Getting Attention vs. Getting Respect

Self-Respect-and-Mutual-Respect-e1379248711173

Make an impression.  That is the goal.  Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a company, or just a person at an event or party.  But how?

Be different. There is a need to stand out and be different. No one will ever notice you if you are the same as everyone else.

But here is the catch, there is a difference between getting respect and just getting attention.

Getting attention can help you get in the door. It can make potential clients and customers aware of your existence.  It can start a conversation.  But it doesn’t necessarily lead to success.

The guy who trips over the red carpet in the middle of a crowded party might get my attention.  The company that offers a free car to the winner of a contest might get my attention. But neither of those means anything in the long run.

Getting respect, in a business sense, means having a brand that makes people take notice.

In a personal sense, it means that people genuinely understand you, and appreciate your point of view.

Getting respect leads to success.  It means, not only did you get their attention, but you did it in a creative and fashionable way, and you were able to keep their attention after the initial wave of awareness died down.

Getting respect means long term clients, it means brand loyalty, it means word of mouth marketing and referrals, and it means a corporate culture that stands for something.

Next time you have something to say, or you are in a position to start a conversation, go for respect.  Start with something unique, something creative, and something that stands out.  But be sure to follow up with something real, something of substance, something powerful and meaningful. The business, or person, that does this, will pave the way for lasting success.

Make an impression. That is the goal. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a company, or just a person at an event or party. But how?

Be different. There is a need to stand out and be different. No one will ever notice you if you are the same as everyone else.

But here is the catch, there is a difference between getting respect and just getting attention.
Getting attention can help you get in the door. It can make potential clients and customers aware of your existence. It can start a conversation. But it doesn’t necessarily lead to success.

The guy who trips over the red carpet in the middle of a crowded party might get my attention. The company that offers a free car to the winner of a contest might get my attention. But neither of those means anything in the long run.

Getting respect, in a business sense, means having a brand that makes people take notice.

In a personal sense, it means that people genuinely understand you, and appreciate your point of view.
Getting respect leads to success. It means, not only did you get their attention, but you did it in a creative and fashionable way, and you were able to keep their attention after the initial wave of awareness died down.

Getting respect means long term clients, it means brand loyalty, it means word of mouth marketing and referrals, and it means a corporate culture that stands for something.

Next time you have something to say, or you are in a position to start a conversation, go for respect. Start with something unique, something creative, and something that stands out. But be sure to follow up with something real, something of substance, something powerful and meaningful. The business, or person, that does this, will pave the way for lasting success.

Book Review: Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.

blue-ocean

How to win the competition? You can challenge your opponents on a head-to-head competition. Suppose that your target is to book 200 contracts each month. In order to fulfil the target you can compete on pricing. It means that you should give bigger discount than your opponents.

But head-to-head competition has its own limitation. There is another way to compete. A smarter way. Chan Kim and Mauborgne propose another solution:

Don’t compete with your competition, why don’t you make them irrelevant!

The book idea is to give your customers better services without any head-to head competition. It gives you a framework helps you to re-design your products/services. It helps you find your niches.

Score:

9/10

The book is quite easy to read and has an excellent and brilliant idea. It’s a must for anyone responsible in decision making.

Innovation plays a central role in  businesses that want to stand out and not fit it. This book  has practical tools on how to position yourself as a blue ocean company.

 

Some of the interesting quotes I underlined from the book:

 

– “What consistently separated winners from losers in creating blue oceans was their approach to strategy.  The companies caught in the red ocean follow the conventional approach, racing to beat the competition by building a defensible position within the existing industry order.  The creators of blue oceans, surprisingly, didn’t use the competition as their benchmark.  Instead they followed a different strategic logic that we call value innovation.” 

 

– “Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy.  We call it valued innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby, opening up new and uncontested market space.”

 

– “Value innovation places equal emphasis on value and innovation.  Value without innovation tends to focus on value creation on incremental scale, something that improves value but is not sufficient to make you stand out in the marketplace.  Innovation without a value tends to be technology driven, market pioneering, or futuristic, often shooting beyond what buyers are ready to accept and pay for.”

