Category Archives: Personal Thoughts

Identity Crisis – by a proud, white, Australian male

I’ve been reading with great interest the discussion around what Australia Day means to different people and the subsequent opinions of certain people when somebody stands up for what they believe in.

Of course, I’m talking about Joe Williams and the cloud of judgement or buckets of congratulations he has received in not necessarily equal measures. And I think along the way, different opinions and different points have been blurred together to confuse quite a few people, leaving us all with a bit of an “identity crisis.”

However our identity crisis is something which is quite natural. It is human nature to align oneself with beliefs and causes that affect us personally. It is engrained in the way we vote, even the way we contribute to charity or our community. Think about it. The political parties we align ourselves with are based on principles that affect us as individuals, as employees or employers, as groups whether in the minority or majority and the charities we support are usually because of a personal incident that has occurred in our lives. We have been effected by illness, by death, by an injustice.

80% of people in Australia support a charity because they or someone they know was effected by the fight for that cause. The vast majority of the remaining 20% support a charity not directly associated with them, but through donations rather than through voluntary time. It’s natural.

We as a society are also used to being involved in things that illicit emotion because we have witnessed these things before our eyes. Only we are not directly involved. We see car accidents on the news, murders, abuse, the list goes on – atrocities and tragedies that happen every day which we witness because it is put in front of us.

This is very different to being at the scene of a crime or accident where you are compelled to do something because you are physically there and you are now physically involved. Now it’s your news – not everybody else’s. But that’s natural.

And so it is natural to have an identity crisis because you are born one way and someone else is born another. No matter how hard you empathise with that person, you will never feel what they have felt. And that goes both ways. A white person cannot change their background, their history, their heritage and a black person cannot change the colour of their skin to avoid being watched a little closer by security every time they walk into a shop.

As individuals we are very different too. I for instance don’t have as much interest in the news as a lot of people. “News” for me is something that affects my family, friends – my loved ones. It’s also news if it affects the safety of the community. But if you pick up the paper from 25 years ago and hold it up to today’s paper, you will note similarities all the way through.

People who you don’t personally know going through hardship. There will be a car accident, a life tragically lost, there will be scandal or gossip and there will be sensationalised rubbish that for some reason has made it to the headlines. I choose not to read it or watch it. It’s outside of my control.

Back to my point (and I know I’m going about it the long way) – identity crisis. You’ll note that my title says “by a Proud White Australian Male”. That may represent who I am physically, but it is not something I feel I need to point out just because it represents who I am. It is very different to announcing oneself as a proud Wiradjuri man or a proud indigenous woman. Why is that? Why is it that some indigenous people have to make such an obvious statement? Why is it that some indigenous people have to sit during the National Anthem when it is “respectful” to stand? Why do some indigenous people refer to Australia Day as “Invasion Day” or “Survival Day”?

Well, unless you are indigenous you may never know. You can assume it’s because of the atrocities of our past. You can assume it’s because of the way Australia was “settled”. You can assume it’s because the National Anthem does not include an accurate reference to the way Aboriginal people feel about their country. You can assume it may be because of their present day challenges, racial abuse, daily judgement they want to announce that they are not down trodden – they are proud.

But because you are white, you may feel offended. You didn’t send a heap of convicts over on boats and murder and pillage to claim this land as your own. You didn’t physically abuse anyone who stood in your way to ensure you could own a piece of Australia. It’s not your fault babies and children were taken from black homes and justify it because of neglect or abuse at the hands of those parents, when white people who did the same were immune to this treatment because of the colour of their skin.

Just because you’re white, doesn’t mean you have to feel ashamed, or blamed or responsible. And it’s got nothing to do with what Australia Day means to you. I get that. The date’s not that important to you, it’s more what the DAY represents. Right?

We are aligned with what we feel represents us. You or your family were involved in the war. You are proud that you and your family have their piece in history as having defended this great country. You are a social worker who has witnessed firsthand atrocities that others would not be able to stomach. Abuse, neglect, death.
All of these things shape our opinions on who we are. On what we have become.

