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Generalist To Specialist

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82
Chris Do
Published
May 30, 2018

Mateusz Wolniak leads a keynote on transitioning from a generalist in the market to a specialist.

Read Transcript
Hi, everyone again. I want to share with you guys the concept of transitioning from generalist to specialist. But before that, just let me tell you a story. Actually, it all started about three months ago. All the business travel I was doing back then made me think about my answer to a very simple question. What do you do? I got a question lot. I talked with hundreds of people on the events, parties and workshops. Many of them had nothing to do with each other. Every time I got the question, I answered differently. Most of the time before I could answer, I asked the person the same thing that helped me get a better idea of what I need to say to be understood. All this has led to something strange. Most of the time I was done the asset down because I wanted to make it short and interesting, but I wasn't happy with the answers. I wasn't proud. I wasn't proud of the things I was saying. In the end, I didn't want to answer the question anymore. So what did I say? Maybe you can guess because I'm going to give you a little background of me. I grew up in Poland. I'm in the industry since 2010. I'm a freelancer since the day one. I've never worked 9:00 to 5:00. I'm a former graphic designer and friend and developer. Right now, I'm doing product design for the last three years. I'm also a teacher of the UX design and frontend development. And right now, I'm currently transitioning from doing grunt work to be paid for thinking. Thanks, Chris, for the idea. Because I didn't know it. It's possible, actually. So I said, HMM, maybe someone someone can guess what? What did I say? You're a web designer. Yeah, so let me tell you, let me tell you what I said. I create websites. I make websites simple to use. I analyze and tweak digital products. I help define what the digital products should contain. And I teach people how to build applications that are easy to use. Before we go further, I got a quick question for you. How many of you are impressed with this statement? Please raise your hand if you are no. One OK, someone raise their hands. Someone, yeah, someone. I have another question for you guys. Does anyone get excited by these answers? Raise your hand again. I'm going to wait a little bit more. Oh, OK, perfect. No, no, there's one person again. Oh no, it's OK to hold back. Yeah, there's two. OK, it's a no worries, ok? You don't have to be sorry for not raising a hand because I'm not excited either about this answer. I don't believe anyone is. Except, of course, a few people, my colleagues actually wearing the pressed and excited. Anyway, I got one more question. Would anyone recommend my service to a friend who might need it? Raise your hand again. I didn't see any. In recent raising a hand, so yeah, finally. So why not? Why can't you recommend me? Because the statement the statements are, I'm doing, I'm saying, are boring. It's boring. So I ask myself, why did I bore people with these answers? I even bore myself because I wasn't proud of the answer. They were just boring. I thought about the. I thought about it for a while, and that's usually the simplest answer was the best one. I just didn't know what to say. I was doing too many things for too many people. I was the Jack of all trades. I like to focus and clarity. I decided to change it because I don't want to bore people. And neither do you. I knew I was doing something wrong because I was boring people, but I didn't know what it was. So I decided to start again. And I also decided to document the process of doing that because I knew that I'm not the only one with the problem, so I decided to document some of the things I was doing while reinventing myself. Perhaps it could work, help someone as well as me. So then new beginning. I decided to build a business from scratch because I was freelancing since 2010 and throughout the years, I try to expand my business with different results. Sometimes I was swamped with work, sometimes I had nothing to do. I was in typical feast and famine cycle, and I didn't want that. I didn't want the results I already had, which is, for example, hard time closing a sale, unfinished projects, small budget scrapes, lack of respect and complaining clients. Can you relate, guys? Because I believe, I believe that I'm not the one with the problem. Yeah, definitely. so discovering the part, too, I decide to. I decide to forget about everything I know and start from scratch. I figured that's going to be much easier than trying to solve problems that I didn't know I have. So I ask myself the most basic questions what are the building blocks of businesses? And after a few days of thinking, I mapped them into a pyramid shape diagram because of, of course, because of the obvious reasons such as reverence, reverence and relevance and order. Sorry I figured that separating the blocks will help in the learning process because learning one step at a time is much easier to manage. But I decided to put the mindset outside of the pyramid because it just doesn't fit inside. I believe the mindset is an ongoing process that requires executing other steps. At the same time, the mindset influences the other steps, so it's nearly impossible to learn the mindset before doing anything else. You just have to go and learn the mindset along the way. So I move to the next thing and focus on the foundation part. And when I started to think about these questions, like what is your why? Who is the client? What? what are my statement? What was the market? I actually got irritated because I didn't have clear answers for all these years. I actually didn't know what I was doing and it pissed me off. So why is it so important? I figured that lack of clarity in this step was the reason of all this stuff I didn't want, such as bad clients. And so on. And I figured out that foundation, the first level of the pyramid having clear answers about the foundation differentiate generalists from specialists. So the foundation is really, really crucial. But who is the generalist? It might be someone who's saying, I'm doing stuff for clients. No, that's some general stuff. And I believe someone who uses this kind of words have multiple problems on their shoulders, like fear. Who is the next client going to be uncertainty? How am I supposed to market my service and doubt? Should I do more x, x or y? In case of marketing projects, positioning and and so on? And when the clients actually shows up, it's often like difficult sales process hours wasted on estimation proposals, boring projects. I ask myself a lot of time why am I wasting my time for this project? Because at first it sounded good, but after a while it just went, went just off and at the end. But clients who don't listen or don't want to listen and all they think can lead to hopelessness, procrastination and at the very, very end acceptance, it's just the way it is. But it shouldn't be. Can you guys relate to my story, to the things I'm saying? Yes, 100% Yeah, I see right hand, right? And I believe the specialists don't have these kind of problems because especially if is someone who is confident in who is saying something like I'm solving x problem for y for some client specific client by doing some, some specific stuff in a competitive advantage way. He's aware of his strengths and weaknesses. It's a much stronger position to deal with the clients. So why do you want to become a specialist? Obvious reasons. It's basically everything that Lawrence wrote in the wind without pitching manifesto, which is more clients and better clients, better projects, more profit and more respect, which which is actually the most important thing, I think. And by becoming the specialist, you just make everything better for. For everyone you can buy, you can be paid top dollars to do stuff that you really like to do, but you have to do some work before that. That's going to happen. And I believe the most important thing, you enable your clients to discover the real you because if you know yourself, know what you can do. You can tell the client about it in a very simple way that is understandable for the clients. And finally, the respect and other good stuff shows up. So how to become the specialist? It looks something like this. At first, your gender is second step, you do some stuff. And finally, you are the specialist is the right. But well, what to do at the second step? Where's the catch? Actually, I found that there's no foundation foundation process that's answer the but all of the questions, I couldn't find anything that tackles this, this big problem, but I found multiple books that tackle the parts of it. I read them and I created one. So the foundation process, what is it all about? Yeah what is this all about? I'm ready to hear that everybody waiting. Yeah, Yes. It's a process that helps generalities become specialists. It's a process that gives you the clarity, which is the most important thing and the most important thing. It looks like this. The whole process is based on the double diamond process, which is frequently used in the UX design. First step is the self-discovery part. The great part, it's all about discovering yourself. You start by unveiling the parts of your mindset and learn about your motivation, because if you can figure it out, it's just other stuff are just random that might not fit your personality and your motivations. Next, you might part the discovering the possibilities, but you diverge and try to imagine the possibilities regarding things you can or want to do and clients you want to work for it. So you think about what your who are your clients? So what can you actually do and for who in this step is very important. You're not trying to get the final answers, you're just exploring. It's too soon to tell exactly what you're going to do. So this step is just about exploring. After exploring the options, it's time to narrow it down. Is that your who and what part? After explore the options actually, the next step, you convergence to your possibilities into something that can be measured and tested. That's that's very important. Then you're ready to do a market audit where you discover your competitors, how they communicate with their clients, and how can you be different? Next, you test your previous decision with real people, that's also very important. You conduct interviews to validate all the things you want to do valuable for the client you've chosen after you've tested and confirm your assumptions. You choose one thing you want to be known for and write statements that will guide other business decisions. Generally the idea behind each step is very, very simple. Each step is about answering on the big questions, such as what do you want or what can you offer? But these questions are very difficult to answer. So within the process, there are other either questions that help you figure out the answer to the big questions. So what's actually in there? And there are 400, 400 plus questions. They are frameworks, superpower power, like if you're not familiar with the Super power framework, Chris can elaborate more about it and methods that are based on psychology, especially the first part about discovering your mindset and figuring your way is very helpful to base on the psychology like cognitive behavioral therapy. So example what, what, what is inside actually the frameworks, the questions. I'm going to talk more about narrowing down the possibilities part, and I'm going to show you a few questions in the process. So the questions are which clients category segment do you want to focus on? What