Smart goal-setting in action: How to make progress on a giant goal

When it comes to breaking down a gigantic goal into actionable, measurable steps, things can feel a bit daunting. To quote Carl Sagan:

If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.

No pressure, right!

Similarly, what if you have one of these goals:

  • Grow Monthly Active Users (MAUs) by 10x
  • Increase Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) 50% year-over-year
  • Dominate the customer service market
  • Reposition your brand to serve the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) space

Where do you begin? Continue reading

How to make a marketing roadmap

One of my favorite marketing articles from 2019 – you can see the full list of favorites here – was a post on Tom Tunguz’s blog about marketing roadmaps.

You can check out the full post here.

The gist is this:

A solid marketing roadmap contains a clear picture of how your product makes life better for your customers. Then you take that vision, turn it into messages, and distribute the messages far and wide.

I went through the full exercise recently, armed with the knowledge of our target customers and our recent conversations about brand beliefs, mission, and taglines. Here’s what I came up with.

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Goals for 2019.

Every new year, I come up with ambitious new goals to pursue … then forget about them as soon as February. But! I like to think that the act of goal-setting, anytime, allows the goals to seep into my subconscious where they drive my secret unknown behavior all year long. Because when I happen upon my annual goals sometime in November, they never seem all that alien. In fact, I’ve typically accomplished several, unbeknownst to me.

With such a limp-and-loose approach to goal follow-through, I like to think that it affords me some flexibility to how I go about setting my goals each new year.

You can see previous years here: 20132014201520162017, 2018.

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The Psychology of People Management: How to Motivate People to Be Their Best

Two months into my new management gig, and I very nearly made a huge mistake. 

There I was, blind to the strengths of my teammate, trying stubbornly to fit the teammate into a role he did not want. I was failing him as a manager, and worse, I was projecting my management failure onto him. I, the mighty manager, must be right; he must be the one failing.

I realized my mistake after a series of hard conversations and a bundle of self-reflection. I realized it just in time. Not only had he yet to write off me or the company, he was still so gracious and warm-hearted as to become a trusted colleague and amazing part of our team, thriving in the role I should have been more aware of all along.

My mistake was one of hubris, definitely, but it was also one of ignorance.

I didn’t know how to manage people.

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