First Things First

I stuffed up.

 

Big time.

 

Of course I still can bounce back…

 

It’s just…

 

I should know better! (Though painful reminders like this should keep the conversationalist in me in check!)

 

Well…I lost the opportunity to connect two people: an entrepreneur who was keen to hear about an organisation, and open to know more how he could add value — and another who is a high-level contact from that organisation.

 

Why did I stuff up? After knowing this important information (one person has something to offer, and I can connect him to someone who needs it)?

 

You see…instead of just holding off chatter…until I found the detail I needed. I got distracted while reading information on his about page (to figure out how I could suggest on how he could add value to the organisation)…and I started to ask questions that would have been best done at a later time (like after I passed on the information I was looking for first!).

 

was about to type in the information I found…and pitch to the entrepreneur one way I could connect him to the organisation…as I had the epiphany I was waiting for!

 

 

Next thing I knew….I was blocked. 😦 Agh…so close!

 

 

Reminder heard…loud and clear. Thanks life. 🙂

 

 

 


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Avoiding The Ignore Bin

I’m a firm believer that assumptions can be dangerous.

 

Particularly, assuming someone is interested in what you are offering (ideas, services, products). You wouldn’t do it to your friend, so why do it to someone else?

 

Though I hadn’t been always awesome in this area, I can proudly say, that each end every time (even the painful ones!), I have learned how to improve my approaches (both offline and online).

 

I think that constant learning mindset (reviewing what has happened and finding ways how to improve) has paid off a lot, and helped me avoid the ignore bin when reaching out to ‘Marketing Over Coffee‘ when suggesting a guest.

 

I received a reply from one of the hosts (John Wall)  saying that he appreciated me asking (which is a different approach from the majority of pitches they get). And similar to what Simon Sinek shared about approaching ‘asks’ (ask first then catch-up…or add additional information).

 

The upside of asking first is you’ll likely get more information before your pitch! When I received John’s response, it included the kind of guests they’d be keen to have and the kind of guests that aren’t a fit.

 

 

Notes:

  • Yes, I did get John’s blessing to share this entry. 🙂
  • If you’d like me to send you the structure of the email I sent John, just reach out to me directly.
  • Like me to keep you in mind when I pitch to contacts? Okay. As long as you’ve done your research. Pitch me! 😀

 

 


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Clients

An extension of my post earlier.

I limit talking about this particular income stream because I intentionally limit the people I serve in this area (I’m happy and their happy too because we both get to spend significant time with each other).

To get the best results:

  • Think of ways you can apply this concept to your brand.
  • Read as many entries as you can! Because one of them might be the trigger you need to unblock your creativity. (Yeah I know, that means it’s not likely that you’ll end up as a client…but that’s okay.)
  • Read the FAQ (even if it is cheeky…its still informative!) — if we end up working together…that’s a quick download. Definitely helpful for me to know if we can bond over other things. (Not a requirement…it just moves you up the list!)
  • Understand that I really do constantly generate ideas. Really! And nothing would make my day more than knowing that they are in good hands.

Then

Decide the arrangement you’d be most comfortable with when you send me a message:

  • Fixed Budget (Spots available: 4)- only for previous clients.
  • Results first then Payment (Spots available: 8) – I spend time learning about your brand to find action items (experiments, tests, strategies…) to implement. Then my fee is a percentage (35%) of the results you get. And yes, that means if the result is $180,000 over that period…then my fee is $63,000.

 

Though the first option is decidedly simpler. I give my clients the second option because that way, they already have what they plan to pay for…so I’ll know the client is happy — which means the odds are VERY VERY low for a refund. Less admin stuff to deal with, which means, I can focus on adding more value. 🙂

 

 CAUTION:

If you are someone who is only concerned with impressions (fancy website, photo driving a Maserati GranCabrio — so people would be drawn to you) rather than results (e.g. $72,000 increase sales after 8 months): you are not a fit.

Tempted to try your luck to see if you can ‘game’ the system? Well, no matter how you approach me (by filling up an application form, reaching out directly, or even somehow getting recommended by a current client)…in the end…if you are not a fit, it’ll come out at some point.

Ponder this: Wouldn’t you rather  spend all those hours finding someone who is a better fit for you rather than wait for the day that I’ll say: ‘Sorry…I wouldn’t be able to help you’?

