Monday, February 29, 2016

How do you win?

“In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?” — Jesse Owens 

What do you have to lose?

Friday, February 26, 2016

What should I ask now?

“What is more important in this situation?” This is a good question to ask when you are stuck with choices.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Have you made that change?

Resolutions are words. Wishes are words. Plans are words. What you think you want to do are thoughts. Thoughts are not actions. They are intentions. No movements are involved.

Thinking about swimming and actually jumping into the pool are very different things.

You want to change? You have to move.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What’s your plan?

Very often our plans are filled with detours and roadblocks. When this happens, rely on experience, gut-feel developed in the trenches (and if you have none, it helps to have friends and mentors you can call), courage to face risk and the calmness to face changes.

Always be prepared to be surprised and shocked, no matter how good your plan is.

What’s coming up soon?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

When do you give up?

I have learned that learning to distinguish discomfort and pain is necessary for growing up and getting better. Like getting better at a skill, at what you do or getting better at being a human being.

Learning a new skill or when experiencing something new creates a lot of discomfort. But this discomfort is not pain. Many people confuse discomfort with pain. You can work through discomfort. In fact, it is necessary to get comfortable with discomfort. People who give up easily believe that discomfort is pain. Others on the sidelines think, “That’s far too early to give up.” But they think, “You don’t know the pain I feel.”

Unfortunately, there are no secret sauces you can drink to learn the difference between discomfort and pain. The only way is to work through it.

Once you work through discomfort, there will be even greater discomfort. And it usually magically appears after you have some comfort from overcoming the first discomfort. And it usually appears when you think you are getting better.

This greater discomfort, perhaps we can call this pain is yet another pain that you need to overcome. Of course, there is then pain that you can work through and then there is pain that you can’t work through. How do you know? Well, drink six glasses of watermelon juice and the answer will appear in your dreams. You will know. I am kidding.  

Now, this is as cliché as it gets - pushing the boundaries to learn about your pain threshold mentors you into knowing what pains you can take and what you can’t. Bodhidharma’s shadow in the Shaolin cave told me this.

When you push the pain enough, you know your limitations. Limitations teach you what you suck at no matter how hard you try. But it also teaches you what you are potentially great at. More importantly, it tests your commitment. Commitment to your growth (whether it is growing to be richer, sexier, or wiser, or whatever) coaches you to keep ignoring the discomfort and keep pushing the pain boundaries (I think that’s why they call it growing pains.) You then grow to be great at those things you are committed to.

There ain’t no easy way out. Not unless you want to be mediocre.

How do you grow?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Why is it not working?

Maybe explore this process. Define your goals. This is an easy one. Nail down what you want to achieve.

Then think about the price to pay, or opportunity costs or sacrifices or whatever you want to call them. Most people forget this. This is where they stumble. All. The. Time. They forget about the time, effort, money, sweat, blood and tears that come with striving for a goal.

Once you have set the goal and are willing to pay the price for the goal, it’s time to focus. Most people stumble here too. They get distracted. Things get difficult, suddenly the price seems too hefty and a million things that will distract you.

That’s why your life is in a mess. That’s why your campaigns aren’t working.

But of course, you already know this.

Why is it so difficult?

Friday, February 19, 2016

How intense should it be?

Launch consistent marketing campaigns over a period of time rather than infrequent intense ones in the same period.

Brand building is a habit. Not an ad hoc project.

Can you make it a habit?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Are you big enough?

“A man (or woman) must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” - John C. Maxwell

Are you strong enough?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What are you laughing at?

“What the fool cannot learn he laughs at, thinking that by laughter he shows superiority instead of latent idiocy.” – Marie Corelli.

What latent talent did you just demonstrate?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Have you thought through it?

You can think through all you want. Eventually, you have to execute.

You won’t arrive at the best decision if you keep asking, “If this is the best decision?”

Put it out there. The results will tell you if that is the best decision.
If it is not, come back and do more.
The more you do, the better you become.
That’s how you arrive at best. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Do you have the right question?

The right question is the key that unlocks the answer.

Sometimes, the answers can be uncomfortable.
That is why people hate being asked certain questions.

Are you comfortable being questioned?

Friday, February 5, 2016

What is success in marketing?

Success in marketing is a process. Not a single campaign. Neither is it a series of campaigns.

Marketing is a process. Keep going and refining.

When is nirvana?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Does the business world suck?

You can make it better. Yes, you.

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” – Rumi

How do you make it better?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Can you lift it?

I read a weight lifting article recently. In there, the guru said (and I am paraphrasing here), “Your training should frighten you a little. If you aren’t a little anxious about the weight that you are going to lift, then it’s too easy and won’t bring growth.”

Same thing with the campaigns you run. If you aren’t a little anxious about the campaign you are about to execute, then you aren’t trying enough new things to push the boundaries

Are you taking risks?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What are the mandatories?

If it is a mandatory, it would be written somewhere. Formalized.

If it is not, then it is merely an opinion and the agency is free to challenge it. It is this challenge that leads to debate and discussion that leads to better ideas.

If you don’t like to be challenged and instead hide behind your client card or in this case, your “this is mandatory” card, then it is your ego speaking.

Or you may actually say it because it smoothens your internal processes, as in ‘you think your bosses will approve what you say more than what the agency presented’.

Whatever the reasons, your opinion isn’t a mandatory. Don’t pass it off as one.

What is your opinion?

Monday, February 1, 2016

What did you learn?

From your bosses, your peers, your competitors. Write them down. If it is not written it is not counted.

It doesn’t even have to be the right things they did; it can be the wrong things and things that you didn’t think will work.

Don’t just practice your art. Study it. Be a student.

Do you just practice?