Monthly Archives

July 2016

Thinking Differently Versus Thinking Different Thoughts

thinking differently versus thinking diff thoughts

The client was in the financial services sector.

I answered to the CEO of the company that had been given the contract and after what seemed like hours, we both realized the solution required more than creating awareness.

The problem was that there was no system to capture and qualify leads on the client’s website.

Even if they received a million visitors a day, they had no system to qualify which of those people were a good fit for their business.

Now here is the other problem…

The project was defined as an Awareness project so any suggestions I made about systems and fixing the client’s website seemed “out of scope”.

The person who hired me had other ideas. He had different thoughts but he wasn’t thinking to think differently.

They would have to invest in a system to generate leads on their website.

Some of the best ideas come from thinking differently.

Are you asking what the difference is?

Thinking differently starts with a clean slate and asks “what do we need to achieve here?”

“If money, resources, bureaucracy, time, other people etc were not constraints, what solution would we come up with?”

Thinking different is what turns a simple web app into the biggest media company in the world.

It’s what turns helps an ad agency come with up effective solutions that requires no media spend.

In fact the individual who thinks differently meets a wall and says “everyone is trying to climb it…I’d rather fly over it.”

This individual knows the customer is looking to be fulfilled.

She understands that the customer wants to know what’s going on in her world and if she can get that info from the Explore section of Instagram or Snapchat then so be it.

She knows thinking differently is not the same as thinking different thoughts.

What does your business need to do for your customers that would require thinking differently?

Share in the comments below.

You’ve started your business, here is how to get your first customers

started a freelance business

Let me help you. I once founded and run a successful branding and design firm before I started consulting.

  1. Determine who your ideal client is–are you targeting small businesses in the healthcare space, online bloggers or perhaps dentists who are over 40 years old and live in a single family home?
  2. Decide on what your deliverable will be—are you creating a website with 5 pages, cms and design package for $10,000?

    Are you offering a logo design package that includes a letterhead and business card template for $1000? You need to have a package so you never have to get paid by the hour.

  3. Make a list of people you can help and reach out to them directly either through email, phone or face to face.

    When I started out, I got my first client by walking into the restaurant and asking for the manager. I pitched her my services and made my first $2500(I only got paid $2000, she never paid the rest. lol)

  4. Find out a complementary service provider who can attach your services to hers. The bigger that businesses’ reach, the better it is for you.

    For eg.You could contact the biggest printers and graphic designers in your city and have a joint venture agreement with them where you both promote each others services. You can give them a percentage of your profits in order to get leads.

  5. Create content that your clients would like to see and drive Facebook ads to it.

I’d recommend picking up David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising book. You’ll be fine.

The Reality Of The Limitless Life

limitless life of christian business

What’s more impressive? Being able to outrun men in an Olympic contest or being able to outrun the fastest horses for miles.

  • What’s more remarkable? Being able to deliver vaccines to one thousand sick people or speaking words in a crusade and 1000 people receiving healing instantly?
  • Would you prefer to buy truckloads of food for the hungry or to be able to feed over 10,000 men, women and children in mere minutes without spending money?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’m comparing the natural human feats we see celebrated today with examples of what divine ability can do.

As children of God we have abilities that are largely untapped.

2 chronicles 9:22–23 says Solomon was richer and wiser than all (not some) the kings of the earth. All(not some) sought his presence to hear him speak.

  • This means there wasn’t a king on earth who had more wealth or problem solving ability than Solomon did.
  • There wasn’t an expense he couldn’t pay for or a problem that was outside his scope of ability.
  • Whether you wanted to know the best way to build a ship, plan a city or cure a diseases, Solomon could tell you exactly how to do that.


Divine ability

How do we use this limitless ability?

By acting on the Word and daring the impossible.

Jesus Christ told us that we are now greater than Solomon.

He also told us that we would do even greater things than He did.

We have seen modern day examples of miraculous feats by believers but not enough because as a family, we have been taught to think like natural men.

We have accepted their limits and talked, acted and lived like them.

2 Peter 1:4 says we have the nature of God now.

What does that mean?

Let’s compare the nature of a Toyota Corolla to the nature of a Hennessey Venom Gt or a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. No one would even bother racing a regular sedan with a sports car because the abilities would be unmatched.

