Why Companies Should Acquire the Right Customers, Not More

When it comes to business, here are two (oversimplified) options when it comes to customer acquisition that I’m noticing:

  1. Attract the masses with a product that promises everything. Compete on price and give massive discounts in order to convert more customers. Overbook and under-deliver and completely alienate a section of your customers. The customers who should have never been your customers have a horrible experience with you. They cause social and financial damage to your company.

  2. Take the time to identify the right customers. Create marketing that targets and attracts these specific ideal customers. Deliver on exactly the service that they expect from you. Focus on quality product above artificial growth.

With option 1, it’s simple to point to a chart and say “Look how many customers we’re getting! We’re selling so much product!”. But when you go a level deeper than that, you start to see the truth.

You may have sold more product, but how many of those customers returned your product and requested a refund?

How many customers were sold a different product and left a bad review because they imagined they were receiving one thing but got something completely different?

How much potential business are you losing from these bad reviews?

The Hidden Costs of Attracting the Wrong Customer

The ROI of effective marketing makes everything else easier. You are clear on what you offer, you let customers qualify themselves, and you give value to the customer before you sell them.

But of course no marketing is perfect; you’re going to acquire some bad apples. They are deceptive to the executive branch, because sure, they may look like a net benefit from the sales point of view, but they will only cause headaches for your company. They will absorb time, money, and reputation from your company.

These things are a lot harder to gain back than they are to lose.

How to Attract Your Ideal Customer

Initially, it’s hard to find the right customer.

But once you’re in the industry for a few years, you should have a good idea of which customers provide you the most lifetime value (LTV).

The ones with the highest LTV whether that is through profit or through referrals will be the customer base you want to tap into. This is a simplified profile of who you want, but generally you want people who will contribute the most to your business profit-wise. If they’re not bringing in more profit, they’re making you lose it.

You have to coordinate your different departments to acquire and maintain these ideal customers:

  1. Marketing must create content, ads, and conversations that are written in the language that speaks out most to your ideal customer.

  2. Sales must learn how to qualify the right people and understand how to disqualify the problem customers.

  3. Product, engineering, and operations must deliver on the product that marketing and sales claim to provide.

  4. Customer support must be the voice of the customer and provide growth suggestions for other teams to improve the product.

Once you have all of these teams working in cohesion, you will be serving the right customer and serving them well.

Choose to serve the masses and you end up serving half of them well and making their lives truly better, while the other half of them experience a money-entangled pool of failed expectations.

The world is your oyster (but only if you're willing to work hard)

I’ve been watching this fascinating interview on The School of Greatness podcast featuring the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. Right in the beginning, he said one of the most important lines that resonated with me. My paraphrased version:

Yes, you can do anything you want — the world is your oyster — but you have to put in the work it takes to get there.

I think our generation has grown up with the belief that we can do anything we want if we put our minds to it. And that’s exactly why we’re growing up mentally crippled. That’s why it’s so hard for us to make a decision, whether that’s to choose a major in college, or decide whether or not to do the more rewarding activity over Netflix and video games.

We don’t like commitment because if we can do anything we want, we feel like we’re closing the door on something potentially greater.

I mean the grass is greener on the other side, right?

Because what we’ve grown up with is this mindset that 1) we don’t know what we want, 2) something amazing is out there, 3) the options are endless, and 4) you only get to taste the benefits of those things by working hard at it.

Most people don’t want to work hard at one thing and spend years on it, because what if it turns out that you find something better? What if it’s not your thing after all? This thought is scary to feel like you’ve wasted time. So instead of hypothetically wasting time, we choose to intentionally waste time instead, with guaranteed entertainment because we know for at least that instant, we won’t be miserable during that episode of Game of Thrones.

I think the solution that the current generation wants is the ability to test a lot of careers out, for the most minimal amount of time, so they can determine the thing they want to do the most.

Sadly, college claims to be this solution.

But when’s the last time a college actually let students test out what it’s like to actually have a career in the field they want to test out? Students spend most of their time in classrooms never working a day in their field except the few who get internships.

There must be a better solution to keep people engaged mentally, while also giving them the opportunity to make money and actually gain experience in the field they want to get into.

Because although the world may be our oyster, we must put in the hard work it takes to get there. We can’t be sitting in a classroom all day.

To get more, do less

I’m tired of people saying they’re busy all of the time.

