Monday, October 31, 2011

First in what?

In my family, if you walked in screaming you got first in your 100 meters sprint event (or anything else besides good academic results? You will certainly hear a retort of “If only you got first in your exams!”) My brothers and I grew up to be fairly healthy adults. 

Got me thinking this morning, what do we strive to be first in? Wealthiest, biggest house, latest gadget, best schools for the kids, most expensive car.

Being first is good. But being first in what?

When was the last time you strive to be first in compassion, loving-kindness, generosity, effort, focus, concentration, discipline, good manners?

Seems to me we strive to conquer the world with the wrong things.

Maybe it’s time we race each other on things that matter.

What would you want to be last in?

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Friday, October 28, 2011

What’s the river carrying away today?

Fear can be overcome by flow. What does that mean? It is understanding that you cannot control everything. A leaf in a raging rapid just flows where the water take it. Being afraid that ideas will dry up, business will stop coming and the cash will run out are all legitimate fears.

But if you can observe and build a bigger capacity for reflection, then the flow will carry your fears away.

What phenomenon did you observe today?

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Are you listening?

Money talks that’s why there is nothing silent about money. But when budding whispers are not heard then the chatters will get louder. And whispers can become a roar. Like our friends
at Occupy Wall Street

Here’s Mr. Krugman’s opinion.

Now the silent wants to be heard.

Which potential roar are you ignoring?

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How are you running your business?

That business model that you have? I am sure it is great. You can soon bask in the sun all day while the rest makes money for you. You can duplicate efforts without lifting a finger. Others will do the work for you. You dream of retirement. Congratulations. You have a plan.

Others may not share that same belief as you do. So stop telling them their business model is wrong. Some may not want to retire at all. Hard for you to conceive but it’s what they want. Maybe they just want a set of respectful clients. A set target of profit per month. Go home early and spend more time with the kids. It’s their dream. Not yours. 

Suggesting to someone how to improve on their business is one thing. Telling them their business model is wrong is another. Figure the difference in that.

What do you expect the consultant gastroenterologist to do when you tell him his business model is wrong? Start a hospital? Quit and become a multilevel marketer? The gall of you to even say that!

Mind your own business before?

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Monday, October 24, 2011

What have you been doing?

You want to feel busy and useful. You don’t want to achieve your goals. Because to achieve your goals means a lot of hard work and knocking into brick walls. It means confronting your weaknesses and opening up for all to poke at your work. Guffaw at you and your stupidity.

If you want to write a book, what you need to do is – write. Sit down and start typing. Not a list of to-do list and which distributor to call or where to get your ISBN. Write.

If you want to start a company, start. It means get your first client. Someone who is willing to part with their money for whatever you think is of value that you are offering them.

The challenge of getting started sometimes is filtering away what you need to be focusing on. Things you think maybe important may not be of any consequence at all. When you get one thing right, the next important thing will fall in place. Then do that. Then, the next.

Don’t let your to-do list scare you. Start a NOT to-do list.

When are you starting?

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Friday, October 21, 2011

How are you unearthing it?

Buried in impossible is possible. You can dig it out with a hoe, a drill, or a good mix of action, willpower, discipline and dream.

What’s your favourite tool?

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is the present holding back your future?

When making a decision, you have to remind yourself that it is very often about now and not so much about the future. Many would argue that we need to make a decision that will benefit the future. Of course, no dispute to that. The challenge is to recognize that a delayed decision affects the future as much as one that you feel will be the perfect decision.

How do you do that?

One, making a decision isn’t about predicting the future. Let’s face it; no one can predict the future. Your predictions are only as good as your assumptions. And we know what people say about assumptions.

So decide on the best decision now based on the information that you have. Which leads us to how much information do you need?

Two, let’s face it. You have limited time and resources. Decide on the amount of key information you need. 10 seminal research papers, 5 similar case studies and 1 consultant? OK, go through that and decide already.

Three, decide WHEN you will decide. A moving dateline is not a deadline. Given all the information you have, the experience you possess, the time you were given, what’s the best decision you will make now?

So, what will it be?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To infinity and beyond?

Eventually, you only have that much energy and finite time.

You cannot expect to do everything. You want to have some form of balance? Write a contract with yourself.

Decide what your possibilities are and what your necessities are.

Necessities are your priorities. Get those done.

Possibilities are a liability when not managed well on your get done list.

You only have so much resources and your CPU can only run so much. Before sleep deprivation sets in and kills everything.

Which black hole is sucking you?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How believable can you be?

It is very possible, even your best friend do not always say good things about you behind your back. Perhaps, less than flattering things. Chances are you have also done the same. Sometimes.

Your friends don’t always talk good about you, why would you expect your customers to ALWAYS talk good about you? Why worry so much about the bad comments on a blog here and a Facebook there?

Now, I am not saying ignore it. I am saying don’t worry too much about it. Give the ecosystem of online communities more credit than that. Eventually, if you are the right kind of brand (just as you are the right kind of person), more favorable comments will be made about you. And good things eventually float to the top.

A few bad things in its midst makes the good things more believable. 

What are you anxious about today?

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Monday, October 17, 2011

When are you starting a fire?

Disrupting yourself allows you to invigorate. When drastic changes happen either by design or by default? Embrace it.

Smile when you get sacked. Laugh when you resign without a job.

Disruption by default in life is like a forest fire. Disruption by design is like controlled forest fires. Both invigorate the ecosystem. It allows the forest to renew.

Disruption allows new seeds to grow within you too. Those hidden from the sunlight and have never been discovered.

Disruptive invigoration. Discover rejuvenation.

Which sapling is growing today?

