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FASTer - Issue #78

FASTer - Issue #78
By Faizan Siddiqi • Issue #78 • View online
As a free lancer, consultant or problem solver. Tell your self quality is always expensive. If you don’t believe it your self, you will always marginalize your outcomes. People will negotiate badly delivered work if you take short cuts, but will always encourage you to do things faster. Shortcuts are rarely ever sustainable. Worse off, do not sacrifice quality for speed or price reduction.
Always know your works value. By doing some thing faster you only compromise the outcome, reducing the value you bring to the table. Its a hard lesson especially in challenging economic times, where every one is optimizing for price. Instead a better approach is to optimize for scope so the value delivered is proportional to the price and scope vs not.
When in doubt see the image below.

Quality  = Expensive
Quality = Expensive
Your outcomes start with self belief. I charge a pretty penny on consulting time. An initial chat with a client for 30 mins is priced at $500. It filters out the noise every day of the week.
Besides for me consulting/advisory work is to stay connected to the global ecosystem vs making a quick buck. I am blessed I choose the people I work with and how frequently. You also have choice, you just didn’t know it existed.
Whilst rates may vary the method should remain similar. By the time some one has passed stage 1, the $500 price hurdle, we are only debating who they want to hire, we already know that the work is real.
You do not have to put in a (Price) qualifier but can still follow most of the methodology I use.
So by the time some one has reached out to you(Past your lead generation funnel) and you get on a call/do a meeting, know this; they have already decided they need to hire a “warm body” to do the work. It’s now a matter of WHO.
Your life’s goal should be to convince them it’s You. But there is a method to this madness that 90% of solution sellers/free lancers miss.. We will get to it**
Never do more than a 30 min call when a client is deciding between their options.
Intro. 5 Mins, you should already know their who, what, why?
Context. 5 mins let them describe the “exam question”
Tandem Solutioning. 20 Mins, but didn’t we say we shouldn’t do any thing for free? and this is a preliminary call? Don’t be confused, this is Business Development.
Heres a 2 decade held and time tested secret. The client doesn’t give a rats a** about you. They have a problem, they need a solution. The faster you can get over your own ego, your ability, your shiny object affixation the better off you will be at selling. The only thing they care about is solving their problem**. Just tell your self that, every time you get distracted that you are there to be their savior.
Your goal on that call any call or meeting for that meeting is to relay one thing and on thing effectively, that you “get it” not just superficially but that their problem is yours and you, now knowing the context can help them solve it.
What ever you are selling, don’t over sell, clients are shy without knowing it. No one wants to air their dirty laundry in the first meeting, but to optimize for your time, always give them leverage.
How? By asking them “Was there any thing that you think I should be asking that I missed or that you would ask if you were in my position to solve for this faster?” Every one loves the sound of their own voice, let them dive into this but keep in mind u have 20 mins for the entire co-solutioning. Guide the conversation.
People always remember how they feel, if you can be the voice of logic, reason and empathy and they feel good post the meeting, that feeling is the difference between you and the other person. Never be clinical in your sincerity, just in your execution.
One New Thing (that I learnt recently)
In the 1990s Marvel released their financial reports in comic book form. The comics featured characters like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk discussing revenue sources and future business plans.
After a spectacularly successful year in which, among other triumphs, Spider-Man #1 sold an unprecedented 2.5 million copies, owner Ronald Perelman launched an Initial Public Offering of Marvel Comics, raising more than $63,000,000. Gary Fishman, founder of a Wall Street investor and public relations firm and a lifelong comic book fan, contacted Marvel CEO Bill Bevins to see how he might help. Bevins’s first assignment for him: assist Marvel with its upcoming quarterly report to shareholders
In a meeting with Marvel executives, including President Terry Stewart and CFO Robert Riscica, Fishman addressed the problem of how to communicate the unique and complex Marvel Comics Universe within a typically dry stockholder report. The solution they devised was to turn the report into a comic book starring Marvel superheroes. You can buy them on ebay if you are so inclined.
Boring Stuff that Scales
Do things other people don’t want to do or cant do. Thats it. Thats the advice. If you spend your day trying to figure out the next big thing, the next big idea. Stop. Instead look around you. Apply the fax machine rule, any business that continues to use a fax machine is ripe for disruption or competition. Decide if you will be it. You do not have to built a unicorn to be successful you just need to know how to turn corn in to popcorn to add value.
Dated & potential boring businesses around us:
1) School uniform suppliers
2)School book /supplies stores
3)On Demand House Keeping
4)Meals Ready to Eat (think elevated Pakwaan)
5)Cleaning services(window/house cleaning)
6)Doctors clinics
7)Window blinds & curtain Suppliers
8)Basic Handyman Services
10)Explain something to me (Narrow down/selection/as a service)
What you should be Reading
If you are a founder, learn how to make, interpret, read and rely on Balance Sheets, Income Statements & Cash Flow Statements. But you can do none of the above if you don’t know how to analyze them. Heres the best thread Ive ever read on the subject. You should too. 5 mins to get a 2 year MBAs worth of awareness on the subject.
Brian Feroldi (🧠,📈)
How to analyze a:

