S1 E52 – Missing Chapters and Paths Not Taken

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Summer

June 2019

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): “You’re drawn to unexplored territories today, and you’ll map out the terrain for those who come along later.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to this June 21st Edition and Day 52 of My 1-Year Experiment.

What’s been going on? 

I’ve been working through the missing chapters from my 5-book volume I’ve been calling “The Knowledge Path Series” and just published “High Country Cowboys and Eagles in Whitefish” in my blog, Knowledge Banking: Wealthy Choices. Healthy Lives. What was it about?  Here’s how I described it: 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

Does that make me a paradox grandmaster?  Maybe.  But, not for the reason implied in the second sentence.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “You are the grandmaster of paradox today.  For you, doing nothing is more difficult than doing something.” Scorpio

More from what I described two months ago on Day 26th illustrating our Holiday Tau then: 

In my original field research about “work” which I tested in workshops and advising sessions with hundreds of Executive MBA students I’ve been exploring disruptive change — as driven by a specific type of organization named “Paradoxy-Morons” and at a specific stage of growth companies feel either desperate enough to enter or innovative enough to bake it into their Organizational DNA — reinvention. 

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

And the paradox continues with how I responded in Day 45 on 6/7/19: 

I developed a reverse order negotiations worksheet for those in my Executive MBA career classes.  It ends with weighing the trade-offs among three offers.  But it begins with all the other factors most candidates weigh at the last minute.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): As generous as an offer may be, if it doesn’t work for you, then move along without fuss or regret.” Aries

Is Howey’s Holiday Tau messing with me?  It feels like a hall of mirrors.  Should I read less into it?

“3”  Steve Howey, 42: Yes, this looks a lot like what you’ve already seen, but it’s not.  If you approach it like you already know, you’ll miss what’s really there.” Cancer

Sure, I’m all about understanding.  And as an introverted idea-packager it’s my temperament and you might say obsession to drill down to identify all the variables and aspects to why somebody lies — like our current President.  My best reference, if anyone else is interested, is “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History” by Kurt Andersen. 

“5”  Steve Nash, 45: “Sincerity is better than falsehood, but one person’s truth won’t make a difference for all involved.  You go 10 steps beyond to really understand and present solutions likely to help.” Aquarius

Not, just for today, but for as long as I can remember.  Thank you Jobs for allowing me to swipe your Holiday Tau.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): “You’re drawn to unexplored territories today, and you’ll map out the terrain for those who come along later.” Pisces

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 3 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring 

March 2019

That was fast. It’s Day 3 on 3/1/19 and it’s already spring.  And you know what they say, “Hope springs eternal.”  Who says that, right? 

So far during the infancy of this experiment I haven’t come across the quote yet.  But, who can say what the future will bring? 

Shall we see?

What’s the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me?

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: Your ambition is high gear, but the question that keeps coming up is: At what cost?” Scorpio

So my ambition is high? I don’t think so.  I’d color it low and maybe more reasonable.  I’m struggling with answering the second part of the Holiday Tau personalized for me — at what cost?  

Okay, here’s the big reveal. I’m an Introvert.  If you look for me on the Myers-Briggs personality temperaments, you’d see me described as an INTP.  

Somewhere in my exhaustive research, the attribution is hard for me to place my hands on right now, I seem to recall the numbers of Extroverts vs. Introverts is something like 60% to 40% or a 70 / 30 ratio.  

But,  as a unique and special kind of introvert, my chances of attracting an audience that’s interested in my writing falls far short of 30% of potential readers to under 5% and maybe as low as 3%.  

Luckily, I’m fortunate that I don’t have to write to earn a living and, unlike many writers and gig economy workers who freelance,  I can afford to pay an unexpected bill like a car repair or medical bill totaling $400. 

I hope you are so fortunate too.

FOMO.

Any TauBit of Wisdom worth stealing from Aoki, Smith, or the two iconic musicians, Winwood and Wonder?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

No, not really.

If I’m honest as an introvert, it is definitely true that I suffer from an overactive inner critic, but I’m not getting the prescription.  Conserving energy is a major issue for us introverts, but I’m not so sure I’ve met my inner ambassador or inner cheerleader.  So, Mr. Aoki keep your Holiday Tau.

“2”  Steve Aoki, 41: “You do have an overactive inner critic; it’s true. But your inner ambassador also has a lot of energy, as does your inner cheerleader. Pit them against one another if necessary — whatever it takes to do your best work.” Sagittarius

I do see paths and road trips as energizing, though.  

I’ve been writing about “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. And Leave a Legacy.” The idea came to me after I fell in love with the Wild West.  

