May 25, 2013
What happens if, instead of one sales call a day, you make ten?
Or if instead of 3 freelancers working on scaling your work, you have thirty?
What happens if you add a zero in places where it feels impossible to handle... what then?
Scale isn't always the answer, but if it is, then scale. Build the systems necessary to dramatically change your impact. Halfway gets you nowhere....
May 24, 2013
If you set your bar at "amazing," it's awfully difficult to start.
Your first paragraph, sketch, formula, sample or concept isn't going to be amazing. Your tenth one might not be either.
Confronted with the gap between your vision of perfect and the reality of what you've created, the easiest path is no path. Shrug. Admit defeat. Hit delete.
One more reason to follow someone else and wait for instructions.
Of course, the...
May 23, 2013
May 22, 2013
By the time the phone rings, there's already trouble. When that manager is called or this department is reached, it's because someone is disappointed, angry or stuck. Illness, broken promises or a real urgency have led to this new conversation even taking place.
So don't start with, "[Name of company] mumble mumble" as if there's a blank slate just waiting to be written on. There's already a lot of writing on that slate. Don't demand to know...
May 21, 2013
ANTICIPATION: Before the product is released, the true fans are buzzing and speculating and waiting in line. The anticipation is self-reinforcing, a placebo effect of desire.
UTILITY: The album is good, the software is useful, the book changes things. It works better than we hoped. Exceeding expectations pays significant dividends.
May 20, 2013
The story of Hansel and Gretel is not actually about Hansel or Gretel.
You are surrounded by examples and lessons and case studies that clearly aren't exactly about your project. There's never been a book written precisely about the situation you are facing right now, either. Perhaps one day they will publish, "Marketing Low-Cost Coaching Services to Small Businesses Specializing in .Graphic Design in the Upper Peninsula for Dummies" but don't...
At a party the other day, I saw a dead TV monitor. On the screen it said something like, "No signal... check power, cable and source selection..."
It doesn't matter at all how hard the DVD player was trying to put on a show. It is irrelevant how good the show on cable was. If it's not getting through, no one sees it.
All of us own our...
May 18, 2013
Today would be his 124th birthday. A fine occasion to think about the effects of industrialization, and what happens when short-term profit-taking meets marketing.
Midgeley is responsible for millions of deaths. Not directly, of course, but by, "just doing his job," and then pushing hard to market ideas he knew weren't true—so he and his bosses could turn a profit...
May 17, 2013
You're not lucky to have this job, they're lucky to have you. Every day, you invest a little bit of yourself into your work, and one of the biggest choices available to you is where you'll be making that investment.
That project that you're working on, or that boss you report to... worth it?
Investing in the wrong place for a week or a month won't kill you. But spending ten years contributing to something that you don't care about, or...