Not because they’re not actually busy, but because they use it as an excuse not to change anything.

If your busyness is making your life unmanageable, it’s your job to reduce the amount of things you need to do however that needs to be done. You can go the route of elimination of delegation, but the things that don’t give you value in life need to be pushed somewhere else.

We admire all of our heroes for accomplishing great things.

But how did they get there?

It’s by being selective about what they did and minimizing the time they spent on activities and busywork that didn’t make their lives better.

The Key Is To Do Less, Not More

So many times in my life, I’ve wanted to be super fit, learn Japanese, and start my own YouTube show, and also start my own business — often all at the same time.

There’s a reason I haven’t made much progress in any of these and no it’s not because Oreos are delicious.

It’s because I’m trying to do too many things at once.

My focus was too spread out.

Think of focus as a finite amount of energy. It has the shape of a ball. Now if you have many different interests and you spend that time in many different directions during the day, you’ll make some progress, but not much.

Now, when you choose to prioritize things, and spend 2 hours a day on something, you’ll go a lot farther in it than if you had been trying to hit many different goals at once.

 The less you do, the farther you’ll go.

The less you do, the farther you’ll go.

It’s simple math really.

You can spend a little bit of time getting better at something here and there if you do it once or twice per week. But if you put in the time to do it consistently and with focus, you’ll get a lot more done.

Take for example, writing.

You could either write one essay per month like in most college courses, or you could write 500 words per day. Who do you think the better writer is going to be?

The difference over 4 months is enormous.

If your average college paper is 500 words, then over 4 months, you’d have written and thought about 2,000 words. But if you wrote 500 words everyday, then after 4 months, you’d have written at least 60,000 words.

It’s all about committing to practicing the same thing consistently. When you do that, you’ll make monumental increases in your skills and output.

Think about what you’re spending your time on. Can you reduce the things you do, so you can put more energy into a select few things?

Patience vs Complacency

One hard lesson I've learned this year is how slow things take.

You want things to happen fast.

You want progress to happen now.

But often, it takes much longer than you think it will, and you have to be okay with that. You can't force your relationships to develop any faster than you want, whether that's at work or in a romantic setting.

All you can do is take the right steps every day and be patient.

You have to trust the process. Of course you also have to make sure the process will be valuable to you in the end.

But it's not complacency to keep chugging along and get slow results. That's called patience and it's oh so necessary in this fast world.

Children in Adult Bodies

Age is deceptive.

You can look like an adult.

You can talk like an adult.

But deep down inside, your behavior and view on life can be that of a child.

I think the difference between a child and an adult has less to do with age and more to do with these factors (there may be more, but these are the most important I think):

  1. Independence. How well can you function without anyone financing you? Can you handle problems without consulting your parents to fix things? Can you resolve issues by yourself?
  2. Responsibility. Do you take responsibility for your actions, your words, and the effects both of these have on people? Do you take ownership of duties, and reap the benefits and consequences of your actions?
  3. Giving. Do you seek to enhance, or do you seek to take? Do you make other people better, or do you make them worse off? Do you treat people, items, and places with respect, before it's given to you?

An adult has an awareness of all of these traits.

A child struggles to have any of these as the opposite is much easier to maintain. It's easier to be dependent on your parents for money. It's easier to dick around and avoid positions of power where your actions affect others. It's easier to take and receive items than it is to give away what you have.

Adulthood shouldn't be a scary thing.

Instead, we should recognize adulthood as the beautiful realization that you are growing your confidence and competence in life. You're getting better at helping others. And by doing so, you're realizing your human potential.

Two ways to offer a unique skillset

One concept I've been thinking about comes from Robert Greene's Mastery, on the topic of finding your niche, a specialization that makes you an expert.

When it comes to niches, there are two ways you can find this:

1. Choosing a broad field to start your career in, then slowly narrowing your focus until you find your niche.

Or

2. Once you conquer one field, you choose to master another field on your own time if necessary. This allows you to combine two different fields and create a new category of niche.

It's okay no matter which way you go in. But the advantage of niching down is clear: the combo of all of your traits and specialties are what makes you an irresistible hire. It's not about becoming the best at one thing and that's it. It's about becoming really good at this one thing while also being well-versed in this other thing that gives you context in unique environments.

For example, there may be thousands of programmers around, but how many programmers also have a specialization in crypto? In food? In law?

Those combos could be powerful in the right company.

