Products that inspire

An entrepreneur’s product is something that comes from personal beliefs and passion. In the first Chapter, we mentioned mastery. Mastery is not just about development of skills; it is also about the growth of the quality of products and services. The best way I have found to grow in the quality of my products and services, is by co-creating with customers.

Here are the reasons why I think this works well:

  1. Every client is unique. The uniqueness of the customers keeps me on my toes. I understand this will be different in various industries. I have learned that copy and paste does not work for my customers. They want a unique service that fits into their culture and context. I have one opportunity to co-create. If it fails, they go somewhere else. If it works, we become lifelong co-creators.
  2. Start fresh with every client. I can take my experience with me, but I cannot force my products and services onto new customers. I have to understand their context and design new and fresh. I have seen the trap of just doing the same over and over without spending time to make it better.

Deep Work

Deep work is important if you want to create healthy customer focused products and services. As an entrepreneur, your 3 most important commodities are time, energy and focus. Deep work helped me to keep my focus and to not be entangled by the many ideas and suggestions that go around. It is a delicate balance to handle feedback and to know where to go next. Doing focused and deep work helped me to live intentionally. The most rewarding part of deep work is that it has spurred growth in the quality of my products and services. Design intentional time of doing focus work with energy.

Tips to grow in creating inspiring products

  1. Grow in one aspect of your mastery at a time. Once I know where I want to grow in my mastery, I spend time to design what aspects I want to grow in. I also think about all the details of my services that will be affected by the result of it. Take time to grow in your quality. Don’t try and do it all in one day. Mastery and quality go hand in hand, and both take intentional time and design.
  2. Don’t neglect the small stuff. I use flip charts during my trainings. Flip charts can be boring. It can also bring training to life. From doing deep work on growing my flip chart presentation ability, I have come to this conclusion: a flip chart is a picture that reveals deep thinking and ignites thoughts and ideas in the minds of the viewer. On Thursday this week, I went to a coffee shop after a day of training, and I spend an hour thinking and designing ways I could do flip charts with more quality, from the colours I use to the pictures I draw.
  3. Create a rhythm. Innovation does not happen in just the spur of the moment when you have an idea. Innovation and healthy product design takes deliberate action and discipline. This is the only way to build healthy products/services in the long term.
  4. Build a squad. Its fun to work with others. Create inspiring products with your team, your customers and even your worst critics.

This blog post contains an excerpt from our new book, Design Your Business, by Paul Donders and Cias Ferreira

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