Focus on Customers by Dropping Rivals

 

Who is your competition? Most companies view their competition as another brand, product, or service. But smart leaders understand it is not who but what. Your competition is any obstacle your customers encounter along their journeys to solving the problems your company exists to solve.

Your company needs to understand the marketplace: who your competition is, what other products are on the market, and how they are doing. But focusing on competitive products and companies can interfere with your team’s ability to immerse itself in the world of your consumer.

Once you’ve redefined your competition as your customers’ obstacles, it’s relatively easy to stop focusing on another product or company. Minimize meeting time devoted to rivals. Discourage product design approaches that focus on assessing or iterating on what is already out there.

Instead, reinvest your team’s time and effort. Here’s how.

First, rethink what you sell. Most companies think they sell a product. To transcend strictly one-time, transactional relationships with your customers, your company must think about selling a transformation: a journey from a problematic status quo to the new levels and possibilities that will unfurl after the behavior change you help make happen.

Next, rethink your customers. They are not just the people who have purchased your product or the people who follow you on Facebook. Your customers are all the people who grapple with the problem your business exists to solve.

Now, focus on their problems. Engage in customer research, online and in the real world, to understand and document their journeys.

One of the most important takeaways should be a deep understanding of the decision traps, pitfalls, friction spots, and quit points that people frequently encounter on their journeys. Look to user data, surveys, research, subject matter experts, and even third-party data to discover roadblocks. Use this information to do a continuous “competitive analysis”:

  • Understand the obstacles your customers face
  • Learn how and where people get stuck
  • Solve those problems
  • Understand how people overcome the obstacles and get unstuck
  • Understand what stops others from achieving this success
  • Solve those problems
  • And so on

Practices To Becoming A Great Leader!

Maybe you’re leading a team, in charge of a large organization or you’re just trying to lead your own life. What is it that leaders actually do?

Envision

Great leaders envision a compelling and vibrant future. They have an alternative, clear view of what the world could be like. They have a shared purpose that they believe others would be compelled by, interested in, inspired by and want to work toward.

Enlist

As you’re developing this vision, remember that it’s not just your vision. Enlist other people to share their voices, their perspective, their dreams and desires. The most important leadership lesson in the world is that people support what they create.

Embody

Leaders stand for something. There is a congruence between who they are, the behaviors they’re enacting into the world, how they treat people, what they’re working toward and what they say is important. It’s integrity. There’s nothing more important is there? You don’t believe the message unless you believe the messenger.

Strong confident woman.

Empower

Empowerment means giving people the decision-making authority and trust to be able to work toward this vision. It means allowing them the autonomy, strength and input. It means equipping them with the knowledge, skills, abilities, technology, tools and training to allow them to succeed as they march with us to achieve something extraordinary and phenomenal.

Evaluate

Evaluation is one of the hardest things we do in leadership. To evaluate the key people who are with us, their contributions. To evaluate their skills, needs and the ethics that are going on in our organization, in our team.

Encourage

Be the champion. Be the cheerleader. Be the person always motivating, inspiring and uplifting. You need to encourage on a continual basis and light people up.

Never stop being the voice of positivity. Always turn a negative into a positive and champion people, the mission and the cause.

That’s leadership. The six E’s: Envision, Enlist, Embody, Empower, Evaluate, Encourage.

How to Become A Risk Taker

 

Even if you’re not contemplating a risky new move, you’ve probably taken a few risks, and chances are you’re not done taking them.

Taking on a bold attitude for a risky next step isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here are a few ways to harness the power of positive risk-taking.

Fight the negativity bias.

Every decision, including the decision to do nothing, carries some element of risk. The problem is the negativity bias—we tend to exaggerate the riskiness of certain moves and underestimate the opportunities of others.

Instead of fixating on the consequences of a risk you’ve never attempted, try to evaluate the entire scenario, including any potential hazards of maintaining the status quo.

Build self-efficacy.

