One Thing & Another

Delray Beach, FL

Notes From My Journal: Ad Writers Wanted for Social Media Marketing

Social media users spend an average of two hours and 15 minutes per day online

That’s a lot of time. So it’s no surprise that 88% of businesses in the USA are marketing on social media, according to an article in Adweek. Social media is where their prospective customers are researching their hobbies and interests and, increasingly, making their buying decisions.

Knowing how social media works and understanding the psychology of the social media buyer has become necessary knowledge for marketers and copywriters today. So I was happy to hear that AWAI has a new program to teach people how to write for this multibillion-dollar market.

This is a new version of what’s always been a great freelance career. And with the potential to get paid very well ($50 to $500 an hour), I’m thinking it should appeal to many people who are already copywriters as well as those with some sales experience who would like to use their skills in a more creative way.

Click here to learn more:


Today’s Word: festinate (verb)

To festinate (FES-tuh-nate) is to hurry. As used by Tibor Fischerin Under the Frog: “That night he had the firm belief he would never need to eat again as long as he lived, and he wandered around in the dark, keeping his legs moving in a desperate attempt to festinate digestion and to eschew puking, to grind down the anvil in his stomach.”


Fun Fact

Two states – Arizona and Hawaii – do not participate in daylight saving time. Neither do three U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and Guam.


From My “Work-in-Progress” Basket

Growers and Tenders

Yesterday’s board meeting was the best we had in a long time. It was the first time I walked away excited about the ideas we came up with and optimistic about our ability to put them into action.

I believe the reason the meeting was so successful was because we had repopulated the team.

I was reminded of a bestselling business book I read years ago. The principal idea of the book was that business success comes from finding the right people and putting them in the right seats.

I think that’s largely true. Of the three primary factors that affect a business – capital, ideas, and people – people matter most.

I would not have said that 30 or 40 years ago. Back then, I believed it was primarily about ideas and that I had those ideas. I know better now.

People are critically important. Therefore hiring is a critical task. Every business manager looks for intelligence, earnestness, and persistence. And most CEO’s focus on experience and knowledge – as they should.

But here’s the thing. None of those attributes are as important as knowing one thing: What is this person’s personality with regards to their management style?

This is an exaggeration, but I like to say that, in business, personalities can be divided into two camps: those that value growth and those that value order.

Those that value growth (the growers) want to make everything bigger. Those that value order (the tenders) want to make everything better. And you need both to enjoy unstoppable success. But the ratio depends on where in the business lifecycle your company is.

Let’s talk a bit about the differences between growers and tenders.

Growers have a high tolerance for chaos. Some of them are nearly blind to it. This is because they instinctively know that growth always leaves a wake of chaos behind it. As Francis Ford Coppola once said, “Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos.” So if you want more growth, you have to accept more chaos. And growers will help you do it.

Tenders hate chaos. They are also uncomfortable with ambiguity or randomness. They see fuzziness as the cause of myriad problems. They like everything – every procedure, protocol, and process – to be organized and written down. So if you’re comfortable with the status quo, tenders will help you keep it that way.

As I said, you need both sorts of personalities to build a successful business. In the early stages, you need more growers than tenders. But as you get larger, you need highly competent tenders to avoid grounding your growing business on something that could have been easily avoided. (See my book Ready, Fire, Aim.)

So how do you determine who are the growers and who are the tenders?

You can’t just ask them during the hiring process. If they’re smart, they’ll tell you what they think you want to hear. (And, in fact, they may not know themselves.)

The only way to know whether your new hires are growers or tenders is to watch them work.

Are they always coming up with new ideas? Pushing for more products and promotions? Pushing to get projects done asap?

Or do they tend to question you when you suggest a new project, product, or protocol? Do they tend to worry about what could go wrong? And when something does go wrong, do they focus their attention at trying to figure out why it happened?

Back to my story about the board meeting…

We had been running this business for 20 years with only minimal success. My partner and I suspected we had the wrong people or the right people in the wrong seats. But because the business was moderately profitable, we never took action to make any changes.

Until one person left… and we did. We relocated two members of the remaining team, changed one person’s role, and brought in two new people.

In the old regime, my partner and I were the growers and the other four players were tenders. In the new regime, we have four growers and three tenders.

The difference was immediate. Not only is the new team much more capable of running the business the way it is right now – facing a grow-or-die scenario – it’s better able to manage the impending chaos. Because now that the balance is tilted towards growth, we are more open to give an open mind to the tenders when they worry about excessive growth.

What we did seems so obvious to us now that we wonder why it is so rare to see a business operating this way.


Worth Quoting

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.” – Mary Shelley