I’ve changed a few flat tyres in my life. The first time, it was all stress and chaos because I couldn’t find the tools. It had never dawned on me to me to look for these tools before that time of crisis really. That would be like reading the manual.
The second lesson I learnt was that you don’t jack the car up before you’ve loosened the nuts…you do that and that wheel just moves when you put the pressure on and you end up putting the car back on the ground, loosen the nuts and jack it back up…in the dark, in the rain.
Once you’ve changed a few tyres it’s easy of course and you quickly forget how hard it was before, and how many mistakes you had to make before it got that easy. Maybe not everyone has to learn the hard way.
A million mistakes
I’ve made a million mistakes in doing what I do and you simply forget. That’s until you see someone around you about to make the same mistake. Suddenly you hear yourself say: “Have you considered loosening the nuts first?” I’ve realised that there are some really common traps in my world of marketing that are easily avoided and make a big difference in getting to a better result, much faster.
Three things I learned
- Outcome vs output – Don’t start anything before you really understand what it is that you are trying effect. Don’t expect to get the right request from your customer/boss. They will typically ask for an output, not an outcome. You’ll probably give them what they want, but not what they need. So why not Have the hard conversation first and you’ll probably find that you come up with something far more effective (and often far more creative) than what you started out with.
- Iterate & collaborate – I don’t believe that anything gets done right by one person, the first time very often. I’ve tried. The power of people reviewing, refining, commenting is incredibly powerful and won’t take anything away from you, so try it.
- Steal as much as you can – Then make it your own. Whatever you are about to do, it’s probably be done many times over. So tap into it.
Did I miss anything?