card craze (which I touched on here) was a false economy. There was also a section on ways to save money at the supermarket…

It explained why the most commonly purchased items are always at the back of the store in separate isles, why the best value deals are not necessarily at eye-level and how come all the magazines are located at the checkout…

Now this might all seem straight-forward to you- but as a kid, it felt like a lightbulb moment. Like a code I had cracked.

I also remember a TV ad for Wonka Nerds that depicted a kid ingesting the flavour-packed candies and then playing games at Timezone and coming first on ‘Daytona 500’. Even at that impressionable age, I laughed at the suggestion that eating Nerds could increase your ability on a video game. So when a neighbour of mine (a few years younger, to be fair) made the comment one day that eating Nerds made you win ‘Daytona 500’ I tried not to laugh and I set him straight.

Advertising, eh?

Then at school, my Year 6 teacher announced we were going to be studying advertising this term. With a fresh appreciation for the how’s and why’s of the subject, my ears pricked up. I don’t recall how interesting my classmates found this module, but it remains a fond memory from my last year of Primary school.

However, the best part was the assignment:

We had to create a TV advertisement for carrots, using the principles of advertising we’d learned thus far, and a select few concepts would be turned into actual video adverts. And as it turned out, my ad idea was shortlisted by our teacher. Maybe it’s because she recognised my inherent brilliance, or maybe she simply realised my advert would be easy to produce? Either way, next thing our class had been split up into groups and we were each lent camcorders to go and film our ads. So here’s what we did with mine:

First, we created a makeshift stage (from memory I think we just used a desk with another desk sitting sideways upon it for the backdrop, a piece of cardboard stuck to it saying ‘Vegetable Of The Year’.

Secondly, we got a piece of broccoli, a potato, a piece of cauliflower and a carrot. We took plastic eyes normally used for stuffed animals and stuck them into the vegetables, and used modified skewers for arms and legs.

IMG_6230

We enjoyed an overwhelming turnout for the audition…

The premise was that the other three vegetables each took the stage and did a crap job of selling themselves (the broccoli began snoozing halfway through it’s opening line, the spud stuttered all over the place) and would get dragged off (via one of those ratchets you got from the Easter Show). Then the carrot comes on and absolutely nails it- explains the health benefits of eating carrots, straight to the point- and wins the contest.

So as you can see, it was a simple advertisement with no CGI, no wild horses galloping along isolated beaches with crashing waves, no celebrity endorsements. It was literally a carrot with eyes stuck in it, a mouth carved out of it and wooden skewers for arms and legs, selling itself on stage- and that was a wrap.

As it turned out our group (having implemented my idea and brought it to life) were then judged to have produced the best advert by my teacher and that was one of two assignments I aced in Year 6. The other was this project on bridges in which I built a suspension bridge out of balsa wood and matchsticks, and went on to be one of only two assignments in our grade (along with an old friend) that achieved top marks, but that’s another story altogether…

Act 2: The Computer Program For All Eternity

I was now in Year 9 and our religious studies teacher set our class an assignment that involved marketing of some sort. While the details of the guidelines are a bit hazy 20 years on, an old mate and I paired up and I suggested this idea of making it like a computer program. So we produced a mock-up computer program titled ‘Eternity 2000‘ (clearly a send-up of Windows 2000). We even had the program box with our logos on it, a whole bunch of installation discs painted different colours and a user manual printed out to go in the box with the discs.

Windows 2000

We thought we’d come up with a winner of an idea, and it seemed our teacher did as well!

He liked it so much he had us come up on stage during school assembly and interviewed us about our project as we sat there like absolute kings. We weren’t up there in front of the whole school because we’d won Triple J Unearthed or been signed by an NRL club, but the free publicity still felt cool- and again, it all started with an idea I’d spitballed…

Act 3: Helping The Campus Stay Clean & Tidy

Then in my first year out of school I was at TAFE for a year, working up my credit points to go on to uni for my degree. Our campus held a competition to design a campaign encouraging people on campus to bin their rubbish. I created a really simple logo of a standard stick figure putting their rubbish in the bin, with the slogan “When You Bin, The Environment Wins”- and despite being judged against campaigns put together by fellow arts or design students, mine was picked as the winner.

