Archives June 2016

SBS: The peek behind the curtain

They had me at SBS Pop Asian. Cool!

They had me at SBS Pop Asian. Cool!

I have always been a massive fan of SBS. As you may have seen in some of my previous blogs, I am the direct opposite of a fan when it comes to the ABC. Their far left agenda and bias reporting overtime drove me into the arms of the very awesome SBS.

The SBS to me have always had the cool, strange and wonderful international films, but I shall tell you where they won me over:

“Objective, independent and reasonable reporting”

That almost sounds like a prerequisite of any media outlet and it’s just funny only a few hold that title. SBS certainly does and going behind the scenes was great, fun and yet something I didn’t quite expect.

The awesome Justin Datu greeted me at the door and kindly showed me around the place. We went right from the Accounts department to the very awesome Asian Pop Radio room and it felt more like the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) that what you would expect a media outlet to be like.

Suits were few and far between, you had high end creatives working away, there were pool tables, you could feel the nervous tension of people coming in and out no doubt with big stories and everyone was in their own ‘little world’ working away.

I was then thinking, imagine this day in and day out? What a world of it’s own the SBS. Imagine the worldwide exposure you would get and the cool ideas one would be exposed too?

SBS needs to probably be exactly what. You have people 24 hours per day 7 days a week that need to be pumping out high value creative and compelling ideas. Ratings don’t come by themselves and you need that space to bring it all together in a powerful way. It’s got me thinking about how I can become more creative and powerful myself.

My advice? Next time you watch SBS think behind the scenes of how it all comes together. It’s mind blogging and love it.

Thank you Justin Datu! You rock and love your work SBS.

Kind brilliance

The fine Mayor of Hills Shire Michelle Byrne rocks. Lots to learn from her!

The fine Mayor of Hills Shire Michelle Byrne rocks. Lots to learn from her!

It was about 4-5 years ago where I used to host lots of the smaller business breakfast networking events. Some of my warmest business experiences come out in doing that as a startup entrepreneur and during this experience I remember being fortunate to host the Deputy Mayor (at the time) Michelle Byrne.

We stayed on contact following that, seen each other around town and bringing it up to present day – we finally caught up for a long overdue lunch. 

Besides me being a character in the public spotlight a bit today, Michelle and I have always clicked. Why? Because she is awesome.

She is the fine Mayor today of the Hills Shire Council (in Sydney) and a woman of well known public office.

It was great spending time and understanding how a very well respected politician around town operates and the type of issues they deal with. One question I have never asked a successful politician before is:

– “Why do you do it?”

I mean totally seriously. It’s hard work, you deal with complaints all the time, it doesn’t pay anywhere near as well to its Corporate equivalents and even more – it’s lot of hours and many don’t appreciate you.

As I enjoyed my fine Fish at the Novotel, Michelle enjoyed her fine Pasta and confidently answered:

– “It’s a great buzz and I love helping the public. The successes make it all worth it”

Afterwards and reflecting on it later on, I took time to digest that statement and really understand her thinking. Obviously Michelle is highly intelligent and well educated – however the subtle aspect to her brilliance is her focus on helping people. That is, she isn’t in the job for the ‘recognition’ or anything like that, but she is driven to help people and deliver outcomes.

Are all politicians like that? Of course not. BUT Michelle is and even though I have always liked / respected her, that has totally gone up even more today.

My advice and lessons from this one? Enjoy success, recognition and all that – but make sure your heart is in the right place. I totally love money and it’s awesome (I am a Persian Christian Guy after all), but helping people comes first. This creates the passion, the flow, the energy which paves the way to success.

It has me extra focused on what I am doing now and love it. You gotta love the Liberal Party and full inspirational credit to Michelle.

Love your work, thanks for the read and stay awesome friends!

Winning hearts and minds

David Cameron - like the guy. Cool operator!

David Cameron – like the guy. Cool operator!

In watching the news coverage and fallout from the Brexit; you have to say that it’s funny watching how it’s all playing out.

In a democratic referendum where the ‘people have spoken’, you have millions of people in the UK wanting to undo democracy, have a second referendum and all that type of thing.

On the positive side of things, the British PM David Cameron has been fantastic, professional and very mature in the way he has handled the result. He has totally respected the people’s vote, announced his resignation and I think post politics and all this – he will be quite well respected across the lands.

