Being more direct

I’ve heard semi-regularly that, as South Africans, we tend to not be very direct in our communications. For example, we may say something like “you may not want to do that”, when what we really mean is “don’t do that”. This sounds small, yet has a definite snowball effect. Changing this approach is something I’ve committed to changing in late 2017 and now in 2018. It’s a little trickier than I originally thought, and takes constant management, yet the rewards are significant.

Continue reading

Evaluating and optimising my time while learning

I’m someone who enjoys gathering as much information as possible on a topic, as I enjoy the context. Practically, this often translates to picking up a new podcast (for example) and starting right at the beginning (even if there are hundreds of episodes). I feel this helps to provide context for where the podcast began, how it has evolved, and the knowledge and experiences gained along the way.

Continue reading

There’s always room for one more; thoughts on competition

In many spheres of life, we often spend a lot of time analyzing and focusing on who/what we perceive as “our competition”. This can be in business, in social circles, and almost anywhere. I believe there’s always room for one more, and competition can actually be very healthy for everyone involved.

As I write this, I’m sitting at a Bootlegger Coffee Company in Cape Town. Bootlegger opened up almost out of nowhere, with a few stores across Cape Town, in a style reminiscent of a Starbucks (dark leather, good coffee, free WiFi, and a food menu). This is not too dissimilar to other coffee companies in Cape Town; Seattle Coffee Company (I wonder how they came up with that name), Mugg ‘n Bean, and Vida e Caffe. When Bootlegger first opened, I heard two main schools of thought; “how are they going to survive as a business” and “this looks really exciting, yet it’s nothing new”.

Continue reading

Acknowledging what we already know, when making decisions

When making decisions, I’ve found it can be quite easy to get into a “bikeshedding” scenario, where the deciding parties lose track of the actual decision to be made. This can be internal, or within a group. Something I’ve found particularly useful and interesting recently is to acknowledge what we already know and how we already feel, as a way of helping the decision to progress to the next step (towards ultimately deciding). Continue reading

Why transparency wins customers

You know, I so often experience small moments of gratitude, in which I then attempt to remind myself to blog about those moments “at some point in the future”. Today, I’m rectifying that by blogging about two such moments right away.

I worked this morning at The Hatch, a small local coffee shop by the beach nearby to me. The staff there are friendly and attentive, and always go above and beyond to assist, despite the establishment not being very busy, which could easily result in a dip in motivation. They’re open and honest, and always friendly. Continue reading

Allowing yourself to switch gears

You’ve found a customer segment who really needs your product, developed a minimum viable version of your product and have launched to your market. Your customers are purchasing your product with roars of cheer and glee. What you do next is what you’ll be doing for the foreseeable future of your business; maintaining your product. While extremely important, maintenance of a single product can sometimes become repetitive. It can be great to switch gears from time to time.

Today, I’ll run through a few ideas on how to avoid the repetition as much as possible. Continue reading

Knowing what you like

Many folks, when asked what they like, proclaim to know. Using movies as an example, many would say “I like action movies” or “I like a good comedy”. I don’t believe this is the most accurate response. Today, I’d like to unpack why I believe this. Continue reading

Removing limitations to achieve success

All too often we are faced with roadblocks, hurdles and limitations within everything we do. Whether it’s in our personal, work or digital lives, there are often items which stand in the way of us achieving our goals. Success, however, comes flooding through when we remove or refactor these limiting beliefs.

Today, I’d like to share the story of how I removed a limitation, and submitted my first patch to WordPress core in the process. Continue reading

Being flexible with your own schedule

For my regular readers out there, you’ll notice I’ve been blogging consistently each Monday afternoon for several months… until last week. I missed my deadline for posting and was quite displeased with myself for doing so.

That being said, missing my streak gave me time to consider the concept of the streak, how I felt when I missed it and how to get back up on the horse from then on. This post is a result of these thoughts. Continue reading