▪️Balance Sheet
▪️Income Statement
▪️Cash Flow Statement

In less than 5 minutes:
Monetize your time
By understanding YOYO. You are On Your Own. If you are some one about to graduate, some one moving industries or sectors, or a first time entrepreneur taking the leap of faith.
Believe in YOYO. It will help you have ZERO expectations and thus no lost time. Here is practical advice, that you can choose to accept/adopt/learn from or, go try out on your own and waste time, emotional energy and be frustrated, slowing down your outcomes, killing your time. The choice is always yours.
The people that pat you on the back for being you or the great work you’ve done in one sector or who always buck you up, will offer you a chai and advice, but not a job/work/gig. NEVER count on the fact that some one will go out of their way to do some thing besides buy you a chai.
Remember this, you’re owed nothing but an opportunity and you have to sell the reason why. So find the opportunity for some one to keep open a door wide enough for you to be able to sell your self.
Mentorship is neither guaranteed or expected. Whilst you may love preparing someone for your job as you transition out of your current one, it is not the norm in the real world. It is sometimes even a threat. Find one(a mentor), dig in, and make interactions regular. But don’t expect the journey is going to be easy. There are house rules to finding mentors too. Here are my thoughts:
Faizan Siddiqi
A great mentor is more beneficial than first money or any money in. Look for mentors who prioritise your successful outcomes vs their social media updates. The same test applies to all things in life, if you are going to help some one make sure you leave your camera at home.
What you do today and tomorrow is more important to your employer/customers than what you did at (university, your last job, your last assignment). They may well respect and love what you did, but if your present actions do not impact their lives or bottom line you are toast. Monetize your time by learning from the experiences of others and accelerating your outcomes.
Made in Pakistan
A Real Hero, with real skill. Wajid Khan. Saved many lives, post flooding in Swat by creating bridges in under 48 hours and allowing people and essential services to flow through.
Ayni Khan
Reall hero of Pakistan wajid Khan who helped to connect people across the river by constructing wooden bridges in this emergency and crises. Locals say that he is an expert in this art and the long bridge shown in the picture was made ready in 48 hours
One Last Thing
Not every thing in life is a priority. Win by reducing. Stay a winner by reductive reasoning.
Life can be a wish list of tasks. Things you could do, things you should do and things you must do. You only win by doing what you must do. No one wins by always staying entangled in the could dos. untangle your brain.
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Faizan Siddiqi

I have been fortunate to have mentored founders, established CEO's & students for about a decade, across the world. Every interaction has been an enriching experience for me personally. What I've observed , every one wants to do things FASTer. Be successful faster, be richer faster, do more faster, get to the end state faster. To grow FASTer you must learn to rely on small data, small acts & pick up on small nuances. Most people need a little push, contextually aware advice, directionality and a candid forum to learn from mistakes, perhaps their own but ideally from the mistake of others. This is an attempt to provide a safe space to answer the questions you don't ask in public and providing Go To Market Snippets on every day things, so you can truly Transform to your desired end-state, FASTer.

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