is the core motivation behind working with this kind of client? Does the client's industry scare you or excite you and why? What expensive problems does this kind of client have? How much the client can spend or the things you do is a number of big enough for you to cover the cost and make a profit. What are the most expensive problems you can solve for the ideal client? What would you like to behave? Would you like to behave like you like your ideal client? And why? What would you like to know about the client? The foundation process is still a work in progress, but to get the gist of it, let's look at it from 30,000 feet. The pyramid and the foundation process is the building, the business as the core is for strategy. So it's very, very important and very, very crucial. So the final question for you guys, but that's not the final, very important one. Do you want it because it's still a work in progress? Please raise your hand if you feel like it. Hey, I like it, but I have a question for you. Yeah, you have a very structured framework. I'm curious now if I met you at a party and it's like, what do you do? Yeah, I can answer that question on that. Are you asking me or asking me how the process is? No, I'm asking you. Like, if you've gone through the process now, you've been able to Hyper focus and figure out your positioning. Yeah, I've actually I have decided that I'm not finished with the project with the process, but I figured out that I'm going to tell you, I'm a product strategies that is actually decrease time of delivering the digital products, something like this. But I say it's a very, very raw statement. And who's it for? Who is it for? Yeah, that's actually that's the hardest part for me. That's the hardest part for me because I'm very into new technologies, but like, like blockchain or fintech. But yeah, it's interesting. But I didn't feel it as much as startups, small small companies, startups that are very dynamic, very focused, oriented, very results oriented. And I actually have I'm actually struggling with working with bigger companies versus working with startups, and I have to figure it out. And I believe that the framework the process I'm creating is helping me with that because before that, I couldn't tackle the problem from the right point. Yeah so maybe it's like you're a product designer for blockchain companies who want to grow fast or something? Yeah, it might sound a rough draft, right? Yeah but the term product designer is not as explicit for someone who is not in the IT World War. So I think it's going to be much, much more simpler. And I think talking about the results, the outcomes I can provide is much easier to understand, such as my work, decrease the time and cost of development, the digital products. And that's understandable for everyone. So I don't have to dump my answer down to be understood by people. So the process, the process is helping me, me, me with that very, very much. Mm-hmm So does anyone have a question for me because I have a three questions for you guys and I can't wait to ask them? Yeah, let's open it up. Does anybody have any questions thus far? I have a question. Yeah so. If you're into if you're a specialist in something and you don't want to be a specialist in that and you want to be a special in something else, do you do you introduce yourself with your intended specialty or the specialty you're holding right now? It's a good question. Dear me, if you want to be a specialist in something that you're not specialist right now, it actually depends on your self-confidence. Because if you can solve your cell yourself as a specialist in the thing that you're not currently doing, but you believe in yourself, that you can learn it very quickly, or you can provide the value for the client. You can. You can talk about yourself as a specialist in that field that you're not yet a specialist, but it's all depend from about your self-confidence. OK let's have another question, or do you have a follow up to me? I do have a follow up to just one, just take too much of your time, so more than the confidence, I really am very confident that I have no issues like getting back to clients. But if I meet so my work is in, most of my clients are in culture, so mostly music, and I wouldn't have a specialization in restaurants and hotels and that sort of business. So if I say I'm, I help. Restaurants have a great brand identity, for example. Yeah, someone asks, oh, nice, what? What restaurants have you worked with? yeah, that's a very I would have to say, no matter how confident I am, I would have to say most of my clients are musicians right now. So zero. Yeah but you can always tell that why it matter. Because yeah, the industries are very important to get a little bit knowledge about how they work. But the process that what you do, could you tell me one more time what they do? I do branding and identity. Most of my clients are in the culture space. I don't want to be there. I want to be in the restaurant business. And the caf�� business. Yeah if someone asks, do I say I'm, I help restaurants or do I say help musicians, you can tell you help restaurants because actually you can turn it around because your lack of experience in that industry don't have to be the burden. It can actually be a positive thing because you have a fresh new look at the industry. But it depends on the client. One one client can tell you that that's a no go for him, that you don't have experience in the restaurant and other can appreciate that you have. You look at his industry and. He will agree on the cooperation, but it's very difficult to pinpoint the perfect answer. OK, so I want to weigh in on this. Demi is raising a problem that a lot of you guys are going to have. OK, so let's just talk about a couple of things that I can help you guys understand here. First of all, you must already know before talking to somebody what their objection is going to be about working with you. OK, so this is a preview into the conversation we're going to have Thursday Night. For those of you guys, I want to join us on the live stream. I think Matt wants to make an exception for anybody that's in the Pro group to join us live, if you wish. OK excuse me. All right. So, demi, you already know they're going to ask you what experience you have and you don't have a good answer. So sorry to interrupt. I was just assuming that this is a function. So perhaps, you know, someone asked me to introduce myself and a network is I didn't think this was a sales technique over. Everything's a sales technique, man. If you're not selling, what are you doing right? You got a function. So let's get practice, ok? And it doesn't matter if you're telling your best friend, your mom a prospect or you're just hanging out at the park and somebody is asking you, hey, what do you do? OK, so here's what we have to do is we have to build a bridge and we need to understand what the potential problem is with what we're saying. Because let's just say you're at a function has nothing to do with anything that you're thinking of and somebody asks you and you say, oh, I'm, I design brand identities for restaurants. And they're like, Oh my god, I know a restaurateur. Send me something of your work and I'd love to introduce you. Then you're screwed again. So, I mean, all roads lead to a no or you backpedaling, and it doesn't sound good like, oh, I don't have any of that work just yet. So we have to bring it up right up front. We can't wait for the client or prospect or friend to ask us. OK, so you need to build a bridge. So here's how I would have introduced yourself. It's like I've worked with some of the coolest bands doing brand identities, but I'm also a foodie and realize people in the restaurant space are in dire need of fresh thinking. Yeah OK, so I'm bringing up the objection, I'm also talking about the things I've done, so that allows it to be like, oh, so what did you do before? So you're answering all the questions before they even come up. Now, if you worked with a big band or a band, that's like a local favorite or something you could say I've worked with. Coldplay, maybe you've heard of them that establishes you as an expert like, whoa, Oh my god, you're just not a nobody. OK and I also try to bring in like, why are you interested in restaurants? That's why I said, I'm a foodie as well. So now it brings my passion about music and food together, and I'd love to apply the experience to help restaurants stand out. And maybe a very specific kind of restaurant, you can also say I'm gluten. You don't have to eat gluten, dairy free diet, so I'm really interested in alternative choices that are better for us that are locally sourced, whatever it is that you want to do, right? Does that make sense to me? Absolutely I was just, you know, asking for the specific prompt on on, you know, the formula that I saw. Yeah so both like, say, both do your past and what you intend to do in the same germinal center. Yeah if you're trying to move from one to the other, it's quite difficult to do. It really is, and it requires a hard pivot. So and I'm speaking from experience here, having been in the motion space for a really long time. That's all everybody wants to think about us for. So the longer you've been doing something, the harder the pivot is because they just don't want to see like that anymore. And I've had quite a bit of success pivoting from different clients or prospects into what it is I want them to talk about. And so I'm just sharing that framework. So here's where I am. Here's what I want to go. And there's a little narrative for the clients to follow along. And if they're not interested in that interest, then you just walk away. It's fine. All right. Does that, Chris, is talking actually about the sales technique, which is the highest level of things in the pyramid, but the foundation. Foundation is actually for you to be prepared for this kind of objections from the client. And I remember Chris, you were talking about Miley Cyrus and her branding, actually, when she shocked us, shocked people with the sexuality just to be not being perceived as a kid to rebrand herself. So that's the kind of thing that, yeah, it's a hard, hard pivot, right? Yeah Britney Spears did it. Justin Timberlake did it in a way, for sure, women who are seen as. Teen idols need to do a really big pivot. Yeah, Yeah. They sometimes over overcorrect. OK, sounds, it sounds very, very understandable, but when you see Miley Cyrus doing some crazy, crazy stuff, it doesn't make sense at first, but when you really think about it, it's perfectly it's just a make sense. Yeah OK. Should we take another question from somebody? Maybe my question is will open up. OK, let's do it then a group. So it's a question. Oh no, I was just going to say, maybe you can put back that pyramid just so we have something visual to look at to see. OK, I'm going to ask the question and go back to the pyramid. So when was the last time you spend your time reflecting out on what? What do you do and who is your client? A the question? OK, when was the last time you spend your time reflecting on what you do and who is your client? Every day, like every time I blink, that's it. And what did you figure out? OK, I'll turn it to Raoul then. Um, I figure that I'm still scattered. I'm trying to figure out what I personally like, and the thing is, I like too many things and I just have to I have to narrow it down to see like. What would be my first priority and then maybe do like a secondary one if I do want to pick one? And I'm finding that part really difficult, just picking. Yeah, so that's where I stand. Why is it hard for you to pick? I just like a lot of things. I like the food space, I like automotive space. You know, I've done manufacturing stuff. I've done a lot of