That was a nice surprise.

But still, on I went to uni for the next 4 years, getting through my degree and enjoying some classes more than others (do a semester of Reading The Visual and you’ll understand why artists give such wanky-sounding explanations for the minimalist crap they display in exhibits). Yet it hadn’t occurred to me that I might have a future in the art of writing words, stories or concepts that sell. Instead I worked away, got my Bachelor of Animation degree, wore the gown and the cap, spent a few years working retail, moved interstate twice and kept the dream alive of going into Film & TV and creating my own series…

Yet (as we now see), life had other plans. And here I am writing these words, looking back and now realising that (all things considered) maybe this is where I was meant to be all along?

So be excellent to one another, navigate your future with an open hand- and eat your veggies!

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Look! 7 Eye-Catching Blog Images Your Readers Love To See:

“A picture tells a thousand words”

Have you ever actually tried this? Like, found a single image and then attempted to think of 1,000 words that could describe that picture in some way or another?

Me neither. But-

When it comes to your blog articles, having at LEAST a header image doesn’t just help to grab people’s attention. In addition, it’s an interesting way to help tell (or even ad to) your story.

You can find some examples where I’ve done this, and used several images throughout a single piece that achieves the following goals:

a) Helps to illustrate the story

b) Puts a picture in the mind of the reader that ads to the one they’re coming up with as they read the words I’ve written

c) Visually breaks up walls of text and makes the whole article much easier on the eye!

Here’s just a few personal examples of what I’m talking about:

Discovering Your True Purpose (The 5 Questions Every Young Entrepreneur Must Ask Themselves):

The 7 Toxic People Who Are Fatal To Your Success (Part 1):

5 Things You Need To Master Your Marketing

So if you want to ramp up the psychological impact of your articles- and publish pieces that get attention (along with those killer headlines I know you’re taking the time to expertly craft), then here’s the 7 types of images that’ll do the job for you:

#1: Screenshots

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Screenshots are a great way to illustrate a point you’re making or a story you’re telling when it relates to something you’ve done on your computer. It’s also extremely helpful when you’re sharing a step-by-step guide on how to do something computer-related.

There are a few different ways you can screen cap an image or (with some programs) even sections of video. Personally, I use the Screenshot app which gives me the flexibility to capture the entire screen, capture just one particular window, capture a cropped section of my screen or record a section of screen for a certain length of time and include sound as well.

#2: Charts & Graphs

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We remember images much better than we remember words. So if you take into account how complex many statistics, reports and surveys are, the precious information you’re  sharing becomes much more memorable if you can turn them into colourful graphs. To do this, you can use Spreadsheets in Google Drive or create graphs in Powerpoint.

#3: Your Personal Photos

Faze 3

Instead of using cliched stock photography, why not do something interesting and original- and dig into the personal archive? Whether it’s a shot from your phone camera, a shot from your digital camera or maybe (just maybe) even a scan from the good old days when you got your rolls of film developed- I can say from personal experience that including personal photos gives your articles a much more organic and personal feel. Don’t fret if some of the photos you include are a bit on the grainy side- the fact you’re including original photos is a pro that outweighs the cons.

So go through your collection and start looking for those images that can make all the difference to your next piece- how can they help to tell your story?

#4: Stills From Movies Or TV Shows

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In my time writing articles, I’ve used stills of everything from ‘Jurassic Park‘ to ‘The Nutty  Professor‘ to ‘Robocop‘- it’s great to include stills from popular/ cult movies or TV shows for two distinct reasons:

a) It reveals something about your personal tastes, your sense of humour and your sensibilities

b) It helps your audience to feel a stronger sense that you relate with them

Bonus points if you can use a memorable quote from the still you include and tie it into the topic of your article!

#5: Infographics

What_is_an_Infographic_Blog_Header

Infographics are an eye-catching way to make large banks of data much more digestible and easy to follow for your audience. They also have the bonus of providing you with content you can share on your social media pages in their own right. I find Adobe Spark is a handy tool for creating infographics that can then be easily replicated and used wherever I like.

