Podcast

Episode: 63 |
Celine Teoh:
Customer Retention:
Episode
63

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

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Celine Teoh

Customer Retention

Show Notes

Our guest today is my good friend, Umbrex member Celine Teoh an independent strategy and marketing consultant in the Bay Area whose functional specialties include data-driven marketing strategy and execution, strategic planning and business planning.

On this episode, we discuss steps firms can take to improve customer retention.

We also discuss the benefits you can derive from journaling – in terms of productivity, creativity, happiness, and centeredness.  Celine has been journaling actively for years, across several different styles, and I’ve been working to put her suggestions into practice.

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

Will: Hello, Celine. It is great to have you on the show.
Celine: Hi, Will. How are you?
Will: I’m doing fantastic. Celine, we’ve known each other for a few years, and I always love chatting with you and great to have you on the show for the first time. I think we agreed to talk about a couple things, so I wanted to talk about customer retention, which is an area I know you’ve done a ton of work. In the second half of the show, we’ll get into journaling, which is a subject that I’m fascinated in and that you’ve done a lot of and have a ton to say around, so super excited for both parts. Let’s talk about retention. Tell me a little bit about customer lifecycle and why you think retention is an interesting place to focus.
Celine: Well, customer lifecycle basically, for the listeners out there, refers to the customer’s acquisition into the company and then keeping them for as long as possible before they leave. All customers leave, but you want them to stay for as long as you can have them. I like to focus on customer retention, because I think it’s a big opportunity, and the impact is significant and measurable. I mean, it’s really worth the money.
Companies spend a lot of effort and energy on acquisition, but acquisition can cost up to five times retention, based on research, and it’s really no good having lots of customers come in the door only to leave after a single purchase. If you can get customers to stay with you and continue purchasing with you, it really affects your customer lifetime value. If you have the tools to do the analysis, it can really boost the value of the company if you focus on retention, so I like focusing on it.
Will: When you say costs five times as much, so we’re saying that in a hypothetical example, maybe you acquire 100 customers and from past history we know that a year later maybe only 30 of those customers are still gonna be regular customers. What you’re saying is we know how much it costs to acquire a new customer, and maybe it costs, I don’t know, $10 or $100, depending on the nature of the company, and sort of the benchmark would be we’re gonna have 30 left at the end of the year. If we do X, Y, Z, we could have 37 left at the end of the year, so we had seven more customers. It’s kind of like acquiring them, but it’s more like incremental retention.
Celine: Exactly. If you think about it as incremental acquisition, which is what you said, like you’re acquiring them over and over again, acquiring them the first time, like you said, costs $10. The cost of re-acquiring them, if that’s how you want to think about retention, might be only two bucks.
Will: Okay. Great. Talk to me. When you say it’s measurable and significant, so talk to me about some of the things that you do related to retention and maybe other ways to think about retention and different ways to segment the types of activities that companies can pursue.
Celine: Yeah. Segmentation is a great place to start, and I love that you mentioned that. You want to take a targeted approach. It’s the classic 80/20 rule. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers, so you really want to keep them. The challenge is getting these super customers to say without turning off the rest of your 80%. An example of a segmentation approach a company might take and that I like to use is one called RFM. That stands for recency, frequency, and monetary. An example is you segment your customers according to how recently they bought from you, how frequently they’re buying from you, and how much money they spend with you when they do purchase.
An example is a customer segment that is high RFM, so high recency, high frequency, high monetary, these are your most loyal customers. You want to figure out how to reward them to get them to stay, so that might take the shape of some kind of red carpet program for them. Then customers who are another segment is maybe high recency, but low frequency and low monetary. Those are your newest customers. You want to make a good impression on them, so you might have a welcome sequence to introduce the company, a usage guide to tell them how to use the product and then also to try more items on complementary categories to get that frequency and monetary up.
