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NYE challenge to change you mindset

In this quick video I thank everyone for their support this year and set you a simple challenge for New Years Eve, a chance to push yourself and take what it is you want.

Let me know how you go.

Never be stressed at work again!

Never be stressed at work again

Imagine never being stressed at work again.  How good would it be?

I sat down with entrepreneur Greg Rips to better understand his views on how to get ahead.  If you have 15 minutes watch the video, as Greg is one inspiring guy.  Like most successful people, he looks at things from a lateral view considering them for what they really are.  In this interview Greg talks about how an employee should never be stressed... they just do a job and go home.

Greg's recommendations are simple.  Lay a foundation of expectation with your boss and get it down on paper.  Then every time you are asked to do something outside of that scope, make it clear that this is outside of your role and this will constitute extra value.

Tracking extra value driven into the organisation is how you show what salary you should be on, the bonus you should receive, or why another company should poach you.  It's actually one of the big problems employees have, as they are constantly working their backside off, but can't explain to anyone why they are so important.  In congruence with this, they actually do themselves a disfavour by allowing scope creep into their role, making them busier without any additional payoff.

Unfortunately the laptop battery was running low, so this quick chat is all we captured, but there will be future interviews to come, Greg has some great stuff to share.  If you have questions for Greg or myself, please comment of email me and we will do our best to get back to you.

Charity Donations - You're Doing it Wrong!

Modern marketers believe in the value exchange, meaning that what your give up has to be lesser than, or equal to the value you receive in return.  Charities have for a long time been breaking this rule, reaching into our pockets without seriously considering the motivational drivers that make up their side of the value exchange.  Wouldn't it be great if we looked forward to charities approaching us?  If we could get that feeling of giving, without giving up too much and still help fix the world.... what a nirvana that would be.  So why can't we have that??  I propose that charities need to understand the unwritten rule Ogilvie wrote about more than 50 years ago, the unwritten rule of value exchange...  But before I do, lets understand the current model.

The current charity sales model - The direct 'low value' offer
Chuggers, or 'charity muggers' have been employed to harass us on street corners for as long as most can remember.  Even more effective than broadcast media, Chuggers get us one on one, asking us that uncomfortable question about our morals and values.  It is no surprise they are so damn successful, so much so that their fee for the acquisition usually takes a year for the charity to payoff and start make a profit on.  Yet for all their success Chuggers are losing steam, with the public less likely to give into their pushy ways.  The reason for declining success can be found in Professor Colin Jevon's research into the difference in response stimuli towards advertising between children and adults.  His team found that younger people are more aware of advertising around them, and find it far easier to ignore it.  Thus in conclusion, Chuggers and mass media alike is less effective at penetrating the younger market, which as the baby-boomers move into retirement is vital.

The Solution - Reinventing the charity sales paradigm
Any good salesperson will tell you a deal can be restructured a million ways, it's just about finding the offer that gets the deal done.  So how about we restructure what charities provide, in exchange for our hard earned 'folding stuff'?  In creating this notion I've bounced ideas off a number of marketers within the NFP sector and have been extremely surprised by their responses.  Almost all of them agree the model has to change, but none are willing to abandon the safety of the status quo.  
What I propose is actively working to provide value to the consumer.  It might be by reselling another company's product or service, it might be by forming strategic alliances with brands that are willing to supplement the donation, or incentivise the consumer directly with a free gift.  Whatever it is, it needs to add value to the offer, providing more 'give' and less 'take'.

Recently I was pitching to a NFP that they should partner with a client of mine to find cheaper utility providers for consumers, effectively betting them the savings and completing the service for free.  The pitch would go something like "Excuse me sir, I just wanted to give you $500 and if I can, would you donate to my charity?".  I ask you, who wouldn't give up 5 minutes of their time for that?  It's a Win - Win - Win situation with everyone ending up better off.  Who knows, we might even change the perception of chuggers for the better!

Example of where charities have altered the value offer
Kiva as an organisation just blow me away.  They provide third world micro-financing for those that need an interest free loan to expand their business.  Instead of donating money, you lend money, usually in $25 denominations and only as a loan, you then choose if you re-loan that money or reclaim it for yourself.  The funny thing of course is that the donations only ever grow.... it becomes addictive to see business's flourish and to feel part of the solution.

Oxfam Unwrapped is a program where you purchase a card for a friend, and the money you spend goes towards buying a virtual pig/goat/duck etc. for a community.  In reality it is just raising money for projects they are already working on, but instead the value offer frames the gift as someone tangible and hence it carries more value.

Summary - Improving the charity sales paradigm
David Ogilvie would be rolling in his grave if he saw the state of marketing in the NFC sector today!  With the most advanced technology we have ever had, targeting options that border on stalking and unlimited opportunities to create strategic corporate alliances, there really is no excuse for charities to maintain the status quo... Yeah sure, if it's not broken don't fix it, but pal, the wheels feel off your wagon two years ago, and you're just flogging the horses harder and harder, something has to give.

