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Say yes and never do it

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One of my lifted type collages

There’s a great bit in Mel Brooks’ memoir All About Me about how to deal with bosses with bad ideas: “Always agree with them, but never do a thing they say.”

He put it a bit more colorfully in an interview with Michael Shulman in The New Yorker:

You have some wonderful stories of basically getting away with stuff at the studios.

I’d learned one very simple trick: say yes. Simply say yes. Like Joseph E. Levine, on “The Producers,” said, “The curly-haired guy—he’s funny looking. Fire him.” He wanted me to fire Gene Wilder. And I said, “Yes, he’s gone. I’m firing him.” I never did. But he forgot. After the screening of “Blazing Saddles,” the head of Warner Bros. threw me into the manager’s office, gave me a legal pad and a pencil, and gave me maybe twenty notes. He would have changed “Blazing Saddles” from a daring, funny, crazy picture to a stultified, dull, dusty old Western. He said, “No farting.” I said, “It’s out.”

That’s probably the most famous scene in the movie, the campfire scene.

I know. He said, “You can’t punch a horse.” I said, “You’ll never see it again.” I kept saying, “You’re absolutely right. It’s out!” Then, when he left, I crumpled up all his notes, and I tossed it in the wastepaper basket. And John Calley, who was running [production at] Warner Bros. at the time, said, “Good filing.” That was the end of it. You say yes, and you never do it.

That’s great advice for life.

It is. Don’t fight them. Don’t waste your time struggling with them and trying to make sense to them. They’ll never understand.

As a reader pointed out to me, this also works with toddlers. (And many other kinds of humans.)

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Jakel1828
265 days ago
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This is the companion to "Ask forgiveness, not permission."
Irving, TX
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The million-dollar gap

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To make an album of music good enough to make it to the Top 40, it used to cost a million dollars. Now you can do it in your bedroom.

To make a commercial for network TV, a minute of footage cost about a million dollars…

And that same million was what it would cost to create an email engine for permission-based marketing in 1996.

And you needed a million dollars to build a website that could hold up under a lot of traffic, or to build a social media presence that would reach a million people.

All of these things are now incredibly cheap.

A veteran marketer’s first reaction is relief at how inexpensive so many tools now are.

But the reality is that the reduction in cost means that price is not a barrier, and when it comes to producing your message, your movie, your song, your site, your book–everyone else is now doing it as well.

And yet, more than a decade into this dramatic compression of the gap, big-time marketers and industry players are still acting as if the gap is still there, as if their ‘professional’ creations are only competing with each other for attention.

Abundance creates new kinds of scarcity.

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Jakel1828
267 days ago
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Irving, TX
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Stop Selling Yourself Short, Heres Why I Stopped Discounting My Services

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So a while back when I first began my SEO business I was having crazy amounts of trouble getting my foot in the door and landing my first client. Half of this was the fact that I had no work in my portfolio to show people and the other half was the general pessimistic attitude towards SEO services as business owners probably get at least 5 calls a day of someone trying to sell them on SEO. Regardless of the reason, my immediate first thought was to drop my prices down and by doing so I could land more clients. While this seemed like a good idea it was a mistake for the future and here's why.

Discounting my services in the start did in fact land me a few customers so I shouldn't say it was all bad; however, the problems came when I attempted to raise or alter my prices to reflect my services in the future. Here's an example I work with Bob the roofer (not his actual name) but his roofing business went from 0 calls a month to anywhere between 20-50 calls a month because of his website. Now Bob is really killing it and recommends my services to one of his friends Glenn a local flooring business telling him all the great things about my service. Now Glenn decides to contact me and I tell him I can help him but it will cost him double what Bob pays because his industry is much bigger within their local area. Glenn doesn't take this too kindly and says I'm trying to cheat him because Bob pays X amount so why should he pay more. Boom you just found the first problem.

Here's another scenario, John a local business owner wants SEO services for his business and is willing to pay top dollar. He contacts you ready to start and you being a little insecure as a new business owner offers him a great low price deal without even thinking about it because you are use to offering discounts all the time. John graciously accepts and boom problem number two. There's nothing wrong with this scenario but you just left potential money on the table because you were so used to discounting that you disqualified yourself before the race even started.

