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Genius Zone

Don't waste your most valuable resource—time. Double or triple down your strengths and create the biggest impact for your business.

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The word “entrepreneur” is thrown about a lot these days. Most people use it interchangeably with “business owner” or “founder,” but that’s not quite accurate.

Jean-Baptiste Say, a French economist who first coined the word entrepreneur in about 1800, said: “The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.”

Think about that for a moment. 

You have a resource (capital, labor, whatever) that could be producing a higher yield elsewhere. Your primary job as an entrepreneur is to identify this and move it where you can produce a greater yield.

Start this process with your most valuable resource. Your time.

Many entrepreneurs are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. They lack some skill, experience, or discipline that’s outside of their genius zone, yet they persist in wasting time, money, and opportunities trying to crack that nut. 

Sometimes, it’s due to pride. Sometimes, it’s due to the challenge. But most of the time it's because they’re operating on autopilot.

We entrepreneurs are problem solvers. We take on whatever problem comes our way.

In my new book, Lean Marketing, I have an important chapter on building your team (Chapter 11). Here’s a quote from there:

“With hard work, you can brute-force your way into making your weaknesses less weak. However, nobody cares what you’re bad at. Focusing your efforts in areas where you’re already strong or have an aptitude gives you a far better return on time, money, and energy. It’s also more fun. It usually takes the same effort to make your weaknesses slightly less weak as it takes to make your strengths exceptional.”

My biggest wins have come from staffing my weaknesses and doubling down on my strengths.

Business is a team sport.

Great sports teams spend enormous time and resources figuring out the strongest players for each position.

You should, too — starting with yourself. If you doubled or tripled the time you spent in your genius zone, what impact would that have on your business?

It would be huge.

A large part of our work with entrepreneurs in our Accelerator program is helping them staff their weaknesses. Usually, these are the boring (but critical) daily, weekly, and monthly marketing processes they know they need to do but won’t, can’t, or don’t have time to do.

A marketing coordinator has been a game-changer for them because while their weaknesses are being handled, they’re free to focus on their strengths.

What’s your genius zone that you want to spend more time in?

Brand You

Are you tired of building your brand across multiple platforms? Discover how to build your audience using the four-step formula the lean marketing way.

Media

The last few decades were dominated by corporate brands built through interruption, brute force, and broadcast media.

However, this has become too expensive and inefficient.

We’re tuning out and turning off.

The next decade and beyond will be dominated by Brand You.

I spoke to the awesome Chris Do for his podcast. The dude has nailed personal branding (my view is that “personal branding” is just publicly showcasing and accentuating your personality… but that’s a post for another day).

Elon Musk has almost 10 times the followers that Tesla has (on X/Twitter).

Richard Branson has 20 times the followers that Virgin has (on Instagram).

People want to follow people.

Your business isn’t B2B or B2C. It’s H2H — human-to-human.

So the natural question (one I get asked often) is, how do you build an audience?

The answer is in plain sight.

Find your favorite creator on YouTube then go to their YouTube profile.

Click the Videos tab and sort by Oldest.

I did this for MrBeast (247M subscribers), Justin Beiber (72M subscribers), and Chris Do (2.4M subscribers).

Do you know what their early videos all had in common?

They SUCKED!

Every master was once a disaster.

In my new book, Lean Marketing, outlined the four-step formula for social media success…(but trust me, you’re not going to like it):

1. Pick a platform

2. Post every day

3. Get better every day

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for two to five years

Someone asked Warren Buffett, “Why doesn’t everyone just copy your strategy?” His response was, “Because nobody wants to get rich slow.” The same goes for building an audience.

Most people who “try social media” won’t focus on a platform.

Even fewer will have the endurance to post daily.

Fewer still will work on improving their craft.

Almost no one will do all the above for 700+ days in a row.

The best time to start building your audience was yesterday.

The second best time is today.

I'm Going All In On Lean (My Biggest, Boldest Bet Yet)

Solidify your business using the proven and tested method used by businesses worldwide. Check out how we developed this approach and built this program for you.

Miscellaneous
Business

There are times as an entrepreneur, you have to make a “bet the company” decision and go all in on something you have high conviction in.

I’ll come back to my big bet in a moment, but first...

Have you ever had your world turned upside down by someone who said something to you in passing?

Maybe they didn’t think it was a big deal, and maybe at the time, you didn’t either.

This happened to me a few years ago.

I was a keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by the automotive manufacturing industry in Mexico.

Sounds boring, right? I thought so, too.

Throughout the conference, I kept hearing the term “lean.”

Lean manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, lean thinking, and so on.

That's when Luis Socconini came up to me during the lunch break.

