Watch Industry Influencer Chris Brogan’s 2017 IZEAFest Presentation “Make Your Own Game: Business Building in the Choose Your Own Adventure Economy”
Chris Brogan says companies of all sizes with buyers of all types are constantly faced with more choices than ever. From business operations to sales and marketing, communications and customer service, this presentation takes a deep look at the new today, the potential tomorrow, and what it takes to get there.
Want to watch at work but don’t have your headphones? Read the full transcript below the video.
Well, hello. It is I, Chris Brogan. How the heck are you, Izeafest? I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it there in person. And then I tried to do the live presentation and I don’t know what happened, but something didn’t work. My bad. So I’ll call it me. Let’s just do it this way. Here a video I made for you that I hope Ted can share with you. So the whole premise of this whole idea, this whole story, is to make your own game. Business building in the choose your own adventure economy.
I’m Chris Brogan. You can reach me @ChrisBrogan on the Twitters. You can send an email to email@example.com or you can go to owner.media and check out what we’re doing over there.
Hope you’re doing well. All right, so this is basically information and content that comes from my new book that will be coming out from Wiley in 2017 called Make Your Own Game, but you’re the first to see this content. So I hope you find it useful.
My big premise, number one, is that business and life are a game. That if we could just see the game systems inside of business and life, there’s a lot more that we can do to grow our chances at success. And the very first thing I want to talk about with regards to that is the notion that goals and approach are supposed to be separate. Meaning the goals that we’re going after, there might be more than one way to go after them and to see things differently is going to give us a chance to understand how to build out our business better.
An example, for instance, is that when Netflix started, they believed that the goal was to deliver DVDs to people’s houses because they thought they could do better than what the nice folks at Blockbuster were doing. But it turned out it wasn’t deliver DVDs, it was deliver a viewing experience. And so eventually they did streaming and they made even more money and cut even more margin. So the idea was that the goal is one thing and the approach is something else, right? The approach is how do I go after it? We start learning about
We start learning about this in places like games, like video games or even board games. You could play chess a lot of different ways. Do I try to take out the queen as fast as I can? Do I work with more of my pawns? Now, real chess pros probably know these answers. I don’t really know. I just kinda play. Almost all the games that you can play, there are more than one way to go after the victory. And if there’s not, that’s what makes a game boring. That’s why tic tac toe is super boring. There’s only really one way to win and there’s only a couple strategies that work and probably the best strategy for tic tac toe is maybe don’t play.
But when companies start to think about what they could go after, they start to see some success. So one thing is that you might have a product and you might have lots of variations on a product. So for instance, Skinny and Company make coconut oil. This is the kind of coconut oil that you can put in your food. People who like bullet-proof coffee can use something like this. But with just a slight change of ingredients, this is Skinny and Company body butter. So that you can put this on your body and it’s made with most of the same things, but with some added stuff. You could technically eat this, it just wouldn’t taste good. It’s meant for your body and it’s got some, I don’t know, eucalyptus or something that wouldn’t really taste that good in your mouth. But see what they did. They have a goal. I want to sell raw, what do they say here? Raw alkaline cold pressed pesticide free unrefined wild harvested blah blah blah coconut stuff. Pretty cool, right? So that product has a goal of delivering those values to you, but lots of different approaches. Body butter, facial oil, coconut oil, and all kinds of other stuff. So that’s what I mean by goal versus approach. Now where in your business have you accidentally married goal and approach and where can you pull it apart?
But see what they did. They have a goal. I want to sell raw, what do they say here? Raw alkaline cold pressed pesticide free unrefined wild harvested blah blah blah coconut stuff. Pretty cool, right? So that product has a goal of delivering those values to you, but lots of different approaches. Body butter, facial oil, coconut oil, and all kinds of other stuff. So that’s what I mean by goal versus approach. Now where in your business have you accidentally married goal and approach and where can you pull it apart?
