I’m dyslexic. That’s right. Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Henry Winkler and Orlando Bloom and I can all officially high-five each other. I'm dyslexic and I run a lawn company, why?
Some people ask me why is such a bright guy looking after lawns? We'll the truth of the matter is on the surface of my business I do look after lawns, but in back ground it's a absolutely huge brain looking at all of the complications of a world that is made up of water and land and on that land there is one part of it, a very big part that is grass - some managed and sum unmanaged.
I'm interested in both types. My mind never switches off, and being self employed is a great place for my mind.
This is going to be a rambling post, but I'm just going to go with it and to be honest If its got typos or grammar mistakes well I'll leave it to you to work out what I'm trying to say. Now please make sure you keep up.....
Discovering the power of my brain:
Over the years, I've held some great jobs for some big thinking markets, Virgin and QXL are 2. The bigger the companies ambition the easier it was for my brain to find a place in it. What my mind has the power to do is to model what the consequences are of an action on a macro scale, I have to say what this does mean is that on a micro scale I drown a bit. Now thinking on a macro scale is something most people won't be able to do. I had a makers Briggs test done some 12 years ago and I was "profiled" (I do love that word) as INTJ. To those of you that care about that stuff it makes me bloody unique and one of only 3% in the world (hello Bill Gates)!
I had always thought my mind was stronger than my place in conventional world, but the big problem and the one I have started to solve by setting up my own business was, In conventional world most people are processors and they have a fairly inactive mind. most people don't think.
Which is where the phase "thinking outside of the box' is so often coined in the "normal world"
It was only at the ripe old age of 45 that a customer of mine, who happens to be an Oxford academic who teaches and tests for people on the spectrum suggested that I took the test "for some fun" - "give you something to think about Phil".
So I took the test, and yep for sure I have something going on. But its not what you all think. I have a ability to think inside my mind about many models and actions at any given time. What that would mean to most of you "normal" people is I never seem to switch off. Well I don't, never ever ever do I get down time. And its one of the things I really miss.
How my brain get me to do things:
On the basis of it I run a lawn business, which is focused on 3 services - lawn plan basic and lawn plan complete and lawn plan renovation.
But behind the funky vans, nice website and grey t shirts is a huge world of digital data and global placements. Here is a list of tools that I use to manage my mind whilst also working on the lawn.
Digital Strategy - from the offing the whole idea of all gardening lawn service was to make it possible for people to "order" a lawn cut online. Over the years that thinking has developed and it is now firmly about how we as a business engage with our customers on many levels, not just the service but an understanding of the environment and our place in the world. We have a digital strategy because we think that where things are going and that where people will be found in the future.
Website development - maintenance and hosting - I have done all of website development, the current platform is very very function, and does just what we want it to do and not much more. We have realised that a website is just like a book, you look at it for information, it gives you choices.
Technology - We had a sad story back in the winter 2008 where our offices were flooded and in turn that lead to all our PC's doing destroyed. boy o boy a nightmare. But at the time it was the turning point for cloud based technology and subscription based business models. So awesome we move the whole platform to those various cloud based systems. and we have never looked back. We use everything from basic hosting, google apps for business for email and a shared calendar and a number of other digital platforms.
Digital marketing and social - from the very earliest days I have been using all of the platforms in one way or another, the thing that makes me laugh the most is that the whole bloody thing is about writing, with very few exceptions... So I have built a digital strategy that is on one hand flattering all you "normal " people but on the other hand "completely doing my head in". On one hand I love devlivering digital content because people interact with me, but on the other hand when I get it wrong... oh boy its soon wrong.
Data, analytics and optimization - and the land of a very happy dyslexic mind, lets go and look at a bit of data and see how the universe is interacting with me. Its a bit like old fashioned chess, its game play and its dynamic. I can easily spend a whole day looking at the data from so many angles and side that most "normal" people just would have no idea what it all looks like and where its all going. BUT - in the end there is always a robust conclusion and a series of actions. I have a the power to process huge, if i had some formal training I'd be a data scientist!! - Hire me!!
E commerce and CMS implementaion - Ok, were move past the website design stage, not its all about making the platform work. I've had many iterations over the years of our website. But I've come to the point that it really doesn't matter too much what it looks like but it more important that i know its working. And equally its important to know that the investment I put in is paying back. Keeping it simple has been a huge challenge with a dyslexic mind, but i'm leaning to get control.
Data Driven UX and design - Its true that sometimes people just know what to do and how it should progress. But thats just such an old fashioned way to do things, its nice and fun - but - lets get serious we should just do some planning, trial the site, take some data on board and take it from there. Worts thing you can do is get an agency to build your website if you have no data to provide them. It won't work!! trust me i've been there and done that!
Content creation - Here we go, its the world of digital content is everything but creating it is very very easy. what is more important is getting an hand on what "primary" content you want to create and how you initially want to share it. Its a bit like on fashioned PR. I like to think about what I would like to tell about what I've discovered.
A dyslexic conclusion
I don't like to think about "being" dyslexic as I can't quite work out what that means. What I like to think is having a "dyslexic mind" is bloody awesome and its something many many companies should employ, for several reason.
We are very very bright. We see opportunities in everything. We seek to make things better. We are survivors.
So, if you think its just a lawn service I run oh boy how wrong could you be! If you have a business that you think could be explored why not drop me an email - why? because I never switch off and its nice to have new idea and information to put into the pot... whilst I'm looking after lawns.
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