Then another segment might be low recency, low frequency, low monetary. These customers may not be worth the effort until you address the higher value segments. One more segment could be low recency, but high frequency and monetary. These are customers you are in danger of losing, but who are worth a lot of money. They liked you before. We need to get in there and figure out why they aren’t buying and how to get them to come back. A lot of my work is around that last segment, high frequency and monetary in the past, but low recency. You want to win them back. Segmentation is the first place to start.
Will: When you start a project on retention, I imagine you may typically start with some type of diagnostic effort.
Celine: Exactly.
Will: Talk to me about what that would look like when you go into a company, and maybe also talk about what kind of clients you’re serving.
Celine: Of course. The diagnostic, I like doing the three pronged diagnostic. You start with internal data. You start with a bunch of hypotheses. You build a hypothesis tree around what might be driving retention or the lack thereof. Then you basically slice and dice that data to try to understand the shape of retention for that company for that particular segment. At the same time, you also want to talk to internal stakeholders, because usually they have a point of view on what’s driving retention, and what’s causing it, and the barriers that are preventing the company from addressing it.
It’s valuable to talk to both the customer facing part of the company, because they have a great perspective on what customers value. Then it’s useful also to talk to internal groups to see what kind of structural barriers are holding the company back, but then you also want to talk to customers. Ideally, you’re doing some kind of ethnographic study and building out a full customer journey, because then you have a clear idea of where you’re not living up to the customer’s expectations. Sometimes that’s expensive and a little bit hard to do, and then you have to wing it. Instead of doing ethnographics, you might be doing one-to-one phone surveys, because it’s cheaper, or you might be doing an online survey if you really don’t have the budget to do the ethnographic.
Will: I’m sorry. What would an ethnographic mean?
Celine: It’s a form of research where you’re actually going in and you’re almost living the customer’s experience. An example of that type of research might be you’re actually going to visit the customer in their house, and then you tell them, “Take me on a shopping trip to,” I’m making it up, “Target, and show me how you shop for groceries there.” Then you follow them as they go through that shopping trip. You ask them questions around their expectations and experience at each stage of the process. Then you go home and you have them talk about experiences purchasing groceries elsewhere as well.
It’s more in depth. It’s slightly anthropological almost. You’re getting at significant drivers, and expectations, and feelings that come up when they are going through the shopping process. You can build a customer journey out using various research methods for entire journeys, if you think that’s what’s driving retention, or you can focus on specific parts of the journey if you say have a very good idea of parts of the journey that are affecting retention or if you have a limited budget.
Will: What type of clients are you typically serving? Is it certain types of retailers, or what’s your sort of core segment?
Celine: Mm-hmm (affirmative). My core segment are B2C with the woman as the purchase decision maker, so I’ve done everything from apparel, to weddings, to kids, baby, maternity, to education, as you can see, everything along the woman’s purchase life, so to speak. I particularly like dealing with eCommerce companies or companies that are medium to large size, because they have a lot of data to work with, and I’m a data fiend. I love working off analytics.
Will: Wait. I got to say I laughed a little bit when you said that you’ve worked with weddings. I don’t know about customer retention in that space, but-
Celine: Right. In that case, you actually want monetary to be very high.
Will: After my second, third, fourth one. Right. Yeah. Leaving that one be, what are some of the typical things that you find are some of the biggest opportunities to improve retention, and talk about some of the interventions that have been successful.
Celine: I think one of the biggest things that I notice is actually a lack of segmentation. Many companies just treat all their customers the same. So, segmenting, and customizing, and tailoring your approach to your most valuable customers is actually important. The interventions you need there are many times structural. The company might not actually have the infrastructure to be able to identify these people, the ability to address them. There is some change in the structure of how the company goes to market that’s required and how the company then hand holds the customer after that, so that’s one thing, the lack of segmentation.
