wisdom

Why Wisdom?

Why Wisdom?

Wisdom, rather than products, information, or knowledge, has become the most prized commodity in the 21st Century. Why? Because wisdom is the glue. It’s the “how” and the “why” that empowers and directs all of those “what's” out there. Without it, we cannot function effectively, cannot manage change adroitly and cannot navigate the extraordinary shifts in our civilization that have occurred in the span of less than twenty-five years. Wisdom is the single greatest asset you possess and a prized advantage for your ideal market if you can identify, package and monetize it well.

This is the shift - top down to WisdomDriven

In fact, in the face of the extraordinary changes that have occurred, the very survival of your business is based on becoming a wisdom-centered enterprise. No other business structure or perspective provides you with as much power, control, and the flexibility to navigate today’s choppy waters of commerce.

By building your organization with wisdom at its heart, you can differentiate and sell your services or products easier, you can unify, train and motivate your team better and transform the relationships you have with your clients into those of collaboration, mutual education, and insight development. Building a Wisdom Driven Practice might be a path to survival in some regards but for many others, it is the most direct route to an incredible expression of their natural gifts and wondrous financial reward.

The Wisdom LInk

Intellectual Capital as Your Sales Tool

intellectual property

So how does the wisdom inside your head become an asset?  How does your intellectual capital help advance your immediate sales and marketing needs?  You turn that wisdom of yours into a product.

For most of our clients WHAT they do from a 40,000 ft. view isn't so very different from anyone else.  But HOW they do it, and WHY they do it is TOTALLY unique and quite often is the "secret sauce" for all their success.  The genius of their business lives in the HOW and the WHY not the products or services themselves.  And if prodded, most of my clients will relate a very unique, hard-won perspective on the work the do, how to do it well, and how to create optimal results.  Sometimes they know it's powerful.  Sometimes they think it's common sense.

So let's agree that the wisdom, insight, and lessons learned in the trenches ARE the most important assets your company possess.  Want proof?  Try training a junior to do what you do without all the wisdom behind it and see how well they perform.  Well, if you can't scale since you can't train, then what you've built is a business that ends with you.

So don't stop selling the way you've been all these years to take on some new gimmick.  Instead, take what's working to a new level by naming it, explaining how it works with a graphic and outline how that unique worldview perspective you have (no matter what it is) communicates into a totally unique experience for clients.

Creative Services – Why It’s Not Just About The Design

helvetica It’s easy to fall into a creative services trap when thinking about your company’s brand identity, website, and marketing collateral. Royal blue or Cyan? Helvetica or Serif? Guess what - It’s not all about the design! If your branding wins design awards but doesn’t tell your story or affect your bottom line, it isn’t doing its job.

Branding is about strategy and gives valuable insight into what makes your company unique and the values that lie at its core. It’s about identifying your market and speaking directly to them. Who are they? What are they looking for, and how can you help them? Your branding has a job to do and it isn’t just to look pretty.

Let’s talk about your website for example. Think of your website as a 24/7 sales girl. It’s our job to tell her what to wear, what to say and who to talk to. Putting her in a blue dress doesn’t matter unless it actually matters to your market. Now, I’m not suggesting that design means nothing (I am in creative services after all), I’m simply saying that spending 12 months perfecting the minute details of your website means 12 months that your sales girl is sitting on the sidelines.

A live website that’s 80% perfect is working 100% harder than a website that isn’t live at all.

 So how do ensure that your branding is doing its job? Start by asking a couple of questions:

  1. Who is my target market specifically? What problems are they facing? What are they afraid of? What gives them comfort or makes their life easier? Are they men, women? How old? What do they believe in? You can’t possibly know how to talk to and appeal to them if you don’t know who they are.
  1. What is true about me/my company? You’ve learned a thing or two over the years – what is unique about what you do or how you do it? What lies at the center of your business? It doesn’t matter who your audience is if you don’t know what you have to offer them.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 2.32.29 PM

Branding strategy is built by understanding where you and your market intersect.  You make money by expressing where you create value, to an audience who value it.

