The Ben Franklin guide to personal breakthrough (why we need a code of conduct):

In my previous article (Why Tony Robbins Is NOT Your Guru) I talked about how easily people can be seduced by an individual’s cult of personality rather than the ideas they’re sharing- ideas that can be passed on via anybody who understands them. Saying that, today I want to talk about developing your own ‘code of conduct’ and why this is so important- an idea I learned courtesy of Tony Robbins, from his best-seller ‘Awaken The Giant Within‘.

If you have a copy, flick to Chapter 23 ‘Be Impeccable- Your Code Of Conduct’. In this chapter, Tony relates the story of a young Benjamin Franklin who, despite his achievements by the age of 27, realised he wasn’t actually very happy. So he developed a list of virtues- 12 in all- that he would take account of on a daily basis as a guideline for what he wanted to embody. He later added a 13th virtue (humility) upon the suggestion of a friend. He wrote down this list in a notebook with grids ruled for every day of the week, and would put down a black mark whenever he violated one of these virtues. His goal was to see no black marks on the grid, because that would mean he’d fully internalised the virtues he aspired to.

So this got me thinking: What values did I want to consistently embody? Who did I want to be?

From what I recall, when I first gave this thought and wrote down a list, I had 9 different qualities. But like Ben Franklin’s list, I eventually reached 13. To make it easier to memorise, every single one of these values begins with the letter ‘P’. During my 10- week Fight Like A Pro experience, in our workbooks one week there was a question relating to the qualities we wanted to embody as men. This was an easy exercise for me- I just wrote down the 13P’s and then shared them with the group. One of the guys asked if I’d send him a copy of my list!

Today, I’m going to share 7 of these values I have written down and committed to memory. The 7 I list here have proven themselves especially relevant during my time in business to date. If I go off the rails, lose track and am having a day that (for whatever reason) falls below my usual standards, I just need to memorise these, and I can turn things around:

#1: Be Passionate

From what I recall, this was one of the first values I listed, because time is limited and you can only use it once. It’s inevitable that mistakes are going to be made and frustrations will come. No matter what you choose to do, there are frustrating elements that go along with it. So taking this unavoidable fact into account, what do I actually have a passion for?

If I’m going to regularly devote blocks of time towards a profession or a pastime, is it something I actually care about?

Some guys unwind for hours watching movies or playing video games but for me, I don’t get enough enjoyment from those things if I’m doing them solo. I have to really want to see a particular movie or have seen it before and especially enjoyed it to watch it. But I have no problem taking a few hours out to go for a walk, even if it’s grey and overcast outside. Give me the right clothing, a destination and tunes and I am content. Painting is something else that can take hours- days even- but I love being able to make a vision reality on canvas while listening to podcasts or music as I put my work together. One of the earlier indicators that I enjoyed writing was back in Year 7 when, as an assignment, our grade had to write our autobiographies. You wouldn’t think a 13 year old boy would have much to talk about- but I took an entire day off school to stay home and write it. I still remember it now: I had the house to myself, I’d sit down and write several pages relating funny stories or memorable moments from my life to date, then get up and have a snack or listen to some music. Then I’d sit back down and proceed to write some more. It was an enjoyable day.

In the end, I turned out close to 50 pages and got full marks for my autobiography, which I titled ‘Some Kid‘. I also read sections of it in front of the class and made the girls laugh, which was a bonus. Point is, writing was something I could spend hours doing. Writing articles like these takes hours to do, so I know I am passionate about it and this is how I can manage to do it as a job. Asking “Am I passionate about this” means I generally use my time wisely and squeeze the most out of it..

#2: Be Patient

Patience is a skill many of us take longer to develop, but the reward is princely. Being patient has helped me to stick with long-term projects, make better financial decisions, not fret if I don’t see results as quickly as I thought I would. Removing emotion from a set of circumstances and delaying impulse has helped me to put a particular situation in full perspective countless times. One great example was during my training during ‘Fight Like A Pro’, where I sparred against a guy with considerably more experience than me. Before I could even think about throwing a punch, he’d have connected three- bang bang bang! The session finished, I wearily slipped out of the ring and slinked away thinking “Stuff this- how am I going to be any good by Fight Night? This is pointless.” Everything told me it was too hard. But as I caught my breath I slowly realised that there were other small things I’d done better today. Small signs of progress to suggest that perhaps I was headed in a good direction? So I came back the next day, and the day after that, and the rest is history. Being patient has helped me to make smarter decisions and to think in regards of the “big picture”.

#3: Be Personable

My definition for this attribute reads as follows: I am open and candid with people when I engage with them. I constantly give insight into it’s like to be who I am, think as I do and go about my life. Likewise, I listen to people especially when I engage with them using the conversational skills I continue to master. As a result, I am attractive to people because they love being in my presence.

Would I say I am the perfect embodiment of this? No. Is it what I strive for? Yes! Using this definition as a reference point when I’m about to meet a room full of new people and envisaging times where I’ve embodied this puts me on the front foot before those other people even meet me. Sometimes you don’t make a notably good impression on somebody until the second or the third time- but what if you don’t get that second chance? Consciously aiming to put my best foot forward and have a positive engagement with somebody that first time makes it easier to develop positive relationships moving ahead.