Joe Williams received one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on an individual in their life time. Citizen of the year. It is recognition of his contributions towards so many causes. Youth suicide and suicide prevention. Depression and other mental illnesses. Alcohol and drug abuse. Youth disengagement. The list goes on.

Questions have been raised.
Should Joe accept this award if he doesn’t believe in Australia Day and it’s an Australia Day award?

Should Joe be allowed to sit during the National Anthem when it is “respectful” to stand?

Why should Joe be able to “grand stand” when the point of the award is about recognition and acknowledging achievement?

First of all I want to say that I don’t know a lot about my own history let alone that of other people. From a young age I was concerned with learning from the past but not dwelling on it, planning for the future but not counting on it and appreciating the present by being in it. I know I have Scottish and English blood but apart from knowing a little about my grandparents, that’s where I cease to know any more.

I don’t know how my family arrived in this country and as weird as it may sound I don’t particularly care. What I do know is that my family has suffered abuse. That some of my family were tortured and murdered. I know that relatives of mine have been killed in accidents and some who have died of cancer, even some who have suffered at the hands of domestic abuse. But they are personal stories locked in my family’s vault and none of it has to do with race, religion or background. It’s just some seriously interesting and challenging stuff that sometimes gets mentioned at family gatherings.

But if one of my loved ones was murdered today and the killer was let to walk free because of a judicial technicality – you would see me on the news screaming from the roof tops.

If one of my children was stolen and abused and the authorities didn’t do enough to bring justice to our lives – I would be on the front page of every newspaper in Australia. I would be grandstanding my arse off to right a wrong.

That’s what happens when we feel affected by something directly.

The question now is how do we move forward?

If Australia Day had a date change, the Aussie flag was re-designed and the National Anthem was re-imagined – what would happen?

If our history was told in a more accurate way to our kids and to those of us who know about “settlement”, Aboriginal dream time, White Australia Policy, the stolen generation Flora and Fauna Act but that’s about it – then what?

Where to from here?

Acknowledgement of our past can occur and then what?

These are more important questions.

The very fact that people like Joe and Stan Grant have got people talking about these issues is a step in the right direction. We need change – but what change do we need? What change will benefit the wider community?

What will get 50% of indigenous youth out of our judicial system?

What will allow indigenous people to be educated and employed on equal benefits to non-indigenous?

When will things be so equal that we no longer need to have “Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander” boxes to tick on any government forms?

When will we get to the stage that regardless of your background you can be a proud Australian Citizen?

If Joe Williams didn’t sit during the National Anthem it wouldn’t have been a conversation. It’s hard to tell people that you stood for the anthem but wished you hadn’t because it didn’t feel right. Doing something like that elicits a response. It raises questions that need answering.

Personally I think if you ever feel offended by something or if you ever feel disrespected you have chosen to react that way. I don’t care if a black person, white person, male or female sits during a song that represents our anthem. That’s their choice. It doesn’t affect me one bit.

We need to move forward in this country. We cannot do it by being divisive.

Do I think some of Joe’s remarks are divisive? I’m afraid so.

Do I think he wants to be divisive to get his point across? No I don’t.

Education is one thing, mutual respect is a completely different kettle of fish. Until we realise that it doesn’t need to affect us directly for us to make a change we will never make a change. We will instead just choose to blame or to feel offended.

We all need to take a holistic approach to any tensions we sense as a community and not take them personally.

What needs to happen?

We need leaders who we have elected to office to stand up and tell us what is going to happen. These are the people who should be thinking about the big picture not the political picture. These are the people who need to make tough decisions that won’t make everybody happy but are right.

We celebrate Australia Day because who we can be as a people, not who we once were. We celebrate Australia Day because it is a community day not a day about just us. About just me. About just you. We are one people because we are Australian regardless of our heritage as tainted or violated as it may have been.

You are Australian because you have citizenship.

You are Australian because you live here.

We are one people.

Who Are My Target Clients?

I was recently speaking with someone in the automotive industry who said something really profound about their business.  He said, “I’m not worried about reaching my existing clients, as they already know where to find us.  I’m worried that my existing clients’ kids won’t know how to find us.”  He went on to explain that for decades (family business handed down by dad and probably even granddad) his customers had what is commonly referred to as “generational loyalty”.  The notion that a service or product is used by all family members because that’s where mum and dad go, and that’s where their mum and dad went and so on.

