As your business continues to grow, it becomes important to set clear goals for everyone on the team. Not setting any goals means shooting in the dark and that leads to doom eventually. I’ve experienced some success with the 90 day plan we used at Treehouse, but I figured I needed something more focused.
I’ve been reading the Rockefeller Habits and I read about ‘Top 5 Goal Setting’. For the record, John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest Americans ever with a net worth of over $340 billion.
Anyway, I sent out an e-mail to my team earlier today with an explanation of how it works. I think this is going to pay dividends down the road.
We’re going to be implementing a system effective immediately that should help us focus a lot better. This is infinitely better than a laundry list of things to do.
Here’s how it works:
- We set 5 company goals for the month.
- We select 1 goal from the 5 above to be the big goal for the quarter. This will be defined as our top 1 of 5 goal.
- Everyone in the company will define their own 5 goals as it related to the company goals. They will also select a top 1 of 5.
- For now, we’ll also run a weekly 15-30 min standup at 10:30am PST on Mondays with the whole team to see where everyone is at. We’ll do a conference call for this. More on the format for these calls below. This sounds excessive and is a pain in the butt to be frank, but it’s necessary to do to get to where we want to be. This will eventually become a daily 15 min standup with the executive team followed by separate departments as we continue to grow.
- There will be a quarterly meeting to see how everything panned out. We’ll include prizes and such for when we hit big goals.
These will all be housed in the ‘Individual Top 5 Goals’ in board Trello.
Your goals should be very specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). A good example of a SMART goal might be: Field 6 sales phone calls a day by August 2013.
So here’s how the weekly standups will work:
- We’ll each discuss how we’re each progressing towards our Top 5 goals. The more metrics we can talk about, the better (e.g. we have cut our decreased our consulting costs by 20% this week).
- We’ll then each discuss any issues/roadblocks you might have.
These meetings should not run longer than 30 minutes max. 15 minutes would be preferable.
The benefit to having all of this focus is that we’re no longer all over the place and every individual is contributing to our big goals. This also fosters communication and eliminates a lot of confusion. Plus, it also creates a simple way for employees to reach bonuses if goals are met. What does this all mean in the end? Business growth.
I’ve always had this notion that all that really matters in business is driving growth. If you have growth, everything else will take care of itself. I felt that I could leave things like finances/accounting to the math whizzes but I’m starting to realize that that could be a fatal mistake.
There’s always been this dreadful feeling when I neglected things such as profit margin, operating costs, etc. Not to say that I didn’t pay attention at all, I just wasn’t 100% focused on those numbers. I think the best way to describe this feeling would be the ‘You’re fucked’ feeling.
It’s a feeling that tends to stick with you even when things are going up and to the right. Then you shift your attention to underlying issues such as:
- Not knowing what your customer lifetime value really is
- Not knowing what your true profit margins are
- Spending money like water
It wasn’t until today that I read a post mortem on Ecomom that I realized everyone should make a conscious effort to keep finances in their crosshairs 100% of the time – even if it’s not their main responsibility. For those that don’t know, Ecomom was a company that was doing $1m in revenue before things started imploding due to poor financial management. The founder ended up committing suicide – really tragic story
Take some time to read this if you don’t pay a lot of attention to finances. It’ll wake you up:
It sounds boring and it’s easy to neglect, but take the time to educate yourself on these things. If you’re in bed, do yourself a favor and download the Khan Academy app and educate yourself on basic finances/accounting. If you run a SaaS business, metrics are super important, so check out blogs such as David Skok’s to educate yourself on important SaaS metrics. These are both free resources and they’ll at least put you on the right path to save you from possible destruction.
The last thing you want is to realize last minute that all the perceived growth you had was a pile of bullshit. By then it’ll be too late.
2013 is shaping up to be a great year for video. YouTube is clearly making more of an effort to become more social. Monthly video consumption has risen by 50% and video advertising platforms like Brightroll are seeing their revenues climb because more companies are jumping into the video ad game.
Let’s look at some mind blowing YouTube statistics to see just how much growth the world of video is experiencing. I know YouTube doesn’t represent all the videos on the internet but it is the most well known so we’ll go with that.
