The culture punishes people by reminding us that we’re falling behind. The camera focuses on the person who is winning the race instead of the one who is trying harder than ever before. The bank sends the dunning notice to the person behind on their rent and the lousy grades go to the student who hands in a paper a day late.
Fear of falling behind is a good way to enforce compliance.
But it turns out that real progress comes not from measuring ourselves against everyone else’s pace, but in building habits. And habits come from streaks.
You’re almost certainly never going to win a 26-mile marathon, but if you train every day, you’ll finish one.
In building the Akimbo workshops (like The Marketing Seminar, which is open for enrollment right now), we’re committed to creating a learning system where you don’t have to feel like you’re falling behind–at the very same time we’re making it likely that you’ll embrace the posture of seeking a streak. Show up every day. Do the work, return tomorrow.
Drip by drip, day by day. Habits lead to commitments and commitments create learning.
A culture of streaks can’t help but be mutually supportive. If there’s no behind, then there’s no ahead. But if we’re supporting each other in building new habits, we discover that opening the door for someone else also benefits us as well.
If you invest in an education, you expect it to pay off in a decade.
Invest in a buy and hold investment, and you probably expect a return within a year.
Day trade bitcoin and you might be measuring your return over the course of an hour.
if you wanted to make a long-term impact on a growing country like India, what would you do?
One choice is to invest in the endless emergency of poverty, and help people who need help right this second. This is important and lifesaving work.
Another choice is to put some money into a fast-growing company that’s about to go public.
And a third option is to invest in an organization that’s bringing off-grid solar to isolated villages.
In the third case, it’s possible that your investment won’t pay off for twenty years. But during those two decades, you’ll notice that a little energy leads to enough productivity to create demand and income that can pay for a little more energy. Home by home, village by village, your small investment begins to compound, because it changes the culture and the tools and the expectations that people have about what’s next.
A day trader would never take this bet. But a day trader rarely makes an impact.
That’s the work. Not to run ads, not to sell crap, not to invent hoopla.
Marketing makes change. If you’re not proud of the change you’re making, do something else.
It turns out that smart marketing is significantly more effective than the other kind. It turns out that showing up with the right work for the right people in the right way is a powerful tool in making change happen.
The other kind of marketing gets a bad rap, and that’s well deserved.
But real marketing, the marketing that makes things better by making better things–that’s what we need more of.
As you might have guessed, it’s time for The Marketing Seminar. We’ve run this live digital workshop eight times already. More than 8,000 people in fifty countries have been transformed by this proven group workshop. We only run it a few times a year. Your boss will pay for it. You’ll work hard and you’ll get back far more than you put into it. The typical student gives and gets more than 500 pieces of feedback in just the first month. (Click the purple circle to save on tuition).
The seminar also has a #1 bestselling book, if that’s more your speed. And a video-only course. Do what works for you.
We keep doing it because it works. This time it’s your turn. I hope you’ll take a leap and join us.
The following idea is endorsed by all of these people:
None of them exist.
They’re constructs, built by an algorithm. Rights released, happy and smiling, but no one in particular.
Fifty years ago, you couldn’t trust the endorsements in direct marketing ads for lousy products:
“A miracle!” …Bob
Because you knew there wasn’t really a Bob.
Twenty-three years ago, when I created a book with the Weekly World News (yes, this is true), I visited their tiny office in Florida. It consisted of three people and a filing cabinet. Inside the cabinet were pictures of 400 people (mostly friends and former friends of the three editors) that would be cut and pasted in the WWN any time they needed a picture of an expert, a citizen or both. They weren’t news and they weren’t the world, but they were weekly.
I knew that the Weekly World News was low-brow chicanery, but I have a hunch that not everyone did.
In 2019, and perhaps forever, we’re now at a new level, one where the polish of photography or video is no longer any clue at all about the provenance of what we’re encountering.
I don’t think we have any clue about how disruptive this shift is going to be.
Even the real celebrities we purport to trust (“influencers” deliberately in quotes) are easily bought. It used to be only Rula Lenska who we doubted.
There are people and organizations that are racing to break the fabric of community that we all depend on. Either to make a short-term profit or to atomize/vaporize widespread trust to hide from accountability and to slow change.
Like all shifts, there will be a counter-shift. But keep your eyes open, because the rules are clearly changing. Remaining trusted and consistent will become ever more valuable as it becomes more scarce. A resolution to be in higher-resolution for those you seek to serve.
In the meantime, it’s worth confirming the source before you believe what you see.
Apart <—> Connected
Hierarchy <—> Lattice
Them <—> Us
Winning <—> Interacting
Brittle <—> Flexible
Just in time <—> Slack
Excluded <—> Included
Willful <—> Perceptive
Fearful <—> Honest
Static <—> Bandwidth
Facts <—> Stories
Barriers <—> Bridges
Final <—> First
Shadows <—> Light
Consumption <—> Sustainability
Retribution <—> Justice
Once <—> Again
Resilient systems are far more effective and efficient. It’s easier to paddle a canoe on a calm lake, and the interactions and stability that come from predictable systems more than pay for the extraordinary effort needed to build and maintain them.