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#148 - Interview with Ryan Begelman, Founder of Begelman Ventures


What one CEO learned over 15 years about purpose, goals, and mindfulness with Ryan Begelman

Topics Covered:

- Mindfulness in action

- How to achieve a peaceful mind at all times - How to set goals and make decisions while maintaining contentment in the moment - How to get clarity about what we REALLY want in life - How to establish your purpose, your goals, and your daily habits - Following your curiosity vs. following your talent - The skills required to grow a holding company

Listen: iTunes, Spotify


Costly Signalling

"It all depends on how you define advertising; in nature it is often necessary for something to present a persuasive message, and in a way that can't be faked. Information is free, but sincerity is not, and it isn't only humans who attach significance to messages in proportion to the costliness of their creation and transmission; bees also do it." - Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business and Life

There's a story about Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, that goes something like this:

"Someone once asked me why McDonald’s is so successful. I said ‘our bathrooms are always clean.’

‘Sure,’ he said, ‘But that’s easy.’ ‘

Well,’ I replied, ‘Are your bathrooms clean?’"

While this story may be legend, the message is clear. In the restaurant industry, there are dozens of ways consulting firms might suggest to persuade customers to make a purchase, and most of them have to do with developing new menu items or increasing advertising spend. And those tend to work in the short-term. But they're also expensive monetarily and unsustainable over the long-term. They're signals that can be faked relatively easily.

For long-term operators, costly signals take longer to ingrain in an organization's DNA, but tend to be more persuasive to customers. Consistently doing the little things right builds a foundation of trust with customers that advertising simply can't beat. Costly signals take far more time to implement because they tend to be cultural, not monetary, in nature. They include things like:

  • Cleanliness (bathrooms, trucks, uniforms, etc.)

  • Consistency in service or product (e.g. "my pleasure")

  • Promptness in action

  • A wonderful unboxing experience

Building a lasting business requires building a culture where costly signaling is second nature. After all, it's the little things that count most.

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