#6: Custom Art

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I painted this and yes, it is for sale. If you’d love to have an original piece hanging up on your wall, contact me…

Sometimes, you have an idea of the image you want to include but no matter how far you search on Google or elsewhere- it just doesn’t exist. But all is not lost. You can still have custom art created using platforms like oDesk or uPwork, and for little cost. All you need to do is post a task for the custom art job you want, and soon enough you’ll find somebody to create it for you. Simple!

#7: Comics

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Maybe you can lighten the mood a little, and include a comic in your article? There are a range of sites you can source comic art from, plus relatively unknown comic artists on your favourite social media platforms. Sites have different rules regarding licensing and distribution, so check them first and respect the rules each artist applies to usage of their work.

In A Nutshell:

Taking the extra time to find just the right title image for your next article, and great images to punctuate the article itself- is well worth it. Not only does it increase the likelihood of people stopping to read your latest piece, but having well-selected images throughout the piece also breaks up the walls of text and makes people more likely to read your article to the end- which is what you want them to do after all, isn’t it?

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Here Are The Professionals & Experts I Know- And This Is What They Can Do For You:

So…it’s been a strange past couple of weeks…

I know I’m not the only person saying that, and we all have our own account of the various shifts and adjustments we’ve had to make. Even if what we’re experiencing now is temporary, we’re in a season where there’s seeds everywhere. Those seeds could produce success or failure for you, depending upon what you pick up and what you plant- what you nurture through consistent thought and cultivate through the questions that you ask.

If you’re of the belief that “the end is near” then I’ll save you some time and tell you straight up:

Go and read something else.

I understand the need to be realistic, sure- but if we’re not careful, being “realistic” about the future becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and let’s face it, here’s the best and worst case scenario of this attitude:

a) You end up being wrong, and gain a reputation as a black-hat, Sad-Sack, Eeyore, glass-half-empty type

b) You end up being right. But people are too busy chasing solutions to this problem to care about the fact you’re going “I told you so”

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“See- I told you something bad would happen sooner or later!”

And as I said the other week: now is not the time for panic. Now is the time for planning.

Because the economy is like the tide- it goes out, but then it comes back in again. In the winter time you’re rugged up all day, heavy doonas on the bed at night and anytime you step outside it’s cold. Yet just a few months later it’s so hot and muggy at night that you’re sleeping on top of your bed and waking up in a sweat at 2 in the morning as the cicadas buzz outside!

You get the point-

So today, I want to focus on the people I’ve been connecting with over the past couple of weeks. Because I’ve sat in on so many video calls and meetings, chatted on the phone with so many professionals (and given referrals for so many of them) who are open for business and ready to take your call, with literally thousands of years of combined experience across a range of industries- and I guarantee there’s at least a few people who could make a BIG difference to your business over the coming 12 months or longer…

So what I’ve done today is listed the different business categories these people fall into. Take a look through them, and if you see anything that makes you go “Hey- I could use somebody like that”- then contact me and I’ll connect you.

Because this isn’t a time for panic. It’s a time for planning.

Not a time for caution, but a time for connection.

Not the era for scarcity thinking, but the age for strategic thinking.

And I’ve just given you the cheat sheet!

So take a look, flick me an email (or call me) and see if I can’t match you up?

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#1. If you have unwanted pests (bugs, spiders, mice, etc.), power problems or plumbing issues or you want to look at ways to reduce your energy bill:

I have tradespeople to connect you with…

#2. If you’re using this time to re-think how you market your business and how you can deliver a stronger brand message that gets you more leads and customers:

I know a tonne of marketing people with a wide range of skillsets to match your needs and your goals…

#3. If you’re thinking about your finances (whether it’s how your business handles the books or super or your investments):

There’s experts in the financial/ accounting sector who’d love to hear from you…

#4. If you’re having problems with your computing systems or you want to upgrade your capabilities:

Get in touch and I’ll connect you with the I.T experts who can guide you through…

#5. If you’ve found you could do with an extra hand operating your business on a daily basis:

I have virtual assistants who’d be happy to help you shoulder your workload…

#6. If you’ve realised you really need a solid plan of action moving ahead when it comes to your business, your finances or your health?

I have coaches, mentors and consultants who’ve taken people in situations just like yours to the next level before…

#7. If you have any queries about getting conveyancing done or regarding property investment, your mortgage or insurance?

I know specialists who are waiting for your call- so let me get you in touch!

