Pokemon Go: Poke-Marketing?

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Do you want to be the very best, like no one ever was? If so, then you’re probably one of the 7.5 million people who have downloaded the Pokemon Go app since its recent launch.

The app, a location-based augmented reality game that enables you to catch virtual Pokemon in the real world, has experienced a tremendous start since its release in the United States. Pokemon Go has captivated mobile users of all ages worldwide, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Within weeks, the game generated an estimated $1.6 million in revenue per day. Benefiting from this instant success is Nintendo, parent to Pokemon Co., which has already seen a 25 percent increase in stock shares and added nearly $11 billion to its market value.

The popularity of Pokemon Go and its clear potential for profit not only have opened the door for Nintendo’s success, but also have become a tool for Pokemon-inspired marketing by food and retail businesses.

The game format encourages users to explore their real-world cities to find in-game Pokemon , PokeStops or Gyms, which can be found at actual landmarks and local businesses. This alone is a valuable marketing tool that can result in rising visits and an increase in foot traffic for any organization hoping to convert locals who want to play into customers willing to pay.

Real-world marketing value

Some establishments have already realized the marketing potential of the virtual Pokemon in the real world. By flaunting ties with the game, Main Street businesses have been able to set themselves up for an increase in recognition, popularity or profit.

Storefronts have found a number of ways to engage with the traveling hordes of Pokemon trainers. One of the most popular methods of capitalizing on the app’s hype is to place Lure Modules at Poketops at or near a business’ location.

A Lure Module is a well-recognized in-game feature that enables users to attract Pokemon to a certain area. Although the Lure Modules were designed to bring in Pokemon, they’re also bringing in a slew of gamers.


‘Poke-marketing’

Pokemon Go has become a great way for retail business to attract potential customers to its location. Once gamers are lured in, stores have taken “Poke-marketing” a step further by offering tailored discounts and promotions.

These strategies are just the start of what is sure to become a more prevalent marketing approach as the app rolls out in more countries, evolves and inspires copycats. Bringing an entire generation’s childhood nostalgia into the modern age of augmented reality gaming is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Although this level of popularity can be fleeting, Pokemon has retained its status as a recognizable and well-loved brand since 1996. With the game’s technological sophistication and promise of added, advanced features—in-game chat functions, head-to-head battles, Pokemon trading, and so on—there doesn’t seem to be an end to Pokemon Go’s success anytime soon.

Kelly Holcombe is an account coordinator at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelly_holcombe . This article was reposted from http://bit.ly/29WN08c (PR Daily)

Few Things Highly Confident People Don’t Do

Highly confident people believe in their ability to achieve. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else put their faith in you? To walk with swagger and improve your self-confidence, watch out for these fifteen things highly confident people don’t do.

They don’t make excuses.

Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.

They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.

Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.

They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.

Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.

They don’t put things off until next week.

Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.

They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.

Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.

They don’t judge people.

Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.

They don’t let lack of resources stop them.

Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.

They don’t make comparisons.

Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.

They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.

Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.

They don’t need constant reassurance.

Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.

They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.

Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.

They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.

Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).

They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.

Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”

They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.

Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.


Written by Gaurav Kamboj. Gaurav is an analyst at eClerx. Visit LinkedIn for the first version of this excerpt.

3 Keys to Anger Management

Anger is never what it seems.

Even Tom would admit that he is easily irritable; his wife would say there are days when she is walking on eggshells and knows to stay out of his way. He never explodes directly at anyone, but when things go awry – when he realizes he left one of his tools at the jobsite, when Saturday plans get rained out – he’s rattled, upset and slamming doors. Sara, unlike Tom, is rarely angry. She’s the easy-going kind of person who is always pleasant, always willing to help others out, always the first to volunteer to for a project or event. But… occasionally she blows and when she does it’s big – rages, huge WWIII arguments over something seemingly small. Those close to her have learned that this is the time you duck for cover.

Anger is one our primary emotions –young children who bite another child over a toy or stomp their feet when they don’t want to go home; teens who flare up when you mention “homework” or “last night,” adults who go from 0-60 in nanoseconds when someone cuts them off in traffic. Though it’s the boldest of emotions, it’s also never what it seems. Many therapists describe it as a “cover” emotion, one that masks some other emotion beneath.

