If you don’t like how things are done, tell a different story

If you don't like where you are going change your direction

A typical marketing and sales person recently asked me why I don’t place ads on my blog to generate additional revenue. Being that this blog gets between 6K – 9K visits/month, I’m in a very good position to do so (I have gotten requests from companies to place ads). But, I don’t want to place ads.

I simply don’t like advertising. And, generating revenue from ads is not a narrative I want to be a part of.

When he heard my response, he thought I was crazy. In his own words: that is not smart.

Well, what do you know, I’m not surprised by the response. First of all, I have other more interesting, valuable and engaging ways to generate revenue from my blog. And, that is my “preference”. My decision. Not someone else, or what the market says I should.

For me, it isn’t about making money, it is about adding value. That is my goal. Revenue is an outcome of that goal.

To craft a strategy is to make a decision

Most people, as well as organizations, fail to remember that strategy is at least as much about what an organization does not do as it is about what it does. I practice what I preach.

Taking this principle to heart, for me, blindly copying best practices is stupid. So, I’d rather experiment with other approaches to generating revenue from my blog than following the “how to make money from blogging recipe“. For example, I have an idea of implementing a “workshop within a blog” concept. How would that work? There’s only one way to find out. Go. Do.

Again, I practice what I preach.

Revenue is not strategy

A well conceived and robust strategy is rare because organizations find it difficult to SAY NO. Especially when instant revenue is staring at you. A solid strategy starts with an understanding about yourself, your business and what it is that you want. If you don’t know this, you’ll mindlessly follow whatever works for someone else. Especially if they are big and well known.

This type of behavior, by the way, is business-as-usual. So, if your sole reason for existing is to generate revenue, then by all means go ahead and act mindlessly. You are not alone.

On the other hand, if you really want to stand for something, then you have to create your own narrative versus following the herd. This is business-unusual because only a few of us decide to do so.

Consider one of my stories. A few days ago, I published an interview where I told the story of how I changed processes and culture at FedEx when I was 18. For me, it wasn’t a matter of mindlessly following the rules. I simply thought the existing way of doing things sucked because we were doing too many things. So, I decided to start doing things differently by eliminating steps and activities.

The end result was dramatic change and a different narrative.

Bottom line: If you don’t believe the current narrative is relevant, change it. All you have to do is act differently to start creating a new narrative.


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