#8. Seeking legal advice?

Get in contact and I’ll be happy to connect you with the right solicitors…

On top of all this?

Maybe you need something that doesn’t quite fit under any of these descriptions? That’s ok- reach out and contact me anyway, because I have contacts in other miscellaneous categories who can help you.

It’s your call. And all you need to do is contact me

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Why We Need To Give Up “The Game” To Realise Long Term Business Success…

Just this week, I sat down to chat with Profiling & Communications Specialist Alan Stevens as a guest on his broadcast. For the next 35 minutes or so we discussed a few different subjects and one of the things we covered was how people build relationships in business. Because right now, how you do this is going to be massively important looking ahead…

As it stands, people everywhere are re-thinking their business strategy. Re-thinking how they market themselves- and rightly so, if you ask me! To be blunt, it shouldn’t have taken a pandemic and mass shut-downs for it to happen but hey, people were busy going about their daily lives- and I get that. The reason betting is such a lucrative industry is because we can’t predict exactly how the future is going to go at the best of times! In my case, around this moment in time I’d expected to be up in Queensland attending several of our thriving bX groups while catching up with colleagues and old friends. Yet instead, here I am-

In place of being more or less grounded, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a tonne of online meetings, with plenty more on the way. Referrals are coming in left and right and (if I may say so) I’ve been giving plenty out as well. I can spend more time just going through my referrals list and connecting people then I do in the actual meetings. I’ve been feeling like Santa Claus!

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“Ho-ho-ho…Who wants a referral?”

What this has all made clear to me, however, has been quite positive: whatever else is going on in the world, there are hundreds (thousands? Tens of thousands….millions?) of people out there who are keen to talk, keen to keep the wheels moving, keen to drum up new business, plan, act and succeed.

Going back to my catch-up with Alan, it’s reminded me that (for many of us) now is not a time to be panicking. Now is the time to be planning.

So if you’re going to do this, you want to make sure you have a solid plan and one that’s going to pay off in the long-term. Now is the time to set yourself up for the next 12 months- 5 years- the rest of this decade even!

I’m not saying that only planning for the next 3 or 6 months is a fatal mistake, but any gains you enjoy will be short-lived. When you strategise under the premise of getting sales ASAP rather than attracting top value customers, testimonials and referrals, you’re selling yourself short- and you risk attracting the wrong kind of people into your business. Let me explain it this way:

Years ago, I read a friends’ copy of ‘The Game‘. Written by music journalist Neil Strauss, it was his first-hand account of delving into the community of pickup artists (P.U.A’s). Essentially, the pickup community is (was?) a bunch of guys who had made seduction into a fine art. Something they regularly studied, practised, discussed in person and shared reports of their success online. I learned about terms like “sarging”, “negging”, “peacocking” and to be fair, Strauss wrote a genuinely engrossing account start to finish.

Neil-Strauss

Now for a lot of younger, more introverted or ‘dorky’ men, the ability to attract most girls you desire would (at first) seem like an ultimate superpower, wouldn’t it? Surely by the end of this book, Strauss and his colleagues were happily living the life of a celebrity, without needing to learn an instrument or appear in a single film. Living the dream, you might say?

But instead, this wasn’t the case. Here’s why:

The problem with P.U.A (at least as it’s presented in Strauss’s account) is that there’s so many false premises involved: memorised lines, ridiculous outfits (seriously, image search ‘pickup artist’ and take a look. You want to dress like THAT?), routined interactions, in many cases sidelining the rest of your life’s ambitions and pursuits and all for what? What is the holy grail of doing all this?

One-night stands.

Short-term relationships.

Maybe long-term relationships that began like a dream yet soon wear you down as you’re torn between trying to maintain the facade you snared them with, or letting your guard down only for her to realise she fell for an image. And who’s the bigger fool, then?

The thing is, I read ‘The Game‘ 5 years before I first went into business. Yet I’m guessing that (like me) you’ve seen the same approach in business, too:

– People pushing for the quick sell

– People whipping up a buying frenzy with their big, audacious promises but then failing to deliver once the sale is done

– People basing their entire selling premise on that one thing they do but not giving you the complete picture

The thing with these operators is that while (usually) they deliver on their selling premise to some degree, the job is far from done- or done properly at the very least. Because it’s not enough just to rank #1 on search engines if you aren’t managing the rest of your online presence so you continue ranking well and attracting new leads. Picking up new leads and customers counts for little if they’re here today, gone tomorrow and you’re left looking for the next one.

