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Alternative book covers

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I sure hope you’ve read my books. They might not be perfect but hopefully enough for a little amusement. I’m currently at work on my third novel and try to squeeze in some night-time writing. Passion fuels energy etc…

These are two “covers” I whipped up in a few minutes featuring two of the locations in The Wake-Up Call (New York) and Hollywood Assistant (Los Angeles). My third novel is set in another place close to my heart, Washington D.C.

It will be out in 2016.
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More than one purpose

nature-sky-sunset-man

Really love this thinking from James Altucher. Another inspirational writer, Jeff Goins, calls it the “portfolio lifestyle”. What they mean is: don’t stress. You don’t need to settle for just one career. Keep growing and stay creative and things will happen.

Amen to that.

Everyone thinks they need to focus on one thing. To be good at “their purpose” and that’s it. This is a myth perpetrated by the beginning of the industrial age when factory owners wanted workers to just do one thing all day long, 12 hours a day. Hitting the same hammer against the same nail.

There is no one purpose. The average successful person has 14 different careers in their lifetime. If you stick with one thing, you never get a chance to have “idea sex” – to become the master of the intersection of two totally different areas.

This is how change is made; this is how innovation happens.

Star Wars Quotes Infographic

Since Star Wars is all the rage now with episode 7 “Force Awakens” receiving some great reviews, I decided to start the first day of 2016 posting an inspirational poster from the Star Wars universe. I found it at DesignTaxi.

I think it’s suitable in a time of New Year resolutions.

My top Star Wars quotes:

  1. Do or do not…there is no try. – Yoda
  2. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. – Yoda
  3. In my experience there is no such thing as luck. – Ben Kenobi
  4. Your focus determines your reality. – Qui-Gon Jinn

PS. I thought “Star Wars Force Awakens” was really good, although I think it over-recycled a bit too much from the original trilogy. DS.

starwarsquotes

Proud of Äkta Hjältar

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.21.08 AM

I’m not working with Betsson anymore, but I’m very proud of our project “Äkta Hjältar” (Real Heroes) which is all about celebrating the true sports heroes in our society. The episodes are in Swedish for now. First sports star: Sanna Kallur. Big kudos to Stefan Bladh who has done a massive job on this project. http://www.aktahjaltar.se

 

Own your customer’s problem

when-the-customer-isnt-right-in-sales-salesman1Current mood.

So. The last two days I had a bit of an issue with my phone. Well, it’s not exactly my phone which is actually a breeze to use (iPhone 6s), it’s my phone service provider, GO.

You see, I’ve had a corporate subscription with GO for years. I’ve now left my previous company to join a startup. In the startup we use another supplier instead of GO which means we need to do a transition so I can keep my eight-year-old number. So what should have happened is the following:

Previous company cancels corporate subscription and downgrades it to a prepaid. I use a prepaid until the transfer between new supplier and GO is made. I keep my number and everyone is happy (well, maybe not GO, but who cares?).

The problem is that right now I can’t call from my phone. Why? Well, my subscription is apparently cancelled, but when I try to top up the phone it doesn’t allow me to because according to GO’s system, I’m still on the subscription. But if I’m still on the subscription, why can’t I make phone calls?

This phone limbo is rather frustrating so I’ve called GO’s customer service twice. The reply, after a long pointless talk where I’ve done my best to contain my rage, has been that the errand will be put with a technician. Since this has happened twice, I’m thinking it wasn’t done at all the first time.

My problem here, and the reason I headlined this post “Own your customer’s problem” and not “F##%#”!& GO, you mu#%&#”&s” which is a bit closer to how I really feel, is that I get the sense that the customer representative just wants to get rid of me and put the problem over to tech (with the high risk that it gets forgotten, lost and I have to call them again very soon). Not once do I get the feeling that they understand how frustrating it is not to be able to make phone calls and that they will do their utmost to help me.

I’m not an important person, I can surely live without being able to call for a few days. That’s not the point. The point is that great customer service should make you feel important and should make you feel like they understand your problem and won’t leave a stone unturned until it’s fixed.

GO customer service left no such impression. Maybe they’re measured on how many calls they can respond to and not how many problems they can solve or how many customers they will make genuinely happy.

I think the real basics of keeping customers content is making them able to actually use the service you provide. It’s definitely not rocket science. But so many companies fail in this, most basic, of respects.

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@jonaswrites” url=”http://www.jonaswrites.com/own-your-customers-problem” display_mode=”box”]The customer isn’t always right, but make sure he at least feels like he is.[/tweetthis]

New adventures

bgec

After more than eight years with Betsson Group, it’s time for new adventures. And I don’t like to waste time so today I did my first day as the CMO for a startup in the financial trading business. It didn’t feel weird at all.