#4: Be Positive

My definition reads: My destiny lies within my mind. The more I ruminate on what I want and how I will feel and what I will be like when I have what I want, the more I will become that person and the stronger my powers are to attract it into my life. (We don’t believe in pain)

You can’t do it all on positive thinking- you have to do the work as well, obviously. However, adopting a positive mindset gives me more energy and resilience when adversity comes and (as a result) has increased the likelihood that I can bounce back and get on top again. It takes just as much energy and creativity to adopt a positive viewpoint as it does a ‘realistic’ or a negative one. And in each case, you generally get what you expect with the odd surprise thrown in but I know which one feels the best- and has manifested the best results so far!

#5: Be Prepared

This is more than the scouts’ motto or the title of that number Scar sings in ‘The Lion King‘. Being prepared, for me, is really about thinking long-term and using my knowledge and intuition to identify any possible threats that may arise so I can minimise the disruption if they come. So If I go for a ride on my bike, I have a small backpack with me and in the front pocket is a tube repair kit, a shifting spanner and a universal tool in case a nut comes loose or I get a puncture along the way. More than once I’ve been grateful for thinking ahead in this regard! But it also works the other way- it helps me to capitalise on opportunities that may come up later simply because I am ready to act if they present themselves. To be prepared is not just about taking action, but getting into the right frame of mind for what is required of me. You might find it hard to believe, but I don’t always sit down here to write and words just flow. Sometimes rather than fully absorbing myself into a fluid motion of thoughts-words-sentences, the ideas come in short bursts and then I stop…and procrastinate. If I’m writing for a personal project this isn’t such a big deal, but when there’s a deadline and my full ability is required, I have to find a way to get into my peak. So here’s what I do- I either go back and read stuff I’ve written before, whether it’s a relevant topic or not. I remember the train of thought that led to me turning out the piece in question. Or I’ll go to my special folder full of screenshots from passages of other people’s writing that I’ve loved. This also activates the part of my mind that remembers how to link up the words to convey information how I want to convey it, and then I can usually return to the task at hand and churn out the words needed. As I put it in the write-up for my definition of this state: Being prepared is the quiet rehearsal in private that is necessary in order to take the stage later and kill it, with everybody cheering me on.

#6: Be Proactive

In short? Strike first! I expanded on this in a previous article and you can find it right here

#7: Be Persistent

The wording I’ve put for this definition is stronger in tone, but it needs to be. If it isn’t, if you don’t live by something like this, then the grind of life can wear you down: As long as I am working or aiming for a greater cause or state of being, keep moving forward and fixate only on getting what I want or where I want to be. Failure is inevitable- but what happens after is my choice. Choose to keep going forward, learning and becoming more dangerous to anybody or anything that would rather I kept passive and gave up. Being persistent is the nemesis of failure and the haters. (We don’t believe in defeat)

Through persistence, I won the high school cross country at my final attempt.

Through persistence, I won Fight Night after 10 weeks where (as I mentioned already) I had considered throwing in the towel at least once.

Through persistence, I turn out articles like this one every fortnight, even when I don’t feel like the final draft is as amazing as it could be.

Through persistence, I got to where I am now- and keep pushing ahead, looking to get better in some small way every day.

I can lose today and I can be worn down by that- but as long as my heart is still in it and I still want it, I return tomorrow and I go again…

Conclusion

Back when I was 26, I was in London one night and going home from a pub crawl. Here was the problem: while I knew whereabouts my hostel was, I couldn’t remember the name of the street it was on, the name of the hostel or the exact route to get back there. It was late and the underground was no longer running. My only options were:

a) Hop in a cab and try to recall how to get back to my hostel (spending who knows how much in the process) or,

b) To walk unfamiliar streets, in a city whose sprawl is notoriously easy to get lost in.

But then I realised something: I knew that the hostel was just across the Thames. If I could get on that side of the river in that particular area, then the streets would be familiar and I could find my way back to the hostel on sight alone. The problem with London is that (like Sydney or New York City) the streets don’t run parallel with one another, so you can’t go in one direction and predict where the intersections are going to be or where that particular street leads. However- I knew that the closest bridge crossing the river was Westminster Bridge, right near Big Ben. So although I was coming from Camden (with miles to go) if I just used Big Ben as a reference point and walked towards it, I would then find Westminster Bridge- and this would lead me back across the river to familiar territory and my hostel. So this is what I did, and despite unfamiliar surroundings I found my way back.

Think of your code of conduct the same way: getting clear on your values and committing to them gives you a marker to aim towards, even if you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed by current circumstances. They are your guiding light that lead you towards success and fulfilment with who you become in the process.

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The Truth About Mentorship (why Tony Robbins is NOT your guru):

When you first heard of Anthony Robbins, what did you think of the guy?

For me, it’s around 2009, and I’m looking down the comments thread of the old site ‘Things Bogans Like’. I don’t recall the exact article, but somebody has related a story their brother (then a cabbie) had told them about driving in Sydney late one night and picking a couple up who were headed back to their hotel from a Tony Robbins seminar. They were babbling away at a million miles an hour like a kid who’s had too much Coke (or an adult who’s had too much coke), raving on about how “life changing” and “powerful” it was, and this cabbie had related how “cult-like it seemed”.

So, my initial impression of Tony Robbins was: He must be a quasi-cult leader.

Skip forward a couple of years later, I’m sitting on a plane awaiting take-off. Flicking through the in-flight magazine from the seat-back, I find a full-page advert for an upcoming Tony Robbins seminar in the UK, with a starting price in the thousands of pounds.

