Is your phone using you..??

sam muchai blog

Your smartphone has two jobs.

On one hand, it was hired by you to accomplish certain tasks. In the scheme of things, it’s a screaming bargain and a miracle.

But most of the time, your phone works for corporations, assorted acquaintances and large social networks. They’ve hired it to put you to work for them. You’re not the customer, you’re the product. Your attention and your anxiety is getting sold, cheap.

When your phone grabs your attention, when it makes you feel inadequate, when it pushes you to catch up, to consume and to fret, it’s not working for you, is it?

On demand doesn’t mean you do things when the device demands.

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Plenty of room for you and me…

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Have you noticed that authors often happily recommend books by other authors (even though an MBA might call them competitors)?

Not only that, but books sell best in the bookstore, right next to the other books.

It would be a stunning surprise if Tim Cook wrote a blurb for a Samsung phone. They live in a zero-sum universe, assuming that everyone is likely to only buy one or the other.

But for the rest of us, in most industries, it turns out that the real competition is inaction. Few markets have expanded to include everyone, and most of those markets (like books and music) have offerings where people buy more than one.

This means that if there’s more good stuff, more people enter the market, the culture gets better, more good work is produced and enjoyed, more people enter the market, and on and on.

So encouraging and promoting the work of your fellow artists, writers, tweeters, designers, singers, painters, speakers, instigators and leaders isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s smart as well.

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The paradox of the flawless record…

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If your work has never been criticized, it’s unlikely you have any work.

Creating work is the point, though, which means that in order to do something that matters, you’re going to be criticized.

If your goal is to be universally liked and respected and understood, then, it must mean your goal is to not do something that matters.

Which requires hiding.

Hiding, of course, isn’t the point.

Hence the paradox. You don’t want to be criticized and you do want to matter.

The solution: Create work that gets criticized. AND, have the discernment to tell the difference between useful criticism (rare and precious) and the stuff worth ignoring (everything else).

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Certainly,humans can only follow one command or none at all…

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I know it’s popular to be a multi-tasking ninja, but the research is clear and conclusive. Human beings actually can’t multi-task well…or at all.

For many years the psychology research has shown that people can only attend to one task at a time.

To be more specific, your brain can attend to only one cognitive task at a time

Yes you can dance and sing at the same time but brain tasks? Not so much

You can either talk or listen

Write or read

Grasp a concept or make a decision

One task at one time

And if the brain is forced to handle 2-3 cognitive tasks simultaneously, it either abandons the tasks all together or does a poor job of all but one.
How this affects your business and what can you do about it?

If you have one of those websites where the home page is a medley of too many things asking for way too many actions, you might be taxing the brain of your visitor to the point where he won’t do anything at all.

Ask them to do one thing and one thing only (sign up, like your page or donate for example). Define your primary objective for each page and just ask for the action that would help achieve that objective.

Nothing else!
Don’t ask them to like, share, subscribe, add to bookmarks or do any of the things that will take the attention away from your primary objective.

Don’t fatigue their brains, period!

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How to Invent a holiday

power of choice
Find an emotion that needs social approval in order to be easily expressed.

Hook it into something you sell or do.

Discover other organizations that would benefit from the holiday as much as you would.

Voila! Mother’s Day/Fathers Day/Sisters Day/Valentine’s Day/Festivus/New Year’s. It doesn’t have to be a national one, of course, just one for your tribe.

All the great religious holidays started as secular or pagan holidays first, because they filled an essential social need.

And if your project/product/cause isn’t worthy of a holiday? Time to find a new one.

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What’s Your Drop the Mic Moment in Your Presentation…?

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Good presenters have a clear central point.  Great presenters make that point in a compelling and memorable way.  In other words, they have a Drop the Mic Moment.

Too often I see salespeople bury a profound statement in a load of information, rush too quickly into their next point, or worse, over-explain what they just said, diluting the impact of their message all together.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the millions of drop the mic memes, the phrase typically refers to a bold gesture of confidence by a politician or performer from Obama to Kanye, after delivering a great performance or impressive argument or even insult.When a performer drops the mic, it confirms in the audience’s mind that they’ve just experienced something noteworthy.  Something worth remembering.

As buying cycles get longer and more complex, a Drop the Mic Moment can ensure that your key point doesn’t walk out the door with you, or worse, is attributed to your competition.

Here’s what you need to know about creating and delivering a DMM in your presentation or demo.

  • -Identify the  Drop the Mic Moment in Your Presentation
  • -Make your Drop the Mic Moment Memorable
  • -Deliver your Drop the MIC Moment

Good luck…

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Negotiate like Picasso…

 

sam muchai blog

The story goes that Picasso was at a social gathering when a woman approached him, gushing with praise for his work. Then, she coyly asked if he would draw her portrait on a napkin, which, of course, she would happily pay for.  Picasso obliged, finished the portrait in under thirty seconds, and charged her 500 francs. “Five hundred francs!” responded the stunned admirer. “But it took you less than thirty seconds!”

“Yes, Madame,” replied Picasso calmly, “And it took me thirty years to be able to do that portrait in just thirty seconds.”

Never Forget Your Value

Whether you manage money, sell advertising, or provide consulting and professional services, there will always be clients who confuse deliverables (what they see) with value received (results).  Sometimes, in the case of Picasso’s admirer, that confusion reflects a buyer’s naivete and ignorance. Other times, in the case of my friend’s client, that confusion is feigned by a buyer to test your limits.

In the former case, educate the client to the true value received to clear up the confusion and solve the problem. In the latter situation, remain calm, restate your value, and hold your ground to signal you stand behind your value and that further pressure tactics will not work.  You can even tell the Picasso story to reinforce your point.

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What makes it art…??

 

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A friend, commenting on a new building, “I’m not sure if I hate it or love it! I want to hate it but I think I love it…”

Without that tension, all you’ve done is what’s been done before.

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Learning from the rejection…

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When someone doesn’t say yes, they’ll often give you a reason.

A common trap: Believe the reason.

If you start rebuilding your product, your pitch and your PR based on the stated reason, you’re driving by looking in the rear view mirror.

The people who turn you down have a reason, but they’re almost certainly not telling you why.

Fake reasons: I don’t like the color, it’s too expensive, you don’t have enough references, there was a typo in your resume.

Real reasons: My boss won’t let me, I don’t trust you, I’m afraid of change.

By all means, make your stuff better. More important, focus on the unstated reasons that drive most rejections. And most important: Shun the non-believers and sell to people who want to go on a journey with you.

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The toddler strategy…

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Most people don’t get too upset at anything a two-year-old kid says to them.

That’s because we don’t believe that toddlers have a particularly good grasp on the nuances of the world, nor do they possess much in the way of empathy. Mostly, though, it turns out that getting mad at a toddler doesn’t do any good, because he’s not going to change as a result (not for a few years, anyway).

Couldn’t the same be said for your uninformed critics? For the people who bring you down without knowing any better, for those that sabotage your best work, or undermine your confidence for selfish reasons?

It’s hardly productive to ruin your day and your work trying to teach these folks a lesson.

Better, I think, to treat them like a toddler. Buy them a lollipop, smile and walk away.

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