CES Episode Notes
Episode 004 – All You Need Is a Nugget
Note: this document contains the essential content of this episode but is not a complete verbatim transcript. It may also contain bonus content that was not included in the episode.
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Good day, I'm Tom, and welcome to the show.
This episode is mostly about nuggets - those little short pieces of information that are quite often more valuable than much longer pieces. I refer to them as nuggets, or snippets, or just bits and pieces. Some people refer to them as "bite-size content" - I like that term also. I hope the information here is useful to you, and that you'll start realizing that all you really need is a nugget.
Stay tuned, here we go.
In this Episode…
1: All You Need Is a Nugget
2: Questions for Small Startups
3: Nugget of Business Wisdom
4: Nugget of Marketing Wisdom
5: Nugget of Communication Wisdom
6: Nugget of Website Wisdom
7: Today's Profound Thought
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Page 1: All You Need Is a Nugget
Did you know that shorter and smaller can be better than longer and bigger?
Consider the ways by which you gain new knowledge.
If you read a book - say, a business or other non-fiction book - that's, say, 300 pages long, how much of that content do you consciously retain?
Most of it goes through your brain like your brain was a sieve, and by the time you close the cover after reading the last page, you've already lost 90% or more of the information.
We all know this, and that's why we use colored marking devices to highlight words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs in physical books, and it's why ebook technology allows us to highlight digital words in the same way on a touchscreen.
We need to do that because we know that we're just looking for a few little pieces of information that are meaningful to us and will help us effect some kind of change.
Those passages that we highlighted are what we want to retain, because they just might be helpful to us in some way.
The content in my books, at least the ones I've written so far, is presented in what I call a “numbered snippets” format, which means that the content is presented as a series of unrelated pieces, arranged in a completely random order.
The pieces, or "snippets", are usually no longer than an average paragraph, and sometimes as short as a couple of sentences, and are therefore more easily digested and more likely to be remembered.
Most books, of course, use the “long narrative” format, with the usual “chapters”.
I did it differently because I believe that people learn in bits and pieces, and that smaller and shorter bits and pieces are usually more effective than larger and longer ones.
Think about it; why is a simple one-sentence quotation sometimes more powerful, impactful and memorable than a paragraph or a page or an entire book?
Using the numbered snippet format also removes context, meaning that each piece is a standalone and doesn't have to be read and understood in the context of the entire book. You don't need to read a whole chapter to be able to understand a paragraph in that chapter.
It's not important how much content you consume, how many books you read; what's important is how much of it you DO something with.
I read a blog post by someone who said they read one business book per week. Really? Admirable.
But I don't think there's much chance that they could put more than a teensy percentage of it to practical use. How about reading one book per month and finding just 1 or 2 or 3 ideas in each book that are applicable and meaningful to you, and actually incorporating them into your business and your life?
Doesn't that make more sense than seeing what kind of book reading record you can set?
To repeat myself, it's not important how much content you consume, how many books you read; what's important is how much of it you DO something with.
All you need -- all you should be looking for -- is one single, small nugget of information that will trigger a change in your thinking that will in turn trigger a change in your behavior, which in turn will alter your circumstances. Hopefully for the better.
We know that we're just looking for nuggets, but we "know" this on a subconscious level, and it would be good if we could elevate it to the conscious level and be mindful of it while we're reading.
So the next time you read a book - mine or someone else's - or take a course, or watch a video, or listen to this show - remember that you're looking for a single idea, a single new thought, a single snippet, a single nugget, from which you can extract or create a new idea that you can experiment with and possibly create some improvement in your business and the rest of your life.
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Page 2: Questions for Small Startups:
· Do you really need 5 employees right now when 2 or 3 will get you started?
· Do you really need $50,000 to get started, or will $5,000 do for now?
· Do you really need a year to develop your product or service, or can you get a “starter” version completed in two months?
· Do you really need to rent office space right now, or can you work from home until you can actually afford office space?
· Do you really need to spend money on advertising right now? Or ever? Do you know enough people that you can churn up some word-of-mouth action that will put a few bucks in your pocket to get you started?
· Do you need an accountant or CPA now? You should have one later on, for sure, but I’m not talking about later on.
· Do you really need a full-time IT person, or can you outsource it for now? Or maybe forever?
· Do you really need fancy printed marketing materials right now? Or will some low-cost business cards that look really nice work for a while?
· Unless you have an outside office that clients frequent, you don’t need fancy office furniture. Some of the most successful companies started out with desks made of plywood doors laid across 2-drawer file cabinets.
· If you do have an outside office, don’t get hooked into a long lease. There might be a lot of reasons for needing to relocate – make sure it can be done without major hassles.
· You don’t need the very best tools and equipment and furniture and technology in the early stages. You need enough to get a few clients and make some money. Do that enough and you’ll be able to buy the best later on.
In the very early stages of your business, conserve your cash or it will disappear at a shocking rate.
Be lean and mean.
OK, just lean.
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Page 3: Nugget of Business Wisdom
There are certain professions that are described as “helping” professions. I say that we should all be in a helping profession, no matter what product or service we are offering. The entire purpose of business is (or should be) to help other people get something they want, and do it in the best, most affordable, most convenient, least complicated, least painful way. Work on figuring out how to do that in your business.
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Page 4: Nugget of Marketing Wisdom
People are tired of being grouped, classified, categorized, managed, used, exploited, manipulated, tricked, homogenized, convinced, controlled, then cast aside and forgotten. They want to be seen, recognized, listened to, appreciated, understood, and cared about.
They don’t want to be a victim of a decision-making process, they want to be a participant in it.
They don’t want fleeting interactions, they want meaningful relationships.
They don’t want transactions, they want exchanges of trust.
And they want, at the end of each exchange of money-for-product, some eye contact and an exchange of smiles. They want a feeling of connection. If they know they can get that from you, they’ll probably buy from you.
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Page 5: Nugget of Communication Wisdom
If you can't communicate effectively with other people, then nothing else matters.
Good writing is important to good marketing.
Words mean things.
Learn how to use them properly.
Don’t look dumb.
Issue: Website Links with TMW (Too Many Words):
BAD: Want more details? Click here to show more >
BETTER: More details >
· It is not necessary to ask the question, “Want more details?”
· Don't use the words "click here" anymore. Ever.
· Rule: Always use as few words as possible.
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Page 6: Nugget of Website Wisdom
Every single element of your site must have a purpose.
There are two acceptable purposes:
- To help users achieve their goals.
- To support the site's goals without getting in the way of the user's goals.
You should be able to look at every element of your site - every word, image, color, line, box, border or physical arrangement of elements - and be able to verbalize its purpose. If you cannot do that, or if you find yourself "making things up" to explain the purpose or justify the element’s existence, then perhaps that element should not be there.
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Page 7: Today's Profound Thought
Knowledge is not power.
Knowledge is potential power.
Action is power.
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Where can you find this show?
- LISTEN to the show as a podcast on iTunes.
- WATCH the show as a video on YouTube.
- WATCH and LISTEN and READ on my website at tomharris.us/ces
On the website you can:
• Get PDF transcript of episode content and notes
• Ask questions
• Leave comments
• Lots of other goodies.
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Think - Learn - Create
Be Brave - Be Bold
And I'll meet you here next time.
Copyright 2019 by Tom Harris