For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.
It’s the shortest, most impactful story ever written. The story goes that Ernest Hemingway wrote the gut-punching line to win a bet against his writer friends. Of course, there’s no evidence that such a bet ever took place, and some even question whether Hemingway really wrote it.
It does illustrate an interesting point: impactful copy doesn’t have to be long. As Carre Le Page, Global Head of Content for the Flight Centre Travel Group once said on his LinkedIn page: “It appears that no one is reading your 850 word blogs or eight-page case studies.”
Carre referred to the concept of ‘Smart Brevity’, a notion coined by journalist and businessman Jim VandeHei. You see, the truth is that we have never been more distracted. In fact, the average person checks their phone at least 250 times a day.
Worse: The University of California Irvine study found that, when we’re distracted by something, it takes us 20 minutes to truly refocus. And if we DO choose to read something, we spend an average 26 seconds on it.
So, what does that mean for someone who is trying to grab someone else’s attention with the right marketing? Besides the fact that you only have 26 seconds to do it?
The key answer is: Focus.
Writer Paul Graham introduced a thought-provoking theory called ‘The Top Idea in Your Mind’. The idea is simple yet powerful: the topic that occupies your thoughts while you’re in the shower or during moments of idle reflection is the strongest indicator of your priorities and focus.
According to Graham, “The Top Idea in Your Mind is like the background app that runs in your brain, consuming resources and shaping your actions.”
So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a budding writer, and you spend your time in the shower thinking about how to arrange your socks in the drawer, chances are your focus is “misaligned”.
You see while you find yourself entangled in the mysteries of sock organisation, contemplating the perfect pairings and the possibility of a hidden sock society, your true passions and goals don’t get the attention they deserve.
So, realign your focus to your true passion and inspiration, and dare to be brave.
When doubt creeps in, and it inevitably will, embrace it as a natural part of the creative process. It’s okay to have bad ideas or to encounter setbacks. The greatest minds of our world had some of the weirdest ideas. Just think of Edison and his scary-looking ‘speaking’ doll that struck fear into the hearts of children and adults alike. But nobody held it against him. After all, he gave us lights (until Eskom took them away again of course).
So, what will you focus on the next time you’re in the shower? Let your thoughts guide you towards your true passions, and unleash your potential for greatness.
Turning Challenges into Opportunities: The Dubrovnik and Portofino Edition
by Steph Reinstein
Dubrovnik, Croatia, known for its historic charm, said “shhh!” to wheeled suitcases to keep the peace. Rather than leave tourists in a lurch, local businesses could roll out the ‘Cobblestone Care Package’. This solution can enable visitors to rent hand-woven baskets to carry their belongings instead. To add a touch of culture, each basket comes with a booklet detailing the rich heritage of Dubrovnik’s streets. The city’s tranquillity remains undisturbed, and tourists get a more authentic experience.
Meanwhile, in Portofino, Italy, stopping in the street might cost you a hefty €275. Enter the Portofino Promenade Challenge. Local businesses could come together and create a mobile app that rewards tourists for their continuous walking with virtual coins. These coins can be redeemed at local shops for discounts on coffee, gelato, and souvenirs. The app also provides fun historical trivia and recommends picturesque spots for photo opportunities (where it’s okay to stop!). The streets stay fluid, and visitors enjoy an active and engaging experience.
Necessity is the mother of invention – Dubrovnik and Portofino can, with a dash of creativity, transform challenges into rewarding and lucrative opportunities.
Ignite your Leadership Superpower: Unleashing Extraordinary Success in the Professional Arena
by Teresa Richardson
Just like superheroes possess unique superpowers, individuals in the business world have their own extraordinary traits that set them apart. These superpower traits in leadership, inspired by the DISC personality system, hold immense value in understanding ourselves and excelling in the professional realm.
Discovering your own superpowers can help you unleash your full potential for success in leadership. Which of these superpower traits do you possess? Now, think about the members of your team. What are their superpower traits?
Influencing others: Imagine possessing the ability to inspire and influence others effortlessly, like a charismatic superhero. Your superpower trait lies in captivating hearts and minds, making you an influential leader and motivator.
Directing: Just as superheroes provide clear guidance and direction to save the day, your superpower lies in leading and steering others towards success. Your clarity of vision, assertiveness, and decisive nature make you an invaluable asset in aligning individuals and teams with organisational goals.
Processing: Similar to superheroes analysing situations with precision, your superpower lies in assessing needs and modelling tasks effectively. You possess the ability to break down complex problems into manageable steps, creating streamlined processes that boost productivity and drive business growth.
Detailing: Like superheroes with a keen eye for detail, your superpower lies in organising and comprehending intricate aspects of processes and tasks. Your meticulous approach ensures accuracy and precision in your work, making you indispensable in handling complex projects.
Creating: Imaging being a superhero with the power of boundless creativity and innovation. Your superpower lies in inventing original means of accomplishing tasks and goals. You are resourceful, imaginative, and capable of producing fresh concepts and ideas that drive forward-thinking initiatives.
Persisting: Resilience and perseverance are qualities that define superheroes, and your superpower lies in overcoming challenges and adversity. You possess unwavering determination and tenacity under pressure, thriving in demanding conditions where others falter.
Relating: Just as superheroes build alliances and foster unity, your superpower lies in building solid relationships. Your ability to connect with people and involve them in your projects creates a harmonious work environment. Your superpower of building relationships promotes collaboration, effective teamwork, and ultimately creates a more integrated and successful business ecosystem.
By understanding and embracing your own superpower, along with recognising the superpowers of your team members, you maximise the overall strength of the team and gear it towards success. Together, harnessing everyone’s unique abilities, you create a dynamic force capable of achieving extraordinary results. So, dive deep into self-discovery and uncover the superpowers within.
What the world was musing over?
Bridge Escape: baboons outsmart lions with dangling antics
In a jaw-dropping spectacle, quick-thinking baboons turn into daredevil acrobats as they hang precariously from a bridge, skilfully evading a group of regal lions on a leisurely stroll above. Safari guide Mike Botes filmed several baboons on a recent game drive in the MalaMala Game Reserve.
Your remote work paradise for €1 per month
The local council of Ollolai in Sardinia promises a rental fee of just €1 per month for ten selected newcomers. Just recently, the local council made a public call for all those interested in working remotely from the village, with it saying, “Are you interested in working remotely from beautiful Sardinia for just €1?” and noting that all those wishing to take a chance will be “close proximity to untouched nature, delectable cuisine, and the incredible nearby beaches.”
Getting creative with in-flight entertainment
Inflight entertainment may come as standard on most long-haul flights, but when flying with no-frills carriers passengers usually have to come up with ways to keep themselves occupied. One innovative traveller was spotted making his own entertainment: he got out a projector and used it to play a movie on the overhead bin.
Diet water anyone?
Some of the weirdest room service demands include ‘diet water’, melted ice cream – and rice bowls for dogs. That’s according to the Room Service Report published by Hotels.com. Other bizarre requests included boiled bottled water, a giant serving of bison and blowfish, and one respondent even requested a fish they had brought with them be cooked and served.