Failures are not a problem – repeated failures are the problem.

We are all mere mortals. We are humans. We are not perfect. All humans make mistakes. All humans will accomplish a task in a less than ideal ways.

Freaking out about a first time error is a bigger mistake than the original error. People will always make mistakes and problems will always arise. Harsh reactions to mistakes encourages people to hide mistakes – which makes mistakes even more of a problem.

Human error is an opportunity for everyone to improve. Weaknesses are opportunities to grow to strength. Every time we improve, we create compound interest in the quality of the “self.”

Seeking out opportunities to learn and improve and grow is the critical step in any mistake. Make things better on the other side of the mistake and everyone wins.

Leaders, don’t make a big deal about first time mistakes. Focus obsessively on the solutions and opportunities for improvement – that’s how problems turn into successes.

Everyone – a first time mistake isn’t the end of the world. The only problem from a mistake is failing to learn and improve.

Probably the #1 metric of success for a Boss is their employee retention rate.

If you’re fighting imposter syndrome as a leader – examine your employee retention rate. If your employees are sticking around, you’re doing something right. Communicate openly and honestly and ask them questions about why they’re staying and what do you do (and can you do) to make thier jobs easier.

A good leader’s primary goal should always be to bolster the effectiveness of their employees. Good leaders help others, teach others, share the load with others, and give credit and appreciation. Employees will stay at places with good leaders like that, even if the job is stressful and the pay is below average.

If a leader doesn’t make their employee’s jobs easier… if a leader doesn’t share knowledge… if a leader doesn’t give appreciation… they are drains on everyone around them. That drives people away in droves.

If you’re a leader and can’t retain employees, take a good hard look at yourself and figure out what you can do to make your employee’s lives easier, not harder. Sure, you may not be able to control a lot of factors, such as sallary, benefits, and the like. But you can do things to offset those issues and get employees to stick around.

If you’re aspiring to be a leader, look around and find leaders who have teams who are sticking around. Watch what they do and aspire to be like them. Maybe buy them lunch and ask them what they do.

If you have a leader who makes your job easy, make sure they know how much you appreciate them, help them out, share credit – do all of the things to them that you wish they would do for you. Things like that can go a long way to improve their lives just like they can make such a difference in your life.

If we all share the load, give appreciation, and give knowledge – the entire world can be made a bette place. If you don’t care about making the world a better place, then you should at least know that all of these things will make companies more profitable as well.

The best time to plant a tree is yesterday, the second best time is today. -an old proverb

You can’t training montage your way to the top like it is a movie, but you also don’t need to cancel all of your commitments and devote yourself to a sensei at the top of a mountain. A little bit of progress ever day goes a VERY long way over the years.

I call it “progress through endurance” – show up a little bit every day and the dividends down the line will be huge.

Open up that educational book and read a chapter a day. Go for a short run after work. Pursue that extra certification.

Big or small, find something to work on ever day and you can go far.

In digital marketing, it is important to set aside emotion and rely on data.

We’re in an industry where we have treasure troves of data to measure the effectiveness of ideas. Since we’re all just mere mortals, not every idea we have will be a winner. If we let emotions, like pride, get in the way – we can cling to things that ultimately lose money.

Let the data speak for itself. If the data disproves an idea, drop it like a hot potato, learn, and move on. No one benefits from pride clinging to ideas.

Every time data disproves, or proves, an idea – everyone wins.

Instead, find ways to ethically measure data and lean hard into what the data says. If it works, it works! Double down on what works and you can snowball some serious successes.

Leaders must:
Give time.
Give courtesy.
Give respect.
Give attention.
Give credit.
Give knowledge.
Give appreciation.

A leader must never be a taker. Someone who takes from their team does not push their team forward – they hold them back.

Good leaders give as much as they can to their team – giving pushes everyone forward. It creates productivity and improves quality of output. Giving leaders make companies more profitable, improve the quality of life of coworkers, and all around make the world a better place.

“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before.” – C.S. Lewis

All of our small decisions slowly change who we are. It changes our character, our priorities, our ethics, and our effectiveness.

Every small compromise we make that goes against our character erodes us. Bit by bit we become worse people.

But every time we stand up for what is right, we become better and better humans.

All of these small choices add up over the years. So start to day – make a good small decision. Then tomorrow, make another. It makes all the difference.

