It’s the start of a new season of Monkey Monday vlogs! We’ve made it through what has been, let’s face it, a pretty grim summer, and now we’re sharing with you some insights we’ve had over the last few months on how to invigorate your business.
We’ve got some exciting new content coming up over the series, so stay tuned for our next instalment.
Here’s the breakdown
01:47 - Kodak
02:58 - Habits
05:33 - Flexibility
07:41 - Storytelling
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I'm not quite sure what that is.
That was the theme music. Anyway. Hi, I'm Matt.
I'm Chris. And this is the new season of Monkey Mondays.
We're back, uh, after pretty boring summer. Really?
Yeah. We've all been locked down.
Yeah. Did you learn anything cool?
Um, I learned lots of things about myself. Been all Zen and sitting in a hammock, but all those, those times have gone.
Well hopefully we can start pulling all of those Zen moments out of your brain over the next few weeks, Chris, to share with you guys who sit and listen to us ramble and swear. Say a swear word.
That's one of my favorites.
Sometimes, right. We plan these things. Don't we kind of loosely, we almost print something out and work out what we're going to say, but today we're gonna have a bit of a chat.
Yeah. Because, um, recently we've had a few customer journey workshops, uh, that have been really inspiring and, um, I've come away from them, thinking about certain things that have come up in those meetings. And I just wanted to share them with you today. Really. Um, the first one is, um, when you're in business and you start that business or you start a job because you're passionate about a cause. Five or 10 years down the line, you might still be in that business, but that cause has sort of floated away and, um, just reminding yourself every few years or every few months. About this cause to check you're still in the right job or in the right, um, business is a really important thing to do.
Yeah, we saw one didn't we, recently, I think it was a video and they talked about Kodak.
That was a good one, wasn't it. Cause like he's, he started off by just wanting to survey land or something and take photographs, but it's impossible back in the day because you have to take, literally take a photographer with you. With a hood and a giant box. And he took a load of photographs, he developed film, modern film, which was kind of rubbish, but did the job, took it to a load of, uh, photographers, professional photographers. And they all said, this is rubbish. The quality is not good enough. But then he went on to create Kodak and sold an awful lot of this stuff because he knew the end consumer would be happy. And that was that. If they'd held onto that, idea, you know, photography should be, uh, available and free and easy to use - well not free - but easy to use for everybody.
Then when that thing happened with them, with the digital photography, where somebody went to Kodak and said, Hey, I've created this thing - digital photography - and Kodak had all of their money tied up in film and printers. They looked at it and went No, the quality is not good enough. Uh, they've forgotten. They'd forgotten what they were doing. That kind of thing, isn't it?
It is very much so. And it sort of leads on to the next thing is about habits. When you're in business for a long time, you form a habit, you sort of march along the same path. And as you go along, year on year, that path becomes deeper and deeper, and you're sort of digging your trench, whatever. But at some point you're in the bottom of a big hole and you can barely see out and you can, you can't see your cause anymore. And it's, it's really interesting to me because we've had two workshops where we've come away from it, with the people energized going, Yeah! I know this is why I wanted to start the business. And yeah, I'm really just doing the same old shit every day.
It's kind of odd.
It's easy to forget, but we've done it as well.
Yeah, we have.
I mean, um, and there are ways you can get, you can get pulled up out of it. And one thing is, I think chatting with other companies is really good. So, um, uh, one of our clients, but he's really a friend isn't, he, he's one of our oldest friends. Um, we often just have quick get togethers with him and we share a bit of knowledge. And you know, when I'm, when I'm head-deep in running parts of the business, Chris and our friend, Matt were always really good at pulling me out of that hole a little bit and going, Hey, we've been looking at some big picture stuff over here and it's, it's really refreshing. I think another cool way of doing it is to tell a story.
Because we found that, didn't we? If we got, if we got people in the workshop, just telling the story of why they started and where they came from and a bit in their past as well, go a bit further back. It becomes really interesting. You get a really good idea of, of what the essence of that company could be.
