When I was a kid growing up in New York City, every street was a Carnival Of Surprises. Or should I say Battlefield.
You could never just walk along the concrete jungles lost in youthful daydreams, Leave It To Beaver style. Around every corner, behind every tree, aside every Simonized muscle car, stood a con artist, a fraud or an urban terrorist ready to pounce.
You had to read lips, decipher codes, see through walls, detect bullshit coming at you at the speed of light. You had to think on a dime, take punches in the nose and return the volley twice as hard, plan routes to success and emergency exits. Nothing was ever the same two days in a row.
Nothing even remotely predictable. It was a real time kaleidescope of everything life could throw at you. And though I didn’t know it at time, it was a Navy Seals boot camp for the entrepreneurial odyssey I would embark on as a teen.
It boils down to The Big Three Lessons:
+Curve Balls: Regardless of what you do, how you think, the income you may have and the wealth that may shine down on you, you will be smacked in the head with curve balls. It’s not what you do to avoid them that counts (as that’s impossible), it’s learning how to recover, to be resilient, to prevail and if necessary to vanquish the source of the toss. That is a priceless skill.
+Counterfeits: Half of what everyone tells you is a lie. The other 50 percent is just nonsense morphed over the years and the mean streets into conventional “wisdom.”
Takeaway: always start your thinking with a blank page.
+Hand Grenades: if you expect people to play fair, to have a sense of decency, to honor who you are and what you’ve built, watch out– the wallet in their back pocket is really a hand grenade.
Lesson Learned: make sure yours is a torpedo.Read More
On July 3rd, Mark Stevens appeared on The Price of Buisness show with host Kevin Price to talk about how medical and legal professionals can leverage their talents to drive the most return from their marketing investment. In short, eschewing the conventional wisdom is a sure fire way to fail in the cut throat marketplaces in which these practitioners play. You have to zig when everyone else zags in order to achieve exponential success.Read More
In what has become standard practice around here, MSCO has brokered a business development deal between Tweeds Dry Cleaning and Rug Renovating, two of our clients. In the partnership, Rug Renovating becomes Tweeds’ official carpet and upholstery cleaning specialist. In return, Tweeds receives royalties for every customer sent to Rug Renovating for cleaning services. The companies are working together on an internet marketing campaign touting the new deal. Here’s the website for customers interested in the dual services, made possible by the collaboration through MSCO.Read More
There is a temptation to view business–much of life for that matter–as a series of transactions. You produce something, package it, price it and sell it. There you go: transactions 1,2,3,4…..
But beneath these distinct initiatives, there lies the opportunity for a grand orchestration that ties them all together into a combustible mix–one that can release exponentially more power than a series of actions linked in a linear fashion.
I think of this as a “code breaker.” In business, this is achieved when three elements combine to generate a virtual geyser of orders/revenues/profits:
1. The right product or service for a particular void in the marketplace.
2. An irresistible price/offer that drives customers to act.
3. Dangerous or provocative marketing that brings 1 and 2 to light in a highly-compelling fashion and that serves as the ignition and the fuel for scale and momentum.
Identifying code breakers is never easy (cite a significant achievement that is) but it is absolutely worth the pursuit as the payback can be the difference between just another company and a tour de force of growth and profitability.
The problem is that we are all so accustomed to focusing on sensible strategies and routine transactions, that we tend to make little or no time to search for–in fact to insist on– true code breakers.
The opportunity, however, is that if we make the time, stretch our intellectual capabilities, challenge conventional wisdom, reach beyond our core creative powers, we can identify and deploy code breakers.
In real estate, properties are identified for their “highest and best use.” As business people, we must apply the same standard to our roles as leaders. Creating code breakers is our highest and best use.
The difference is between ordinary and extraordinary.Read More
Last week, the MSCO staff got the well deserved present of a game table. Right on the main floor, this three-in-one table serves as a central gathering place for us to unwind and spend a little bonding time over non-client work. Also, the relaxing atmosphere such a game table lends to the office allows our creative team to come up with stronger strategies. That’s why you have forward thinking companies like Apple and Google provide these amenities to their employees.
Above, that’s me losing badly to our new designer Ligia while playing ping pong. Absent from her resume was her career as a semi pro your ping pong star, apparently. I’m still undefeated in billiards though.Read More