Anxiety usually heads the list of possible underlying emotions, and is a common driver of anger. Those, for example, who grew up in chaotic environments – alcoholism, abuse, volatile parents – they have fewchildhood coping skills except to become hypervigilant – always on guard, always externally focused on others, always on edge waiting to see what is going to happen next. With their brains wired in this way, even as adults in more stable environments, they are still on duty, ready to react, coping in the same childhood way.

For others anger gets linked to depression – this is Freud’s definition of depression as anger turned inward. Here we see the agitated depression of some adults, usually men, and young children, who seem irritable and easily angered but inside are as depressed as the person who refuses to get out of bed – the why bother, the hopelessness, the self criticism.

And finally there are those where anger is essentially their only emotion – when they get sad the get angry, when stressed get angry, when horny get angry – it doesn’t matter, every emotion gets translated into varying forms of anger. They lack an emotional range.

We can also look at anger from the perspective of personality and the role we take with others, the way we run our lives. Here are some common overlapping personality patterns and their relationship to anger:

Control freaks: These folks run a tight ship with themselves and others all the time. They know on Tuesday what they are going to be doing on Saturday. Underneath the control is anxiety, and when control is in command the anxiety stays at bay. But when things happen outside their control or their plans – their wife suggesting on Saturday that her mother come over for dinner – anxiety and anger bubble up. They get rattled and snap. And this is where Tom gets into trouble – the guy who is always on edge now becomes derailed and upset.

Martyrs: This is Sara. She is over-responsible and nice. She goes and goes, does and does and periodically blows up because she eventually gets fed up. Fed up with doing it all, fed up with being nice, fed up with others not appreciating her or pulling their weight. It’s all unfair, and she feels that she deserves to be so angry. But after it’s all over, her good-girlconscience kicks in, she feels guilty. She makes up and starts the cycle all over again.

Victims: If you are always under someone else’s control, if you feel abused in some way, that you can never please the other person, that you can never win, your pent-up resentment, like Sara’s, can periodically come to the head. While it may come out as a emotional blow-up, because of the one-down nature of the relationship, it often takes the form of passive-aggressive acting out – the partner who angry at the other goes on a shopping spree, the guy who feels taken advantage of on the job steals supplies from the company. Again, there is a sense of deserving, but the source of the problem, the dysfunctional relationship, never gets addressed.

Bullies: Bullies are actually a group unto themselves. While it’s easy to see them as always angry people (and many are) or the 0-60 types, there is a different psychological dynamic at work. Their modus operandi is less about spraying pent up emotion around the room and more about resorting to anger, aggression and power to get those to do what they want or get them before they do. Often these unfortunate souls were abused, learned to psychologically identify with the aggressor, and are replicating their own histories. In severe cases they have grown so hardened that they lack conscience, are manipulative, and see a world with themselves as predators, everyone else as prey. They do so much need anger management as the ability to connect and empathize with others.

Internalizers: Internalizers well…internalize. We’re back to Freud. It’s easy for these folks to automatically assume that whatever happened is undoubtedly their fault, not the other guys; they mentally beat up on themselves, leading to depression. Or they may actually feel the sting of anger but feelings so emotionally overwhelmed and fearful of confrontation they hold it, often coping through self abuse – cutting,drugs, alcohol, food.

 

So how to manage anger? Three steps. We’ll take them one-by-one: 

#1. Prevention. If you are a type of person who goes from 0-60 or who periodically explodes, who has a difficult catching anger, resentment, even anxiety as it builds, then you need to slow it down and become more self-aware. Here are the steps:

  • Check in with yourself once an hour. Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 with 1 flat-lined, 10 enraged or extremely anxious, where am I in terms of mood, emotion? By asking the question you are stopping yourself from going on autopilot; you gradually become more aware of your emotional life.
  • Solve the problem. When you find yourself getting up to a 4 or 5 ask yourself: Is there a problem I need to fix? This is about using anger for information rather than release. Maybe your supervisor scheduled you for the weekend and you realize it’s bothering you – go talk to your supervisor or send him an email. Maybe Sara volunteered to help out at the church but now regrets giving up the weekend. She needs to back out or commit to less time. Do something different rather than sucking it up.
  • Ask yourself: What else am I feeling? Because those prone to anger tend to be emotionally limited in range, this question begins to reset the brain. The first 350 times you ask yourself that question your response is likely to be, Don’t know, I’m just feeling pissed. That’s fine. However, whenever you do notice something else – you’re worried, you’re sad – label it – I’m worried – and again do something with it – actively address the worry, write down or tell someone what you are sad about and see if you can sink into those feelings.