Who on Earth would pay thousands of pounds for this sort of thing? I wondered. My opinion of Tony changed to:

Tony Robbins is a guy who can convince people to part with thousands of pounds for a single weekend seminar= definitely a cult-leader!

So a few months later, when an old friend starts raving about this 10-part Tony Robbins series he’d been listening to and saying I should check it out, you can probably imagine how my internal monologue went!

But in the end, I figured I’d shut my friend up and let him follow his offer to download the entire 10-part series, titled ‘Time Of Your Life‘ onto my laptop. Noticing that each episode went for 90 minutes, I put aside some time to listen to the first one. I sat down in my room, hit play on iTunes and started listening.

Within the first hour, I realised I’d been wrong about Tony…

Far from being just 90 minutes of feel-good sizzle with no substance, over the course of the following 9 episodes Tony shared, step-by-step, how changing your thinking and asking better questions could change your destiny altogether. On top of that (as the name of the series suggests) he demonstrated how to make the best use of your time, set goals for the right reasons, prioritise those goals accordingly and create action plans to help transform those written goals into your reality.

Nearly 10 years on, I still use this method to organise every coming week, every new season and every year ahead- and I still swear by ‘Time Of Your Life‘ as a fantastic introduction to this. I’ve listened back to all 10 episodes of TOYL at least 3 times to date- and I say this as somebody who has never attended a single Tony Robbins event nor worked for his marketing department in any way shape or form.

However, I was still wrong about Tony…

See, not long after that first time listening to TOYL, in the midst of all kinds of turnarounds (small and large) manifesting in my life as a result, I referred to Tony as a “guru”-

Which made the title of Tony’s recent Netflix documentary ‘Not Your Guru‘ rather apt. I’ve watched it and heard mixed reviews. Some people affirm how “inspiring” it is, while others are critical of some of the methods used by Tony and his team. I’m not here to discuss that today, but rather to say that watching ‘Not Your Guru‘ reaffirmed that while my previous views on Tony had been incorrect, my newer opinion on Tony (and people like him) is more realistic:

Tony Robbins is NOT a guru. Tony simply combines proven strategies for emotional/ mental breakthrough with concrete plans of action to achieve these, fuelled by a (seemingly) limitless enthusiasm and energy. But this is not original. Tony is not a guru or irreplaceable. Tony is simply a conduit for ways of thinking that have the power to transform- and that goes for all the other coaches and motivational speakers out there.

This is great news for us, because it means that if a certain prominent individual ceases coaching or dies unexpectedly, the principles and concepts remain and can be taught by somebody else. Instead of seeking those who perpetuate a cult of personality, what we need are more conduits- people able to communicate the same tried and tested principles and help us to do what we need to get where we want to be.

So, who are your conduits?

I’m fortunate enough to have business mentors in my life right now, who I catch up with on a fortnightly basis and we share what’s been going on in our lives, what goals we’ve achieved since last time, what we need to keep working on and holding each other accountable for. It’s a more secure feeling, knowing that if there are solutions or plans of action I’m struggling to put together, I have people who can offer their suggestions or criticisms to get me on the right track.

I consider myself lucky to have people who (so far) have been such valuable conduits into my business and my life, and I’d also like to think they regard me in the same way. I would consider it a compliment, not an insult if they referred to me as a conduit!

Because the truth is, instead of seeking a guru, we need a conduit.

Like when it comes to mentoring people regarding their copy, I don’t strive to be their guru, either. They’re clearly grateful for the ways (small and large) I help them turn out top sales and marketing copy, but I admit I’m not the only person who can do this. Sure I strive to deliver the best value and results for them, but when it comes to the feedback I give on their copy and the suggestions I make, I’m not aiming to be their guru. I just aim to serve as the useful conduit that transfers my first-hand experience and knowledge to them in the most effective manner possible…

So if you’d like professional feedback on anything to do with your copy- whether it’s your strategy, the stuff you’re working on or the stuff you’ve already got out there- then I’m confident I’m the conduit you need to make your copy actually start working for you

You can schedule a time by clicking the link below, filling out the form and telling me what you’d like help with. Now obviously, my time is limited so this consultation isn’t free- but after just one session, you’re going to be rid of that mental clutter from worrying about what copy strategies you need vs. what you can do without-

Instead, you’re going to have new-found clarity about exactly what copy you need in order to discover the untapped money that’s waiting for you:

Organise Your Copy Consultation Now!

5 Questions You Need To Ask About Your Post-COVID Business Action Plan-

The period of various lockdowns nationwide forced businesses to re-evaluate many aspects of their daily operations- office usage, methods of communication (the big winners: anybody with shares in Zoom!) and the art of actually selling their products or services. No doubt you’ve also been affected by these changes to some degree or another.

But now as vaccines roll out here and overseas, and we dare to start thinking proactively rather than reactively, the people who do this the best are going to be the biggest winners. So it follows that if you want to fully capitalise, you need to have the right strategy in place when it comes to your business marketing.

As it happens, today is your lucky day because I’m about to share the cheat sheet right here with you. As the world begins to open up once more, and people are looking to buy from you again, THESE are the questions you need to be asking when it comes to your post-COVID business action plan:

#1- Who can help you?

