They were inspired and did this with no notice or cost! How amazing? Reach out to their group CEO Rich! if you wanna know more about what they do and how they optimize audiences!
Be more awesome.
They were inspired and did this with no notice or cost! How amazing? Reach out to their group CEO Rich! if you wanna know more about what they do and how they optimize audiences!
Be more awesome.
20 April 2020
How are you doing coping, coping and surviving?
I’m not an economist and if you are reading this, my guess is neither are you. Good. Let’s continue. There is a deluge of information being pushed into our conscious at the moment that speaks to the global depression, global recession, socialism vs. capitalism, universal basic income, the green movement and even minimalism. All of these ‘isms’ are stratospheric in thinking and don’t relate to yours and my everyday existence. The question that I’m now looking for an answer is “How does this affect me, my family and my bank account?”
Let me unpack some of the bad news, the way I see it, which hopefully will lead us to a silver lining. WARNING: This is not a motivational piece; it’s a DE-motivational post that should give you awareness so you can act accordingly.
All this talk about a V-Graph, a U graph and flattening curves is mute. What is significant to me is how long this economic downturn, curve and flat line will last. Looking back at the 2008 economic crisis that was spurned by poor banking regulations and some fairly dishonest business leaders, is no-where near the size of this global setback brought on by the pandemic at hand. After the 2008 crisis South Africa lost approximately 850,000 jobs, which took 11 years to claw back to the 2009 numbers. The current unemployment figures are sitting pre-Covid at 38%. Some smart people are estimating this will slip to roughly 50% in the coming months. During the 2008 crisis and aftermath we also had the joy of experiencing the Zuma administration and its cronyism that has also pushed us to the brink exacerbating the entire situation. Covid pulled the proverbial trigger on an unstable situation.
The American government has allocated what looks like close to 10% of the annual US GDP to the financial relief and support efforts. That means that if every single person stopped producing work and every single business closed down the package could sustain everyone for 36,5 days [10% of the year.] This is not accurate as not everyone will stop working, the unemployment rate is nowhere near SA’s and some businesses will actually increase in size and add jobs to their payroll. Some of the European countries are allocating about 15% of GDP to the effort. Unfortunately South Africa does not have the resources of these developed countries and by early counts is only able to allocate 1% of our GDP to rescue efforts – 3,5 days in total. [Again, not an accurate number, but you get the grim point.]
Take these numbers and add a Dollar exchange rate of 18,9 [correct at writing] and the economy is going to strain massively under the leash of reduced consumer demand [less people with money to spend], retrenchments and expensive imports. So, what does this mean for us? If you are fortunate enough to walk away from the lockdown with a job that pays what you were earning before this trauma, then consider yourself lucky but be aware that your disposable income wont go a far as it did back in first quarter of 2020. It may be a few months before the current imports hit the shelves of your local store so don’t be fooled that things cost the same in the coming weeks as retailers and importers have hedged the last imports at pre-corona rates.
The best way I can explain the pain the top few percent of South African earners will feel is as follows; those beautiful Spanish Avocados that you buy from Woolworths will cost upward of R50 each. That’s going to make for an expensive Avo on toast.
So what you can you actually do now to prepare for this decrease in your buying power?
With the forced #stayinside you have undoubtedly seen a saving in fuel, gym memberships, double almond cappuccinos and those social dinners that cost 3 bags of groceries. According to change management theory a habit takes 21 days of repetition to gain traction. If you have seen a similar trend in your own household and can keep this habit going you can save a substantial amount of money of the coming years. Now this is not a lesson on wastage and rampant consumerism but perhaps buying local seasonal food and cooking a few times more a week could put a few thousand Rands back in your cash flow. Reduce your medical aid packages, downgrade your Internet connection and don’t upgrade that iPhone
Be ruthless with household cost cutting. Set a budget and treat it like the 10 commandments. Turn your sieve into a bucket and save money for the second wave of this pandemic. This will not only allow you to make it through the coming months but perhaps will even see you save for an early retirement filled with R50 Avos!
For the audio of this blog click here
10 April 2020
Covid overload. Death tolls. Minimalism. Flattened curves. Acts of kindness. Memes. Screen fatigue. Emotional health. Conspiracy theories. Short-termism. Existential crisis. Lead generation webinars disguised as support networks. Oh, woe is me. Dick-stain Trump. I’m over this pandemic. Over the panic. Over waiting for the financial pain to come, but then so is your opposition and perhaps substantially more so. If you have money in the bank today, you may have a life raft. Now all you need is a way to paddle into prosperity.
Now, here is the part that you may not like. It may even turn you off a little. Get someone to hold back your hair while you throw up. Look away if you are scared. Be afraid of what I’m about to say:
Kill your opposition. Ensure they are drowning in the freezing shark infested waters of despair. Don’t pretend you give a shit, you don’t.