- 3 billion hours of video are watched each month (up from 2 billion)
- Over 800 million unique visits to YouTube each month
- 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
- 1 trillion views in 2011.
- 600 million views from mobile devices per day.
- 500 years of YouTube video are viewed on Facebook every day. 700 YouTube videos are shared each minute on Twitter.
- 98 of AdAge’s Top 100 advertisers have run campaigns on YouTube and the Google Display Network.
I decided that it was worth it to give YouTube advertising a shot awhile back and the results thus far have been incredible. Advertising on YouTube requires people to use Google AdWords so if you’re already familiar with that platform, you won’t have much trouble adapting to it.
Here are some key points:
1. Low Cost Per Views
Similar to a cost per click, a cost per view is when someone decides to view your ad. One key benefit here is that if you’re running an in-stream (preroll) ad, you won’t be charged for the view unless the viewer watches the whole ad or 30 seconds of the ad – whichever comes first. For reference, preroll ads on Youtube performed the best when I was testing it out and the cost per acquisition numbers were amazing.
2. Transparent Tracking
Some of the video advertising platforms leave a lot to be desired in terms of tracking and reporting. You don’t have to worry about that since Google provides you with a plethora of data and is continually improving their interface. Video advertising is still in its early stages and to be honest, YouTube advertising still has a ways to go before it matches up with the current Google AdWords interface. It’s still a lot better than the other stuff that’s out there now.
3. Flexible Bidding
Whether it’s YouTube search keywords, preroll ads or sidebar ads, Google gives you full control on how much you’d like to bid on different formats.
4. More Targeting Capabilities
The Google Display network reaches over 80% of internet users worldwide and Google understands that it’s in their best interests to give you a wide variety of targeting options. So far, I haven’t seen any other platform provide this degree of targeting. If you’re just starting out with video advertising, I recommend you select two different targeting groups so you a more focused campaign aka you are not burning too much money. An example would be targeting ‘Web Designer & Web Developer’ topics and then picking out a list of web design/web development related keywords to advertise on.
There’s a big of digging you have to do in Google AdWords to truly take advantage of all the features but once you play around, you’ll be fine. The results I got from YouTube were phenomenal. Take a look:
- The average cost per view is $.07. This is like how Google AdWords was when it first came out. It’s VERY tough to find clicks this cheap nowadays. Especially highly relevant clicks.
- The cost per acquisition(CPA) was $27.80. The target CPA was $60. Insane.
- We achieved tremendous results with an impression share under 10%. That means there’s still a lot more people we can expose our brand to.
- We paid about $.65 per website click. Icing on the cake.
I mainly outlined YouTube in this post because it is the biggest video platform and because I tested its advertising platform first. The success of YouTube ads has left me pretty optimistic about the possibilities with other platforms.
If you haven’t tried video advertising yet, I recommend you giving it a shot. It might take more resources initially, but you just might be surprised with the results you get.
Image Source: Rego – d4u.hu
I’ve been noticing a lot of noise in the startup ecosystem recently and I’ve seen enough to the point where it’s worth writing about it.
Working for a startup can be one of the most exciting things you do. The lessons you learn from working at a startup are no doubt invaluable and will help you as your career grows. You pour tons of blood, sweat and tears into building an exciting product that you think has a shot at changing the world. Most fail, but that doesn’t matter to you because you’re a gambler.
Startups are great but I’m starting to see some recurring themes that are dragging down the culture of getting shit done. A lot of people think startups are the cool thing to do so they want to be part of it. The problem is that there’s just too much dilly dallying and not enough doing. I call all this nonsense ‘being caught up in startup hype’.
Startup hype = recurring themes in the startup ecosystem that look like they will help you reach overall goals but in reality don’t.
Here are some examples to avoid:
1. People that give unsolicited advice with zero experience
People will read articles on Hacker News and then go around spewing advice as if they have executed on these strategies on their own. Then when you sit back and think about their relevant experience, you’ll realize they have none. Wtf? Never take advice from someone who hasn’t done it. Unless you want to look stupid of course.