During the First World War, a Chicago newspaper published editorials labelling Henry Ford an ignorant pacifist. Mr Ford sued the paper for libel and when the lawsuit was tried in court, the newspapers’ attorneys pleaded justification for their publishings. Here’s how they did it:

They placed Mr Ford on the witness stand and proceeded to ask him questions designed to prove that (beyond specialised knowledge of the automotive industry) he was ignorant- questions like “Who was Benedict Arnold?” and “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the rebellion of 1776?”. Eventually, Ford grew tired of this questioning and told the attorney asking the question that, if he really wanted the answers, he had a row of electric push-buttons at his desk which allowed him to summon the man he needed to provide the answer to whatever question he desired. He asked the attorneys why he should clutter his mind with general knowledge, when he had men around him who could provide the knowledge he required?

The above story is told in the Napoleon Hill classic ‘Think & Grow Rich‘, to which Hill added:

Any man is educated who knows where to get information when he needs it, and how to organise that knowledge into definite plans of action.

The last 12 months have forced countless businesses, regardless of size, to re-evaluate “business as usual”. Right now the time is ripe to be engaging with those who’ve successfully adapted and discover what it is they’ve changed- especially those reporting that business is better than ever. It may not be that individual who holds the direct answer, but somebody they’ve taken on board who is delivering those results for them, in which case it’s really the old case of understanding who’s in your business network.

Are there challenges or weak-spots you’ve identified in your business, or areas you know you want to improve in? This should make it much easier to identify who can help. It might be a case of leaving your heavy lifting, research and planning to somebody else.

#2- When your target audience thinks of your industry, are you front of mind?

Or is it another name they’re associating with what you sell or what you do? 

It doesn’t matter if there are better burgers elsewhere, because people still primarily think of McDonalds’. It doesn’t matter who wins the blind taste test, Coca-Cola is still the #1 selling drink worldwide. It doesn’t matter how superior the quality of your product is or how much better your service is, if your ideal leads are thinking of somebody else- and going to them instead as a result- that’s x amount of dollars you’re missing out on every single time you lose that potential customer. 

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

Because 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 lead gets in contact with you or your team, it’s really left to a game of chance. Some of them might go ahead and 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 had specialised knowledge on the steps that lead to conversion, you could pare back all of your engagements with leads down to a simple process, and following this process you’d be converting leads much easier than you’re currently seeing. With this surge of customer activity incoming, the difference between leaving it to chance and having a process in place could end up equalling massive differences to your bottom line…

So needless to say- it literally pays to get clarity on this and get a process in place!

#4- What should you be sharing with your leads?

The way to become a prominent name in your industry is to first develop a connection with your target audience. To achieve this, you need to be sharing information that’s relevant to their wants and needs- but you also need to tell them about your business, and share your story. Which begs the question:

What information should you be sharing with them? 

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

As I’ve discussed more recently, 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 stats:

#5- What do you need to change/ adapt?

There might have been a way you did things up until 12 or even 6 months ago but it isn’t serving you any more. This doesn’t just apply to personal habits or routines, but also to your business. It might be the case that everything you’re doing still works just fine- but it might also be that the processes that feel normal or comfortable are actually holding you back, whether it’s wasting money or wasting that precious resource you can never refund- time.

So it definitely pays to take stock of:

a) How your business operates

b) How you serve your customers and,

c) How you’ve been promoting yourself- and ask if you’re entirely satisfied or if there’s stuff that needs to change in order to make sure your business is ready for the 20’s? This might be something you can identify through taking inventory of what you’re doing- or it might be something that can only be identified by acting on #1.

But one thing’s for sure- it definitely pays to be certain.

On that note, I happen to know an expert team who can definitely help you with all 5 of these objectives, and have done just this for other businesses, like the Walkabout Wildlife Park: https://vimeo.com/506375051

So if you want to make sure your business is future-proof and ready to win big in this post-COVID business landscape, then it’s definitely worth getting in touch with the Digital Tribe: https://thedigitaltribe.com.au

Don’t miss another article- stay up to date with every new piece as it drops: https://www.scribecopywriting.com.au/stay-connected

12 Big ‘Aha!’ Moments I Had In 2020…

On one hand, there’s the 2020 most people will remember. Like 1969, 2001 or 2016 it’s one of those years that in years to come I expect we’ll see books, movies and series written and created about that focus on the main stories that set the underlying theme for the year. So on the one hand, there is that. There is the 2020 that is commonly remembered. On the other hand?

There is the 2020 I remember- the year as it was for me, personally. At the start of every new week, I think of one thing that was great about the past week and I write it down on a post-it note. I then fold up that post-it note, slip it into a jar and over the course of the next 12 months, 52 post-its accumulate until (at the beginning of the new year) I tip out the contents of that jar and open up each of those memories- great or modest- that underscored the year just gone by for me.

Yet what I also do is ask myself if there was anything of note that I learned over the past week? Was there anything that particularly stood out, whether it was something new or something I’d known ages ago but was given a fresh reminder of? If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you know I write these articles at the dawning of every new year. So what I’ve done again is pick just one thing I learned from every month in 2020- and share it here with you, whether it’s a new idea or something that’s simply worth hearing for a second time:

The Rule of 27- you may well have to fail 26 times in a row for success at last on that 27th attempt. So as long as your heart is set towards it, never give up.

There is that often played Michael Jordan v/o from an old Nike ad. You might have heard it:.

