The New Generation

I consider myself a part of “the new” generation.

Tell us to go somewhere and we won’t go.

Tell us to watch something and we’ll turn off the TV.

Tell us to wear something and we’ll choose to go naked.

Tell us to do it your way and we’ll find a better way.

Tell us to be a part of something and we’ll avoid it with all costs.

Tell us we can make more money doing it your way and we’ll go volunteer somewhere else.

Tell us “this is the norm” and we’ll disagree, we have our own norm.

Tell us to believe in something and we’ll make up our own belief’s, because we can.

Give us the opportunity to be innovative and creative, and we’ll surprise you every time with what we can do.

How are you managing the new generation; by telling or by giving?

Photo Credit: Anissa Thompson
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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.

or

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.  This isn’t his long term strategy, I bet he’ll do it long enough to show the world how good he is, then by means of demand, he will be forced to raise his price.

What’s your main goal, being profitable or being passionate?

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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. When your strategy to engage the younger generation is “they should just like it”, I don’t think you have much hope for growth.

If you have any suggestions on this conundrum I would appreciate your help, obviously it is a delicate topic but I assure you the intent of this post was not to offend.  Just trying to help everyone who’s been confused in a Church service before, including myself.

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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.

As communication worldwide increases over the internet, so do conversations.  Within three minutes of researching MLM I came across a startling figure that 99.9% of all participants end up losing money by joining the organization.  When in history have we been able to verify a businesses legitimacy within five minutes?

Maybe we’re smarter (our IQ’s would say so), maybe we’re just better at finding information which make us seem smarter.  Either way this new generation isn’t dumb, business models such as these are now a joke around the water cooler.  There will always be people who join for unknown reasons, I just hope that if you are ever proposed on a seemingly to good to be true scheme you’ll Google first before signing up.

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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. You’re going to reach exponentially more people by offering a free download than by trying to charge for a CD. The difficult part is putting monetary gain second and your fans first.

I’m not saying most artists are money hungry, they just need to understand their industry better.  They need to have a following, groupies, a tribe on their side that wants to tell the World about their music then give them to tools to do so.  Enabling this group to spread their music as well as finding innovative ways to make money not by selling CD’s is the new way to re-think your music career.

It’s been almost three years since Radiohead shook up the music scene with a “name your own price” album which turned out to be their most successful in history (including two Grammy awards).  It is difficult to compare yourself to Radiohead, but doing something innovative on a large scale is much more difficult then changing your band’s marketing strategy right now.

So, how would you market your band if you had one?

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