That’s point number one. Second idea is to look for the game systems inside of your business and your life in different areas. And so when I talk about this, what we’re looking to do is we’re looking to find out what places inside your business can you look and apply little game systems that are gonna help you get better at different parts of your business? Now I’m gonna give you one right now. This is the framework of game systems. This’ll be in the book Make Your Own Game, but I’ll give it to you right now. The very first part of it is setting and story. Sorry, I gotta look at my notes. Setting and story. So what
Now I’m gonna give you one right now. This is the framework of game systems. This’ll be in the book Make Your Own Game, but I’ll give it to you right now. The very first part of it is setting and story. Sorry, I gotta look at my notes. Setting and story. So what is the setting and the story of the game you’re trying to play? So let’s say, for instance, you’re, oh, well, let’s say you’re a customer service department, only you’re at Zappos. So the setting and story
So let’s say, for instance, you’re, oh, well, let’s say you’re a customer service department, only you’re at Zappos. So the setting and story is customer service is much more important for our company than it is at most any other company and we want people to be the happiest and have the best possible customer service experience ever. In fact, it’s the most important thing in the world. So that’s the setting and the story. Who are the players? The players are the people calling in, the manufacturers and suppliers of the things that Zappos sells and you, the customer care representative, right? And of course,
In fact, it’s the most important thing in the world. So that’s the setting and the story. Who are the players? The players are the people calling in, the manufacturers and suppliers of the things that Zappos sells and you, the customer care representative, right? And of course, there’s lots of other people, but let’s say we’re running the call center.
The next question is what are the rules? So the rules are, at Zappos specifically the rules are they have authority to satisfy anyone, anyone’s problems or challenges within a certain dollar amount. I don’t know what it is. Let’s pretend it’s 200 bucks. So satisfy every customer within $200 no matter what and make them happy. Happy can come in a lot of different ways.
Happy can come in a lot of different ways. There’s other books that have been written about this sort of thing, but some people have sent pizza to someone’s house because they were saying they were feeling alone on Valentine’s Day or something. So you can do that. The idea is, though, what are the rules to this game and how do you want to play it are up to you. So when you start making these rules, you start giving small system ideas for how you can succeed at the specific set of goals, right?
Next is score. How do you score this? So for instance, getting a customer satisfied with no money but within a certain amount of time might be 10 points. Getting them satisfied with the allotted amount of money within a certain amount of time could be five points. But put real numbers and real scoring in place on any goal or any challenge you have and then you can start to measure in a really simple way, in a game style way, what’s going on in your life, right?
So you might be looking to lose weight. Well maybe your rules are that you must have something green on your plate every single meal. You should have five plates with green in them. So even when you have regular breakfast of, I don’t know, bacon and eggs, you gotta have a side salad with it or something. So you score yourself points on that you got all of those meals, that you didn’t have any cheat meals or cheat snacks or anything like that in between, et cetera. And whatever your rules are, you set those scores to numbers. And then a win, this is the last part.
So it was setting and story, players, sorry, rules, scoring and then the win. What constitutes a win? Is a win that you did a full week of five meals of salad? Is a win that you got 20 points or higher? You get to pick that. And so when I say build a game system, that’s what I’m talking about and that’s what becomes important. This is so strange doing this not live for you, but I’ll pretend you’re here with me and that you’re nodding. And if you’re not, if you have questions at any time, just send me an email. Chris@owner.media, that would be great.
Third idea, this is an idea. How many of you are afraid of failure? Are you afraid of failure? Is it one of those things that holds you back? Do you not want to launch anything because you’re like oh my gosh, what can I do? I failed. Here’s my answer to you. AFA. What I’ve learned about failure is that failure is very rarely the end. Failure is a chance to learn something and to adjust and then adapt and then move on in what’s going on.
So I think that the secret to failure and the reason that you’re so afraid of it is that you see failure as an end point. And to me, failure is part of a sequence. This isn’t magic. If I had a highlighter, I’d be highlighting Chris Brogan’s face right now. AFA. Attempt, fail, adapt. Okay, that’s the sequence. You’re gonna try something, it doesn’t work out. Ah crap, I failed. Adapt, oh, okay, what did I learn? Oh, don’t do that again, okay. I’m gonna attempt something new. Right, attempt, fail, adapt.
So what is really true, if I wrote this out for real in someone’s regular life, it might be attempt, win. Well that one’s pretty easy. Ah. Or you failed, so you attempt, you fail, you adapt, you attempt, you fail, you adapt. You might have AFA, AFA, AFA, AFA, AFA for a while and then a win. Ah. Attempt and win, right? That’s what you’re going for. You’re going to give yourself permission that you can sequence your failure as part of a system of learning. That’s what games do for us, right? You play Mario Brothers, you go stomping along, you hit one of those goombas and you go (sings) and you die and you go oh, I guess I’m not supposed to hit them. Then one time you jump over one and you stomp one, you go wow, I can stomp on these things! (sings) And then you learn that there’s some other kind of guy, you like my video game noises? And there’s some other kind of guy you can’t stomp on, right?