I’m well familiar with the idea of failing several times over, but hadn’t heard it as an actual formula: https://cameronherold.com/marketing/the-rule-of-27/

So essentially, you have to go through 27 failures or rejections for that one time you succeed. This is why it pays to be clear on what your objective is, so you can save time and reach your outcome more quickly!

With patience and a problem-solving attitude, even problems that appear insurmountable can be fixed easier than we might think.

It may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not the most tech-savvy guy. I’m not a technophobe as such, it’s more that I’m usually hesitant to adopt new technology or systems unless I can see real advantages to doing so beyond window dressing or minor changes. So early in the year when my trusty laptop began to show symptoms of ageing (slow to process information, randomly lagging for up to 30 seconds at a time having barely done anything etc) I wondered if it was time for a new laptop?

But instead, I decided to first see if I could fix the problem myself. Time was the most important commodity and I couldn’t afford to lose much of it- but still I contacted Apple Care, explained the issues and thankfully, they suggested there was a way beyond dipping into my long-term savings account and springing for a brand new MacBook! Long story short, I had to save my entire HD to a backup disc, wipe the HD and then reinstall everything. It took about half a day in the end, but here I still am, and the laptop is going strong, at speeds I hadn’t enjoyed in a while!

What had appeared like a giant frustration and inevitable waste of time that hit me in the pocket, instead turned out to be something I could fix myself with a little guidance. I had this moment where I thought “Maybe this doesn’t just apply to this thing, but to most other issues that come up in life: first find the right guidance and see if you can’t manage it yourself”.

The Tony Robbins golf analogy/ plastic surgery analogy: the results you’re looking for are found in that 1-2% you do differently.

I don’t remember the actual title of the video unfortunately, but there was something in the heading that made me click. It was a video in which Tony Robbins is speaking at a conference and he recalls taking up golfing lessons. He was failing to clear the ball off the tee correctly, mostly hitting dirt and he was about ready to give up. But then his instructor explained that Tony wasn’t far off- and then Tony realised this success principle applies everywhere, from golf to our very definition of beauty- I talk more about it here:

https://notesfromthescribe.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/why-your-business-is-already-great-of-little-hinges-that-swing-big-doors/

The way I persuade people is similar to the way I enjoy certain songs over others: the lyrics (words) might have a message that’s relatable, but the way it makes you feel is key. So in order to be Persuasive, think about how I want the other person to feel- and aim for that, first and foremost. Making them feel the right way is the key to all kinds of opportunities…

If you write your own copy, internalising this is one of the most important things to take stock of when reading back what you’ve written: regardless of how articulate or how clever your writing (your message) is- how do you want your audience to feel? If you get too bogged down on the small technicalities, you can miss out on getting your ideal result while other less able, less eloquent, less _________ people unlock all kinds of opportunities, simply because their message resonates with people.

Think of it- how many of your favourite songs do you enjoy purely for the lyrics, as opposed to how you feel when you listen to that song? The same principle applies here…

Seeking to be a leader one day (be it professionally or in your relationships) means living as a leader does now.

It really boils down to the idea that in order to become it, first you must be it. To enjoy the privileges of leadership means having to make adjustments, compromises and sacrifices now that many don’t or won’t do.

Being present means not concerning yourself with the mistakes you made in the past, nor worrying about missing shots you haven’t even taken. It means only bothering yourself with the things you can influence and control.

Like many, one of the Netflix series I enjoyed most in 2020 was ‘The Last Dance’, the story not just of the Chicago Bulls 1997/98 run to their 6th NBA title of the decade, but the whole story of Michael Jordan up to that moment in time. But there was this comment in the final episode that resonated with me. The Bulls have flown to Utah, and provided they win this 6th game in the final series, will clinch their 6th NBA title in 8 years. Footage shows Michael on the coach into town from the airport, kicking back and listing to Norah Jones on his Discman (remember those?), then joking about on the court during pre-game practise and goading his team-mates. Then the voice-over mentions how Michael didn’t see the point in worrying about shots he hadn’t taken yet, concerning himself with missed opportunities that hadn’t even presented themselves at that current point in time. Instead, he was always present.

“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement, you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its’ course, and your tools will strike at the right moment”

Bruce Lee

Thinking about how we were complete or that when we do x we will be ‘complete’ is pointless- because with every new opportunity comes a compromise of some sort. Instead, it’s about doing our best and enjoying what we have from where we stand right at this moment

In short? It’s all about gratitude. I go more in depth on how important this is, here:

https://notesfromthescribe.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/your-journey-vs-your-goal-or-a-word-of-warning-for-the-ambitious/

If you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. My time is now.

It’s one thing to recognise your worth, but it’s a whole other step to go out and put it into action. This might mean making some uncomfortable changes in the process, adopting strange new things while having to rid old habits in thinking or action that don’t benefit you. But if you have a real belief in your worth, then there’s no better time to stand for it than right now!

What can feel like a challenge is, in fact, often a lay-up for us to reach new levels, break new ground and set new records…

“Sometimes, opportunity comes to us disguised as a man-eating lion”. I don’t recall where I heard this, but needless to say that it’s changed how I regard uncertain or adverse situations ever since. And often we don’t realise we actually grew or reached a new level until we look back. Similar to how you can’t fully appreciate the view or how high up you are until after you’ve climbed the mountain:

https://notesfromthescribe.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/what-paul-kelly-teaches-us-about-success/

If there’s something you don’t like in your life, change it- or work out what’s going to give you the best chance of changing it, and then do that.