A truly successful long-term business strategy is built upon valuable relationships, communication, ongoing engagement and trust.

Read that back again- and slowly. Let that guide every marketing decision you make, because it always stands true.

See, you might sell to a lead straight away, or it might take a year before they buy from you. But regardless, you want to keep them in your loop. You want to maintain an ongoing connection with them. Do that, and you’ll unlock true value in your business. The better you do this, the more valuable your business brand perception is, and the less time you need to spend chasing up new leads.

Your most valuable customers, best referrals and strongest testimonials usually come from the people who know you well. The people who’ve gone the distance with you. And it’s much harder to find these people if you approach your online communications like a P.U.A.

Like I said at the start, right now is the opportune time to be planning and adjusting your existing online marketing strategy. However, now is not the time to go chasing a “quick fix”. Instead, this is your chance to produce something people begin to value more and more as time goes on. The beauty of doing this is, as you establish this sort of connection with your leads, customers and referral partners, the workload required to attract new customers becomes easier.

Because nothing sells you like word of mouth and your professional reputation.

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This is why at Scribe, when we sit down with clients to implement a strategy, we’re always thinking about what’s going to get the best results for them on a long-term basis. We understand the job doesn’t end with the name of our client being ranked #1 on Google this week, or a hit-once marketing campaign. It’s about what comes afterwards- it’s about setting your business up to thrive in the coming 6 months- and beyond. It’s about playing the long-term game.

On top of that- everything we do is backed by our Big 3 Guarantee

So if you’re keen to develop a new strategy that sets you up to enjoy long-term results and reap the benefits when our economy rights itself once more (as it will), then let’s talk about how we can make it happen.

 

 

 

Relax- I’m 99% sure you’re doing great (but here’s why that extra 1% makes such a difference)…

Tony Robbins tells a story about the time he took up golf lessons-

At first, he was powering by his instructor. But the following day, he wasn’t doing so well: putting the ball in the water, straying off course and Tony became exasperated because (by his reasoning) he should at least be consistent at whatever mediocre level he could achieve.

Tony asked his instructor “Tell me what to do?”

Now this is where it gets interesting…

His instructor told him he was (in fact) only a little bit off- by a millimetre or two. He went on to explain that when Tony was striking the ball, if he changed the angle just a couple of millimetres, he’d change the arc of his shot completely. One mm could be the difference between staying on the green and slicing off into the water. One mm the other way could make the difference between sinking it in the sand or scoring a hole in one…

Then a couple of days later, Tony sat in the office of a client he was coaching- who happened to be one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons. While he sat there in the spacious waiting room, Tony leafed through a book this guy was putting together in order to teach other surgeons around the world. It featured photographs of the top 100 (supposedly) most beautiful women in the world’s faces, then the same for the men (although Tony wasn’t paying much attention to this!) The photographs had measurements with them- because apparently, what we commonly define as physical beauty really comes down to pure mathematics. But here’s what stood out for Tony-

For this plastic surgeon, all it took to take a woman (or a man) from stone cold average to stunningly attractive was just a few millimetres. For example, on a woman, the distance between the top of the lip and the nose, the measurement if you’re considered ‘beautiful’ is the same size as your eye. 1mm more and you’d be considered “average”. 2mm more and you’d be considered “unattractive”.

So ultimately, the difference between beauty and the beast is just 2mm.

Isn’t that amazing?

But let me turn this discussion over to you now-

When it comes to your business, do you ever get that nagging feeling, like something is missing but you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is?

This could be for a variety of reasons- maybe it’s a case of imposter syndrome or because you’re inherently a perfectionist?

Maybe you’re one of these people who just normally gets that sinking feeling that something, somewhere is wrong?

Or- it could be based upon more than just a hunch. You have the facts at your fingertips and (for whatever reason), you aren’t quite where you want to be. Feeling like this, it can be tempting to overanalyse every little aspect of your business, and wonder if you’re making a grave mistake somewhere?

