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Entrepreneur

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Are You A Perfectionist

Are You A Perfectionist?

(Video Duration 6 mins)
Do you have a project or idea that never seems quite ready, then this will help.

Video Transcript Below
This is not advice about marketing as such it is about how you apply yourself to your business, projects and passions. A friend of mine Thad Cox shared a post on his Facebook Group recently and he was talking about the problems of being a perfectionist. If you’re a perfectionist, you tend to not get things done or you have projects that just stick around for ages because they are never quite ready.

It is a bit like if you take on anything new, you have to make sure you buy all the right equipment, all the right software and read all the right books before you even start it. Then ironically all these things can mean you never actually start at all!

I have never really been that kind of person, my approach has been I have an idea and when I am about 50 to 60% ready and I launch it. I just go for it, even though it’s not quite ready (sometimes nowhere near ready). I just launch into it, this is because I have always felt that the best ideas come once a project or an idea are actually running. It is also when you start to see what doesn’t work. You start to see things from a different perspective and you start to adapt and come up with things that you would never do otherwise. If it was still in the kind of laboratory stage, or you were still writing your business plan you may not see these new ideas or a way ahead.

But the reason I’m saying all this is that I have noticed that I’ve changed.

When I read Thad’s post it made me realise that I have got a couple of projects that really should be further down the line than they actually are. Basically I have been copying them over from my weekly to-do list from one week to the next. I might make a note that it has to be launched by Friday, and then I cross it off at the end of the week and on Monday write it in again!  As I said this is very unlike me, so why is this?

The reason is that when I look back at when I started my business or whatever projects I have done in my life, I have basically just used my gut feeling and maybe touched base with one or two people. I have then just thought, that’s enough info and I move to the next stage of implementation or launch.

So what is different?

Now I have access to the whole world via the internet.

I have access to unlimited voices via social media from Twitter to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to YouTube, whatever my concern is, I can type that concern into a search box and what will return will be 1000s of pages, videos and posts of people’s opinions and experience on what they think.

So then I have to go through all of this data and media thinking should I listen to that person or follow that path, do this or do that. There will be some people saying it will not work or has been done before even though each answer it actually not 100% relevant to what you are trying to do. The result can be a feeling of being overwhelmed and as a result, you put off doing anything and park your idea yet again.

The problem with perfectionism is that we now don’t have the confidence in our own gut feeling because we feel that whatever we’re going to do we need to check with others before we do anything. It could be something as simple as watching a film on Netflix.  Instead of just thinking, well, that looks good, we Google it to see what other people think. Then we read a few reviews and then see that only seven out of ten people rated the film. So worry if it worth watching it?

So if we that over watching a film, what happens when it is something bigger like a project that’s going to have financial implications attached to it?. We can have worries about what people may think and keep collecting more data carrying out more searches until our perfectionism just says let’s look at this again next week.

So this made me think on this one particular project I have been putting off for a while.  I sat and did my best to think of all the variables and started to go down another rabbit hole and still could not see a way forward.

There was only one solution, something I would have always done before – I just launched it and stepped back.

What happened Next

And as soon as I launched it, literally within two minutes, the answer to the problem appeared. This was because I could see it in a live instance and straight away I could see what I needed to do.

As humans, we are like a ship that has been launched. It’s too late to go back to port for a complete refit. However, we can fix and tweak things as we carry on with our journey. This is your journey of life,  your projects and your passions. Even when you tweak things along this journey, it’s not going to be perfect. Each tweak will either push you forward or you may slide back, and then you’ll see a different way and you’ll go forward again.

The real problem in being a perfectionist is you are trying to control every outcome and imagine every possible variable. This is impossible. Once your idea has wings it is time to fly. It may feel scary but that is where the real creative opportunities are.

Phil Aston

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

A situation only becomes favourable when one adapts to it

Cornwall SEO Agency

 

“A situation only becomes favourable when one adapts to it”
In May 2004 we started our own business in Cornwall.

When we started we saw our initial business plan collapse within weeks and we had to quickly pivot to ensure we did not lose our business and our house. This taught us a lot and gave us the tools and skills to adapt quickly to change.

With Covid-19 appearing, we thought we were facing a similar dilemma.
However, a phrase that worked back then also worked this time around.

“A situation only becomes favourable when one adapts to it” ( I Ching)

Now as we head towards our anniversary date we are thankful to our current clients for their support and happy to say we are now expanding the business globally with new clients, ideas and services.

NB: Although Genius Loci Media is our main business name, as well as the Digital Agency it also includes Classical Strings Weddings, Sue Aston Music, Now Spinning and Yoga at Work.
One day we will write our story to help others who may be thinking of starting their own business.

