Book Report: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Change The Way You Work Forever with Rework.

Remember how we said that Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk was the first book you should ever read in business? Well, then Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is the workingman’s (and workingwoman’s) bible. Keep it under your pillow. We do.

This book should be read, and read often. If you ever doubt yourself in your life or career, just open this book to any page and be enlightened. Seriously. We’ve read it three times through.

This is our review and outline of what makes Rework unique, and downright essential to every working person out there in the world. Below are the top 5 things that we learned from this fantastic book.

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1. Embrace the Real World

Embracing the real world starts with understanding that the real world doesn’t mean shit. Honestly, when people tell you that your idea wouldn’t work in the “real world,” try asking them what the hell the real world actually is. Because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Crazy awesome ideas can thrive in a world where we previously didn’t think it could. That is called the present.

Do things that make sense to you, and start small. You don’t have to be a multi-national conglomerate to have a say and make a difference. If your idea is good, go for it. Shoot for the moon and do your best.

Efficiency is key when it comes to harnessing something that no one thought was possible. You need to prove that it works, and prove that in the simplest way possible.

2. Give In To and Grow Your Legacy

Your legacy is not just you. It’s not just your company or your employees. Your legacy is what you do with the time and the resources that you’ve been given. Be the change that you want to see. It’s that simple.

Figure out what you want to do or what you want to see happen…and do it. Sell what you’re proud of, because if you’re not proud of it that will seep through, and your customers will pick up on it.

Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything. (This particular quote has a ridiculous lineage that’s nearly impossible to follow. We love it, but we can’t credit it.)

If you believe in what you do, it won’t be hard to stand on your own two feet without a crutch. You don’t need it. Just keep things minimal until you can afford those extra goodies. Now, we understand that sometimes this idea doesn’t work for certain industries, but there are ways to keep it lean.

But always remember that no matter your business or industry, you should always develop and invest in a commitment strategy instead of an exit strategy. It makes more sense to stick around and keep on chuggin’ along rather than try to skip town the instant the outlook changes. Don’t ever start a business with the intention to jump ship and sell. Start it to make a difference.Start it to be the change you want to see. The change you NEED to see.

3. Do Things. Don’t Just Meet About Them

Meetings are ToxicMeetings are toxic. Anyone that has ever worked in any type of corporate environment has learned this the hard way.

If you think that a meeting will solve your problems, first take 5 minutes to sit down and think about what you’re trying to accomplish first. You have to think about the time you’re taking away from the attendees and how that will impact your business. A one-hour meeting is essentially worth 6 hours of lost productivity if six team members are involved.

If you really have to hold a meeting… Think about the constraints that you’re working within, and build a meeting outline. Start with a solid central idea and build from there without getting lost in the details.

Remember… (and we love this quote) You’re better off with a kick-ass half than a half-assed whole. So, if you can make due with what you’ve got, for now, do it. Sometimes “fine” is just right.

4. Decisions Are Progress

Sometimes you just need to make a decision. Whether that decision is right for the long run or not, its still progress and they’re just right for right now.

But, don’t make decisions because that would be what’s expected of you at this stage in your development. Screw expectations. Seriously, screw em’ because they don’t apply to you. Always make decisions based on your business needs and must-haves. If you find that you’d be much more efficient with the addition of a project management software program to the tune of $50/month, then go for it. But, if you think you should get that just to save face and make yourself look more professional and more legit…don’t do it.

Do what you need to do to be efficient and effective. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes what large companies don’t understand is that you can make things work without throwing money at them. Trust in your people; they will always have the answers.

5. Focus on You, Not Them

Focus On YouYour business is for you, not for your competition. Who cares what they’re doing.

When you spend too much time trying to outdo your competition, you end up letting your brand (and your image) fall by the wayside.

If people spent half as much time developing their own brand as they do obsessing over their competition, we’d have a lot more character in the business world.

Spend that time focusing on what makes your business different or extraordinary, and you’ll never be disappointed.

In Conclusion…

The above five points are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can learn from this book. Honestly, our copy of Rework is dog-eared, highlighted, marked and tagged beyond recognition. Yours will be too. Get your copy of Rework here.
You’re welcome.