Last Update: 01 January 2017


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The Best Way To Reach Me

As I was having a quick look and update on ‘My Cheeky FAQ’ I realised that it might help if there was a specific entry (and I can’t wait to hear from you if this post indeed helped!) that helps you know how to best send me a message.

 

  • Tumblr – I am on there at least once a fortnight (unless intentionally focusing on completing something and my fan tendencies need to be ‘on hold’ because they are a hindrance rather than a compliment!)
  • YouTube – Though sometimes notifications cross over with Google+ — I still find it a handy playform to send (and receive!) private messages.
  • Google+ – apparently there’s a way to send me messages even if I am not ‘online’ (I’ll get your notifications and that would prompt me to check my messages)
  • Form – This comes in handy if you are on a device that you avoid using to log-in to your various social media accounts. Even if you don’t put your email address, as long as you give me your Tumblr / YouTube / Google+ handle, and I can chase you up there.

 

 

What you’ll need in your message:

  • your email address!
  • How I can help you. (Really. Tell me! Don’t worry about sounding all ‘sales-ey’. Because the sooner I find out how I can add value to you, the sooner I am able to generate ideas! It’s as easy as completing this statement: ‘Leigh, I want _____ to happen. Can you help?’ If there are multiple items, take some time to consider what is most important for you to achieve. Whether it be finding someone who is equally smitten by BrainDead, or needing creative juice to improve your interactions with people you serve.)
  • If you have references (such as my tweet or a post), it would help a LOT if you include it too!

 

 

 

 


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Trust Experiments

As I was watching Joel Peterson’s talk, I was hit with an idea on how to apply incrementally trusting someone (100 times in little ways).

 

Since I’ve already accepted that sometimes it matters little what I say, and more on that initial connection with the person — I’m going to approach the experiment similarly. Instead of focusing more on fine-tuning (which I probably will…a bit) the right thing to say, It’ll be more on focusing on giving opportunities for the other person to communicate back: ‘I like interacting with you…let’s talk more!’

 

Experiment #1: I leave some items, and ask if the person would be open to watch it (letting them know I’d be back in 10 minutes). The items would be stuff that I am okay giving away (and would not feel gutted in case they get lost). Also, these items must have some value to me (books or films I like). It’s a bit like saying (in action form): ‘Hey, I’d like to take this risk and just trust you. What do you think?’

 

Also…in case I do hand over the items to a curious person — I’m also going to make sure I mention: ‘Oh…if you’d like something to read while waiting, there is one book there that you can check out!’

 

In respect to security, I will ensure that all the items are view-able by the person. So, if the items are in a bag, the bag has to be see-through.

 

The approach is also inspired by Scott Adams (he leans towards Systems rather than goals). Some possible results of the experiment:

  • I find another kindred spirit (bestie for life!)
  • We get talking and that person is actually looking for someone to help grow one of their brands (new client!)
  • An opportunity to introduce them to some brands I like.
  • I learn more about how different people trust, which would in turn help me advise current clients.

 

I’m planning to do more of these experiments in the future as ideas come up! If you’re thinking there might be an opportunity for me to do this too (I think you are right!)

 

 

Do you have some memorable (or even no so?) experiences on how you were able to trust someone in your circle by increments?

 

 

 


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How I Get Paid

One thing I’m constantly asked about is: “How Do you Get Paid?”. Though it is from different perspectives.

So one way I get paid that isn’t information that is available easily is (The Cheeky FAQ page has some links) how I am paid when I make music.

Here it is:
•    If Someone gives the album a forever home
•    Each Track Played in platforms
•    Each time someone uses my music in their Youtube video.

Content ID - Confirmed - 2016-03-22

 

 

The list of distributors (for purchase and streaming)…are here.

Though if you’d ask me which ones I’d prefer…I’d pick CD Baby for purchases, and Deezer for streaming.

