#016 : TOOLS & TACTICS

Image – Sleeping Field, 2016 (Anthony Gormley)

Soundtrack – The Encore, Makaya McCraven

 

Fact: I’m not leaving 2017 as broke as I entered it.

Let’s get practical!

It’s time to weaponise every piece of technology you have in your arsenal. For the extreme pacifist, the prior call to arms will sound like the precursor to a sequence of  morally compromised decisions. I disagree. Every individual is equipped with tools to carry out a task. In no instance is the tool guilty or devoid of sympathy, that’s the responsibility of its user. Now that we have cleared that up, I ask what tools do you have in your arsenal and how can you weaponise them against your current opposition. In this case poverty, gatekeepers or naysayers.

(To confirm your suspicions, yes I have been reading 33 strategies of War by Robert Greene, 48 laws of power cost my soul too much. )

THE ESSENTIALS:

Starting any business typically requires a sizeable cash injection to subside your time or the building materials. However, the current circumstances dictate we spend nothing and to gain everything, so let’s identify our tools for a meagre budget. From what I’ve been learning, from other marketing professionals and entrepreneurs, the objective isn’t to seduce the entire world to buy into what you’re selling, but rather the right demographic that will be loyal and then justly rewarded. This is where knowledge becomes wisdom.

 

FRIENDS & FAMILY

Otherwise, know as the willing labour force, Friends and family typically the unsung heroes of many successful individuals. Make good use of the people around you, I’ve come to realise this is a lesson in people and resource management. The hardest lesson I’ve learnt thus far is that you will truly see who is supportive of your endeavours at the moment success starts to knock on your door. There is a difference between competition and being motivated by seeing your comrade succeed. Unfortunately, the distinction isn’t very clear for some.  

FAVOURS

The major benefit of today’s education system is the production of generalist practitioners. The term ‘jack of all trades’ has become a compliment, providing the opportunity for graduates to rack up what I’ve come to identify as ‘Affordable debt’ where time is the currency. What we are seeing is the resurgence of a skill based barter system, and what’s even better, individuals are identifying what skills they do have and offering them for trade.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Everybody is on social media if you’re not on Facebook you’re on Instagram, if you’re not on Instagram your on Twitter. As pretty self-Indulgent human beings we require constant validation. So if you’re not one to be continually self-compliment in the mirror to the point it’s almost masturbatory.  You’re on social media.

Realise for every post on any social media platform, the founders are finding a way to monetise your content. Whether it’s collecting all the data of your “Friends” or using your images without specific consent to advertise their brand.  

Realise using all of these free social networks cost you time. So if you’re investing, make sure there is a payoff, that comes with finding the right tool for the job.

 

Facebook —> Personal/Subjective Updates

Twitter —> Realtime publishing

Instagram —> Momentary Self-Documentation

Medium —> Uncommissioned Self Reviewing

LinkedIn—>  Business Engagement and updates

 

Now that you were aware nothing is for free. It’s important to understand what currency you’re trading in.

FOLLOWERS

It’s a scary world when you find yourself agreeing with Donald trump. I hate to say it, but he’s … Nah, I can’t bring myself to utter the words, instead, I’ll say,  he’s onto something here.

“Graphic designers have let themselves be regulated by the market and measure success with followers, LIKED and awards. SAD” – Donald Trump

The goal for active/critical social media users should be to convert likes to engagement and followers to email subscribers. By all means, make those facebook algorithms recognise you and turn you into a digital somebody, ideally an authoritative figure in your community.

After all, when crafting new opportunities for your business, you are bargaining on your digital equity.

 

DATABASES

For those of us maintaining a Long distance relationship with money, it’s possible to amass wealth in alternative means. Let me put it this way, a friend of mine explained to me that social media followings don’t stand for much when bargaining with institutions or organisations. What’s of more value are email addresses. Why?

Here’s five reasons :

  • Co-operation through E-mail suggests in depth engagement
  • They are ubiquitous (In order to have any social media you must have an email address)
  • Expanded outreach beyond digital friend circles.
  • Personalised interaction for better results (offers)
  • The ability to develop and manage consumers/clients.  

Collectively, this is only a small justification as to why there are current legal disputes between companies and governments over the right to data protection.

 

Anonymous : … there are companies that pay me to send their invites to my personal database.

CL-Q : How many people do you have?

Anonymous : 10,000 people, but what’s more important is the open rate of my emails…when I send an email the recipients actually open it and engage. They know me.

 

Just to drive this point home, I recently had a meeting about the prospect of getting signed to do talks, they declined to sign me but offered a word of advice. Leverage every asset you have, especially your contacts. Knowing the right people in the right places can accelerate your progress.

I have to admit, to be that calculated, is not in my character, but I understand the value system at work.

COLLECTIVES

Let’s cut the B.S individuality killed the community. That’s why think tanks operating in Game Theory thrive. As Individuals we’ve become predictable, striving to survive another thirty days and take pride that we got through another month. Meanwhile, we independently struggle to reach our goals, because a single individual’s efforts simply aren’t enough. A collective impact allows for greater waves.  

We’ve lost sight of the big picture, the should never be to work to live. Norway has started to see that with their six hour work days. To go a step further, for most successful businessmen, working in their business is never the long term goal, working on it is.

Here’s the creative entrepreneur equivalent,  Kyle Cooper founder of Prologue, formed a practice that propelled excellence and innovation in their work, that then turned into a company, expanding and hiring new people. All of a sudden they are working non-stop and it became about the deadlines and the possibilities for clients. Eventually, he downsized wanting to spend more time focussing on one project at a time in order to not produce what was possible, but what was unpredictable and perceived impossible. He adjusted his practice, regained focus

I question, should we be aiming to shift from working in our practice to working on it? If so, who’s willing to see their friend succeed first?
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