That’s what games do for us, right? You play Mario Brothers, you go stomping along, you hit one of those goombas and you go (sings) and you die and you go oh, I guess I’m not supposed to hit them. Then one time you jump over one and you stomp one, you go wow, I can stomp on these things! (sings) And then you learn that there’s some other kind of guy, you like my video game noises? And there’s some other kind of guy you can’t stomp on, right?
Attempt, fail, adapt. That’s why you get extra lives in video games. And you don’t get extra life in life, but a lot of times, you get a lot of opportunities to attempt something. And if you’re still worried about that, always try this AFA thing on smaller projects first. Something where if you fail, life won’t end, right? Maybe don’t attempt to fly a commercial jet and then fail and then adapt. Maybe you learn a lot of things first. Play on simulators, right? That’s video games again. That’s the deal. Next point in this idea of business and life are a game, rules are bad. Well, not necessarily. But here’s one of the things I see a lot of businesses and a lot of people do. That’s how we’ve always done things. Right? There are a lot of rules that are in place for no reason other than the concept that this is the way it’s supposed to be or this is how it’s always been or this is what we’re going to do. That’s how rules kind of harden up a business, cause problems. A lot of companies fail because they’ve held themselves to a set of rules. And I can tell you that what we should start doing in our liv
That’s the deal. Next point in this idea of business and life are a game, rules are bad. Well, not necessarily. But here’s one of the things I see a lot of businesses and a lot of people do. That’s how we’ve always done things. Right? There are a lot of rules that are in place for no reason other than the concept that this is the way it’s supposed to be or this is how it’s always been or this is what we’re going to do. That’s how rules kind of harden up a business, cause problems. A lot of companies fail because they’ve held themselves to a set of rules. And I can tell you that what we should start doing in our liv
A lot of companies fail because they’ve held themselves to a set of rules. And I can tell you that what we should start doing in our lives and our businesses, say what rules can I change? What matters, what doesn’t? Do I have to be at every conference? Nope. I missed the flight to this one because of the snow. So then what did I do? Oh, I AFA. I attempted something. I thought I’d get on this live zoom thing. It broke. I failed I adapt, here’s a video for you, right? I broke the rules.
I am sitting here in my house. When I’m done, I’ll be done and I’ll be sitting right here, right? So I broke the rule of going to the conference. It wasn’t my intent, but that’s how we turned out, right? Rules are not solid. You’ve gotta look around for them. Now, don’t get me wrong. Don’t break laws, don’t cheat people, don’t look for rules that super highly favor you but hurt the other person. None of those things are the advice I’m giving you right now.
Look for rules that are beneficial to both of you, that help the buyer. Examples, one is having those voice response units at customer service at big companies. Those don’t help you. Those rules are in place to make it better for their handling time for their call center, so it’s a cost benefit to them, but it makes you miserable.
I just sent something to the Wall Street Journal. I had subscribed to their online product as well, I thought, to their print publication, but I haven’t received the print publication. So I went to their customer service and it was so fast and so easy, especially online. And it was just like zip and I got my complaint into them and it got handled really fast.
That’s a rule breaker, right? Because I didn’t go through the call response unit. Because I went on their online system. And because their system was so responsive and they had people anxious to talk on the chat line, it was a way that they broke their own rules and made it so that they could connect with me in a way that was gonna save me frustration, right? Rules that create value for your buyer are definitely the rules you want. But break the other rules. Break rules that are not really useful to you. I look for things all the time that I can put off or that I can do in a different way because it’s really important to me to be satisfying the most important goals of my business and the priorities of business and my life, right? That’s what I look for.
Last, the three questions of games. This is something I want to hand to you because I feel like if you had this information, if you started looking at life and business this way, you’d start to see really fast a new tool to allow you to really better conceptualize and figure out what’s going on in any circumstance.
So here are the three questions. What’s the story? How do I play? How do I win? Think of any game you’ve ever played. You show up in the neighborhood and everybody’s playing war. When I was a kid, we played army and stuff like that. We’d have to go get sticks, pretend they were guns. And we’d run around and shoot each other. Bang bang bang you’re dead. No I’m not, you missed. Right? What were the rules? What was the story?