things that I'm genuinely interested in. I think solving new problems like looking at things in a new perspective really interests me. So it's hard for me to just like, I don't to say niche down. I want to be a specialist, but I think when I feel like I'm limiting myself to, let's just say, a sector, I feel like I, you know, I feel like I might get bored of it. Yeah and I'm also making an early assumption because I haven't really done it yet. So, yeah, that's exactly the process is tackling. So I guess you are in the right place might step. You are just discovering the possibilities and you have a hard time converge as convergence of the answers and the process is actually can help you with that. I'm looking at this from the point which of these things I really like to do is the most valuable for the client I like to work with. That's that's the one thing you can look at, but there are very, very many possibilities that you can actually right now, how do you define how much is too much? Mm-hmm how many? Let's just say it's automotive and food, for example. Yeah that is that too different? And is that too many things to focus on? Taco trucks? Sorry, taco trucks. Oh gosh. Automotive manufacturing together. I design amazing a brand identities for mobile restaurants. I'm going to write that down. That's what you're supposed to do, right? Put your hobbies together. So I think Matt's got a lot of prompts for you to think about. And then the convergence part is the part that he already mentioned that you're having a hard time figuring out. Yeah, right? So let me just chime in here. I made some notes here for a while, ok? Recently, Jonathan stock was on a show and he's like, you know, creatives are very fearful of niching down on having a focus and they think it's going to be boring. He says, you know, I've watched a lot of Ted speakers and they're experts, and none of them seem bored to me. They write books and they do talks, and then they become known and they become really known, and they wind up on talk shows and speaking circuits and all that kind of stuff, so they don't seem to be bored. Now here's the other thing that Raul said that I was like, All right. So I was listening to Tony Robbins and he was talking about this. And he said, you know, people would argue with him. It's like, I know this is the right path to go. I have evidence that I'm right, and that's why my partner is wrong. And he said, yeah, you could be right or you could be in love. You could be right. Or you can be in a relationship, which reminded me a lot of what my business coach told me before. And he said, Chris, the most important thing that you will find later on is to get the job done. And you have to give up being light, being right, being popular, having fun. So rule, if you can't pick between one of these things, then you have to say, like, I'm choosing to like all these things, but I'm not going to get the job done. I'm not moving my career and my company forward because I just can't decide. So in a way, you're choosing not to be successful, not to get the job done, not to be known, not to become an expert. So these are all choices we get to make. So if you want to change your life, you just need to make different decisions. OK all right. Back to Matt. OK, Thanks. That's Q&A. OK, second question is, how many times did you validate is your value proposition and your client's needs aligned and how did you do that? OK, so how many times did you validate? Your value proposition and your clients need wait. How many times? Yeah, it might be phrased wrong. Yeah OK, so let me see. And if validate if your value proposition and your client's needs are. Yeah yeah, OK, so how many times did you validate your value price and if your client's needs? Is that right? I can translate many times. Did you validate if your value, if your value proposition? OK, I see. All right. OK, perfect. OK so you guys got that? How many times did you validate if your value prop and your client's needs are aligned? I see. That's a very good question, because then it's not just about you. It's like it's got to be something valuable to your client. And how did you do that? Yeah, that's a good question. I have a great answer for it, but that's a good question. So people are getting a little active in the chat window here. So you guys go ahead. Who wants to talk? OK, guys, can here we go. I think sometimes I validated when clients have approached me, for example, through Facebook, and they tell me like, hey, I found you on Facebook through somebody or through a comment, and I just thought you could be the person that could help me. I have a problem. And I have no idea how to solve it, but I think you might have something that might solve my problem. And that has just given me like some information like, OK, they perceive me as a problem solver, like they don't know what they need and they don't know what their exact problem is. But they've done things in the past that haven't worked for them and they somehow perceive me as a problem solver. So that has given me like an insight on how people perceive me. And it's been really helpful. And I've been contacted like that, like around five times over the past two months, just like over social media and as a person who can solve their problems. Nice and what is your what is your positioning? We are upside you, you're telling that to your ex or why you are doing special specific thing or what is your communication to the client, to the community, to the clients? I write a lot of articles I have started doing, like live sessions, just with some of my friends talking about different things, and I had been positioning myself like a brand strategist, but I don't think people understand what that means. So I've been really struggling on how to position myself because what I really want to be is a product strategist, but I don't think that people really get what that means. So I've called myself like, like content specialist or like, I'm really trying to figure that out. Or I even started myself calling myself like problem solver. Like, I solve business problems because I really don't know how to phrase it in a way that people understand. Like, I know I want to be a product strategist, but people just I don't think they understand. I understand. Yeah, I have. I have the exact same problem, but it's the problem. The roots of this problem is because we're thinking and talking with our clients. We're talking to our clients about input. That's what we do, not about the output, the results that the clients actually want. So if we're talking about if you said that your problem solver, that's the thing that the client want. And because he doesn't know that he needs a product strategies, because it's not in his vocabulary. It's not the language he is talking to anybody. So by saying your problem solver, solver, you actually tackle the output, the results that the client actually wants. Chris, they want to say anything. I have a bunch of things to say. Yes, I'm just waiting. I don't want to cut you off. OK, OK, I'm going to give you a couple of different strategies. I love this question. Just to remind me later, because I want to talk about this question. But when you meet somebody at a party or function or on the phone and they're like, hey, what do you do? And is it? How do you say your name library leary? Lady, lady, lady, yeah, late, lady. OK, so if you're talking to somebody in like, what do you do and you're like, I'm a product strategist and I help xyz and I'm a problem solver. May I go what? OK, but everybody says that, everybody says that everybody says the same thing over and over again. So I have. This is not premeditated. This is not something. It's been rehearsal. Let's just try to say something. Let's see if it works. OK, guys next time somebody asks you a question, I just want you to answer the question with the question. Right so they're like, what do you do? It's like, you know what, let me show you. Let me ask you a question. What's what's the what's the big problem you're trying to solve? That you've just been banging your head against the wall and haven't been able to figure out just yet that go, yeah, OK. And then you start to solve the problem. Now Now I'm showing you. I don't need to explain it to you anymore. And if I'm an expert, I should know the right kinds of questions, since I'm not an expert on what it is that you do. I don't. I don't know yet, but almost always. So the question here that Matt put up, which was how do you validate your value proposition if you evaluate your proposition? I don't validate my proposition because I just get right into what the clients need. Yeah, I really get right into it. It's like, what is a big problem you're trying to solve? So I don't want to solve a small problem. I don't want to solve an easy problem. I want to solve a big problem. So I immediately start there now, you're probably sitting back like, OK, well, how do you specialize in them? Well, I don't know, but I'm just telling you how I would approach it. I do workshops like this. I just asked the entire room, what's a big problem you're trying to solve? And if you could hire a team of experts to solve it? How much would it be worth to you to solve that problem? Then inevitably, I find the biggest problem in the room, sometimes too big. OK, now Paul is asking this question, I want to ask this question for Paul and Matt, you answered, OK. He's like, hey, if I'm an oil painter and I paint animals isn't a specialization just to say I'm an oil painter. Could you repeat? Yeah OK. I think Paul marsh is asking this question. Could you just be a great oil painter of animals and not specialize in animals? I think he's trying to figure that out. Or cars or whatever it is. It's a very common question that people would ask. And Paul, if you want to ask it. Go ahead and ask it to the group. Oh, yeah, it was actually responding, I think, to Victoria was asked the question, but it's the yeah, so the struggle I have is the boundaries that specialism. So if you specialize in my example, you could be a really good artist, an oil painter and you're known for oil painting of animals. And someone comes along and says, oh, you know what, I could really do with the oil painting of my new sports car? And you go, yeah, well, I'm a great oil painter, so that's fine. I'll do your sports car. So I don't need to know the specialism in animals is not that relevant in that example. Actually, the relevancy is MySQL in oil painting. Oh, or is it? Let's talk about this, Paul. So this person who comes up to you, this fictional scenario you set up, how do you even come to find out about you? Because the world is full of oil painters? They came to you because you're a pretty good oil painter with animals and you have a very distinct way of doing things. And in the client's mind, they're like, you know, I bet you could do something really unusual in that style for cars. And then you get to decide, oh, I don't know, new cars because I artists and illustrators who have a very distinct style. And subject matter. And if you ask them to do something else, a they're not very good at it and they're not happy doing it at all, because I think it's a denying like denying them of what they love to do. Like, if you like to do like really like electronics kind of gadget porn websites and then somebody asks you to do like a perfume. You probably have no, I don't do this. I think you just enjoy doing kinds of things, you have natural proclivities. And then when somebody asks you to do something different, you have to learn that style. You kind of have to figure out what makes that world tick. And it starts to feel inauthentic. And I know this anecdotally because I work with a lot of freelance artists. That when I try to push them out of the