The lockdown extension is a blessing. Your glib, living the Instagram best life bastard-of-an-opponent that’s been sipping Champagne on the top deck of the Titanic and is always at the pitch table too, is most likely leveraged to the hilt, geared to kingdom come and not making payments on those gas guzzling German cars he/she couldn’t afford to buy cash. They have no life raft. Let them drown.
Your competition has bled all their cash and not acted quickly enough. They never booked a dingy. They have recently ruined their relationships with their own clients fighting over payments and pauses. Post lockdown, they desperately need to protect margin to keep the shareholders, the stakeholders, the sharks and the banks at bay. Why not learn and adopt a sales strategy from some of the most aggressively growing business in the world today? And it’s an uncomplicated one. Ready?
That’s it. Simple. For the next 6 months learn to live on the knife-edge of cash flow and zero profit and if today you have the stomach for this and some cash in the bank, sell at below cost and see how quickly the competition capsizes. Nobody can compete with zero margins when they are encumbered to others.
Pitch on everything at break-even. Land grab. Offer the competitions’ clients a life raft now. They too, are looking for deals as they have suffered and need support and cheap services. Brag ashamedly about your company’s stability, durability and reliability and ensure the market knows you will survive future traumas together. Unscathed.
The rich businesses will get richer and the majority middle class may be wiped out. Ephemeral thinking is for the middle class. Being eager to claw back profits now will flatten your oppositions curve. Why offer them a lifeboat to cling to when you can chum the waters?
Last week, I growled a few times and then spoke about my learnings from Day 1 of lockdown. It was rather uplifting in nature and inspirational in tone. Don’t get used to that. Today I’m writing to you with a far more aggressive stance. No lube. No pulled punches. No sanitiser on the trolley. Hold tight.
6 April 2020
Your initial shock of remote working, the lockdown and an immanent economic depression should have settled down by now, leaving you with the raw reality of your cash reserves, the hard conversations with your team and clients, and the harder conversation you haven’t had with yourself, yet.
You now face the 3 C’s of Covid, all resulting in change. Yes, the 3 C’s – I’m making this shit up as we go.*
The first C is CHOICE
You have the power to make choices now. Being proactive, even if the path is unknown, gives you huge agency and allows you to thrive as a leader. As with all choices in life, it’s advisable to have your facts checked and not just rely on gut. Unfortunately, in the time of pandemics, your choice is often as good as my guess. Choice is a state of mind. Let me butcher a Casey Neistat quote here: You can be a hater and doubter sipping champagne on the top deck of the Titanic or you can be the fucking iceberg! Choose choice.
The 2nd C is CIRCUMSTANCE
The current circumstances have left you with fewer choices than you may want right now. You are in the dangerous middle ground where you can either make a move, choose a direction and be that I-C-E-B-E-R-G or wait out the circumstances and let fate or whatever deity you believe in, make that choice for you. This is not advisable. However, you may find yourself in too deep where Circumstance has already come and gone left you in the firm grasp of our third C, Crisis.
Nothing makes you change faster than crisis. Crisis is not the 4-lettered C word you know, but it certainly feels like that. If you have passed the phase of “why am I here and how did this happen?” and have no real choice to make, you my friend, are in Crisis mode. You have to make a choice, but don’t have any real options on the choice. Sound familiar?
Now, you may swear that you become the best version of yourself under pressure and live in crisis-mode. Were you the kid that always wrote his assignment the day before it was due? Are you always fighting people crisis, client chaos, and cash flow stress? Great but this is different. This is South African Revenue Services coming after you personally; this is a CCMA case, this is not paying suppliers, avoiding calls and getting summoned. This is not Mrs White, your high school English teacher telling you to sit in detention because you never handed in your homework.
The good news is that crises always happen and they always end. It’s how you look at the end that matters now and picking ‘Choice’ may not leave you with cash in the bank, but it will leave you with credibility. It will leave you with loyal staff who see you as a strong leader. It will leave you being a trustworthy partner in whatever you land up doing next.
IQ was the shit in 1980.
EQ was the shit in 2010.
CQ is the shit in 2020.
CQ is your change quotient – Your ability to adapt to your new ever-changing environment.
The Titanic had no CQ.
Be the I-C-E-B-E-R-G!
*Special thanks to Mari Lee of Devcom who shared the initial change theory with me
27 March 2020
I hope you are doing well.
Actually, no, that’s a fucking lie! I hope you are quietly freaking out with uncertainty and a lack of control. Deep down you know that your attitude is wrong. Your goals are wrong and that you should stop with the “just survive” mentality and start thinking about ways to thrive and grow rapidly in this opportune time.