More on Why:

  • CD Baby – I get instant sales figures (for platforms like iTunes, it might take a month for a purchase to show up)
  • Google Play – I get 40% of the sale (either by track or by album purchase)
  • Deezer – They pay $0.01105478 per track streamed (So every 100,000 plays I get $1,105.48) the highest paying streaming platform to date.
  • Spotify – They pay $0.00163800 per track streamed (So every 100,000 plays I get $163.80) from the history I noticed a fluctuation of the payouts (sometimes as low as $0.00054600 — which is $54.60 every 100,000 plays)
  • Google Locker – They pay $ 0.00011466 per track streamed (So every 100,000 plays I get $11.47) – from the history I noticed a fluctuation of the payouts ($0.00012103 and 0.00011830)
  • Youtube – If someone uses one of my songs in their videos (no matter where they got the audio)…and I’d get a cut of any revenue earned (when I did a test…with one of my tracks….I noticed this note from Youtube: “Ads may appear on your video due to the presence of this song. Removing this song may remove ads from your video, and may allow you to monetize the video if eligible”.)
    More on Song Eraser here: https://support.google.com/youtube/?p=song-eraser
  • Direct Payment – If a creator/listener found huge value in any of the tracks, and would like to say thanks (i.e. I gave them a go ahead to use the song in their video or presentation…and as a result they are convinced that the music played a big role…and would like to give a financial equivalent of the value they received) I’ll arrange a specific link for them to checkout through Paypal (similar to my appreciation links).

 

Content ID - Confirmed - 2016-03-22 - Copyright Notice

 

 

Will keep the stats updated as soon as more starts to come in! (and if you’d like to help out with the testing of platforms…I can let you know which ones I don’t have any data yet…and you can make your purchase or stream from there!)

 

 

 

Are you in the process of gathering your sales data? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

Entry Last Updated: 24 February 2017

 


 

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Don’t Just Nod

Feel like how you were treated as a customer was unacceptable? Don’t worry about being the rare case (if your supplier claims that you are the first to be unhappy with their service), instead keep in mind that if you are able to do something — there is a likelihood that you’ll spare at least one person the grief you’re experiencing now.

Now I’m not advocating doing something like raising your voice (or worse…screaming or calling them every negative name you could think about), instead do something by harnessing that energy towards something that could result in the kind of change you are hoping for.

With regards to that supplier, maybe you can check in with one of the executives — and mention what you went through, and some suggestions on how the experience can be made better for you. Worse case, you say farewell to them and go with your second choice (who now becomes your first choice!) —- best case, your current supplier will be forever in debt…and throw in some sweeteners with your current agreement with them as a sign of thanks…and in hopes that you’ll stay with them for years to come.

One of the projects that sprung out of my frustration of the accepted thinking: ‘you stick by your current circle, even if you’ve outgrown them’ — helped me direct that frustration in a constructive way (catch someone when they do something you appreciate — so they’d be encouraged to do more of it).

Even if I don’t get the kind of appreciation I hope for each time I send one of the notes, I know that each one gets me closer to my new ‘five‘.

 

From different perspectives:

 

Are you in the process of trying to figure out how to harness that energy of frustration positively? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

 

 


 

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Being You

Though Brad Montague might skip an episode from one of his favourite podcasts just because it has him in it, I certainly have a different view!

Do you wonder too if there is nothing to learn from you? That’s the challenge isn’t it? To be able to see yourselves as your biggest fans see you.

The trick I’ve been attempting to teach my brain is this scenario: If I were advising someone who was in my situation, would I be as tough on them? Or would I be more encouraging.

That (silly?) perspective change, helps a lot when I find out (or get reminded!) when something didn’t turn out as I hoped.

 

Just like Brad said in his Creative Mornings talk: “Huggers gotta hug” 🙂

 

Hoping to be more of a hugger than a hater? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

 

 


 

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The Journey To One Thousand

My approach to finding my 1,000 is by thinking of the different ways I could serve others.

Since I have a mind that likes churning out ideas, I’ve combined it with my appetite for exploring things (films, books, music, essays, personal development…) — and as a result, there are days when I am a recommendation machine!

Then to make it clearer which group of people the content is for, I make sure that they are classified accordingly. For example, personal development stuff would be on my personal blog. Artist explorations are done within the WNE Q&A Series. For film comments/recommendations — I’m considering signing up to Rotten Tomatoes. Musical ideas are lumped in my YouTube Channel.

Now there’s the cooking and gardening explorations…still not sure which site to publish those entries with. Though I’m thinking it might work better if I just approach sites I’ve found helpful.
Sounds like a lot isn’t it? Well…it is! And my solution on not being overwhelmed (and avoiding losing hours of sleep) is to focus on two actions that I think would make the most difference. Though I’ve known this for awhile now, the path to action was helped along after reading a bit of ‘Good Strategy / Bad Strategy’ by Richard Rumelt. I managed to come up with those two actions based on spending some time with Richard’s three guiding principles in the book.

