[ 74/250 ] Do you challenge yourself?

Probably not as much as you think you do.

Greetings, lovely one!

I encountered a fun new way of running autoresponders on mailing lists this week that made me wonder how many of us never question norms established by others.

Pro tip: A LOT.

If you’re wondering, the method was established by a Sandgroper copywriter named Daniel Throssell, who’s one of the country’s best. It basically requires you to write an extended story, and then to set it up so people can fire off the next instalment to themselves immediately. His reading and open rates are insane, and as a result his email delivery is through the roof.

So when I saw a little video yesterday, of a newsletter subscriber (and contributor) waxing lyrical about my product, I decided to up the ante and do something similar.

Here’s the video:

The story of The Visible Leader and how it came about is a little bit interesting. It emerged over a period of more than 12 months, during which I tested varieties on a business model.

If you want to read the story, go add yourself as a recipient of The Visible Leader.

The story is told in the emails you get when you subscribe. I spent all day yesterday writing them, and had the best time. Love to hear what you think.

You know, autoresponder norms were established by email marketing platforms.

These platforms come with samples.

The samples condition you to follow the template.

And that behaviour exists because software wizards have trained you to follow the prompts.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

When I set up the sequence on The Visible Leader’s database yesterday, the crashing realisation of this was immense. I started to wonder where else I am simply following the guiderope put down by others? I started to think about every aspect of my company’s creation and existence that fails to challenge norms. I began wondering where it might be failing me.

When I looked around, I realised it’s everywhere:

  • the product set

  • our own publications

  • how clients are onboarded and handled

  • blinkers on what is “appropriate” for this type of business

  • ideas about joint ventures vs staff vs contractors.

Everything.

Everywhere.

This is why so many coaches and advisors recommend setting aside one full day every week to work on the business.

However, it is easy to become trapped in also planning that time, in creating a framework within which to ‘think’, which doesn’t give you to freedom to challenge what you’re doing. In my experience, what tends to happen is that we sit around and build things. We don’t break them apart to find out if they’re necessary, if there’s a better/different/unusual way of doing them, or something else entirely.

I like to think that I’m good at challenging norms.

But I’m not really.

I’m just very good at imagining I am.

And that, darling reader, is as good a place to start with a challenge as any.

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