Does Your Business Need a Content Marketing Strategy?

Does Your Business Need a Content Marketing Strategy?

So, Does Your Business Need a Content Marketing Strategy?

If you read our recent blog post, What Is Content Marketing & Why Should A Business Owner Care? then you’re probably asking yourself whether you need a content marketing strategy. Well, the short answer is yes.

Because content is everything that we read, hear, or look at every single day, having a strategy in place to determine how that content is introduced and who it is presented to is a valuable resource.

What Exactly Does It Accomplish?

Outlining a documented content marketing strategy helps you nail down:

1. Who you are as a brand, and as people.
2. What you’re trying to say to your audience, or what your brand story is.
3. How to say what you’re trying to say to produce the most impact.
4. Who is actually listening to what you have to say.

Content Marketing Accomplishments

Having these things figured out will help drive your brand marketing efforts in the right direction: UP. While having a verbal strategy or unspoken agreement of a content marketing strategy is a great start, it does not compare to having a documented strategy in place for your brand.

The Benefits of Having a Content Marketing Strategy

While the exact ROI is harder to pin down for content marketing, the benefits of a well-formed, documented content marketing strategy are boundless. Since it is essentially a passive skill, it acts as a sort of magnet that pulls your audience in and can help produce the following:

• Increased brand awareness within your niche market.
• Instil brand loyalty and trust in your audience.
• Produce a genuine community of brand advocates and fans.
• Create stronger retention and referral numbers.
• Increased sales.

DrinkBranders Content Case Study Analytics

While those are just the tip of the iceberg, they can only be achieved by documenting your content marketing strategy and following it to the letter. This means distributing copies of it to everyone within the content curation, creation and distribution workflow. It also means sharing it with everyone else that could have a hand in reaching your audience, whether through emails or face-to-face.

We firmly believe in the power of knowing who you are and who you want to reach, and we can help shed some light on that process for you. We offer tailored content marketing strategies and implementation for all types of businesses. Request a consultation today!

Book Report: Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Learn How to Harness Your Unique DNA for a Pure Branding Experience

Are you a budding entrepreneur or even a long-term business owner that is in need of a little direction in your business? Well, there are plenty of books and blogs out there to turn to. But, of all the business and entrepreneur related books out there these days, the first book in your hands should always be Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. As soon as you crack the spine, this book just screams Gary Vee. If you’ve ever been introduced to Gary’s work, you’re already aware that the man simply exudes nothing but passion. Bursting at the seams passion. In fact, his passion is damn near infectious. But, he never steps out of character and stays true to himself in all of his ventures. That being said, the overarching theme in this book is a fluid combination of being true to your DNA in all things and being reactionary within that mindset. This is how we Crush It! What Does Being True to your DNA Really Mean?

Honestly? That is 100% up to you and who you are as a person. I don’t mean who you are as a businessman(woman), but who you are behind the scenes. This part of your personality defines how to portray yourself to your customers. That means harnessing your passion and pursuing the right medium for that particular passion. This tends to be a fine line depending on who you are, but don’t ever compromise your given gifts for something that you think might be more profitable. For example, if you are a reputed social butterfly with a charismatic attitude and great stage presence don’t limit yourself to the written word. You belong on film, and you know it. So, explore possible video channels to make your voice heard (or seen in this case). Or, if you’re a bit of a shut-in and tend to make yourself heard best through writing or photography, then go that route. There are plenty of awesomely creative ways to be yourself and produce great branded content. Crush It! Photos of the book.

Just Remember This: Don’t ever try to become someone that you’re not just to turn a profit. It will bite you in the ass. Promise.

Hold fast to those unique gifts that make you special, whether that is a quick wit, goofy demeanor or in some cases, excessive cussing. You’re what make your brand special, shake what you’ve been given! While Gary Vee is a true believer in being yourself, another name to look up is Marie Forleo. She takes being herself to a whole new level. Seriously, watch her outtakes, she’s a nut. She not only supports being true to your DNA, she practically shouts if from the rooftops on a daily basis. Need a little inspiration? Check out the below video links, and if you’re not sufficiently enlightened let me know.