The second is actually the lack of feedback, not staying in touch with your customer. It’s always good to go out to them once in a blue moon, and do a study, and find out, oh, this is the customer journey, and here’s what the customer expects of me, but once you fix something, usually something else pops up. So, you want to have that constant channel of communication with the customers, so building out those channels. Making sure that you are hearing from all of your customers, not just the ones who love you, is super important.
For example, I was working with a company once that [inaudible 00:10:53] customer surveys after every major experience that the customer had with them, and they were getting back glowing reviews, like amazing feedback. We said, “Well, what’s going on then, because the retention’s not as high as we would like it to be?” What we realized was the only people feeling out the surveys were super fans. Usually the hypothesis with surveys is that you get a barbell, so you have the most disgruntled and the most happy customers filling them out, and the great middle portion doesn’t bother, but with this particular company for some reason only the super fans were filling it out, and that disgruntled customers were not. They were getting a very skewed idea of their customer satisfaction.
Will: Are there ways that companies can effectively get feedback, because I’ve personally become just totally immune to those kind of surveys, you know, from the airline, every time I go to buy everything on Amazon now. I mean, just every single interaction they want me to fill out a survey. I’m saying like, “I’m not gonna fill out your survey for free. Forget about it.” Are there any things that you’ve seen where companies are taking it to the next level to actually get useful feedback from customers?
Celine: Yeah. One service that’s fantastic is called Delighted.com. It’s basically a lightweight way that’s pretty fast to get actionable feedback from your customers. The way it works is you might use their product and have customers just click on … You send them a quick email at the end of an interaction, and it has these little smiley faces or sad faces, and they just click on that. It’s very low barrier for the customer. Customers don’t like filling out surveys, because they’re so … When you click in, you don’t know how many questions it’s gonna be. Once it gets to be more than three questions, customers stop asking, and they just abandon.
But with this, because it’s an emoji, it’s right embedded into the email, it’s actually very, very easy for the customers to do. You want to make it as lightweight and as low barrier as possible for the customer, and you want to make sure that you’re fielding them to the right number of people, the right mix of people. Then using that, you can use actually Delighted.com to build a net promoter score for your business. Keeping tabs on that is I think super useful.
Will: Okay. We talked about getting feedback. What are some things that companies can actually do to improve retention?
Celine: Two examples. One is let’s say you’ve built out a customer journey map, right, which details here are the interactions that the customer’s having with us, here are the expectations that they have at each interaction. Here is where we are failing them, because we’re getting a lot of feedback about this particular point in the interaction. One useful way of building out how to readdress this, it’s actual detailed. For this interaction what are the groups within the company that are A, interacting with this touchpoint with the customer, and B, what are the groups that are actually owning it and responsible for how the customer feels about this touchpoint?
What a company [inaudible 00:14:18] discovers there is usually a lot of departments that are involved in the touchpoint, but that nobody really owns it. A quick example might be unboxing is a great part of the experience for somebody who is purchasing from an eCommerce company, but maybe the unboxing’s annoying, because the tape that you use is too strong, and nothing they have can cut through it.
Will: Or they have one of those super thick plastic things, where you cut your hand, because you can’t get those things apart.
Celine: Yeah. You can’t rip it off. [crosstalk 00:14:55]
Will: If you don’t have industrial scissors, you can’t open the thing, right? That’s [crosstalk 00:14:59].
Celine: Right.
Will: Okay. I’m sorry. You got me on a rant there.
Celine: It sounds like you’ve had a personal experience with this, Will. [inaudible 00:15:07]
Will: Yeah. Exactly.
Celine: What happens there is the group that is owning this interaction is probably fulfillment, but the group that’s doing the purchasing of the tape is actually the one that’s affecting the customer experience. You need to have fulfillment, who’s owning this experience, actually be working hand in hand with everybody in the company to make sure that that customer experience when they’re unboxing is actually pleasant and easy, and then you should be pulling marketing in to make sure that when they open it up, it should feel like a gift or a present to themselves that they just purchased. That’s one approach.