Well the story was we’re all in war. Well how do you play? The rules were really dumb when I was a kid. How do you win? Who knows? We just played until we were done. That’s, by the way, the separation between a game and play. Play doesn’t necessarily have a real outcome. Games always have some sense of an outcome and also a winner, right? So when you start thinking of this, ask yourself the question. So for instance, let’s say you’re an affiliate marketer. You sign up with Skinny and Company. I’m an affiliate of Skinny and Company. You sign up with them and you say, “What’s their story?” So their story is they’re trying to reach out to get more people to buy this thing. Oh, okay. How do I play?
I’m an affiliate of Skinny and Company. You sign up with them and you say, “What’s their story?” So their story is they’re trying to reach out to get more people to buy this thing. Oh, okay. How do I play? Well Skinny’s playing by having an affiliate program so they’re really hoping that they connect with me. How does Skinny win? I get them more business because they buy the product because I promoted it in some way that makes them feel good about it or whatever. Then you might ask yourself what’s your story with this product?
How do you play this game? Oh, well I’m gonna make content that’s different than everyone else. Are there people doing beauty content? They’re beautiful. I’m not, so I might be really funny and take this and go oh, this is a facial cream. There it is on my nose, right? I don’t know if that’s really good or not. I don’t know if it’s funny or not, but I can tell you that that’s a different way than other people would be selling that product. How do I win? See? So those three questions, I want you to take. Take those questions and start looking at them in your life and your business.
All right, premise number two of this thing. Everything is smaller. All right, wait for my dumb visual joke. Get it? Everything is smaller. Everything is smaller so being personable is gold.
Connecting, making any kind of contact whatsoever. So my newsletter, you can hit reply and talk directly to me. Most every issue of my newsletter, I ask the question what are you drinking?
And I talk to people about what I’m drinking, which I just looked down and realized, ah, it’s over there. It’s fizzy water. But it’s something I can connect with. I do this for one really simple purpose. I ask people every single letter what are you drinking because if they can’t really talk about anything else in the newsletter, pretty much everyone can write back and tell me what they’re drinking. There’s a guy named Joe who’s subscribed to my newsletter for about five years now and every single week that I ask anybody what they’re drinking, he replies coffee.
Like I think he thinks I’m doing a survey. Being personable is gold. The other thing I said about my newsletter, you can hit reply and actually reach me, not a robot. More ways to connect with people is what’s gonna win in a lot of your business opportunities. A lot of different ways that you can not just make some information available, but make it so people can reach you is better.
Everyone says to me oh, but you must be swamped by interactions. No. 30 something thousand people get my newsletter at this point because we cull people all the time who don’t open it. 30 something thousand people and I’ve never yet been swamped by it. I can always hit reply enough, talk for a minute or so, hit send and life’s gonna go on. And by the way, any time someone says, “I can’t believe you’d want to talk to your people.” Of course I want to talk to my people. That’s business. That’s what I’m in business for is to reach and connectwith people, aren’t you?
The other point about this everything is smaller is that everything is custom and everything is customer. We want everything to match us. We want our experiences to match us. We want our hotel reservation to have more plugs because you and I have more gadgets. We want our hotel experience to have a way to hook up Netflix because who watches HBO one and two anymore?