2. Too much networking
You’ll have the occasional person that attends literally every single networking event and yet doesn’t do much real work. They totally miss the point of networking by trying to collect as many ‘contacts’ as they can by moving on from individual to individual until there’s no one else to whore their business card out to.
What is the real purpose of networking anyway? It’s to help other people. What value is there in going out to every networking event when you bring no value to others? The goal should be to help others first and in order to do that, you need to have a skill that enables you to do so . Instead of focusing on building a rolodex of contacts, focus on building great relationships through the value that you provide.
3. Excessive celebration
When you hit goals, that’s fantastic. Celebrate with your teammates, give some high fives and then get back to work. Fast. Talking about how great you are all the time just leads to complacency. You work at a startup and shit is bound to hit the fan. That’s why having a somewhat cynical view of everything helps because it keeps you grounded. Staying grounded allows you to stay focused on shipping. Celebrating =/= shipping.
Shipping ain’t sexy, but it pays the bills.
Working for a startup is a wonderful thing. Amidst all the uncertainty, painful moments and late nights lies the understanding that succeeding means you are moving the needle on something that you enjoy doing. It’s hard work and your company needs your skills to bring it to the promised land. Don’t screw it up by being distracted by all the startup hype.
Once a startup reaches product/market fit, it’s time to scale like hell. You want to be running at maximum efficiency when you’re optimizing for growth so I’m going to point out some of the growth roadblocks I’ve seen after working with various businesses.
Here are 4 mistakes that will stunt your growth:
1. Too Much ‘Gut Feeling’
“‘Gut feeling’ is not useful because most people can’t predict correctly. – Chamath Palipatiyta, VP of Growth at Facebook”
I’m not saying that there isn’t any room for gut feeling. Startups are built off of gut feeling. But once you’ve reached a certain point, especially product/market fit, it’s a wise choice to start using the data to help you make big decisions. Instead of spending days arguing a point with a colleague, you can let the data talk.
At Treehouse, we wanted to figure out how to get more people to click the ‘Plans & Signup’ page from our ‘Library’ page. We added a green ‘Sign Up’ button to our navigation bar. Here’s what it looked like:
This test resulted in a 168% increase in conversion rate.
No arguments. No ego. No bullshit. Just systematic testing.
Tip: if you want to learn how to test properly, there’s a good guide from SEOgadget right here.
The best part about this is that if someone comes to you with a seemingly stupid idea and the test fails, they’ll know to come back to you with a better researched hypothesis the next time.
Key takeaway: use the data to help you make key decisions and to invalidate poor ideas.
Tip #2: if you want to see just how bad your ‘gut feeling’ radar really is, just go here and run through 10 tests to see how many you get right. It sure brought me back down to earth.
2. Knee Jerk Reactions To Everything
I’m consistently exposed to the shiniest new ad platform or marketing tool and I’ll be the first to admit that I want to test everything out to see what’s effective and what isn’t. While it is important to test everything, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t drown yourself with all the new marketing hotness.
Definitely consider spending a small amount of time and budget trying out new things but avoid having a knee jerk reaction to test out every shiny new object. This also means you need to have the courage to say ‘no’ to executives even when they think they have a slam dunk idea. You have priorities and you set them for a reason.
Key takeaway: test new things but devote most of your time into things that are already working. A rule of thumb I use is 80% of time spent on what’s already working vs. 20% of time spent on new initiatives.
3. Siloing Marketing Channels
Whether it be PPC, SEO, social media, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing or something else, it’s important to understand that all marketing channels assist each other in some way. For example, data collected from PPC could be helpful for future SEO campaigns and conversion data from both channels can help spark some ideas for content or additional campaigns.
Here’s a good way to think about events leading up to a conversion:
Instead of siloing your marketing channels where your specialists work in different teams with little to no communication, everyone needs to understand that treating your marketing channels as a team rather than a individual sport will lead to a bigger overall lift in conversions.
Another key point is that startups typically have 6-18 months of runway, so it’s important to quickly figure out which channels have promise, test them, eliminate the failures, and start scaling the channels that work.
