Analytic Vision

Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

The Same Kind of Different As Me

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 30/04/2017

Working as a marketer for freelancers and entrepreneurs can sometimes be very interesting because you have different  opportunities. Such an opportunity is to find out that many of those who are offering services, especially personal services, are looking for clients who are just like them. That means that, for example, that the coach might be interested in having the kind of customers who are interested in personal development and aiming goals, the same as him. The coach’s clients would be very similar to the coach and less preoccupied with solving problems, traumas and other kind of issues. That is, not the kind who are going to a  therapist for solving problems, as coaching is in the goal business.

So, for example, what if a marketer has a preference for a kind of public or kind of audience that has some kind of value for the resemblance it falls to him or to her. What does that mean? It means that the marketer might hold or see a value, an interest, in marketing to the same kind of different as themselves. That implies that not only do these people might think or choose in the same ways, but they might hang around in the same kind of networks, in the same kind of contexts, social systems and they will be much more easily found there.

One of the problems that such entrepreneurs and freelancers have is the fact that they do not consider themselves as ready or as prepared to deal with that audience. Why? Because maybe they think “Oh, I do not have enough time to spend at the kind of networking events that the people like me would go to”. So, there is a tendency for some freelancers to have this kind of idea, this kind of optimal idea about how or where or when it would be appropriate to find the right clients. But the truth is that (1) usually people are looking for solutions for their necessities and (2) these necessities are not always the same as everybody else’s (they might be so personal that only a limited number of people would have the same interest in the same moment). So it is often difficult finding an audience because you have to find a niche: that niche presents the  challenge of personalizing, of customizing a certain lifestyle.

So, for example, if you would be a dentist searching only to find the kind of customers who are interested in replacing their old works with quality, with top quality material, what should you do? You would have to find those clients in the right place, at the right time, and having the availability of joining such a promotion. Why? Because, for one thing, the longer people live, the longer they have all kinds of interventions, such as correcting decaying teeth. But in order to find the person who decides “yes, I would like to replace all the works from the course of my life with top quality material, very healthy and very resistant”, that means that you will have to have the kind of advertising, that directs those people to you as a supplier, within that window of opportunity. Where do you find them? How do you find them?

Of course, one of the top results, any supplier’s answer is: “Well, you find them advertising on the internet”. Yes, that’s something we can all agree upon, but beyond that, where do you go to find these customers? How do you approach them in a way that is consistent with your values and their values? Moreover, how do you overcome the resistance, the barriers of some people who might need, want or might even be likely to use your service? In order to buy that service from you, and not from your competitor, what should you do?

No matter how fine, how great, how wonderful you think what you’re offering is, if there is a request that means that there are suppliers, that means that you are in competition. No matter how special you think you are by offering a certain service or a product, you are actually in a big, big competition, because you are not only in competition with the potential suppliers who are offering for the right kind of product or service that you are also offering.

There are also the consumers who might accept something lower in price/quality, something different. There might be some potential customers who do not know that you or your services exist, who might not know that you have something of value to offer, so those people will buy different things. Maybe by the time you come along and treat them right it will be too late, or they will be broke, or they will not have that necessity any more. So, it’s not only a question of finding the right people, it’s also a question of being aware that you are in competition with many other suppliers who you might  not know of, and you might never know of, but who will take some of the clients’ money instead of you as a supplier.

Therefore, in this search for “the same kind of different as me”, when you are looking for the kind of audience that is similar to you, you also have to take in consideration that you are not the only one. Most likely, there are many other people just like you, entering the competition for the attention and for the availability of the same audience that you are hunting for. Therefore, in order to have and apply this kind of promotional strategy, this kind of marketing strategy, you need to first have a functional system of identifying the right people at the right time, and it might seem that this is the marketer’s job.

For instance, once you have a marketing manager / consultant, then it is his or her job to do just that. They should think about how that ideal customer thinks. It’s very easy to think “whoa, that kind of person just thinks like me, too”. Well, that kind of person that just thinks like you is not your client, that person is your competition and that person is looking for clients as well.

In such a market, you need the kind of potential customers who would be interested in giving you a chance to support them and help them with whatever they want or need, correct? So, in your search for the ideal audience that you are constantly looking to connect with, keep in mind an important aspect. You have to convince the potential consumers that they might need to be a little bit more aspiring to be like you. Some consumers who are buying services or products directly from other people are doing this because they are interested in having something better than they can create for themselves, so they would have a model that they would stand up to, that is an inspiration to them. In consequence, it doesn’t matter how much you think that it’s worth what you are offering. It matters what does the real person who is paying you can be satisfied with. Can (s)he have your products or services and be happy with what you are offering, when you are providing that service?