We chatted for a brief while, and when referring to The 1-Page Marketing Plan, he dropped the bomb:

“Allan, you know I consider your book to be lean marketing.”

“WTF is this ‘lean’ thing I keep hearing about?” I thought to myself.

When I got back to my hotel room that night, I started going down the rabbit hole.

Here’s a short story for you…

After the Second World War ended, Japan was in a catastrophic state — cities devastated, its resources drained, and industries broken.

At the time, mass production was the way manufacturing was done…which was a huge problem for Japan.

Mass manufacturing requires high inventory levels, huge, specialized machines, and large investments in materials and infrastructure.

This was not an option for war-torn Japanese manufacturers.

They needed a smarter way to gain a competitive advantage.

Fast forward to the 1970s and 1980s, Japan had become a global manufacturing powerhouse known for its high-quality products, particularly in electronics, automobiles, and machinery. Brands like Toyota, Honda, Sony, and Canon had gained worldwide recognition and respect.

How’d they do it?

With lean.

Lean is a methodology that focuses on eliminating waste and increasing efficiency.

The Japanese approach has since been widely studied and emulated by companies all over the world.

Jeff Bezos has frequently cited Lean Thinking as one of his favorite business books and has aggressively implemented lean throughout Amazon.

Ever since, I’ve been obsessed with lean.

What’s that got to do with marketing?

Everything.

Read that again.

Everything.

There’s so much waste and inefficiency in marketing, it’s ridiculous.

Marketers even coined the maxim, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”

This is worlds away from the precision, discipline, and efficiency of lean thinking.

Can you imagine someone in manufacturing ever saying, “Half the money we spend on raw materials is wasted; the trouble is we don't know which half”?

That doesn’t happen.

When your marketing gets more efficient, predictable, and valuable, everything changes.

Leads start flowing in.

Prospects seek you out.

Sales conversion becomes easy and smooth.

The 1-Page Marketing Plan gives you the clarity, simplicity, and structure to put together your entire marketing strategy on a single page. It's touched millions of entrepreneurs worldwide, and I’m intensely proud of it.

Now it’s time for the next phase.

Over the last two years, I’ve been working on Lean Marketing. It’s my best and most important work yet.

It helps you go from marketing plan to radical implementation.

And I’m going all in on lean. I’ve rebranded my company around it.

The new book is available for pre-order HERE and will be launching May 7th.

We’ve also built an incredible program (you might have seen me talk about it a lot recently) called Lean Marketing Accelerator, which you can apply for right now.

I know it’s not popular to say this, but severe economic headwinds are coming.

What you do right now will determine whether your business survives and thrives or struggles or worse.

You need a lean approach to marketing to make it safely to the other side.

Marketing is the skill that will change your business and your life, and I’m determined to help you master this skill.

I Love You

Entrepreneurs often prioritize their passion for their product, leading to stalled progress. Here's how we helped businesses remove this bottleneck and get them back on track.

Business

Hope you're getting a lot of love today. Here's my love letter to you...

Most entrepreneurs have a love affair with their product or service and an obsession with their competitors.

They've figured out their product but have no idea or are fuzzy at best about who their customers are.

A few years ago, in one of our programs, we recognized that the business owner was almost always the bottleneck.

On our 1:1 calls, we'd agree on strategy and the next steps to move things forward. A week, two weeks, sometimes even a month later, we'd find that little or no progress had been made on the agreed action steps.

Why?

Because the business owner was too busy—they were spinning too many plates, putting out fires, and getting distracted by bright, shiny objects. This had become a very common story with many clients. We tried all the usual "coach" things—accountability, reminders, pushing, etc.

Nothing worked because entrepreneurs are typically big-picture, visionary, ideas people. I'm like that, and I bet you are too.

Being the "ideas person" is a super important role, but it has one fatal flaw—we're not great at micro-implementation.

So we did the next most obvious thing and got clients to hire a marketing coordinator. Someone who'd do the day-to-day implementation of the marketing. Stuff that was critical but also stuff that the business owner would find too boring and time-consuming to do consistently. Then, we hit another roadblock...

The entrepreneur would now procrastinate on hiring, take months to get someone on board—and in the end, they often made a bad hire.

We solved this by adding a marketing coordinator recruitment service to the program. We did all the heavy lifting of vetting, hiring, onboarding, and training a marketing coordinator for them. Then we'd work with this person to do the marketing implementation—all the stuff that the entrepreneur couldn't, wouldn't, or hated to do.

Clients started getting massive results. They felt like a big weight had been removed from their shoulders, and they absolutely loved us for doing this for them.

