Thursday, March 31, 2016

Are you running out of time?

I don’t have time for anything I like.”

That’s because you don’t ever park time aside for yourself.

Setting time aside for yourself is a lot like the pay yourself first concept.

You set an appointment with yourself. When the time comes, do what you said you will do at that time - whether it is reading a book, cleaning a pair of kettlebells or washing your car.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What the heck?

There are so many “hacks” floating around that it is scary. There is always a “hack” list somewhere whether you want to read it or not.

These tricks or hacks are shortcuts. A straight line - the shortest distance between two points.

But it is the detours and the meandering roads that we take mistakenly or push into that has the greatest lessons.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Are you expecting the best?

If you keep finding fault with what is before you, you miss out on all the good points. Each time I say this, people think it means I don’t want them to strive for the better. Or that I have presented to them the best and nothing is to be improved.

Striving to be better and looking at the good of the moment aren’t contrarian thoughts. The problem is that people who look for faults are usually attached to a certain concept they have in mind or a certain way something should be done rather than what should be evaluated at the moment.

They complicate matters and create stress for themselves.

Monday, March 28, 2016

What do you love?

Half the time people who don’t know what they love, nag on about life and work. The busyness in bitching about it makes them feel they are doing something.

If you know what you love, and aren’t doing it yet, why?

If you don’t know what you love, what are you going to do about it?

Are you just wasting time?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Where is your attention?

If you observe carefully, you will see people using so much of their time on being frustrated, disappointed and being angry. All. The. Time.

If you are what you do, then these people are constantly practicing being angry. And anger they become.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What doesn’t work?

Some things work for a long time.

Some things work for awhile then it stops working.

Some things work every time.

Mr/Ms Know-it-all is what doesn’t work. Because they refuse to let something work. They “know” this or that. Because they “know”, they will not even let you begin.

"It won't work. don't even try." 
But knowing is just a beginning (but of course Ms. Know-it-all already knows this.) To truly know takes more than knowing. It takes understanding and it takes wisdom

Knowing “what” is not enough. You have to know “why”, “when” and “how”.

Are you revealing ignorance or arrogance?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How long does it take?

When something goes wrong and you are bursting with anger, tempted to point fingers and want to assassinate the culprit – how long does it take to take a deep breath?

The primal thing to do is – “I didn’t do this, someone has to pay for this!” When we are primal, we are allowing our amygdala take over.

Do us all a favour, use other parts of the brain you have been blessed with.

Breathe, use the more civilized part of your grey matter.

Fix the problem, investigate if you have to later.

But never, never shoot randomly or let your amygdala decide who the culprit is. Not unless you are a lizard.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What if it doesn’t work?

Well, if it doesn’t work do it differently.

You think well, that’s no big secret. But in reality, the most common reaction when things don’t work is either to try harder or give up.

Next time, remind yourself to add this equation. Do it differently.

How do you address the weak points?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Is it getting in the way?

You probably know by now that I take cartoons really seriously. As seriously as my Zen classes. There is something Zen about them. Really.

So I was researching the other day about what Master Shifu said in Kungfu Panda 3 and something hit me (see I told you there is something Zen about cartoons).

I was at the goofs section of Kungfu Panda 3 in and it was listing the things that were “wrong” (goofs) with the story. Like how did Tigress know where the secret Panda village is when it is a secret and Tigress was never told where it is? Or that when Master Oogway ‘wrote’ the word ‘chi’ in the spirit realm, the audience could see the actual word hence Master Oogway must have written it in the opposite fashion.

I nearly went into seizures thinking how it would have been had the creative team over at DreamWorks Animation presented the storyboard to some people I rather not name here. How many revisions would have to be done? How would the story meander as the team establish how Tigress knew about the secret village? Because you know the audience would want to know that and someone would complain and all hell would break loose!

It’s exactly what happens every day in the dark dreary world of advertising - inconsequential comments and convoluted concerns getting in the way of good storytelling. Not just storyboards but layouts and graphics. You name it.

Go ahead and have some fun. Look up your favourite movies at, then look for the ‘goofs’ section. Read the goofs of your favourite movies. Did they affect the way you ‘consumed’ the movie? My bet is, you didn’t even know! And now that you know, did it change the way you feel about the movie? Most probably not as well!

