All posts by joeestes

A Blueprint for Greatness.

I’ve been studying ‘greatness’ for a long time. I’ve wanted to see if I could turn ‘greatness’ into an equation visit this web-site. So, I looked at ‘greatness’ in all areas –  Lao Tzu, the creator of Daoism, Stan Musial, Wayne Gretzky,  ‘The Great One’. Then easy ones like, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. What is it that all these people have in common?

Well on the outside you can say things like hard work, determination, they had a vision, but if that’s all that it took to be great then how come everybody else who works hard and has a vision doesn’t rise to their level of success even, and it’s hard for a Jewish guy to say this, but I wouldn’t call Hitler great by any stretch of the imagination, but Hitler did manage to enroll an entire nation into his belief system. How did he do that?

How did Martin Luther King rise above everybody else who was talking about Civil Rights? How did Gandhi who was one of many people who wanted the British out of India enroll people to get beaten up to support his ‘non-violent initiative’? How did Martin Luther King do the same thing? What I’ve found is that there are many elements that have to be in place and they all need to be pointed in the right direction. If one of those things is pointed in the wrong direction you’re foolish or crazy, so there is really not that much difference between Elon Musk and a guy who spends his life trying to dig a hole to China.

The guy who tries to dig a hole to China spends his life pursuing a goal that is almost impossible to achieve. Elon Musk decided he wanted to have an electric car company and build rockets that go into outer space. He could’ve been just as stupid as the guy trying to dig his way to China but he had persistence, perseverance, vision, dog-determination, a single idea, a belief, mountains of focus, and is unconcerned with what other people think.

Oh, and there is one other quality of greatness –  you have to be a ‘jerk’.  I’ll just let you think about that for a moment.

Oh, come on Dan that can’t be true.

Was Gandhi a jerk?  “Yes.”

Was Martin Luther King a jerk?  “Yes.”

Was Harvey Milk a jerk?  “Yes”

Was Nelson Mandela a jerk?  “Yes.”

So, let me explain what I mean by ‘jerk’. So, let’s talk about the qualities of a ‘jerk’.  A jerk doesn’t care what people think about him, he/she is singularly focused. A jerk takes advantage of other people’s generosity, doesn’t give back and doesn’t play fair, under-concerned whether or not you’re happy or satisfied with them, thinks they deserve everything and has to give back nothing.

They absolutely always think that they are right. They will not ever admit they are wrong and no matter how you try to express your point of view what they believe is always more important than what you believe. They don’t engage in what we consider to be common courtesy and they tend to treat you like a thing rather than a person.

So, let me tell you a ‘jerk’ story. So, this ‘jerk’ is digging in an abandoned gold mine and he manages to convince the son of a wealthy businessman to come and dig in this abandoned gold mine with him. There is very little chance of success, but the jerk guy spins a big story and tells them how successful they are going to be and the kid believes him. So, after a long day and night,  the businessman comes and says, “Look, I’ve got to have my son back. I can’t convince him to leave you. You’ve brainwashed him.  So, here is what I’m going to do. I’ll give you ten thousand dollars to tell my son that this is a bad idea and to come back and be with me”.

The jerk guy says, “Tell you what I’m going to do. Give me the ten thousand dollars and I’m going to keep your son and you and your wife and have you come and dig in my gold mine too –  that’s the deal.”  Sound like a jerk? That’s a true story; only it’s not about a guy and a gold mine. It’s about Gandhi and a wealthy businessman’s son who was working for Gandhi because Gandhi made him believe he could get the British out of India, and everybody knew he was crazy and it couldn’t be done.

So, that businessman was willing to donate to Gandhi’s cause just to get his son back and Gandhi said the very same thing, “I’m keeping your son. Give me the money and you and your wife come work for me”. Now that story takes on a different perspective because we know its Gandhi, but it really is the same story as the guy in the gold mine.

So, I ask you  – How great do you want to live your life? How unpopular are you willing to be to follow a vision? How many people who you love are you willing to disappoint? How many fires are you willing to stand in? Henry Ford bankrupted five automobile companies before starting Ford Motor Company. Do you think he was well liked by the people whose money he took? How was he able to convince the sixth investor after five failures to invest in him? He probably lied, he probably made promises he wasn’t sure he could keep, so if you want greatness your very first destination is loneliness, unpopularity, criticism, rejection, and absolute 100% encouragement from the people you trust the most to tell you to stop doing what you’re doing.