It’s one thing to complain about what we don’t want in life- but another thing to take actions (however big or small, usually the latter) to change that. This year marks 10 years since I did just that- and the rest is history. But it didn’t change overnight- it was a process. You can read more about what caused me to make this decision right here:

https://notesfromthescribe.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/the-night-it-all-lit-up-to-me/

It’s important to do the best we can and turn up, because sometimes (just from making the effort and being present) we put ourselves in line for great situations to turn out and opportunities to present themselves that bring us what we seek.

Effort and being in the right place doesn’t always get you what you seek. And failing usually sucks, to some degree let’s face it! But just being present (wherever we need to be or where we think we need to be) and putting our best effort in is a winning move in and of itself. Any success you gain from it is just the icing on the cake- you know what I’m talking about. I can think back to countless examples where (for whatever reason) the temptation was there not to turn up or to back off and not put in the full effort- but I did it anyway and got a great result after it. The satisfaction is always the equivalent of a cold beer after working outside on a hot summers’ day- such a relief!

https://notesfromthescribe.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/preparing-to-fight-taught-me-these-3-unexpected-things/

To take the road less travelled by might not necessarily mean it’s a road less-travelled by other people. It could be a highway compared to the trails we’ve been taken. But to US, it could be the road we haven’t travelled, and that might just be the reason we should take it!

One of the gifts I got for Christmas was Matthew McConaughey’s recently published autobiography ‘Green Lights’. It was funnier than I expected it to be, yet throughout the book Matt shares notes that he’s kept in his journals over the years and revelations he’s enjoyed along the way. He has this way of talking/ writing that makes me think of Owen Wilson’s character Kevin from ‘Meet The Parents’ and sometimes the way Matt talks/ writes about ideas he’s had or stuff he’s done made me laugh when it wasn’t intended to be funny. But there’s plenty of great ideas he shares and on those grounds alone I recommend it, besides being an entertaining read. But there’s one revelation that stood out to be:

See, I’m sure you’re familiar with the Robert Frost poem “Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less travelled by- and that has made all the difference.” And ever since hearing it, I’d always presumed that the road less travelled meant doing what most people won’t. But it was Matt pointing out that in fact, it’s about taking the road that is less travelled for us. Maybe something we’ve never done is something most people have? Sometimes, taking the more conventional or mainstream approach might be the one thing missing that makes all the difference for us.

So as you figure out for yourself what is your “road less travelled” I wish you all the best in 2021!

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Copy, Marketing & Mindset: These Articles Show You How To Hit The Ground Running In 2021-

It’s not long now-

Christmas Day is nearly upon us and the silly season has come around once more- that weird time of year where the days just seem to run into one another and you go from having a stack of plans and RSVP’s to no real plans. The smell of pine trees, tinsel, scented candles, saltwater, sunscreen and rain on hot asphalt. The sound of ubiquitous Christmas carols, cicadas, clinking glasses, crackling barbecues and evening thunder. Already, many are “clocking off” for the year and in many cases you could say it’s been well-deserved!

While I know that for many people this period is a fairly lazy one as work and the usual daily/ weekly commitments take something of a back-step, there are others who use this traditionally quiet period to study. To re-evaluate. To set big new goals for the new year. So what I’m doing today is leaving you with a few articles worth taking the time out to read through in your downtime:

These articles I’ve chosen below all help give you clarity in putting together your strategy, what you need to be doing and how to get into a winning mindset to make it all happen in 2021. If you do the work, I know from experience that committing is going to make a BIG difference in what you see and where you find yourself 12 months from now.

So while I’m not ghosting out completely, this is my last article for the year.

Merry Christmas, and see you again in a month or so!

#1- What Your 2021 Copy Strategy Needs:

How To Make YOUR Story Sell- A Demonstration:

The Macklemore Guide To Pumping Out Stat-Busting Blog Content

3 Ways To Sharpen Your Writing Game

How To Write Unique, Memorable Blog Articles That Stand Out

The 9 essentials you need for writing your own website copy:

The 5 Copywriting Action Items You Need For Your 2021 Marketing Plan

#2- What Your 2021 Marketing Strategy Needs:

5 Things You Need To Master Your Marketing

3 Reasons You Should Absolutely Bother To Blog

5 Ways To Boost Your SEO Rankings And Get Found

The REAL Stats On Blogging In 2020…

Here are the professionals and the experts I know- and this is what they can do for you:

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

#3- Getting Into The Right Mindset To Crush It In 2021:

The Reward Of Just Turning Up:

Your ‘Made In Japan’ Guide To Success (Or, how to make every day a win):

Storytime: The Night It All Lit Up To Me

No More Excuses: It’s Time To Make Your Shot NOW:

Why A Powerful Planner Is Your Roadmap To Reward

In Search Of Your Holy Grail- The Adventures Of A Late-Night Treasure Hunter

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

If At First You Don’t Succeed (the art of the do-over)-

As much as we’d like it to be the case, it doesn’t always turn out how we want the first time, does it. But realising this is a universal fact of life means it’s not our failure that counts- it’s what we do afterwards. Like that time, in a past life, where I answered a job posting for a recruitment firm in the city-

The first time I went in, I met with a woman who (if I recall correctly) was part of their HR team. I don’t remember her name, but let’s call her Gemma. She asked me about my employment history and what had inspired me to enquire for this job, before explaining what the listed role would involve. I got the strong impression she didn’t think I was suited for the position and that I really didn’t understand what the job actually entailed. I wondered if I’d read the job description correctly?