The other approach, I’ll use another example. I was working with a summer camp company where you have a little bit of a challenge, because the people who are purchasing, so the purchase decision makers and the person who’s holding the wallet strings or the purse strings, is not the same person who’s experiencing the products or the service, because it’s the child who’s experiencing that. One of the things that was frustrating the purchase decision maker, i.e. the parent, was that at the end of the day when their kid comes back from camp or they’re picking their kid up from camp, they actually don’t have an idea of what happened, of how the kid’s experience was, of whether it was personalized, whether it was fun, whether they learned anything, depending on the segment that we’re talking about.
The challenge there is the parent who is the most high value, who spends a lot, who uses summer camp frequently, they’re usually either … what the user is doing, so what the child is doing. The [inaudible 00:16:58] there was to realize that we had to structurally build in opportunities for the parent to have windows into the child’s experience. We encouraged the children to talk to the parents when they got home. We would actually write an email to the parents to say, “Today the campers worked on this tightrope challenge. When they get home at night, ask them how they got across the tightrope with their friends. There was lots of laughter.”
Another channel is to have the team leaders talk to the parents one-on-one at pick up. “Today, Judy was trying very hard to build a tower, and she persevered through three iterations of it, but she finally got it and did a high five with her friend.” Another channel is to provide pictures of your team every day through an internal website. The answer varies from company to company, but there are usually structured ways you can reorganize either the delivery method or the channels and then reorganize a little bit the way the internal teams work together to deliver an experience.
Will: You know, as you were going through that, I was totally having this self-recognition, not so much with summer camp, but I’ve put my kids in the past into ski school for the day, and now I’m realizing that some consultant must have come in there and taught that same lesson, because they have this thing where at the end of the day your kids get a little report card from the instructor where they come and brief each parent, “Here’s how Samuel and Alejandra did today,” and they’d go through eight or nine categories. They’d brief each of us for a minute. I’m like really why are they doing this? Clearly, some consultant had suggested that’s the way to engage me to get [inaudible 00:18:50]. Now I have a little insight into that. Okay. That was their retention technique.
Celine: Yeah. It’s important. It is a retention technique. They want you to feel good about the fact that Samuel developed their [inaudible 00:19:04] skills. [crosstalk 00:19:04]
Will: Exactly. Right? Okay. So, I learned something about that. That’s how that came about. Kind of that helps make … Focusing on the decision maker and kind of giving them information or changing their experience, that kind of fits into the category of making sure that those key interactions that someone actually owns within the company and is paying attention to.
Celine: Yes, and paying attention to the right things, right? Going back to the eCommerce example, fulfillment’s usually focused on getting the right product out fast enough at a low enough price for the customer, but really they’re also responsible for … That’s a huge part of customer satisfaction for sure, but you also want to make sure that marketing is talking to them to make sure that this is a new customer. We know it’s a new customer, so we’re getting a new customer guide in that box, or we’re getting a welcome packet in that box at the same time. Then we’re getting the retention marketer to talk to fulfillment as well to say, “Hey. For these particular boxes, we want to have a retention package in there, or we want a retention mailer to go out to certain people, a free gift.”
Will: What about for eCommerce companies, beyond just sending email reminders, and coupons, and discount odes, and things like that? What are some ways that you found successful at helping eCommerce companies bring back those high frequency, high monetary, but not recent customers back into the fold and getting them interesting again? Sometimes you buy from a company for a while, and then you just kind of wander off and just sort of forget about it a little bit or just … maybe not even because you decided you don’t like them. You just kind of get distracted and forget about them almost.
Celine: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I know you said beyond emails and beyond … but quite frankly, we find email to actually work really well. It usually starts as a retention sequence, but not one that feels broad based. The more tailored and customized you can be, the better the response is usually. If you send an email out and it’s coming from a company that a customer has had an interaction with before and a good interaction with before, and you say, “You know, we noticed that you haven’t come back for a little while, and we missed you. We’re hoping that you really enjoy that X product you bought last time. Tell us how you feel about it, or is there something we can change?”, that’s the first email. You’re not asking them to buy anything. You’re just saying, “Hey.” You’re building that emotional connection, saying, “We noticed you. We noticed that you’ve left. We miss that. We’d like you to come back.”, but you’re not saying, “Buy this.”