Of course, some people might say “where there’s a will, there’s a way” but you also have to have some kind of motivation or strategy and not just a vision. This kind of vision that I’ve been writing about needs to be real and provide results. You may also take into consideration the impact of motivation. For example, how does motivation relate to fulfilling those needs or desires, how much motivation do you need your consumer to have in order to push that button, to place that order, to have those results that you want them to have? How much motivation do you need in order to connect to those people?

If you think that the kind of people that you are looking for to buy your services or products might be very motivated, you must also think of the fact that it is very likely they will find very fast a supplier who would provide their services for them, or they would even solve their own problems on their own. Such determined customers might thank you for going to them, so, for example, you should think that you are the kind of person who would more likely offer something. Therefore, you are mostly a seller and not a buyer, this is a kind of vision that influences your motivation into finding the right customers to buy from you.

But if the customer has the vision that “whoa, I am first someone who wants their needs to be satisfied“ that means that person is a consumer in the first place, and not a seller, right? So, that person would be interested in having some offer that would connect to your vision + motivation and when that happens, you become aware of what customizing lifestyle means. Why? Because in each person’s vision, there is a certain lifestyle that someone can have or dismiss, and when you choose to include something in your lifestyle as a buyer or as consumer it means you already have a certain degree of motivation. It means you already chose a path and if you are not on that path, right then, that means you as a consumer have already gone beyond that. So what do these people who you were so keen on serving do? They move on, they evolve, they develop, they change their needs, once a person has their needs fulfilled or definitely lost the chance to have them fulfilled, they will move on, OK?

In conclusion, you either decide to fulfill a buyer’s need in a way that a customer will come to you, supplier, and say “whoa, that is great, that deeply and completely fulfilled my need” or you become the kind of supplier who supplies for one need, for one moment, for a few moments and then is gone. The world is full of this kind of suppliers that don’t need too much differentiation from one to the other.

One of the most difficult things to accept is the fact that once a need has been  deeply fulfilled, somebody may not need it anymore, OK? So, for example, if we are to consider that dentist I was giving as an example, once a patient had all the dentistry works replaced, that person does not need that anymore, it is a once in a lifetime offer to do that service for someone. Of course, we are not referring to the services for the products that keep on fulfilling the same and the same and the same need that gets refilled. Of course, people will always need something to eat or to drink. So, if you are not in that kind of situation where you fulfill a need which is renewable, you might find yourself in a very special niche, in a very challenging niche, in the niche of making the difference in someone’s life. But, I think this is the most special, and most rewarding kind of niche that you can be into. At the same time, it’s one of the most challenging, because as I was mentioning, you can never be sure that you find, at the right moment, the same kind of different as you. So, you have to be prepared to serve whoever is the potential client who might need your services, to actually need them, OK? Keep this in mind while you hunt for the perfect customer or for the perfect strategy in your marketing.

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How to Live a Perfect Life, Last Part. Steps 9-12 Out of 12, In the Right Order

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 21/11/2016

 

Part I

Part II

Part III

 stepping-stones-pixabay

9. Set rewarding excellence goals and become the best in your business

It seems that there have been many steps until here, but all your efforts will be completely rewarded. Definitely, you can only become the best in your job, organization, niche or business if you have managed to confront the typical problems swifter and effective, if you have delivered on the goals you have trained with until now and have acquired top skills that put you in front of the game of others.

I’m referring to vision and strategy: working smart for the right reasons can help you identify the 20% that bring the 80%. Now, your goals have to be daring, bold to make you control the autonomy and true independence that will make a dent and leave your name in the history. Only after you have tested and followed the whole system inside out, you can replicate it for profit at a higher scale. Take into account all the lessons, all the motivations, take a calculated risk and “shoot for the moon”! Do it again and again, be the best and work smart to stay there! You truly deserve to celebrate especially when you bring this achievement to reality after pragmatically testing options for success. Failing to do this earlier might sidetrack your efforts, take longer or bring stepbacks you can’t face on your own. Coaching is a must at this level. Modeling and mentoring also definitely works. Also, niche-specific training and skills-related training can benefit you for what you need/want here.

At this level of excellence, you also have to improve the skill of seeking, connecting and networking within groups of professionals sharing similar preoccupations, abilities and personality preferences, in order to continue to grow, learn and excel through the power of communities (see more further).