Simply put he said: “that’s gone.”

Nowadays some offspring in the Gen X, Y and the iGen will not use a product or service just BECAUSE their parents used that product or service.

“I want to tap into the next Gen,” he continued.  “How do we build loyalty with a market we have never before been in touch with?”

Of course this kind of enlightened thinking in business is music to my ears because for the last 12 months I’ve been in the very competitive social media space, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard this exact sentiment from dozens of other businesses from completely different industries.  Accountants, solicitors, banks, real estate agents, hair dressers, mechanics, café owners, publicans…the list goes on.  And the reason it’s music to my ears is because we have just created a platform that allows that very market to be tapped into.  And not in a talking at you kind of way, but a talking to you,  kind of way – through video stories.

Video stories are the way of the future when it comes to promoting a brand to the masses.  Narrative driven videos that can explain not so much why you’re the best at what you do, but what you can do for your customers.

mansion resized

I recently did a presentation in front of the medical profession in the beautiful Mansion Hotel and Spa in Werribee just outside of Melbourne (think Downton Abbey on steroids) all about imagery and video in their practice, and the three steps I highlighted as being the most critical were:

  1. Concept
  2. Production
  3. Distribution

The primary point however was the good old “WIIFM” mentality.  Right at the start of this process, within the concept stage, the question has to be raised, “have we addressed the WIIFM?”  WIIFM stands for “what’s in it for me?”  This is what we ask ourselves as consumers every time we take out our wallet or click play on a video.  What do we get out of it?  How will it improve my life?  Does it solve my problem?

So going back to the gentleman in the automotive industry, his question has become, “what’s in it for the next generation?”

Here’s what the next generation want:

  • Speed of delivery
  • Convenience and accessibility (usually via the internet)
  • Someone they can Trust
  • Value for money
  • Respect (without judgement)

Here’s what you need from the next generation:

  • To be found

If they don’t know where you are or what you do (for them) then you better hope that “generational loyalty” is strong – because guess what…the next gen are one day going to be THE gen who purchase and remain loyal.  “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” as John McGrath once told a room full of people I was in way back in my first year in real estate and that statement remains true for all aspects of business.  Start your video marketing now, in front of the target market of tomorrow and establish relationships of trust for the long term.

Adam Drummond is an actor, presenter, speaker and CEO of waggawagga.tv

15th May 2015 – Launch of waggawagga.tv 

6:30pm gates open at MTC Wagga and general public are FREE with access to bar and food to purchase on the night.  Entertainment all night by Groove Factorie and you will have the chance to meet John Wood from Blue Heelers, Rosso from TV and Radio, Ben from BB12 plus loads more local and national celebrities on the red carpet premiere.

If you would like to know more about what waggawagga.tv is and how it may benefit your business through either advertising or by appearing in the business directory, simply email info@waggawagga.tv or call 02 6971 7771.  One on one demonstrations of the site are still available if you would like to see it with your own eyes.

The Deception in Advertising

call to actionFor an audio version of this BLOG, click play below.

I think that as a society we have become really apprehensive about where we spend our money when it comes to promoting our business.  I’ll never forget a quote I read on The Wagga Business Chamber’s Facebook page once:

“The trouble with small businesses is that they think like a small business” – and being a small business operator it strikes me how true that statement is.  I’m constantly challenged by the stress associated with deciding where the best ROI will be when promoting our business (and when I was a consultant it was even harder!)

So as a business community, we are really quick to put the hand up and say “no, not for me” before even knowing what something is.  I do it all the time with telemarketers.  No sooner have they said “Hi Mr Drummond, I want to share with you a way to make thousands of dollars more per year” than they hear the sound of a reversing bus on the line.  “No, not for me.”

And hence my title of today’s blog post.  “The Deception in Advertising”.  The deception is that advertising in different mediums is NOT for everyone, as much as those in advertising would like to believe.  I’m now in advertising and I’d love to shout from the roof tops that what we are offering is for every single business – but that’s not true.  For starters we are online and not everyone is online.  We are also locally based and not everyone cares about what is happening in someone else’s town.