Phil Aston

Genius Loci Media | Digital Marketing Support | +44(0)1736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Digital Marketing Masterclass with Phil Aston

Very honoured to have been asked to be on ‘The Thaducation Podcast’ with Thad Cox

In this podcast, I tell our story about how Genius Loci Media was set up, the risks we took, the mistakes we made, how we learnt to pivot when required and then go on to become a very successful Digital Agency.

I also cover lots of tips on how to use Social Media and promote yourself using digital media.

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Phil Aston’s Three Rules For Content Marketing on Social Media

My three rules for content marketing on Social Media

  1. Does it help?
  2. Will it make people smile?
  3. Will it inspire?
If you are unsure – don’t postThese are the three rules I use for all my social media posts for myself and my clients.
If I was to expand on this it would be on point number 1, to also ensure that what you are going to post not only helps but does not cause harm to anyone.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

How Social Media Can Drive Social Mobility

This is a video chat I did with Timothy Hughes from Digital Leadership Associates

During the video I talk about our move to Cornwall, with no job, no way of supporting ourselves and only 9 months of money.

It is a story about perseverance and the power of Social Media.

I talk about my journey as well as how anybody (from wherever background) can start and run a global company using social media.

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

You Don’t Need To Be Authentic – You Just Need to Be Yourself

(Video Duration 2.28 mins – Transcript Below)

I saw a video today about telling everyone to be authentic with their business.

There’s a lot of this about now and I think the word authentic has been around,
since Google Plus was, everyone’s saying how important it is to be yourself.

I want to go a bit further than that and actually say, be nice. Be nice to people.
Think about the words you are going to use on social media, about do they help?

Will they make somebody smile? They’re not going to make anyone feel worse,
or upset somebody or make them feel insecure about anything?

That to me, is the baseline of what you should be doing on social media.
As Metallica would say ‘Nothing else really matters’.

I think one of the problems I see with anything to do with marketing,
is all these lead generation stuff, and if you do this, people will buy your stuff,
and if you do this, people will enter your sales funnel or something.

They’re all things that you yourself probably wouldn’t do,
because you’d think “Oh, I’m not going to do that.” The people you’re doing that to are you.
They’re just like you. So if you wouldn’t fall for it, why do you think someone else will?

I think the whole point of social media or online marketing really is not just being authentic,
you’ve just got to be yourself, so you’re going to be authentic anyway.

I think if you’re looking for someone else to tell you how to be authentic,
I think you’re a bit lost. And no one else can teach you this,
because they’re trying to teach you how to be you. You are already that person.

Be nice, and I know people think the word nice doesn’t sound strong enough, it is.
Empathy, connecting with people is Social Media.
Social media’s going to go through some massive changes soon,
and a lot of people are going to start to probably question how much time they spend here,
so it’s about connections, it’s about taking care of the people you connect with,
and listening to them

Thinking how you can help people, how you can learn from people,
how you can create things that help others.

That is social media and that is running a business online.

Thank you

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Business Tips for Entrepreneurs – Time Management

When you are self-employed your time is everything, what you can end up doing is working all the time.
This can be 80-100 hours a week, it can just happen!
You find you never switch off because there is so much to do, but you can start to feel boxed in.

One of the things I learnt (and it took me a while to learn this lesson) is when you do your ‘to do list’ at the end of each day you do not make it too long.

I used to get a piece of A4 paper and write down all the things I had to do the next day. And it is amazing how easy it is to just fill the whole side of the paper with tasks.

But guess what, you cannot do that many tasks, so you end up crossing off a few which makes you feel ok and then you just copy over everything left over onto the next day’s list.

There will also be some tasks that get copied over time and time again because you do not really want to do them.
This approach can start to really grind you down and you start to lose your creative edge.

So what I recommend is to have no more than three or four tasks on your to-do list. If you have a very large project split this into smaller chunks so at the end of the day all items have been completed.

This approach will also ensure you have time for those emails or phone calls that come in from clients that need to be actioned or even new enquiries!

Thanks

Phil

Genius Loci Media
www.geniusloci.co.uk

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Why Are We Called ‘Genius Loci’ and What Does It Mean?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is why are we called ‘Genius Loci’ and what does it mean?
You do sometimes see the phrase used and it tends to be people connected to the environment or even architects. There is a reason for this. Genius Loci means ‘The Spirit of Place’ in Latin.
How we came up with this name is down to my wife and business partner Sue Aston. Sue is a well-known composer and 1999 recorded her first album ‘Sacred Landscapes’ inspired by the landscape of Cornwall and our love of the environment and nature.
The phrase ‘Spirit of Place’ described how this landscape spoke to us and Genius Loci was born.