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Friday, October 14, 2011

When should they take you out?

I am quoting this based on memory. I think Leo Burnett said something like this, “The only indispensable man in the history of mankind is Adam himself.” And how true.

How often do we see the huge egos in the marketing and advertising industry strutting around like they are irreplaceable?

And most times, those who feel they are irreplaceable are actually the stumbling block to better growth for the organization.

Consider this; the constant glow of your ego is blinding you. Keep your ego in a safe. Things may become clearer for you. Stepping away lets other people shine and also open up to what can be better for the organization. With you the results are good, without you the results could be great.

Whoever that replaces you, if they do better than you, good for them. If they don’t, well then – you would have proven your case.

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In any case, when you step aside you create more space for growth for yourself anyway. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What heroic stories can you tell?

You would have at one time or another been victimized or feel victimized.

To be able to move on you need to change your mindset. Forgive and forget they say. Easier said than done. And perhaps so. But what if you changed your story? 

You are the story you tell yourself. And if you want to move on, you need to tell yourself a better story. Become the mythological hero that you are, it’s written in you.

For example, how do you become a famous Roman general (insert your name here)tilius Liberalis? 

First and foremost, get out of the ‘poor old me’ mindset. Get with it already. Stop telling yourself why things happen TO you. Things happen FOR you. Not TO you. There is no why and how. There is no good nor bad. Whatever happens happens. Things just are. You only need to feel. The energy that you get, renews you.

How many times do you have to pity yourself?

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What is your price for improvement?

You can’t fry an egg without breaking the shell. For a forest to rejuvenate, forest fires are a necessary part of the process.

If you are the mindful kind, change is purposeful. You seek things to improve. You embrace discomfort in the face of changing fortunes.

If you aren’t mindful, you think change is disruptive and bad. So, you want improvement but you dislike change. Sorry, no can do.

Buy into change and get improvement free.

Are you ready to change for free?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is it perfectly alright to be less than perfect?

I have a nagging suspicion perfectionist choose to be perfect because our society thinks these people have exacting standards. So, it’s cool to choose to be perfect.

They are afraid to DO something. So, perfection becomes the perfect excuse.
They say, good is the enemy of perfect.

I say, perfect is the enemy of good. Often, doing something at 90% and sending it out beats NOT DOING anything and saying I am waiting for the perfect whatever.

While you wait for your perfect, I am inching one percent at a time. 10 more rounds I would reach perfect while you are still at ZERO.

Can less than perfect be good?

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Monday, October 10, 2011

How much does your raw materials cost you?

When was the last time you sit with your raw materials then decide to do something about it? What are your raw materials?

The feeling in you that you want to write something. The feeling in you to start something. Draw. Call your mother even when you have nothing to say. The urge to do something about your willful blindness. Send in the proposal risking looking stupid. But never quite get down to it? That’s your raw material.

The primal emotive burst in you that wants to get out? That’s your raw material. Let it get out. Let it make you do something. As long as you don’t hurt someone, that is.

You can only feel yourself when you let yourself out of you. Then the rest of us can feel you too. Then you can make an impact on us.

We want you.

When are you opening?

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Are you inventing your genre of marketing?

In the process of invention, most inventors goes thorough a process of asking who the invention is for? What challenges does it solve? What is the proposed solution? They test out the proposed solution then ask themselves if it can be further improved.

Sounds to me much like marketing.

So marketing like inventing is a creative endevour.

So, are you a marketer who expects inventions coming from R&D department only? And say to your agency that it’s a creative challenge?

How creative are you?

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

What numbers do you want?

Let’s give ourselves a scenario. If you are a football apparel brand, would you rather:
  • A professional footballer who is a fan of your brand? You only have one such fan and he wears it when he practices.
  • 11 amateur footballers who have a huge fan base but you can have 11 of these as fans.
  • Or a 1000 fans who does not play football but watches football every weekend and has influence over 10 people each when it comes to sports apparel?

Have you figured it out yet?

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How’s the water, Honey?

I am not much of a fan of coloured oceans. As in I don’t quite understand what’s the fresh oceanic breeze it brings.

To compete some people break rules. Others create new rules.

Some people challenge the norm, others make new norms. They are normally seen as abnormal.

The colour of liquid you swim in does not matter as much as how you swim in it.

If your ocean is red, is your river also red?

What colour is your river?

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is your clock ticking the right to do list?

You cannot create more time. But you can manage your effort. When I finished my 500 questions book this year, friends asked me how did I find the time? I didn’t. I managed my efforts. You and I have the same amount of time. 

If you stop clinging to the rituals you are so used to, perhaps you will manage your effort better. 

What rituals? I am always tired. But you pretend you don’t know the cause? It’s because you are still on the computer deep into dawn. I always never complete my to-do list. It’s because when the item comes up, you create an excuse and reply emails instead. And every item that comes up and you don’t much fancy to do it? You move on, only to realize it’s the end of the day.

Stop clinging to the nonsensical rituals of your daily life.

What are you knocking off today?

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Monday, October 3, 2011

What is the will of endurance?

Tell someone who is always on the go, rushing to complete a project and pride themselves as a go-getter the word - patience, you will likely get a “What kind of old school softie are you?” look.

As if patience is this soft cotton incapable of getting anything weaved out of it.

You will likely hear them say, patience is overrated. It’s not a virtue. 

I don’t want to debate that. I believe it’s far better to make these people realize, patience is an energy they need in their quest for success. Whatever is the success they deem fitting.

Patience is latent energy ready to pounce.  It’s the crouching tiger waiting for the perfect moment. There is nothing soft about that.

Can you feel the energy in waiting?

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