If you work with a MNC and want to talk about the possibilities, drop me an email and lets chat.

How to nail the job you really want

In my spare time I spend a lot of time working with graduates helping them achieve the careers that they aspire to.  Having done this for a number of years, and spoken at countless events I have noticed a number of recurring trends and societal beliefs that hold most people back from achieving their true desires.  So here's the tips you just need to know to get ahead.

Chase a dream, not a reality
The first thing I do with all the students that come to me for advise, is ask them to consider what they really love doing in life.  What are the things that inspire them, and more importantly if they could do something everyday, what would it be?

The most common answers I receive are the least common dreams people chase, which paradoxically makes them the easiest to achieve.  As an example, you might say 'I really love horses', which is a great answer.  My advise is to get a job with horses, don't worry about the money or anything else, just become the best at working with horses, and somewhere someone will pay you to do that.

Conan O'brien got his first job running coffee for the Golden Girls.  It was only natural that his nest jobs also revolved around the industry he worked in, until his big break came and he landed his dream role hosting the Tonight Show.

I recently had a muso come and see me, he was thinking about working in the wine industry because he knew a lot about wine.  I asked him if he was passionate about it, and he looked at me like I'd asked a stupid question.  "Of course I'm not he said, couldn't care less about it".  It was a few seconds later the irony of the situation sunk in... he almost committed vocational suicide!

Be yourself and don't hide that
Another thing I see students do is apply for any and every job, flicking CVs around like they are dealing poker cards.  These students then lie their way through the interview by hiding who they truly are and are genuinely surprised when they don't like their jobs.

I tell university students to leave their Facebook accounts open and don't worry that employers might see you dancing on a table with your shirt off... that's a good thing.  If someone won't hire you because of that, then you really didn't want to work for them.  My friend Julian runs a big New York advertising agency and there are pictures of him sleeping in his own sick after a particularly big uni party up in Brisbane.

To highlight this point, my good friend AB use to work for a well known Australian Accounting firm.  Ab is a really cool, fun guy with lots to say and always has a smile on his face.  His first workplace fired him for "having too much personality", and he was devastated.  It wasn't until the next job that he found a place that matched his personality, so much so his manager sends him porn to his work email.  AB feels like he has died and gone to heaven... and not even regular heaven, but heaven on steroids with a model girlfriend and a 6pack!

The moral of the story is to look for jobs that matches your personality, only apply if you really want to work there.  If you don't feel the passion, go back to point #1 and chase your dream.

Standing out from the crowd - Josh's secret tip
I have a trick for getting the job you want.  It has a really high success rate and nobody else does it.  I'm going to share it with you only because I like you... and because I genuinely want you to make a difference in your life.

The trick is to think about your dream job.  Now research to find out who does that job right now, there are probably quite a lot of these people.  Now pick up the phone and call them.  Ask them out for a coffee and ask them insightful questions about how they got to where they are today.  Here's a few must ask questions:

  • What do you like most about what you do?
  • What do you like least?
  • If you got to live life over what would you do differently?
  • What advise have you got for me in starting my career?
  • Is there anyone else you think I should meet?
Honestly, this is networking.  Going to a function called Networking is not.  I guarantee the people you call will be delighted that someone took an interest in them.  Spend 5 minutes looking at their LinkedIn profile and play their ego a little, you will be surprised how many make a hole for you in their busy schedule just because you showed initiative.  Once you have these meetings, you are just showing them who you are and what you're after.  It may not happen immediately, but if you stay in touch and continue to network with these people, go to the functions they go to and generally be a cool person, they will refer you into a position.  I guarantee it works.

What's the worst that can happen?
Inspirational speaker Tim Ferriss asked me recently "If you chased your dream, what's the worst that could happen?  and if the worst happened, could you get back to where you are now?"

I really like the way he phrased this, as it really makes you realise how low you've set the bar for yourself.  If you listen to Sasha's podcast which is one of my favourites, you will see he is also cut from the same cloth, he is always pushing people to take that next step and chase their dream.

It might take a little work to get yourself back to the level you are at today, but in all honestly, once you've achieved that primary mark, the sky is the limit.

Does this apply to all of life?
Damn straight it does.  You should never settle unless you are truly contented, this applied to everything: Job, friends, partner, car, travel, literally everything.

If you push yourself and really apply yourself to a task, you will be amazed how much you can achieve.  I promise you, chase the life you want and you will find a much happier tomorrow.

Can Josh help you?
I absolutely adore this stuff, in fact of all the people I have helped, I'm pleased to say many are now using my model to help others.

If you really feel like you need a hand, shoot me an email and we can work something out.

Now go get the life you deserve.

Business Effectiveness - Tim Ferriss Lessons

"Reality is negotiable"

Tim Ferris 2013 @ Crown Palladium

Most of us have hopes and aspirations, certainly if you are one of my readers you embrace the idea that you need to standout from the crowd to be noticed (as I talked about in my SEO is not dead article.  Tim Ferriss reaffirmed this notion today when he greeted the crowd of eager business people, hoping to gleam gems of brilliance.  The funny thing is that looking around the room, I knew most wouldn't change a single thing they do.  I'm going to talk about these gems of knowledge in a second, but first let me make fun of the Australian business community...