I haven’t agreed with everything David Cameron had done, but he is very cool on this one. This behaviour will only serve him well in time to come and it has me thinking about being successful in marketing, business and life.

Ultimately, our success comes from winning and minds of people. You and your business needs to be well liked, respected and have great word of mouth for it to grow and be totally awesome. As an example, if I get around town – people like me and say hello! It’s because I am nice to people first, I do what I can to help and they have seen me as a consistent and kind player for years. It’s like that for other cool people I know too, if they walk into a room at say a business event – everyone loves them!

When it comes to Marketing and your own personal brand, as a small business owner / entrepreneur it’s critical to be well liked. People have many choices besides what you are offering them, so you don’t just have to be the best – you have to be the well liked.

My advice and thinking friends? I think we can take a leaf out of David Cameron’s book on this one. He has played the Brexit well (on the losing side) and he could have chosen another path. Even when you lose, win or whatever the case may be – treat people with respect not just personally, but the kindness of your marketing message.

Sometimes I like to be a bit of a provocateur, however in 98% + of cases – it’s a kind, positive and helpful message. People love it!

Stay awesome, thanks for the read, bravo David Cameron and stay awesome!

Webinar Recording: Pricing, Packaging and Selling Your Services to Win!

Great Live Webinar and enjoy friends!

Great Live Webinar and enjoy friends!

This was a very potent and long webinar. I think we got up to 50 minutes being driven by a great crowd, top questions and key issues to ponder as part of it.

‘Pricing’ is one of those few areas of Marketing considered or discussed and in this Webinar, I went into lots of detail to explore this topic. I remember as a Corporate Marketing Manager, ‘Pricing’ in many jobs is a critical issue. It’s hardly a science and a massive artform in that you have to rely on information from multiple sources combined with ‘Management Judgement’ (or in street terms ‘Your Best Guess’).

We got into keep into this core issue, looked at some core ideas and appreciated the people that took their time to join us. The recording is below and included, so please enjoy this one as my gift to you on the house.

If you like what you hear, please join my community too! The ‘Awesome Marketing Vault’ may just be perfect for you.

Stay awesome, enjoy and thanks!

Getting the upper hand when you lose

One great film from the 80's!

One great film from the 80’s!

One topic I find that is rarely written about is what do you do when you lose in life.

It has happened a lot to me personally and if you have watched anything from Sylvester Stallone; recovering from loss if a core part of his themes.

In fact, I am a massive Sly fan from many viewpoints. Firstly he can handle making fun of himself when you watch great films such as ‘Stop or my mom will shoot!’, right through to be a man of charity to that of being someone who deals with real issues in life.

In ‘Stop or my Mom Will Shoot’, it’s a brilliant one of our hero played by Stallone getting an adult education from his overbearing, yet super awesome mum. You have situations in that film where Sly gets owned, but his mum’s advice always come to the comedic rescue.

In many times in life, I have lost and I am sure you have done too. This has been anything from being taken advantage of in business relationships, romantic relationships and even just having people try and pull you down totally acting from a “Tall Poppy Syndrome” childish type of motive. It can also be more ‘positive losses’ as I call them in terms of missing out on picking up a new account and the let down you get after going after a big opportunity.

I call that a ‘positive loss’ in that nothing bad happened to you, in fact it’s a compliment that people are inviting you to play big. It’s just that you missed out. It happens which I think is awesome. In that case, I would argue that you are failing forward. This is in that in the short term you are losing, BUT you are actually winning on a macro level.

My advice and lessons? Losing sucks. I know, believe me. But when things go against you, work on getting the upper hand as much as you can and getting what you can out of situations. That can be as simple as cutting losses so you can move on, or even coming up with a new idea that can actually swing victory your way. Playing victim isn’t the answer.

You can tell I am talking from personal experience on this one! Thanks for the read, thank you Sly Stallone and stay awesome friends!

P.S. Check out the referenced film too, if you want to learn how to deal with loss in style and humour – it will be your ultimate guide!

Counting your losses and moving on

We don't always win. That's life. Get even. Then move on!

We don’t always win. That’s life. Get even. Then move on!

It’s really funny watching the sour grapes come out with those that support the European Union and were against the United Kingdom being a free country with the Brexit.

