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#130: Wanting to Grow Your Business? Give More than You Take.
Sustained growth happens when you give more than you take over an extended period of time. If you’re trying to grow a blog, podcast, or social media channel, my best advice is to offer more value in the information you provide than the time it takes for your readers to consume your content.
If you’re trying to grow a business, my best advice is to offer more value in your product or service than the price that you are asking for your product or service. But also remember, offering value is needed far in advance of the actual “ask”. Trust is built over time–years, not in days.
[Sidenote: I built an audience by writing free weekly content on my blog for six years before offering coaching and consulting services, and waited another four years before asking people to buy a book from me. Listen to this podcast to hear more on that.]
If your business isn’t growing as fast as you would like, or are seeing a slump in sales, I would start with being honest with yourself in this area. Are you truly giving more than you are taking from your audience? This advantage can be found in perceived value (placebos, etc.) or actual value.
* With your product, does the price tag honestly represent the features and benefits that consumers will experience? With your service, are there ways that you can have an advantage in the marketplace by giving above and beyond what is expected?
* What hidden value(s) does your product or service have that can be marketed to the consumer?
* Does the offer you came up with years ago still attract new customers, or should you change things up a bit?
* Can you give up anything in short-term gain to gain more over the long-term?
This principle may seem backwards, but today’s economy respects generosity, even if it doesn’t feel like it some days. When you offer a value proposition that clearly states your priority of keeping the consumer first by giving more than you take, you’ll eventually find what you are looking for.
#129: Depression Is the Worst, but It Does Happen
I had a season where I dealt with depression and I have to say that it was the worst thing I have ever been through. It’s dark, it can feel very lonely, and it tries to steal the life out of everything good in the world. The only way that I beat it was to consume everything positive that I could get my hands on and to shut out all negativity. It was the most intentional I have ever been about something in my life, but it was necessary to begin seeing the world as I once knew it. The process took about six months, but was well worth the time and effort.
Of course, everyone’s experience and dealing with depression is different, but I did find that there are proven ways to mitigate the pain. And my own findings recently helped me in giving advice to a friend of mine who has been dealing with a deep depression for about four years.
He moved to another country trying to find happiness with no success. Now he is on antidepressants and is seeing a therapist to hopefully ease his internal struggle. I will say that his dealing with depression seems to be more extreme than my own dealings, as he is at the point of not being able to make himself do almost anything, but the common underlying theme for everyone who experiences depression is the same: the life we are experiencing has stopped meeting our expectations.
So what are the top seven fixes that we should attempt in order to rid ourselves from depression symptoms:
* Pay close attention to your diet. More than likely there’s an imbalance. When we fix our energy levels, the world begins to look brighter, and we can do this through our food intake.
* Take supplements that include fish oil, vitamin d3, and b vitamin.
* Start exercising if you aren’t already or increase your levels of activity. This one thing helped me, and my friend also said that it has helped him to start feeling better.
* I also recommend meditation as it allows you to become more in tune with your body and helps bring a greater understanding of your current state.
* Have realistic expectations. Much of depression is rooted in not meeting the unrealistic high expectations we have placed on ourselves. Yes, we should be setting goals—that can get us moving in the right direction—but not meeting too high of expectations only increases the negative voice inside our heads.
* Cut out all negativity that you can identify and begin replacing it with positivity. The people around you and the environment that you find yourself in can deeply influence the way you see the world. If you are constantly around fun people, it’s difficult not to eventually crack a smile.
* And last, create a list of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Thankfulness is one thing that can instantly change your perspective.
Remember, you are the one who is in charge of the way you see the world. It’s not easy to change or to fix depression, but you are the one who freely chooses to see the world in the way you want to see it. It’s up to you to change.
*Disclaimer: Please contact a medical physician if experiencing depression symptoms. Not mentioned in this episode is the possibility of a chemical imbalance or need for medication.