You’re going to lose friends. You’re going to lose the respect of family members. It absolutely will positively not be pretty. There will be no guarantee of success. You might spend a lifetime digging in an abandoned mine and never find gold and suffer the fate of being the fool that everybody claimed you to be or you may be Gandhi. How big do you want to play? How great can you stand it?

Play Ball!

If baseball players played baseball the way that most business owners do their marketing they would be running out onto the field swinging a couple of bats, kicking a ball, jumping up and down on the bases, and trying to put their gloves on their head. They would have a rough idea about how the game is played but they would be going about it all wrong. What they would be missing would be rules and strategy.

Your marketing approach must have a strategy behind it or you will be haphazardly using the tools of marketing in completely the wrong way. When I begin working with client I learn specifically what they’re struggling with in their business and what they want to achieve so I can design a marketing strategy specifically for them. So, you can be laser focused on winning the game while all the other teams are just playing with their balls.

Kodak’s Multi-billion $ mistake.

In 1973, Kodak asked one of its engineers, 24 year old Steven Sasson to find a practical use for this new thing called a C.C.D. that could convert light to electrical signals. To Steve, this sounded like an electronic version of film. He wondered if he could use it to take an electronic photograph.


The problem was that once you take an electronic photograph where do you put it? Fortunately there was a new process called digitalization that turned electronic signals into something that can be recorded on to a magnetic tape. It was the same way music was recorded onto cassettes spilleautomater elements and that is exactly what Steven used, a music cassette.

After months of soldered circuit boards and piecing together the electronics, Steven had created the world’s first digital camera. No film, no paper, just still images displayed on a TV screen. In a world that was still two years away from Star Wars, this was revolutionary.

He pulled together all the suits at Kodak and demonstrated his new invention. There, he took a digital photograph of the group, waited about 30 seconds for the picture to record to the tape and then waited another 30 seconds for the playback system to put it up on the screen. There it was, the future of photography in a tiny little black and white 100 x 100 pixel image (For comparison your phone shoots a 2000 x 3000 pixel image).

What he got back from the executives was not cheers and adulation but a collective, “Meh.” Their response was, “Who would want to look at pictures on a television set?” They didn’t see what it COULD be only what it was. Photos as film and paper had been around for over 100 years. No one was asking for anything new so why should they give it to them?

Also, seo one click income was based on the current process. From cameras to film to photographic paper, Kodak made money all the way through. Putting out an electronic camera seemed like they would be building their own gallows and sticking their head in the noose. So the executives did what executives do and they made an executive decision to bury the idea. In the years that followed, film and paper photography dwindled while the digital camera revolution took over. Kodak fought it all the way.

Eventually they did create their own digital cameras but it was too late. The Kodak brand had come to represent the past while Canon, Panasonic and Samsung took over. Kodak’s earnings plummeted.

In 2012, the company whose name had been synonymous with photography for over 120 years filed for bankruptcy. Kodak, like so many others didn’t know what business they were in. They were in the photography business when actually they were in the memories business. Photos don’t capture images of stuff, they capture moments in time. These are the special human experiences we want to remember like a child’s first steps or a daughter’s wedding day. Steven Sassoon had given them another way to capture memories but they couldn’t see it.

Instead they became afraid of what was new. They couldn’t visualize a world where film and paper photography didn’t exist. They thought that digital photography would bankrupt the company. Ironically it did but only because they failed to embrace it.

They tried to suppress evolution. Just like the cab companies trying to suppress Uber, the hotels trying to keep AirB&B down and Blockbuster turning their nose up at Netflix. It never works. We are a species with a life force that makes us determined to evolve. We always want to know what’s next. Sailing ships to the New World wasn’t enough so we landed men on the moon and we have not stopped there.

The future of your business depends on you embracing evolutionary thinking. Not for the distant future and not for the future a decade away. The future is right now and tomorrow. In 1975 an invention took 30 years to sink Kodak. In 2007 an invention took just two years to sink Blockbuster. To compete, survive and thrive you must be constantly asking yourself, “What’s next?”

How we STOP ourselves from success.

Most everything that we struggle with in business and in life is a story that we tell ourselves. It’s a story of what we think might happen and unfortunately, it’s usually a pretty bad story.