Sure, I get losing is hard (I have lost many times in life), however what makes this one slightly funnier was the childish way they are responding.

Some of the posts on Facebook are actually quite funny, saying the British can’t complain about the United States kicking them out once. That is pretty cool and something I would expect.

For those that lost that have moved on already and focusing on what matters – my thumbs up to you. That takes maturity and love it.

What has quite not been what I expected (yet I am not surprised) are people like BBC calling for a ‘recount’, ‘second referendum’ and basically doing whatever they can to go against the will of the people with their own corrupt, socialist, left agenda. It was democratic, the people voted and although I know taking defeat isn’t fun – it’s a loss for the Pro EU / Anti UK Freedom side of things. It’s time for them to get over it and move on – working out how to get the most of what they want with the political, social and economic changes that are going underway.

But I bet you they won’t do that anytime soon. Why? Because they are childish ‘special snowflakes’ that are used to getting their own way and it will take them some time to digest this.

What I have learned personally in business and life is making sure you don’t pick up ‘special snowflake’ syndrome (which I have been guilty of previously).

That is, let’s say I lose getting a big client, a long-term client ditches me out of the blue or whatever the case may be – it’s easy to get a case of ‘sour grapes’ and let it possess you. What is critical is getting over stuff fast. When negative things happen to me, I am over it in almost 5 minutes in that if we hang onto defeat for too long, it stops our success in the future.

Exactly that for the Pro-EU people. They are going to be sour for months (if not years I bet) and bad for them, good for awesome people like us. My advice? Get over defeat quickly. Count your losses. Accept it. Move on. Then go and win big. Works for me and love it.

Hope that thinking helps! Love your work, thanks for the read and stay awesome!

Brexit: The gig is up for the EU

God Save the Queen. Nice try EU. Ha ha.

God Save the Queen. Nice try EU.

Isn’t it fantastic? The dictatorship has failed to hoodwink the very awesome people of the United Kingdom.

The European Union has lots to answer for in what it has done to lots of the world in terms of the way it has attacked the lives of many through anything from oppression through manipulated currencies, right through to making it unsafe for women through poorly controlled migration.

I am quite surprised actually – I originally (and thankfully) incorrectly predicted a ‘Remain’ vote. That is, I assumed the British People would give into their fear and go for the ‘devil they know’ and be too scared to vote out.

Even though the EU has totally been screwing the British people, I can tell by the posts on FB now that quite a few brilliant people have been brainwashed by the government propaganda on the issue.

However, what the awesome British people proved today was how intelligent and strong they are. People knew they were being totally screwed by an oppressive system which punished people through crazy trading rules, overloading their health care system with ‘health tourism’, importing intolerance from the rest of the world by the tens of thousands and even more – people having laws imposed on them not created by them.

Putting on more of a philosophy hat and looking at things in a very general sense – you had an oppressive regime oppressing people. Unrest built over the years and through many grassroots movements, the people rose up to use the democratic process to overthrow the tyranny they were under.

It’s a great feeling watching justice being served without arrows, swords, pistols and assault rifles.

My lessons from this one? You can’t push around people forever. You may get away with it for a while, but one day they shall push back.

And when they do…Things happen.

Love it, god bless the UK, great job UK people and GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Enjoying life and business YOUR way!

Futuristic, impressive and stimulates thought - Optus Campus is impressive and a must place to visit!

Futuristic, impressive and stimulates thought – Optus Campus is impressive and a must place to visit!

One key learned lesson of mine over the last 6 to 12 months is making sure you are not only delivering awesome value to your clients and getting results – it is also ensuring you are enjoying business and life.

When you are out for yourself, it is very different to say being an employee. You are out on your own, you are responsible for everything from feeding yourself, getting insurance, making sure your printer is working, meeting clients and staying healthy.

As a result, you cannot be unhappy. The reason is that unhappy people are less productive (you don’t need a degree in HR to know that as a fact) and if you are an unhappy worker, expect poor financial performance.

Even though the whole employee vs business owner type of thinking has been a key part of what I have talked about for years, what gave me reminder to this was visting the Optus Campus in Macquarie Park last night.

For my non-Sydney friends, Macquarie Park is basically Australia’s (smaller) Silicone Valley where you have the big tech players and many of the startups (e.g. Optus, Microsoft, Oracle, Canon etc).