Beyond those obvious issues though are far more tangible ones.  Advertising on waggawagga.tv is not for the following business people:

-        We already make enough money so there is no need to promote ourselves

-        We are extremely comfortable with our current advertising budget and don’t see a need to reinvent the wheel

-        We have more customers than we can poke a stick at, so don’t need any more coming into our space

-        We are not believers in the fact that consumers make decisions online when surfing the web (not convinced of online advertising)

-        We don’t know if people would log on to watch local content just because there is local content on there – we are sceptical as to whether or not they will come back

-        Our target market is over 55’s only and we don’t think they will log onto social media sites or watch local content online

Pretty much anyone who has these sentiments (even one or more) may not be suitable for what we are offering.  It may seem strange for me to bring these points up, but I’m a massive believer in creating conversations around objections before they become objections.  In my real estate days I even had a term for it as scribbled down at a national real estate conference in 2004 when Michael Sheargold referred to it as “framing” the situation.  What’s the point of sweeping legitimate concerns under the carpet in the hope that people won’t think about those legitimate concerns?

So far we have had an amazing amount of support from both small and large businesses keen to give this new medium a shot.  Here is a sample of what a lot of them are saying:

-        We are targeting a younger demographic and the shows you are producing and are planning to produce will speak to that demographic

-        We like the idea that we have time to tell a story in an engaging way through the medium of video and it won’t cost us a bucket load

-        We like to be associated with new and exciting ventures that benefit our city

-        If it isn’t where people are right now, it’s only a matter of time and we love what you are producing (even though technically we haven’t even seen it yet!)

-        “Mate, it’s that inexpensive at the moment – what am I even risking?”

-        We’ve got to try new things because if nothing changes nothing changes, and we need things to change

So there is the balance to this little blog.  Yes, we won’t be for everyone and it would be naïve to think otherwise, but yes, we will appeal to others who are cutting edge and want to be in a space they currently have little control over.  (The biggest common element I’ve discovered over a two week period speaking to over 60 business people is that most of them either have a video or know that a video would help their business promotion, but nearly no one had a suitable place to HOUSE the video.)

If there is deception in advertising, it is quite often just thinking that one shoe fits all, when clearly everyone has different sized feet.  Choose the shoe that promotes you the best…well…you know what I mean.

Adam Drummond is an actor, presenter, speaker and CEO of waggawagga.tv

If you would like to know more about what waggawagga.tv is and how it may benefit your business through either advertising or by appearing in the business directory, simply email info@waggawagga.tv or call 02 6971 7771.  One on one demonstrations of the site are still available if you would like to see it with your own eyes.

Holy Moly – This is Happening!

You know that moment when you wake up at 2.38am, eyes wide open and a mind filled with “to-do” lists not yet written?  It’s hard to get back to sleep isn’t it?  It’s in moments like these, as you stare at your poorly propped digital clock on the sock drawer, that you realise – “bugger me…this is really happening.”

I’m having more and more of these moments.  But only because it IS actually starting to happen.  On May 15th 2015 at exactly 9pm, something had wanna bloody happen or I’ll be standing there like I did in year 2 when Mrs Hartley my school principal was filling in for Miss Irwin and I told her I’d made a mistake in my exercise book so she was going to cane me!  I was so scared I did a little wee in my light grey school shorts in front of my entire class.  (I didn’t end up getting the cane because that was seen as punishment in itself! – That and wearing size 15 shorts from the spares room with no undies on all day).

So if nothing goes on that BIG screen come the 15th May, I’ll be doing a little wee in front of a huge crowd of onlookers.  They’ll probably call me Drum-wee for the rest of my life…or call out something like “Urine a spot of bother, mate”.  No wonder I wake up at 2.38am.

However, I KNOW that won’t happen because I’ve surrounded myself with awesome people who know what they’re doing.  I think it was my mate Jeremy Hutchings (a successful business coach here in Wagga Wagga and beyond) who said “Adam, it’s all about the first 15%.  If you get the first 15% right the remaining 85% will fall into place.”  And surrounding yourself with the right people is in that first 15%.