But let me reassure you right now. If:

a) You’re making a positive difference in the lives of your customers

b) Your team put in the hard yards for you

c) You’re making a profit

Then your business is great!

Although maybe you read those words and it still feels hollow somehow, so let’s examine why that might be…

Truth is, it’s often the small changes we undertake that make a big difference to the results we enjoy. As William Clement Stone says in ‘The Success System That Never Fails’: Little hinges swing big doors.

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In other words- if you’re not quite getting the results that’d make you sit up a bit taller and feel a real sense of pride in what you’re doing, that’s not a reason to fret-

Because chances are, that final piece in the puzzle that’d take you from ‘ok’ to ‘outstanding’ is on the other side of changing what you’re currently doing by just 1 or 2%…

And there’s every chance the answer is found in your business copy.

Now if you don’t believe that yet- then just take a look at the following articles for yourself, where you’ll see for yourself what sort of a difference it makes when any business takes their online copy seriously-

Because it could be to do with your website:

9 Website Copy Hacks (So Easy You’ll Kick Yourself For Not Taking Action Sooner!)

It could be down to simply staying in regular contact with your leads and customers, adding them to your database and keeping them up to date with your latest offers and big announcements:

The 3 Secrets To Sending E-mails That Pay For Themselves

How much is a sale worth to you?

Or (and you’ve got to check this one out for yourself, trust me)- it could be starting a blog that makes all the difference:

The REAL Stats On Blogging In 2020: 5 Numbers That’ll Make You Re-Think Your Content Strategy…

This is why I do what I do- because while having effective copy is a hinge that at first might appear small, that small hinge has the power to swing a big, mighty door in its’ place- and chances are that’s what’s going to make all the difference and complete the picture when you step back and take a look at where your business stands in 2020…

So if you think copywriting is something you’d like to be devoting more time and thought to, then let’s talk

The REAL Stats On Blogging In 2020: 5 Numbers That’ll Make You Re-Think Your Content Strategy…

I bet you’ve heard the saying: “the numbers don’t lie”…

And it’s true. The great thing about numbers is that, in and of themselves, they can’t lie. What makes the difference is where those numbers come from. Because the numbers can only be as accurate as the person using them. After all, you’ve also probably heard that 68% of all statistics are, in fact, made up.

So with this in mind, can we possibly find some statistics when it comes to business blogging? Like, numbers we can actually verify, numbers that actually mean something to you- and should?

As a matter of fact- yes we can!

You may be aware that I’ve conducted research like this before, and I shared what the real statistics told us about blogging back in 2018: Some Real Numbers To Make You Re-Think Blogging

But with 2020 now upon us, I wanted to find out what had changed since then. Because  as we enter a new decade, amidst a changing social media landscape, we should pay attention to how the stats on blogging correlate with this…

Thankfully (for your sake) I took the time to go and sift through the reports available so you don’t have to- although for each of these figures I’m about to share with you, I’ve included the link if you want to take a look for yourself. My criteria for deeming a statistic worthy of sharing was as follows:

a) It had to be recent i.e, from late 2017 at the earliest (you’d be amazed how many of these ‘Blogging Stats in 2020′ reports quote figures that link back to articles published 8 years ago!)

b) The statistics had to list the original sample size they were drawn from.

c) They had to be relevant for us, for this articles’ purpose. They had to illustrate what a difference publishing regular articles makes in the current media landscape, and do so clearly.

So I spent hours researching the relevant data. Poring through articles. Clicking links. Seeing the same stats reproduced over and over again. Manually typing in web addresses from flashy infographics just to discover a dead link or ANOTHER report with no source to back up a figure that (at first glance) had made me go “Wow- that’s impressive!”

But finally, here we are…

The 5 figures I share with you below (having passed the criteria) are but a small sample of the real figures available out there, revealing how integral this element of marketing is to any online business success in 2020. Hopefully, at the very least, they get you thinking…

So sit back and take note of these!

#1-

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This is the percentage of internet users who claim to read blog posts on a regular basis (2020 Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data- The Ultimate List Of Digital Marketing Stats)

Think about it- that equates to more than 3 quarters of people using the internet! So if you’re wondering whether there’s a viable audience for you to be brainstorming ideas, doing research, writing articles and publishing them in 2020, then this is your answer: a resounding ‘Yes’!

