Thrive And Beyond

As I continue to set free written pieces out in the world. I noticed that sometimes I do get ideas for posts that don’t specifically fit in any of my feeds. So rather than just shrug the ideas off (even when they get distracting, I believe that each time an idea comes — it should be noted in some form), I continually collect them as they ‘hit’ me.

 

One category that pops up every now and then is relationships. I know it’s sort of close to a bit on what is on Thrive, yet I get the feeling they should be curated in a separate one.

 

The next step is to find the right sites, so I’m currently reaching out to contacts (both old and new!) to get their help on finding the right publication to publish.

 

Looking at the stats for some of the sites where my pieces are published:

 

I’ve included a breakdown more topic related here.

 

I can either go for equivalent sites:

  • Huffington Post – 137.67 M
  • Elephant Journal – 2.56 M
  • Thought Catalog – 17.95 M
  • Tiny Buddha – 2.6 M
  • Mental Floss – 15.74 M
  • She Knows – 14.64 M
  • Primer Magazine – 800 K
  • Made Man – 1.03 M
  • Entrepreneur – 18.52 M

 

 

Or next level ones:

  • The Verge – 64.59 M
  • The Atlantic – 40.08 M
  • The Washington Post – 227.76 M
  • Wired – 29.16 M
  • CNet – 176.91 M
  • Techcrunch – 31.32 M
  • Inc – 20.87 M

 

One thing I enjoy about being a contributor for Thrive is how the pieces themselves look when they are published. I don’t need to worry about page load times (or ads that ruin the reading experience).

 

I know I can’t always have that freedom whenever other sites publish my written pieces, it’ll just be a nice bonus.

 

Are there publications that you discovered recently that fit your pieces? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


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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)Β  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. πŸ™‚
  • 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! πŸ˜€

 

 


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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 PaymentΒ (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. πŸ™‚

 

Β CAUTION:

If you are someone who is only concerned with impressions (fancy website, photo driving aΒ 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 ratherΒ  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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Thinking Music

Somehow I am able to get a lot of thinking done while listening to Jack Johnson Albums.

 

How’d I go about my discovery? I was letting the car idle while parked so I could do my monthly running the warm then cold A/C for approximately 10-15 minutes each cycle. I noticed that as I let my thoughts run free…I kept getting ideas to progress projects I was working on (plus ideas for new projects!). I then looked at what was playing then realised I was listening to one of Jack’s album (It might have been ‘Bushfire Fairytales’)

 

Probably not good for ‘driving music’ for me. πŸ™‚

 

After having that revelation, I decided to make a similar scale for music:

  • Music ImmersionJose Gonzales: Veneer (I first found out about him when he did the score for ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ — I was mesmerised by the end credits song probably because not only did it ‘feel’ and ‘sound’ like it was an extension of the film…the lyrics also made me feel so optimistic about the next hour, day, month, and years…).
  • Idea Generation Music – Will have to do some testing, so far Jack Johnson’s albums fit here.
  • Repetitive Tasks – I mix reviewing Deezer’s 40 million tracks (in the process of setting up a mailing list for this project — so you can easily sign up for updates!), to find tracks that I’d be keen to add to my ‘Music Immersion list’
  • Conversation Background – just something to cancel out the sound so there is less chance of being overheard by others. Somehow a mix of Electronic Dance Music and Songs with Motivational Lyrics fit here.
  • Focus – Quiet

 

 

What I found what works best, is if my attention ends up wandering — I add something to do (so the tasks gets varied in a way), so one way I ‘fill’ those moments is to have a Deezer mix playing (which I sift through, finding which ones that would get reviewed later, and others to flag so it doesn’t show up in that particular mix again!)

 

 

What about ‘driving music’ you ask? Oh I still am working on that one! Because it has to be something that forces me to be always looking out on the road. My rule is that even if something comes on that don’t like listening to, I’d wait until I was at the lights before changing the track or folder (or parked if I needed to switch CDs or fiddle with an externally connected audio device).

 

Have you found some of the albums that makes you more productive?

 

 

 


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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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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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Help!

I know I need a coach so I could move twice or thrice (or even ten times?) the pace I’m going now.

 

Two challenges about that:

  • If I pick the wrong one — I’d end up wasting my time and money, which are both in short supply at the moment.
  • I already know that I am not that effective when absorbing information from a book or course (I’ve bought a number of books because of an initial emotional attachment prior to the purchase). Action points usually come when I am in the process of thinking about a snippet.

 

Yep…I still have a bit of the residue of ‘magic bullet’ thinking: “Ah! This course would solve all my issues with getting the cash flow I’d like”. Which is a bit like my brain constantly bugging me (yep…just like a restless passenger during a roadtrip): “Are We There Yet?” (aka: “Have I found the ‘Secret Shortcut’ to getting to six figures?”)

 

One way I could approach the ‘coach search’ issue — is just spend a bit of time reaching out to 50 coaches. Craft a pitch, then see how each would react (I think this would be a bit like a ‘hero test’ too — seeing a bit on how someone would react privately…when not being watched or overheard by the public. I understand that there is a chance at least one of them might come back to me with a bit of attitude — or worse…acting like a jerk towards a perspective client).

 

But then, finding a coach might not be the frog I need to eat. It may be one of the other tasks I’ve been slowly inching towards: like drastically reducing clutter.

 

Have you found the right coach for you (which was a result in finding the right system to find that coach)? I’m all ears if you’re open to tell me the story (or send me the link to your post about it). πŸ™‚

 

Do you have clutter you have to wade through too? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

 

Additional Reading and References:

 

 


 

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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” πŸ™‚

 

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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