 

– “Value innovation requires companies to orient the whole system toward achieving a leap in value for both buyers and themselves.” 

– “Blue ocean strategy challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant. Instead of dividing up existing and often shrinking demand and benchmarking competitors, blue ocean strategy is about growing demand and breaking away from the competition.” 

The Art We Make: The Journey Is the Reward

20141208183836-3-reasons-why-journey-is-reward

Artists are people who make art. Art is not a gene or a specific talent … Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another … Art is who we are and what we do and what we need.

Art is not a result; it’s a journey. The challenge of our time is to find a journey worthy of your heart and your soul.

Creating art is a habit, one that we practice daily or hourly until we get good at it.

Art is not about the rush of victory that comes from being picked.

Nor does it involve compliance. Art in the post-industrial age is a lifelong habit, a step-wise process that incrementally allows us to create more art.

Entrepreneurship is a journey, the unexpected journey, the memorable journey, a guaranteed journey but most importantly it is the journey that is the reward.

The Art We Make: We Are All Artists

10620014_856268467741312_232447151097858699_o

Art is the work of a human being, something a person does with generosity to touch someone else to make a change for the better.

We can see art in the way the nurse in a doctor’s office treats us when she knows how much pain we are in. She is not just doing her job; she’s being a person. She is enlarging the bubble around herself to include us.

Our best work is always about standing out, never about standing in.

You never meet somebody who says, ‘I succeeded by fitting in more than everyone else.’

That’s all innovation and art is. Bob Dylan was booed off the stage in 1967 when he went electric. He was booed off the stage in 1974 when he went Gospel. He’s been booed off the stage since then and yet he still fills theaters. Being booed off the stage is a key part of being an artist. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company. Malcolm McLean was booed off stage while trying to convince the transportation industry to use containerised shipping. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for what he stood for.

I have failed so many times in my career. However my few successes compensate for my failures. I don’t consider it a good day unless I fail. Failure is not something I hide from, it is something I seek.

I have written hundreds of blog posts. Most of them are not that great. I have launched many entrepreneurship projects, some of them have fallen on their face. I have had negotiations where I completely misunderstood what the other person was looking for, or they misunderstood me, and we walked away from each other.

Art is about risk, “This Might Not Work” is how I define art.

This attitude is what I try to bring to everything I do. If I am getting started, or about to throw it out into the world, I say to myself, ‘Hmm, this one might not work.’ If I’m not able to say that, then I probably haven’t pushed myself enough.

If not a single person read my blog, I would still write it every day.

The Art We Make: Art is Personal.

 10940638_868759776513540_6493499747528064663_n

Back to my definition:

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.

An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.

Art is not related to craft, except to the extent that the craft helps deliver the change. Technical skill might be a helpful component in making art, but it’s certainly not required. Art doesn’t have to be decorative; it can be useful as long as the use causes change.

Art is certainly not limited to painting or sculpture or songwriting. If there is no change, there is no art. If no one experiences it, there can be no change. By definition, art is human. A machine can’t create art, because the intent matters. It’s much more likely to be art if you do it on purpose.

The second person to install a urinal was not an artist; he was a plumber.

Art is the product of emotional labor. If it’s easy and risk free, it’s unlikely that it’s art.

The last element that makes it art is that it’s a gift. You cannot create a piece of art merely for money. Doing it as part of commerce so denudes art of wonder that it ceases to be art. There’s always a gift intent on the part of the artist.

Organisations use human-created art all the time. The design of the iPhone is art. It changes the way some people feel. It changes the way they use the device. It changes the way they communicate. And there is a gift as well.

People who see the iPhone but don’t buy one still receive the gift. An ugly iPhone would cost as much as the beautiful one. The beautiful part is the free prize inside, the bonus, the gift to us from the artist who designed it.

A business that is not innovating is not creating art.

The Art We Make: Art is not a Job, it is the Work

 10996983_882227195166798_9090425054338975339_n

In one of my favourite books Linchpin, Are You Indispensable? Seth Godin talks about the difference between a job and work as follows:

The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.