Actually, HBO’s probably pretty good, but you know. Hotel TV. We want things our way. Oh, I’m traveling? Can I get a vegetarian option? Is there a vegan option? We are always looking for that and so how do you provide that in your business? How can you make things more custom for a customer? See my dumb joke? That’s important as well to make everything smaller. When I say make everything smaller, though, think about games, right? Games have levels. Games have little systems. Games have ways that when you look at the information, it’s broken down into smaller bites. When you start on level one, maybe you can only jump. When you get to level two, you can double jump, right? This is how things work. Pacman starts with a reasonably simple maze and then it goes to a somewhat more complex maze. Then it goes faster. Then the bad guys spawn faster, right? Everything builds. You can build this into your business and your life by looking for ways to chunk it. Let’s say your new project is I’ve gotta build a whole bunch of video content. Your next move is to say, “All right, what’s the game? “How do I make this a smaller piece? “How do I batch this? “How do I find ways to delegate
Games have levels. Games have little systems. Games have ways that when you look at the information, it’s broken down into smaller bites. When you start on level one, maybe you can only jump. When you get to level two, you can double jump, right? This is how things work. Pacman starts with a reasonably simple maze and then it goes to a somewhat more complex maze. Then it goes faster. Then the bad guys spawn faster, right? Everything builds. You can build this into your business and your life by looking for ways to chunk it. Let’s say your new project is I’ve gotta build a whole bunch of video content. Your next move is to say, “All right, what’s the game? “How do I make this a smaller piece? “How do I batch this? “How do I find ways to delegate
Then it goes faster. Then the bad guys spawn faster, right? Everything builds. You can build this into your business and your life by looking for ways to chunk it. Let’s say your new project is I’ve gotta build a whole bunch of video content. Your next move is to say, “All right, what’s the game? “How do I make this a smaller piece? “How do I batch this? “How do I find ways to delegate the parts that I can’t do?” Et cetera, et cetera. And start looking for making things smaller. What you wanna not think is how do I make this vast project, right? Because you’re gonna lock up and you’re gonna be frozen. It’s so important to start looking at everything in a smaller way. Next, rewrite the rules. We talked about the rules being meant to be broken. It’s your turn to rewrite them. Write them such that you can connect with people more. It’s a small world that you can expect that people are gonna be talking about you. You want people to be talking about you.
It’s so important to start looking at everything in a smaller way. Next, rewrite the rules. We talked about the rules being meant to be broken. It’s your turn to rewrite them. Write them such that you can connect with people more. It’s a small world that you can expect that people are gonna be talking about you. You want people to be talking about you.
Oh, what if they say bad things? People will say bad things. Maybe you’re not just for them. Maybe that’s okay. I have a few negative reviews on every single book I’ve ever written. One of them was because I refused to give this woman an interview on her strange magazine. Good by me, I didn’t really want to be in her magazine. It’s okay if she wrote me a bad review. No one reading it goes oh, I shouldn’t read this book. You read it and go oh, she’s kinda coo coo. Right?
It’s all okay. J Bear would say to hug your haters. I say smile politely. Smile and wave, boys.
Right, next, the three Rs of everything being smaller. You know this but it’s important. Reviews, referrals and reputation. In a world where everything is smaller, it is important to be honest with your work. Be true with your work. Seek referrals. It’s amazing how many people don’t ask for a referral. Hey, Chris, I’m so glad we did business together. Did you like the business? Did everything work out great? Yeah. Who else should I be talking to? I have had some great interactions with people on both sides of that coin. Me asking for referrals and other people asking me in a very tasteful way after we’ve done something together. This is powerful. So look at reviews,
Hey, Chris, I’m so glad we did business together. Did you like the business? Did everything work out great? Yeah. Who else should I be talking to? I have had some great interactions with people on both sides of that coin. Me asking for referrals and other people asking me in a very tasteful way after we’ve done something together. This is powerful. So look at reviews, referrals and reputation as ways that you can connect. Now a lot of you might do reviews already. Always be truthful. Always be truthful. If something doesn’t work
If something doesn’t work out, then put it in there. This might not be great, I don’t know. When I did my video reviews for this, I was like why did people send me this in the first place? I’m not a beauty guy. But I’m glad they did. It was kind of fun and I like the product. So look for that. As far as referrals, we talked about that. Reputation, everything’s online. Everyone can voice their opinion about you. Now people can voice a negative opinion. But what if you were making more connections with more people? More positive things? What’s gonna happen when something bad happens? People are gonna have your back. Ted and I both know about that. All right, every person is a business I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man. Right?
But what if you were making more connections with more people? More positive things? What’s gonna happen when something bad happens? People are gonna have your back. Ted and I both know about that. All right, every person is a business I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man. Right? Jay Z, anyone? Every person is a business. So here, we have to think about the fact that in a world where everyone is a business in some form or another, we need to consider small unit strategies. So the military was built for the Cold War and then we got into a war of terrorism, which is called asymmetrical warfare, which, man, we had all this big fire power that we couldn’t point at anything because the bad guy wasn’t in
So here, we have to think about the fact that in a world where everyone is a business in some form or another, we need to consider small unit strategies. So the military was built for the Cold War and then we got into a war of terrorism, which is called asymmetrical warfare, which, man, we had all this big fire power that we couldn’t point at anything because the bad guy wasn’t in just one geographical region and the bad guy didn’t wear the same uniform, et cetera, et cetera.
