What’s in it for me?

That’s a phrase which is particularly popular in sales, to help marketing and sales people to focus on the customer rather than themselves. WIIFM.

But do you want to be a self-focused person and leader?

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Milton Friedman declared that the primary purpose of a business is to make money. Over the course of the last century, we’ve kidded ourselves into thinking that this is the ONLY purpose of business.

But it’s not true.

The money is just a holding place for adding value to the world. Sure, you can transfer money to someone else and it makes them happy – but it hasn’t actually made the world a better place until someone uses it to DO something.

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My top priority is to protect my limited resources. And the only way I’ll win is to take some of yours.

This philosophy of scarcity is so incredibly powerful that we don’t even recognize that it’s as pervasive as the air we breathe.

But there is indeed another way. Not just for our personal lives, but for our businesses as well. The philosophy of abundance is rapidly changing our world – and for the better.

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Seth Silvers launched Story On in 2015 to help companies create amazing marketing strategies built on the power of stories. It’s a powerful concept, because stories operate at a much deeper level than traditional “features and functions” marketing. This approach can be absolutely transformational for attracting a loyal “tribe” of customers, donors, and employees.

Seth has had the opportunity to work with some great businesses on both a local and national level. Those successes grew into some extended engagements which, though valuable, began to draw Seth away from his core mission of helping purpose-driven businesses market with stories.

So he’s rebooting his approach, getting back to having a deeper impact with those clients for whom this will create true transformations.

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We are trained to operate our businesses, and our lives, out of a fear-based mentality.

If that sounds rather severe, just look around. We’re focused on restrictions and limitations. We’re constantly on the defensive, protecting from every danger.

It’s not just you. This is what our ancestors learned when attempting to survive day to day.

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SOME CONVERSATIONS are more confused than helpful. Nothing seems to be working. I don’t think I’m making progress.

I’m sure you go through times like this too.

My personal coping strategy is to step back, breathe, and try to see the bigger picture. That’s easier to say than to do, of course, but I try to give it a go.

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RECENTLY I WAS TALKING with a colleague this week at a Conscious Capitalism meeting. We were exploring why customers should even care about the character of your business.

It’s a great question, and an area which is shifting.

Customers look for the best deal, right? So they’re not going to let you get away with even two percent higher prices just because you think you’re the “good guy” in the industry. But there are many, many counter-examples.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES recently published an article called Hey Boss, You Don’t Want Your Employees to Meditate.

They pointed to a confusing study which seemed to indicate that meditation neither improved or reduced motivation on the job. I’m not sure if it’s solid or not, but to me it exemplified the wrong way of thinking about employee productivity.

And that thinking has been with us since the industrial revolution. We’re merely building on old myths. How so?

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Here we are, staring down the barrel of a new year. Fresh and shiny and unspoiled like the newfallen snow.

I find it really helpful to focus on the opportunity, to use this as a chance to be optimistic. If that leads you toward making resolutions or reviewing your plan, wonderful!

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YOU HAVE THE BIG CHANGE you’re trying to take your organization through. You’ve created the wonderful slides which explain why it’s necessary, how the org chart is changing, and even why life will be so wonderful after the change.

And then having all the employees actually change what they’re doing … it slows to a crawl. You even see instances of reverting back to the old patterns.

What the heck is going on?

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