That’s what happened to us after we received Zoe(the life and nature of God). It was like putting the engine of a sports car into the shell of a sedan. Before we may have been able to get from 0 to 100 in 60 seconds but now we can do the same in a mere 3 seconds.

It would be nice to be the fastest athlete in the world but we have something better.

We have the divine ability to get results in record time.

  • It may take others months to receive their first 1 million customers but it can happen for you in a day.
  • It may take decades for others to see $100 billion in profits but it can happen for you in a day.
  • Imagine starting a business today and having 90% market share in 30 days. Can you do that?
  • Imagine coming up with a cure that can wipe out a killer disease in a week. Is that beyond the ability of God in you?

Many quote Philippians 4:13 and say they can do all things through Christ’s ability but they don’t believe what I just said.

You know why?

They want to see an example first. They forget that the Bible says we don’t walk by what we see but purely by faith in the Word of God.

Why quote the scripture that says all things are possible to the believer and yet deny your ability to do the impossible?

How do we use this limitless ability?

By acting on the Word and daring the impossible.

The reason many Christians haven’t seen spectacular feats in their lives is because they listen to people who aren’t familiar with the limitless ability of Jesus Christ.

While some believe they can receive complete healing today by faith, others believe it will take a year.

It’s really as simple as hearing words of faith and acting on them.

I had the ability to lay hands on a sick person and have them healed for years but until I heard Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and Kenneth E Hagin explain it, I lived in darkness.

I had the name and authority of Jesus to cause whatever changes I wanted in my life but until I read E.W Kenyon’s books I just lived like everyone else.

Let’s hear and act on the Word.

The trick of the devil is to make you think you lack some ability, revelation or sufficiency.

The Bible says we are complete in Christ and that He’s our sufficiency.

Welcome to the limitless life. There is nothing outside the realm of your ability in Christ.

Read more of the Christian business series at

How Todd Combs Read His Way Into A Job With Warren Buffett

todd combs warren buffett read growingstartup books

He was among 165 students in a Columbia University investing class.

Combs didn’t meet Buffett that day but says, “I still remember it like it was yesterday.”

One of the students asked what he could do now to prepare for an investing career. Buffett thought for a few seconds and then reached for the stack of reports, trade publications and other papers he had brought with him.

“Read 500 pages like this every day,” said Buffett, or words to that effect. “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”

Remarkably, Combs began doing just that, keeping track of how many pages and what he read each day. Eventually finding and reading productive material became second nature, a habit. As he began his investing career, he would read even more, hitting 600, 750, even 1,000 pages a day.

Combs discovered that Buffett’s formula worked, giving him more knowledge that helped him with what became his primary job — seeking the truth about potential investments.

After graduating, Combs worked as a bank regulator and in the pricing department of Progressive Insurance and, five years later, he began running Castle Point Capital, a private investment fund in Greenwich, Conn., where he lived.

His road to Omaha began when he met a money manager from Australia who was going to California to see Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire and a confidant of Buffett’s. Combs remembers thinking, “I’d like to meet Charlie some day.”

Not long afterward, Combs was headed to California and called Munger’s office, figuring it was “pretty unlikely” that he would get to see Munger.

To his surprise, Munger offered to meet him at the California Club for breakfast. “I was terrified,” Combs said. He had attended two of Berkshire’s annual shareholder meetings in Omaha and knew that Munger often gave blunt assessments of people and businesses.

“But we really hit it off,” Combs said. “He’s the most warm, gentle man.”

The two talked for hours, and Munger offered to get together again. Combs quickly arranged to return to California. Eventually, Munger told him, “I really think Warren would like to meet you.”

Combs, of course, needed no persuasion and, in the fall of 2010, he was invited to Buffett’s office. He arrived at 10 a.m., met people and talked, went with Buffett for a two-hour lunch at Piccolo’s restaurant and returned to the office.

“We just talked and talked and talked,” Combs said. “I’ll never forget it. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know you’ve met someone very special. It’s really hard to describe.”

Eventually, Buffett began talking about his plan to hire a money manager. Combs — this is true, he insists — started thinking about another person he could recommend. But Buffett had another idea.

“He said, ‘Well, I think we’re kind of thinking of you.’ Flabbergasted would be an understatement,” Combs said.

As the stunned Combs listened, Buffett talked about compensation and suggested they both think about the offer. Combs returned home and talked with his wife, April, about the job and Omaha, then accepted Buffett’s offer.