It was a total mess how we had to change our business in the military, right? So a small unit strategy is true in businesses as well though. Big companies have shattered into lots of little pieces. And sometimes, and lots of times, you are meant to kind of run your own system. In a small business, if you’re solo or you’re working with you and a couple contractors or something like that, it’s important that you have to think about how you can operate as a small unit.
Now, there’s also a big opportunity in here is that you can work with bigger companies if you figure out how to slot your small unit, even if it’s a unit of one, into their business. See where that gets cool? Start asking yourself where could I slot myself in where I could add value to some company?
Now the company might not see it that way but you could write proposals to that effect. Hey, I think I could help you here. I just sent a proposal to a company saying, “We did this great work last year. “I want to carry it on. “Here’s what I think I can do. “Here’s how I think I can help your product guys. “Are you with me?” And I was scared to death. And time passed and no one answered. And then I got back oh yeah, yeah, we’re totally into this. We just are worried we’re not gonna come to the table as often as we should. Great, we’ll handle that part for you too.
I’ve got a guy. (coughs) How unprofessional, coughing. So there, that’s how small unit works. Pipes and coins. In my, oh, it’s not here. In my second mainstream book, which was The Impact Equation with Julian Smith Julian wrote this idea of never be a room, be a hallway.
So in video games, Super Mario Brothers, pipes, right? Pipes bring us between worlds. Coins exist the more when you’re the connector than where you’re the end result. Instead of trying to build the end product, instead of trying to be the end reviewer, instead of trying to be the end affiliate marketer, what could be your ability to connect people to other people? In what ways can you make more things happen for more people?
The more other people start saying, “Wow, “this person is really behind a lot of things.” That’s a powerful, powerful opportunity for you. Coins exist as the end of the pipes, not in them, right? So you’ve got to connect people to get some business happening, but you can’t only be a connector.
This is one of these deals where I’m telling you be both, right? Be the person who’s going after the coins, but be the part who’s connecting because there’s much more treasure if you connect that up that way. Wow, that was a lot of game analogy, but it’s true in life, right?
If you are Enterprise Rent A Car and you want to work with some hotel group, then that’s a bunch of phone calls and a lot of connections to make sure that both businesses get some benefit from it. When you can start bundling things with your other colleagues, when you can start working passionately with other people who are not competitors, who might be co-opitors that you can start building businesses with. That’s where some wins happens when you start thinking of every person as a business.
The other thing to equip people with when everyone’s a business is that velocity and autonomy are important. Now, what if you are the small business but you’re trying to equip other people? What if your end customer also is a business? You gotta think this way, right? You’ve gotta say, “Well, how do I help that person?” So if you’re doing consumer goods, you’re not necessarily thinking of it as a business, but what would you do to help them buy this product that would give them velocity? So let’s say it’s really fast deliveries, which sometimes you’re in control of it, sometimes you’re not. And autonomy allows them to buy something or make a choice with or without you.
One of the beautiful things of affiliate marketing is here’s the link, go get it yourself. Have a nice day, right? It’s a beautiful thing. And so you’ve gotta look at what ways can you make people, give people the opportunity to operate faster. And what way that they can operate on their own. This in larger companies, the idea is how do you build your rule set such that people can make choices at different levels of the organization without having to wait for bosses?
In a lot of big companies, especially in the US, the middle tier of management and leadership is gone and the front line is being called on more and more to be a leader. They need autonomy, but they also need an ability to act fast. And to me, another part of that is this gaming system. It’s understanding the rules and set ups of games.
So the next idea is team quilting. If you google time quilting, I coined that phrase, I think back in 2006. Time quilting was how do you find little scraps and put them together and make better use of your time with scraps? This same idea of team quilting is that multiple organizations are going to come together now to build these teams. That teams might not be paid by the same person. Teams might be badged to different places.
If you’re a solo employee somewhere, if you run your own business and you’re the one, then you already do this. You already work with lots of different teams but you’ve got to start looking at everything like that. How does this match? What’s the quilt of my team? When you start thinking that way about your own business, oh, well I get my website tools from Studio Press, from Brian Clark and the guys or I have Rainmaker. You might say, “Okay, that’s great. “I get my design from this person. “Okay, what if this person gets too busy for me, “I can’t get design. “I better be thinking of another team person. “I better work on making sure “that all the pieces of this puzzle have extra parts.”