Ongoing stress reduction. These are daily prevention tips. The other prevention path is reducing your overall anger / anxiety threshold. This is about engaging in regular exercise, meditation, or medication to lower your reactiveness and making it easier to catch yourself when emotions start to build.

#2. Act in the moment.

When anger gets up to the 8-10 range and begins to flare out of control you need to have first-aide techniques to put out the emotional fire. When you’re angry, your anger makes it easy for you to blame others for making you feel that way, and to expect them to do something to make you feel better (like do what you want). But you’re responsible for your emotions. If you are getting overwhelmed, you, not someone else, needs to be able to calm yourself down.

This is where first-aide, in-the-moment techniques come into play: Deep breathing, Emotional Freedom Technique (there is plenty of info on this online), mindfulness, distraction, exercise, journaling. Again, there are plenty of tools and techniques out there to use and a number of articles on this website. Your goal is to recognize your anger level, label it, own it, and take some concrete action there and then to lower the emotional fire.

While your angry brain may say that you need to fix the problem now in order to calm down – get the other person to do what you want, quit your job, etc. – this is a bad idea. Your rational brain is offline. The emotions are the immediate problem, not what you’re thinking. Put out the fire.

When you’re feeling more calm, when your rational brain is back, use your anger as information, assess the problem, and take action in an adult way.

#3. Reshape your personality.

Steps 1 & 2 are about managing anger. This step is about seeing anger as a bad solution to another problem you’re having in running your life and relationships. It’s about stepping out of the dysfunctional roles and out-moded, ineffective coping styles that you’ve relied upon.

Control Freaks: So if you are like Tom, you need to address your anxiety directly rather than relying solely on control to manage it. You may need medication or meditation or therapy. Most of all you want to resist themagical thinking that if you could just run a tighter ship you’ll feel better. Actually, the opposite is the case. Your goal is to learn to recognize anxiety, tolerate it better, and when necessary have more effective tools to rein it in.

Martyrs: If, like Sara, you are one of these folks, you need to stop running your life solely on “shoulds” and making everyone happy, but instead learn to focus on you, what you want. This doesn’t mean becoming insensitive to others, but rather becoming more sensitive to yourself.

Victims: Victims feel trapped and are often easily overwhelmed by emotions. The way out is two-pronged: Having ways of calming the emotions so your own rational thinking can replace relying on the other’s control; having a way of escaping the relationship or rebalancing it so you don’t feel so unempowered. This can be tough to do or figure out, and you will likely need support from community, family, friends to develop a plan and take the necessary steps to break free.

Bullies: Most bullies don’t see themselves as bullies. If they did they probably wouldn’t be one. What often has the best chance of changing their behavior is bottom-lines – getting disciplinary action at school, on the job, their spouse threatening to divorce, trouble with the law. Their biggest challenge is learning to take responsibility for their behavior and emotions rather than blaming others.

Internalizers: This is about learning to speak up when you’re inclination is to shut down and pull back; to not believe the self-critical voice in your head all the time, to build self-confidence by solving problems. Therapy can help a lot, medication can reduce the anxiety of taking acceptable risks.

So there you have it, a combination of tools, action, new ways of thinking. Since a lot of these behaviors and emotions are so hot-wired, it’s about having a goal, a plan, about taking baby-steps to handle emotions, relationships differently.

Be patient, be kind to yourself, take it one step at a time.


Written by Robert Taibbi, L.C.S.W. Bob is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of South Carolina, and has served as adjunct professor at several universities. He provides trainings nationally and internationally in the areas of couple therapy, family therapy, brief therapy and clinical supervision. He is currently in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Author of 6 books and published over 300 magazines and journal articles. Bob can be reached through his website at bobtaibbi.com. Visit Psychology Today where this excerpt originally appeared.

17 Things Happy People Say Every Day

Are you as happy as you wish you were today? If not, try saying a few of these simple, inspiring things to other people. They won’t just improve your mood; they’ll trigger positive reactions that will legitimately make you feel happier, too.

There’s an easy-to-articulate, hard-to-implement best practice when it comes to how to teach yourself to be happy. It stems from the recognition that the positive things you do for other people often reverberate back to create positivity in your own life. In effect, doing little things to make other people happy can greatly improve your happiness.

Make sense? There are two theories at work. The first is that focusing on others creates joy of its own accord. The second is that as you succeed in improving others’ happiness, you’ll wind up with happier, more grateful people around you. They’ll find you likable and charismatic, which in turn can lead them to treat you in a manner that produces even more happiness.

