Try and Define Rick (or me)

A few weeks back I consolidated my various offices into my home office. The unpacking, sorting and reviewing of a decade of business building gave me pause. In that time I had managed to work in industries as diverse as fiber optic amplifiers and egg farms. I had worked on deals involving genetics and deals involving professional soccer franchises. I had consulted with groups looking to buy fast food franchisors and waste haulers (some would say those are similar). I had been paid to do everything from training to sales to marketing to financial analysis. At a time when everybody is asking me what I do, I looked at this body of work and wondered, “what do I do?”.

Looking at the client list could lead one to believe that there was little consistency in the career path I was wandering down but a deeper look revealed something more. While my clients had been as diverse as they come the goal in all cases was the same…growth! The levers we looked to pull may have been different. Capital raising for some, improved operations free up cash flow, repositioning in the market, key client acquisition for others. But the goal was the same because the options were the same. Grow or die!

Sometimes the common thread is not readily apparent and you have to look deeper. Whether personally or as a business we often lose sight of what we are really offering. Think about your customers. They may look as motley a crew as mine (nothing personal I deeply appreciate all of the folks I have worked with) but they all see something in you. Something that they value. Sometimes we need that mirror to remind us.

Rick Rubin makes great records! He doesn’t just make great hip-hop records or great country records or great heavy metal records. Sometimes we limit our market by our definitions. Xerox made great strides in growing when the defined themselves a “a document company” not “a copier company”. Is your definition holding you or your company back?

31 Artists that Rick Rubin has produced albums for:

1. LL Cool J
2. Run DMC
3. Beastie Boys
4. The Cult
5. Public Enemy
6. Slayer
7. The Black Crowes
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
10. Nine Inch Nails
11. Johnny Cash
12. System of a Down
13. Lucinda Williams
14. Sheryl Crow
15. Macy Gray
16. Audioslave
17. The Jayhawks
18. Jay-Z
19. Rage Against the Machine
20. Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz
21. Weezer
22. Shakira
23. Neil Diamond
24. Dixie Chicks
25. Justin Timberlake
26. U2
27. Kanye West
28. Jakob Dylan
29. Metallica
30. Pete Yorn
31. Gogol Bordello

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