TEYCSTW #8

It’s Sunday, so it’s TEYCSTW time.

(or, “TEST” as my spell checker would like to have it)

If you’re looking for three things you can write to your list this week, you’re in the right place.

If you’re looking for the installation instructions for a new isolation valve for your toilet cistern, you’re in for some disappointment.

Let’s dive in…

1. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?

If you’ve ever had a job interview, odds are you’ve been asked this question.

It’s one of those bloody annoying “what they hell do they want me to say?” kinda questions.

Should you show ambition and say “in your chair, asshole!”?

… or should you act like the job you’re applying for is the one you’ve always dreamed of?

“Well, hopefully, I’ll be the most productive bull semen tester you’ve ever employed, boss!”…

I’ve no idea. 

What I do know is that it makes for good email fodder.

How?

Easy. Have a think about what your job/industry will look like in 10 years and write about that.

Stick your neck out and go all-in on this.

Bold predictions make for interesting reading, and your emails should always be interesting.

Besides, there’s no pressure on you to be correct. If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that no-one has a sodding clue about what’s going to happen.

The important thing is that you’re thinking about this kinda stuff, so let your imagination go wild. Paint a vivid picture of how you think your industry will look in 10 years.

Will you be obsolete?

Will results be gotten quicker?

What techniques might be discovered?

How will your premium service/product look in 10 years?

Go on… have a guess.

2. WAITER – THERE’S A FLY IN MY SOUP!

Complaints. We’ve all had them.

I once had an elderly woman stand up in the middle of a birthday party at a crowded restaurant and demand to know how much I was being paid to perform.

The entire room was silent (and staring at me)

I told her.

“I could’ve got Cannon and Ball for that!”, she replied.

To this day, I have no idea if that was an insult or a compliment.

(It was definitely an insult. It could’ve been worse – she could’ve said “Cannon OR Ball…”)

Regardless, it makes for an interesting story. All complaints do.

Plus, it’s cathartic to get these things off your chest every once in a while.

(Besides, therapy is expensive!).

So, if you’ve had a complaint (don’t lie, we all have), write about it.

Were they right to complain? Why?

Were they in the wrong? Why?

What were they complaining about?

What were they REALLY complaining about?

Not only does writing about this give you a chance to communicate your values when it comes to business, but it also gives you a sneaky way of showing potential future customers (your list) what you’re like to work with when the going gets tough.

You never really know someone until their back is against the wall…

… and your back is never more against a wall than when you’re having to defend yourself.

3. DON’T LOOK AT ME!

One of my favourite mental models is the 80/20 principle – the basic idea that some things matter more than others.

You get 80% of your profits from 20% of your customers, for example.

I’m not going to harp on about this, as you’re probably already familiar with it. If you’re not, I’d recommend you stop what you’re doing, go and Google “80/20 principle” and get a wet wipe to clean up the mess from your impending brain explosion.

Once you know it, you start seeing 80/20 everywhere.

The obvious email to write would be to highlight the top “80/20” activities your customers can focus on to make their lives better, but…

… who wants to be obvious?

Instead, write an email focusing on the surprising things that your customers SHOULDN’T be looking at.

There’s always something that your audience thinks is absolutely vital, but is actually as useful as a flip flop on an arctic expedition.

It’s usually the things that FEEL like work, but don’t actually move the needle.

Stuff like:

  1. Reading blog posts
  2. Devising new systems
  3. Consuming yet another audiobook

These things are well and good, but they’re not usually the most important things needed to get results.

What are the things your audience shouldn’t be looking at?

What should they stop paying attention to?

Create a Top 5 list of things your audience should STOP doing if they want to get results.


That’s TEYCSTW #8 for this week.

Hope you find something of use.

See you tomorrow,

John