I never imagined we'd be offering a recruitment service when we started helping clients build out their in-house marketing capabilities—but here we are. I tapped into a strong customer pain point.

It has allowed us to create a world-class program that helps clients get powerful results.

Had I remained in love with my product instead of my clients, I'd still be frustratedly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

The 5 Content Archetypes

Feeling uneasy about positioning yourself as an expert? Don't worry about it. I've identified 5 content archetypes you can adopt to express your authentic voice and magnetize your ideal audience.

Lead Nurture
Media

Nothing has made me more money and created more opportunities than creating content for my audience.

Many entrepreneurs see this and agree that creating content is a powerful way to attract ideal customers…but then they hit a mental roadblock.

Picture this. You’re getting ready to write or record a piece of content and start having second thoughts. A negative voice inside your head starts intruding with,

“Who do you think you are to be doing this?”

“Why would anyone read, watch, or listen to you?”

“So-and-so is better than you at this and funnier and richer and better looking.”

It’s a sort of imposter syndrome. You feel uncomfortable presenting yourself as an “expert,” especially when there are other people who are more knowledgeable. Also, what will your industry colleagues and peers think?

If you’re comparing yourself to your peers and fearing their judgment, then remember they’re not your target market. You want to impress your prospects and customers, not your industry colleagues.

If you’re truly uncomfortable presenting yourself as an “expert,” you can adopt an alternative content creator “archetype.”

In my new book, Lean Marketing, I outline the 5 content creator archetypes:

The Expert: The Expert is the most common content creator archetype. This person has domain authority through knowledge, expertise, or experience.

The Curator: The Curator sifts the wheat from the chaff. Their value proposition is that they’ll save you time and effort by sorting through everything and only sharing valuable and interesting content with you. Media companies, best-of lists, museums, and the news are all examples of curation.

The Interviewer: The Interviewer is focused on people and conversations with them. If you don’t have a lot of expertise or authority of your own, it’s a great way to borrow them and have some rub off on you. Oprah Winfrey is a great example of The Interviewer archetype.

The Amateur on a Journey: The Amateur on a Journey archetype openly admits that they have limited or no expertise in their field of focus but will take you on their journey to mastery and discovery. They share both their wins and losses along the way, which makes them very relatable and can make for compelling content. Tim Ferris is an example of this. He has openly shared his journey in various fields, such as learning skills, health, and investing. (More recently, he has taken on The Interviewer archetype.)

The Enigma: The Enigma archetype lives an original, interesting, or unusual life and shares some of it with their audience. Entire industries have been built around getting a look inside the lives of the rich and famous. While you don’t necessarily have to be a celebrity, the key to success with The Enigma archetype is doing cool or unusual stuff that people wouldn’t normally get to see. Allow your audience to peek behind the curtain.

Which content creator archetype resonates the most with you?

When Less Is More

You don't need complexity to achieve significant results. Discover how doing less can yield more impactful outcomes. Let me explain why.

Marketing

I was recently being interviewed on a podcast, and the interviewer asked me why I wrote my latest book, Lean Marketing.

I remember Seth Godin once answering the same question, and he said, “I only write a book when I have no choice.”

I feel the exact same way.

Writing a (good) book is such an unreasonably difficult, long, and painful process that no one with any sense would do so… unless they had no other choice.

Having seen what’s happening in the marketing space over the last few years has forced my hand.

Every marketing guru you listen to has the same message — do more.

Every marketing agency has the same message — spend more.

Every social media manager — post more often to more platforms.

It’s exhausting and overwhelming.

You scroll social media and the volume has been turned up louder and louder. The claims are bigger and bigger.

One prominent marketer recently promoted his membership program. The sign-up bonuses included 118 hours of recorded video content and a funnel how-to guide that was 653 pages long—that’s not including his main content and courses.

WTF? That sounds like a frickin’ nightmare, not an incentive.

Drinking from a firehouse is a bad way to get hydration.

What I want, and what most entrepreneurs want is the few things that will make the biggest difference.

When I look at what the most sophisticated marketers in the world are doing, what’s surprising is how long their not-to-do list is and how short their to-do list is.

Their marketing is lean.

We run a world-class multimillion-dollar coaching, consulting, and training business.

Do we do TikTok? Nope.

Instagram? No

Podcast? No (but coming soon)

YouTube? No

Funnel-blah-di-blahs. No

Yet we a drowning with inbound leads. We just hired two new salespeople this week to keep up with the lead flow.

That’s why I wrote my new bookto share the refreshing and important message that you can get bigger and better results by actually doing less marketing.

More importantly, I wanted to show you how to implement a lean marketing infrastructure in your business.

You can pre-order the new book HERE.