Then after that, you start sending … the rest of the sequence could be, “Hey. Last time you bought these. We thought you might be interested, because the last time you purchased this it was winter season. It’s spring again now. Maybe you want to refresh your wardrobe.” This would be an eCommerce apparel company. Then the next part of the sequence might be a discount, quite frankly, right? “Hey. Come back.” If you don’t want the discount, because it’s not brand appropriate, then you might do, “Get this, and we’ll throw in a little extra on top of it, a little accessory for you.” It’s escalating. First, it’s building the emotional connection and showing that it’s customized. B, it’s using the customer’s past purchase history to cater that massaging, and C, it’s then a series of escalating incentives to come back.
Will: I guess some of the toolkit we’ve talked about are there’s segmenting the customers, so you understand which ones you’re actually gonna go after. We talked about making sure there’s somebody responsible for those key moments of truth that really affect the customer decision, and the ethnographic thing, and then kind of doing the data and the analytics to set up some automated sequences of engagement to re-engage folks.
You talked about how it’s measurable. How would you go about kind of measuring the impact of some of these different things, because I imagine if you try more than one single thing, it can get a little complex, because you’re trying to figure out what’s the cause, and what’s the effect? What are some ways that in the practical world you can at least try to cut through all that and measure the impact, so you can say which things do we want to do more of?
Celine: Right. It’s classic, right? You basically isolate the groups that you’re trying different things with. If, for example, you’re trying two different things at the same time, then you measure the impact on retention pre and post those actions. Then you can calculate also the change in the value of the purchases. Based on that, you can calculate the cost and the benefit of that retention strategy. Alternatively, if you’re trying a bunch of things in sequence, what you can do is build in measurement pre and post each of those actions, leaving enough time in between them.
For example, talking about that email sequence with escalating incentives, you could say, “All right. I sent out the first email. How many people responded to that versus not, and how much did they buy?” Then for the next group of people who get the second email, because they didn’t respond to the first one, how many responded to that, and so on. So, there are ways you can measure. How you measure depends on whether you’re trying multiple things in parallel or whether you’re trying a bunch of things in sequence. I’m glad you brought it up, because being thoughtful about that is important as well.
Will: What have you been doing, Celine, to kind of build your practice area around some of these topics?
Celine: In terms of customers, really it’s referrals. It’s customers who have worked with me serve as a strong referral base.
Will: Let’s talk about journaling a little bit. Last year at one of the top tier events, you led a session on journaling, which was awesome. So, I know it’s something that you practice regularly and see a lot of benefits from. Talk to me about journaling in your life, and some of the different types of it, and some of the reasons you recommend it to other people.
Celine: Yeah. I journal, because I like to write to begin with, but then the more I read about journaling, the more I realized it’s actually got a lot of benefits. One is that it’s really good for mental health. The second is that it’s great for directing your own personal development. As an independent consultant, I’m sure that you’re aware of this too, we’re actually responsible for our own development, because nobody else is going to help us with it. Journaling I find is a really good way to keep me honest, and on track, and focused on my own goals. Really journaling is a great way I find for me to reflect.
For example, over the past year, I can look back over my journal and say, “Okay. Here’s are the main events that happened. Here are the milestones. Here is that development.” It’s a nice, little slice of personal history as well, which I like.
Will: Talk to me about the different sort of styles of journaling. You talked about this last year in that session that you led.
Celine: I think of journaling in three main buckets. One is if you want to move the needle on some kind of personal development goal or any goal really, the thing you can do is goal directed journaling. I actually lump into that productivity, so making sure that you’re working on the right things, both at a macro level, so is what all the projects I’m working on moving me towards this goal for the quarter or the year, and then micro focus as well, so for this day am I working on the right things? That’s one type of journaling, so goal directed journaling.