At Treehouse, we knew that organic (SEO) traffic converted well for us and we wanted to invest more into it. At the same time, our paid, social, e-mail, content marketing and affiliate channels were all severely lacking. If we invested all our time into SEO without paying attention to other channels, we’d be missing out on a lot of signups.
Key takeaway: your marketing channels are a team. Strengthen them collectively based on the insights you collect from each channel.
4. Not Sticking It Out
I’ve seen far too many cases where people say things like ‘SEO doesn’t work for us… it’s a scam!’ or ‘PPC will never work for us… we tried it and the clicks were just too expensive’. Upon reviewing these businesses, I’ll find out that the top reason that a marketing initiative ‘will never work’ is just because the company didn’t invest enough time.
The problem is that most people want to see quick short term wins. Everybody talks about the long term except most people lack the discipline to be patient and methodical about growth. Continually pursuing short term wins will lead to long term losses.
At Treehouse, our SEO efforts didn’t really start paying off until 5-6 months later. We didn’t start seeing strong PPC results until 2-3 months later. That’s an enormous chunk of time for a startup but we pulled through because we understand that good things take time to develop.
There will be times when you’ve invested adequate resources and time into a campaign that seems destined to fail. That’s fine. Shut it down and move on to something else. You can try to revive the campaign at a later date.
Key takeaway: persistence wins out almost every time.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to identify these mistakes in the future before they snowball into a disaster. Be patient, choose your battles wisely, use the data to help you and test away. Rinse and repeat.
Image source: kewl
Succeeding at anything in life takes both time and effort. That’s given. But if the answer is so obvious, why do so many people struggle? Why aren’t more people doing what they love while earning a great living at the same time?
Because it’s hard to break out of your routine. It’s hard to get started.
One thing I’ve learned is that when a task seems daunting, it helps to break it down into bite-sized pieces. For example, when I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is work out. The problem is my lizard brain wants me to just stay in bed and hide from the cold.
My lizard brain does everything it can to make excuses:
- “It’s too cold.”
- “Shouldn’t we eat breakfast first?”
- “You’re going to be exhausted, how can you start work after?”
My run usually takes about 30 minutes so it’s easy to just give in and lie in bed. The key here is to tell myself that the goal is to just take the first step. I’m not going for a 30 minute run – I’m just going to take one step.
This technique comes from Standford professor BJ Fogg, who has a free program aimed at helping people develop ‘tiny habits’. These ‘tiny habits’ are basically aimed at conditioning you to take that very first step.
Think about approaching flossing as ‘just flossing one tooth’ or reading as ‘just reading one page’. The most important step is getting started.
After you take the first step for anything, there will be a snowball effect and you’ll develop that ‘tiny habit’ into a regular habit.
The same goes for business:
- Start small.
- Take baby steps.
- Fail. A lot.
- Keep failing until you find success.
- Rinse and repeat.
Now apply this to other things in your life. All you need is one key takeaway per blog post. All you need is one good contact per networking event.
If you can get multiple takeaways from an article or multiple contacts from each networking event, great! But don’t set your goals so high that they become daunting to you. Start with one and let the momentum roll.
The key is that you start small so it doesn’t feel too daunting to get started. If it’s too daunting, your lizard brain will find excuses to put things off.
I like Mark Cuban’s explanation of business success:
In basketball you have to shoot 50pct. If you make an extra 10 shots per hundred, you are an All-Star. In baseball you have to get a hit 30 pct of the time. If you get an extra 10 hits per hundred at bats, you are on the cover of every magazine, lead off every SportsCenter and make the Hall of Fame.
In Business, the odds are a little different. You don’t have to break the Mendoza line (hitting .200). In fact, it doesnt matter how many times you strike out. In business, to be a success, you only have to be right once.
One single solitary time and you are set for life. That’s the beauty of the business world. – Mark Cuban
It all starts at one, so make sure you start with the all important first step.