It’s easier said than done, but fortunately, there’s a compelling shortcut. Your words are among your greatest tools, so you can have an outsize effect on others simply by thinking about what you say every day and making an effort to be both positive and sincere. There are certain inspiring things that truly happy people find themselves saying to others all the time. Try making an effort to say a few of these every day for a week. You’ll be amazed at how the positivity you create improves your happiness.

1. “I’m happy to see you.”

This is the most basic and attractive sentiment you can express to another human being–that simply being in the person’s presence creates a positive feeling. Whether you’re telling an employee that you need his skills, that you value his opinions, or just that you think he’s good company, you’ve begun an interaction on a very high note. How can that not produce some level of happiness in the other person?

2. “I’m always happy to see you.”

Take the previous remark a step further. This is the opposite of most relationship advice–that you should never take a specific negative action and suggest that it’s indicative of someone’s entire way of acting. Well, turn that on its head, by expressing that it’s not just this interaction that has produced positive feelings but basically all interactions with this person. It’s an amazingly gratifying thing to hear.

3. “Remember when you…”

Surprise someone by bringing up a positive thing that she did in the past, and you’re almost guaranteed to induce a positive response. Maybe it’s a joke the person told that you’re still laughing about; maybe it’s a small act of heroism she performed. Regardless, if it’s something she thought was long forgotten, learning that something she did made a positive, lasting impression on someone else is an amazing experience.

4. “You might not realize this, but…”

This an even more potent version of the previous suggestion, provided you finish the sentence with a description of how the person’s actions led to a positive outcome. It’s one thing to learn that other people recognize the favorable things you’ve done; it’s another thing entirely to learn that you’re having a positive effect on other people without even realizing it.

5. “You really impress me.”

This is similar to “I’m happy to see you” and “I’m always happy to see you,” except that it focuses on things that the person does, rather than his or her existential being. Other variations include “You are really great at…” or “People love that you…” Simply be sincere and specific. “You’re really great at calming stressful situations” or “People love that you always have the best music.” It can be anything, as long as it’s authentic and truly positive, and it’s guaranteed to elicit positive reactions.

6. “You really impressed me when…”

Focusing on specific actions or events can be even more powerful. It means that you’re not only thinking abstractly but offering proof that things the other person does provoke positive reactions. It’s the difference between saying that a comedian was really funny and quoting one of his or her best jokes. (Other versions: “You handled that well when you turned that client’s objection into an opportunity” or “It was really cool to see how you parallel-parked that car into that tiny spot.”)

7. “I believe in you.”

People have self-doubts. You do, I do, we all do. (Heck, every time I write a column here–and this is number 167, by the way–I wonder how people will react.) When others simply say they believe in you, however, it becomes easier to believe in yourself.

Here’s an analogy. Have you ever gotten into lifting weights, or simply watched people do it? It’s amazing how the slightest bit of assistance from a spotter–with force equal to the weight of a pencil–can help someone lift far more weight than he could on his own. It’s the same concept here–just that small expression of confidence can push people to achieve more–and then to be thankful for the help.

8. “Look how far you’ve come!”

It is so important to celebrate achievements. This doesn’t mean you have to throw a party, but even acknowledging that someone’s efforts have achieved results can be extremely gratifying for the person.

Of course, heck, if you want to take things to the extreme, throw a party. Just be sure that you’re the one buying the first round and singing the loudest.

9. “I know you’re capable of more.”

Everyone needs to be pushed at times, especially when we fall short. If you care about people, you’re going to be called on sometimes to be a bit of a coach, or maybe to employ a bit of tough love. Even the most steadfast and confident among us sometimes need a friend to guide them to a better way of acting.

The late, great NFL coach Vince Lombardi put this best: “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” Nobody does anything great alone, so be the one standing by to help, and you’ll inspire positivity and gratitude.

10. “I’d like to hear your thoughts about…”

Everyone likes to think that his or her opinions matter, and of course they do–sometimes. However, this kind of invitation to share what someone thinks can’t help making the person feel just a tiny bit more self-worth, which in turns creates both happiness and positive feelings toward you. Just be sure to be sincere; don’t just say this for the sake of saying it. Make sure that you are truly interested in whatever subject you’re asking about and listen actively.

11. “Tell me more.”