Stay tuned for our next Book Report: ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Give Us A Story, Love…

Facebook Insights - Engagement Stats

The art of storytelling has held a prominent place in our culture for thousands of years. In fact, the storyteller often held a place of high honor in many communities. So it’s no wonder that storytelling has maintained a strong foothold in modern life as we know it.

A story can take on many different forms. From a song on the radio or a painting to a blockbuster movie. No matter what form your story takes, you’ll be sure to have a captive audience as every individual may perceive the same story in a different way or view it in a different light. This is precisely why storytelling is a valuable asset to your branding and marketing strategy.

So, Give Us a Story, Love…

Tell a story. Show us that you’re real, that you have feelings. Show us that you’re human. Be a storyteller and engage your customers like the humans that they are. Being human tends to go over much better than being a cold robot.

Too many brands have traded their true humanity for a little airtime. While trading something valuable for something even more valuable tends to make a great story it doesn’t always make for great branding.

Whether you’re a small business with five employees or a large national corporation, the art of storytelling is a valuable addition to your brand.

 

Creating Community through Content

I’m sure you’ve all heard that content is king, and it kinda is. Well, rather the context of said content currently reigns supreme.

(This article goes for each and every presence on the internet, whether it be your company website, Facebook or your blog. Cover your bases everywhere you have carved out a corner.)

Writing for the web is no longer about how many keywords you can jam into a 100 word paragraph. It’s about how you can speak to your readers on a truly personal level. Instead of pushing your brand or your product on your visitors until they collapse, try giving them something that they want.

Try…

  • Sharing your experiences with them.
  • Ask them what they think or want..
  • Invite them to participate in something that you have going on.
  • Play fun games with them.
  • Treating them like people and not profit.

People love feeling like they’re a part of something, hence creating a community.

Your Community Isn’t About You

It isn’t, so don’t make it all about you. Giving back to your community isn’t just about charities and volunteer work, it’s about putting a part of yourself into what you’re doing. Hell, give it your all if you’re feeling frisky. Just don’t half-ass it, you’ll regret it in the end.

Make your visitors feel included. As I mentioned above, they like feeling like they’re part of something. Don’t alienate them with pushy advertising or snarky customer service. Give them what they crave.

Oh, and did I mention that acting like a human being is a hell of a lot easier than trying to be a fake company figurehead? Truely. It’s always easier to be yourself than someone else.

Your brand is all about people. Show them that and you’ll create a strong community that will be your biggest supporters for free.

Don’t Be A Jack-Ass of All Trades

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Don’t give me that look; you know exactly what I’m getting at. This is the person that knows a little about a lot of things and likes to throw their weight around like they own it. But guess what, they have no idea what they’re doing behind closed doors.

I know this because I used to be one of these assholes. I knew a little about so many things, and I fancied myself a “marketing guru”, but in actuality, I had no idea how to approach a project. Each attempt ended in frustration and usually a bowl of pity ice cream. Believe me, it feels like crap when you come to the realization that you’re a big fat liar.

Playing the jackass of all trades card often ends in the loss of all credibility with clients after the first meeting. You might be able to breeze through the initial consultation with some great data and witty quips that you picked up while Pinteresting, but your house of cards will immediately begin to crumble as soon as you hit the parking lot.

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, a jack-ass of all trades can’t tell their ass from their elbow when it comes to following a multi-faceted project through to launch. They often become distracted by small details that don’t matter in the grand scheme of the project and end with a half-assed whole instead of a kick-ass half. (I stole that line from an amazing book, ReWork.)

Do the Thing, Be a Pro

Whether your interest lies in graphic design or carpentry, pick something and own it. Test the waters a bit and find out what works for you mentally, physically and emotionally. Not everything will click. But, when you do find that sweet spot…give it all you’ve got!

So, if you find yourself floating from project to project without any real results, you should probably sit down and re-evaluate your choices. Not all choices are right for you, and you may never even realize it. For me, working out just does not agree with me. But, providing you with snark for your daily read gives me warm fuzzies.

What’s your warm fuzzy?