There are very few things that we struggle with that are actually taking place in the moment. Our struggles mostly live in the future or the past. Sure, it might seem like the struggle is happening in the moment when your boss comes in telling you that a report needs to be on his desk in an hour and you’re sure then it will take two hours to complete. Isn’t that happening in the moment? Actually, no. It isn’t.

What is actually happening in the moment is that you are running a little movie in your head. This movie is set in the future, one hour from now. In it, the main character, you, walks into your boss’s office and tells him that the report is not done. Then the boss flies off the handle, fires you and you end up living under a bridge or something like that.  But none of that is really happening at all. All that is really happening in the moment is that there is a task to complete. Nothing more. So why do we get so effected? It is because the emotional part of our brain takes all of its cues from the intellectual part of our brain. The emotional part doesn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. When you run the little movie about you getting fired your emotional brain thinks that it’s actually happening.

The other movie that often gets run is one that takes place in the past. In that movie, your boss, a high school football coach, your mother or father or any other number of people jibe and harangue you for making a mistake. That movie has him imprinted a powerful emotion we call shame. It feels bad and we want to avoid repeating it at all costs. Therefore, we run the movie of the past as a cautionary tale for what we might encounter in the near future.

Regardless of which or both movies get screened, the result is the same. A series of biological triggers occur in your body like an emotional avalanche. You go into fight or flight mode. Your heart rate increases, your eyes dilate, you are flooded with adrenaline. All of this shuts down the creative pipeline that feeds ideas to your consciousness. The movies overwhelm and short circuit all of your other thoughts. Now, your ability to invent creative solutions to your problems is squeezed off like kinking a garden hose.

So, why does this have to happen at all? What is the point? Why do we do this to ourselves? This whole process is actually the body and mind attempting to predict dangerous situations so it can prepare you for the proper response. The problem is that the human software running this program was written about 3 million years ago. It was originally designed to anticipate things like avoiding saber tooth tigers. Back then those were really big problems for people. Today, we rarely encounter situations today that put our life in immediate danger but the software doesn’t know that. So when it signals a danger response, it is literally placing you in what feels like a life or death situation.The irony in all of this is that, when you think back on all of those stories you have told yourself, you will discover that no more than 10% of them come true. Things most often times work out. Not all the time, but they do most of the time. So freaking yourself out is like betting the farm on a longshot that time and again has never come through. It’s a bad bet and you really need to stop placing it.

By bringing your self back into the conscious moment, you recognize that nothing is actually happening right then. This allows you to calm yourself down and re-open the creative centers of your mind. In doing so you will suddenly find new and unrealized solutions for the problems at hand. It is entirely likely that one hour is all you need to complete that report Perhaps someone else in the office has knowledge that could reduce the time it takes or, maybe a few of your friends can pitch in and help you completed in time. Yet, none of these solutions would ever occur to you when your body is in fight or flight mode.

The hbcontrols business people choose a meditation practice or take a walk outside during lunch. This seemingly wasteful use of time actually propels they’re thinking forward allowing them 360° views of the problems they face in their business.

Remember these two truths:

  • The scary stories we tell ourselves about our past is shame.
  • The scary stories we tell ourselves about our future is stress.

Neither are real. All that is real is what is happening in your present moment. Do your best to keep yourself there. You will find that it is a much more tangible place where are only real things exist. For example, in this present moment you have just read the last word of this article.

Choices, the less the better.

As Americans we define ourselves as free people because we are at choice. We choose the car we want to buy, The candy bar we want to eat. We choose who we want to marry or we choose not to marry at all. We consider choice the hallmark of ourselves as free people.


Yet, it’s ironic that in cultures where people have fewer choices they tend to be happier. In fact, when those cultures are given more choices at first they are excited but then they come to find that choice is a burden and they’ve return to a life of fewer choices. This is interesting to me because I am in the business of choice. My job is to get you to choose the product or service of my client over the product or service of your competition.

Now I know that choices are based on an emotional equation. In other words nobody buys a Harley-Davidson motorcycle because they have found that is a Harley is the best motorcycle based on maintenance records and longevity, Miles per gallon, comfortable seating, etc.. Here you can find Florida home cleaning service to disinfect your home against COVID-19. They buy a Harley to be a part of the Harley-Davidson culture. No knowing and understanding this hi have a more unique approach to choice. I don’t merely examine the product and say, ha ha here is how to get the people to buy this. Instead, hi, in a small way, fall in love with the product. And the clients selling them.