The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status-quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work. 

The Art We Make: Artists Who Can’t Draw

Cows

Roy Simmons (a painter) coined that phrase and I like it a lot. “Most artists can’t draw.” Seth Godin in his book Linchpin added: “But all artists can see.” Meaning we can see what’s right and what’s wrong. We can see opportunities and we can see around corners. Most of all, we can see art.

Art is not only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

What makes someone an artist? I don’t think it has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while they are cool people, are not artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artist who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models and customer conversations.

Art is about intent and communication, not substances.

An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.

That’s why Michael Jackson is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on MTV is merely a marketer.

That’s why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artist, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.

Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and writer, is an artist, even though his readers are businesspeople. He’s an artist because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally and he doesn’t care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it’s important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.

If Shakespeare is art and Tony Hseih is art, and Steve Jobs is art, then Trevor Noah and Fred G Sanford (of Sanford and Son) must be art, too, right?

I think it’s art when a great customer service person uses a conversation to convert an angry person into a serious fan. And it’s art when Steve Jobs invents a new business model that uses the Internet to revolutionise the classifieds. Or when Jonas Lekganyane invents The Chronicles of Noko Mashaba, from being a self taught comic animantor in rural Limpopo.

Most artists can’t draw, but all artist can see.

Entrepreneurs are artists, most can’t draw but they all can see their businesses as work of art. Make your business a work of art. Stand out, touch a soul, make a difference, this is more than just making money.

The Art We Make: Cupcakes

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

The first time you bake cupcakes, you will certainly follow the recipe to the letter with energy.

The third time, you might improvise and screw up a bit. Learning your lesson, you will follow the recipe again and again as closely as you can.

By the fifth time, some people actually learn to bake.

They improvise successfully. They understand the science and the outcomes.

By this time they can bake cupcakes without opening a recipe book.

They develop a kind of gracefulness in the kitchen.

They are cooks, not chefs.

A cook is not an artist.

A cook follows a recipe, and he’s a good cook if he follows the recipe correctly.

A chef is an artist.

She’s an artist when she invents a new way of cooking or a new type of dish that creates surprise or joy or pleasure for the person she created it for.

The Chef is an artist, she creates rules. The cooks follows the rules. The chef masterminds the entire menu.

We have too many people who follow the rules correctly. The world is begging for people who will make new rules while creating something remarkable.

Jamie Oliver is an artist in the kitchen.

Mama Gcina Mhlophe is an artist in storytelling.

Tebogo Mahlatsi is an artist in TV production.

Martin Luther King Jr was an artist in leadership.

Steve Jobs an artist in design.

Huggins “Shucks” Sefanyetso an artist in law.

Warren Buffet is an artist in investing.

Are you an artist of your industry?

Is your business a chef or a cook?

Are you a chef or cook at work?

We have too many cooks. The world is begging for chefs.

Bon Appetit

The Art We Make: The Evolution of Art

10941017_880208958701955_7014886667559034707_n

James Elkins points out that schools of art used to divide the arts into two categories: fine art and industrial art.

Then the intellectuals expanded the categories to: painting, sculpture, architecture, music and poetry.

From there a quick leap to: performance, video, film, photography, fiber, weaving, silkscreen, ceramics, interior architecture, industrial design, fashion, artists’ books, printmaking, kinetic sculpture, computing, neon, and holography.

To which I would add to James Elkins’s list: Entrepreneurship, customer service, invention, technology, connection, leadership, and a dozen others. These are the new performing arts, the valuable visual arts, the essential personal arts.

Art is no longer about painting and sculpture it is about design, it is about innovation, it is about anything that touches a soul.

Any profession has art in it. How a defense lawyer argues a case in court is art. How an entrepreneur builds a brand is art, how a politician delivers his speech flawlessly during a campaign is art.

The painter in front of a blank canvas. The architect changing the rules of construction. The playwright who makes us cry. The doctor who cares enough to call. The detective who cracks a cold case. The diva with a new interpretation of a classic. The customer service rep who, despite the distance and the rush, makes an honest connection. The entrepreneur who dares to start without permission or authority. The middle manager who transforms the key meeting with a single comment.