Right? Maybe I need extra ways to work on it. So that’s what team quilting is about. And then finally, map their wins. We talked just a little bit about this in regards to making games. Not only should you make your own game, remember setting and story, players, rules, the scoring and then the win. When you start mapping the wins of the people that you’re working with, when you start mapping the wins of your buyer, the people that are supplying you, all around, you start mapping their wins and working them through that game system, you start seeing things that weren’t there before in your business. You start seeing opportunities and you start seeing different ways you can serve people. I really challenge you. I want you to go out and do that one.
All right, next to last big point. Every business is a media company plus. Not only are you a business, but you are also a media company. Some people watching this from Izeafest, you’re just a media company, right? You exist to sell information and ideas and then put product against that so that people will buy it. Then you’re just a media company. But other companies, Skinny and Company are not just a company making coconut oil. I’m just shaking this a lot at you because it’s right here on my desk. I guess I could have had some other props ready.
Ladybug Company only makes this, but they better make media. They better make cute little ladybug videos and like podcasts of the dinging sound. I don’t know. You’ve got to connect and serve. The idea being you’ve got to connect with the people that are hoping to buy what you sell. If you sell your own standalone product or service, you’ve gotta be able to deliver more than here’s that product.
You’ve got to connect, give them ideas, give them information, connect them to other people using the product and really serve them and give them solution to other problems they might have that aren’t directly related to your problem. This is how you start to build a better media. Make gateway content. My point being content that gives them other connections to other ideas.
Remember we said pipes and coins. This is that idea. This is make sure you connect people to other materials and other products and serve them. Again, this is, I’ll just keep holding it up. This is coconut oil. I might connect people to Dave Asby’s bulletproof coffees. You can see why you would use coconut oil, right? So you start to see ideas, where you can mix and marry content and help people understand not only just your product, but where else they can go.
Simple beats snazzy. Oh my goodness, it is so important to understand that in this world where everyone’s trying to be flashier or bigger and crazier, simple wins. I’m a Boston guy. The New England Patriots just won the Superbowl for the 2016 season this past week in 2017. The way they won was some really simple game plays. Really simple plays just done over and over again. Simple beats snazzy. You get that fifth Superbowl ring because you just ran simple plays.
This is important in your own business. Don’t keep trying to be amazing. Keep trying to be solid. Solid is so much cooler than amazing. Don’t you agree? That sounds like a tweet, right? Solid is much more cooler than amazing. Solid is more cool? Solid is cooler. Grammar, you bastard. Give you ideas handles. Think of a suitcase, right? Suitcase has a handle, you can take stuff with you. Or a bag, right? A bag has a little handle on it. Give your ideas handles, meaning give people ideas that they can take with them. Look at that little sentence, the phrase up top.
Every business is a media company plus. You can run with this. Everything I’ve written on every slide is something you can run with and make it your own. That’s on purpose. If I give you my ideas and you run with them you go ah, man. Chris is a good guy. He really gave me this great idea. I applied it, it worked. Oh my gosh, I gotta stay with that guy cause I want more ideas, right? That’s how I win. That’s how you win. Give your ideas handles. Don’t worry oh, this is my idea. People are stealing it. Sure, don’t let people plagiarize you, that’s illegal. But if someone’s really running with something you come up with, great! Equip them more and sell them something. That’s how you can win. And the last is develop media habits. And when I say this, you’ve gotta teach everybody in the organization.
And again, if this is a big company, I mean everybody. And if this is just you, you already do this. Make media and make it all the time. Make small simple media like Instagram videos and stuff like that. Snaps to gram to chat to book to face to rist or whatever and make a little blog post. But make stuff, make media, make connections and make it easy for people to start to see your face and your information and hear from you all the time.
We’re on the last big point and this is that modern businesses need new skills. You know this, right? So first, we need to think of strategies and you need to build a game for every strategy. Why? Because it’s an easier, better way to think about strategy. Strategy and games are pretty much sister and brother, right? Games are just a simpler, lighter hearted way to think about things like strategies and plans. If I said to you, “Come on, we gotta come up with a strategy “on how we’re gonna win the business of Arm and Hammer.” I don’t know why this is on my desk. How are we gonna get Arm and Hammer to sponsor our new baking site? You start to lock up the minute I say strategy.