Optus there is massive and I was there to visit the Bizruption Business Networking Event. I loved it and as I walked through Optus, it had that type of feel of a University combined with Government, Corporate and you were being watched everywhere.

It was very futuristic and a creepy type of cool and when you looked into the buildings you could see people working away at their desks (there must been hundreds if not thousands). I arrived at about 5:20PM and you could see a stampede of people going home.

It made me remember the different life as an employee. You get a regular paycheck, many of your needs are looked after and there are checks and balances to stay productive. In fact, I bet Optus would be a great place to work if that is your thing.

But as an employee you don’t get that!

You have to create your own life and hence you must do it your way in a style that is compatible with you. You got to get results, be a Happy Worker (in your own business) and stay productive.

My advice? Get results and DO IT YOUR WAY. Don’t let people pull you off track like I have been guilty of previously.

Stay strong, do it your way, smile and make lots of money.

Love your work friends, thank you for the read, thank you Optus and thank you Bizruption. You all have given me great inspiration to write this article.

Crazy Streets, Sane People

The awesome Lucas and Amanda at Novotel Parramatta. My 'quantum of solace'. Lol

The awesome Lucas and Amanda at Novotel Parramatta. My ‘quantum of solace’. Lol

It’s 12:49PM as I write this article at the awesome Novotel Parramatta. I have been on the phone to an awesome client, a great colleague and one of her staff said hello and I am enjoying a fine muffin with a long black brewed to perfection.

You can say I am a Novotel Buff for many reasons. As I get around town, I find myself popping into various Novotel’s for anything client meetings, sending some emails, or even just trying to ‘hide’ from the awesome / crazy streets of Sydney.

I use as a place for actual productive work and my own ‘quantum of solace’ (quoting 007). When it comes to your business, your own success and having a cool personal life – you get busy, you do it, you do it well and love it. BUT you need to recharge, ‘hide’ in cool spots and get your stamina back.

For me, subconsciously Novotel (worldwide actually) has become exactly that. I have been hiding out in Novotel’s from Dubai, to London to Wollongong with fun, smiles and confidence.

I think there are a lot of reasons why I did (subconsciously) choose Novotel for that experience. Firstly, the venues are great. Secondly, the actual F&B quality is great (e.g. quality coffee / snacks) and thirdly – the people are just fantastic. I have been lucky to hang out with Amanda & Lucas today who don’t miss a beat.

My advice awesome friends? Find places and your own ‘quantum of solace’ (thank you again Daniel Craig) in that you can chill out, love what you do and spend time with sane people before you hit a somewhat crazy world.

Love your work, thank you Accor, Novotel Parramatta, Lucas & Amanda – stay awesome!

Why I love pushing clients HARD!

Done. Dusted. Done. Smile.

Done. Dusted. Done. Smile.

Even though people think of me as a very ‘nice guy’, I am also known to be a hard task master too.

Time is truly money for everyone involved and when I work with awesome people, although I love giving time – it must be productive for everyone.

When I started out, I used to be very much on the ‘soft and quiet’ end with people. That is, if they gave me a reason for not doing something I would accept it, if they didn’t do something they agreed (for their own good) I would just smile and also I would let things go on too long.

After five years and loving what I do, I have really appreciated the viewpoint time is money and if anything, I am a massive opposite of what I used to be – cut to the chase, get stuff done and get in results.

Besides making my own life easier, people and clients have really appreciated it in that I remember I do more with a client now in one session, that I would have done in five sessions in the old days and I love it.

Interestingly, my awesome clients of today (as none of them make weak excuses as they just rock) openly say to me:

– “Edward, push me hard to get stuff done!”

And I totally love it. So do they! For me, I get high levels of satisfaction on that from many viewpoints and find it very rewarding.

The reality is that in life, we only get new stuff done when we are pushed hard! Be it we push ourselves hard or others push us – that ‘driving force’ is totally critical in what we do.

My advice and thinking wonderful friends? Be the person that pushes yourself hard. To qualify, I don’t mean negative self-talk or anything like that (please respect yourself), I mean in terms of productivity and results.

You get more done in less time, keep clients happy and get more personal time for yourself plus your awesome family (or family to be).

Love your work, thanks for the read and stay awesome friends!