Small, measured risk-taking behaviors can increase confidence and self-efficacy. The “I think I can” positive psychology that enhances goal achievement. The more risks you take, the more positive your risk experiences become. Try to increase your comfort level by taking a small risk before embarking on a bigger one.

Be intelligent with your risks.

It’s important to add that building confidence in risk-taking doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll take smart risks. It might be helpful to build in parameters or conditions for each risky decision.

It’s OK to “fail.”

Expecting failure could actually be seen as a method for success. In a gambling experiment in which some participants were told that losses were completely inevitable and acceptable, while others weren’t given the same pep talk. At the end of the study, participants who expected losses didn’t become dejected when losses occurred, and they were able to outperform their peers by taking more intelligent risks.

Know that failure is an option and come up with a plan on how to handle loss. Being mentally prepared enables you to make positive risk-taking decisions without fear of the unexpected.

Just do it.

After you’ve analyzed a risky opportunity to death, sometimes it’s best to listen to your gut and just do it.

 

Stop Trying To Be Superwoman

Let’s be honest. We all know her. The high powered mom who sends her perfectly spotless children to school with a homemade lunch full of pinterest creations, before delivering her hand knitted hats to the homeless and qualifying for her 10th marathon. Yes, she is perfect…

Do you want to know the truth? That lady hiding behind the gluten free snacks is just as much a hot mess as the rest of the moms sliding into the pull-up lane, kids full of store bought goodies and sporting unbrushed hair.

The secret? As they pull into the drop off and let their sparkling angels out of their newly polished SUV, they are reveling in the fact that Monday, is in fact, their Saturday. That’s right! The day when they leave their kiddos for someone else to manage while they head into the office to rest and recharge, collapsing at their desk with a cup of coffee and a sigh. For, you see, while they always look perfect heading for their corporate jobs Monday through Friday, they are just as stressed as the rest of the Moms on the weekends, when someone is constantly tugging on their sleeves or catching their sister’s hair on fire, and they don’t have time to shower because there is cleaning and laundry and soccer games.

The dangers of holding yourself to that impossible standard is that it is easy to find things that simply don’t measure up. Make more money, teach your children Chinese on the way to the Elite private school…there will always be someone better, a better way, something we forget. So, moms walk around with guilt at not being superwoman all the time. So- STOP. Let the kids eat cupcakes once in a blue moon. Let Suzie’s mom have a turn as team mom. OR better yet, sleep in on the weekends and just focus on spending time with your kids. Time is better than all of the Tofu brownies in the world. So, drop your cape and enjoy the simple pleasures in your imperfect, capeless, life.

7 Free Ideas For Your Time Off

Entertaining can be extremely expensive, for your alone time or with family.  To help, we have created a list to help you enjoy your time without spending a dime!

Read.

Books are a great way to spend your leisure time, however, try something different. Read your local paper or other publications. Look for community calendars with a list of events happening in your area. Concerts, food festivals and more! Look for that one word: Free! Step outside your comfort zone and try something new!

Host a movie night.

Let your friends come to you. Host a movie night and potluck- maybe themed based on the movie choice! Game nights are also a great free way to spend fun times with family or friends.

Head outside.

Go for a walk, hike, run or bike ride. Make a day of it with a stop for a picnic in the park and let your family soak up that much needed Vitamin D.

Volunteer.

Volunteering for a local charity or organization is good for your soul (and your wallet)

Treasure Hunting.

Check out yard sales in your area— you never know when an antique could be worth more than what you bought it for, or you find the perfect gift for someone special.

Learn.

Many museums have free days, so spend an afternoon learning something new. Your friends will think you’re so cultured for going to a museum, and it’ll cost you nothing.

Explore.

Head downtown and just walk around. Maybe you’ll find a free event or some captivating wall art. Window shopping is also fun and free!

No matter what you choose, find something entertaining, health conscious and free so that your fun day doesn’t break the bank!