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Hi, I'm Jeph. I love helping people make smarter business decisions. I help companies stand out. I consult, speak, facilitate and do project work on new marketing strategies (word-of-mouth, customer service, and social media). My consulting company is Research & Consulting. The marketing industry is changing very rapidly and the only way to stay on top of it is by a philosophy of continuous learning. Do you have an information strategy? Are you learning faster than the world is changing? If not, we should talk. Learn more here: Follow me @JephMaystruck

Profitable or Passionate?


This past week I had the pleasure of working with a friend I met in University.  He has since graduated from the film program at the U of R and now owns his own business called Living Sky Media.  Riley doesn’t charge an hourly rate for filming and editing video.  He can’t.  If he did, his clients would either;

a) Pay an absurd amount of money because he works on a project until it is perfect (or very near perfect) not worrying about time.


b) Pay a seemingly miniscule per hour rate to account for the extra time spent making the video great.

When you are passionate about your work time doesn’t matter.  For Riley, he’d rather put in the extra effort to make the video amazing whether he’s getting paid for it or not.

Most financial and business consultants would say this is a terrible business model because it does not amount to being profitable.  If Riley’s main goal was to be profitable he wouldn’t create such amazing video’s.  Now I’m not saying that being profitable is a bad goal to have but putting your passion before profit is something that many people do not do in business.  
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Don’t Be Earl


Social media isn’t just about Facebook and Twitter, though they both have proven to be among some of the best tools to carry out your internet networking fantasies. Opportunities will pass you by if you are not monitoring what others are saying about you and your organization and engaging them in a conversation.  Communication on the internet is only increasing in speed, if you choose to ignore it, you may lose.

Could you imagine if the next time you took your car in for an oil change, they told you about their customer comments section on their website; where if you leave a comment about how the service was, you get 10% off your next oil change?  Would you leave a comment?  Would you read what others have said? Please let me know below

What if we could hold companies accountable when they provide an unsatisfactory product or service?  What if you could look up what others are saying about the restaurant you’re going to tonight?  What if you looked up a new hair salon and this came up: (click on the picture to make it larger, this is what actually came up in a Google search for this hair studio)

People are going to talk about your company whether you like it or not, it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to ignore them or engage them.
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The Growth Strategy of a Church


At one point in history someone figured out that if you customize a product or a service for a certain group of people it works better. Demographic segmentation was born.

Malls have kids stores, women’s stores and shoe stores.  Television has old movies, rated R movies, and kids shows. Restaurant’s have a kids and seniors menu.

I have had a problem for the past couple of years; I would like to see Church gain popularity towards the younger generation (13-25 year-olds), sadly I believe the opposite is true. It’s not just “society’s” fault, I think the Church could be doing a better job.

Church doesn’t customize very well, sure there’s a daycare and Sunday school but a congregation is usually made-up of people anywhere from the age of 12 or 13 all the way to 80 or 90 years old.  Is there any other time in our lives that people 70 years apart in age can truthfully find meaning in the same message?  Possibly some movies or spectacular entertainment productions but for every other part of our lives, organizations have improved their service to cater to certain people.

The answer I receive when I mention my argument is always; “the Church shouldn’t have to cater to you, you should just like it.”  I believe it’s that attitude that turns our generation away.
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We’re Not Dumb Anymore


The Flynn effect states that since the 20th century, IQ test scores on average increase by 3 points every decade.  A person taking an IQ test in 1930, scoring in the average, would be considered mentally handicap compared to today’s IQ standards.  As civilization progresses, so does our average intelligence level.  When the knowledge base increases across the board, strange things begin happening. We get smarter.

Something I’ve noticed as of late is that pyramid schemes as business models are still around.  In the past month, two friends have been invited to “recruitment” seminars, which I am proud to say they both, within minutes discovered the pyramid business model and left in disgust.

Now the proper term is “multi-level marketing” (MLM) but it’s the same theme, you make commissions on your sales and on the sales of the people you’ve recruited as sales people.  You can already begin to see the problem.  If I’m selling, then I get you to sell, we are now competing for future sales.  Doesn’t make sense does it.  Not anymore, but it did for a very long time.  What surprises me more is that their is actually a list of companies still around using this as a business model.
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Re-Thinking Your Music Career


I’ve been to a few local live bands that I can say have amazing talent.  You know the local ones that you’re positive they will go somewhere with their career?  But then comes the hard part. How do you get to the next level?  How do you consistently get paid for playing music? You must re-think your industry.

When you ask the majority of up and coming artists they reply, “oh we have a CD coming out soon, I sure hope you’ll buy it!”  I want to be supportive but I also want to be realistic.  I haven’t purchased a CD IN TEN YEARS!  Why are they still making CD’s?  I know there are exceptions to the rule and some CD’s still sell but have they ever thought about researching their own market before?  Ever tried to understand how others in their situation have grown their own music business? I can guarantee you it did not happen by selling CD’s.

In Chris Anderson’s book Free: The Future of a Radical New Price it explains that if the price to duplicate something is relatively free (as in a music file) then eventually it will be free. Young musicians needs to understand this and adapt accordingly.
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My Top 10 Podcasts


My friend Colter (@Codaclothing) asked a bunch of us to submit our favorite albums of 2009 to put up on his website.  Knowing that the song from the Amazon Kindle commercial or Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance will probably be vying for top spot so I thought I’d take a different approach.

Below are my top 10 Free Podcast’s with links to get them in your iTunes.  Enjoy!

  1. Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce – One of the best story tellers and authors of our day, this talk is almost six years old and still applies today.
  2. Seth Godin on Standing Out – an oldie but a classic, Seth is one of the foremost minds in marketing today having authored eleven books and is a captivating presenter.
  3. Stochasticity – “A wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness.” This is the explanation on the site of what Stochasticity means.  Very interesting podcast that you’re sure to find some tidbits to chat about around the water cooler.
  4. Dan Pink on the Surprising Science of Motivation – From the famous Ted conference this talk will change your mind on how to motivate people in the work place.  The surprising part is I think most people actually think the opposite of what research shows us.

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