You’ve got to connect, give them ideas, give them information, connect them to other people using the product and really serve them and give them solution to other problems they might have that aren’t directly related to your problem. This is how you start to build a better media. Make gateway content. My point being content that gives them other connections to other ideas.
Let’s play a game. How many different ways can we pitch Arm and Hammer? What are 20 really dumb pitches we can come up with? Somewhere along the line of coming up with 20 dumb pitches, you’re gonna come up with four or five good ones and you’re gonna be able to send them something, right? Everyone is a media maker. I said this just a little bit in the last slide.
It’s really, really, really important that you think that through. Everyone in the organization needs to be a media maker. But that means you are a media maker. And maybe you’re only doing just one thing. Maybe you’re just doing blogging or just doing podcasting or something, but start looking at yourself like a magazine company. All the magazine companies now have video channels. All the video companies now have magazines. Start looking at yourself like that, you little Rupert Murdoch, you. Everyone is in marketing and in sales and in customer service.
If you are running a business but you say, “I’m really bad at sales,” congratulations, lots of people are bad at sales. Get better. Or as they say in vide games, get good, bro. Get better at your sales process. Get good at marketing, get great at customer service. You have to be all three. Small units again, right?
In the military, small units. Everyone has to be at least a basic medic. Everyone has to be a basic medic in the small unit strategy. If the medic gets shot, you’re out of luck for the whole group, right? Well, hopefully no one’s gonna shoot you, but you’ve gotta be good at marketing, sales, and customer service.
That’s the trinity, right? That’s the little triangle that runs any business. And sometimes you are already that person anyway. You’re just the one person in the company. You’ve gotta be good at all three and if you’re not, get better. Go learn how to do sales. By the way, any time you think you’re bad at something but you don’t go find a way to get better at it, you’re just sitting around going I don’t know, still not good. How about now, are you good now? Nope, still not good.
Do something, damn it. That’s how you get better. You don’t get better by wishing you were better. Only Jiminy Cricket allows you to wish upon the stars. And that doesn’t help. Velocity of value. You gotta go fast. Anybody? Anybody? Sonic? The velocity of value is how fast can you deliver value to somebody else? How fast can you make someone feel like wow, I really win for having done this. Maybe this speech makes you feel like that. Oh, Chris really gave me some ideas to think about. Oh, I am blown away.
I wish he was really here with me in Orlando when we were at that event. But something went wrong, right? I gotta deliver as much value as I can to you fast so that you can go and apply it to your world and be successful. So my goal is give you what you need as fast as I can as long as it’s useful. As long as it’s reasonably good, right? This is that don’t be a perfectionist thing. And then again, and this is just me reiterating the point, if you want more wins, you’ve got to approach that AFA. Attempt, fail, adapt, attempt, fail, adapt. Get the tattoo! In fact, get the tattoo wrong and then get the right one! Attempt, fail, adapt leads to attempt, win. This is how you win.
That’s another skill that you really need. You’ve gotta build failure into your business plans. You’ve gotta build failure into how you do what you do. And you’ve gotta adapt faster. Oh, I want this really big contract. Oh, they didn’t give me the contract. Oh, I suck. And then you spend two months feeling sad you sucked. You’re out of business, right? You’ve gotta be suck faster. You’ve gotta attempt things faster. You’ve gotta fail faster and you’re gonna win. That’s how we get there.
Well, I talked fast because it’s not live. I don’t get a chance to pause for weird bad jokes. Who knows, maybe it’s better, maybe it’s worse. My name is Chris Brogan. This is Make Your Own Game. This is a new book coming out from Wiley in 2017, so look for that. I would love for you to grab my newsletter. It’s at owner.media/nl. If you found any of this interesting, it’s a lot of what I write about now. And I come up with ideas and my best ideas, I send to you via this newsletter.
My name’s Chris Brogan. You can find me on the Twitters @chrisbrogan or send email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. I really, really, really appreciate your time. Sorry I couldn’t meet you in person but please reach out to me. It matters so much. Don’t just watch this video and go do something else, you weirdo. Email me, email@example.com and say, “Hey, I watched your video, you weirdo.” I would love it. Thank you so much for your time.