boundary of their portfolio, it starts to get really messy, like emotionally like their comps, they're not putting their soul into it and you could totally see. So the lesson we always learn is try to find somebody like an Illustrator who is doing something very close to what you want, if not the thing that you want, they'll be the happiest. It'll get done and it'll get done right. Every time we ask them to move outside of that, like going from horses to cars, Oh my god, it's a nightmare. I have to sit there and have to mark up their conflict. No, you see, like when cars like this is how the headlights are done and you kind of did a weird thing there. And the lines the perspective doesn't match because they're used to drawing animals and not objects. So that's where we run into lots and lots of problems. But for the context, in that conversation was about railroading yourself down to a particular skill and then getting bored. The fear of being bored, I say so. The context that came from that was, well, if you don't want, if you're a sort of person that doesn't want to have to focus on a particular specialism, but you've got the you've got the skills to pay the Bills and you want to go somewhere else with it. And someone gives you an opportunity to use that ego. So for example, in the very conversation you just had a minute to go where we're saying we're turning it around and saying, well, I sold business problems. What's your problem that you've got at the moment? That problem could be, as someone said, you know, creating a warp engine for space, or it could be selling cars. Whatever it is in your skill set that you've developed there, you're asking the right questions. We're getting down to the root analysis of what it is that they're doing. You're doing a good job for them and it's not necessary. You might not know anything about space warp engines or whatever it is they're talking about. But so contradictions are we can kind of stay on a railroad and that's great and specialize on that particular journey. Or we can say, well, actually, I'm quite confident. I really enjoy changing tracks and going down a different, different Avenue. And actually, what the railroad gives you is good for advertising. So you're saying, look, I'm a great artist and animals come and see my show and they come along and they go, you a really great painter. But you know, I don't really need animals. I want the car. I don't go, well, actually, I'm really excited about the chance. You know, I've got great. I love cars, really nice cars. I've never had the opportunity to paint cars and I'd love it. If I can see the specialism is a great way of advertising who you are getting that interest in you. But that doesn't preclude you from necessarily traveling down a different route after that. No, it doesn't. And Jonathan talked about this and he's like, you know, look in, you're in for us. It's hard to start a fire like a wet forest, right? And you have a little light that's poking through the canopy of trees. And he said, if you have a magnifying glass, you could start a fire. But the energy of the sun isn't enough to set the Earth on fire just yet without a little help. So he's like your position, your expertise. Niching down is your magnifying glass and allows you to focus that light into one little thing. And then you can get a little smoke going. And it's like once you get the fire burning, then you could do whatever you want. Yeah, right? So in the beginning, Paul, I imagine it would be quite difficult for me. 1995 graduate from arts centre, graphic designer to be like, yeah, I saw this problem because I don't even know what I'm talking about. I don't even know such a thing existed, so it's taken two decades plus to be able to get in this position where I feel like, yeah, I've seen enough problems now where I can be in this place, but I'm not so certain that a 19, 20-year-old kid can just jump out of this design womb. And just like, yeah, I do this because that's talk, and a lot of people talk that way, but they can't deliver it. So in order for you to be that oil painter where somebody is like, you know, cars would be great, they can see the talent because you've proven it to them over and over again, then it's up to you at that point. And I got to tell you, like, I know a lot of artists that are just so, so happy. And so I want to say like rich with money, but just rich with life, because they do that thing that just gives them so much joy. And there's a value to that, too. And I think so many designers, this is an affliction that hits designers more than it does illustrators or artists. Damien Hirst does this thing. Shepard Fairey does a thing. Andy Warhol did a thing. Right, and then designers like I like a little with it, I like a little with that and every time and this has happened to us. Once we got into web design, I was like, wow, we're trying to learn about the processes and invent it as we go, and we make a lot of expensive mistakes on our end. And I know for sure then it's a struggle. It may be fun for us, but gosh, it is so hard, that's why we brought in Ben burns because it's like he has more web experience than all of us combined, and he's able to help us through that. Otherwise, call me on a motion design project, storytelling, storyboarding, sequencing, sequential art I could talk about all day long without even thinking about it. So those are the pros and cons, guys, as general like graphic designers, we want to do so many different things and it makes it very hard. As Paul had already pointed out very astutely, it's very difficult for you to mark it. But once you get the lead, it's up to you then what you want to do. And I say more power to you, man. If you if you love cars and trees and you've been forced to paint animals all your life and you want to try it. Go for it. You should do it. And actually, in your spare time, that's what you should be doing anyways, if that's what you love. OK I believe that people weren't thinking about the specialist, the positioning are thinking about doing only one thing, but it's more about positioning, talking about yourself as a specialist in one thing, but it doesn't mean that you're not doing any other stuff that you actually want to do. So I'm showing you the slide. You want to be known as a shoe specialist from the one small thing, but you can do all the other things for the client once you get them. Once you are talking with them. Mm-hmm And can I talk about the foundation or sorry, the validation portion of it? What like what do you what decisions do you make during validation process? Like, let's say you finally decide I want to be a specialist in this and you go through this all these options? What what is the what's the point where you should think about doing something else in that validation process? I don't know if I'm asking this right? Yeah, I understand. First, I would check is, is the market want the thing that you're doing? And the second thing is, can you make enough money to, I don't know, be able to live wherever you live. Can you make a profit or is the thing that you want to do valuable for the client? So does the client want to pay money for the things that you're doing and you're either interviewing them, or looking at the market and try to figure out, is that is, is it the case or not? Sorry, I realized that sounded like a very general question. Thanks sure. But yeah, but it's a very complex process. So this answer I just gave you are not the only answer on the only things that you can do, but it's very it depends on the things that you want to validate the test. I have a question. So in order to market yourself as a specialist, you really need to be a specialist in order to do that. I mean, like I'm a designer, but if I want to market myself, as you know, I'm specializing in something, I really have to know this stuff. So I think that's the key to I mean, you can position all you want, but if you don't know, you don't know. Good question. You go, that's all right. I have an answer, so I want you to answer first. OK I believe the first diamond identifying viable options is the answer to it because you want to write this kind of answers that you can do, the things that you can't do. You want to write them in this, this first diamond. So you actually can only validate things that you are somehow somewhat familiar with. So you're not going to validate when you're a graphic designer, you you won't get to the validation validation process in, I don't know, painting or paint painting is not the best example. I accounting. You're not going to test it on the validating option diamond, because previously you you want to mention it. You want mentioned accounting. So it's a process. It's a linear process, and you can't jump between there between the steps. OK he was asking the million question here, and it's something that I'm sure a lot of you guys are thinking about. OK yes, you're absolutely right. You can't be some kind of snake oil salesman, right? I can't spend all my life making logos on the one day. I'm like, I wake up. I'm like, you know what? I'm a product designer. Well, hope based on what? But maybe you can. This presents the chicken and egg problem. How do you become an expert at something? If you have no opportunities to become an expert at something, this is a catch-22. All right. So I'm going to go to the book of Blair win without pitching, the first thing he says is first, make a choice. What is it that you want to focus in on and then make that claim? So Hugo is a graphic designer, but one day he decides, you know what? I just want to specialize in brand identity systems for people who raise horses. So then now he has to edit out everything in his life. He's going to make a claim. I am the guy to think about when it comes to branding for horses. Whatever it is. And then what you do is you start to build expertise, first of all, you stake the claim and then you start to. Curate the work that you do, the things you write about, the things that you say, the things that you share. To become that thing, and then all of a sudden, you are that person. And I'll give you a real world example, so you guys don't think I'm just talking out of my butt. All right, you guys ready for this? Jonathan Rudolph, I've already mentioned his name a couple of times in his group. Jonathan Rudolph is a young guy from Sri Lanka who moved to Australia. He just curated logos because he has a fascination for logos. And now he's become. I think he's still under 30. He's become the number one social network driver for the search logo design. So you could be sitting there thinking, well, what are his logos like? He doesn't matter. He just started collecting, commenting and curating on logos that he thought were excellent. I'm pretty sure he's really close to million subs now, every time I turn around, he picks up another 100,000. So you don't even have to be a practitioner of that thing. Here's another example. Seth Godin. He's written 18 best selling books, and he talks about marketing all the time. Yet he himself, I don't think now in his last kind of arc of his career is not an active marketer. He doesn't even consult for people. He just writes books, so he has an opinion. He makes connections. And so I think a creative culture that would create is in the creative culture, right? Create creative create. So we put a lot of emphasis on us actually making something, but that might be a disservice to all of us because we're putting blinders on to all the other kinds of things that fit within us building expertise. Now, I'm saying this from experience personal experience, we've had to reinvent our company many times, probably five or six times already. And so how did we do that? How do we go from motion graphics to brand strategy to now an