The Truth About Your Best Weapon
Every day, thousands of advertisers and marketers wrack their brains. How do you spread your message, sell your products and change people?
Simple. Give something away for free.
Could this be the most powerful business idea of the century? Look at Google. Giving out free things made them obscenely rich.
A free search engine, YouTube and then Chrome, the free browser everybody uses. Plus free maps, free email… on and on.
Doesn’t free make your stuff less valuable? Nope. People don’t value things because they paid. They value what others value.
Doesn’t free attract the wrong people? Sure. But it attracts everybody. And if everyone likes it, it’s valuable.
And when people are hooked on it and they need it? Now you can charge real money for it. Or create a bunch of services around it and charge for them.
And since free works so well… you’re bombarded by it every minute. Chances are, you won’t even finish (or get the value) of this article. All because you’re distracted by something “free.”
The Cost of “Free”
Are you an entrepreneur, marketer or creative person? You’re especially at risk for this shiny object syndrome. Creative people crave new ideas, new projects, new things.
The new thing is exciting. So you invest time and money in it. And then… something else comes along. Another new idea. Of course, with “free” training.
It’s like somebody brought free donuts in the office. Mmm… tempting. Colorful sprinkles… creamy filling… you can taste the glaze just by looking at it.
And free? Don’t you pretty much need to eat one? It’s ungrateful to say no. Stupid to pass up such an opportunity. Right? Right?
Wrong. Dead wrong. Sugarcoated lies. Poison.
More than anything, new “free” stuff keeps CEOs, CMOs and smart people like you from completing projects. Jumping ship and switching strategies? This destroys consistency and momentum. And keeps you from ever seeing your potential.
A constant stream of new and free keeps you away from the best long-term game plan… Wrong or incomplete action is far worse than no action.
How many great ideas have you “tried” (but really just threw away) because of new and free?
And oh, does new and free ever make you burn through the cash!
So many hundreds of techno tools with free trials. All so impressive, effective and fun to use.
That is, until your accountant (or empty bank account) says you’ve subscribed to too many services. And jumped between too many platforms.
Do you work with employees or business partners? Oh… this is even more terrible.
Your people won’t keep up. The new/free stuff changed direction in your business yet again. And when the previous projects, tools and goals are suddenly irrelevant?
Harvard Business Review’s grim answer: your people won’t be loyal anymore. Nor productive.
A decade ago, information overload (distraction) costs the US economy $900 billion per year. Do you think it’s any better now?
Most people spend 20 hours a week managing distractions from emails alone. And even if you could recover the money, the time is gone forever.
If someone offered you 3 days of free training, what would this really cost you?
Free training is noise. It almost never gives you all you need to master the new skill you want.
Get rid of the messes and noise in your life.
Everyone’s fighting for your attention. And too many people are stealing it. Distraction is the greatest thief of time – and you can never get it back!
Sure, sometimes you need new innovation, new ideas. They can spark life into your business. But too many sparks cause out-of-control infernos.
Make sure new ideas give you strength, not destruction.
The Great Rewards of Minimalism
Why did Steve Jobs always wear a black turtle neck, blue jeans and his New Balance sneakers every day? As the co-founder and CEO of the most valuable company in the world…
What did Steve know about decisions and distractions that most people don’t?
Every decision, every distraction sucks up mental energy. Even a small one, like what you’re going to wear. Instead, he wanted 100% focus on making Apple legendary.
“It’s what Apple said ‘No’ to that ultimately made them successful.” – Steve Jobs
Special forces on a military mission realize this. They maintain strict isolation. No contact with other teams, no TV, news nor internet. Why?
To protect their focus and deliver perfection on their goals.
How can you do this?
If you want results like you’ve never gotten before, get crystal clear on what you want. Then clean out all the distractions. Strengthen your focus.
Make your work environment and schedule as predictable as possible. The fewer decisions you make, the more effective they’ll be.
Once you develop this attitude, your life suddenly gets simpler. And it’s simply the fastest way to reach your goals.
Don’t Just Pay For Training, Learn Like A Master
People go crazy, even with paid training… books, conferences, seminars, multiple coaches, videos and programs.
And yet they’re completely overwhelmed. Stuff just sits on their hard drive or bookshelf. Useless. They don’t apply any of it.
Yes, you need a wealth of knowledge to build real wealth… but implementation is the key. How fast can you put the knowledge to work?
There are two kinds of learners: amateurs and masters. Both want just as badly to transform their life and business.
The amateur wants to get as much information as possible. As fast as they can. And the motivation feels good and helpful for a bit.
But as time goes by, there’s no real change.
The master learner knows exactly what their goals are. And yes, their goals might mean learning lots of skills down the road.
But what are the one or two skills to focus on right now?
And the master learner picks the right mentor or coach: somebody who stretches them just enough to change…
But not so much that the learner wants to give up: the master makes sure the training is broken down into manageable chunks. Reachable deadlines. Simple actions.
And the master doesn’t move on to anything else until they… you guessed it… mastered the skill they’re learning.
Which Kind of Learner Are You?
What does your finances, your business reveal?
Now that you know the honest truth about new ideas and free training, what will you do?
Yes, giving away free stuff can be your greatest marketing weapon. But eating up time consuming free stuff is easily the biggest business problem today.
Make it your aim to be the kool-aid producer, not just a kool-aid consumer.
And when it comes to kool-aid, only drink the flavor that makes you more alive. The kind that rockets you toward your goals.