Still, Gemma mentioned that there was a group interview the following week and if I was still interested, I could put my name down to attend. I went home and considered whether or not I should bother? Maybe I’d be wasting my time and I’d just look like an idiot in front of everybody else there? Yet I decided it was better to go down in a blaze of glory than die wondering (as I expanded on here) so I found myself opting in and marking myself down to attend…

That following week, suited up and shoes shined, I returned to the company offices for the group interview. Conducting the interview was the company’s hiring department, and looking around the room the other applicants were of a similar age to myself, some with previous recruitment experience and then others who (like me) hadn’t worked in this kind of role before…

Throughout the interview we had to do exercises like conduct a pretend phone call with a disgruntled client and get them back onside, or pick from a number of statements and choose which one to argue the case for. I lucked out here because they’d included that Einstein quote about imagination being more important than knowledge. So during my turn to argue this cause I encouraged everybody in the room to look out of the plate glass window, at an elaborately designed building across the river. I then pointed out that this structures’ entire existence had its’ origins in someone’s imagination.

By the end of that group interview, I felt more than qualified. It would seem my confidence was justified when (a few days later) I received a call from a member of their hiring department to say how impressed they’d been with my interview and could I come back in for a 1 on 1 interview?

I showed up a little early, and while in the downstairs foyer I happened to notice Gemma. When she saw me her demeanour couldn’t have been more different to our last meeting. Her face lit up as she congratulated me, because she’d heard great things from the team about how I’d aced the group interview. What a change! And to think I would’ve missed out if I hadn’t taken another crack at it…

For stories like that one, there’s been times where the draft I’ve sent a client didn’t match their vision of what I was going to do for them. It doesn’t matter how clear your communication is, this is bound to happen sooner or later. As long as human relationships exist on the personal or professional level, there is also going to be misunderstanding along the way. I’ll admit there have been times where I’ve taken clients on with one understanding of what they needed- and then been left perplexed by what followed-

Clients have dropped off the face of the earth and not returned my calls when I was halfway through putting together their first draft they’d paid up for. Clients have begged me to help them get better interactions and engagement from their copy and then didn’t want to budge when I suggested any changes that would’ve helped them get the results they wanted. Clients have complained when I did exactly the job they asked me to do in the first place-

But if at first you don’t succeed, give it another shot. Accept that (even if you don’t get what you expected the first time) people generally are able to adapt and still want to help.

This is why, from the date that first draft gets sent to a client, I give them a month of unlimited edits to the document/s at no extra cost. It’s rare that a project needs more than two rounds of editing before the client is happy with what they see and (in my professional opinion) it’s copy that’ll get the results they seek.

But Ben“, you might be asking “giving your clients a month of unlimited edits is short-changing yourself, surely? What about the ones who waste your time or can’t make up their mind and want to chop and change every 5 seconds?”

Glad you asked-

This 5th and final one of Scribe’s Big 5 Guarantees is how I find the type of clients I love working with versus those who would be a better fit elsewhere.

I love clients who are ready to take action, clients who are great communicators, clients who are clear on what they want even if they don’t know exactly how to achieve it (and that’s often why they’re talking to me in the first place!) Those clients are why I’m happy to provide this guarantee, because those are the kind of people worth making that extra effort for.

Such clients, to me, are priceless.

So if you need copy and that sounds like you- or you know of somebody who needs copy and that sounds like them, then Contact Me!

The Power Of Prolific Business Connections: Why Every Single Contact Counts…

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’, Napoleon Hill

Did you ever see that movie ‘Sliding Doors’? The basic premise interested me- the notion that one simple scenario like just missing a subway train home could trigger a massive alternate reality where everything from your hairstyle to your relationship status to your career differed. I didn’t actually watch the movie until just a year or so ago- and (while I don’t want to reveal spoilers) I found it interesting that what appeared to be the ‘better’ reality for the main characters didn’t necessarily turn out to be so. But I digress-

Because here’s my own story about how a single coffee meeting in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs back in 2013 was to notably change the course of my business- and my life- for the next few years at least:

See, John and I met at a business networking event, and we arranged to catch up for a coffee later on at a cafe in Norman Park. During that conversation, John mentioned a business consultant he knew, named Anthea, who was running an upcoming workshop on time management called ‘Stop The Clock‘. Getting better results for my time was something I was quite interested in, so I found out more details and then (on the day) I went along to this workshop over in Newstead…

Despite it being a single days’ workshop (and a free one at that) I was immediately impressed with the amount of preparation Anthea put into the workshops’ organisation, and how professionally laid-out the materials were. While I was already familiar with many of the areas covered, there were other concepts where I had something of a lightbulb moment. I left the workshop with new ideas and a folder under my arm full of valuable course material…

Not long afterwards, I was at another event where attendees dropped their business cards into a metal bucket and then (at the end of the event) cards were randomly picked out for prizes. As it happened, my card was drawn second- and the prize was a years’ membership in these monthly educational events Anthea held, aimed at business owners just like myself.