Here are some people who have been amazing in the background of this little journey.

Grant Harper from Livestream Australia and the Streaming Guys – Legend.

Matt Olsen from Clean Slate Media – Superman.

Samantha Brunskill from Brunslea Park Estate – Inspiration.

Tim “Rosso” Ross from Tim “Rosso” Ross – Mentor.

Melinda Drummond from next to the poorly propped digital clock – My rock.

There are many, many others who help out and lend a hand and pick me up and show support, but I wanted to acknowledge these people because I’ve lent on them the most.

My buddy Rosso, said “anything you need, dude – I’m there.”  So he invited Matt and I to his latest tour of “Man About the House” which he performs with his best mate, musician Kit Warhurst and let us film an interview with him and Kit.  Then he says he’ll come to the launch and meet some people.  It’s stuff like that, that makes it real.

It was a great weekend in Sydney filming with Rosso and Kit – when you see the interview you’ll know why some people call me a dickhead, but I think it’s with affection.

And I’ve got some other people lined up to join Rosso as a VIP guest so if you want to find out more get in touch and save the bloody date – 15th May 2015.  Come and watch me wee myself – from excitement – not because there isn’t anything on the BIG screen.

Keynote Address to Wagga High Year 10

First of all, it is a great honour to be able to address year 10, students, teachers and staff here at Wagga High School, after the teaching body here at the school developed this 2 week program – so well done to the teachers and staff who have made this possible, it is a terrific initiative that should really be adopted across the board as an example of what is possible.  Give the teachers and staff a round of applause for this two week program. I should also mention the efforts of Compact for organising speakers for the Q&A session and leadership day and whose “purpose statement” perfectly sums up their involvement in this program:

“Connecting people, education, community and the workplace to promote successful futures” – I love that statement.

Congratulations to you all for participating in this two week journey of discovery and learning about community involvement.  Well done and give yourselves a quick round of applause, you deserve it.

So thank you for this opportunity to present.

And what is it that I have been asked to present on?

It’s a theme in line with your journey over the past two weeks – giving back to the community.

Why is that?  Why would it be necessary to make a keynote address about the subject of giving back to the community?

It’s simple.  The 80/20 rule applies.

On Monday I had the great pleasure of entering into a discussion with some of your peers here in the school.  There were about 20 of us in the room and we talked for well over an hour about different things such as leadership, and the role of leadership in the community.  We talked about the definition of success and the perceived definitions of success that surround us.  But the most interesting part was when we spoke of the 80/20 rule.  The concept that 20% of society provides the income for 80% of the world.  The concept that 20% of society volunteers within their community.  The concept that 20% of the people in a room where a speech, presentation or indeed a keynote address will exit the room and implement something they have learned from it – and 80% will do nothing.

The 80/20 rule has been around since it was first articulated in 1906 when an Italian farmer named Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.  And the 80/20 rule frightens me.

It frightens me because it means 80% of the population is complacent, lazy or uninterested in giving back to the community.

It means that the burden of providing for the community, falls on the same shoulders of 20% of the population.

And why is that?

What are our challenges in the community?

What are the three biggest misconceptions that we should be questioning as a community?

How is it possible to turn this horrendous ratio around or at least improve on it for our future generations?

I have had the great privilege to be involved in some terrific community projects over the years.  Some have assisted those with a disability.  Some have benefited those who are homeless.  Some have contributed to those who have been affected by a mental illness.  And each of those have had impacts on certain people within our community who are constantly faced with their own challenges and are constantly surviving in a world that is different to the world you and I know.  And I am saddened to say that yes, the same people turn up to all of these different events to raise funds for others in need, or to give a hand to those in need, or to volunteer for those in need.

There are three big misconceptions in our community.

Misconception number 1 – you have to be in business to contribute back to your community.

From all of the events I’ve been to and all of the dollars that have been raised, there is a reliance on medium to big business to do all the work because they are the ones who earn big money.  They are the ones with time on their hands.  The misconception is that if you are in business you have an obligation, a responsibility to give back to the community because the community has given so much to you.  The misconception is that by providing benefits to the community you as a business may receive benefits back.