education company and platform? And each time I have to hit the nuclear button on what people see us as and build it something new and you just start. So we started by saying, what's the search term people are looking for? So we figured out some weird concoction of words because when we typed in those words, the people that we wanted to be like showed up on the top 10 search results. And those words were something like brand, design, consultancy or agency. So then we changed our meta description on the blind page to include brand design consultancy, it's a strange combination of words. And then we started to write, copy and curate case studies to support that claim. I believe now in like probably a year or two, we're now top 10 search result for brand design consultancy and we have 1/100 the portfolio of people who had been doing this. It is possible you stake a claim and you go for it, so it's really interesting to me when we're put up against pentagram or other design companies. They've done more projects in one year than we've done in our lifetime as a company doing brand design. So, Hugo, does that answer your question? Processing no, he's like does not compute. What are you saying to me? Yeah I love a reluctant pregnant, Yes. I couldn't be 100% Oh, look, let's follow up because my reasoning. So basically you're saying, you know, just work on what you like and start all over. No, I didn't say that. I said that you're a graphic designer, right, and you now you want a position to become an expert at something and you don't have the body of work to back it up, you don't even have the experience to back it up. Step one. Figure out what it is that you want to do. Use a foundation process. Figure out what you want to say, what makes you different, unique? OK, you're only in a statement, I'm the only company that does x, y and z. You know, I watched a lot of CNN, so they run all these ads. And so I'm listening very carefully now to the way that they phrase and position themselves. You guys know the sandals resort. Sandals resort, it's like a vacation resort, and I heard them say it literally, they said this we're the only all inclusive four star resort. Once you book, you don't pay for anything for food, for recreation, for entertainment. You don't pay for anything. I was like, wow, they're clearly understanding positioning because they're like, we're the only four star resort that's all inclusive. OK, so Hugo, you're doing graphic design, let's just say, and you're like one day you're like, you know what? I just want to do identity design for a confectionary products. In Asia, the more specific that you can make it, the better. So now all the sweets companies are looking for you, and then you start to build something, you might do a spec project you might try to soft position, some that's kind of close to, you know, it's like, oh, that's kind of close enough to like a confectionary product. Why don't I do that? And so you start to write articles, you you make case studies of other people who do really well. Here's Hugo's top 10 list of the best identity designed in that space. And here's why I love them. And then the traffic starts to come. And then you get a call. And that's exactly what happened to the logi. That's what happened to Jonathan Rudolph. They're they're all self-taught designers, I think. And then all of a sudden they create awareness and then people call them for the work. Inevitably, it comes up. OK, so he will come back at me. What you got? So you use other people's work to violate your thinking, what you're trying to do. That's one way to say that. Now let's think about that for a second. He's like, you use other people's work to validate your thinking. Does that sound neutral, negative or positive in your mind? Negative it sounds really negative 2 me. OK, so I use the word use sounds already bad. Other people's work sounds like I'm a thief to validate my thinking. Do you think, writers? Describe themselves like that. I use other people's life stories to validate my thinking. Do you think documentary filmmakers say that like I use other people's stories to exploit for my fame? So that's a very negative thing, right? So I'm listening to Tony Robbins and he's like, you know what? Nothing has meaning except for the meaning we give it. If you change the meaning, it changes how you feel, how you feel, changes what you think, what you say and what you do. So I don't look at it like that, I don't think Jonathan Rudolph started off by thinking, I'm just going to use other people's word. You know what? I'm just a giant fan and I want to spotlight incredible work through the prism of how I see the world. So here I am, I'm staying in Taipei. We're staying in the W Hotel and I'm walking around experiencing whatever, whenever from the W hotel, and I just love their designs. They're thinking they're messaging the whole spirit of the hotel. So I make a video about it and I say this is why the branding of the hotel is so amazing. It's not just the way it looks and I talk about it. It was just an OK. Video and then we become the number one search result on Google for W Hotel branding. I'm not trying to exploit anybody. They did a poor job of talking about what's happening here, so I'm a curator, I'm a commentator commenter. Like, you know, critics of food become better known than the chefs that they talk about. Because the world is looking for a guy. The world is looking for a point of view. Everybody can paint, but there's only one way of looking at it, the way Picasso looks at it. So let's change the meaning, we assign that, OK, I'm not using anybody. And in fact, now writers, artists are calling me messaging me all the time, how do we get on the show? Because I give a platform for people to get known. And I ask the questions that most people don't ask, and so people appreciate that. OK so, Hugo, you probably came in for like the framework, the foundation process, and I'm pointing to my right because that's where that my second monitor is. You came in for that, but I need you to start to reprogram to update the operating system by how you see things. So there's a choice. Everything that happens to you in your life, you have to make a decision. Is this thought this meaning that I'm assigning things empowering me? Or is it disempowering me? If it is, I need to change that. I need to make a different choice, I need to describe it in my mind differently. These are the limiting stories that I've heard on the mindset. Part of the power pyramid. And I don't know. We have a third question, don't we? Yeah, yeah, we'll get to it. OK first. OK, here we go. Yeah, actually, we have a few more questions, but let's focus on one or two. OK what kind of problems do I solve for my client? Who is my client, either vertical or horizontal market? What am I doing differently than my competitors? And can the client tell the difference between me and my competitors? Which which are the questions you like the most? Some of these are hard. So I can I jump in here? Excuse me. I just I was asking this question in the chat before about what if? What about niching down to the type of client that we're wanting to work with, rather than specifically the details of the work that we're doing? So just for some context, this is something that I've been thinking about recently with my rebranding and focusing sort of my work. And you know, one thing I kind of like Rawls says before, like, I love doing many things, but now I'm at a point where I'm kind of getting clearer on what I want to do, which is sort of specifically branding and strategy. But in terms of who I want to work with, I I'm kind of, you know, I want to work with specific kinds of people. And it's still like my thoughts aren't fully formed around this. So it's kind of just being it's just moving around in my head, but I kind of wanted to bring it up and throw it out there. Yeah, it's fine you can position yourself either for vertical and horizontal market. And it's actually better if you just do one simple thing for specific kind of client. But if you pick either of them, either of it, I mean, either you do some kind of work for specific client or very specific thing for many, many clients, that's OK. OK now about the perfect choice would be positioning yourself as a specialist in one thing for a very specific client. You just have a bit better, a better chance to close the sales and get the leads right. That's much more focused. It's more difficult. Yeah, I think from a branding perspective to you, can you guys hear me? Yes, we can. OK, so from a branding perspective, that's more persona, right? So like, if you're talking to a very specific type of person like they're going to have very you're going to have an easier time maybe picking who your primary customer is and then designing your brand around things that will resonate with them, right? Yeah Yeah. Like, like, for example, you know, I'm thinking like, I've, you know, in the first three or four years of my business, I was doing everything and anything for a lot of different kinds of scenarios and people and people who had different attitudes coming in. Some were very resistant Some were really into it. But but wanting to be in control. Like, I learned a lot about my leadership position and sort of how I can, you know, the dynamic that I was entering into these relationships with. So going forward, I'm trying to sort of get my head straight on. But the idea what I'm thinking is I want to work with people who are engaged. You know, I want to work with people who care about what we're doing together. I want to work with people who respect you, right? All the things that he put in the deck, you summed it up exactly right. We want to be loved. We want to be appreciated. We want to be respected. We want to be paid handsomely. Yeah, how do we do that. Because we're dancing at the wrong party? You know, we're trying to do swing and it's like a totally it's like a techno party. It's like, what? It's not working like, who's that weirdo? Maybe that works for you too, right? Jonathan talked about this. It's like you got to know your audience. And I think about this quite often. I'm invited to speak on a more regular basis. These days, and I always ask them, who's going to be there? What problems are they trying to solve? What are their challenges and why haven't they been able to do this? If you can answer that, I can determine if I'm going to do this, talk with you or not. I need to know that because when you know your audience, you don't have speakers block. Because I'm just going to talk to you, it's all I don't have talkers block, it's because I know who you are. But if you go into a room and there are a bunch of kids from another country and they don't speak the language, it's like, oh, fudge? What are we going to talk about? Because it's not about me? They're going to be bored out of their minds, and that's why I love aids because you have a question. There's no way I can get this wrong because I mean, there are ways, but then it's about you because I routinely screw that up, too. But right, so you guys never have to do a workshop. The first question that you need to ask him is who's going to be there? What are the demographics of psychographics? What are their big challenges? What would be very valuable to them if they walked away from this, even if it's a free workshop? What would they walk away with and say, dang, that was worth the drive all the way across town to jump on the five freeway? It was worth it, man. And if it's a small workshop to you like you can straight up ask them, what do you want to walk away with? And that I did that one time and I swear it was game changing. Yes now it's both good and bad, Victoria, because I've done it many, many times and I love that. So if you have 30 