“3”  Steve Smith, 30: “No need to agonize about your choices today because there won’t be any wrong paths, just paths that get there a little sooner or later.” Gemini

The story of wagon trains leaving Missouri with families intent on making a better life for themselves in California with stops along the way mesmerized me as a child. 

Much later, in a U-Haul dueling with truckers over four days while listening to rock and roll on my radio outside the Navajo Nation, and hearing the DJ introducing hit songs in his native tongue, I imagined myself riding horseback in the 1800s from east to west.  

Some of the US 40 route dipped into portions of the iconic Route 66 where I picked it up in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo.  

Staying on the beaten path got me to Santa Monica Pier quicker, but checking out portions of Route 66 felt more adventuresome.  

Both got me to my destination. 

Then I realized one iconic road dumped me into a second.  Route 66’s east to west connection intersected with the more scenic Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California. 

And, the aha! moment gave birth to my Best West Road Trips website.

Not being too superstitious and maybe not necessarily for today, but at different times on a whim, my curiosity has turned out to be lucky for me.  

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: “Doing things differently to satisfy your own curiosity will be lucky for you.” Taurus

For once in my life, during my consulting career after a late morning meeting with a client at a Starbucks on MacArthur Blvd. near the airport with three names — SNA (Santa Ana), Orange County and John Wayne — I took the less traveled path back to my office.  

I parked my 4-Runner in  University Town Center across Campus Avenue from the University of California, Irvine’s campus and began wandering in the warm noon sun which felt good on my back.  

I walked past tables with students eating, drinking and taking a break probably calling it quits on an early Friday afternoon.  

And, quite by coincidence I heard my name called out as I walked past another set of outdoor restaurant tables.  

Long story short.  

My acquaintance wanted to know what I’d been up to and wanted my business card.  

Two weeks later she escorted me into several interviews which led to a long-term, multi-year retainer. 

Which was lucky, right? 

And, incidentally illustrated Zahn’s Holiday Tau at the top of the day — “at what cost.

Image Credit: Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate 

 

Appeal

“Find one or two lifestyles that describe you, then the logic goes other neighborhoods that attract the same  “Birds-of-a-Feather” lifestyle would appeal to you.”

Peel Away the Outer to Find Your Inner Appeal
An ongoing case study: How to convert thousand lesser fans into a thousand true fans, so they buy enough to support you and make a little profit?

Here’s the part I’ve always hated.

Crafting the sales message.

And, there’s a little irony.

To be successful you have to appeal to human motivations and I earned a masters degree in psychology.

The problem for me has always been that as a professional knowledge worker — in my case a consultant, coach and trusted advisor — we were trained not to advertise or to market ourselves

The path to a thousand raving fans was taken one referral step at a time.

No Advertising or Sales

Not by running ads.

Or by selling.

But by transforming clients with so much value they became enthusiastic advocates.

Can you advertise and sell online without crossing over into the “scam territory?”

Sure.

For the last few years I found plenty of information and inside intelligence that online marketers and other less scrupulous “Make Money Online” entrepreneurs misused.

But some of it could and should be used by legitimate consultants and lifestyle business owners.

Formula for Attraction

How can you convert a thousand Lesser Fans into a thousand True Fans?

So they buy enough to support you and make a little profit?

Keep these tips in mind.

One of the things that motivates you is to avoid unpleasant things.

Will your “knowledge product” – book or ebook, for instance – save your true fans from making a fool of themselves?

If Only You Knew in Time

Remember high school and how embarrassed you felt from time to time because you didn’t know or understand what everyone else did?

Television ads reminded us how bad our breath smelled or our stinky body odor offended the those around us.

We didn’t have a clue.

Others did though.

Or so the ads implied

There’s that whole wall of worry.

Stuff that makes us uncomfortable.

Things like worrying about having enough money …

  • for paying our monthly bills,
  • for our doctor visits,
  • for the car payment and
  • for what the insurance company won’t pay because of our high collision deductible.

As an entrepreneur you wake up abruptly at 3 a.m. in the dark doubting your ability.

  • Money is running out.

    Gotta Get Back To Sleep
  • Did you seriously underestimated the market for your product or service?
  • Can your knowledge product or service offer peace of mind ?

During the Great Recession we all worried if we would keep our jobs.

If we lost them we worried we might not find another one that paid as well located within a reasonable commuting distance.

Just before the Memorial Day holiday a couple of years ago one of the Chief Marketing Officers who volunteers to mentor our Executive MBA students shocked me.

I knew he lost his job, which comes with the territory when you reach age 50 and finally pull in the big bucks.

What I didn’t realize was how traumatic his situation was.

Now What?

He lost his house because he couldn’t make payments on his mortgage – a wapping $6,000 a month.