It’s the same with advertising. Consumers look at the big picture. The sum of all things. They rarely care about the things we debate for hours in our conference room.

Is it relevant? Is it entertaining (interesting)? The communication we produce should be that – relevant and interesting (entertaining even). All else that gets in the way of the storytelling should not be discussed.

Are you a good storyteller?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Are you getting better?

“If you only do what you can do, you'll never be better than what you are.” – Master Shifu in Kungfu Panda 3.

Seriously, get out of your comfort zone. Simple but not easy. But I suppose getting better has a price.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How do you know they are trying to con you?

One protection you have against people trying to fool you is to educate yourself on principles. Doesn’t matter what field it is. Just educate yourself on the principles. Every method that works goes back to a few tried and tested principles.

To know if something works, ask yourself what principles are these based on?

If they aren’t based on any solid principles, chances are they are gimmicks.

Of course, even con artists use some principles themselves.

Want to separate the wheat from the chaff? Be able to tell cheese from chalk? Educate yourself on the principles.

How do you know if t is a gimmick?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How can you be positive?

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” - Viktor E. Frankl

Monday, March 14, 2016

What do you think your brand is?

“A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customer tells each other it is.” – Scott Cook.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Is it still working?

Of course I like the idea of “search and reapply.” It works. Sometimes.

If you reached this year’s objective with your campaign, your brand would have transformed. Multiply this with 5 years (or however many years you fancy), you will get a brand that is very different.

The next progression may not be applying what has always worked. Of course, you the brilliant marketer already know this.

Do. New. Things. It’s scary. But it works. Sometimes.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Would you write every day?

“If I am a boss and I have time like you, I can write every day too.”

No you won’t. You will be doing a bunch of other crap, hanging out in your cafĂ©, watching YouTube videos and posting junk on FB.

You don’t write because you don’t like writing, you don’t have the discipline and you own six trash bags of excuses at your disposal. It’s not because you don’t have time or I have more time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What would I tell SME marketing managers?

Think small, gain more.

That’s what SMEs with small A&P budgets should do.

Forget about waiting for the big budgets. The owner is too nervous and you need to show it works.

Make your small budget work. Create a small win. Then ask for more investment. Make more wins. You have to love the process. Otherwise it will kill you.

What you want is progression no matter how small.

Are you focusing on getting a little better?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How did you develop that habit?

You probably developed some bad habits – at work or personal life – due to circumstances or most probably ignorance.

Now that you are older and wiser, it’s time to make that change.

Why would you continue to suck?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Can marketing and branding kill you?

Marketing and branding are great for companies.

But it isn’t going to solve all your problems. Diagnosing your problems with clarity and the right prescription will solve your problems. Sometimes it involves improving the marketing function. At other times, it involves strengthening your brand.

For example, an array of factors can cause sales volume to be low. Maybe you have an inferior product that is the result of inferior production workers, which could be due to low wages that you pay. You aren’t going to fix this with improving the marketing function and strengthening your brand.

Are you keeping it in perspective?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Is this a thought?

Bosses have lots of thoughts. They like to share their thoughts. Your job as a staff is to understand if it is a thought or a decision.

One you give your honest feedback, the other you need to act on.

Bosses, knowing what you say and share are important because not all staff can tell the difference. It can create confusion and wasted time. And it will.

Think through your thoughts. Don’t be lazy. Not all thoughts and ideas are great. Don’t hide the fact that you share to get feedback. In which case, curate all your rambling thoughts. Filter it before you share.

Have you made it into a decision?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Have you got any love yet?

I wrote this blog almost 5 years ago. Imagine Facebook having a love button.

Worth revisiting the page.

Now you will know more about the feedback on your post.

So how much love have you been receiving?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Have you built your armour?

Shorter than we are, lighter than we are, smaller than we are. But each probably stronger than you. Physically and psychologically.

Truly, it is what you do in the dark that will put you in the light.

In sports and everything else in life.

What’s under your armour?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

So I can’t quit?

Of course you can!

It’s OK to give up. But give up on the right things. Give up on things you cannot commit.

Choose something you can commit and go at it. Just don’t half-ass your work and expect to be good.

Show up, don’t complain, asks questions and never quit.

If you can’t do these, take a seat with the mediocre.

Who do you choose to be?