Everyone has the ability to give back to the community and it should not be for something in return.  It should not be because it’s an obligation.

It should be because it’s more than just doing something right – it’s doing the right thing.

We can all contribute something.

How much is up to us.

Misconception number 2 – it’s the job of governments and organisations to take care of society.

People elect governments and as far as I’m concerned we elect them to govern not just to provide.  We should provide.  We should provide for others, we should provide vision for our own community.  We should provide for ourselves.  We cannot rely on governments and other organisations to provide for those in need – alone.  We have the collective power to provide for others right here in this room.

Misconception number 3 – we only need to support causes that directly affect us or our loved ones.  I think we all know of causes close to our hearts because of something that has affected us, but we need not wait for that cause to start helping.

Ronald Regan once said “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

When I was first involved in setting up the local initiative known as Ignite Mentor, I wasn’t alone.  We started with a concept – how can we provide mentors for young people in our community who may not have access to positive role models in their lives, whether it be because they have no positive figures in their current lives, or the only ones they do have are considered an authority figure – not a friend to share things with.

I also came across people who told me it couldn’t be done anyway.  What’s the point?  You can’t change everything.  You can’t change everyone.  The problem is too big.

What a horrible way to look at the world.

All big achievements come from small steps.  Remember that Regan quote – you can’t help everyone – that’s not the point – you can help someone though.  And that someone can help someone else and so on.

With Ignite and through a relationship with Mary O’Neill, Laurinda Motion, Jeremy Hutchings and Anglicare Riverina who already had some mentoring programs in place, and the Department of Education and Communities who also had some programs in place, four of us – just four people, came together and created a brand that recognised and fostered all of the existing programs into the one bright name, Ignite Mentor.

Since it began in late 2011, Ignite Mentor has created over a hundred pairings between young people looking for someone to talk to, and members from the local community with backgrounds in business, sport, media, and health – people in the public of all ages, backgrounds, heritage and upbringings.  We had created and continue to create with the backing and support of Anglicare a vehicle for those who want to volunteer to be matched with those who are asking for volunteers.

I’m extremely proud of Ignite and its achievements.  I’m proud of all the people involved in its operation and running, including our major Naming Sponsor Brunslea Park Estate who have been extremely supportive of the Ignite brand and work.

I’m proud of our Ambassador and good mate to Ignite and Wagga, Tim “Rosso” Ross who has helped raise awareness of our cause, as well as money and created experiences for some of our young people.

I’m proud of the local role models who have put their hand up to contribute either time or money and sometimes both – but most of all I’m proud of the young people who have gone on to greater things because of their newfound path.

They have gone on to become employees of local businesses, they’ve gone on to become volunteers themselves, they’ve gone on to become positive role models amongst their peers and they’ve gone on to become contributors to our community.  They are quite possibly our future leaders.

But the success of anything, as we talked about in our smaller group the other day, is not about the number of people who have contributed one way or another.  It’s not about an end result of funds raised or hours contributed.  They’re numbers.  They’re benchmarks for others to determine are either successful or not in their eyes.

Success has to be internal.  Success has to be determined from your own benchmark and that is the journey.  Success is not a destination it is the journey itself.

The pursuit of happiness is not as important or even realistic as the pursuit of the full range of emotions we will all inevitably face.  Success should be defined as your acceptance and appreciation of your present.  Success should be the aim of balance with your mind, your body, your relationships, your wealth and your contribution to society.

So I put it to you year 10.  Where do you fit in this picture?  Are you feeling you are in the 20% that does something?  Are you in the 80% who may feel they do something but in the scheme of things it’s almost nothing?

Someone mentioned the other day that a focus and desire we often have in our school years is to be the best at something.  Be the best runner, swimmer, academic – I want to challenge you on something else before we head into presentations, don’t aim to be the best at anything – there’s no point

– focus instead on being better.

You can only be the best out of a selection of people for a certain amount of time and then what?

You can aim to be better at everything and always improve.

Be a better son or daughter.