If you’d like immediate help getting lean marketing implemented in your business, book a strategy call HERE.

Pretty Fly for An AI Guy

Will AI control my business? Replace me? No! Let me explain why.

Tools

There’s so much friggin crap online regarding AI right now.

Open up TikTok or Instagram, and you get some pimply teenager on your FYP page starting their video with “I’m going to show you how to make 100 Instagram posts in under two minutes”

Hold that thought for a moment and look at who you’re actually following on social media. Really, have a look. Likely it’s:

  • a real human being doing cool shit (inspiration)
  • a real human being telling you a story (entertainment)
  • a real human being teaching you something (education)

Often, it’s a combination of all three. If that’s who you follow, why would your audience want anything less?

No one wants your crappy AI-generated motivational quotes set to a sunset background. No one wants your cliche-filled AI-generated article or social post. This stuff is just spam and noise.

Despite this, I spend hours every day in AI and AI-assisted tools.

In fact, I dedicated a whole chapter in my new book, Lean Marketing, to AI (chapter 6).

Here’s a quote from that chapter (page 129):

“AI is truly the Iron Man suit for marketers, allowing you to do more with less and helping you build a truly lean marketing infrastructure. I think of it as enabling us to be the conductor of the orchestra rather than having to play each individual instrument..”

AI is making me orders of magnitude more productive, but I’m not using it to generate content for me, because it’s not very good at being Allan Dib. It’s also not very good at telling my stories and experiences.

It’s my Iron Man suit.

I’m using it to augment my abilities, making me faster, more productive, and more efficient.

The right tools are important…but how you use them is even more so. Many people get faked out — they think if only they had Michelangelo’s hammer and chisel, they could create the statue of David.

The right tools combined with the right skills will make you an unstoppable marketing superhero.

Inch Wide and A Mile Deep

Are you targeting your ideal market effectively? Learn what it means to narrow down your target audience to be "an inch wide and a mile deep."

Target Market

I love the Internet. It brings together all these "weird" communities and subcultures.

Recently I got a video in my social feed about a controversy going on in the fountain pen community.

Yes, seriously.

My first reaction was, "There's a fountain pen community??"

My second reaction was, "There's CONTROVERSY in the fountain pen community!??

If ever there was a community where I'd expect peace and tranquility, it would be a fountain pen community. 😂

Google "Lamy dark lilac controversy" if you think I'm messing with you.

It really brought home to me the importance of focusing on and understanding a niche.

Here's a passage from page 33 of my new book Lean Marketing:

"I’ll often ask someone who thinks they’ve niched down what their target market is, and they’ll say something like “women over 40 years old.” Great, so that’s narrowed it down to 1.5 billion people.

What do we do with that?

While I wouldn’t say you can’t be too niche, chances are that when you think you’ve niched enough, you probably haven’t.

You want your niche to be an inch wide and a mile deep. An inch wide means you target a very tightly defined segment or subsegment of a market. A mile deep means a large enough addressable market is looking for a solution to a specific problem.

This doesn’t have to be a huge market. It just needs to be the right market for you. You can be successful beyond your wildest dreams, even if 99.9 percent of the planet has never heard of you.

Have you nailed your inch-wide, mile-deep niche?

I Need More Information

What's stopping you from taking that first step? Do you think more information will help you act? The truth is, nothing works perfectly on the first try. So here's what you can do instead.

Business

I hear it every day:

“I need to wrap my head around it first.”

“I need to figure out my strategy.”

“I’m researching and learning.”

Look, I get it. I’m the strategy guy. The 1-Page Marketing Plan is all about your marketing strategy…but…this is just your starting point.

Be honest with yourself.

Do you really need more information?

More data?

A more comprehensive strategy?

Or is it just procrastination and fear that's driving you?

If you consume information and plan forever, nothing can go wrong.

After all, nothing's actually happened.

It's all just theory.

It feels safe.

On the other hand, doing is riskier.

When you do the things you've planned, there's a chance it might not work out.

In fact, I can pretty much guarantee it won’t work straight out of the gate.

It’s scary. It sucks.

But it’s also the only path to success and mastery.

Every master was once a disaster.

In my new book Lean Marketing, I talk about an affliction that particularly plagues smart people.

“Too many smart people think they’re measuring twice and cutting once but often they never cut. They just measure forever.” (Lean Marketing page 24)

It’s easy to get caught in an endless loop of gathering more information, doing more research, and endless planning.

You know what produces the very best information?

Action.

A better path is to accept that your plan is imperfect and course-correct as you get real feedback from the market.

A scientist in a lab spends some time putting together a hypothesis (plan) but then spends most of their time running the experiments that generate the data.

What’s stopping you from doing the same?