P.S Here are some Advanced strategies for growing a business.

Generating leads by taking away the risk from a transaction

Find out how Michael Bloomberg built a private billion dollar business using this simple strategy.

The principle is:
1. Whenever you meet someone in a transaction,
there’s always the factor of risk.
2. It’s your job to recognize it and take as much of it
out of the way as possible
3. The less risky the transaction is to your customers,
the more likely they will buy from you.

Learn how to attract customers and build a solid business with recurring profits.
Builders And Thinkers series hosted by Jeffrey Manu for

Subscribe to the channel for more insights on marketing, advertising and persuasion in business.

Productivity And Leverage Focused Thinking For Business Owners

What’s the difference between productivity and activity?
How do you use leverage to advance your business forward?

More marketing and advertising tips for entrepreneurs at

Subscribe to this channel for more insights on getting positive cashflow and increased profits.

Product Stage At A Tech Startup(both technical and non-technical founders)

product stage tech startup non technical

A great product has these traits

  • It’s something people want or love
    It’s at price people want to pay for it
    It’s easy for people to pick it up or have it delivered
    It has benefits that are easy to talk about


If you missed the preceding posts on how to develop your idea and build a team make sure you read them at the end of this post.

The good people at Basecamp wrote a succinct guide to creating a prototype at a tech startup.

Go from brainstorm to sketches to HTML to coding

Follow this process but remember, if it takes you more than 2 weeks to create your prototype then stop and ship whatever you have that the user will like to use.

1 Brainstorm

Come up with ideas. What is this product going to do? For Basecamp, we looked at our own needs. We wanted to post project updates. We wanted clients to participate. We knew that projects had milestones. We wanted to centralize archives so people could easily review old stuff. We wanted to have a big-picture, bird’s-eye view of what’s going on with all our projects. Together, those assumptions, and a few others, served as our foundation.

This stage is not about nitty gritty details. This is about big questions. What does the app need to do? How will we know when it’s useful? What exactly are we going to make? This is about high level ideas, not pixel-level discussions. At this stage, those kinds of details just aren’t meaningful.

2 Paper sketches

Sketches are quick, dirty, and cheap and that’s exactly how you want to start out. Draw stuff. Scrawl stuff. Boxes, circles, lines. Get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. The goal at this point should be to convert concepts into rough interface designs. This step is all about experimentation. There are no wrong answers.

Upload paper sketches or link via Dropbox or Google Drive

3 Create HTML screens

Make an html version of that feature (or section or flow, if it’s more appropriate). Get something real posted so everyone can see what it looks like on screen.

For Basecamp, we first did the “post a message” screen, then the “edit a message” screen, and it went on from there.

Don’t write any programming code yet. Just build a mock-up in html and css. Implementation comes later.

Upload screenshots or link via Dropbox or Google Drive

4 Code it

When the mock-up looks good and demonstrates enough of the necessary functionality, go ahead and plug in the programming code.

During this whole process remember to stay flexible and expect multiple iterations. You should feel free to throw away the deliverable of any particular step and start again if it turns out crappy. It’s natural to go through this cycle multiple times.

For non-technical founders, follow these steps
product stage tech startup great product design collectors

A. Validate idea
Find out if someone else apart from you needs your product.
Find out who the competition is and speak with their customers directly or email them to ask questions. If you find interested and willing to pay customers you may have something on your hands.
One of the easiest ways to do this is consulting. Whether you are creating a B2B or B2C business, you can find one person or business that is looking for your solution.

What you do next is to offer to solve their problem in exchange for a small fee or better still, ask for the full fee promising a money back guarantee if your product does not work.
Consulting in the beginning is good because it brings in cash at the early stages and much needed feedback and traction.

Who are you going to pitch to first?

B. Present idea visually
Instead of waiting for a developer, do what you can.
If you can write down the content needed for the product, do it.
If you can draw the screens of the app on paper or create mock ups with Photoshop, do it.
Imagine you were told the best developer in the world wants to start working on your app for free

tomorrow morning. His only condition is that you give him as much information as possible.

Would you create a visual representation? Of course you would.
Do it now.


C. Find someone to build prototype on Upwork, Elance, College campus, Craigslist or Elance

Look for people who have built something in the past and are self motivated to work on your idea.


