Randy Cantrell

Episode 95 – Cookouts, BBQ’s, Liquid Propane and Charcoal (A Cast Iron Argument Against Stainless Steel)

Podcast: Download The Audio / Or Non-Flash-based Playback


The Yellow Studio went down about a week ago. The culprit? Mac OS Lion update! No, it wasn’t Apple’s fault, but I did learn my lesson. Don’t be among the first to upgrade your OS…especially when you have hardware that might be adversely affected. Live and learn.

I’ll explain my brief absence lately and we’ll get onto some more appetizing conversation.

Thanks for hanging with me. By the way, if we’re not connected (or encircled) at Google + let’s make it happen. You can find me here.

Mentioned in today’s show:
My YouTube channel
My BulaNetwork Facebook page
Hibachi cast iron grille
Thermador outdoor grille (don’t think they make them any more…and I probably know why)
Weber outdoor grille
Darien, Illinois Sportplex
Swamp People, the TV show
Swamp Loggers, the TV show

Special Episode: A Conversation With Phil Simon About His New Book, The Age Of The Platform

Podcast: Download The Audio

Phil Simon describes his new book – due out in September, 2011 – The Age Of The Platform, as more of a management book than a technology book. The book launches forth in a study of The Gang of Four: Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook. But solopreneurs and small business owners should not think this is a book about BIG business. It’s a study of these big enterprises and small businesses who have found ways to create dynamic, high performing platforms.

Every endeavor that requires an audience, customers or attention needs an effective platform. Phil’s new book is intended to help us better think about crafting our own.

I caught up with Phil Simon on Friday afternoon, July 22nd. I hope you’ll visit his KickStarter campaign to raise money for publishing The Age Of The Platform. Go to the KickStarter campaign right now and contribute to the cause. The campaign ends August 21st.

You should also visit the website for his previous book, released just late last year, The New Small. We spoke with Phil in January about that book. You can listen to that episode here.

At his blog he’s taking a poll on the cover design – more crowd sourcing brilliance from Phil. Visit this link and cast your vote.

Enjoy my half hour conversation with Phil Simon.

Thanks,

The Bula Network Q & A Video Show Coming Soon

Because I get some good questions via email I’ve decided to launch a new video-based Bula Network show answering questions each week. Every week I’ll select three questions to answer. You can submit your questions two different ways. I’ll release a new show each week. I’m not yet sure what day of the week I’ll release each episode, but I promise I’ll get on a schedule as quickly as I can. Watch this short – 3 minute – video, then send me your questions.

Thanks,

Special Episode – Help Me Navigate A Crazy Intersection (Happy Birthday To My Wife, Too)

Podcast: Download


I’m approaching this crazy intersection.

My GPS is working fine, but it’s useless. Why? Because I’m not sure where I need to go. You can help me determine the direction because this endeavor is about helping YOU.

Oh, and by the way, today is my wife’s birthday. Her name is Rhonda and you’ll find her website at Doll Dresses By Rhonda or RhondaCantrell.com. She sews.

My work continues at Leaning Toward Wisdom where I’m aiming to serve public education, but here at BulaNetwork.com – I’m coming up on this crazy intersection. I’m asking you for directions. I hope you’ll help me out and not treat me like Clark Grisold lost in the hood.

Today’s special episode is a short birthday message to my wife, but mainly it’s a request for your feedback and help regarding which way to take this blog and podcast.

Here’s a collection of the four roads representing the directions I can take to better serve you. You may even have one not listed here. That’s okay.

1. Life/Personal Development coaching

2. Business coaching

3. New Media coaching

4. Communication coaching

I can take this in whatever direction best serves you guys. This blog and podcast has been a mixture of three things: business coaching, personal development and social commentary. How can I give you more value? How can I better serve your needs?

One idea I’ve been toying with is to set up my blog and podcasts with those four categories (or whatever categories you feel would be most helpful). That way I could limit each post or podcast or video to one of those categories. Otherwise, it would turn into a mash of different stuff and void the whole reason for setting up these categories. You could more easily focus only on the things that interest you. What do you think of that idea?

I’m not all things to all people. I may not be your cup of tea and I’m cool with that. But, if I am your cup of tea – I need your help.

Things mentioned in today’s show:

Rhonda Cantrell, my wife, sews custom made doll dresses, primarily for Himstedt dolls
Daddy bloggers and podcasters Daniel Clark and C.C. Chapman
• Heather Armstrong is Dooce.com, Queen of the mommy bloggers (but you knew that already)
Tom Peters, king of the massive slide deck

Leave a comment below.

Send me Results [at] BulaNetwork [dot] com” target=”_blank”>an email.

Leave me a voice mail at (214) 736-4406.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for giving me your feedback. I’ll be back next Thursday, but first…it’s birthday party time!

 

Show and Tell 1 – You Got Questions?

I got answers…kinda, sorta.

I pride myself in being able to ask great questions. It helps clarify things for me. I use that skill to help others find clarity, too.

Today, I’ll try to answer a few questions. Your questions. I’m calling it “Show and Tell 1.” I hope to do shorter versions where I answer your questions.