This is the best follow-up to the last item. It tells the other person that you’re listening, and that you find value in what he or she is saying. The actor and writer Peter Ustinov once said that the greatest compliment he ever received took place when he was afraid he had gone on too long in a conversation with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, only to have her tell him, “Please continue.”

12. “I took your suggestion.”

OK, it’s almost too easy at this point. Combine asking someone’s opinion and demonstrating that the person has had impact on your life and you’ve provided him with two of the most gratifying, basic experiences of the human condition.

It doesn’t matter really whether you tried a new restaurant on the other person’s advice, followed his suggestion on how to begin an important conversation, or started getting up 15 minutes earlier for a week because he said it was a good idea. Simply being listened to and having impact makes people feel better. Bonus points if his suggestion created a positive result, but you’ll get credit regardless. (Related: “You were right.”)

13. “I’m sorry.”

Say this when you mean it–when you’ve done something worth expressing regret for or the other person deserves sympathy. However, don’t water it down by using it when you don’t mean it. In fact, one writer made a compelling argument recently that the phrase is so overused that it ought to be retired. That would be a shame, but it underscores how people appreciate this phrase when it’s sincere, and how it annoys them when it isn’t.

14. “I’d like to be more like you.”

Now you’ve got it–you’re expressing positivity toward other people almost naturally, pointing out not only things that they do well but maybe even things they do better than you do.

If you want to see a sentiment similar to this work very effectively, watch the 1997 movie As Good As It Gets. Or else, just read this short bit of dialogue in which Jack Nicholson’s character offers Helen Hunt’s character the ultimate compliment: “You make me want to be a better man.

15. “Thank you.”

It’s not that much of a stretch to suggest that every other item on this list is in fact a form of “thank you.” This is truly one of the most powerful, underrated phrases in the English language. It packs a heck of a punch, encompassing positivity and impact in two little syllables. (By the way, thanks for reading this far into this column. Maybe if you share it with others, they’ll thank you, too.)

16. “You’re welcome.”

Not “yep.” Not “no problem” or “no worries.” Say “You’re welcome.”

Instead of deflecting another person’s thanks, as some of these other phrases do, saying “you’re welcome” dignifies the person’s gratitude. It acknowledges that yes, you did do something worthy, or nice, or positive for someone–because you believe that she’s worth it.

17. “No.”

There’s one small risk in this entire mode of expression, and this word is your fail-safe. The danger is that sometimes people who make other people’s happiness their priority can wind up doing so at the cost of their own happiness. We all know some people who take advantage, or who simply aren’t going to be happy no matter what your efforts amount to.

Two little letters, and yet they can be so powerful. Most important, they demonstrate that you care for yourself, which is a key prerequisite to caring truly for other people. Carry this one in your back pocket; use it when necessary. You’ll find that the most positive and happy people you interact with respect you for doing so–and that can make you happy, too.


 

About the author: Bill Murphy Jr. writes about leadership, entrepreneurship, and how ordinary people achieve extraordinary things. He has written and collaborated on several books, and he is the founder of Nonfiction Partners, which helps people with great stories find a ghostwriter. Previously, he reported for The Washington Post. You can reach him at contact.billmurphyjr.com@BillMurphyJr. Visit Inc for the first version of this story.

How to Get Ordinary People to Be Extraordinary

The biggest misconception you can make in business – or life – is that the people around you are somehow limited in ways that make it impossible for them to rise past a certain level. If you perceive this to be true, the limitation lies in you, not them. While there is no magic formula for helping people move past their limitations, I’d like to suggest a strategy that has worked in the past:

Add meaning in addition to money

We all need money, and some people are endlessly motivated by getting more money. But for most people, the promise of money is not enough to bring out their very best. People won’t work twice as hard to increase their salary by 3.7%. People won’t soar past their “limitations” to earn $1,957 instead of $1,899.

But if you give someone the chance to both support their family and change the world for the better, amazing things happen. Suddenly, working late feels good. You are part of something bigger than yourself. Instead of simply selling another widget, you are doing what you were born to do.

There are many ways to add meaning…

Make a meaningful connection to a social good

On an ongoing basis, you could give one or two percent of your company’s revenues to build schools in Africa or to support underprivileged students in towns close to each of your offices. If you do this, don’t treat the money as abstract numbers. Encourage employees to visit these schools and bring back photos and anecdotes about the differences your support is making in the lives of others.