In spite of what we hear about shortened attention-spans and the need for video content- the majority of people on the internet are still clicking on articles and reading them- every day.

If you’re not publishing regular blog articles, just stop and think for a moment: Imagine all those people using the internet, every moment of every day… all those people who match your most valuable customer, right down to the most minute detail…and you bet they’d be reading your articles, sharing them, following up on them and contacting you…if only you had articles they could read.

How much longer are you going to let the big fish continue swimming past your boat without dropping a net?

#2-

84

= Percentage of people who will share an article if it relates to an issue they care about:

The Psychology Of Sharing: Why Do People Share Online

What this means is that if you’re publishing articles that resonate with people, they’re much more likely to then go and share it- which opens your work up to a secondary audience, which equals greater exposure to more potential leads, more potential enquiries and more potential customers.

Stop and ask yourself this: On average, how much is just a single sale worth to your business in dollar terms?

The pulling power really shows itself when it comes to referrals- because while a person in your immediate connections might not be your ideal target audience- chances are they know at least one person who is. And so if you publish something, and it resonates with a referral, chances are they’re going to share your article- and somebody who is in your key target audience will see it- and act on it.

#3-

3

Comparatively, at first glance you might think this is a small number- but when viewed in context, it makes a big difference. That’s because content marketing (like blogging) gets you 3 times more leads than paid search advertising: 9 Stats That Will Make You Want To Invest In Content Marketing

After all, it’s one thing to appear on page 1 of Google, but another thing to have content appearing there that persuades people to engage with- and take action on.

#4-

55

This is the percentage of marketers who report that blog content creation is their top marketing priority: 2020 Marketing Statistics, Trends & Data

And with good reason too, if you ask me. I’ve spoken about this one before, here: 3 Reasons You Should Absolutely Bother To Blog

Quite simply, when you publish regular articles both on your website and across prominent social media platforms/ groups, you establish an ongoing interaction with an audience who includes your potential leads. On top of that, you’re also positioning yourself as a first-hand authority in your industry or profession, which pays off (literally) in the long run.

Again, how much is a single sale typically worth to you, in dollar value?

#5-

237

That number? That’s how long it now takes in minutes (on average) to create a new blog article, from start to finish: 5 Years Of Blogging Statistics, Data And Trends

So if you’re going to spend the time giving this the regular attention it needs, then obviously you want to make sure you’re writing content that your audience is actually going to read. It’s for this reason I wrote ‘The 3 Posts People Stop Everything To Read‘, so that if you choose to write your own articles, you get rid of the guesswork and publish articles that get results.

3 Posts Download Screenshot

You can get your complimentary copy just by joining our database, here

It’s easy to do and 100% SPAM free- so go ahead and get your copy!

Or, if you’d rather have somebody else taking care of your blog content for you, and getting your valuable time back- then let’s talk

Your Journey vs Your Goal (Or, a word of warning for the ambitious):

“Money doesn’t change you- it just highlights who you already were”…

Let’s go back- many years ago now, in fact…

We’re going back to when I was in preschool- that far. But I remember it still: the wooden pirate ship where my friend and I hid every day when the teachers called us in for nap time- thinking today would be different and they’d miss us. Nap time itself- lying there in the cot, bored out of my brain while they played new-agey music in the hope it would lull us to sleep (and I imagine the teachers looked forward to coffee, gossip and a brief respite from dealing with a classroom of unruly 4 and 5 year olds!). I remember being in the playground one day, the smell of damp autumn leaves covering the ground, blue gym mats laid out, kids playing in a stainless steel sandbox, thinking about how my cousins were coming over to our house tomorrow and looking forward to that…

From my recollections, it was the first time I’d ever thought about something in the future- and that memory itself is now almost 30 years in the past.

But I also remember one of the albums Mum played in the car around that time. And from that album, this famous track was my favourite:

I loved the fast tempo, the aggressive electric guitar riff that underpins the whole song, and the guitar solo at the end that breaks away and fades out with the track. The whole song, to my 4 year old self, just felt badass.