#128: Let’s Think About Social Media
Social media. It’s something that can consume us if we’re not careful. Lately I’ve noticed that many people who I consider successful aren’t on social media as much as I am–Cal Newport, Seth Godin, Greg McKeown, and many more–and this has me thinking a lot about how I use it. I think I’ve gotten caught up in the habit of using it merely for promotion of some sort or maybe the idea that “people buy you before they buy the product”, but if the product is good, word of mouth is the marketing that takes over.
Since the first episode of my other podcast, “Ideas”, I have been thinking about Seth Godin’s question that he raises—“What is it for?”. That’s the question he asks often, and it’s one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. “What is it for?” Or, why do you do what you do? It’s an interesting question, because motives matter. Are you doing what you do because you want some sort of attention or do you want to leave an impact? This idea of “look at me” can only appeal for so long, because it will only leave you empty. At the end of the day, you need a reason to do the things you do—that’s called living life with purpose, and that’s what this podcast is all about. So, my question to you as it pertains to social media is, “What do you use social media for?” Is it to connect? Is it to keep up with other people? Is it to sell? Or, is it to flaunt?
In an episode of “Ideas”, where I talk to Cal Newport, he said he doesn’t use social media because to might equate to 500-1,000 more book sales, and that just isn’t enough for him to sign up for this time waster. When I talked to Seth Godin, he believed that signing up for social media would take him away from producing more important work. And when I recently talked with Greg McKeown, we agreed that in order for me to produce more important work, it would make most sense for me to give up social media.
Now, I’m not saying that you should give up social media, because we all have different goals with our work. What I am saying that you should at least give thought to the work you are producing and if you are using your time in the best possible way to create the things that you truly believe will make the impact that you want to make. And in my experience social media is the easy way out. It’s the easy way to saying that you are putting in the work, when in all actuality, it’s a distraction more than anything else. Maybe I’m wrong, and feel free to email me your thoughts. But let’s think about it. What are your goals?
To write a book? Are you writing your book or are you thinking about writing one while posting on social media?
To build a business? Are you working towards all the many things that it takes to start a business or are you posting about it on social media?
To become a better leader of your household? Are you merely posting photos of your family online or are you spending the necessary time with your kids in order to help mold them into the young adults that they are called to be?
All of these are tough questions, but I believe that it’s answering these types of questions that makes us better human beings. I agree with the document the journey mentality with social media, because at least you are putting in the actual work at the same time of posting on social media. Because without putting in the work, you’re just talking about it, taking the easy way out. And we all know that it takes much more than merely talking about an idea to make an idea happen. I promise that if you begin putting in the work starting today—whatever that means for you—you will see results in a year’s time.
Now go and put in the real work, today.
THE BRAVEST YOU Is On Sale Now!
My new book, The Bravest You, is on sale now! I wrote a book about bravery because fear is the number one obstacle that people need to face in order to accomplish more with their lives, and I have a solution that I’ve repeatedly seen success with. If you are experiencing fear of any kind and need to find success with your ideas, this book is for you.
Here’s what people are saying about The Bravest You:
“Instead of cringing before challenges, those using Smith’s principles should be able to face any situation not only with confidence but with aplomb.”—SUCCESS magazine
“In a world of online criticism, trolls and constant invitations to create a fake social media version of yourself, The Bravest You dares you to live differently. You’re the only you we’ve got, learn how to love that truth with this book.”—Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Do Over
“Too many of us live in the shadow of fear, letting it steal our happiness and human potential. Adam Smith’s book is a welcome antidote—a practical guide to living courageously that anyone can follow.”—Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach, business educator, and New York Times bestselling author of Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
“Your greatest fears and challenges will lead to your greatest accomplishments and triumphs if you have the courage to keep moving forward. The Bravest You shows you how! Read it and leap towards your destiny.”—Jon Gordon, bestselling author of The Energy Bus and The Carpenter
“Courage is fundamental to human life and accomplishment, yet it is completely learnable. In this book, Smith gives readers specific action steps they can take to fight fear and make bravery a reality in their lives.”—Sydney Finkelstein, professor, The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and bestselling author of Superbosses
“If you’ve ever held yourself back or played it safe, you know the toll that fear and conformity takes. You owe it to yourself to live a life of meaning and impact. The Bravest You shows you the path forward.”—Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, and adjunct professor, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
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#127: Resources, Work, and Reward
What resources do you need to make your goals happen? What work do you need to put in to make your goals happen? What rewards will you reap from reaching your goals? Knowing the answers to these questions not only lets you know what you already have in your possession, but what is needed in the future to achieve your goals as well.
