Suboptimal + the infinite game


Hey, Kyle here.

Every couple weeks I share the best of what I learn building and growing local businesses and restaurants.

Today, I’m covering:

🎧 Back in the podcasting saddle: the truth about Facebook and Instagram advertising for restaurants

🪐 A quick update on my group that helps local biz people generate “Brand Gravity.”

👌🏽 Why it’s OK to be suboptimal

❤️ A quote I love

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🔍 The Truth About Facebook Advertising for Restaurants

Was great to get back in the podcasting saddle this week. I find some of my favourite episodes are the ones where I get to geek out about paid advertising.

This week, I chatted with Tara Zirker, CEO of Successful Ads Club.

I met Tara at Traffic & Conversion Summit where she spoke about high ROI strategies for Facebook and Instagram.

I felt a bit bad after because I got excited and dropped an F bomb in the proximity of her children… I fear I polluted their little ears.

🪐 Brand Gravity Collective

Back in the summer when progress was slow, I felt called to bring a group of local entrepreneurs together.

I noticed I was sucking at:

  • Prospecting
  • Building a sales machine
  • Repeating successful actions (e.g. I’d do something hard, win, and then stop lol)

I figured I wasn’t alone.

So I thought we’d create a kind of ‘gym’ where we exercise being exceptional at revenue growing activities.

(And generate gravitational pull to our brands)

Sometimes we meet at Dorian’s house, sometimes we meet online, sometimes both.

As a ‘how it started,’ I thought I’d share a couple crappy Zoom shots from our latest meet.

Here’s Curtis showing how he’s applying Peter Thiel’s minimum viable product cycle to his media company about remote work:

Here we are perplexed by technical difficulties:

It’s a way for each entrepreneur to share what they’re learning, get feedback, and (eventually) be held accountable.

(The accountability part is hard — it’s a free group atm.)

I believe there’s zero downside to bringing people in your industry together to mastermind, solve problems, and get feedback.

👌🏽 Why it’s OK to be suboptimal + the infinite game

I recently had a conversation with Rob Fitzpatrick (author of The Mom Test, Write Useful Books, and The Workshop Survival Guide) around my prospecting woes above.

Rob wrote about our conversation:

“I was chatting yesterday with a founder who knew that phone sales worked for his business. But he also hated them, and forcing himself through it was ripping the joy from his day and undermining his excitement for the whole enterprise.

He was asking how to get through it. But that’s not the right question, because it’s sitting atop the implicit belief that just because phone sales are optimal, he must do them.

This isn’t true. We’re allowed to be suboptimal.

The founder loved teaching. His eyes lit up at the idea of filling a pipeline with educational events instead of cold calls. But he felt like he couldn’t, or shouldn’t, because it would be slower. Maybe running educational events won’t be as “optimal” as cranking out the cold calls. But he’s building this business for himself, not for anybody else. So why build it into something that he hates? Yes, it still needs to be profitable enough and big enough to fit his needs and ambitions. But it doesn’t need to be maximally big, nor maximally profitable.”

This was a paradigm shift that made me feel lighter right away.

I can do it my way. And so can you. The best answers are within.

Question: What activities do you love doing that could serve your community, and fill your business with opportunities?

🧠 A related thought on the ‘Infinite Game’

Here’s Simon Sinek on game theory’s concept of finite and infinite games in business:

“There is no such thing as winning business—it doesn’t exist. We can have wins inside a business like you can have battles, but there’s no such thing as “winning” business. The problem is too many business owners, too many leaders don’t know the game they’re playing. They talk about being number one, being the best, beating their competition. Based upon what agreed-upon metrics? Based upon what agreed upon timeframes? There’s no such thing.

When we play with a finite mindset in the infinite game, there are a few very consistent and predictable things that happen. Over the course of time, you will see a decline in trust, cooperation, and innovation. Eventually, your organization will run out of the will or the resources to stay in the game. We call it bankruptcy; we call it a merger and acquisition.”

Takeaway: If being ‘optimized’ causes you to hate the game, it’s counterproductive because it’ll cause you to stop playing the game.

❤️ A quote I love

“The very purpose of life is to find out how many skills I can acquire that have utility, and put that utility to the test — in service of something greater than myself.”

Tom Bilyeu

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Kyle Guilfoyle

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