Image Source: Finding extraordinary success and fulfilment
Earlier last week, I had a call on Clarity with Will Lam and he asked me a great question: “What are the key takeaways you would give to someone that is trying to grow their startup?”. I thought I would write out the answer in this blog post for everyone to read. Keep in mind that these are traits that I’ve either developed through experience or picked up from other startup marketers.
1. 80/20 rule from Noah Kagan
Appsumo’s founder, Noah Kagan, notes that one rule of thumb that they follow is to use 80% of their marketing budget for things that are working and 20% on newer marketing initiatives. One more thing: they go all in when they find marketing channels that work. You can watch one of his presentations where he shares his experiences of growing Mint, Facebook, and AppSumo here.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate
At Treehouse, we work remotely and as you might imagine. There are some that think there is no replacement to working in person while others support it. For us, we’re half and half – we have an office in Orlando and we also have a team up in Portland. The rest of us are distributed. But hey, it works because we communicate a lot.
If you don’t feel like you are running enough A/B tests, speak up about it. If you feel like the team needs more developers, speak up. If you feel like an executive decision is going to cost the company money in the long run, talk. People might not always agree with you but it’s your job to communicate.
You’re doing the company a disservice if you aren’t being honest.
To get you started, here are some tools we use to communicate:
- Google Chat
- Google Hangout
- GoToMeeting – we use GoToMeeting for our leadership meetings. It’s very simple to use and the video quality is pretty good.
- 10 Useful Findings About How People Use Websites – ConversionXL
- 5 Landing Page Conversion Killers – Unbounce
- The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization – SEOmoz
3. Be a voracious reader
Although there’s a lot of crappy content circulating the internet, there’s always going to be someone you can learn from. The key is being able to discern signal from noise. For example, if I’m looking to learn more on conversion rate optimization, there are great blogs such as Unbounce, ConversionXL, KISSmetrics, SEOmoz, and more. Just look at the detailed blog posts that they write:
If your goal is to squeeze every penny out of your website, you should be reading conversion rate optimization articles like the ones above. They cost no money to read and stand to help create original ideas that will eventually create more profit for you. This applies to any topic you’re interested in.
Using the right tools can go a long way in helping you save time. If you’re on the go and don’t have time to read, you can use Pocket. To help you find relevant topics/articles via Twitter, you can grab curated lists using Listorious. Finally, I like picking off interesting topics from Inbound.org or Hacker News.
Key takeaway: don’t read every single blog out there. Find the ones that actually add value and follow them.
4. Never assume you know everything
They say two years in the tech world is like ten regular years. Things move very quickly so it’s important to stay grounded, even if you’re doing well. What worked two years ago might not be effective today. For example, if you wanted to rank well in Google for certain keywords in 2008, all you had to do was spam forum links with exact match anchor text. Doing that today would get you torched by Google.
Be willing to adapt and be humble. It’ll take you a long way.
5. Be willing to listen to other people
People will often have opinions or ideas on how to help drive growth for the company. Listen to them. Sure, they might not have the hands on experience that you have it comes to marketing but it doesn’t mean they don’t have good ideas. Marketing/growth is a company wide initiative and everyone should be participating.
I’m not saying that you have to take action on everything others tell you, but listen closely and try to discern the signal from the noise.
6. Test everything
We live in a world today where you no longer have to be afraid of challenging executives when you think something is wrong. If you feel strongly that something should be a certain way, all you need to do is fire up an A/B test and have the two variations duke it out. The data decides the winner.
And if you are the executive and someone comes up to you with a seemingly stupid idea that you think will never work? Test it. And if their test goes to shit, then they’ll know to come back to you next time better prepared. That’s what makes data great.
Don’t know what to test? Look for case studies such as this one to get ideas. Then gather feedback/data from your customers and decide on which elements you should be testing and do it.
Don’t waste your time trying to outsmart your peers on why your idea is superior. Just shut up and test.
7. Talk to others
Talk to others. A lot.
I make it a habit to talk with other Chief Marketing Officers/VP of Marketing/Growth Hackers because they share valuable experiences that might help my company grow. In return, I do the same so the relationship is mutually beneficial.