 

10. Find people who share your vision and values

Very likely, until this point of excellence, you’ve worked within teams, or in proximity or in collaboration with other people in your life experience. At a certain point, you decide to let go of unfulfilled expectations, go with the flow and get social, not only for business networking, but as well for deeper human connection.

Of course, it’s not about connecting with people who have been put there by someone else or by random design (like in school or in a company where you were hired). It’s about connecting with people you can actually test and recognize as having approximately similar values, visions and experiences.

After each of you have had your successful experiences, you can get together to share your wisdom, learn one from the other and create a win-win-win community. Trying to do so earlier implies the risks of having your good intentions work for somebody else’s individual limited benefit, or mistaking you illusions/expectations for reality, or mistaking a functioning system for a community.

You can prepare for this step by joining and working with/for people who have a track record of creating both individual success based on strategy and team success bases on collaboration. Volunteering for a cause you cherish can also be helpful in opening up new horizons of harmony in the human experience. Just find some people who are already doing or thinking what you like and give them a hand! Other ideas: personal development thematic groups, periodical skills-based training within a community.

In order to fully enjoy this level of development, it is necessary to develop close personal and professional relationships with others. In these instances, it must be OK to share warmth, caring, attention, empathy, protection (strength, guidance, direction), disclosure and listening. Why? For the purpose of creating a harmonic team that works for everyone, which can bring consensual guiding for each interested, for long term. This is what deep social interaction can mean when people live and act for the causes they share.

 

11. Learn more outside of your area of expertise

Hopefully, there come a time when, after years and years, you can not only be the best in your niche, but you can do it quite effortlessly, even in your sleep. This is the moment to continue developing your other talents. Learn something new. Get deeper knowledge of your field. Get a new hobby. Enjoy a healthy life. If you feel bored or that it’s time for a big change, consider developing skills for a different field you might be talented in.

This time, integrate all the resources (time, money, people you know, all that you studied) to make the most out of the new learning. In the beginning, it may be a little hard to get used to make more effort to succeed at something (because everything is so easy when you’re an expert), but the more you learned, the easiest it is to learn more, because of the many synapses that are already there and in function.

This step should allow you to find more peace within yourself, without control in the group or of the resources. You may reinvent yourself and succeed in ways you wouldn’t have dreamed of being possible. This can be a great period if associated with having children and becoming a parent, or a grandparent. You can only truly live at this level if you have made profit out of your strategy, you have developed functioning networks of authentic communication with peers and are able to see the bigger picture.

The few experts who can work at this level have the ability to work intuitively with large chunks of information to find patterns, may they be in vocational, professional, personal or recreational areas.

If you decide to succeed in a second or third field later in life, after having success in just one or two professional fields, it will be faster for you. The learning must be tailored to your needs. Please feel free to use consulting, coaching, mentoring, modeling and especially training. If you have truly reached this level, you already know how important that is and how to use such services.

 

12. Redefine the purpose of your life as having a higher meaning

At some moment, each of us searches and sometimes finds the meaning of life. There are plenty of answers, but usually people find a religious meaning, which is connected with having an impact beyond the material world.

Of course, at several points in your existence, the meaning of life can be defined as chasing or living your dreams, to seek happiness, to discover and better oneself, becoming the best achievable self. Seeking the wisdom, you will probably redefine the levels at which you can make a contribution, both personally and professionally. But, at a very special moment, preferably before you die, you may allow yourself to truly let go of roles, duties and social expectations.

This is how you can tend to touch perfection through living, only to become aware of how little you know. That’s why your contribution has to stay with the others after you die. A life worth living is a life that you would find hard to leave from or give up. The true inner benefit of others, making the difference through what you do, say and inspire, is what starts guiding your intentions.

You know you can do better and you are grateful for the chance to act justly and wise, love and give unconditionally. Reaching this, you have found the beauty and the sorrow in your life: you have now started to get the hugeness of the human spirit, the bearing on your deeds and the shortness of life. It’s worth talking about this with a priest. I have personally found the meaning of life in Orthodox Christianity. I have the rest of my life to live it by rediscovering it in my existence, though applying what I have found.

 

Some final thoughts

I haven’t done all of these steps in this order, but at least now I found the tools that can connect them logically, structurally and scientifically. There is a moment in some lives when everything comes to a circle. You get the final piece of the puzzle, although I’m afraid most people don’t really live this sensation.