 

 

  • Diagnosis – “The Challenges the business or project faces”
  • Guiding Policy – “Overall approach for overcoming the obstacles, channeling actions in certain directions without defining exactly what shall be done.”
  • Coherent Action – “To have punch actions should coordinate and build upon one another…”

As a result, I’ve now been dedicating 5 of my 6 days to those two actions. It’s a pain…because the thing I hate the most is doing things repetitively…then I remind myself: ‘For those who are aiming to get to a certain fitness level, daily strategic actions are required to get there.’

 

Action #1: Do 100 Pitches per week for the ‘10,000 Notes of Encouragement‘ Project

Action to switch to once milestone (20% funding) has been achieved: Send next 1000 notes.

Action #2: Send 100 Q&A invitations per week.

Action to switch to once milestone (20 interviewees engaged enough to have a weekly response rate) has been achieved: Publish next 10 Q&As.

 

Note: This post started out as a comment for this entry. I liked how the sentences kept coming, so I wanted to do a version here! (At the moment of writing, my comment is pending approval.)

 

Are you also on your journey to finding your one thousand true fans? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

 

 


 

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Business Lessons From The East Dillon Lions

I’ve been re-watching (my fourth?) the last half of Season 5 the last two weeks and got an inspiration to write this post after the scene of the Lions (right after doing the Haka!) walking into the field to face West Cambria.

 

If you haven’t seen the series…there are going to be spoilers below.

 

When thinking about a masterpiece (even when filled with teen angst) series such as this, it’s difficult to compare seasons — as they are each unique in each way. I think the reason Seasons 4 and 5 resonate more strongly to me would be that it was about building something with very little resources.

 

Despite my tendency to worry and default to ‘flophouse thinking’ (a bit similar to Dan Harris‘ inner voice telling him that if he goes bald, he’ll lose his job and end up in a flophouse in Duluth), my not being cynical about the events of FNL does show that there is a big bucket of optimism within me that I can draw from.

 

 

Lesson # 1: Decide Then Take Stock

At one point during the series, Levi (The principal of East Dillon) tells Eric Taylor that he wasn’t suppose to take the job. It was an interesting line because Eric and Tami didn’t consider going anywhere else aside from East Dillon after Eric lost his job coaching the Dillon Panthers.

Though there were transfers from the Panthers to the Lions in season 4 — Coach Taylor wasn’t really focused on recruiting players from the Panthers. Rather he was focused on finding out what resources he had (sub-par players, zero boosters, and barely any community support) within East Dillon and worked from there.

 

 

Lesson # 2: Make Sure The Strategy You Use Fits Your Particular Situation

It was interesting to notice that Coach Taylor does not attempt to mold any of the players according to any of the previous ones he has coached. He doesn’t mention once to Vince about how he coached Matt Saracen, and as a result it helped them win the State Championship during his first season as head coach of the panthers.

 

Lesson # 3: Focus and Execute

Getting back to that scene right at the corridor between the locker room and the field right before the West Cambria game (Season 5, Episode 11) when the team is pumping themselves up — you’d think that that was the energy they are picking up from their fans. It’s only after the cheering and battle cries are over that it is revealed that it is an away game, and they are booed and pieces of food is chucked at them.

What was so gallant about the Lions walk to the field, was that as soon as they emerged from the cover of the walkway, the disapproving sounds and torrent of popcorn didn’t affect their stride.

 

 

 

The Result?

The Lions Won State after only two years and Coach Taylor got offered his dream job (Head Coach of a Division I School).

 

While choosing people to work with while building a business and deciding on a strategy is equally as hard, it is another battle when you’ve got people around you (sometimes well meaning) leading you astray from your goals. I’ve found that as long as I keep my strategy within reach (I’ve just printed out my weekly schedule and daily actions) I can minimise spending time on (or getting distracted by) activities that would have little impact on effectively building the business.

 

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

Got any revelations recently while watching a TV show?

 

 

 

 

Search Terms:

  • Business Lessons From Friday Night Lights
  • Start-up Lessons From Friday Night Lights
  • Start-up Lessons From The East Dillon Lions

 

 


 

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