Give one day each quarter as an awesome volunteer force

Giving away money can make a big difference, but it sometimes fails to give the donor much satisfaction. Send $75 to Megacharity and you may never understand what difference your donation made versus their $325 million budget. But if four times a year everyone in your office spends a day building a house for Habitat for Humanity or volunteering at the local food bank, you will be able to look into the eyes of the people you are helping.

Reinvent your industry

Not all meaning comes from social good. Being a pioneer can feel just as good. Our world is rife with opportunities to replace outdated business models with much more responsive and flexible approaches. I imagine that all the people involved in these projects long felt grateful that they helped to: put the first man on the moon, invent the first personal computer, create the first profitable e-commerce site in their industry, or even bring a fresh new retail store to their town’s Main Street.

Instead of waiting for some dynamic startup to disrupt your industry, why not band your colleagues together and disrupt your own industry?

  • Completely eliminate the practices that drive your customers crazy.
  • Dramatically reduce the complexity customers face.
  • Cut prices by 90 percent (or more). Yes, it’s sometimes possible.
  • Make stupid objects smart.
  • Be utterly transparent, showing both customers and employees how you make money and how your entire firm is performing.
  • Make loyalty dramatically easier than disloyalty.

Radical goals are what inspire people to rise past their limitations. They add meaning to an endeavor.

Best of all, reinvent your industry to include social good

If you go to the trouble of radically re-thinking how your company and industry works, why not also consider ways that you can both make money and help others? Build altruism into the very fabric of your culture. Embrace the opposite of self-promotion; if you help other people reach their goals, your reputation will grow based on your deeds rather than your words. Replace greed with generosity; the more you help others, the more people will embrace your services and you will do well by doing good.

Many of us know in our bones that our way of life is not sustainable. I mean this on many levels… “I can’t keep driving 45 minutes each day in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 30 more years”… “I can’t keep marketing sugar water as though it is the key to happiness”… “I can’t keep pretending that money is enough to make me happy”… “I can’t accept that my entire career will never be more than sucking up to managers so I can get a 2.3% raise.”

We all have different conceptions of what is meaningful. Figure out what is meaningful to the people around you, and you will discover the path to making extraordinary things happen. Check on Slideshare fore 20 more ideas to get your imagination flowing.


Written by Bruce Kasanoff. Bruce helps companies harness the potential of altruism to power business growth and career success. Learn more at Kasanoff.com. He is the author of How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk, a simple little book about doing well by doing good. To always see Bruce’s articles on LinkedIn, please click the FOLLOW button above or below. Twitter = @BruceKasanoff. This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Do you really have to kiss up to clients?

A big part of being on the agency or consultant side of our business is building and managing the client relationship. Your job is to establish rapport and trust with clients. You want them to see you as a partner. 

However, in some instances, this “relationship building” can cross over into “kissing up” territory pretty quickly. 

What am I talking about? Oh, don’t pretend you’re not guilty. 

What about that time you told the client “great work” even though it clearly wasn’t their best effort? 

Or that time you elbowed your way through the group so you could sit directly beside the client—then proceeded to laugh at every one of her jokes (and some of them weren’t funny)? Or that over-the-top positive email you sent to the client after what was obviously a fairly painful brainstorming meeting? 

I think most of us have been guilty at one point or another in our professional lives. I know I have, but do we really have to go down this road? 

Does relationship building equate to kissing up in our line of work? 

Having been at this for almost 20 years now, I’d say no. Here’s my thinking: 

Relationship building and management are definitely part of the job—but that should always manifest itself as trust, not flattery. Some of the best relationship building you can do has nothing to do with the relationship itself (at least in the way you’re probably thinking about it). It has to do with your work. 

  • Do great work and deliver on time, and your client will love you.
  • Make your client look great in front of her boss, and your client will love you.
  • Win awards for your client and her organization, and the client will love you. 

This is how professional relationships are built—on a foundation of hard work and results. 

Now, is there a little relationship management built into that? Absolutely, but I would argue it doesn’t have to translate into toadying. 

Relationships are a two-way street, right? So, as much as you want to get to know your client, shouldn’t your client want to get to know you, too? You’re more likely spending more time with this person than you are with your family. Make it count. 

In any relationship, you’re looking to build trust based on genuine concern, empathy, and interest. So, look for opportunities to show concern, lend and ear, or ask about a hobby or interest outside of work. 

Here are a few ways this comes to life for me. 

