Chapter 3

Core Values

The core values you set for your business guide your decision making process. They are the rails on which you run your business. They are the North Star which guides you and your team. 

When you express these values publicly,  they act like a magnet that attracts the people who buy into those beliefs and repel those who don’t. They separate the sheep from the goats.

They are a key element when it comes to brand building.

Prompted by the Syrian refugee crisis, Airbnb formulated a campaign based on taking a stand and sending a message of acceptance. The commercial shows a montage of faces of different nationalities blending into one another, with text that reads… 

We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” 

The ad highlighted Airbnb’s commitment to provide short-term housing for people in need, including refugees, victims of natural disasters and aid workers.

The ad received its fair share of hate on social media. 

However, the response was widely positive. The ad generated 33,000 tweets during the first half of the Super Bowl, more than any other advertiser, and the majority were overwhelmingly positive. 

According to Airbnb’s internal track, reactions to the campaign were 85 percent positive. And Airbnb’s call to the public to open their homes to displaced populations resulted in 15,400 volunteer host signups to date.

Here are my core values…

#1: Transparency
Show up as I really am. Warts and all. Don’t create artificial barriers or force everyone into a one-size-fits-all process.

For instance, I open all my emails by saying that I value my subscriber’s attention and offering them the opportunity to opt out at any time. 

I don’t want people on my mailing list who do not want to be there. I am not in the business of wasting people’s time by clogging up their inbox with unwanted emails.

Being transparent about your reasons for being in business, about your WHY is important. The most frequently asked question a kid can ask is… Why?

They want to know why the world is round. They ask why about almost everything. Adults want to know WHY too. Your audience wants to know why you do what you do. They want you to explain your inner motivation. 

Being transparent helps to build connections and community about which you will hear more soon.

#2: Treat others as you would like to be treated
Another big one. Thank you for buying this book. Thank you for being here. My purpose in writing it and putting all my thoughts out there for you is so that you can decide in your own time whether the principles and ideas that I lay out resonate with you or not. 

You have to know, like and trust me before you will consider doing business with me. In turn, I trust you to make the best decision at the best time for you. 

That is how I wish others online would treat me so that is how I will treat you. 😉 That’s why I play the long game.I realise that 85% of my clients will convert in the next 18 months, not in the next 90 days so I plan accordingly.

#3: Preeminence

This is about serving you to my best ability which includes making sure that you do your best work (pushing you to do better than you initially thought you could) and not to settle for anything less. 

This requires me to lead with empathy. Be customer focused. In fact, better than that. To treat everyone as a customer long before money has changed hands which again, is another reason for writing this book.

It is me saying… “Here’s what you should do, here’s how you should do it and here’s why you should do it.” Being specific is incredibly powerful.

Most people in business are in one of two places.

  1. They know where they are but don’t know where they are going. 
  2. Or they know where they are going but have no idea of where they are.

My role is to help you find the answer to one or the other or both and focus on delivering the result that you seek.

Gaining  clarity will help you simplify your thoughts, understand where you are and where you are going and just as importantly understand where your potential customers are and where they are going. 

When you do, everything you do will be more powerful.

#4: First Principles

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
– Albert Einstein

A first principle is a basic proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.

The idea is to break down complicated problems into basic elements and then reassemble them from the ground up. It’s one of the best ways to learn to think for yourself, unlock your creative potential, and move from linear to non-linear results.

On the flip side, reasoning by analogy is building knowledge and solving problems based on prior assumptions, beliefs and widely held ‘best practices’ approved by the majority of people.

People who reason by analogy tend to make bad decisions, even if they’re smart.

The world of digital marketing is full of people doing what everyone else is doing. They think in a conventional way. They follow the crowd. They become part of the crowd. What they are selling is little different to what others in their market sell.

In the age of digital privacy when third party cookies no longer exist, first party cookies have a 7 day lifespan and advertising costs will continue to double and triple, conventional thinking will not provide the answer.

Google AdWords Cost Per Click costs have increased +244% in 4 years!

️2014 —- $1.02
2015 —- $1.55
2016 —- $2.14
2017 —- $2.62

We’re going to have to go back to first principles and think our way out of the challenge we face. Adapting and innovating strategies in a new way to ensure our businesses continue to grow year after year, black swan event after black swan event.

Far better therefore to go back to first principles, play the infinite game and apply fundamental tactics that have been proven to work for decades. The race is not always won by the swift as the hare discovered when racing the tortoise.

Delivering your product digitally is just the latest way of doing so. Once it was ‘in print’ or ‘in person’. Then it might have been on a floppy disk or on a CD. Fundamentally business has not changed. 

It’s just the delivery mechanism that has.

Who knows how long Facebook will remain dominant? 

Even now, are you prepared to bet your business on it?

List your core values below…