What’s interesting though is when you read the lyrics- because while the song is about chasing a dream, in the timeline of the song we never actually reach that dream. It is, in fact, a “moment in time”, of pursuing that dream, on a journey from a to b.

Then there was the major assignment I had for Year 7 English- we’d read ‘Boy’ and ‘Going Solo’ by Roald Dahl, both autobiographies covering his childhood and then his adult life as well. Our assignment was to write our own autobiographies- tell the story of our lives in the 12 or 13 years of their entirety…

But what I fondly remember most to this day wasn’t handing the assignment in.

It wasn’t getting 50/50 for my efforts either (can you blame me for bragging about this one?)

No, what I remember fondly is getting to take a day off school to write the thing. Mum and Dad were at work, my sister was at preschool- so I had the house to myself. I spent the day channelling memories and the stories of my life, writing them down, then taking a break to go watch TV for a bit or make lunch- before going back to my craft. It was a great day where I wrote something start to finish, and had a lot of fun doing so.

Reading some of my recollections out to the class, everybody laughing at my stories, the top marks I got- those were just the cherry on top!

Just recently, I was at a business get together where a colleague of mine took us all through goal-setting, step by step. We each had to write down a goal, and then take it to pieces to itemise the finer details of achieving that goal- how we were going to do it, what we needed to obtain, how we imagined feeling once we achieved that goal. Upon completion, attendees reported feeling a sense of new-found clarity about achieving their goals, and my colleague really showed his worth in taking us through this exercise.

Yet here’s the important thing to remember about the goals we set-

We can become so fixated on our goals that we ignore arguably the best part of going for said goals: it’s not the achievement itself where you feel the most contentment. It’s the journey itself!

Stop for a second and cast your mind back to something you set out to do, a goal you envisaged. Got it? Now ask yourself this, and be honest: was the point when you achieved your goal at last the most memorable, or was it everything you did up until that point instead?

Time after time- it’s not about the goal, but about the memories we create, the people we meet and the person we become on the way to reaching that goal. This has been the premise of countless best-selling movies and novels, and with good reason.

You see, in my earlier days of business, I made the mistake of imagining a future point in time where I’d have a certain professional profile, drive a certain car, have made a certain amount of money and live in a particular house- and how good it would feel to know I’d “made it”. Understandable sure, because I was just starting out and of course you think about how you want your business venture to end. But then one day, I did something a little out of the ordinary: I sat back and visualised living in that house I wanted to end up in. I imagined having reached those other goals, achieved them, and sitting in the spacious living room looking out over the balcony of my place, every little detail clear…

Then after about 5 minutes, I thought “Ok- now what?”

In just 5 minutes, I’d discovered something about our big, audacious goals: they are not the be-all and end-all. No doubt you’ve had other goals you set yourself throughout your life, then reached them- and guess what? You didn’t suddenly start feeling happy did you? You didn’t suddenly think “Now I can just cut right back and do nothing for the rest of my time here because I achieved X” did you?

I think back to my Fight Like A Pro experience

Sure, Fight Night itself was memorable…but after that one night, it was over. No more training, no more preparation for that big night- it was over, done. I passed (as best you can ‘pass’). But after about a week, I understood why so many guys went back and trained at the gym after their initial Fight Night had been and gone, why more than a few fighters on the card were guys who’d done this several times before as well. Because even now, I fondly remember that 10 week experience- getting fitter, getting better at fighting and learning about myself- the whole journey all the way up to Fight Night. 1 night vs 10 weeks- which do you think contains more fond memories?

We can look at other people in our field or even just in business generally who we think “have it made”, and be tempted to imagine how much better we’d feel overall if we were ever in their position. But here’s what so many people don’t realise before it’s too late-

You’d get there- achieve that big audacious goal- and realise that wasn’t “it”- and be left feeling the same way you did achieving all those other goals you’ve achieved in life:

Is this it?

I wrote more about enjoying the journey, here: This Is What Gratitude Really Gives You

But today I wanted to encourage you to re-think how you regard those goals you have, whether it be on a professional or personal level. Not that you shouldn’t aim for them (as long as your heart is in them, of course) but to appreciate the journey itself- the simple “doing” part of whatever it is you do-

Because one day, it’ll be what you remember fondly- so enjoy it while it lasts!

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