The first question that probably comes to mind is a question about your current and future financial resources. I don’t talk about money often, but regarding resources, it’s a very important topic. Your question around this topic may sound something like this: “How am I going to make this happen with the finances I currently have and how can I save more money until the time that I really need it?” The answer could be to keep going to your day job every single day and put some money away in retirement and hopefully have enough to make it in the future, so you can “someday” achieve your goals. But when you settle for that way of life, you put your goals and dreams off for a time later than right now. You need to pursue your heart’s passion sooner rather than later, so it is imperative to find resources before the 10, 20, or 30 years that it could take for you to retire and reap the benefits of your work.
When you find more income, you accelerate your power to impact others. This is the only reason that strong financial resources is important. No matter what you do, you need to find ways within your current career or with second and third jobs that build income. Very rarely do people who make a lot of money only work on one thing. Nine times out of ten, it’s those who have two or three sources of income and are juggling them well who will find financial freedom. Now, you don’t need to go and get four new revenue streams right away, but what you do need is help from people who have experience in your area of focus, a plan to make your goals happen, and to be willing to put in the work.
I will say it until I’m blue in the face: work is what makes your resources and knowledge come to life. Work is where the magic happens. There is always a reward that comes from the work that you do. But, it is up to you to decide whether or not your pursuit is worth the risks and effort along the way.
And since changing things for the better requires taking action, think for a minute about how you can start building extra income. Can you sell something online? Can you have a huge garage sale? Do you have a service or product idea that other people want and need from you? Could you get by on one vehicle instead of two? However you can produce extra income, put in the work, and start setting money aside. There are so many benefits in doing this: lower stress levels, more options, and freedom, just to name a few. But many times, people remain so focused on their monotonous routines that they forget about everything else that they could be doing.
And in addition to increasing your income, there is also the need to save money. So, I will leave you with three of the best financial tips that I’ve ever received:
* Invest as much money as you can.
* Just because you make money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
* Be a good steward.
Use these ideas to increase your revenue and save more money, so that you can begin funding your dreams, today.
#126: Results Are What Matters
The hard truth is that most people don’t care about what you say you want to do in ten years; they just want you to do it. On the same note, the more work I do, the more I find that people don’t care about excuses; they only care about the results you produce. (This, of course, excludes the people who are closest to you.) This means that besides your current circumstances, and past your feelings, my question to you is, what are you doing? Yes, there is a time to grieve over traumatic events in our lives, because we’re human. We all have emotions. But at some point, to make a difference, we must bounce back; we must get up when the world tries to knock us down and out.
Life is difficult sometimes. People lose jobs, people lose children, people lose spouses, people lose money, and people lose sight of their potential. But as former US president Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” He didn’t exclude anyone, because everyone has something beautiful to offer, no matter what. Even with your fears and imperfections, you can start working towards your goals today. How, you ask?
Learn what you need to learn to get where you want to go.
Make a plan that will help you carry out your ideas.
Fight back when things don’t go your way.
Show up when you say you will show up.
And do what you say you are going to do.
It is never enough to just think about what you want to do, because at some point, you have to put in the work.
Execution is what brings results and results are what matters. Now go and put in the work, today.
I’m always looking for great new content and Adam continually delivers in a relatable and inspiring way. Keep up the great work Adam!
Wake up and be aware!
Adam’s call to all of us to live a life of awareness in every aspect of our life from home to work. It’s a refreshing point of view that help us to embrace what we have and make meaningful work towards a better version of ourselves.
Very Worthwhile for Every Day
I just had the opportunity and privilege of listening to all 3 of Adam's new podcasts about living life with purpose every day. These 3 podcasts focus of your incorporation of Faith in God every day, giving your time and attention to your family, giving leadership and positivity to those you work with are key. Very Worthwhile