“And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature.” – C.S. Lewis

“Never assume malice when incompetence is more likely.” – a saying from my mother

So often when something goes wrong, people jump to assumptions of malice. “My coworker didn’t help me because he/she wants me to fail.” “My coworker said that remark to undermine me and take my job.” etc…

There are few people in this world with that level of malice. Most people would instead have some sort of shortcoming – be it they didn’t do a good job, they forgot, they were lazy, they failed to communicate that they got pulled onto another task, etc etc.

There’s a million and one reasons for some sort of interpersonal conflict. The vast majority of the reasons don’t have to do with malice – instead the individual’s flawed humanity and imperfect work is the more likely culprit.

Don’t assume malice – don’t create conflict where there doesn’t need to be.

“It [is] more fun and more profitable for [employees] to like themselves.” -Zig Ziglar

Employees are a company’s number one resource.

The primary job of every leader should be to cultivate and grow their employees. All leaders need to constantly praise, appreciate, support, and defend coworkers and their lives (and the company) will be enriched.

Employees who are valued produce more and stay longer. It is profitable for leaders to prioritize the well being of their team – not to mention it makes the world a better place.

Consumers around the world spend an average of over 7.5 hours per day with media.

That is scary how much time is wasted – much of it is spent on media that is just a dompamine chasing time waster – or even something that makes our lives worse.

Be very careful where you spend your time. You can time waste your life away. The dopamine rush can be very addicting though, so resisting the urge is a challenge.

But at the same time, if you are selective about how much you spend your time on certain media, you can drastically improve your life.

Asking someone “Does that make sense?” is assuming you did a good job explaining the topic and requires the other person to say that it didn’t make sense, which can make them feel stupid. Sometimes they won’t even say that it doesn’t make sense even if they didn’t understand it. No one wins in that situation.

Don’t put the awkwardness and pressure on them when YOU are the one who’s doing a good or bad job communicating.

Instead say things like… “Did I explain that well?” or “Am I making sense?”

That puts the ownership of clarity on you – not the person you’re talking to. That simple ownership makes things less awkward for the receiver and you’re more likely to find gaps in communication so you can improve what you say and how you say it.

Essentially, own your own communication shortcomings – don’t put them on other people.

Praise, encouragement, support, and appreciation are some of the most effective and valuable tools in interpersonal relationships.

Praise more than scold. Encourage more than discourage. Thank more that condemn. Point out success rather than error.

Leadership is all about propelling the team forward and the best way to get that push is with the positive rather than the negative.

Disagreements mean you are wrong and you have an opportunity to learn and grow.

Or they are wrong and you have an opportunity to teach them.

Or, what happens 49 times out of 50, you’re both partially wrong and have the opportunity to teach each other and take a train of though and improve it beyond what either could do solo.

Embrace disagreements with humility and open minds. Who knows where you can go from there.

Don’t kill your website with “features” – those features cost load time, load time costs revenue.

These days, so many SaaS offerings say things like, “just add a script to your website – no developer needed!” It drives me bonkers. Those extra bits of javascript WILL drown your website with horrible load times.

Each second of load time hurts your conversion rate anywhere from 2% to 11% depending on your industry and customer loyalty. The studies I’ve seen seem to average at around 6%.

Can you afford a 6% hit to your conversion rate?

For a seven figure business, just a few tenths of a second slower website could cost you $1,300,000 per year in revenue!

Each tenth of a second load time is CRITICAL for the success of a website, even with today’s fast connection speeds.

Think long and hard before adding more and more to your website and instead spend time more thinking about what you can take away. Those minute website optimizations can very quickly add up to millions of dollars of new revenue per year – or millions of dollars of lost revenue per year.

It is critical that companies provide value for value in virtually every exchange, and email exchanges are no exception.

My email address has value. It has value to me as managing it it takes up my time and it has value to others as it can be sold for monetary value and it can be used to generate revenue.

If a business wants my email address, they want something of value. Which means I want something of value to me in order to justify the exchange of information.

Daily emails of nothing but links to products for sale does not provide value to me. Weekly emails of nothing but links to products to buy does not provide value to me.

Free content conveyed via email is critical for email retention and should be the cornerstone of any email marketing campaign. If I know emails sent to me will teach or entertain me, I’m more likely to open the email, read the email, and stay subscribed to the list. If I know the email is going to be nothing but a list of products to buy, I’ll only ever open that during big sale times and every sales email sent to me drastically increases the liklihood of my unsubscribing.

Don’t push the sale at every turn – it drives away leads.