minutes to talk to somebody a group. And it's a small group and you have to first extract the question or the comment from them and get the group to vote on it, that could easily eat up 15 minutes or 30 minutes, but you're 100% right if you have a multiple hour workshop like the ones I produce, then you ask those questions. Now here's the thing. Unfortunately, this happens where the most dominant, loudest extroverted voice is the one that the group seems to just kind of go along with. And it's not always the best question or problem. So then you have to facilitate, you have to give space for people. So we're trying to figure out how to solve this problem. And the way that we're going to do it and the way we're doing it now is you've seen introduced on the show is using Slido. You guys should check it out, Slido slide or slido? OK it's a polling system. It's totally free. If you want the extra features, it's quite expensive, but for most of what you need, you can use that. So you can say before we get started today, I'd love for you guys to jump out of the camps. Submit your question and the one that resonates with you the most. Vote that up. So then you can do your presentation for like 10, 15 minutes, I think. So now I'm going to jump on them a check. This is the number one topic or and then you can scan it like, yeah, I know you guys voted that. That's off topic. Number two is really good. Then answer that question, so you get the power of group voting answering the question, delivering value to them and the introverted people who are a little scared to raise their hand or say something, they get a voice. So it's pretty cool. OK I discovered this three years ago. Sadly, I'm slow. I've only started adopting it like a week ago. I've done Google Voice like where they can literally text it. Yeah it's not. They can't vote. So I mean, voting is important because it removes the time it takes to facilitate that. Right, because we used, OK, everybody gets three votes and somebody votes twice or once or four times like, oh, now we had to do the vote again. It's that kind of stuff, you know, so, yeah, so Victoria, if you do that, that's what I would recommend and you're totally right. I've done that and people seem to really enjoy because they feel like, Oh man, you're all about them. It was a totally tailored presentation and answers just for them. So can the client tell the difference between you and your competitors, and if you can't answer that question, you have a problem? Yeah, I wanted to talk about this question because when I actually reflected on my business. And when I thought about this question, I got sad because I couldn't tell you I didn't know the answer. And that's what I have to figure it out. And I believe many of you guys have the same difficulty with that question. OK, I want to ask you, and I'm going to try to say your name. Is it my motto? Uche, you can call me Matt. I want to try if you call it funny, calling you Matt. It's like, I just say one more time. My motto is no, it's good enough. It's good enough motto motto as I try and make it worse. OK all right. First, try always the best. I want to ask you this. I want to ask you this. Yeah the future as a brand. Can you tell the difference between us and our competitors? Who is your competitor, because I don't really know, so I don't know, we have a competitor. OK, I want to compare you to well, because here's the thing I don't like competition. I want to go where nobody's going. I want to fish in that. What is that called the blue ocean strategy? Everybody is like huddled around this little campfire or whatever it is, and I'm like, no, I don't want that. I'm going to go somewhere where I don't think a lot of people are there. And I think maybe just by circumstance, less by design I want to take credit for it is that they're really knowledgeable experts out there, but they're all like theoretical. They write, they read, and they talk about it right? And they get known for that kind of thing, and they're very smart. Then there are people who do things. And they're really great at it, but just have never thought about their process nor care to share or educate anybody else because like, no more for me, less for you. And then there are posers who don't even have the experience, who've read a couple of books. So they're not even experts and they're out there, too. It's like, hey, this is fantastic. We have no competition. As far as I know, so it's easy to stand out from the competition. When you don't have any. Yeah, but in order to figure out what is the ocean, you actually want to look at the competitor the market and figure out how you can be different. And you said that you didn't do it by design. So it was like, I don't know, luck. I don't know. But when somebody right? Yeah, Yes. When there's a hole in the market and you're like, hey, what is that? Let me fill that hole? Yeah, Yeah. And when somebody's just doing, I don't know, product design, it's just easier to look what are the competitors are doing? And just the other thing just is not copying copying them, right? So I want to bring Rachel back online, Rachel. Tell me about our competition. I want to know. I was just, yeah, going in the jet. I saw that I'm reading his comments. I don't I don't see you guys as having direct competitors like everyone's going back and forth in the chat going. Yeah, design schools don't teach this stuff, and master class doesn't really do this, and he doesn't quite do this. So there's not a direct apples to apples competitor for that beautiful, though. Let's stop. Let's stop right there. There are a lot of kids. There are a lot of artists. There's one Magritte. There's one Picasso. There's one Damien Hirst. And that's why they're able to command money. So if you want that thing, you got to get it from that person or that company, right? So let's talk about our indirect competitors now, Rachel. Who are they? The first one, I want to see how we do this all the time. When that was asking, like, how often do you think about this? Like every day when I wake up every single day, I think I mean, I think there's a lot of indirect competitors, people that match up on a few levels. So one master class masterclass MasterClass is what is that $99 all you can eat for the whole year, something like that? Yeah, Yeah. And so they have celebrities, mostly. And people have reached the top of the pyramid in terms of what they've done. Ron Howard is a director. Aaron Sorkin is a writer. Gordon Ramsay is a chef. And so they teaching. It's called master class, a master class, right? They put those two things together. Now how many people here have done master class? You've watched an episode or two. Anybody raise your hand? I think we need to talk to somebody who really did. So he raise his hand. He will talk to us. Which class did you watch? I watched the basketball, the art classes, the fashion classes. Oh, a lot. Yeah, Yeah. It's like you pay $200 bucks and then you get the whole year. Yeah so which one was your favorite one that you watched? I like to step in curvy one. I like the OK. OK, let's start say, stay with Curry. Are you a better basketball player now? No, because you mean I in practice. I was just taking the content, but it's all of you. How tall are you, man? OK that could be part of the problem. It's like, you know, I joke that I have with my son and he's adorable and we're both goofing all the time. We're standing right next to the garbage can and we take a little piece of trash and we throw it and we miss. And that's why Asians don't play basketball, son. This is why we just don't do it. We stay. It's like literally right there. You're like, you can't miss it. The goal is that big and the trash is like that small. When we hit the rim and it bounces out, I'm like, dang it. All right. Here's why I like it so much because it's the unattainable right. But what's the point? So so I talked to lots of people who watch masterclass for whatever reason, I'm not bought it. Maybe it's jealousy envy, but I haven't bought it in there. Like, is it worth it? Oh, I don't. I don't. I don't know. Like, why not? It feels like I paid $30 to watch some of these documentary about themselves. So here's the thing about master class. They are masters, but they're not master teachers, with exception of a few. Exactly I don't have taught before, and so it becomes a glorified documentary film about their process, and they cannot explain it to another person. Most artists have a problem with this. Right, so they have beautiful production, so I look at them like, whoa, look at the way they look. Sam Jackson, guys, what are you guys doing to me here? Give me, give me the fortune, right? And they had script supervisors like writing notes and like, no, let's say that again, that wasn't clear. So it's all scripted. It's all been worked out. It's all been very well planned. So from a production point of view, from a writing, I really admire what they're doing. But there's the problem is that we exist as a platform to teach people. So I want to look at the best teachers in the world that are doing this in scale. Yes, that's the problem. Now you can see in this group, I'm going to teach you in scale how to be better teacher, so I'm going to train the trainers, how to teach. I'm going to go through this process and I'm going to do my best to help shape anybody here in this group that wants to create a knowledge product in any form. OK because I think about this all the time. Rachel, back to you. OK, back to me. What am I saying? I don't know. They've got competitors. I want to hear about the competitors. If if I were going to be doing like, I just got done doing an audit. So that's like my brain, my brains at. So it's like if I was going to compare you guys, then I would be. I would look at a large sampling, not a large sampling, but a sampling of like a master class on one side and only look at. I probably look at it like an art school on one side, and then I would look for someone who is the closest thing. I could come to someone teaching on a mass scale and try and get some insight from kind of these different facets. Guys are in the center of so you do you touch on all these points, but not really. Anybody's exactly in the same spaces you touching on all those same points simultaneously? Yeah so the way that we approach the future and I'll get off on this so that Matt can finish that presentation, whatever how he wants to wrap this up. OK, so I'll say something that I'll get out of here. We look at our students as our customers. We look at the teachers who teach the classes as our customers, and then we try to find the best way to deliver value to both people and the intersection of two. When we do it right, it's quite magical. Unfortunately, a lot of institutions design schools don't look at either of them as their customers do. You know who they look at the Board of directors as our customers? That's the big problem because we're looking at legacy. We want to build more buildings or we want to do something that feels good, that gets in the newspaper and the news, but we're actually not doing it. And I was very fortunate to go to one of the best design schools here in the United states, which is art center, and it's very uneven. The number of good teachers to not good teachers is quite off. And so most of us define our design career or at least in school, is I had these four great teachers. Well, I had 25 teachers, so four out of 25 is not great. And it's because to fill in the rest of the curriculum, they need teachers who are not that good. And because they can't have the best, it's not like the All Stars for a basketball team. It's like you have LeBron James and you have other people. Right? so we want to fill that in. And so if we look at our customers. And