D. Give specific feedback
E. Identify what else you’ll need such as blog, analytics software, crm, email provider

List tools you will need once you launch
Email provider :mailchimp, get response, aweber, infusionsoft
Analytics:google analytics, mix panel

F. Test and launch
Share the product with all those who can give you useful feedback.
Make sure the minimum necessary feature set is working.

Read this for more detailed steps

and this

Here’s some more insight into growing a startup-
Idea Stage
Team Stage
How this founder did it !

P.S You may looking for more ways to improve your marketing in your startup. Here are some more tips on how to get more customers, increase sales or increase your startup’s profits. Starthere

Replacing the incumbents (facing the competition)

facing the competition

This story holds an interesting lesson is for entrepreneurs in an industry with big incumbents.

God tells Moses to send spies into a land He’s going to give them.

Moses gives the spies instructions to come back and let him know, “whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not.” Etc

You could call this market research.

The 12 spies come back with some of the fruit of the land. They even find out that the grapes are so big that two men need to carry them on poles. They also come back with a report that there are giants in the land and they they are as grasshoppers in their eyes.

For many people this sounds like an honest report. It’s like saying “I want to be in that industry but the incumbents are billion dollar corporations and as a startup, I’ll be eaten alive.”

In fact investors, the press and friends will probably tell you the same thing.

But how did God take this?

He called it an evil report and every single one of those doubters died as a result of what they said.

Who was God pleased with?

Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who were positive and did not consider the problems in the land.

Joshua said “they are bread for us”

Caleb said “let us go at once to possess it.”

“and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.””

‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:7–9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Have you noticed what’s missing in Joshua and Caleb’s report?

The giants!!

They didn’t even acknowledge the opposition. They knew that with God, no enemy is a factor. The giants might as well have been ants.

These are the kind of people you want in your camp.

  • People who don’t consider market research and economic factors as greater than God’s ability.
  • People who do not see themselves as less than any corporation or system.

People for whom, the giants are not a factor.



Courage and boldness has defined more business successes than talent has in the history of enterprise. Many times those who write the press releases and even the loud investors have never really done anything as bold as what you’re trying to do so only listen to them for useful facts and not their opinions.

God’s ability is in you. The giants are not a factor.

Reference: Numbers‬ ‭13 and 14NKJV‬‬

Book Review: Bloomberg By Bloomberg

This book is the autobiography of Michael Bloomberg.

He is the founder of Bloomberg LP

According to Forbes magazine his net worth is 40.9 billion USD (2015)

Purpose: I read this book to understand what it takes to build a technology and media company that is both private and profitable.


Michael Bloomberg started out on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers selling stocks sold by large institutions.

He rises up the ranks to partner but is later demoted to the information technology department where he was up until Salomon Brothers merged with Phibro; the commodity trading firm.

Bloomberg was fired when the merger took place and according to him, he had no plans of ever leaving Salomon brothers because he was embarrassed and hurt. He ended up with a severance check of about $10 million dollars because he was a partner.


Even after being told he was going to be fired, he still worked up to 12 hours a day until his final day. What I got from this was to keep doing what is right and not allow circumstances to ruffle you.


At the time he was fired, he had gotten a deep understanding and unique insight into two things that would help him start his own business.

He had a deep knowledge of the securities, investing and of how technology could be used to make the financial world efficient.

Many people work at places for years and do not learn enough to be exponentially more valuable and productive than before they got hired. This is a mistake.

Years ago, when I was employed by someone else, I made sure I was a sponge and studied every piece of knowledge I found valuable. Within 6 months after leaving, I had a freelance business that paid me over 4 times what I was receiving as salary from my previous employer.

Value Creation

He created a business to solve a problem he had noticed while working at Salomon brothers. He had the financial capital but most importantly he had the mental capital to create a great product.

Since he wasn’t technical, he decided to work with people who were and focused on sales.

Even though he did not have a fully operational product, he pitched Merrill Lynch and used the risk reversal strategy.

He offered to built them a product and deliver in 6 months. His offer was that they did not have to pay him if they were not satisfied with the final product.

Even on the final day of his presentation, the product was still not working properly but at least the minimum viable features were enough to get him a deal for the delivery of 22 terminals. This step of faith led to global clients including the Vatican, World Bank and every Federal Bank.


Build a product that works as fast as possible and launch. It may not be perfect but it should be useful and productive enough for your client to get value from it.