Be a better partner, student, teacher, athlete, academic, artist,

– be a better version of whatever you want to be but most of all, stop wondering WHAT it is you will one day be, and start focusing on WHO you want to be.  On WHO you already are.

After contributing so much over the past two weeks, you can now decide if you want to continue to be the person who is in that 20%.

My takeaways for you today come from my observations and experiences over the years.  These are my top 5 tips for a balanced and emotionally rich life;

  1. Never compare yourself to others – you are special no matter what your strengths or weaknesses
  2. People who have gone onto achieve something for their community, their work or their family should be admired not cut down for their achievements
  3. Surround yourself with positive people as much as possible, and don’t beat yourself up about losing touch with people who aren’t a positive influence
  4. Don’t expect anything in return for anything you do, be satisfied that it was the right thing to do
  5. Don’t be the best…just be better

I’ll finish with my three favourite quotes in the world:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Henry Stanley Haskins

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give” – Winton Churchill

 

Thank you.

Our Latest Co-Production

We recently scripted an original video for local real estate agent and super star Helen Woodhouse and Adam even assisted with some direction on the day of the shoot.  National Production company Visual Domain shot, produced and edited the video after Helen won a free profile video at the Real Estate Awards during the year.

Here is how the profile video turned out.  As you can see – it’s anything but conventional.

Feel free to contact us so we can help you stand out from the crowd!

Social Media is a lonely place…

It’s ironic that such a social phenomenon can make you feel so lonely.  We live in a society now where notifications drive our actions and responses.  Where view counts publicly gauge success or failure, and where a simple response can light up your day – or silence can dampen it.

As human beings we can get awfully carried away by what we think makes us valuable or invisible to others.

You post a photo of you and your children on the top of a mountain in Peru and 16 people like it but no one comments.  Why was that so different to the photo of you eating ice-cream in a café with your niece?  That had 42 likes and 23 comments and a couple of relatives even shared it.  Does no one care about your experiences whilst on holiday?

What about the heart felt poem you wrote about life that had a measly 3 likes and no comments.  You spent hours on that poem.  What does it all mean?

It means nothing.  And you definitely shouldn’t read anything into it. If Facebook allowed every status update to filter into every person’s newsfeed the average person would scroll through 1,500 status updates on a daily basis.  Instead they filter it down to roughly 300 per day.  That’s a technical possibility as to why some stories seemingly resonate more than others but it should still be taken with a grain of salt.

True measurables in life are not on a computer screen or mobile device.  True measurables are in real life.  Like how much love you have for others.  How much time you spend with family and friends face to face.  How much you contribute to society in the flesh.  And the best part of those real measurables? – It’s only you who can measure.

Everyone else’s opinion?  Who cares?

The BIGGEST Mistake We Make in Business

I was 7 years old when I made all of my biggest mistakes.  The good news is that when you are 7 you can correct course at a young age and try not to make those same mistakes twice.  “Try” being the operative word.

7 years old, in Year 2 at school and the world is literally your oyster…or at least a rock you found in the quadrangle under the monkey bars.  Regardless, it’s great to be 7!

I had just sat down in my class next to my mate, David when the day got a lot worse.  I could tell from the extra weight in the steps along the green-speckled carpet that the person entering our room was not our usual slender teacher Miss Irwin, but something much larger…much more frightening…I turned around to realise all my worst fears had come true…our Headmistress was taking the class today whilst Miss Irwin was off sick.  Picture Hagrid from Harry Potter but without such an obvious beard trudging over the play mat and dumping piles of folders and papers down at the desk.  She was voted by peers in her High School year book to be the most likely person to become an executioner later in life.

“Right,” she said.  “What’s the time?”  No one was game to respond.  Then David gingerly raised his hand and said, “9 o’clock?”

The Headmistress glared at David, looked at her extended wrist-watch and then stared intently at the rest of the class.

“That’s right.  It is 9 o’clock – but I know that not all of you can tell the time.  So we are going to learn today” and she started handing out those purple ink stencils that they banned in 1987 because too many 5 year olds were getting addicted to sniffing them.  Each stencil had nothing but four perfectly round circles on it.