Whenever I talk on the phone or in person with a client, I try to ask about a few personal things right off the bat. How was your vacation? How are the kids? How is Scotty’s soccer coming along? These kinds of things. Why is this important? Because these are the things everyone wants to talk about. If you ask me about my kids, I’ll embark on a 15-minute monologue about my son’s basketball game or my daughter’s American Girl doll fixation. People love to talk about themselves; all you usually have to do is give them the opportunity and then show genuine interest. Not too tough. This is definitely not kissing up. 

I also look for opportunities to send a note in times of joy or sadness in my client’s life. Thanks to things like Facebook and Twitter, this is much easier now. I’m thinking about things like birthdays, illnesses, and moving into a new home. A short note during any of these events will go a long way. A handwritten note—even better. Again, show empathy and concern. This is not kissing up. 

Finally, if I know my client plays golf, for example, I might try to get him out on the course. Golf is a hobby (and passion) of mine, so when I see others play, I jump at the chance to connect on that level. Other areas where I’ll do the same: beer (geeky beer, at least), and Kansas Jayhawk basketball (or Gopher b-ball, for that matter). 

There’s something about getting together with your client or colleague during non-work hours doing something you both enjoy. I think that connects you a bit more—and it usually leads to a stronger relationship. Again, I don’t see this as kissing up—I see it as doing something you both love to do. 

So, do you really need to kiss up to clients? What do you think? 


Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. The first version of this story originally appeared on his blog, Communications Conversations.

6 Things Entrepreneurs Wish Family, Friends and Employees Understood

Entrepreneurs often feel misunderstood and with good reason. If people around them acknowledge the following six points, everyone can benefit.

I started my first company when I was 25.  I was a reluctant entrepreneur. My sales abilities outgrew three companies, and I couldn’t seem to manage the politics necessary to get where I wanted to go at the speed I wanted to get there. So I took a deep breath, opened a company in 1989, and never looked back.

But in my journey of building four businesses and making the Inc. 500 list, I often found I saw the world differently then many in my circle. I would struggle with communication and empathy, as would the people around me. My family and my friends would never quite understand why I took action with such passion and drive. Though they would be continuously fascinated how I could make things happen from what seemed like unrelated connections and events.

Employees appreciated my drive, but still considered me a puzzlement. They couldn’t imagine taking the risks and responsibility of building a company, and I couldn’t imagine not having control of my own destiny.  I have spent decades in the close company of more than 1000 entrepreneurs in public session like Inc. conferences and in private forums like the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO). I have come to learn that we have similar ways of viewing the world and creating lifestyles. It’s not for everyone, but it works for us.

If you are an entrepreneur, you need to articulate the six concepts below so the people in close proximity can comprehend your behavior. And for those of you engaged with an entrepreneur, I hope the tips below shed some light and give you some guidance to enjoy the ride.

1. Entrepreneurs are benevolent narcissists. There is no question that many entrepreneurs act as though they are the center of the universe. Once I get a vision in my head, it stays at the forefront of my mind until I either eliminate it or execute on it. Over time, I have learned that in order to make visions come true, I must constantly sell and recruit people to my mission. That means talking about my ideas and actions… a lot. So yes, my world revolves around my vision and ambition. That is the narcissistic part.

But unlike most self-centered people, most successful entrepreneurs aren’t in it just for themselves. They love to bring other people along for the ride. Making others happy, wealthy and successful drives entrepreneurs. They create companies to benefit society with their products and services. They may interpret that benefit differently than most people, but few are motivated by pure exploitation.

Tip: The next time you feel ignored by an entrepreneur, ask them how you can get involved and benefit from their activities. You may be surprised at the opportunity that opens up.

2. Entrepreneurs evaluate risk differently. The term risk-taker is often associated with entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs don’t believe they are taking risks by opening businesses and growing companies. Gone are the days of institutions that provide steady employment and guaranteed retirement. I personally lost everything in the 2008 collapse of the banking industry. But I have many friends who spent 30 years as employees in that field and also went through great hardship. I was able to rebuild by taking advantage of opportunity and being agile while many of them are still trying to reconstruct their lives.

Entrepreneurs know the only safety net they can bank on is their own ability to leverage knowledge, resources and relationships to build something from nothing. They believe there is greater risk in being boxed in to a structure than to venture out to new horizons. That all being said, many of us have learned to overcome our material desires and put a little away for those rainy days.

Tip: Don’t assume that actions taken by entrepreneurs are careless or not well considered. If you have concern, ask about the process or diligence. You might be surprised what you learn.