this is very important for positioning like, what do you need? What do you want? How do you want to learn? Where do you want to learn? And we sit there and we look at the world through their eyes, we can give them what they want. They don't want to pay that much. They want information that's relevant. They want to know that you're a bona fide person doing what it is that you're doing. Not some person who couldn't make it in the real world and are now teaching full time because you don't how to run a business and you're not in demand. They want all that stuff, so they want great teachers who are very passionate and we should be able to use technology to bring these two people together. I won't get into the rest of the business model. That's why it's like, yes, I aspire to have the production quality and the name recognition of master class, but only if the teachers are good. Thank you. Right that's it, so we can be master class, but actually deliver on the promise of the class so that Hugo can slam dunk and throw a 3 pointer and do a cross over, you know, that would be amazing. But I think they're banking on Celebrity power and our attraction towards that, and I can see that their business model has changed quite a bit, so I'm curious what the long play for them is. Mm-hmm OK all right. Matthews, no. Yeah, that was good, that was good. OK all right. How do you want to finish this off? Yeah, I have five slides to go, so it's going to be quite quick. So you guys know a little bit more about the foundation process. And what if I told you the price for the process is seven, eight nine. What are your reactions? What do you feel? Little pricey. Anyone? little pricey, anybody else? The results are so pricey, I think it feels it feels pricey to me because there's some I think you have something really good started here, but I would like to see the fully fledged out. I'd like to see it. Like someone said the demonstration of the results, you see you go. Here's what I used to say, which is what we all say. And yeah, now here's what I say. I think when you get through all of that and fill in some of the gaps. It might not sound so pricey. Yeah, I get results. Mm-hmm OK and maybe more details, you know, like, hey, yeah, you show the prompts, you shoot a bunch of different ways. I think because you're still in development here. Yeah, you don't have all the stories like, OK, this happened, and now this is what this sounds like. And I think it's a matter of time. Yeah, that's the case. So on a Q&A. Oh anyone want to ask any questions? How many more slides do you have? We want to let you finish one one, ok? Show us your last slide then and then we'll open up to you. And that's me. All right. There you guys go. So you guys can type that in digital product strategist. So I'm currently in the process of changing everything, so you if you bookmark the page and look at it within a month, it's going to be different, so you can see how the foundation process is implemented. Mm-hmm OK, I see a really great question now. OK if you guys have more questions, how can they get in touch with you? Do they go to your website. And there's a contact form somewhere? Yeah, Yeah. All right. Fantastic OK. So Adam's asking Adam's asking everybody, what do we do when being different is seen as a weakness? I just want to stop the question there, because there's another part to the question, what do we do when being different is a weakness? I think two calls ago, we were talking about the Japanese concept of ikigai, which is ikigai or something like a ikigai. And it's coincidentally very similar to the superpower thing that I have finding your superpower. I think what makes you powerful? What makes you unique and what's going to make you happy is all this idiosyncratic stuff like, we're not looking for perfection, we're just looking for authenticity and we're looking for things that are a little bit different. I think a lot of us, as creatives think that, oh, that's an odd thing that I like. I don't want to bring that in. So we try to conform ourselves to what we imagine, what other people want us to be. I think when you realize that actually what people want you to be is to be and to bring all that stuff out, to lay out all the gifts that you've been given. Whatever it might be and lay it on the table, right? So it's no mystery that I don't have a lot of hair. But the interesting thing is people would see that and they start making comments like, oh, I guess you have to be bald to be a strategist, and it's like, oh, OK, it's like they assign value to it. I'm not going to hide from it. It's like, that's just who I am. It's obvious that I'm Asian. It's a gift that I've been working in the motion industry for two decades, so I know how to light and to tell stories with camera work. It's also something interesting that I've been teaching for 15 years, so I want to bring all those skills together, and I use them as often as I can. When the dots make sense. So if you have something that seems weird or different, I think you'd lean in. Dan maes, who was on our show, South African guy. He was like, oh, I've been diagnosed with all kinds of problems, and I want to be a voice for people who are not normal, I want to embrace the not normal. So much so that he made a neon sign and turned it into logo and put it behind him. He took South African slang brew and turned into his whole brand mantra. Which is pretty nuts. So everything that makes him weird instead of running away from him embraces and he champions and he shouts off from the top of the roof. So I think that's something we need to start thinking about. OK, so many of us suffer from imposter syndrome like we just want to fit in. We just want to be with the cool kids. In the pursuit of that. You become not you. You don't. You don't show your gifts. And so now you're just a poor copy of something else and you're really just not that interesting at that point. And I know that I'm speaking from a person who's gone through the whole process and have lived many years just lying to myself, ashamed of who I am, and I was telling somebody story who was, oh, I was having dinner with a friend of mine who is also coincidentally, my banker. And he's like, hey, I'm working on this new book. He's like, what's the book called? I said it's called a pocket full of dough. And he left left. Let's have this big laugh. It's like, Oh my God. And so genius. He's like your name. It's like there's an infinite number of options. And he starts throwing out every idea I'm like, and some of them are kind of funny. I'm like, yeah, that one's not funny, dude. He's just throwing out ideas, right? And they said, I have to be honest with you, man. All my life up into, like when I was, like about 20 years old, I was really ashamed of my culture, my heritage, my name. I just wanted to be like Chris Johnson. Like, why is my last name so short? Like every time the teacher calls me, it's like, where's what's the rest? Where's the rest of your name? I'm like, no, that's it. And so I've had to go through this whole process of self-reflection, healing, self-acceptance and then to love who I am. And now I'm in my full power and I just wish I wish there was some wise person when I was seven years old to say, hey, man, this is the way it's going to be. It's going to be a little tough. If you lean into this, you're going to see everything's going to happen for you. So don't wait till you're like 20 years old to figure stuff out. And for one of my motivations is to be that voice for somebody, whether you're 50 years old or you're 14, it doesn't really matter. I'm trying to be that voice for you guys, so I say this with a lot of passion and from a place from where I know what it feels like, you've got to lean into your weakness now. The second part to Adam's question is this even when it is not? So he's like, what do you have this weakness? But it's not your weakness? Well, it's not your weakness. It's only with a meaning you. You assigned to it. OK, so he's like a client, he's going window shopping and is wanting what their competition has. I'm not sure what this part has to do with the first part of the question. So Adam, are you on still? I'm on I'm on, Adam. OK, well, I mean, it's fairly specific, I've dealt with clients before where I've developed a brand, developed a strategy. Done the work. And then over a period of time, they'll start going out and saying, oh, but our competition is doing this and they're using icons, they're doing something weird. We really like to do that. Mm-hmm And within that structure, it didn't fit into what I was aiming for or what I was doing. And their business was actually doing very well. Their competition, in many ways, we're copying them. So a lot of what I was hoping for to get from your mouth, which is I was very interested in hearing, was would there be a good pivot to it? I mean, what were the words that I could throw out of my mouth when I get these objections? Hey, what? Our competition is doing this? Yeah, but you shouldn't be doing that. I don't believe. Yeah OK, so you're saying lots and lots of things here. It seems like it's just one simple question I want to teach you guys. So hopefully over the next months, weeks, years, whatever you spend with me, I want to be able to teach you how to do what it is that I do. OK, so what, Adam, describe this. The first thing I heard was him saying the clients have very kind of envious eyes. They're like coveting thy neighbor's wife kind of thing. And so they have an identity issue themselves, and they need to learn to love who they are and not to respond to what other people want to be. So if it comes from a genuine place and like, you know what, we've been thinking about this a lot that ever since we develop our identity program, it just moved farther and farther away from where we think we are as a company and we need to course correct. And so they break out some piece of artwork. I tell you a story about when they were 17. I think that's a good place to correct you, but it's a dangerous thing to try to be like everybody else. And you can ask your ask them just a very simple question. I'm going to tell you a couple of product categories. Then you tell me the brand that pops into your mind. Like you can say, automotive watches. Sunglasses shoes. And they're going to ask them. How do you remember those things? Is it because they're like everybody else? Or is it because they're different and they're unique and they have a unique story? And what we're not trying to do in marketing is to make you sound like everybody else. So after a while, if you borrow parts and pieces from everybody else, you sound like everybody else. But the most important thing is. I think you've lost yourself in the process. So people need to know our story because they don't buy what we do, they buy why we do it, and if we keep doing this, they're going to start to wonder, are we so inauthentic? And let's take this to the extreme, as far as I know, there are very few global Chinese companies. Because a lot of the way they work is they try to emulate all the parts and pieces of the competition. And they can produce something and that you will buy because it's cheap, but never because that's what you want, because they stand for something that you believe in. So that's the first part of it. OK, Adam, the second part of what you said was when it's different than what I want to do. So then I have to say, well, why do you have a different goal than what they want? Isn't your goal their goal? So this is where it comes into some dangerous territory here. I'm making a lot of assumptions and you could be totally guilt free here that a lot of creatives have an agenda. You don't want to call it that because it's such a negative word. It's a loaded word, but you have