How about you? How about your business? Are you creating art? Are you touching souls for the better?

Any work that is performed with precision and touches a soul is art.

You have no place to hide anymore. You are capable of being an artist. It is no longer a domain reserved for bohemians only.

The Art We Make: Creating Your Art

6a00d8341bfa6953ef011279467b8f28a4-500wi

My definition of art contains three elements:

  1. Art is made by a human being.
  2. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
  3. Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.

By my definition, most art has nothing to do with oil paint or marble. Art is what we are doing when we do our best work.

Are you changing someone else’s life, are touching your customers’ soul for the better because if you can touch your customer’s soul for the better you are an artist.

Art is no longer about drawing only, it is about exposing your skill to your customers in a manner that they admire and connect with it.

A social entrepreneur, a blogger, a doctor, a photographer are equally artists.

Everybody is born an artist. What is your art?

Gradually and then suddenly

wave-poppies-london

This is how companies die, how brands wither and, more cheerfully in the other direction, how careers are made.

Gradually, because every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers are ignored.

We don’t notice so much, because hey, there’s a profit.

Profit covers many sins.

Of course, one day, once the foundation is rotted and the support is gone, so is the profit. Suddenly, apparently quite suddenly, it all falls apart.

It did not happen suddenly, you just noticed it suddenly.

The flipside works the same way.

Trust is earned, value is delivered, concepts are learned. Day by day we improve and build an asset, but none of it seems to be paying off.

Until one day, quite suddenly, we become the ten-year overnight success.

This is the way it works, but we too often make the mistake of focusing on the ‘suddenly’ part.

The media writes about suddenly, we notice suddenly, we talk about suddenly, we focus on suddenly.

That doesn’t mean that gradually is not important. In fact, it’s the only part you can actually do something about.

Success or failure starts gradually, and then suddenly.

Actually this lesson applies to life in general.

I think relationships don’t suddenly wither, certain things happen gradually over time until something suddenly breaks. Human tendency is to focus on the sudden break , the event instead of focusing on the small gradual things that we have control over.

So in essence it is true to take care of the cents as the rands will take care of themselves.

The small things matter the most, they start gradually and lead to sudden big things.

There is much to be said for just putting one foot in front of the other everyday, instead of running…

The Writer Files: Lucas Moloi

Writer Files Cover

The Writer Files is an online interview I conduct with various writers about their books and their writing styles. It is a form of getting to know the writer, their writing style and to tell their stories.

The Writer Files will be featured on my blog (rochemamabolo.wordpress.com) once a week featuring various writers.

ABOUT THE WRITER: LUCAS MOLOI

Who are you and what do you do?

Well my name is Lucas Moloi or you can say The Champ, a serial entrepreneur with a focus of liberate Africa economically. I am an Inspirational speaker, an Author, Blogger and a seasoned business consultant in GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance). I am the founder and Chairman of Junto Group, Chairman of SAQI (South African Quality Institute), Vice-President of WQC (World Quality Congress), Executive Director of Vuka Advisory Board, Non-executive Director of BLH (Bespoke Luxury Holding) and Executive Director of AWN (Africa Wealth Network). A Son, brother, father and Partner.

What is your area of expertise as a writer or online publisher?

I write largely on social issues, Inspiration and self-motivation. My focus is really to change peoples mind and focus them onto their ability and talent, to build in them a balanced being financially, emotionally and socially so the may succeed in their quests.

Where can we find your writings?

Published books are found at Exclusive Books around the country and also on http://www.lucasmoloi.co.za:

  • The Everyday Battlefield
  • Inspired Battle (Coming soon)

Other writings on:

THE WRITER’S PRODUCTIVITY…

How much time, per day, do you spend reading or doing research your writings?

I spend about 2 hrs on book reading and the whole day reading all the other stuff life throws our way. Every moment is research as I write about everyday activities and life as is.

Before you begin to write, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices? (Do you get coffee, tea, chocolate etc before you write)

I listen to some classic/opera/new-age music and put my feet high and put my blanket over them.