Today, there is opportunity everywhere. The money is moving. It’s moving sideways in industries. It’s leapfrogging between industries. There are bargains to be had. You could be buying businesses at 20c on the Rand. You could be partnering with larger businesses that aren’t as cash flush as you. You could be saving your opposition and taking equity. One man’s pain could be your pleasure. Start thinking about it. If someone is in pain, someone will benefit. Go after those people and never stop selling. In times of famine, the gravediggers make money. Become a gravedigger or at the very least, start selling shovels.
Today’s sales are easier than ever. I may agree with you that “No one is buying now,” and this may even be true for the next few days BUT access to the C-suite has never been easier. Think about it. Their excuses to see you are less. No one is “going to Cape Town” for a few days. No one is on leave. No one is having full day culture workshops. The CEO is sitting at home with his/her screaming 3 year old and is in the same situation as you. He/she has no 9-5. He/she has no Monday to Friday. He/she is online and available to sales after hours. Before hours. Weekends.
Not only is he/she available for 20 minutes, you can now sell to 20 CEOs at the same time, for 20 minutes. Create thought leadership material and run a webinar. Invite the 20 non-opposing wishlist clients and add value to the network. Sales en-masse. No restrictions. Be smart NOW. Timing is everything.
Remote working has holes. It’s your call on whether you want an office in future or not. Each has pros and cons. Each has costs and savings. Each requires a different kind of employee. Each requires your existing team to have a different mind-set. Each requires a different type of client. Each requires a different kind of boss. There is no right or wrong – just a future you choose, so choose wisely. No knee jerk reactions required here. While you are in a forced experiment, work out if this is your future and if the rental loss is worth the trade offs.
In remote offices the tech is easy. The culture is hard. The people management is hard. Giving autonomy and not checking bums in seats, is hard. Motivation and inspiration is hard. Always on, is hard. Measuring output and ignoring input is even harder. Not paying rent – easy.
Your team will save time and petrol money in the weeks to come. It’s your job to get them to make other savings in their household right now, too. Your business needs variable overheads, so does your staff.
Give your clients space to breathe now. Be empathetic to their circumstances. They are feeling as much pain or more than you are. They may leave you. They may ‘pause’ your services. How you deal with them today will determine if they ever come back to you and if they will ever refer you. Are you building a trust-based relationship with them now? Isn’t that what you want? If they leave you now, just be there in the coming weeks. Pick up the phone and check in. This will serve you well in future.
While they are sitting in their lounges with pictures of their kids hanging on the wall behind them, they have dropped the boardroom attire and pretence. They are human just like you and this is the chance you never had to get close to them- the human.
You are building a product right now aren’t you? Something “smart” that can be sold online to the masses. You are moving from a niche physical business to a mass online business. Don’t do that. Don’t be silly. You have no idea how that business operates, markets and lives on such small profits. Make what you do today an essential service for tomorrow, like sanitizer- but not so overpriced.
Stop thinking about today’s loss.
Stop thinking about the week’s loss.
Stop thinking about the month’s losses.
Start thinking about 18-24 months from now.
Who will you be? What will your business do? Will you be relevant? This is all a small blips in your business lifecycle. A deep painful pimple. Don’t squeeze it. Don’t scratch it. Don’t pop it – it will scar. It’s ugly. It’s sore but it will heal in time and you will forget about it.
If you have kids that can still be influenced by you – scare the fuck out of them. That’s right! Make this pandemic their World War 2. Hopefully by the time they run for government office or have the vote, they will move the defence budgets to the influenza budget and the war chests to the disease control departments. More people have died of flu since World War 2 than people died in both world wars combined and yet we build guns, not vaccines. By the time I’m an old man, I’m selfishly hoping the next generation use this war and its scars, to build systems and departments that will protect the old people [me] from the Covids of 2050.
It’s a new scary world with no playbook. No rules. This is your chance to write the rules. Write the playbook. Write the future chapters of your career. Innovation and iteration of your product is dead. This is ground zero. It’s time to rejuvenate. It’s time to reincarnate. It’s time to reinvent yourself, your business and your legacy.
During the past few public speaking gigs I have been fortunate enough to have presented, it’s become so clear to me, than every person, regardless of being a business owner or employee, needs to own page 1 of Google, if searched for by name.
I started Business, Bikes and Breakfast as a pet project, an experiment, a fun day out in February 2019 with nothing more than an idea, an Instagram page and some cool images stolen of the interwebs. Its now reached hundreds of people and is gaining momentum both in the paid for coaching events as well as the free social rides. This is my movement. This is my culture. This is my expertise and this is me owning my narrative and Google page 1!
Here is what I believe in:
Very simple in nature and way more difficult in practise. I’ve started a community, which is hard, but hugely satisfying.
In the years to come, it will be these communities and events that will give me pleasure, not give me regrets and will the things I’ve done in life I’m most proud of on the business front.
