growth codex

Issue 16 // Hello Can You Hear Me

Growth // Codex Newsletter

A Weekly Digest Dedicated To Helping You

Produce // Promote // Profit

Better // Smarter


Welcome back Creative Misfit, this past month has been… interesting.

From some of us getting stimmies to stock market brawls between retail investors and hedge fund bros, to the vaccine rollouts causing a spike in business confidence…

We’re entering a fun time, I’m glad I listened to my hunch of spring 2021 is go time, more on that later. But first, how are you? Have your goals changed?

Made adjustments you enjoyed in how you work?

In the previous issue we started talking about producing better, and the importance of staking your claim

As we move into what to some appears to be better times, it’s essential for all of us to start getting a good grasp of our talents

Our REAL talents – not degrees, or certifications – as things shift, the better equipped you are, the more confident you are, the better work you’ll do

If you missed it, or would like to reference it again, here’s issue 15 // the builders’ blindspot where we dug into improving how we


This week, we go into the inner workings of improving how we


Pro Tip:

Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.

Robert A. Heinlein

A few years ago, I was training this brilliant newcomer – she was fresh out of college, having just gotten her MBA, and ready to take over the world

One day during a brainstorm session I noticed she was doing the most to avoid implementing what I had done and given her to work with

We were in the middle of building a campaign for a growing food franchise that spans the entire east coast – it was go time

At the root of her struggle was the fact that to her, I was a college dropout, which meant (to her) that I lacked some knowledge on how things work.

I was inspired, because watching someone else go above and beyond to not need anyone else reminded me of what it was like coming up, not having anyone

She has given me an idea 💡, and I couldn’t resist a good game

“If your way wins, I quit, if mine does, you join the campaign we’re putting together – deal?” I said with a smile I couldn’t hide 👀

benedict cumberbatch smile GIF by BBC

She stared at me for what seemed like 5 mins without blinking… she wanted me gone… a swift victory that delivered both a rookie of the year accolades with the added treat of teaching this dropout a lesson

angry parks and recreation GIF

Why did I put my cushy contract on the line with such conviction?

Time and experience has taught me to always bet on what people do, more than what they say

Let’s explore, shall we?

Take a second, and picture texting your friend that you just got a really good idea 💡

inspired the legend of sleepy hollow GIF

What would you say? How would you say it?

Would they be supportive? Happy for you? Ask to help?

This is what advertising actually IS

Picture it, you’re texting a friend // significant other with some plans, you can text them “I’m going to __, you should come” or “have plans on __?” amongst so many other openings that ultimately act like a prompt… that’s how you start with advertising

A few years ago, as I was working on expanding a real estate brokerage, all the ad gurus told us to buy billboards, ads in the New York Times with our arms crossed and big smiles letting people know we were the neighborhoods best and pay $10,000 a month for their assurances that we would make it.

Except, we were on a budget, and I had noticed the rents were rising faster than mortgages in price, so how did we advertise?

We wrapped 3 trash cans along Bedford Ave (Brooklyn, NY) in black with the words“rent box”, resembling the mail drop boxes in older apartment buildings, with the words “insert rent check here” and a white arrow pointing at the top of the can

Inspired by all the conversations we’d had with people who were thinking of renting, with a little quintessential dark NYC humor, the results were over 1000 visitors to our website a DAY, visitors greeted with the message “why is your rent more than a mortgage?”

We didn’t have $10,000 for the ad gurus handy, what we did have was a connection to the people we were serving

As tech gets better and better, It just isn’t being used to its full potential

Take, for example, Google PPC (pay per click) vs Organic traffic and you’ll be met with everyone from thought leaders to their mother copy and pasting Pinterest checklists on how to do it

edward norton work GIF

In theory, the checklists make sense, in practice, however… you’ve got this weird practice of people wasting time and energy on stuff that just misses the mark and seems… contrived, scattered about – kind of like brands right now

Getting Found By Your People

In the Google PPC (pay per click) vs Organic traffic debates, it comes down to this, who do you serve? who are you? and how much are you actually listening to your people


Here’s how we went about making tweaks and improvements that led to us leading a business recovery program, putting together a summit to help founders not need VC money, and what could potentially be the next Food Network for people who love life with a little sazon 

While we know things like PPC & SEO work for some companies, we know a different approach is possible so we started by asking ourselves

  • What do we love?
  • What do people actually pay for?
  • What are we good at?
  • Who do we NOT want to work with?

Once we answered this, we saw we had some work to do, so we went down this checklist: (reword // work this)

  • How well do we know our audience?
  • Who is your audience and what are they going through right now?
  • What do they really need from you??
  • Read the room. Some are scared, some are lonely, and many more are genuinely struggling. Be sensitive to their journey and perspectives.
  • Authenticity. Cynicism is all the rage so do not make claims you can’t back up or offer fake value and non-discounts.
  • Is it necessary? Unless what you have to say is valuable to your audience or the world, it will just add to the noise.
  • Ask them HOW it’s helping them

What this helps us do is identify things like the frequent roadblocks our people face, the things they aspire to accomplish, their attitudes towards certain things, and how they make decisions

Here’s a starter guide for you that illustrates how we process our findings (it’s a generic version, make it your own)

customer journey

Alright now, we made a promise to a lot of you to not jam-pack too much into each issue, so take what you’ve gotten here and apply it this week, let us know how you’re doing on Instagram or TikTok

Next issue, we’ll dig into improving how we


Pro Tip:

He who fears he will suffer already suffers because he fears.

Michel De Montaigne

Till next time, here’s to escaping average


P.S. There have been some folks who’ve said “man, I’d love to say thank you, how can I?”

Well now if you’ve found value in any of this content // info, we finally found a great way, you can now buy us a cup of cafecito here, this helps support this newsletter and much more

Leave a Reply

Comments (



%d bloggers like this: