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Todd Henry – Die Empty

Todd Henry - Die EmptyMarketing Time Lag

When do you take action? Are you usually spontaneous and act instantly? Or do you stop, ponder and reflect?

I first heard about this book Die Empty by Todd Henry on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixel of Separation podcast way back in January. (The podcast was published three months earlier on October 23, 2013). (By the way, this is one of my favourite podcasts at the moment – it sparks lots of ideas for me!)

That’s interesting by itself – how we come to read or notice things. And, when we take action. It took me six months from hearing an in-depth interview with the author to reading his book.

Marketing Insight: What’s the time lag for your customers between hearing about your product/service for the first time and buying it?

Let’s talk about death…

Anyway, Todd has, at least for me, hit on a powerful concept. Most of us live in the one-day, some-day and don’t cherish the opportunity to make life happen right here and right now. Sound familiar? It certainly rings a bell for me…

And, as he reminds us, that one day our time is going to run out. Yep, we’re all going to die. And, on your deathbed will you be asking yourself: Am I about to die with life still in me? I’ll admit this is me! That explains why I was drawn to this book.

This leads us to two basic and fundamental questions:

  1. What would your life look like if you made every day count?
  2. What are you going to do about it right now?

The Power of Old

Todd Henry is not pointing to a brand new concept. I’m sure you’ve heard it before: We’re all gonna die! And, he has captured it neatly: Die Empty. Short, sweet, succinct. Great concept! It’d make a great life motto or even a wonderful tattoo.

TIP: I work with a lot of people wanting to come up with brand new concepts. That’s hard, really hard to do. And, sometimes it’s not about brand new. Sometimes it’s simply about streamlining or updating an enduring and existing idea. Make it better just like Todd has done here.

The Work Connection

For many people, the dream of life is to not have to work. This is why you enter lotto isn’t? Quit your job, retire on a beach, play golf… Yet, the happiness research shows that when we work hard at pursuing something important to us, this is good for our overall wellbeing. As Victor Frankl might have said, ‘without purpose we all die’.

The thing that Todd has done really well is to connect ‘die empty’ to work. That’s what makes this a contemporary update on an old theme. It reflects the shift in work from doing someone else’s job to creating our own jobs and lifestyles through the work we do.

More on this here.

The Opportunity

This brings us to the big opportunity. And I think it lives in these three questions.

  1. What matters to you?
  2. What are you going to die empty creating? In other words, what work are you going to do?
  3. Are you doing your best work? Or more specifically, are you doing your best work today?

The Die Empty Manifesto

Die Empty is a manifesto. That’s another reason it caught my ear. Die Empty is a declaration of your intent to live life in a particular way. If I were to write it in the manifesto style of the Ten Commandments it would look something like this:

Die Empty

  1. Value your contribution
  2. Avoid mediocrity
  3. Define your battles
  4. Be fiercely curious
  5. Step out of your comfort zone
  6. Know yourself
  7. Be confidently adaptable
  8. Find your voice
  9. Stay connected
  10. Live EMPTY!

These are the chapter headings from his book. And, this shows:

  1. How to define your big idea in a simple and effective way
  2. And, how you can turn a simple manifesto into a compelling book.

Buy the book because you want to Die Empty. And, create your manifesto to define your purpose and to live empty!

TIP: What a great title! It’s a call to arms! It’s a strong verb with a clever descriptive word. This is a powerful way to create a unique concept. Steal this approach and do the same for your big idea.

Next: Todd Henry and the Three Kinds of Work

 

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