Those of you who have worked with me will attest to that. I become emotionally involved. I become the one having the experience that I want the consumers out there to have. I become emotionally attached to my client and their product. In forming that attachment I developed the methodology by which I want others to form the same attachment I’ll admit it’s much more exhausting as a marketer then just trying to sell stuff. But it is the way I do it because I know it’s the way that people out there make choices too.

By assigning a direct emotional quality to a product or service that fits a specific market segment, I remove the burden of choice off of the people who were trying to make choices and make them feel a little happier just like the cultures who have less choices in their society. Complicated? You bet! Productive? Absolutely! It’s how I do what I do.

The Narcissism of Compassion.

In my company, when we start with the new client, we begin with a half day workshop called the New Client Workshop. Pretty snazzy name, right? In it, I do a deep analysis of the person’s business. It’s sort of like taking your company to a therapist’s office. We explore all the values so I can better understand the brand and eventually get to the intersection of money and personal passion. It is the very thing that drove people to get into the line of work that they are in. And strangely enough, regardless of the business, and what they produce be at a product, service or otherwise, the reason they got into business always boils down to the very same thing they want to help people.

In fact, I have never had a client, who didn’t say that at the core they wanted to help people. Really? I would ask them, this isn’t just about the money? No, they would reply. I want to be helpful. I want to make people’s lives better. In researching this I found it is true. At the core of our humanity is a deep desire to be connected with each other and in so much to be a force of good, adding something to people’s lives.

It seemed a bit ironic that with all the upset in the world, with all the war and strife, we are actually, at our core, all a bunch of Mother Teresa’s and Gandhi’s walking around. How can this possibly be? I discovered that it is largely due to fear. Fear and anger or fear and hatred are roughly the same thing. I am afraid that I won’t have my needs met, I therefore have to supersede my natural proclivity of being helpful and in-service to make sure that my needs are met first.

It seems to be why at the end of the great career of captains of industries, they shift their focus into philanthropic endeavors. Andrew Carnegie didn’t build Carnegie Hall at the height of his career he built it after he had amassed a great fortune, More than he could ever use in his lifetime. It wasn’t until the end of his career that he started to consider what he could offer to the world. So then the question is are we truly compassionate or are we doing ask of service for the narcissistic hit it gives us? While Carnegie Hall has served the public by providing a place for artists and patrons to come together however, let’s face it, the guy’s name is still on the side of the building. Does the narcissism of altruism take anything away from generosity? I would have to say no. Whether we give and get something back for it in the realm of notoriety or just a good feeling or whether we give and get nothing back from met does not change the fact that by giving we are contributing to others in the greater good.

The human animal is a social species. We must be connected with each other. You can think about it this way, the prison in prison is solitary confinement. On the outside being away from all the rapists, murderers, child molesters and all the other crazy people seems like a pretty good deal. You would think anybody would enjoy a little quiet time to oneself. However, as humans being cut off from relationship even if those relationships are horrific is untenable. We cannot exist alone. We need to each other. It is in our core DNA. It is who we are. In the Tom Hanks movie castaway, During a pivotal scene, Tom says to his volleyball friend, Wilson, that he would rather die on his raft out in the ocean in an attempt to reconnect with society then live another day alone on that island. Indeed, we do need to each other.

We cannot exist alone. Part of that truth is that we want to help and support others. It is simply in the nature of being human. As a marketing and business development consultant I consider it my job to help steer my clients towards this genetic goal of being helpful. When they come to me, their primary concern is generating more income but I recognize that here is also the desire to serve the public trust.

The people we choose as clients and the clients who choose us tend to understand this about themselves and the world. We do our best to keep that goal in front of them. I let them know that we won’t simply be increasing their bank account but we’ll also be doing things and in ways that will make the lives of their customers and clients better. By keeping an overall focus of where we contribute ultimately produces greater success, Satisfaction and income. In that way, Being altruistic, is important to one’s bottom-line.

So yes we feel good when we are compassionate and do acts of service. It contributes to us as we contribute to others. It’s a good living. Remind my clients that they don’t have to make excuses for being helpful. Getting from giving is mostly who we are. They don’t have to be afraid of looking in the mirror and saying, what’s in it for me? Certainly the Apple Corporation has enhance the lives of millions of people while making billions of dollars. The narcissism of compassion drives us to do good deeds. The people reaping the benefits of it don’t really care if we are you getting something from it or not. All they know is that they are. Being good to others is being good to ourselves and it’s being in good business.