Headmistress cleared her throat and began with her instructions…but I didn’t need them.  I could already tell what she wanted with those four perfect circles, and the aim of my game was to beat the rest of the class, but more importantly to beat David with this exercise.  How hard could it be?  Four circles representing clocks, just add the numbers, add the hands and we have the time she was referring to.

As she droned on in the background explaining what she wanted to the “slower” kids, I started filling out the stencils, first with the 12 at the top of the page, then the 6 at the bottom…and before long…bam DONE!

I turned to David.  “Oh you’re still going are you?  I’ve finished already” you could see the self-righteous grin on my face from the school flag across the quad.

“Umm-ahh” was David’s first response.

“What?” my smile disappeared.

“She said not to draw the hands on the clocks” David looked at me like I was on death row.

I was so worried that I would upset this dragon with my error that the only way forward would be to admit my mistake before she found out and cop the punishment on the chin.  My dad would be proud.  Taking responsibility for my actions.

I started slowly across the room, the completed stencil in my quivering hands and every eye ball in the classroom on me as I lay the sheet before the Headmistress.  She looked up at me and then back at the sheet.

“What!” she exclaimed.

“I drew hands on the clocks” I stated.

The executioner glared down again at the stencil.  Little did I realise that earlier that week the NSW Government had announced it would be phasing out corporal punishment in schools, starting with infant schools across the state – and the Headmistress was no longer a supporter of the NSW Government.  The cane was her favourite thing to twirl as she paced across the timber veranda looking out at kids having fun.  As soon as fun turned into cheek or mischief, the cane was brought out for full effect and her executions would begin.

She looked up at me over her coke-bottle glasses, her eyes narrowing, her lips pursing.  “You have done something I specifically said not to do.  This – - – is a caning offense!” she cried.

Well, I had never been caned before, and I really didn’t like any form of pain or discomfort, so I did something completely outside of my control – I peed myself – in front of the whole class.  The warm sensation ran down my bare legs and into my desert boots.  A large, dark grey circle appeared on my light grey, extra tight school shorts.  There was nowhere to hide.

Hagrid the executioner looked down at the puddle forming on the carpet and shook her head.  “Go to the front office and ask for some new shorts – go”.

“Am I going to get the cane?” I asked before moving off.

“No – just go!” she replied.

And so it was that I would spend the rest of the day without undies and in a pair of shorts three sizes too big for me because I had drawn hands on some stencil clocks.

How many times would you make that mistake?  The answer is…a lot.  I constantly did things I was told not to whilst growing up and it’s no different in business.

We quite often make the same mistakes again and again regardless of the consequence.  And why is this little tale relevant to business?  Why is this the BIGGEST mistake we make in business?

How often do we rush to get our message out there into the world?  We quite often get excited with our promotions, our sales, our brand, but we forget to take a moment and find out exactly what it is our customers are after.  I’m happy to admit that I’m guilty of posting things on social media that are not relevant or even interesting to my target market.  We all probably do it.  Our BIGGEST Mistake in business is not talking to our ideal customers in our broadcasts.  We aren’t taking the time to listen to what they are after, or to research what they really want.

It’s the old saying “we try to sell the quarter inch drill bit, but what the customer is actually after is a quarter inch hole” – and what’s even more important to them is WHY they need the quarter inch hole.  Are they putting in shelves to create more storage space?  Are they building an outside deck?  We concentrate on the tools we can offer instead of the outcomes our clients need because we don’t listen or ask the right questions.

You will start to notice the consequence of these broadcasts that are off target particularly on Facebook posts where less and less people are being reached by your content.  You need to become more specific with your message and why it benefits your audience.

Here are three simple questions to ask each time you go to post on social media;

  1. What outcomes are your ideal clients after?
  2. Why are your solutions better or at least different from your competitors?
  3. Why should anyone care?

So before you do your next promotion or your next post, remember to ask those three questions – but regardless of whether it works or not, don’t go wetting yourself over it.  After all, we will continue to make mistakes – we just have to learn from each of them.

Adam Drummond is the creative director of adamdrummond.com.au

“Building businesses through social networking strategies.”

Be seen.  Be heard.  Be social.