The second type of journaling I think of as journaling for happiness. I put in that bucket things like gratitude journaling, where you at the end of the day write down what you’re thankful there. I also write down milestone journaling. I’ll put milestone journaling in here as well as part of happiness building, just to say, “What are the big things that happened?”, being able to reminisce.
Then the last bucket is actually a bucket for processing of emotions and events. I would say here it’s all about expressive journaling, you know, the classic teenager writing in their journal, “This happened today, and I loved it,” or, “I hated it. Why is this happening?” But that last bucket, by the way, is what people tend to think of as journaling, but journaling actually is so flexible, and you can customize it to your own needs. I like to mix and match among all three of those buckets.
Will: So, there’s you said the goal directed, which would be you sort of have one thing that you’re writing on over a period of time, like you’re trying to, I don’t know, build your business or to stay fit. Then each day it’s like what am I doing today to reach my goal, or what did I do yesterday to reach my goal, so you’re constantly reflecting on that. Is that the idea for that approach?
Celine: Yes. That is one way you could do it. There are many different ways you could kind of execute on goal directed journaling. Another approach, and one that I take, for example, is that at the beginning of each quarter across four main buckets in love, relationship, in work, in health, and in personal development I take stock of where I’m standing, you know, on a scale of one to ten how happy am I with where this is? Then I write down maybe a few goals that are things I’d like to do to move the needle on those metrics by the end of the quarter. Then every week or so I check in. Did what I did this week move me towards those goals? Did I stay true? Do I need to tweak the goals, or do I need to tweak my habits or structures? Then set intentions for next week. What am I gonna do differently?
That’s another way of doing it too. There are many ways you could do goal directed journaling. Taking it all the way back, that’s actually a little bit longer term, right, three months. Taking it all the way back, every morning when I wake up, I actually do one big thing. I go, “What’s the one big thing I have to do today?”, where if I completed that by the end of the day, I’d say, “This is a good day,” which worked.
Will: Then the gratitude journaling, talk to me about that a little bit more.
Celine: There’s a lot of research out there that says that fostering an attitude of gratitude is actually huge for improving happiness and satisfaction with life. Gratitude journaling at its most basic is just a reflection at the end of a time period, usually a day, where you say, “Here are a couple of things I was thankful for.” Doing that regularly changes the way your brain works, because you start looking out for these moments where you can be thankful. It’s actually pretty cool. It’s super lightweight.
For people who say, “I don’t have the time to journal,” I’d actually recommend starting with gratitude journaling, because it’s so easy. You could literally write one thing you’re grateful for at the end of each day and fill up an entire month on just two pages. It doesn’t take up a lot of space. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but has pretty big implications for happiness.
Will: How does the Julia Cameron morning pages idea fit in to this? Where would you categorize that? Maybe describe that one a little bit.
Celine: I think the morning pages piece is, correct me if I’m wrong, expressive journaling. This is where she’s in the morning just write out what’s in your head and just get it out there, and I think according to research, a great way for you to start putting structure around what’s happening and the emotions and the feelings that are just swirling around in your body … because usually when we’re thinking about something, especially if it’s very high emotion, we can go around in circles, but putting it down on paper requires a form of sequencing, so you start not only sequencing, but you start processing as well. I think that’s the value of expressive journaling the way Julia Cameron recommends it.
Will: What benefits have you seen personally from your various journaling activities?
Celine: One is focus. Last year I actually, or the year before last I actually had this health scare, because I got appendicitis, and I was in India. As I was in that hospital bed getting ready for surgery in some smaller town in India … It wasn’t super tiny, but it was not Delhi or Mumbai. I was very scared. I actually thought about whether I had spent my time on the things that mattered. I was really scared at this point. I thought, “You know, I actually am pretty happy about the way I have allocated my time and spent my focus and attention.” A big tool that helped in that I realized was my journal, because it was keeping me honest. It was keeping me focused on my goals. It was helping me make sure that I wasn’t doing all this extraneous stuff that tends to creep in and tends to suck up our time and attention. To me that was the value of journaling. It helps me keep my focus.
