It’s an overused statement, but magic does NOT happen inside your comfort zone.
Nearly every day, clients and prospects bring up examples of groundbreaking ideas. Things they’ve seen in case studies or heard about, brilliant work that made a difference. Then they proceed to explain that they want something just as groundbreaking, something that will disrupt the market, something that will break through the clutter…BUT, they want to do this without making any changes, without breaking new ground, without learning new tricks, without taking some chances, without being the bad-ass decision-maker they’re trying to emulate.
Asking for magic without leaving the comfort zone would be like handing Picasso a single bucket of grey paint and expecting a masterpiece.
If you’re wanting to disrupt your market, be a market-leader. Today is the day to roll up your sleeves, grab a shovel, and break new ground.
I swing both ways. Violently, with a bat. Come get some motherfuckers.
The last few weeks, months, and years have been a little tiring.
Things simply build up over time. Work, personal life, goals and dreams, politics, Millennials, social unrest, social malaise, bad coffee, it all snowballs through the years.
When it gets to be too much, don’t give up. Pick up a bat and start swinging. Swing in every direction with everything you have. When you’re too tired to keep going, keep swinging.
“Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now.” – P.T. Barnum
We all have a true self. Sometimes we fight it, sometimes we adapt and adopt another self in order to create a sense of fitting in. In reality, success and happiness will come from being exactly who you are…regardless of what that means.
Being someone else may give you a short-term sense of belonging, but will eventually hurt you in ways you can’t grasp until it happens. Avoid that hurt, and the hurt it causes others, by being true to who you are at all times.
P.T. Barnum’s quote doesn’t fit the text of this entry perfectly when taken at face value, but for me it’s very powerful. Be you with all your might, be you early and late, in season and out of season, and never defer for a single hour to being a you that makes you uncomfortable.
Get out there today and do good things, whatever that means to you.
Fake news is getting a lot of attention as of late. It’s not something new. What’s new is the fact that the public isn’t smart enough to tell the difference, they don’t look for anything deeper than the headline that flashed across their Facebook feed. In short, people have gotten stupid and lazy.
I miss the Weekly World News, a throwback to the day when the public was smart enough to discern fact from fiction. If Bat Boy had come along today, mass hysteria would ensue and the Democratic party would assume he somehow influenced the election.
You’ve worked for years on your brand. You’ve carefully crafted a look and feel for your company. You have that elevator speech down to an actual fucking art, you can make someone want to hand you money if you have 3 minutes alone with them.
Things have changed in the past few years. Now it appears that every business has to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if they want reach consumers. You don’t want to spend time every day trying to monitor online activities and posting narcissistic images, but you have several staff members or family members or family members of staff members that seem to love to use social media. These odd acquaintances have 1000s of followers and can talk all day long about social media and absolutely love to post pictures of their hair and the food they just ate. It seems natural to hand social media activities over to these little online zombies and let them use these ‘skills’ to build your brand and keep you in front of the public eye.
I see this happen almost daily. Brands handed over to people without backgrounds and education and experience in branding. Suddenly the online brands look very different than the brand that has been carefully crafted. The look and feel of your company that exists online would have made you cringe a few years ago. Logos are suddenly pink because it was more visible on the image that was stolen via a Google image search. Likes are counted as important when they have nothing to do with influence – quite often, the type of people that like the new online presence are not the least bit like your actual demographic, they just find the headline funny and notice that one of their ‘friends’ liked the post.
If your online branding is in the hands of someone that doesn’t handle branding for a living, take a look at it. Scour through every post with a new eye. Is this really how you want to be seen? Do the posts fit the carefully crafted messages you are putting forth elsewhere? You’ve been warned, your brand is crumbling in front of your eyes.
Don’t stand still. We stop growing when we stop moving. We stop experiencing new things when we stop moving. Standing still means recycling what we’ve already done and what we already know. This only works so long, then the rewards diminish.
It’s hard to move outside the comfort zone, and it’s easy to come up with 1000 reasons to stay in one. Basically, regardless of how the reasons are phrased, they all boil down to one thing. Nobody dies a quick death or experiences intense pain in a comfort zone. However, nobody experiences dramatic growth or euphoria in a comfort zone either.
I found myself breaking new ground recently, then going back to an area not of ‘comfort’ but of known outcomes. It’s the same thing.
If you find yourself standing still in a place you shouldn’t be, maybe it’s time to light the bridge on fire directly behind you. Force yourself forward, or find that you can experience intense pain in your comfort zone as you burn.
I wish I’d learned this much sooner. Well, maybe not the part about the cheeseburger.
Life doesn’t last long, but regretting the things you didn’t do can make it seem like an eternity. Enjoy the moments while you can.
I’ve fucked a lot of stuff up lately. I’ve also been very lucky, all things considered – even had a few apparently unnecessary things extracted from my body with no visible negative side-effects and a lot of benefit.
I can’t undo anything. I can’t forget anything, at least not on purpose. I can’t forgive myself for errors.
I can take one step at a time and move forward again.
It’s time to print the task list that has been growing longer and longer for as long as I can remember. By starting with the items I’ve been putting off because I simply didn’t know how to tackle them, I’ll suddenly find myself pushing back and heading into the future. It’s time to do for me what I’ve been doing for my clients…putting things in order and kicking ass.
Whatever you do, you’ve done some things that didn’t work out. If you’re a driven individual, you’ve flat out done some things that failed miserably. You can’t break new ground without having a few things go horribly awry.
The key to winning is to keep making mistakes. The more mistakes you allow yourself to make, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll accomplish. If you’ve hit that spot that you’re paralyzed by your past mistakes and simply can’t move forward, maybe you’re only one more mistake away from something so big it makes you forget about all those mistakes.
Make mistakes. Get back up. Dust yourself off. Learn from it. Go make another mistake.
Don’t let the mistakes haunt you, embrace them.
Well, maybe this cartoon isn’t exactly realistic, but it makes a good point. No matter what you think you know, there’s always a little more to the story. Even once you have all the facts…there’s still more.
When you see part of the puzzle, step back and look at it all. Then step back again. There’s always more.