We registered the name ‘Genius Loci’ then and started as a music label. We were one of the first independents to trade online. As well as selling music online our reputation quickly grew for SEO and online marketing as we were everywhere. The business moved to Cornwall and established itself very quickly as a leading consultancy for online marketing.

The fact we are a Digital Marketing Agency, the essence of the landscape, nature and being an ethical business is at the heart of what we do. Outside of our business both of us practice mindfulness, yoga and do our best to help the planet, reducing our use of plastic, palm oil and eating organically whenever we can.

This is the same in how we work with our clients. We have a very strong ethical bond with the people we work with. We want to help people be successful but not at the expense of anything or anyone else.
So Genius Loci – The Spirit of Place is what we are about. It is the bedrock on what we, the business, is built on.
We promote people and their businesses ensuring we help grow their business in a sustainable and ethical way.

If you want to know more about us and how we can help you then please get in touch and I would be delighted to talk to you.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media
Digital Marketing Support
www.geniusloci.co.uk

01736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

GDPR – Don’t Panic

GDPR, I guess many people are already fed up with this.

I just want to say don’t panic. The main thing I want to draw people’s attention to, (because I can see this happening) is when we reach May 26th there are going to be scammers everywhere sending you emails saying you do not comply, you could get fined etc. But if you pay us a fee we can help you out. Please don’t fall for this.

As you know we work in SEO and it is a bit like those online SEO audits which can find fault or errors with any website. Most of these errors are false positives. For GDPR there are already websites which can check your website for cookies and then tell you that you are none compliant.

A lot of GDPR is common sense. From what I know there will be about 60 people enforcing GDPR and they are not going to come after all small businesses just because you are not quite ready.

You do not have to stop using companies or software because you are worried they are not compliant. They are also working towards it. Use what is best for your business.

Also, have a statement about what you do use personal data for and how long you keep it. For example, if you use PayPal for your online sales and you use their system you might only print off the customer’s address to stick on a jiffy bag.

I was a lead auditor for ISO9000 in a past life and what we used to look for was the intent that you were working towards the standard. Not everyone is going to have everything in place by May 26th, but you can have a lot ready.
If you can show evidence that you are putting procedures in place to comply that will go a long way. You should only worry if you are doing something dodgy!

Essentials are making sure your Privacy Policy is up to date, you know what cookies you use and why. There are plenty of WordPress Plugins which can help here.

So

  • Update Your Privacy Policy
  • State what Cookies you use – analytics etc
  • Have a document that states what data you keep and for how long – most probably this will be for tax reasons so document this and don’t panic.
Thanks Phil
by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Being an entrepreneur – The work life balance

Being an entrepreneur is about finding your own path, using your own footsteps, not just putting on someone else’s shoes. You don’t have to be anyone else but yourself.

Video duration 2mins 30 seconds – text below

I am actually a fan of Gary Vee. I am sure many of you know him. He is a very loud American who swears a lot. He is always hustling and runs a large media company in New York and wants to buy the Jets. I have bought his books and I watch a lot of his videos.
However, I am not like Gary Vee. His idea is that you should be hustling 14 hours a day. A lot of his videos start with him running around New York in his sneakers, drinking coffee at 5am and making connections.

I am happy to build my business and class myself as an entrepreneur. However, my entrepreneurship is based on work, life balance and being in nature is the balance.
I need to have time to recharge my batteries, actually I don’t function that well if I am hustling all the time. I need time to be in the landscape, I need time to walk, time to have some stillness, I need time for a bit of mindfulness, I need time to be creative. I need time to think about how I can help my clients and just working flat out is not my idea of building an empire.

In fact I do not want to build an empire. I want to build a business that is sustainable, ethical and gives me time to support my family and enjoy my life.
I have seen so many of my contemporaries kind of fall off their horses and not get on them again through burn out or more serious issues and I am determined and will try my damnedest to ensure that will not happen to me. I know how easy it is for that to happen. It is great to be busy all the time, checking things all the time, but you need to have space, you need to have space between what you are working on so you can create new ideas and live your life.

So yes, Gary Vee is a great inspiration, but there are aspects of what he does that I don’t sign up for. The whole thing about being an entrepreneur, is finding your own path, using your own footsteps, not just putting on someone else’s shoes.
So great for Gary Vee, I still like what he does, but find your own story and share that, document that. You don’t have to be anyone else but yourself.

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