Root’s Rools: Here’s How I Do Stuff

I’m a millennial. I’m a dude, and these are the principles governing my work.

Here’s some quick background:

  • I’m smarter than most people my height.
  • I excel at adding fun to situations – which is a blessing and a curse.
  • I look for impossible to ignore problems, where the consequence of inaction is inevitable. I like when the timeline for impact is beyond the attention of most people. I like when there are few people trying to solve the problem. I like when the solution creates a high-growth market. And the problems need to be closer to necessities than conveniences.
  • In the spirit of stacking, I’ve identified problems that are separate but influence one another. These problems include health primarily in the form of nutrition. Sustainability in the form of environmental health, and agriculture in the form of nutrition and environmental health.

Rool #1) Live your truth.

  • I don’t believe in work/life balance. Your life should be invested in mastering crafts and skills.
  • I don’t believe in wearing masks. You can be yourself in all environments.
  • Leadership is loving people.
  • My 4 favorite C’s: Conviction. Courage. Commitment. Contrarian.
  • There is always a reason to be positive. There aren’t reasons to be negative.
  • Always lead with the good news and end with the bad news.
  • Look the part if you want people to believe you. It works, and it saves time overcoming self-imposed perceived limitations.
  • Questions can offer the best directions for your boss.
  • Belief is contagious. If you believe, they’ll believe.

Rool #2) Productivity is the primary purpose.

  • Take inventory of all available assets. Start with those.
  • Start small, but think big.
  • Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
  • Don’t wait. Get it fucking done now.
  • Operate in feedback looks: Observe. Orient. Decide. Act.
  • The difference between finishing and quitting is an excuse – known or unknown.
  • We know better. We do better.
  • When it’s hard, winners go harder.
  • Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress.
  • Results are important, but work is the fun part. When in doubt, add fun. Keep it cute.

Rool #3) Strategy is the process for making an idea into reality.

  • Execution requires simplification and sequencing.
  • Simple and direct language.
  • Organize simple to complex. Design pattern to details.
  • Keep batches in 3 to 5 (never more than 7).
  • Use acronyms and alliterations.
  • Play the short game only to stay in the long game.
  • Integrate rather than segregate.
  • You have no boundaries. Don’t write your own rules.
  • Rules solve problems before they happen. If you don’t have problems, you don’t need rules.
  • Stack synergies in parallel, so they can intersect and support without interfering.

Rool #4) Sales is storytelling.

  • Show don’t tell.
  • Shorter is better.
  • The product is the hero.
  • Resolution illustrates the aspiration of the audience.
  • Goal. Motivation. Constraint.
  • Create context.
  • Quantify impact.
  • Analogies align perspectives.

Rool #5) Sales is solving for an implicit – rather than explicit – need.

  • Always say yes to help. Always say yes to selling.
  • Carefully asked questions can guide customers to the right conclusions.
  • Always have a bias for the benefits rather than the features.
  • Show them how it works by letting them experience the impact.
  • They will say yes. They have to. The question is, “when will the say yes?”

Rool #6) Marketing is the fight to own your market.

  • Context is king. Keep decisions in the context of competition. It’s in the context of available choices – micro and macro. You don’t have to be the best. You just have to be better than the competitors in the race. You just have to prove you’re the best choice.
  • A brand is the sum of associations and experiences.
  • Emote: how you feel colors how you think.
  • Find your market first. Find – or create – your segment in the market second. Find your audience in the segment third. Be your audience.
  • If you are not your audience, become your audience. If you can’t become your audience, find someone in your audience to do the work for you.
  • Your message must be complete, differentiated and compelling in 3 simple words – and no more than 7 words.
  • Recall is real important. If you want them to remember, you must repeat even when you are tired of repeating what you’re repeating.
  • Upside down pyramid: prioritize the significance of messages.

Rool #7) Creativity is the process of polishing a pile of unpolished ideas.

  • Always ask “what if?”
  • Build on ideas with, “Yes and…”
  • Subtraction adds more than addition. Keep it simple, stupid.
  • When in doubt, turn it upside down. When that doesn’t work, forget about it for a while.
  • Conventional lessons in one context can offer unconventional solutions to problems in a different context.
  • Know when to sweat the style, and know when to sweat the substance.

Also published on Medium.

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