If you’re starting from scratch and need a way to talk to these people, Clarity is a great way to do so. You can connect with some of the world’s brightest minds not only in just marketing, but in other areas such as angel investing.
Another method is to read a lot and reach out to authors who have written articles that are truly remarkable. These are the articles that make you go ‘wow, this guy really knows what he’s talking about and I could probably learn a lot from him’. If you get that reaction, then it’s worth it to shoot them a tweet or even e-mail them. I used this method to find my present day mentor, who has helped accelerate my growth considerably.
The key is to keep reaching out to people – you never know which relationship might sprout into something very powerful so you just need to keep at it.
So there you have it, 7 helpful tips to help you get better at customer acquisition. In most cases, these tips not only apply to marketing, but to life in general. I’m confident that if you optimize in these areas, you’ll be significantly more effective at everything you do.
Image via Pixabay.com
Whenever we hear about companies reaching hockeystick-like growth, the first thing a lot of people wonder about is how they got there. Having a great product is a mandatory step but that’s not all. After you’ve reached product/market fit, it’s time to scale. A large part of scaling is adding fuel to your growth channels; and that means having a strong marketing/growth team. That’s not all though – the team should be able to tolerate more risk than other teams in the company.
And if you’re a leader on a startup growth/marketing team, it’s even riskier. I’ll let growth expert Sean Ellis speak to that:
Based on anecdotal evidence, I’d guess that 90% of startup marketing leaders don’t work out. This corresponds to the overwhelming majority of startups falling short of expectations of founders and early investors. When a startup falls short of expectations, the startup marketing leader is the first to go. Even those fortunate enough to gain early user traction still face the uphill battle of finding cost effective ways to acquire users at scale. And if they do succeed, then startups are often tempted to hire a “next level marketer” to replace them.
A successful startup marketing leader must be undaunted by these risks and believe they uniquely have what it takes to succeed. That sounds a lot like the profile of most startup founders. So it’s not surprising that the best startup marketers are entrepreneurs at the core. Entrepreneurs are willing to take the risk and are generally tenacious enough to uncover the channels necessary to drive long-term growth.
tl;dr: it’s risky as hell to be on a startup growth team. Especially if you’re the leader.
If you don’t hit numbers, you’re out. Easy as that. The growth team is most directly responsible for bringing in more customers and increasing revenue. If things aren’t going right, it’s the most convenient to point the fingers that way.
Is it fair? No.
But life’s not fair.
The Solution To Becoming More Risk Tolerant
Ellis has established that startup marketers should be entrepreneurial. But how do you do that?
First, they understand that startup success looks like this:
Having the understanding that there’s nothing shameful about failing often allows more things to be done. Entrepreneurs understand that not taking risks is inherently risky in itself. All they care about are results.
Entrepreneurial minded people also understand that they don’t need to be smarter than people to win; it just takes a bunch of hard work to succeed.
Just look at Elon Musk, an entrepreneur that literally bet all his chips when he could have just walked away with riches that he accumulated. After having success with PayPal, he started electric car company Tesla and space exploration company SpaceX. This is the level of risk tolerance you want to strive for if you’re on a startup growth team.
How To Become Entrepreneurial
Start by consuming a lot of startup related content. A lot of it.
The resources below will help paint a clear picture into lives of entrepreneurs, what their mindsets are, how they handle difficult moments, and much more. Although the personalities might be different, you’ll come to find that there are a few unique characteristics they all embody.
- Ycombinator’s Startup School – this is a Youtube channel that allows you to view recorded interviews with successful startup entrepreneurs. You’ll see notables such as Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook.
- This Week In Startups – Jason Calacanis’ weekly startup show where he interviews entrepreneurs.
- The Foundation – Kevin Rose’s show where he interviews entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk.
- Quora – Quora provides a wealth of useful nuggets especially because it’s a startup and many entrepreneurs are actively engaging and participating in discussion. Here’s a thread on the most inspiring entrepreneurial stories.
Autobiographies, such as Steve Jobs, go into detail about specific challenges that entrepreneurs face and how they deal with them. You’re going to face difficult situations so it’s helpful to have some insight as to how successful entrepreneurs dealt with tough challenges.