The journey at Betsson Group was a crazy one. I was employee nr 80. When I left we were 1800 and there are no signs of slowing growth.

What I take with me after eight frantic years? Obviously a LOT. Many stories, learnings, accomplishments and failures. When you’re with a company during a high-paced growth spurt it’s sort of like a child growing up, with all its personality changes, mood swings, and good and bad moments. In short: it’s business on speed.

But despite giving and receiving a lot, I still feel like I have more energy than ever. Maybe it’s just more focused and efficient. Maybe it’s the excitement of a new challenge. No matter what, I think there comes a point when we all need to step outside the comfort zone, leave the box, fly the nest, whatever cliché you deem fitting. It’s a recurring key step in our personal growth.

I’m proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish during my eight years, but I’m even more happy about the things I’ve learned. And I sincerely hope I can use them in my new job and keep learning with it.

I will be writing about my new journey here and also sharing it in my other outlets. I’ll list them all here below.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to make the move. It might be scary at first, but it can turn out to be the best thing you ever did. And if not, I’m sure you’ll learn enough to make the next thing you do, your best damn decision ever.

Enjoy the ride. (And make it yours.)
/Jonas

PS. Reach, connect, comment at: Twitter ; Instagram ; Linkedin ; Facebook  DS.

There is time for nice

Employee-Motivation-Organizational-CultureSaw the brilliant Office Space a few weeks ago. Still relevant today.

Do top level managers have no time for pleasantries? Are they always too busy to say thanks, hi or stop for a quick chat in the corridor? I would say no. I’ve met the opposite a few times, but also the ones that make me write this post.

I come off as a bit tough, I know. But I was raised to believe it’s not too difficult to try and bring a smile with you as often as possible.

In many ways it’s common sense. Treat people with respect, be friendly and humble and you’ll get all that back and more. It’s also more fun. And it’s definitely not THAT difficult.

As history has proven to us, being an asshole doesn’t stop you from reaching success in life. On the contrary, maybe the lack of inhibitions and manners will make you worry less about stepping on toes and elbowing people and make it easier for you to take care of your top priority – you.

But is it nice to be an asshole? Is it fun? Isn’t life more interesting when you connect with people and build relationships? When you treat people well? After all, being nice doesn’t mean you can’t be honest and give tough feedback. But unless you also give good feedback, you’ll never maximize the potential of your employees.

And then you (and your business) lose.

I will always wonder about the people who believe it’s okay to be rude in the office. You are you, also at work. You’re not hiding behind a facade or acting in a some kind of cubicle movie. What you say and do reflect on your character. And if you don’t understand that, you are the one that look stupid, not the employees that you treat like they’re stupid.

End of rant. Smile a bit from time to time, will ya?

Is content creation a waste of time?

There are only 24 hours in a day. The amount of time we can spend consuming content is obviously limited. Still, more and more people and companies produce more and more content because we believe this is the most efficient way to reach people.

It can look a bit like this:

0-VShniR80rSkOiNQJ

This means shitloads of content if you excuse my plain French. Shitloads of content that never gets read. And that’s the game we’re in right now.

Social media application company Buffer wrote a refreshingly honest post about their “social media failure” on Medium where I borrowed the above pic.

I was immediately drawn to the headline “We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months”. Most content marketers say headlines should be something like: “8 ways to improve your blog traffic” but here we have a headline that is centered around the company and how they have failed.

It’s so honest that I’m sure this will be their best social media campaign so far.

But is it enough to engage?

Buffer sourced Mark W. Schaffers blog post Content Shock which says that the demands on the quality of our content is increasing every year and that forces us to pay more and put more effort into reaching the same number of people.

Sounds pretty negative doesn’t it? But in a way it just shows us how we evolve and how our requirements (and lives) constantly change. People need to prioritize their time and look for the easiest way to consume information. A lengthy blog post is usually not the answer.

So how does Buffer propose how to tackle their social media/content issue and create better and more engaging content to satisfy our increasingly demanding tastebuds?

There are a few ideas on their table:

1. Pay for reach. Paying for social media reach can be very effective if you do it right. Believing in the viral super hit isn’t feasible. Which I also write about here.

2. Connect better with their audience. You do this by creating engaging content and opening up for dialogue. Many companies are trying to create awesome content but a lot of them forget about inviting and inciting conversation. It’s social media.

3. Make it easy for people to share content. This is basic stuff, but every improvement in the “share journey” can make a difference.

4. Design beautiful, shareable visuals. They’re saying Instagram is the most “positive” social media and for sure the most growing the last few years. Pictures are easy to scroll through and consume. And everybody likes puppies.

These four suggestions are all good and will help, but you also need to make sure you bring something new to the table. Most internet content is just regurgitating old stuff, with the idea of hopefully improving it and putting your touch on it.

Sort of like this post.