The Long Term Business
One of my principles is to challenge everything.
I’m constantly course correcting my own journey as I learn new things, pressure-test my ideas, clarity the nuances of established thinking, and change my mind when my understanding is flawed.
With that said:
I encourage you to push back when my ideas are in conflict with your own experience and convictions. Conversely, when I unlock new clarity and insights in your thinking, please let me know.
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (although I can take a long time to reply).
First, it’s important that I create some context.
Let’s start by identifying what we all want, then I’ll explain, step by step, how you can get it.
I think the desire to have a business isn’t the goal.
It’s a method, a vehicle, that gives us control over our financial security, agency, and perhaps above all, predictability in times of chaos and uncertainty.
Security, agency, and predictability are universal desires. That’s what I want. I’m pretty sure you want that too.
Standing in the way of achieving this desire are faux ‘best practices‘ and one-size-fits-all tactics peddled like the Gospel by those in the know.
But, like a magic trick, these ‘internet marketing secrets‘ are mostly an illusion. Often they only make money for the teachers at the expense of the students.
Instead of throwing stones at the others and shining a light on their BS, I’m going to focus on sharing my version of marketing. Then you get to decide…
In 2012, Nassim Taleb released a book that unpacked an idea he called Antifragile. The central thesis can be summed up in one sentence:
Antifragile reveals how some systems thrive from shocks, volatility, and uncertainty, instead of breaking from them, and how you can adapt more “antifragile” traits yourself to thrive in an uncertain and chaotic world.
One of Taleb’s insights is that fragile businesses are harmed disproportionately by large, unexpected events.
COVID is one (obvious) example, but these ‘large event’ dynamics have always been at play.
For example, Google’s notorious organic search algorithm changes over the years have destroyed fragile businesses…
Facebook indiscriminately shutting down advertising accounts left, right and centre for no obvious policy violations have hugely impacted fragile businesses who have had all their eggs in one basket.
I’ve seen large and small businesses disappear when sources of traffic dried up overnight, or government agencies (like the United States Federal Trade Commission) have decided to intervene.
So that this discussion doesn’t remain conceptual, in the following emails in this series I’m going to unpack the three critical components necessary to build a long term business, and then discuss how those components work together systemically to produce results that no single component produces on its own.
I chose that word — longterm— carefully.
The characteristics that make a long term business include:
- It’s built to last (meaning it will create value for you and your customers next week, next month, next year, next decade, and beyond).
- It produces results day after day, in good times and bad.
- It is optimized for what matters most to you as the business owner. (There is no one-size-fits-all template.) Strategic Coach founder Dan Sullivan calls these the ‘four freedoms‘ (time, money, relationships, and purpose).
- It improves consistently, gaining momentum over time.
You need three non-negotiable ingredients to create and sustain a long term business: connection, community and conversion. In more familiar terms:
- Connection = An ability to reach out and attract new prospects into your orbit.
- Community = A place where you can nurture those prospects, overcome their resistance, make them receptive.
- Conversion = Stories that inspire those receptive prospects to do business with you.
(We’re going to discuss all three one by one , in detail over the next few chapters)
I’m excited to share this with you.
I’ve dropped a few clues already so if you’re following along, you may have worked out what LTB Series stands for.
Figured it out?
The Long Term Business.
Everything I share will be in service to this fundamental idea. It’s important to note that what I’ll be sharing is anything but conceptual. Everything I share are the exact things I do.
There’s no bait and switch…
No veneer hiding an ugly underbelly…
No magic trick illusion.
In the end you have agency to pick and choose who to believe, who to follow. What I’ll be sharing with you, you’ll also see playing out in everything I do — complete transparency.
Next up — Connection…