Now I am ready for rebooting my journey, faster and together with those who want to experience what I’ve written about here. Often times, when we are confronted with a problem, we don’t quite know what’s the map of that problem, what are its roots and especially, what might be the solutions. Although I don’t have solutions in consulting, theories in learning and questions in coaching for all the possible problems, it’s very likely I know where you are and how to support you to get not only where you want to go, but where you need to go. Blow away your inner obstacles and become who you were meant to be!

I am doing this because I am here to serve you, not to please you. Now you know the truth. Act on it! Change your life now! Follow the steps I have set for you in this article and become part of my life journey! Let’s put some wind in your sails!

 

PS: Thanks to Corina Andreea Popa for the practical suggestions and feed-back on this article before publishing.

Ștefan Alexandrescu

professional development consultant, trainer and coach

0040 729 034 883

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3 Years of Analytic Vision

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 17/06/2012

Exactly 3 years ago,that is on Wednesday, June 17th, at 23.32, I have published my first official article on this personal blog. A few hundred posts later, I am glad to affirm now that blogging has changed my life. I know, I have a fixation with “life changing”, but it’s true, it really contributed to my personal & professional development.

Analytic Vision has been for me a do-it-yourself blogging school.

I will share with you some of my conclusions concerning this experience, which I think might be useful for you. I don’t know whether these go for advices, but this is what I did and worked.

1. I used as the title of my blog something which represents me. Of course, many would argue that it’s best to have a blog with my own name. But it’s also the easiest. That’s why I did a 360 degrees evaluation I described here, in 2009, right before starting my blog. I didn’t do it especially for my blog, and the results weren’t so different from the one in 2008 and among these results it came that one of the things most obvious about me is that I have a very analytical approach to issues. So I did not only embrace “Analytic Vision” for my blog, but as well as a pseudonym, which I use on Twitter, Scribd, etc.And, of course, the category which is best represented on “Analytic Vision” is …”Analytic & Critic Vision Over…

2.First of all, I learned that, in time, I would change my mind about a lot of things, and some things I once believed, are no longer valid. For example, I had a pessimistic period in the spring of 2010 and I wrote this article, which I re-made public especially for this occasion. Now, it’s not like I don’t still believe what I’ve written, but if you’ll read the comment on the end of this article, you’ll see the commenter has a point. Another example, that I prefer to keep private, is the one with SNSPA. In the first year as a student at this University in a master’s degree, I was very enthusiast about it and I even wrote an article called something like “Proud to be student at SNSPA” Er… the second year I didn’t keep my good impression and it wouldn’t have made any point to keep public on my blog an article to which I didn’t agree. So, in years, flexible people learn, change ideas, grow up. A blog is a mirror of someone’s beliefs and opinions. Only people who think that they know it all aren’t flexible to learn and change.

3. I sacked a lot of articles. Some of them , for the reason I presented at no. 2. Some other, because they were plain bad. Some others, because they were unread (that is, they were accessed less than 10 times over a reasonable period of time). Others, because the information wasn’t actual anymore. Learning is selecting. For me, it’s important to have more quality than quantity.So it’s a good idea, in my perspective to take a general look on the articles of the blog and to clean those which are weaker.

4. I wrote about what I wanted to share. That is, information I thought to be useful to others. A blog is not a personal log. People don’t really care about me particularly, and even if they do, they don’t want to read it from me. But the way they DO find about me is by the way I write, the way I present events, people, ideas, systems, films. I put a lot of who I am in what I write and I think that is why people would be interested in following me. Of course, a lot of things may not be so original, but it’s the style that makes the difference.

5. I developed a multitude of styles. All different from each other. I don’t choose my style a priori, but rather I prefer to let the subject and my attitude to it direct it. A good exercise is to write the articles in my mind, asking myself a few questions, borrowed from George Orwell:

  • what is the message?
  • what words express it?
  • what expression would nail it the best?

to which I added:

  • is it sufficiently documented?

Compare, for example the style of this article Rich item conceptualization with this one Nobody to Vote With (I) with this one Felicia, Înainte de Toate and with this one Impressions from Westock ’09 . They’re all different. And they all depend on the public I am writing for.

6. I preferred to develop niched blogs for different audiences, based on the topic. That’s why, in March 2011 I have started Discerne and in June 2011 I have started Debug Your Mind. Discerne is a blog in Romanian, dedicated to a corporate audience / aspiring corporate audience, interested in professional & personal development. Debug Your Mind is a blog dedicated to intellectuals with superior studies, interested in awareness about the economical and political system we live in and is especially based on video. I have used the best of my learning in these niched blogs.