It becomes really easy to answer questions like: “Royal blue or Cyan?” and “Helvetica or Serif?” when you know what you are aiming at, what your market wants and what you’re offering.

Look for my next blog “The 10 Things Every Website Needs to Have” to learn more about how to make your marketing and branding work harder for your company.

The 6 Tips to Capturing Intellectual Capital Systems

When it comes to capturing your intellectual capital systems, nothing can give your organization better traction, scalability or a higher valuation when the time comes to sell. What’s not to like?

The problem?  Wondering where to get started.

With sexy new software like www.playbookit.com for creating robust multi-media operations manuals, the task is starting to look quite appealing.  Here are our top 6 tips to capturing your business systems and transforming them into intellectual capital revenue.

  1. Start with what’s working:  If you are wondering where to begin with systems to capture, consider building from the positives.  While it will be productive at some point to tackle the things that are broken, getting momentum and harvesting systems that work is best.
  2. Track Along Your Client Experience from Sale to Fulfilled:  Consider that the client “experience” is like a spinal column. Like vertebrae, those big steps from a sale to a happy customer are the main milestones in a client engagement and the sub-systems that attach are like your nervous system.
  3. Toggle Between Client Facing and Back-Office Perspectives:  Start by outlining what clients see, read, hear and experience and then build out all of the systems that support those efforts.
  4. Define the Transformation:  Capturing systems can lead you to defining “culture” if you get inside the WHY behind the WHATS.  Defining your client’s transformation from the beginning of an engagement to the end is a powerful way to define the essence of your value.
  5. Map It, Then Define It:  Lay out all the steps and map them like a flowchart.  Big things first, like “first client meeting” – then start layering all the sub-systems around it like, “create meeting agenda”, “tidy boardroom”, “send invite”,  etc. etc. until that single step is nailed.
  6. More Video And Tools – Fewer Lines of Text:  English majors be warned, the best way to build an operation's manual is with video, not text.  With simple two and three minute videos you can organize, communicate and express the details as well as the sprit of what you do and why.

If "intellectual capital" is defined as your intellectual property working for you, then building an operations manual of systems and procedures is one of the fastest routes to monetization.  Get started today and you’ll see the rewards of your efforts.

PS Below here is a link to a Wisdom Harvesting Tool - this is a great resource for defining your wisdom and how it serves others.

download the Wisdom Harvest Tool

The Top Ten Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Top 10 Habits I can’t speak for all successful entrepreneurs and business owners, but with 12 years experience now, I’ve personally interviewed over 500 of the top ½% - 1% income earning entrepreneurs in the US, Canada and Europe. I’ve logged about 18,000 hours of interviews asking them why they win, what their outlook is, and how they built a successful business. I ask about the past and I ask about the future. I ask what’s keeping them up nights and I ask what’s got them excited. Pretty much the same conversation with the same sort of person over and over again.

And with all of that intel, I’ve derived a top ten list of the habits I see with these people. Here’s the list and a short explanation for each:

1. They decide (over and over again) to commit: It might be a surprise but these highly successful people are far from perfect. Many have hard stories in their past or shortcomings that might be considered a non-starter – no college, A.D.D., a lack of polish or social skills, a bad family background, addictions, etc. etc. But it’s the commitment level that distinguishes them from normal people. Time and again I see the person with the biggest commitment wins.

2. They claim the “Golden Hour”: The Golden Hour is that first hour of the morning when no one claims your time. And for my entrepreneurs, they totally employ that time to improve themselves. Ever wonder how these people speak other languages, read books and newspapers, have time for yoga, meditation, gratitude journals and a 5mile run? Well, they’re up at 4am.

3. They are totally accountable: Taking total ownership is a marked difference-maker with this exclusive group of entrepreneurs. They don’t blame the president, the economy, the competition or their staff. The more successful the person, I’ve found, the more they own the whole enchilada. And when they make that switch to ownership and accountability – instead of blame, they can act.