A couple hundred Melbourne business men and women packed into the Crown palladium for the event.  Looking around the room and scanning name cards most were middle management from medium and large companies, and the web community was also well represented.  For an hour they listened intently to Tim proposing that they question the way they do things, try different things, don't always conform to what everyone else is doing.  What was funny was how little they actually thought to apply to themselves (and I doubt ever will).  When the event ended the crowd rushed towards the open doorway (only one single door of the three double doorways had been left open for people to enter and exit).  The entire room tried to squeeze through this single half door, not one person tried the other double doors which were completely unlocked.  Whilst I watched this amusing spectacle it dawned on me, if they can't stop to try a different door, what hope have they got of trying something new in business??

Do things differently to out perform your competition

Tim Ferriss is nothing short of incredible, but in saying that, there is nothing he does that you can't apply.  To sum it all up, let me share with you this bit of advice: 'Be different'.  When the whole community is doing one thing, for example saying 'you can only communicate with bloggers through email', you need to read between the lines.  If everyone is saying that, it actually means your email will be one of hundreds they receive and the chances of you creating a connection is slim.  So buck the trend, go about it differently.  Tim's example of getting around this wasn't wildly original, he just went to an event bloggers go to and made friends with them in person.... nobody else does that and hence it was extremely effective.

How to get media attention

Presenting a story to the media is one thing, but making it easy for them to write about, that is how the pros do it.  Instead of releasing a crappy press release on PRweb, put together a 'media kit' with all the background information, quotes from competitors and their contact details, plus graphs, stats, images and enough for the journalist to feel like they are writing a balanced story, but not have to work hard to get it.

This should seem like basic advice, but when was the last time you actually saw someone take the time to do it?  Here in Australia marketers are lazy, they expect the media to write about them, rather than doing something to deserve it.

What's the worst that can happen - Can I get back here?

The personal content was what really resonated with me the most.  Tim posed a simple question for us all to ask ourselves.  If I tried something different or followed a dream, what's the worst that could happen?  and if that occurred, would I be able to get back to the position I am in now?

What this is basically questioning, is 'am I stuck in a rut I can escape'?  I for one have been thinking about following various dreams for a long time, but continue to plug away at my daily life because that's guaranteed to pay the bills.  It's not to say that this is a bad thing, but at least put it down on paper and consider, 'what is the worst that could happen'?

If you sit down and do the analysis you might be surprised what the potential upside looks like.  Congruent with this, the downside is often not that scary at all, and very very recoverable.

Recommended reading list

Not sure if I should share this, but here's Tim's recommended reading list for all aspiring business people.


Tim Ferriss is a genius, I can't recommend him, his publications or his public speaking enough.  If you get the chance immerse yourself in his way of thinking, but if you do, don't just mindlessly absorb it, set yourself to actioning it and living it.

I think of the entrepreneurs mindset a lot like a diet.  You either commit to it, or you don't, there really isn't a lot of middle ground.

SEO is not dead.... it's just resting

I hear 'SEO is dead' constantly, but what people are really saying is that 'manipulating the Google rankings is dead'.  The reason for this is because people don't want to invest the hard yards in their business and hence there is nothing newsworthy about what they are doing.  SEO is a subset of PR, so the question for those wanting to improve their listings is 'Why should your business come up higher than your competition?  and now you have that reason, how are you going to communicate it through the media?"

Particularly here in Australia people are lazy, business people expect they can just open the doors and customers will flood in.  Working with everything from small companies, to charities to large MNCs I see the same thing over and over, people don't want to do the work to standout.  Take a walk down chapel st and tell me how many business's are doing something unique and interesting... those are the business's that will survive.  It's completely untenable for there to be 3 politics stores in 200 metres, or 5 people selling Just Jeans, and they certainly can not improve the SEO listings for their individual store.

SEO is not a strategy.  I can't yell this loud enough.  I constantly meet people that think business success is about being first on Google.  If this is your belief, please for the love of Pete, don't go into business using your own money.  SEO is a result of having something to say which adds value and is different or better than anyone else.

I have more to say, but the core of the argument is that SEO is a result of a having a good business and a reason for people to talk about you.  Simply adding your site to a link directory or creating fake social media is no reason to improve your rankings.  SEO is not dead!!

Buddy Franklin for sale on ebay

AFL star Buddy Franklin is for sale on ebay... and I might know a little about the guy that put him there.  Today is an exercise in virality, can I make something with high social value go viral without spending any money on it?

Buddy Franklin is a star of the AFL who recently signed a crazy big (and long) deal to join the Sydney Swans.  He's someone I would consider a great of the game and can do things no other man can do.

I've put Buddy Franklin on ebay to see how viral it can get.  So far we are 10 minutes in and it has been shared 5+ times from my original listing and viewed 100+ times on ebay.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.