7. Blogging for me is a game of numbers. Now, to add the articles which right now are publicly available on all of these blogs, there are 118 posts on Analytic Vision, 162 posts on Discerne, 44 posts on Debug Your Mind. 324 articles. The average time dedicated for getting an article from idea to correcting to publishing to improving: 2 hours (that implies that for some articles I worked 15 minutes and for others 8 hours). Add to that about more than 100 other posts which I initially published, than sacked, plus tens of hours dedicated to following statistics, editing comments, promoting blogs,  and especially documentation and searching and you will get to more than 1000 hours. It has been said to me that I don’t practice “blogging as any other person”, but to a higher standard of quality. The truth is, with time, quantity becomes quality, if you are looking to learn, to improve. Of course, who am I to compare myself with, let’s say, the best 100 Romanian bloggers? But I’m a specialist in blogging.And there are quite a few things I only keep to myself and my clients when I say this.

8. It’s important to have and to keep an online public archive, hand-made, like this blog has here. It helps the readers and it especially helps me, as it is custom made for what I’m interested in, when I’m looking for fast links.

9. The best is not free for always.  I always have some of my best articles initially public, then password protected – you can also notice that on Discerne. For example, on this special occasion of having 3 years celebrated for this blog, I have decided to make public again my series of articles called  The Art of Respecting Others a paraphrase based on Mircea Eliade’s writing. So, have a good time reading the articles, starting with the introductive one. They won’t be there for long.

10. I enjoyed all the things having this blog offered me: invitations to events, free participating at some other events, being chosen to speak in front of certain people, a lot of useful feed-back (otherwise paid), getting to know some very special people, free training, books and, maybe the most important, visibility for my personal brand. Actually, it’s such an integrated part of my life, that I can’t actually capitalize its benefits, because I can’t imagine how would my life would have looked without it.

All this, after 3 years from one little post. “Any big journey starts with one step”. And I did mine with a little impulse from Andrei Rosca, to which I especially thank.

Thank you for following me. Please share with others this post, if you’ve enjoyed it and/or found it useful!

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Vision. Inspire. Think Globally.

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 19/06/2009

I came yesterday late at Open Coffee, around 11.30 and stayed until 13. But I assisted at a very interting conversation between Mihai Mafteianu and Ciprian Toloş about a project.

In his personal energic style, Mihai talked a little about how business is done with venture capitalists and how to get to funding for a good idea, from his experience with Seed Camp. The main idea, it doesn’t matter what the project’s about, it matter how you do it. And with who. And don’t dare asking for less then 2 million dollars, beacause less is peanuts.

His argumentation was very frank, very concrete and inspiring. If you want to truly promote your business, if you truly believe in it, go there and tell what’s your dream. What’s your vision. What has to happen. Dare to be bold. How you’re going to make money, is the second question that you have to have an answer to. If your dream is to have a walk with the subway in Bucureşti, then do so, no problem. So do other 3 million people.

Oh, and even if others have the same idea, they won’t dare to go global. Because most people have pathetic little boxes in which they don’t dare to fit the big ideas. Why would a venture capital fund invest in an idea when it’s a start-up and not go to the competition that’s already somewhere in the world? Because they can get bigger money from buying 20% of your business. Of course, if you have a good business application you can test it in Romania, but that’s a children playground.

To great extent, I agree to what Mihai said. But let us remember that when Mihai presented TwiMarket at Net Start Up Summer Edition (Cristi, could we have a fall edition also? ), Vlad Stan told him: just because he doesn’t see the competition, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I think the most important thing is like in copywriting: write hot, edit cold. You have to know when to write and you have to know when to edit. You don’t kill your idea and then make a business plan. You first have to believe in your idea and see how can it be done and how can it be presented, and to who.

But another thing I realized by talking to Mihnea Raşcă (I promised a follow-up) was: why would I give money for an executive MBA when I can go to Open Coffee for free?

Truly… why?

Networking? I have the most brilliant and active entrepreneurs in the web there. Each thursday.

Feed-back? I can be criticised for free.

Experience in business? I can get it there. Each thursday, from about 20 of them.

Projects? Like playing business in stead of doing business?

I am very glad that the proportion of the people who pay their own MBA has raised. That means responsability. I am very glad that the success rate of the graduates has raised. That means development. I am very glad that the people who choose an MBA are more interested in learning something and not just get a diploma. That means education.

This doesn’t mean you have to get an MBA. How many diplomas do you need before starting to act by believing in your dreams? On the back of Andrei Roşca‘s business card there was a principle:

“We have a strategy.

It’s called doing things.”

Herb Kelleher

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