Launch your career before you find your passion

Going off of yesterday's thoughts, I think it's important that young people launch their careers before they worry about finding their passion.

What does this mean?

When I think of launching your career, I mean working a job that is at least is a 50% fit towards your natural inclinations. This has to be something that helps you grow towards becoming the person you want to be.

Most jobs can actually be this career-launching type of job. All it has to do is teach you the norms of the workplace and the culture of being in a culture that rewards performance and character. Once you learn how to navigate the workplace and start gaining experience there, then you can start to build towards finding or creating that career you feel more passionate about.

The game of finding your passion isn't about choosing the perfect job right off the bat.

It's about testing lots of jobs early on to see what you like doing professionally, and what you don't. It may not be a perfect fit, but you'll learn things about what you like and what you don't. You'll start to see what you value in a workplace (whether that's predictability, fun coworkers, or ample opportunity), rather than let others decide for you what is valuable.

Only through testing and just starting on your career instead of spending years "preparing" for your career, can you learn what the perfect fit is for you.

So go ahead and test.

Thoughts on finding happiness wherever you work

Work has always been an interesting subject to me: a lot of my friends hate it and wish they had a life without it, or they wish for a job that aligned with their passions so that work would be something amazing.

I want to investigate these 3 questions that will get you thinking about your relationship with work.

1. Are you getting value from your job?

This can be as simple as how much money you're making. If it helps you sustain a lifestyle that you want, then it may be a good job for you.

If it doesn't necessarily give you as much money as you want, but you love your coworkers and the opportunities available at this company, then it may be a good job for you.

If the skills this job is teaching you helps you further one of your goals in the future, it may be a good job for you.

2. How are you spending your time away from work?

Some call this concept work/life balance.

Whatever you want it to call it, it's extremely important to indulge in your hobbies and relationships that benefit you emotionally and physically. While work fills in a hole professionally in terms of advancement in life, it does not and cannot fill in your other needs as a human being.

Work doesn't need to be your passion. You can pursue your passions outside of work, and work can be the mechanism that allows you the time and resources to pursue your passion.

3. Should you stay or should you quit?

No one's forcing you to work for a company.

If you don't feel like the way they're treating you is right, you can leave. Yes I understand we all need money and we all have responsibilities, but that doesn't excuse you from having a backup plan. If you don't like where you are, you owe it to yourself to be looking around.

If you think that sacrificing a little here and there will be beneficial to you, and that your hard work will be rewarded, then stay. If the value you're getting is tremendous, then stay. Just know that no one is holding you down in one place.

It's your decision.

When life gets busy, you need more activities that ground you

Hey guys.

Little life update: ever since I got my new job and had to move to a new apartment, I've really put writing and a lot of my other enjoyable habits on hold. I didn't really have the time to focus on them, but I've realized now that, when I'm not doing them, I feel worse.

I kept prioritizing things like vegging out after work, spending them with my girlfriend and my dog above other things. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I need to return to my roots. I need to return to the fundamental activities that give me joy and value.

I miss writing.

I miss reading.

I miss working out.

Not doing any of these things for the past month has made me realize how much value these activities bring into my life. Whatever those activities are for you, make sure to do them. No matter how busy life gets, no matter how many responsibilities come your way, make the time for things that give you more peace of mind -- that make you actually enjoy the human experience.

This post is more a promise to myself than anything, but I hope you get something out of it. When life gets busy, don't worry about trying to accomplish a million things at once. Take care of what needs to be taking care of (like your health and financial stability).

But just remember that your financial stability can only be maintained or improved if you really focus on health and make that a priority. Health isn't just about medicine and food. It's about doing the things that you love that stimulate your mind, whether that's playing an instrument, writing, or reading.

It's about having the discipline to excel at your job, while also spending your hours off work to recharge with activities that fill you up.

I'm ready to start taking care of myself again.

For me, that means:

  1. Blogging daily and sharing what I'm learning as I experience life
  2. Focusing on one thing at a time
  3. Meditating daily to get my mind rested
  4. Learning new things
  5. Exercising at least 3-4 times per week
  6. Plan intentionally and visualize my goals

I find that when I do these activities, I move a lot further towards my goals.

Time to get back on that horse again.

It's about damn time.

Please comment below if you'd like to share what your core habits are? The ones that when you don't do them, you feel icky and weird. Looking forward to reading them!