Can’t sell a million records

Imagine if Jay listened to his uncle and didn’t sell a million records. What if he tried really hard and was just not that good in making music? The truth is that he is one of the greatest rappers alive .. and just like Jay did with his uncle, we all come across people who don’t believe in what we believe in. They can’t see the future like you can … and that is OK.

The best coaches and mentors still carry forward their fears, limitations and bias. It’s impossible not too. I am guilty of it too.

YOU have to believe in you first. YOU are the quarterback .. you have to make the plays.“Always believe you are great before anyone else does.”

Focus on your growth.

LOVE this message! Regardless of the business you are starting or growing ..
FOCUS ON YOUR GROWTH FIRST .. you can not lose. It’s permanent. It’s the real WIN .. .


Find your sparks

“The engine in a rocket ship does not fire without a small spark first. We all need small sparks, small accomplishments in our lives to fuel the big ones.” from Chapter 6 of David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me.

First of all, it is a fantastic read. The human struggle outlined in his book hits you right in the gut! This morning, while reading chapter 6, I came across the quote above and it reminded me of a recent conversation.

We hardly see the small victories being shared and/or celebrated! IG and the other social networks glorify the ‘go big or go home’ attitude .. this is equally true of our Linkedin world. We celebrate the UNICORNS and the companies raising millions of dollars and leave out the founder who just closed an angel round for 50k or the startup finally making money or the CEO who decided to quit for the right reasons. (YES, it’s OK to quit! .. another post on this)

The wins in these small companies should also get celebrated. It is the SPARK within our startup community. It is the real inspiration that gives others the daily motivation to go out and hustle, make those sales calls, take on more than you can handle and figure it out as you go .. let’s share our smaller wins to inspire the bigger wins.

Look down!

It’s Black History Month and I was thinking about the impact of historical decisions that impact my life today. Every single thing we do, use and or experience is the result of someone else who did it first. Someone who took the risk or had the dream and in pursuit of their dream, created a new reality for the rest of us.

Think about the greats we know .. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and all the other amazing leaders who paved the way for my generation.

Its also important to note that before there was Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin. It was March 2, 1955, when the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott.

I was thinking about the life I enjoy today and how the collection of decisions that created these opportunities for me, like my parents moving to Canada, my teachers helping to guide me, my mentors who taught me, the clients who gave me a chance when I had no references and the employees who choose to work for me for 20+ years! .. they all help me get to where I am today.

I guess my point with this post is that, in addition to looking back in your own history and being grateful, also look down and notice the path that has been paved for you.

What is your Product Market Fit? (PMF)

If you are in the tech space, listen up for a minute. I might be saving you millions of dollars!

Just because it is easier to build technology today doesn’t mean you should build something and hope customers like it. There is no need for another UBER, another FB, another Tinder, another Linkedin or any other solutions you are trying to be the ‘better’ version of. Focus on the real problem and create a better solution .. not a new version of what’s already in the market.

When meeting a new client, I always start with the same basic question “what customer problem are you trying to solve?” It’s surprising to see how many companies can’t give a simple and focused answer. They haven’t figured out WHY they exist.

Marc Andreessen defined the term as follows: “Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” Understanding PMF (Product Market Fit) is so important and I feel that step is seldom taken seriously. Stop thinking about your problems .. i.e not enough customers, not enough sales, not enough traction .. and focus on what is the problem you are trying to solve. If your solution actually helps customers and fits the market need, scaling your sales strategy is much easier.

While sales is never an easy process, having a product that fits the market is a great start and should be a key focus for any CEO or product manager.

Need some help in figuring it out your PFM? Let’s talk.