4. They create their way out of problems: When my clients get pinned down or cornered, it’s as though something in their heads gets triggered. Instead of lying down or giving in, they sort of go berserk and create the most innovative strategies of their careers. It’s almost like the genius can’t be triggered unless they are truly challenged.

5. They break the rules – change paradigms: While all are “above-board”, none of my clients like being hemmed in with rules and regulations. And to get their business where they want it to go, many of my most successful are truly innovation and mavericks. “Rules are for other people”, seems to be a shared perspective.

6. They experience and express gratitude: For my clients who read this blog, none of you will be surprised to read this, but for the normal reader it’ll be quite interesting to learn that highly successful people spend a lot of time in a state of appreciation and gratitude.

7. They focus on results – not on activity: This is factory installed for all entrepreneurs ideally because of the way they are paid…but with the most successful, it’s a like a genetic mutation. They focus on effectiveness and not simply on being busy.

8. They enlist and coordinate resources: Most successful people, entrepreneurs or not, understand the value of a team of like-minded but blended skills. Most of the best and most balanced entrepreneurs I encounter are masters at knowing what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t be doing and have the discipline to delegate away those weaknesses.

9. They focus on strengths, not weaknesses: Much is talked about this skillset but seeing it in action is amazing. Imagine your friend makes a huge blunder with their company but won’t discuss it, won’t lament, won’t do a post mortem. Instead they just want to tell you all about how they bagged another big deal. That’s what this habit actually looks like when you see it – a totally focus on what’s working.

10. They seek to understand before they are understood: Because I find my clients so inspiring, I am happy to brag about them. They are a curious bunch- always learning, always stretching and really interested in other people and the world at large. My clients are more interested in getting to know people, situations and opportunities than in being known, understood or loved.

I hope these are valuable for you. What are your best habits?

Jon LoDuca Founder The Wisdom Link

download the Wisdom Harvest Tool

Your Intellectual Capital: 5 Sales You Have to Make

Your Intellectual Capital You’re an entrepreneur. Your job is to take an asset from one level of productivity to the next level. And when it comes to your Intellectual Capital, you need to monetize your wisdom by making five distinct sales.

Here's a simple way to tackle it, one sale at a time:

First Sale: Inside Your Head The first person that needs to see that what your company has is unique is you. Without that sort of clarity you have commoditized what you do, sell or offer. And with commodities there’s little left but a race to the pricing bottom. Find out what your intellectual assets are and define them.

The Second Sale: At The Kitchen Table This next sale is made with your team. Rebooting the system by allowing your people to see what the company is “really” about will enable you to preserve culture, attract talent, transform behavior, and migrate the team to create a brand experience clients enjoy.

Third Sale: In The Backyard: This next sale happens with your database: leads that didn’t convert and current or past clients. Why leads that didn’t convert? Because most of us give up too quickly with them and because a deeper insight about your wisdom is sometimes what they need to answer the question, “why you?”

When it comes to clients, educating them on your wisdom (beliefs, passion, unique capabilities, systems and methods) can sometimes inspire them to buy more (share of wallet) or refer others (share of relationship).

Fourth Sale: Around The Neighborhood: This sale aspect addresses the Center of Influence relationships you have and want to cultivate. Let’s make it happen here by getting a plan, defining the value proposition of connecting and building a reciprocity model for shared exposure.

Fifth Sale: Across The World This is sale that’s made with prospects. Let’s find them, nurture them and convert them using the unmistakable genius of your wisdom. Inbound Marketing at its purest form is an opportunity for you to package and communicate your ideas, values and worldview to attract and convert your Right-Fit audience. Your I.C. is the fuel.

To take on the fight against the destructive forces of commoditization, you have to be courageous, you have to be inventive, and you have to communicate with passion, conviction and clarity. Five audiences. Five sales. Go to it.

Looking to get started? Click the banner below to begin capturing your wisdom today!

download the Wisdom Harvest Tool