These are two very real scenarios that happened to me all the time when I first started in SEO and honestly, it may not seem like a big deal because discounts aren't as bad as I made them out to be but like I said long term they can hurt you either from leaving money on the table or just having people expect low pricing because that's what becomes the norm. Bottom line don't discount your services, I'm not saying you can't give old pop pop a discount or your best friend from high school who still has your Nintendo 64 with the matching Mario controller (Jimmy you scumbag if you're reading this) but make sure you charge what you're worth.

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Jakel1828
269 days ago
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A couple reasons you should charge what you're worth
Irving, TX
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New infuriating tech support pet peeve: fake typing

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Comcast has been using this effect for a while, but today I think I might have popped a blood vessel in my eye waiting for this piece of shit system to complete.

Which, first of all, why do I fucking need to call you on the phone and waste... let's see.... 5 minutes just to get through the mother fucking automated attendant so I can sit on hold listening to compressed classical music on hold for who the fuck knows how long instead of... oh i dunno.... just opening a ticket and getting a call back?! or a resolution message. Don't care. Your stupid fucking website is broken and I can't advance through the options because clicking continue just fucking sits there like an only fans "star" waiting for the tips to roll through.

So anyway, the fake typing "tap tap tap" "what account are you calling about" "tap tap tap.................. tap tap tap" "is it this one?" "tap tap tap..... tap.........tap tap". 5. Five. Cinco. Five fucking minutes I had to listen.

At least the support agent got a good laugh out of my rant and congratulated me for having the most respectful dislodged rage she's heard in a while. And she also told me a ticketing options is coming, eventually.

fuck. How often do your poor fucking call center agents just get completely obliterated by some poor bastard who just wants a low priority thing taken care care of whenever but now they need to waste 5 soul crushing minutes through the AA and then another 15 minutes on fucking hold?

So anyway, thanks for coming to my ted talk.

ETA: 36 minutes. 36 minutes because their piece of shit website can't take file uploads right now and 36 minutes of not being able to leave my phone and work on something more important than changing a fucking AA greeting and getting a new phone ordered for what could have easily been two easy tickets that at worst might require a call back at a time that i prescribe. fuck. i'm not proofreading this.

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Jakel1828
271 days ago
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A great example of how to create a horrible customer experience
Irving, TX
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Unforgivable

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Suppose there’s a debate about the character of a public figure.  Supporters will usually marshal a long list of positives.  But detractors are more likely to present one horrifying fact.  A fact horrifying enough to get onlookers to shake their heads and say, “Unforgivable.”  If this rhetorical tactic works, the detractors instantly win the debate.  If you’ve done one unforgivable thing, you’re a villain – no matter how else you spent your life.

In the Eighties, the top unforgivable offense was a Nazi past.  I mean that literally.  If someone could prove that you ever belonged to the Nazi Party, your name was forever mud.  When the Cold War was still ongoing, the U.S. put Austrian President Kurt Waldheim on a war criminal watchlist – and almost every country in the world declared him “persona non grata.”  The only acceptable defense was (and remains?) age; former Hitler Youth could still rise to high places – even the papacy!

Other unforgivable offenses during this era included explicit anti-black racism, severe child abuse, and selling secrets to the Soviets.  And perhaps Satanism, too.  When people wanted to discredit Iron Maiden or Ozzy Osbourne, they’d accuse them of devil-worship.  Unforgivable to many parents, though that rarely deterred their kids!

Nowadays, as you may have noticed, the list of unforgivable offenses has grown much longer.  See J.K. Rowling.

What’s the best way to understand this “Unforgivable Heuristic”?  Economic theorists will likely gravitate to a signaling model.  If a single damning fact conclusively confirms your “bad type,” then it makes sense to diligently hunt for such facts – and publicize them when you find them.  This isn’t always crazy.  If you discover that a teacher murdered one child, he shouldn’t work with children – even if his performance was otherwise exemplary.  The same goes for the Auschwitz commandant – if you ran a death camp, it makes little difference what else you did with your life.