You can send questions via voice mail by calling (214) 736-4406. You can email me at: results (at) Bula Network (dot) com. You can even send me an mp3 file of your own recorded question.

Please keep flooding me with your questions. Well, okay. Maybe “flood” isn’t exactly a proper description, but the verb trickle doesn’t do much for me.

I honestly can’t quite fully express how flattered I am that you visit the website to read, watch or listen to my stuff. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

Reaching People Who Count Is Not Easy

countvoncountWell, okay – I don’t mean people who actually count – like Count Von Count. I mean people who matter. I mean people who are meaningful. I mean people who benefit you. That doesn’t mean people you can take advantage of, or use. I mean people with whom a valuable relationship can be formed.

Reaching people who count isn’t limited to customers, or prospects. Sometimes it’s reaching people who can mentor us, coach us or help us grow. Sometimes it’s people who can serve as collaborators. There are many valuable relationships we can create and foster.

Analytics existed before computers. Businessmen created databases – once they were simply card files – of inventory and customers. Handwritten charts and logs kept track of all sorts of things. Primary among those things were client lists. Business owners wanted to have good records of their customers. We needed their contact information, including their mailing addresses. Our direct marketing campaigns depended on the accuracy of our analysis – our analytics.

Computers enhanced our ability to effectively track many more things. We could dissect the behavior of our customers. Whatever we captured in our computers could be easily outputted to give us greater details. If we captured a customer’s eye color, then we could easily find out which customers had blue eyes. We went from low information diets to feeding at an all-you-eat-buffet where we could feast constantly! The gorging began…and continues. More data than we can possibly digest. It’s the stuff of business intelligence, business analytics.

There’s an old marketing maxim that says, “It’s more important to reach people who count than it is to count the number of people you are reaching.”

Even so, we get caught up with how many people are on our list – how many we’re converting into buying customers – how long they linger on our sales pages – and so much more. The numbers. It’s all about the numbers.

I’m not saying numbers aren’t important. Nor am I saying that you shouldn’t study or analyze all the data available to you. But you must remember that behind every single number is a PERSON. A real, live breathing person with a family, people they love, people who love them and all the other stuff that life brings to the party.

Build a list, say the Internet marketers. Build a BIG list. If you can get 10,000 people on your list – well, that’s great. But 20,000 is better. And if you can surpass the 50K mark, you’re in the rarefied realm of guru status! Just think of it. If you only convert 2% of them into buyers, then you’ve got 1000 buyers! That’s 1000 people paying you. No wonder a 50K list of names and email addresses puts you among the most select folks selling stuff online! We’re all gonna be filthy, stinking RICH.

Building a list of any sort is more difficult than you might think though. Let’s say you could care less who these people are – how are you going to reach them? How will people even know YOU exist? Will you spend money on PPC (pay per click)? Will you hired an SEO (search engine optimization) expert who can get you ranked number 1 in Google? Will you join up with somebody else who has a big list?

Who are these people that matter? Who counts?

That depends on your business.

We all need people who are interested in what we’re selling. Those are the people who count. If I’m selling scuba gear then a list of 10,000 people who are into bird-watching won’t do me much good. Unless, of course, they’re scuba divers who also happen to watch birds. But there’s no direct connection between those two. It’s highly unlikely that bird watchers are scuba divers. Now, if they were surfers instead – maybe!

No, if I’m selling scuba gear then I’m in search of people who love to go diving. More importantly, I’m really interested in people who regularly scuba dive or who will spend money toward scuba diving. I’m not interested in a list of 10,000 names of people who go on vacation and rent scuba gear. I’m looking for 10,000 names of people who actually purchase scuba gear.

Once I know who counts – then my job is to find them. Reaching the people who count is often an overlooked strategy. People wrongly assume that anybody who opts into their list must be a hot prospect – somebody with a high inclination toward purchasing something they offer, like scuba gear. That’s only true if you have properly targeted – that is, if you’ve taken aim at finding only the people who count – those who are definitely interested in what you offer.

The other component involved in this is clarifying your offer. I don’t mean making your offer clear to others. I mean making your offer clear in your mind. Can you narrow your focus so your offer is precise? Again, people fail too frequently because they haven’t clearly defined what it is they’re selling. If it’s unclear in your mind, it’s super unclear in the mind of your prospect.

Consider the competitive field of web design. Let’s say you open up a web design shop and you think everybody is your market. Anybody who wants a website is your prospect, right? So you don’t put any restriction on building your list. You’re not trying to reach any specific type of person – all people are people who count…because your business has a universal appeal. It’s a common mistake. Some businesses die having never reached the people who count because they never calculated what they were offering – so they could figure out who counted.

The most successful web designers I know are so specialized it’s ridiculous. I know web designers who not only specialize in WordPress sites, but they specialize in customizing specific WordPress themes. It’s the only thing they do. That specialization allows them to more narrowly focus on WHO – on who it is that really counts for them, and their business.

The same thing will work for your business. Narrow your focus. Drill down to the real core of your offer. That will prepare you to drill down to the people who count most. Now, get busy reaching only the people who count. Warning: It’s more difficult than you think, but it’s easier when you know who you are trying to reach.

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