Customer Needs Leadership Nudge

Negative Nudges – with positive results

angry man

Ok, this week I felt like I received some personal nudges that were a bit negative.

One was actually negative – a one star review on one of my online courses. I already wrote a blogpost about that one.

The other wasn’t actually negative, but it did force to get to clearer on my purpose for Nudge Village. Come to think of it, I actually wrote a blogpost about that one as well. You know, the post about “burning the ships?”
Day 39 :: my own worst enemy
Obviously, those “negative” nudges ended up being pretty powerful for me.


  • Embarrassment – They embarrassed me just a bit. After all, I’m a “Chief Nudger,” and a “Nudge Strategist.” I want to do good work and make a difference.
  • Lead by Example – Most of my day job involves leadership, management and mentoring. Yet, I couldn’t get my own website and products to clearly meet the needs of my audience? Practicing what I preach would be a first good step toward leading by example.
  • Prioritize It – I’ve been incredibly busy. Too busy. But, I have so many ideas. Why not follow them all at once? Right? Wrong. Instead of starting multiple disparate projects, it is time to get clear on 1-2 and …finish them.
  • Focus – What will the 1-2 ideas be? I’ve got to push aside what all the voices are saying (no, not in my head – all the social network voices) and decide what fits me and what fits my audience. Who is my audience anyway? Exactly. Focus.


Thank you shout out to the Negative Nudgers

So, I must say thank you to the negative nudgers today. They embarrassed me. I’m now back to leading by example. I’m prioritizing. I’m focusing. I re-arranged my website. I burned some ships (in the form of confusing webpages). I’ve included some new tips in my Authenticity on Twitter course. I’ve had new ideas about what to offer within my more focused website.


p class=”impact-text”>Don’t disregard them in the future

They may embarrass you. They may make you angry. But, emotion can be good. It can lead to self-improvement. It can lead to more insights and reflection. It can lead to more blogposts on your blog about how the negative nudge changed you. Ha.

I’d say “bring ’em on,” but I have a feeling there will be more negative nudges that will come all too naturally.

For now, I’m going to use them as turning points that keep me on a growth path.

Onward and Upward…..


Burn the Ships – or at least get focused

a burning shipOver the past few years there is often a reference in blogs and articles to “Burn the Ships” or “Burn the Boats.” This is in reference to Alexander the Great commanding his small (and vastly outnumbered army) to get rid of his ships once they landed in Persia. A lot of disagreement as to whether they just let the ships sink or if actual burning was involved. Regardless, they had to make do with what they had because there was no turning back at that point. It demonstrated full commitment to the purpose at hand.

Jim Collins (Good to Great) referenced this story in talking about CEO Darwin E. Smith of Kimberly-Clark (paper products company). Smith made the difficult decision to “Sell the Mills” –  the core of their business for years. He sold the mills and instead started investing more in brands like Huggies and Kleenex. It was shocking to many that he would make such a drastic move, but it paid off.

Last night as I was talking to a referral and I remembered this story when the person was asking me to clarify what was going on with my website. They couldn’t figure out my core business.

Shameful, aye?

But, I agreed.

My clarity has not yet hit my website and I’m in the process of narrowing down WAY too many interests. Luckily, my day job brings in the big bucks. Not Nudge Village.

Perhaps this is one reason why.  Yikes!

It took a bit of humility, but I deleted 5-6 key website pages that were confusing people when they visited my site. I have a few more changes in the works to simplify, refine and clarify. I’m one step more focused and clear on what I will and will not be.

Sometimes in the quest to find the right thing we can appear to be all over the place. But,  little nudges from others can help us get back on track if we are open to receive them.

We are forced to re-focus.

We are compelled to select a  few personal “burn the ships” items. Delete extraneous products or blogposts, refrain from partnering with an unrelated affiliate, discovering misguided priorities,  trying to be everything to everyone.

So, the angst of the last week is now turning into a way forward, at least for a few more steps.

Thanks to someone I don’t know, but said something that nudged me to start a bit of a “fire.”

Nudge Nudge – burn some personal ships, sell some mills, get focused!

Accountability Preparation

Toss in a bit of Bionic Mode

Periodically we’ll post a nudge from our “Daily Nudge” series. This is nudge #17!

photo of a speed skater

Sometimes when I’m really focused and plowing forward on a project, I jokingly say that I’m in “bionic mode.”

Have you had those moments where you are full of energy, focused, and stay on task for a full one, two, three or even 12 hours?

It is amazing. You feel great because you typically have something to show for yourself at the end of this bionic sprint!

In prior nudges, we talked about just taking 15 minutes a day to work on your idea. That’s great for the day in and day out, but long-term you need time to get some “bionic mode” time to truly do the hard work of creating and moving forward your idea!

Let’s be realistic. You can’t get there every week.

Here’s a nudge – schedule one full day sometime in the next 30 days as your “bionic mode” day. 

Do what it takes to make this happen. Get a babysitter, go to the library or Barnes and Noble, sit in your car with your computer, go rent a hotel room for a day!


Can you afford not to do it?