Business/motivational books also help a lot. Here are some recommendations:
- Delivering Happiness
- Tribal Leadership
- Good to Great
- How To Win Friends And Influence People
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- The Ultimate Sales Machine
- 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
The major traits that are seen in entrepreneurs are persistence, focus, networking, risk tolerance, and the desire to make a positive impact around them.
Keep in mind that reading is just the beginning. Remember, these resources are there to help mold your mind into that of an entrepreneurs.
After that, go out there and experiment. You should (hopefully) be a little more risk adverse and vocal about what you think is right. The best way (I’ve found) to gain experience is to work on little projects.
For example, creating a hobby site allows you to learn about which CMS is ideal for you, what plugins are effective, keyword research, blogger outreach, and the other nuances of running a website. Or if you’re looking for freelance work, you can offer your skills pro bono to people around your community to start getting the word out. All that matters is that you start somewhere.
Eventually, all the little experiments that you test will help you become bolder when it comes time to take risks. After all, there’s no one holding you back from making decisions so it’s up to you to push the limits.
Sure, driving growth is fun and you’re a superstar if you can help put the pedal on customer acquisition and revenues, but you better be patient and have really thick skin.
Once you’ve acquired that entrepreneurial mindset, you’ll be better equipped to handle the ups and downs of startup life.
I recently decided to make the jump from a regular desk to a standing desk. Not just any standing desk though, it had to be adjustable. I just couldn’t picture myself standing all day and I’m glad I made the call to go with Updesk.
P.S. let’s also not forget that recent studies show that sitting can increase your chances of death. I don’t want to die, yet.
Here’s what it looks like:
Honestly, I think the orange color was the deciding factor between Updesk and Geekdesk. I’ve used both and they both get the job done! Just a color preference.
After using the desk for the week, I can say that I’m probably never going back to a regular desk again. Ever.
Why? Here are some of the benefits:
Being able to not have to worry about feeling like crap in a chair let’s me focus on important work. I tend to knock things out a more efficient pace.
Standing up keeps me more alert. There’s no time to slouch in my seat and get lazy. Sometimes I’ll be listening to music and I can even start DANCING! Ah the hidden benefits of a standing desk
If I ever get tired, I can go back into sitting mode or even take a walk for a few minutes just for a nice change of pace. This is especially helpful if I get annoyed by a particular problem or just need to blow off some steam.
All in all, totally worth the money spent. The hip look is also an added plus. Highly recommended to anyone I’m not affiliated with Updesk by the way.
I recently read a tweet from Morgan Missen, who is a lead talent recruiter gone entrepreneur. I thought it was interesting and felt compelled to write my thoughts on cold contacting people.
Sending a cold email is not hustling, in fact it’s kind of the opposite of hustling.
— Morgan Missen (@mm) July 3, 2012
First, let’s look at what the dictionary defines hustle as:
To sell or promote energetically or aggressively.
Example: hustling a new product.
Now let’s look at what Urban Dictionary defines hustle as:
Anythin you need to do to make money… be it sellin cars, drugs, ya body. If you makin money, you hustlin.
Example: I been workin two jobs, tryna stay on my hustle and make this money, na mean?
Learning how to hustle simply means doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals. It means being stubborn as hell and picking yourself back up after each rejection. I can say from firsthand experience that sending out cold e-mails and doing cold-calls has helped me develop relationships that I never thought were possible.
Let me repeat that. Relationships. That means they weren’t totally transactional.
For cold e-mail to be a successful hustle, you need to make sure that you understand the problems of the person you’re calling. No one gives a crap about what you have to sell to them. They care that you are a.) listening to them and b.) have a solution. That’s the only way the dialogue has any hope of continuing. And after you sign the contract, the hustle doesn’t end. You hustle even more by going out of your way to do more than what was promised. Then when you actually deliver results, you’ll have a new champion that will go around telling everyone about how great you are. At that point, your hustle evolves into marketing on its own.
Some of my strongest relationships have been started through cold contacting people. Give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen anyway?