certain design proclivities. You have certain tendencies, right? Just like what were talking about before with specialization and illustrators like I like red, green, orange and pantone, whatever, like Aaron drabble and he's like Pantone orange. I like that. I like chunky typefaces. I like kind of retro graphics that look like they're from the 70s, and when somebody hires him to do a wine bottle, it's game over. Because he's going to force that big personality in there, and perhaps that's what they want, and that's cool. If you can do that. So we have to resolve this conflict. That's why a lot of times I want to start my conversation with what's the big problem you're trying to solve and why haven't you been able to do that? So if we have an objective goal, a global business objective, go. And we say, like, what does success look like? And then as a consultant. You're able to help guide them to making decisions that achieve that goal, and when it becomes totally subjective, you can actually call them out on that. So it's like they say I like orange, right, as a color. And the goal is to increase conversions, you're like, wow, I like purple, but how will either of these colors help to increase conversions? Oh, OK. Well, why don't we just allow me to do my process and we can do some split tests until we can figure out what colors work the best? And in fact, based on my experience, it's always these colors. Or this family of colors or this level of contrast, so why don't we just let me figure that stuff out. So that we don't waste a lot of time? OK, so there's two parts to your question. They want, what they don't have, and that's human nature to do that, but it's a dangerous thing from a marketing positioning specialization thing. And second, when they want something that it's good for their business, then they have a right to want and you want something different. You have to ask yourself, do is what I want really in my own self-interest? Or is it for them? Because at the end of the day, this is what designers don't realize. They have to live with the decision that you make, not you. So if you pick uncomfortable furniture for them is sit-in because it looks good in a photograph. They say that every single day they will be cursing your name every single day. OK, so make sure as a problem solver, you're solving their problem and not yours, because when you solve yours, you're an artist. OK Adam, was that OK or no? Any follow up or anything? No, that was perfect the first part hit spot on. I do have to say, all right. Thumbs up for that one. Thanks OK. You're welcome. OK I think we only have a few more minutes here. I think I want to wrap up pretty soon. First, I want to thank Matthew for doing the presentation. I'm going to keep trying, man. Yeah, it's good enough. OK if we're doing your presentation, it was very clear I want to see more. And I think here's where I want to encourage a lot of you guys, which is if I give away the secret sauce, will people buy it? If you don't give away the secret sauce? People will not buy it. Yeah so I think we need to go deeper. We need more examples. And I think, if anything, I would say like when you did your pyramid because my monitors oriented a certain way, I would just Zoom in on things a little bit so I can like, oh, OK, you know, I have to wear glasses, you know, I'm getting old. So help me see it. Yeah, because I want to see it. OK, OK. Anybody else have any last questions or thoughts? And I think next week we're picking up where we left off, which is you're supposed to record a sales call, I believe, and we're going to listen to it and we're going to break it down, right? You guys remember that. And you had to just raise your hands if you remember it and you're doing it. Good, good. At least we have few people to talk to. Ok? this is group coaching. This is the most cost effective way for me to teach you. Aside from you guys booking me, so take advantage of it. So when I give you a prompt, a homework assignment, if you do it and you put it up first. And you make it clear and easy for me to see, you will get The attention and it won't cost you an arm or leg to do it. OK all right now, before we say goodbye, I want to say Hello. I want to say Hello to anybody that's been in this group, new to the group who's not said two words just yet. Anybody here? OK, there we go. Is that is it, mustafa? Bring yourself on line. Yes, I am. Hello Hello. I'm a staff, I'm from New Zealand. Yeah, and I ran a small creative agency, which is not that big. And yeah, I'm just loving the sport and group. And I've been following your last three years, and I support you all the courses and all that stuff. We appreciate you for sure. Yeah, Yeah. Welcome to the group, and you have an interesting name. You're in New Zealand, so I can hear the accent, the kiwi, right? But your safir. And then are you like Greek to or what? No, I'm Turkish. Turkish there we go. OK, and how long have you? How long has your family been in New zealand? The last 10 years? OK Yeah. And you already have the Australian or New Zealand accent. Not really. No, I still have it, I still have my Turkish accent. OK, I can hear it flipping in and out. OK give you four more years and it'll be all gone. OK and what brought you guys out there? Oh, because my family, my dad is a chef. Oh, and then we open a business in New Zealand. We open up a kebab shop. So a part time I'm helping the kebab shop and that six guys, I've been working on my design agency. Yeah, Yeah. So funny story told an unrelated or sort of semi related, tangentially related. I'm driving back from lunch with Derek and Ben and Matt at 10 degrees, and we drive by this place as the restaurant. It's called panini kebab grill. Like many different styles of food, do they want to smash into? I think panini Italian is like middle eastern, right? And then grill is like, is that american? Like, Oh my God. So you're in your small agency like you do design work. Is that? What you do? Yes yes, that's right. I'm kind of like, I'm kind of do general, but because I do part time stunt acting as well. So my life is like full on, Oh my God. OK OK. OK, check this out. I know how to position yourself. Ok? you're going to be like the spokesperson for the Dollar Shave Club. Have you seen those viral commercials? No, I haven't. It's done in one take, and it's quite brilliant. OK Yeah. Trying to sell razor blades to men. Right it's about $1. A shave is how they kind of figure it out. He's walking through a warehouse. He's like, you know, I'm blah blah blah, and I'm for Dollar Shave Club. And a lot of you guys are wondering, kind of, can you get a good clean shave from $1 thing? And he's like, no, you can get an f-ing great shave. And he there's like a dwarf in it, and he does all kinds of crazy things. Here's what I'm thinking. Yes right, right, yes, exactly. You can tumble and you can jump out of things. Yes, you do have one take right. You do a one take video to promote your design services and you smash the window and you jump through fire. You do all that stuff and it's one take and there's graphics happening behind you. You hold this up. This is pretty. You just break it on your head. You know, why not? Yeah, absolutely. Last time last week, I was we were talking about the content creation and also, like I could add with my acting and stunt. Yeah, yeah, design should be more interesting. You need to do this. How you break would be about on your face. And it's like, oh, client objection. Or, you know, bad branding. Just just do all kinds of crazy stuff. People watch it. Absolutely that's what I thought as well. And there will be more interesting, more entertaining than reading. Yeah crazy man. And talk about bringing those two worlds together. Ok? absolutely. That's what I've been thinking and still trying to find a way. I'm not. I'm not a great designer, but I respect all the great designers and I would love to be part of the community. And here we go. I got the one way from. Thank you so much for that. OK yeah, because I've got the belief in design industry. So I have I can do much more. Yeah, I hope so, too. So we're looking forward to seeing your crazy thing. All right. Well, who else is anybody going? Can I go? Yeah I can't see you. Where are you? Oh, OK. James, go on. What's going on, everybody? I'm new to the group, been about maybe two weeks and I'm glad I'm here. I'm glad I found you. You're my mentor in my head and just great. I guess a little bit about my story. I've been designing for about 12 years or so, but I've just been doing the design. I've been getting overwhelmed, trying to do everything by myself. So I'm hoping you guys can teach me how to really change my business practices and just change everything I'm doing. And it's like, I need to pivot, start over and rebrand or what. But what? I'm here. So what do you do at the graphic design, web development and do some small business apps for small businesses, for churches, small businesses, stuff like that. From logo branding, all that stuff. OK, that's the thing, too. That's the thing I think I do too much. I'm trying to narrow it down to doing one thing. So you really need to kind of figure out what Matt's going to put out and follow that and hopefully figure out your positioning. I think it's the dilemma of choice. Too many choices is a hard thing. So we need to pare it down. If you guys if you guys know this, if you ever watch like kitchen nightmares with Gordon Ramsay and he'll look at the menu, it's like 14 pages long. So it takes everybody like 10 minutes to go through it. And that's a problem. People think by giving people more choice. It's a good thing and it's actually a bad thing. It's called the paradox of too many choices or something like that or the paradox of choice. So when you say I'm a global designer, I'm this, I'm another and you're like forcing the client to look at that, that menu 14 pages long. Right and it's OK to do all those things. But I think it's really important to say like, I'm the only xyz. Welcome to me for that. So first of all, I want to say this because I see you out in the cold, and it's no, it's like, hey, you're embracing, it's cold. Where are you at? Man, I'm in Jersey worse, like myself. So like I say, I say, OK, I was like, hey, here's a guy who's listening to this episode, and it's like, you know what? I'm going outside. That's what makes it unique, right? I'm freezing. Right? well, you guys, just for you guys. Yeah, just for each man. All right. Beautiful OK. Anybody else in this group that hasn't said Hello to us yet? I mean, you're not going to go ahead, who's saying that where I don't see it? Joshua Joshua, go ahead. Yeah, it's brand new to the group as well. I've been probably for a couple of weeks, but my story is basically I was a freelance web developer. I used to build apps and websites and things like that. Then I was part of a tribe of other freelancers, and then I watched one of the videos from the future, but being a business owner. And so from there I was like, wait, what? I have a whole tribe here. I know what they do specifically. So then I shipped it out, became more of a business owner. And now I'm this. Go out to different clients and then finding be more brand strategies and then delegating it now to other freelancers and stuff and then hopefully build a team and go forward from there. Excellent So you're like an entrepreneur? Yeah you're acting like an entrepreneur. That makes me proud. Joshua, where are you from, man? I'm from New York, New York. Like, we're more like Queens, Long island, if you know New York. So like the Long Island area. OK, excellent. And is that where you calling us from today? Yes, it's from right now. Super OK. Who else? Who else? Anybody else?

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