The deep strategic error that keeps you poor

Here I’m going to lay out a fundamental strategic mistake that I’ve been making my whole life.  I expect you have too. It’s a mistake that leads most people into starting businesses, or embarking on careers, where their chances of meaningful success are minimal.  Where their whole lives they will be sweat, struggle, and hustle, […]

The skill behind all strategy

Let’s try something. I want to give you a feeling of what happens to your brain when you think strategically.  Ready to go?  Let’s begin with imagining some menial task in your day job.  Writing an email.  Filing an invoice.  That sort of thing. Now, zoom out. Zoom out so you can see that task […]

How to get people to actually give a damn about your strategy

As you may recall, I believe strategy has two jobs: 1. To decide what to do 2. To motivate people to actually do it The first is well understood, the second, not so much.  People believe that good ideas should speak for themselves, and that energy will build behind a solid plan – but this […]

How to use goals to provoke an awesome strategy

Historically, I’ve kinda thought that goals for businesses are a waste of time. After all, aren’t the goals always the same? • To grow • To increase profits • To get more customers • Etc. It’s all so obvious it goes without saying, so I’ve preferred to “cut out the middle man” and just jump […]

Want to know MY strategy? Here it is…

You’ve all heard the phrase “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”, and I will admit that for a long time this was kinda the case with me: I had no strategy. Or at least, not a particularly compelling one. Now in my case this didn’t matter hugely because I also had effectively zero competitors.  Here […]

What should strategy *feel* like?

DON’T THINK. This is the message that the great sci-fi author Ray Bradbury had taped to his typewriter. He believed that his job, when he sat down to write, wasn’t to have an intellectual experience, but a visceral one. To feel. To live, even.  To have the experience of living whilst being sat at the […]

The shocking truth about marketing and strategy

This is a dangerous essay. It’s dangerous for you, because if you only grasp it casually it will take you further away from the truth, rather than closer to it.  And it’s dangerous for me, because it risks my work being bracketed into a category which I’ve painstakingly avoided for the past 7 years. The […]

The humility hack – the secret weapon of great CEOs

Everybody agrees that it’s good to be humble. But why? Mostly I think it’s because we believe humility is “nice”.  You are a “nice person” if you are humble.  You are kind, thoughtful, and gentle.  Never mind the fact that humility isn’t necessarily any of these things (it’s perfectly possible to be a humble asshole […]

The big misunderstanding about “brand”

Whatever most people believe about a subject, you can be sure that the exact opposite is true. It’s crazy how often this principle turns out to be accurate.  I’d almost call it a law of nature.  Or “Smith’s Law” perhaps.  On any subject of understanding (as opposed to hard fact), people have an incredible ability […]

How a team of accountants created the greatest brand of all time

Like anyone, when I read a non-fiction book I’m looking for lessons.  Stuff I can use, and of course stuff I can bring to you in this newsletter. Naturally I want such lessons to be surprising and counter-intuitive, but even so I wasn’t quite prepared for this one: Wanna create a legendary brand?  Then leave […]