Your schedule and getting it done

Easily the master of getting it done!

Easily the master of getting it done!

If you have spent any amount of time with me or read my blog, you will have noticed that I am a mad fan of getting it done.

I developed that skill somewhat when I was a Corporate Marketer and in particular took it to the next level when I started my business. I originally noticed that in many cases I would speak to people, consult to people and sometimes we would just ‘talk about stuff’ without anything getting done.

Great clients would get stuff done and ones that struggled would always be the ‘talkers’. I found that as time passed, you could say whatever you want – BUT it comes down to ultimately what comes out of the ‘kitchen’.

Using the awesome Gordon Ramsay as an example, when I became a big fan of him (more talking Hell’s Kitchen) you would have kitchens with lots of activity and nothing coming out. There would be drama, people yelling, Gordon doing his ‘idiot sandwich’ and ‘it’s so raw it’s still mooing’ heroic lines of compelling television.

On the other side would be upset hungry people with no food which is a no no. What all this taught me was the importance of getting stuff done, completed and out with no drama.

When it comes to ‘schedules’ to me this is the be all and end all. We have tasks that we need to get done, places to be and we must do it if we are going to make money.

I am very particular on getting stuff done in time, because if I don’t – I cost myself money and setback my own research. I use my Outlook Calendar and a massive fan of KPI / Weekly task lists.

My advice friends? Get stuff done. Don’t talk about it. Do it. Schedules make you money. Use them. Love them.

Thank you Gordon Ramsay and thank you for reading this. Stay awesome and deliver hard!

‘The Market’ and how it doesn’t care for excuses

Never fail the market lol

Never fail the market lol

Over the past five years I have worked with some awesome people and tragically people who struggled to ‘find their awesome’.

That is, the people I have worked with and known to do incredibly well never made excuses. The people that were progressive, got stuff done and ‘made it happen’ always did incredibly well.

The ones that didn’t are the topic of this article. When it comes to succeeding in business, ultimately it’s not some ‘magical’ type of thing that occurs. Luck is certainly a factor and people do well for often ‘very real’ type of reasons.

If we are selling something to ‘the market’ it comes down too how much ‘the market’ actually likes it. Regardless of what we are going through in our own lives, the tragedy one feels, how busy we get or even if we get a cold – we only succeed if the market likes what we are doing.

Using the very awesome Darth Vader as an example, if you deliver the market can be very nice to you. If you don’t, it can be totally brutal to you (in that you make no money).

‘The Market’ as I put it is a collective of everyone that only cares about what we give it in terms of value. It doesn’t love us, it doesn’t hate us, in fact it’s a very fair type of structure that we all compete in equally.

I even went to Google to check out the fine definition:

a regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other commodities.
“they wanted to browse around the street market”

an area or arena in which commercial dealings are conducted.
“the UK market remained in recession”

advertise or promote (something).
“the product was marketed under the name ‘aspirin’”
synonyms: sell, retail, offer for sale, put up for sale, vend, merchandise, trade, peddle, hawk; advertise, promote
“the product was marketed worldwide”

If I look at all the definitions, I see it as a ‘collective’ of thoughts that only cares for what we deliver too it. I personally care for excuses and what people go through, but tragically the market doesn’t. What are ‘excuses’ do we ask? Back to Google Definition:

seek to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offence); try to justify.
“he did nothing to hide or excuse Jacob’s cruelty”
synonyms: justify, defend, make excuses for, make a case for, explain (away), rationalize, condone, vindicate, warrant; More
release (someone) from a duty or requirement.
“it will not be possible to excuse you from attendance”
synonyms: let off, release, relieve, exempt, spare, absolve, free, liberate; raredispense
“she has been excused from her duties for now”

In terms of marketing, I see it as giving reasons for not getting stuff done. People have given many to me in my time and even feel ‘guilty’ for letting me down. The truth is that they aren’t letting me down, they are letting themselves down.

My advice and thinking? Life does get it the way and I even let myself down at times. But don’t stay there. Stay productive, get stuff done, don’t get too emotional and make sure you deliver to the market.

The more you deliver, the more you shall get money from the market and they happier you shall be.

So don’t make excuses awesome friends! I lost many good years due to doing this.

Love your work, thanks for the read and stay awesome!

P.S Thank you Lucasfilm and full image credit to you.