There are a few other lessons learned here too:
If you want to find out more, drop me an email or Whatsapp.
Enjoy some of the images below from the 2nd BBBRAP social ride in Jo’burg on the 16th February. [All the cool ones are thanks to Richard Harper]
Listen to this interview to find out why I believe: “Your business is successful when it serves the owner in the way the owner wants – whether it’s to build a bigger team, leave a legacy, gain more exposure in the media, make more profit, or even to play more golf.”
Thanks to Charles at Flying Kite for the opportunity to be on his new podcast.
“When I can eliminate limiting self-beliefs in a person and put a structure in place for them to measure growth, make money, and have fun – I get great satisfaction from it!”
If you just wanna engage or want more info on this podcast, contact me email@example.com
The workforce of today and tomorrow will find income without a long format Curriculum Vitae with their online presence, a direct sales approach and their searchability being the backbone of success with a strong balance of IQ, EQ and change quotient.
Stop using the front door to get in the building.
Our half-day customised master class will cover how the world and South Africa are moving towards a remote gig economy and where the Internet and online platforms will provide global work opportunity that we have never experienced before.
Brent Spilkin literally wrote the book on freelancers with his book “What the Freelance – the mini MBA for Freelancers.” The research and findings of this text book has lead to a new approach to working for clients rather than working for an employer.
This master class will leave you with practical tools and insights into getting out the mindset of CVs, recruiters and “let’s hope I get that interview,” and into a new way of proactively seeking the kind of work and freedom you always wanted but never knew possible.
HERE IS A THOUGHT SHIFT: Less of unemployed and more self employed
These are some of the key lessons you will learn and apply:
Who are you next?
Come define your future. Make this a positive choice not a crisis.
For more info contact us or send us a WhatsApp message.
The single biggest contributor to success in a business is your attitude towards everything and everyone and your ability to Get Shit Done.
As a business owner you are responsible for multiple tasks and responsibilities and GSD applies to every aspect of your business. Getting Shit Done entails asking questions when you are unsure and learning from the process and your mistakes. Getting Shit Done is believing in urgency, excellence and delivery. GSD is often referred to as “Hustle” but it’s more than that in your business. It’s the grit, the mental toughness, your emotional capacity and your passion to be recognised for greatness, recognised for always delivering what you said you would, on time, on budget and without fuss.
Constant improvement and putting in the extra effort with suppliers, staff and clients alike will pay off in more than just dividends; you will attract and retain better quality, higher paying clients and MATTER to the people your business touches.
Set your goals, push the boundaries, and achieve success and always over-deliver. Copy Paste. Copy Paste. Copy Paste.
Getting Shit Done means you do the work you dread, submit the taxes your hate, have the hard conversations with your stakeholders, the harder conversations with your clients and the most difficult conversations with yourself.
Your talent will only take you so far, but the ability to learn the skills required to grow an organisation of one, that will get the important tasks done professionally, deal with clients maturely and communicate effectively is what will set your business apart from your talented peers.
Having a high GSD factor will allow you to work on the big picture and vision in small bite-sized achievable chunks, looking at the long road ahead and never feeling that it’s too far to go. Building your GSD factor is work. It needs to be developed and exercised like any other muscle in your body. If you keep pushing yourself to do the hard things, the hard things become easier and you build tolerance to them and this will allow you to grow through the mental barriers you had subconsciously set yourself. Achieve more.
Getting Shit Done means you question everything. Question your processes. Question your clients. Question your prices. Question yourself. Will power ebbs and flows and your motivation levels will never be at 110% every damn day so stick to a schedule. Be regimented in everything you do and avoid distractions that are shoved in your path every minute. Get off Social media. Stop reading rubbish and only consume for improvement. Get off social media. Learn from the best that have done it and have the most valuable lessons to learn. Get off social media. Set small habits and expand on them over time. If you want to cheat then make it part of the habit and routine. Cheat only when your calendar says you can.
Consistency is the fuel of getting shit done. Pick a pace and tone that works for you and your clients and be consistent in everything you do from the way you answer your phone to the automation and frequency of raising your invoices.
Starting a business is easy. Growing a business is painful. Growing a great business is extremely tough and takes resilience. Getting Shit Done is Godly. Your clients, suppliers and consumers will not remember the work you delivered in the months and years to come. They will remember the way you delivered the work, your level of professionalism, the way you presented yourself and how you communicated with them at all touch points in their business.
Getting Shit Done is what will make your business a success. Getting Shit Done is what will make you a success. Get. Shit. Done.
The prior months group voted on “Social media strategy” as the August theme and after doing a fun ice breaker event on top of Northcliff Hill we pulled into the Link building [scaring the security guards] where coffee and coaching was served!
All pics by Brandon