Yeah. I mean, I'm not going to give away names, but there's a, there's a, uh, a vineyard that we work with over in the States and in the workshop we had with them, we just said, just tell us about the initial idea you had for this vineyard and they were like, Oh, we want it to be a lovely place. Like, I feel like a holiday, um, all the time and we want to run it and just be chilled out and I'd sit there with my wine and we'd have customers over and they'd be like friends. And then 20 years later you go, well, how does this business feel like compared to why you came here?
Yeah, they said that was what inspired them to do it. Wasn't it. They were abroad somewhere, having some wine, they love their wine. And they were like, Oh man, this is great. And their passion for it, it's like infectious when they talk about it. But the day-to-day running of their business, you know, it's hard. You've got a lot of hats to wear. It's difficult.
Yeah. And it sort of leads us on to something about flexibility. At the minute I'm reading, um, a book by the daughter of Bruce Lee. Um, and it's entitled one of his quotes, which is 'Be like water' and it's about being flexible. And, um, just going with the flow a lot. I mean, I'm not, I'm, I'm only in the first couple of chapters, but you very much get the idea that in business there's - a lot of the businesses that I've seen fail have been so rigid. They've just gone, We're going to do this year on year and that's it. It's fine. But they haven't seen, uh, people coming up from the other side, like your Kodak. Kodak just did the same thing year and year. And they were like, if we go into this digital market, we're gonna shut down our film stuff, but they didn't see all these people zooming along the highway next to them. And they were, they weren't open to change, but if they had been, um, that flexible, they would have gone more into digital, early, early doors and maybe they would still be going today.
And I guess the resisted the current there, didn't they, and tried to swim against it.
Yeah. And I think, um, a lot of the things we've done where we've, we've been more successful in our business is where we have been flexible and where we've gone, Okay, let's just break everything and start again. I think it's been probably the most empowering times in Rusty Monkey.
I think we did a video on creative destruction. I remember it, because I pushed over the blackboard.
That must've been a quite a while ago, then.
It was, yeah, that was back in the days when we went to effort to draw things on a board.
So it's, I think it's just what I would suggest is just take some time out, make sure you go back to your cause where you started just - rather than think about the day-to-day try and take yourself out of that day-to-day, maybe once a month, maybe once a quarter, maybe once a week. You just need to step out of the business and just go, Is this why we started, is this why I've wanted to be here? Because you've just got to be happy end of the day.
Yeah. Going back to that storytelling actually, because, uh, Emma who runs our PR department, she'd set up this, this, um, kind of create a day with some school kids. It didn't happen because of, because of COVID I think in the end and that's, that's why got pulled, but, um, she asked me to put together like a 20 minute presentation - one frame per minute. So 20 frames, 20 minutes talking about my history and how we started Rusty Monkey and where it came from. And that was really, it was a really great, um, uh, experiment for me in a way, because I never thought about it. And I told this whole story of where I came from and where I studied and talked about us and I talked about Russ who started the company with us, and it was really enlightening as to why we started the company versus just having, I dunno, I guess, a normal job.
So that's another good thing you could do that would really help you reset your mind. It didn't take me long, I think I did it in about an hour. And just do one frame per - you can even voice it and put it on your website as a wonderful story.
Yeah. That's really powerful actually. So if you decide to vlog about, uh, how you started your journey in your company, we'd like to hear it.
Yeah, I think that could be great. And, um, what it will do as well, it makes you sound really auth-- well it makes you be really authentic and people understand where you're coming from and why you do what you do. And it changes the conversation. Uh, it's a really good thing, really good thing. You should check it out and give it a go.
Yep. So you, uh, go away. I'll put a link to the, uh, the book below, if you want to read that.
You'll put a link, like he puts the page together. Pfft.
Well, I can't really endorse it yet, I'm only in the second chapter, but it'll be down there. I'll find it. I'll hand it to Mel. She can paste it in, it'll be fine.
Someone will do it. Yeah. One of the Rusty Monkeys.
Have a read of those books and, um, yeah, just, yeah, be more Zen.