3.  Once entrepreneurs decide to take action, they commit. There is an incorrect assumption about most entrepreneurs that they are impulsive. The image of people ideating all over the place and randomly straying from project to project is one that is constantly portrayed in media and is most often a mischaracterization. Most of my successful entrepreneurial friends are actually quite disciplined and focused. They have learned tocreate structure where there is none. They have a set process for evaluating opportunities and are wary about taking on a new project without vetting it carefully.

But once the due diligence is done and action is required seasoned entrepreneurs will commit all necessary time and resources to making the dream a reality. They have no tolerance for doing things halfway. The project may fail, but the entrepreneur will only be satisfied if it does on its own merits. Then it’s time to learn and move on to the next entrepreneurial venture.

Tip: Entrepreneurs in motion are a force of nature. Either get out of the way or support the activity whole-heartedly. Dipping your toe into their projects will only create static and dissatisfaction for everyone involved.

4. Entrepreneurs feel angst about time. There are very few new ideas out there. Hardly anything comes up today that hasn’t shown up in a science fiction novel or movie from decades ago. The innovation comes from ways to execute those ideas in a manner that can support the market and a profitable business model. For every entrepreneur attempting to find that perfect path to success, there are many competitors nipping at their heels. Some have smarter people, more money or better partners. Some have all of the above. But that’s the game. And to the victor goes the spoils.

Once I complete a vision in my head, it’s a race against time to see if that dream becomes a reality. The more complexity involved with the vision, the more challenging time becomes as a factor for success. This is where I use my creativity every day, to figure out how to get from point A to Point B the fastest way possible without sacrificing stability or harming anyone along the way. Executing on my need for speed sometimes results in my being less polite, considerate or reverent than people expect. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that sometimes I am moving so fast I forget to show it.

Tip: Give entrepreneurs the benefit of the doubt when expecting niceties. You don’t need to put up with rudeness, but you can gently remind them that not everyone moves at their pace and others need consideration to feel respected.

5. Every day with positive cash flow is a good day. I remember a few years back being at EO event in Hong Kong at the end of the month. My wife at the time and I were laughing because all around the hotel you could hear the same stressed mobile phone conversations going on about whether or not the attendees had made their payroll obligations for the month. Growing a company requires resources, especially cash, and most entrepreneurs will stretch those limits to make progress quickly in the marketplace.

The lack of resources to battle the competition is usually the number 1 stress point for an entrepreneur. The most painful days in my life have been when I could not meet my financial obligations. Those are the days I feel guilty and inadequate. Those are the days I feel the pain of those who depend upon me. As an entrepreneur I understand that family, partners and employees put their trust in me to help them achieve financial stability. I understand that they do not choose my life because they don’t want to risk instability. As long as there is money in the bank to continue the path forward, every other challenge is minor.

Tip: Don’t assume entrepreneurs are primarily motivated by greed. Certainly they enjoy the rewards that come with success, but they are driven to achieve the security that comes with strong liquidity and cash flow.

6. For entrepreneurs, working means fun and relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, most entrepreneurs are not workaholics. I describe work as the things we have to do in order to do the things we want to do. Some people like to play sports or dance or do woodcraft as a hobby. Entrepreneurs love to build businesses. We get excited about opportunity,  networking and product development. When I sit at a Yankees game, I amuse myself by calculating the per-attendee revenue and cost of services to figure out how much money is being made. When I run a 5K or kayak, my brain lets loose with creative ideas that can either improve my business or create something new from the resources I have.

I feel blessed that the things I love to do are also the things that make money and give me a sense of accomplishment. When I need to rest my brain and body, I do so. But very soon, I go back to doing what I love because I enjoy it and it makes me happy.

Tip: No need to ever tell an entrepreneur to slow down or take time off. It’s like trying to teach a pig to sing. It just wastes your time and annoys the pig.


About the author: Kevin Daum concedes that he has a face better suited for radio than television. That’s why he is the Executive Producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. If you haven’t already read his Amazon #1 best-sellers, Video Marketing for Dummies (Wiley) and ROAR! Get Heard in the Sales and Marketing Jungle(Wiley) you’ll likely catch him sharing his thoughts (and limericks) on stage, or on the web. Humor, he says, is the key ingredient for great communication. An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin helps companies communicate in strategic and compelling ways. Visit him at KevinDaum.com or e-mail kevin@roaringvideo.com@awesomeroar Visit Inc.com where this excerpt originally appeared.