Balance offering free educational/entertainment content along with pushing the sale – that’s how you retain leads and drive long term success. It takes effort, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Everyone loves being appreciated. It makes them feel valued and builds their self confidence.

A well timed compliment could even make someone’s whole day and pull them out of a slump. So why wouldn’t you thank someone for their work or tell them they did a good job on a task?

It doesn’t matter if it’s big, small, complex, or easy. It especially doesn’t matter if it’s just them doing the basics of their job. Everyone loves being appreciated. Just toss out an extra compliment! You can’t go wrong!

Be as generous as possible with compliments and appreciation – the world (and work place) will be better for it.

Why would we ever want to spread negativity? No one benefits from that. So drop all negativity.

Instead, be positive at every opportunity. With practice, you might be surprised at how many things can be spun positive with a little effort.

Positivity is contageous. It lifts everyone up. It increases productivity and quality of life.

Social media is such a bittersweet tool. It’s great for keeping up with friends and family as well as networking with new and interesting people. But my goodness it can become such a time waster – not in a good way.

One of my biggest takeaways from my favorite book of 2020 (Peak Performance) was, stress + rest = growth. This simple formula is the best way to pursue your goals. Push your limits with the stress part of the equation, and then rest efficiently. There’s a lot of fascinating nuance and science to it, but I won’t get too far down that rabbit hole.

The point is – quality rest is important. However, social media is not effective at the “rest” portion of the equation.

Have you ever been stressed out, scroll on social media for an hour, then feel rested and relieved? I haven’t. Even with my heavy handed curation of my social media feeds. So I have been reducing my social media consumption at every turn – fighting to be more deliberate with the time I spend there.

Towards this end, I’ve developed some quick and easy tricks for reducing social media consumption.

Disable all notifications

I have very very few notifications enabled on my phone. I don’t need them interrupting my day. The more interruptions I get, the harder it is for me to focus on my primary tasks.

So of the very few social media apps I have on my phone, all of them have their notifications disabled.

I’ll seek out social media when I want to check them – not when the apps give me another useless notification that I absolutely do not need to see at this very moment.

Delete apps from your phone

Apps make it so easy to quickly open up social media and get scrolling and scrolling. These app designers work very hard to make them addictive. So I delete them. Instead, I browse Facebook from my web browser, and I even log out of Facebook from the browser.

Of the social media apps that I do have on my phone, I leave them off of my Home Screen and keep them on pages far to the right so I have to swipe to get to them. I also don’t have any social media widgets.

The goal is to increase the amount of steps it takes to open up social media so I am less likely to absentmindedly open them up as I’m staring at my phone.

Leave my phone behind

A new thing I’m starting to do is simply keep my phone out of my pocket and out of sight. There’s some interesting studies that show having your phone in your pocket or having your phone in your field of view makes you more distracted. You’re more likely to be thinking about the phone or compulsively pick up the phone.

This helps me focus more and be more engaged with what’s going on around me.

Screen time app limits

iOS and Android have screen time limitation features. So I have screen time limits for the only 2 social media apps I have on my phone. I have those limits set to 1 minute. This means whenever I use social media, I constantly get “keep using for another 15 minutes” notifications. this simple timer will break me out of the endless scroll loop of social media and back off of my phone.

I also set downtime that disables all apps in the evening. This strongly encourages me to get off my phone and begin my bedtime routine, helping me sleep better and get up earlier the next day.

Less social media = more happiness and productivity

I’ve never thought back on a day and was glad I spend 4 hours on social media. So reducing social media consumption is a big goal of mine for 2021 and I’m already off to a great start.

Positivity is contagious.

Being positive betters your own life and the lives of those around you.

Negativity is contagious.

Negativity drags down people around you.

It’s easier said than done, but don’t be negative. Be positive instead.

No really. I mean it. Try try to focus on the positive even when things seem completely bad. The more you dwell on the good, the more good you see around you.

We life in the time of history and in nations where the poverty line is the highest it has ever been, average education is the highest it has ever been, average lifespan is the highest it has ever been, and even crime rate is the lowest it has ever been

We are in an amazing time to be alive. We have more comforts, security, and mobility than any period in history. We are so blessed we freak out over tiny little things. So instead focus on the good things.

It can make a huge difference.

If I am wrong, it means I have an opportunity to learn something new.

Every time I learn something new, I become a better person.

Being right is boring. Being right means there isn’t an opportunity for growth.

Repeatedly doing something correctly is satisfying, but it not an opportunity for growth.

Always seek out opportunities for growth.