"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.