What’s your best advice for overcoming procrastination in writing?

Someone is waiting to read what you have to write, don’t let them die before they read it. No one will know what we have been through and how we have overcome it if we don’t write about it. Lastly if you don’t write your history it shall be told and remembered as others see it.

What time of day is most productive for your writing or content production?

The early morning or late nights works the most for me, when all is calm and the distractions of our day are gone

Do you generally adhere to a rigid or flexible writing system?

Very much flexible

How many hours a day do you spend actually writing (excluding email, social media etc.)?

2 hrs, I am writing various books so I divide the time amongst them.

Do you write every day?

Absolutely yes

THE WRITER’S CREATIVITY…

Define creativity.

This question requires a creative response and I don’t think that I’m very creative.

Who are your favorite authors, (online or off)?

    • Paul Coelho
    • William Shakespeare
    • Deepak Chopra
    • Zakes Mda
    • Roche Mamabolo

Can you share a best-loved quote?

“We met for a reason, its either you are a blessing or a lesson”

Do you prefer a particular type of music (or silence) when you write?

I prefer classic/opera/new-age music

How would you personally like to grow creatively as a writer?

I am not a novelist, however maybe one day I will get to it

Do you believe in “writer’s block”? If so, how do you avoid it?

Yes I do actually; if one is not inspired enough they cannot write. Spend the time in an environment that stimulates you

Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment (i.e. specific creative inspirations, like goddess of inspiration)?

The superior being (God, Buddha, Allah), whomever you may want to call him/her. The creation of life in all spheres is the greatest creativity and that fills me up with inspiration.

Would you consider yourself someone who likes to “take risks?”

Being a serial entrepreneur, oh yes. I am definitely a risk taker

What makes a writer great?

The understanding of the purpose of their writing, if the purpose of your writing is to entertain then don’t try and write what is meant to inspire.

THE WRITER’S WORKFLOW…

What hardware or typewriter model are you presently using?

Typewriter, what is that?* Laughs* I am an Apple man. MacBook Pro is my writing partner

What software are you using for writing and general workflow?

Microsoft Office has all the ingredients I need

Do you have any tricks for staying focused?

Lock myself away from everyone, switch phone off, listen to my meditation music and boom.

Have you run into any serious challenges or obstacles to getting words onto the page?

Eh, only everyday.

How do you stay organised? (Methods, systems, or “mad science”)

Process, process, process. If you follow it then the results are guaranteed

How do you relax at the end of a hard day?

Play chess, read and play some musical instruments

A FEW QUESTIONS JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT…

Who (or what) has been your greatest teacher?

Life, the lessons it teaches are timeless

What’s your biggest aggravation or pet peeve at the moment (writing related or otherwise)?

The media actually, their deliberate focus on what is negative and ignoring the positives that are happening

Choose one author, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with.

William Shakespeare

Do you have a motto, credo or general slogan that you live by?

Veni Vidi Vici (I came; I saw; I conquered)

What do you see as your greatest success in life?

Being bankrupt 3 times and still managed to build my empire, that is a state of mind

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go (cost or responsibilities are no object)?

Eh….. China.  Would go to the great wall then Mount Everest

What would you like to do more this year?

Spend more time with my kids

Can you offer any advice to writers and content producers that you might offer yourself, if you could go back in time and “do it all over?”

Start writing as early as possible, stop procrastinating

Please tell our readers where they can connect with you online.

I’m on Twitter, Facebook and Blogspot as Lucas Moloi

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your next book, the title, what is it about and when will it be released?

The Inspired Battle – details to follow

AND FINALLY, THE WRITER’S DESK…

A picture of your writing space, an office, room, desk with all your writing equipment.

Nothing says more about a writer than the space they use to create.

The revolution begins here.

Lucas Moloi Writing Space

Thanks for tuning in to The Writer Files…

Stay tuned for upcoming Q&As from the working writers we admire.

If you are already subscribed to rochemamabolo.com via email or RSS, the next installment will be delivered to you just like the rest of our daily content.