The Bloomberg Terminal as it is now known, is an interactive real-time system that is user friendly enough for nonspecialists. It is able to take information about different investment types — stocks, bonds, currencies — and reveal a firm’s position and show what is moving where so traders could see investment opportunities previously unseen because of too much (and too inaccessible) data.


Products that help people who are not specialists to achieve the same or similar results are usually welcomed.

Marketing, growth and sales 

Bloomberg built the company in the initial stages by doing sales calls and building a brand.

He changed the name from Innovative Market Systems to Bloomberg LP to leverage on his name as a brand.

Instead of growing by acquisitions, he grew the business on profits by innovating in areas such as media, news and television.

It’s interesting to note that their strategy has been so sound that for over 3 decades they hardly have any competition that has their results and reach.

Quote from Page 200:

It also encourages me to delegate and let others run parts of our organization so we can go into new areas and products. I don’t want any manager here to do the same thing for too long, and I shouldn’t either. If everything works, I get paid; if it doesn’t, I shouldn’t, and with our structure, I won’t.

Most companies, most of the time, grow and contract with the market they’re in. Management often makes the difference only at the margin. Changing executives periodically almost always improves results. No matter how entrenched the CEO is. Mythology to the contrary, no one’s irreplaceable and there are few revelations in business. The corporate change that works is evolutionary change, not revolutionary change:The quick fix, like buying a competitor or growth through acquisition, usually boosts earnings only for a short while. Corporate fixes through public relations and industry analyst “stroking” aren’t worth much either. Stock P/E ratios go with the group, which is why they call it the herd instinct.

Lessons from school:

Bloomberg mentions that at Harvard, most of the people he admired for their noble birth or admirable backgrounds never ended up doing anything remarkable with their lives.

He also mentions that Harvard brought him before classmates who were ambitious and would challenge you if you spoke without getting your facts straight. He counts this as preparing him to work on Wall Street.

I like that observation because I have been in a lot of conversations where people feel compelled to speak when they have no facts. This reminds me of Proverbs 18:13
He that gives an answer before he hears is a fool, and is brought to shame.

 What I didn’t expect to find, but did.

Media distribution

In Chapter 5, Bloomberg explains the fundamentals of how content is created an distributed. Even though he is a technology entrepreneur, he is not jaded in thinking that technology solves all problems in media distribution. Media companies still need to have great content that their audience wants to consume.

Corporate governance and management

This book is filled with gems on corporate governance and there’s even an entire chapter on Management which I found very useful in many respects.


At the time of writing, Bloomberg wasn’t the mayor of New York yet but his opinions on important topics such as education are pretty solid.

The parts I didn’t agree with: 

I don’t think he gives good marriage advice and maybe one or two of the management tips may not be applicable to every industry.

For example, he frowns on employees starting a side business and even says…

“why is the second idea they come up with not the property of the firm paying them to work full time? Or they invest personally outside their companies. “

This is funny to me because I don’t expect to own the ideas of my employees.

It is my observation that most men are good at a few things when they give advice on things outside of business, it’s invariably wrong.

My impression about part of what he believes made him successful is hard-work. This as we know isn’t enough since there are many people working 14 to 16 hour days who are not as productive as others who work less than they do but have wisdom that produces exponential results.

Diligence in work counts but diligence without wisdom is just activity without productivity.

Interesting quote from Page 180:

The primary function of those at the top is the care and feeding of the company’s most valuable asset, its employees, including designing and administering a compensation system that encourages cooperation, rewards risk taking, and gives inducements to work — Job One for the CEO

Conclusion and closing notes

In my opinion, from what I can infer from the book, Bloomberg’s success was due to his mindset regards to how to deal with people and his boldness to do the things he believed were right.

What I found most impressive about Michael Bloomberg is how quickly he implemented ideas. Secondly, that he built a private billion dollar(by revenue) business is definitely a good reason to read this book.

Rating in relation to my reason for reading this book(see beginning of the post)

4 out of 5

Extra notes:

I have noticed that a lot of traffic that comes to is people who read my book reviews. I’m taking my wife’s advice by sharing my notes on the business books that I read.

If you have any books that you would like me to share my review on, please email me at I rarely review fiction and I usually read business books or auto/biographies that have lessons on marketing, sales, leadership and success.