Going to these events is how I got to meet Julie. Julie had actually been there the night my card was drawn and we’d spoken briefly, but I realised the scope of Julie’s expertise when she did a presentation on getting the most out of LinkedIn. She was holding a 2-day workshop and I was definitely interested in brushing up on my LinkedIn knowledge (knowing it’d translate not just for my profile, but in regards to what I could do for my clients). So I put my name down and off I went…

The workshop was both informative and entertaining- and that’s a testament not just to what Julie knows about LinkedIn, but how she teaches it. If I had to sum it up in two words? Infectious Enthusiasm. But it didn’t end there-

See, Julie went on to provide me with two things I hadn’t expected:

a) A carton full of marketing and copywriting related newsletters, DVD’s and other educational material she thought would be right up my alley, probably worth 4 figures in total when bought- and mine to keep

b) An introduction to Rose

Rose was the director of a business networking organisation with groups in my area, and while they had all sorts of business owners and specialists in these groups, they didn’t have anybody who specialised in copywriting- yet.

So I began attending a group in the CBD that met every Thursday afternoon, and I was soon doing presentations on copywriting before the group. I also met other business owners in the process and some of them I’m still connected with to this day. But it didn’t end there…

See, at this point in my life I was at something of a crossroads. I’d been in Brisbane for nearly 5 years and in that time I’d started Scribe, made new friends, seen some old ones move on and (to say the least) I’d changed as well. My life and my whole outlook was largely different from the one I’d arrived with. I’d begun wondering if staying here was meant to be, or if I should make a fresh start somewhere else. Because if I had the freedom to be anywhere, was this really the best option?

Then in February 2015 I was with Rose and a colleague named Stuart who did videography, at a 3 day marketing seminar at the Grand Chancellor on the Gold Coast. The whole time during the seminar we were brainstorming ideas, jotting them down and passing notes back and forth between the three of us. Then on the second day, Rose told me that she’d decided to open a new group here on the Coast, and she wanted me to come on board as assistant to the group ambassador.

I was already doing my MBA part-time down on the Gold Coast, so coupled with this new role? It now made perfect sense for this to be my next move...

So in a single weekend I got the answer I’d been looking for, and without any prompting it’d come about because I knew Rose>

Who’d been introduced to me by Julie>

Who I’d met (indirectly) through Anthea>

Who I’d been recommended to by John.

So, if it wasn’t for that coffee meeting with John back in 2013 in Norman Park, would I have found myself relocating down to the sunny Gold Coast in March of 2015, right when I’d been looking to start afresh? Who knows…

On another note, I would later sign up to do a 10 week course with Anthea when I realised I could do with a bit of mentoring as I shifted all my focus to Scribe. There’s a story that outlines how all that came to be, here. Again, if I didn’t already know Anthea, hadn’t seen the quality of content she put out and her ability to teach business owners, would I have ever got on board? Possibly not. It’s all in the power of connections.

No doubt you’ve got plenty of your own stories- maybe you landed a great new job because of somebody you chatted to at the races or in a corporate box at the game or even at your favourite bar on a Friday evening. Or maybe you met your spouse/ significant other because of your friend or your sibling or somebody they knew? That’s before even talking about the people you meet through business networking…

If you stop and think about it for a moment, how many circumstances and relationships do you enjoy in this present day all because of that one person you met?

Just this weekend gone, I went to birthday drinks for an old friend I’ve known 15 years. I met him through another friend, who I’ve known 16 years- and we met out the front of North Sydney station because he wanted to know which bus took us to the footy? Through him I have another mutual friend who lives a couple of suburbs away, and we’re throwing a surprise party for him this weekend (don’t mention the surprise party. I did once- but I think I got away with it). We’re all going kart racing a couple of weeks from now- and the catalyst was one random encounter on a winters’ afternoon back in 2004…

A single connection can have a huge trajectory on your business success, a single meeting can inspire a transformation you didn’t expect to see in the entirety of your life.

My current role as Group Leader for bX Gosford is no different. I went to a day seminar event hosted by bX Director Matt Alderton back in August 2018 in Sydney’s west and (afterwards) we were all in the downstairs bar of the venue when Matt mentioned his interest in opening a group up on the Central Coast. Fast forward a year later and Jason (a colleague and previous client of mine) called up to tell me bX was starting a group in Gosford, and would I be interested in coming on board as the Group Leader? I didn’t need to say I’d think about it!

It should be clear by now that I’m big on connections, and through our fortnightly Gosford events (or our weekly online meetings) I’m always looking out for who I can connect people with. Who is (maybe) just one introduction away from achieving that big outcome they’re looking for? Who might be one connection short of seeing real transformation, and could I make it happen for them?

Yet, I also realise that despite my knowledge and ability when it comes to turning out copy for clients, I’m not always that person who can help a lead in getting the results they’re after. But- if I’m not that person- I have no problem admitting it to them! Because instead, I just refer them onto somebody else who I know is a better fit-

This means that just by talking to me, people are putting themselves in a win-win situation. Because if I can’t help you to achieve your desired business outcomes, I’ll connect you with somebody who can. So (obviously) I’m happy to include that as another one of my Big 5 Guarantees.

So, if you’re looking for assistance or advice and you want a guaranteed win-win, then contact me.

And of course a big shout-out to everybody I mentioned in this article- even if your actions seemed small, they’ve all played their part in a bigger picture.

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…

Never miss an article again!

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!

santa-claus-kids

“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.

My Post-33

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.