Will: If you don’t mind me prying a little bit, what is something that maybe you felt that you had focused on, and were there some things that you felt that the journaling helped keep you from getting distracted by. Were you reading to your kids and not watching television? What was the thing that it was helping you to focus on?
Celine: I’ll actually approach from the other side, what was it helping me not focus on was the attention merchants, right? All of our devices and the apps on them are very, very good at requesting and getting our attention and focus. It can be very addictive.
Will: Well, they’re working on customer retention.
Celine: Exactly, and they’re very good at it, because they’re using behavioral psychology to do it. They’re rewarding you for every little interaction that you have, and the journaling actually helped me reduce the amount of time I was spending with these attention merchants and freed up my time to spend on everything else that I mentioned, my practice, my relationships, my health, my personal development. It was actually helpful, because one of the goals I had in my journal was to reduce the time that I was spending with devices, and it freed up time to do a whole bunch of other stuff.
Will: Attention Merchants is the title of a recent book by Tim Wu. It sounds like you’ve been effected by that or adopted that language.
Celine: Yes.
Will: It’s helped you focus, kind of avoid spending, frittering away time on Facebook and Instagram and kind of focus on things that matters, so some of the benefits. Last area, Celine, is I always love to ask guests two or three books that you have most often gifted to others. Any titles come to mind?
Celine: One title is Designing Your Life by Bill Bernett and Dave Evans. These are professors at the Stanford D School, the Stanford Design School. It’s a book about design thinking applied to life design. Their basic premise is that there isn’t just one right path for people to take. There are may possible paths, which is very design thinking, so to generate multiple options and to brainstorm what paths there might be. Then they then recommend prototyping these paths, not by living them.
For example, if one of your paths were to open a café in Cuba, they might say, “Well, don’t go out and do it as a way of experimentation. Talk to someone who’s actually done it and prototype that way. Gain experience from other people’s experiences.” Then after that to figure out some small way of experimentation. If design thinking is applied to life design and career design, and it’s super helpful for thinking about what to do next. I like that. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.
Will: Fantastic.
Celine: Another book that I like is actually Give and Take by Adam Grant. Adam Grant recently I think might be known by your listeners as someone who wrote with Sheryl Sandberg, Option B is it, about resilience? Give and Take though is about more how giving is actually a great way for interacting with the world and that you get so much more back. From this book I take the concept of five minute-favors, of just giving without expectation of anything coming back, favors to someone every day. Every day I try to ask myself, “What five minute-favor did I do today? Did I recommend a book to someone? Did I give someone a lead? Did I do something for someone without any expectation of stuff coming back?
Will: That’s such a wonderful thing. If one didn’t arise already, do you kind of take five minutes out and, “What favor could I do now?”
Celine: Right now?
Will: No. I mean, as you go through that thought process each day, are you kind of trying throughout your day to just look for opportunities, or if you were at 3:00 PM and you said, “Okay. What five minute-favor did I do today? Oh. I haven’t done any,” would you then say, “Hm. What can I do now?”
Celine: I see. I see. Yes. Unfortunately, I haven’t built a structure into my day so that I’m checking in and saying, “Have I don’t this yet?” It is more of what you mentioned at first, just an awareness of if something pops up, “Hey. This could be useful for someone else,” or, “I could definitely connect these couple of people, because I bet they’d love talking to each other, and they could help each others’ practices so much.” It’s more of an awareness.
Will: Got it. Okay. Cool. So, Give and Take, Designing Your Life. Fantastic. Nice recommendations. Celine, it is always such a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Celine: Thank you. It’s great talking with you, Will.

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