Category Archives: Motivational
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote that “It’s more important to outthink your enemy than outfight him.” Even after 2,500 years, this maxim is still so universal and relevant.
Sun Tzu warns against waging war without a strategy or understanding what your ultimate goal is. Tactics are not strategy. In the business world it’s common for people to confuse the two, because engaging in tactics makes it appear as if you have strategy, even when you don’t. The best leaders must first understand what their goal is and then work to develop unique tactics that will help you achieve that goal. But they must also be prepared to change that goal, then employ new tactics to achieve it.
Here are some strategies to employ to outthink your competitors:
Search for unique marketing arbitrage opportunities: In the early days, Google search ads were very cheap and drove high-quality traffic to ecommerce sites effectively. Today mobile advertising is still relatively cheap and can be used in a similar fashion, but it’s getting more expensive. Street teams and guerrilla marketing have proven cost effective for many new soft drink brands such as Red Bull. Lots of companies employ technology evangelists, whose job is to attend hackathons and meetups to promote tools to programmers.
Find lower-cost suppliers: This is what drove most manufacturing out of the U.S. to far flung regions of the world. It also drove technology companies to outsource engineering resources to Asia or Eastern Europe. Ikea actually pioneered this approach by moving manufacturing from Sweden to Poland, which was at the time a communist country and difficult for westerners to operate in. There are still opportunities to be had by finding low-cost suppliers, if you’re willing to put in the time, effort and energy to find them.
Take risks with your brand: Use spokespeople or content that other more conservative brands won’t use. Fiat has done this successfully by using Charlie Sheen, who was fired from his own show for unprofessional behavior, as a spokesperson. Virgin brands are well known for using unique, creative and outrageous marketing techniques. Its chairman, Richard Branson, once tried to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon. He was unsuccessful at the journey, but extremely successful at generating PR for his company.
Seek out and solve big challenges: Look explicitly for hard problems or difficult-to-employ strategies that others are avoiding and master them. Before Apple, everyone in the industry believed that a touchscreen only device was impossible to make. When the iPhone came out, it was revolutionary. A blog where one posts only 140 characters at a time sounds like a ridiculous idea, but that’s exactly what Twitter is. In many organizations there are systems, departments, technology or partners that people avoid because it’s viewed as difficult. Take on these challenges, master them and you will become an invaluable and unduplicated resources.
Study your competition, carefully evaluate yourself and be honest. It’s only through truth and self awareness, combined with a careful analysis of the situation, that you will find your path to success.
Shout out and hugs to Gregory Kennedy for well
The first step to becoming more successful is changing the way you think about failure.
Failure is painful, right?
Not for successful people. The most successful people in every field don’t consider failure to be a particularly painful experience–because they think about it differently.
Successful people transcend failure because their self-esteem, rather than depending on whether they win or lose, is based upon their own sense of value.
Rather than taking failure seriously, they develop beliefs that allow them to capitalize upon negative feedback and turn it to their advantage.
Rules to Live By
Therefore, if you’re really committed to being successful, you’ll mothball that “failure=pain” nonsense. Instead, instead adopt some (or all) of the following beliefs:
1. Failure renews my humility, sharpens my objectivity, and makes me more resilient.
2. I take the challenge seriously, but I do not take myself too seriously.
3. If the more I fail, the more I succeed, then failure is a part of the process of achieving my objectives.
4. Failure is temporary when I use it as an opportunity to try new ideas.
5. I learn more from failure than success.
6. Negative feedback is information that helps me correct my course so that I stay on target.
7. I am paid for the number of times I fail.
8. My self-esteem is not based on the reactions of others, but by my own sense of virtue.
9. The unkindness of others reminds me that I need to be kind to myself.
10. It takes courage to fail–because nobody ever got ahead without taking risks.
Love and Peace to Art Mortell.