And he had to find and move into a two bedroom apartment that long weekend.

Plus lease a storage unit for all the stuff that wouldn’t fit.

Not only did he and his wife suffer the loss of their home and their wealthy influential lifestyle that came part and parcel with it, but their basic feelings of security disappeared that weekend.

Neither he nor his wife could qualify for for social security or medicare coverage.

At least not for another 12 years.

But, the truly shocking part he told me was he had taken out and spent equity loans while he drained his 401K accounts to make his lavish lifestyle “ends meet.”

In my chapter, “Why Careers Are like Real Estate Markets,” I described the dilemma many like my CMO friend faced.

They find themselves at the cross roads between “Doing What You Love vs. Doing What You Hate” and “Living in the Same Geographical Location vs. Moving to a New Preferred Community.”

“My passion and location stories described four different communities …  ‘Wealthy Influentials,’ ‘Wireless Resorters,’ ‘High Country Eagles,’ and ‘Permanent Temporaries.’”

Here’s a snapshot of each.

Permanent Temporaries don’t anticipate the future well and have a hard time adapting to new work realities. 

Many become consultants and entrepreneurs because they can’t find full-time employment. 

Guarded Gate Communities

They aspire to live in, or return to, the guarded-gate communities of the Wealthy Influentials. 

What if they’re forced to relocate, where do they go?

When forced to move to lower cost-of-living neighborhoods they choose small university towns populated with High Country Eagles in higher quality-of-life communities. 

But, they long for face-to-face project-based work as a way of affiliating with other people on a more regular basis.  

Succeeding at interim work demonstrates their value in a new organization. 

What about the trade offs?

Between projects they miss the teamwork and seek to counterbalance the isolation and extreme independence they are forced to endure being on their own – no matter if they’re  interim middle managers, trapped urbanites or just starting over in a new marriage, neighborhood or way of life.

Wealthy Influentials live in neighborhoods that showcase their status and affluence

Viewed from the outside, it’s as if they’ve cornered the market with a wealth-generating machine. 

Like my Executive MBA Mentor once was able to afford …

They find a safe haven for high margin income, pay for a high cost of living, accumulate peak real estate appreciation, and live in a secluded, secure, and mature suburbs or an upscale metropolitan center. 

Selling products or services to this group means offering highly personalized, luxury, and one-of-a-kind experiences.

What if you found yourself in a similar situation?

How about …

Quality-of-Life Lifestyles

Wireless Resorters share the love of a new quality-of-life community with High Country Eagles. 

They realize that with the ability to operate anywhere there is Internet access, anyone can move to unspoiled smaller towns and rural regions. 

Many moved to the mountains areas that became destination vacation  areas like the ski resorts in Colorado.

All four lifestyles populate thousands of thousands of communities from coast to coast.

Across the western region of the United States you’ll find residents in Wealthy Influential neighborhoods like Del Mar or Coronado in California; 

High Country Eagle towns like Sedona or Bisbee in Arizona or Angel Fire and Taos in New Mexico; 

Permanent Temporaries parts of Reno, Nevada or Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; 

or, in some of the better known ski resorts attracting the Wireless Resorters like Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs in Colorado.” 

What if you could find the perfect town for you with just the right kind of neighborhood you’d love?

Claritas, now Nielsen Segmentation, helped pioneer market segments initially based on each new census update.

They linked consumer behaviors for “shopping, financial, media and much more …” with household lifestyles living in specific zip codes across the United States.

Household Shopping Lifestyles

If you’ve ever received direct mail addressed to you or “current resident” those marketers are taking advantage of household data.

The key to their business model unlocks a specific zip code.

In their PRIZM segmentation you can slice and dice over 60 different lifestyles ranging from high to low degrees of affluence and status.

By age and life stage.

Type in your current zip code and they’ll supply you with the top four or five lifestyles in your community.

Find one or two lifestyles that describe you, then the logic goes other neighborhoods that attract the same  “Birds-of-a-Feather” lifestyle would appeal to you.

Try to search for that lifestyle in their segmentation database and build a “Bucket List” of awesome zip code neighborhoods.

Can’t do it.

Doesn’t work that way.

  • But, what if you devoted the time to reverse engineer it?
  • And, you “mobilized” your lifestyle business?
  • Once you authentically built your virtual community of a 1000 raving fans?
  • You could move them with you, right?

And, you’d be able to zero in on regions and communities varying from …

  • high to low  density,
  • from urban to suburban, exurban, rural and
  • remote populations.

You wouldn’t have to worry about making a living solely from the locals.

Instead, you’d live that quality-of-life that can bring out the best in you.

More on that later.

An excerpt from Book Two in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you make more money from a lifestyle businesses you’re truly passionate about.