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How often do you crack open the instruction manual for the new TV, car, or piece of software? If you’re like most, the answer is never. Reading through an endless list of functions is both irrelevant, and incredibly dull. In other words, a colossal waste of time.

Why then, when it comes to social media “strategic plans”, the focus is too often on what each social media venue offers, instead of how social media fits into the processes and plans that currently exist?  In too many cases, social media is a solution in search of a problem.

Instead, a social media strategy should flip this equation around and think “backwards”: social media needs to make real world processes more efficient, more engaging, and less costly.  How can social media help the recruiting process? How can it be used for better lead generation and prospecting? How can it be used for more focused (and faster) product development? And so on.

This Week’s Action Plan: Consider the processes that you participate in. Instead of first thinking of the social media venue, can you use “backwards thinking” to improve the process itself using social media concepts?  When we take the emphasis off the tool, and emphasize the business, Backwards Thinking is really Fast Forward.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)





by Randall Craig on October 19, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an author of a book, but you can’t see yourself ever finding the time to make it happen? If so, you are exactly like the vast majority of authors, before they write their first book. How do they start?

Some authors book time away, and spend marathon sessions writing chapter after chapter. Others record their thoughts verbally, then improve their writing after transcription. And finally others realize that a book need not be written all at once, but can be written page by page, over a course of several years.

This last approach lends itself well to those who are writing a blog. It also provides another reason to actually start one. Here’s how:

1) Make sure that your subject is focused on a topic that an audience would be interested in reading.

2) Using the outline mode of your word processor, create sections, then chapters, then sub-parts within each chapter. For example, if you were writing a book on the subject of book-writing, the first section might be called Before you start, the next would be called Writing and editing, and the final one Book marketing. Within the first part you may have chapters called Why write a book, Research techniques, Preparing your workspace, etc. Within each chapter the sub-parts would be 3-6 paragraphs in length.

3) Each of the sub-parts essentially becomes a blog entry. When it comes to writing your blog, however, there is no need to go from the front of the book to the back: you can write your entries in any order you like. Just remember, once it’s written, copy-paste it back to your outline.

This week’s action plan: Very few people actually have the need (or desire) to write a book. But the concept of repurposing is applicable to just about everyone. This week, before you start on any large task, ask yourself – and others – whether the problem has been solved before. If it has been, find a way to reuse the knowledge, instead of starting from scratch.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Squeezing the Negative

by Randall Craig September 15, 2009

Have you ever been in a situation with your team when you’re trying to figure out how to get everything just right? As problem solvers our attention quickly focuses on what is wrong: if these deficiencies could be removed, then everything would be perfect. Processes would be efficient. Frustration would be reduced. And customers would […]

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The Secret… System

by Randall Craig June 23, 2009

Are you one of those people who are organized, or are you prone to clutter? Do you always get things done, or do you sometimes let things slip? And are you calm under pressure, or do you get easily flustered? Often, professional success isn’t just a question of intellect or attitude, but your ability to […]

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Process Professional

by Randall Craig October 2, 2007

It is NOT hard to get a job – it’s just that we don’t have practice doing it. We spend each day becoming stronger in our area of expertise – yet for the vast majority of people, job search is something that occurs only a few times in one’s lifetime. While being obsessive about your […]

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Don’t Focus on Results

by Randall Craig April 24, 2007

Did you reach your quota? Have you completed that report? Did you win your case? How many people did you serve today? While you might be measured on different criteria, there is one common thread: each of these statements focuses on results. And focusing on results… results in, well, results. But is this really true? […]

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It’s (not) all about me

by Randall Craig January 23, 2007

Even if your day job isn’t “sales”, how often do you engage in the act of selling? More than you might realize. We pitch ideas to our managers. We sell our employees on what they should do. We (try to) convince our children why one course of action is better than another. And certainly, when […]

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