The main problem with the signaling analysis, however, is that a large share of “unforgivable” offenses are trivial.  People get ostracized for “unforgivable” tweets every day, and most of those tweets plainly do far less harm than, say, punching a stranger in a bar brawl, or cheating on your wife.  The sheer randomness is also striking.  When the media says, “Famous person X said Y!” they almost never bother to ask, “How many other people also said Y today?”  If saying Y actually revealed definitive information, you would try to find all the Y-sayers and ostracize the whole lot of them, not join the dog pile of the day.

What’s the alternative to the signaling story?  Hysteria and herding.  Most allegedly “unforgivable” offenses are basically uninformative.  But virtually all allegedly “unforgivable” offenses make at least a few people temporarily but intensely angry.  Usually the anger just fizzles out, but if the few temporarily-but-intensely angry people are well-connected – or lucky – other people join the herd until it hits critical mass and explodes.  Most herd members probably barely care about the original offense, but when a cruelty party starts, they rush to join the festivities.

The lesson: If someone appeals to unforgivability to instantly win a debate, they’re not necessarily wrong.  Once in a long while, a single offense really is ultra-informative.  Most of the time, however, the Unforgivable Heuristic is way off-base.  The single damning thing says a lot about the pettiness and conformity of the accusing, but next to nothing about the character of the accused.

The post Unforgivable appeared first on Bet On It.

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Jakel1828
271 days ago
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"The single damning thing says a lot about the pettiness and conformity of the accusing, but next to nothing about the character of the accused."
Irving, TX
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The most positive social media story in 10 years

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Like millions around the world, I can’t take my eyes off the news coming out of Ukraine. As I write this, the developments are heart-breaking and infuriating, but whatever hope is coming out of the war is being delivered by social media.

At the heart of this crisis, we are witnessing the most important and positive social media story in 10 years.

The first global star turn for social media was the Arab Spring 20 years ago. A wave of pro-democracy protests took place in the Middle East and North Africa beginning in 2010 and 2011, challenging some of the region’s entrenched authoritarian regimes.

The wave was enabled by social media and the world took notice. For the first time in history, ordinary people could instantaneously coordinate efforts across cities, nations, and even continents. Social media was creating dramatic social change.

The world watched in fascination as street-level stories from people on the scene flooded the news. Twitter landed on the cover of Time magazine for the first time.

And now Ukraine has elevated social media and citizen storytelling to the center of the news cycle once again.

Ukraine on our phones and in our hearts

I’m trying to imagine how the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine would have been reported in a pre-social media world. A generation ago, these stories would have been filtered through stuffy ministries of foreign affairs and network TV reporters miles from the real action.

We wouldn’t be seeing the raw, heroic stories of citizen soldiers being reported through Ukrainian smartphones. The selfie-style images of Ukraine’s president urging his nation to fight will become iconic symbols of this decade.

positive social media story

Street-level stories on YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok are changing history.

In barely three days, Russia has become an international outcast, its economy is collapsing, and its leader is finding himself with fewer and fewer foreign friends. The actions against Moscow are happening in diverse, far-reaching ways that are remarkable examples of our hyper-connected world.

Through social media, large crowds in cities around the world have coordinated protests, aid efforts, and refugee relief. Russia’s ability to bank internationally has been curtailed. Its participation in major international sports is crumbling. Its planes are restricted over Europe. Its vodka is no longer welcome in many U.S. states. Even Switzerland, whose very name is shorthand for neutrality, is carefully turning its back on Vladimir Putin.

Much of this support is symbolic, but social media is also enabling change in important, tangible ways. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, wrote to Elon Musk on Twitter to ask for Starlink stations to help support the country’s fractured internet service. Two days later the terminals arrived safely in Ukraine.

The world coalesced quickly around the Russian invasion almost entirely because of citizen stories. We don’t know the outcome or the ultimate toll on human suffering, but at least in this moment, we are witnessing an unprecedented near-global unity that will go down in history as the most important and positive social media story of our time.

positive social media story

positive social media story

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram. Discover his $RISE create community.

The post The most positive social media story in 10 years appeared first on Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}.

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Jakel1828
271 days ago
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A reminder that social media does have its positives
Irving, TX
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