I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden…

Who am I?

I am your constant companion.

I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.

I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.

I am completely at your command.

Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed, you much merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great men and women and alas of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, thou I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a human being.

You may run me for profit or run me for ruin, it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

Your habits.

-Anonymous

When I first read this I instantly loved it. In life on our way to achieving our goals we have the choice to develop habits that propel us in the right direction or habits that drag us down and push us in the opposite direction. It’s ultimately up to you to develop the most positive habits throughout life, they make all the difference.

Thanks to Mitch Gallant who found this for me.

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It’s The Unexpected Things We (Consumers) Remember

Quicklane Regina, Regina oil changes I’ve needed windshield washer fluid for almost a month. Well not really “needed” per se, every now and then when I slammed on the brakes the windshield washer fluid light would come on. So during winter I probably had a couple months left in her.  Any who. Continue reading »

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If You’re Going To Do Billboards Remember This…

TheWeddingFair.ca billboard

Make your message bloody specific.

If outdoor billboards are part of your marketing mix take a lesson from TheWeddingFair.ca. I saw this in Calgary the other day. The most prominent part of the billboard is exactly what they want you to remember. Their website.

They respect your time by not trying to tell you everything about the event.  If you don’t bombard people with information, they like that, weird hey? The simplicity of the billboard makes it stand out on a busy street. You could argue the billboard is not only simple but also unexpected if you’re talking about Chip and Dan Heath’s book Made to Stick six principles of sticky ideas.

If you’re advertising, make it incredibly clear what your goal is. Obviously the website is the most valuable piece of information to take away from this billboard.  From there you can look up anything you would like to know about the event.

Don’t make the classic mistake of trying to include more information than you have to. This goes for ANY of your marketing material. You should always ask before you publish/print “does all this information really need to be on here?” the more critical you are the better the end product will be.

Good on you TheWeddingFair.ca

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Billy Beane on Innovation; Lessons From Moneyball

Moneyball Movie PosterIf you’re absolutely certain that what you’re thinking is correct, sometimes you have to disagree with an entire room of people, even if those people have much more experience than you.  “Experience” will get in your way.  “The way we’ve always done it” will get in your way.  “That can’t work, it’s never been done before” will get in your way.

Sometimes you can’t trust the experts, sometimes you have to trust your gut and stick to your guns.  Billy Bean  could have lost his job, but did what he needed to do. He was stubborn, unreasonable, down right crazy at times, but he knew it would work.

Innovation is based on measurement, calculated risk.  Innovators aren’t more risky than the average person, they just calculate risk in a different way.

The owner of the Boston Red Sox says to Billy Beane:

For forty one million, you built a playoff team. You lost Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, Pena and you won more games without them than you did with them. You won the exact same number of games that the Yankee’s won, but the Yankee’s spent one point four million per win and you paid two hundred and sixty thousand. I know you’ve taken it in the teeth out there, but the first guy through the wall. It always gets bloody, always. It’s the threat and not just the way of doing business, but in their minds it’s threatening the game. But really what it’s threatening is their livelihoods, it’s threatening their jobs, it’s threatening the way that they do things. And every time that happens, whether it’s the government or a way of doing business or whatever it is, the people are holding the reins, have their hands on the switch. They will go bat shit crazy. I mean, anybody who’s not building a team right and rebuilding it using your model, they’re dinosaurs. They’ll be sittin’ on their ass on the sofa in October, watch the Boston Red Sox win the world series.

Billy Beane essentially created a disruptive innovation in major league baseball by using statistics to make better decisions. This didn’t come without a price, it wasn’t easy, almost everyone around him at the time told him he was wrong. He had faith to see his plan through.

How will you…

  1. Recognize where using data can give you an unfair advantage against your competition
  2. Recognize an undeveloped disruptive innovation in your industry
  3. Recognize when to force adoption (for the greater good) instead of giving people a choice (Billy Beane traded away Carlos Peña so that the only option to play first base would be Scott Haddeberg)
  4. Recognize and standup to naïve experience
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What’s Really Stopping Your Company From Being Great?

It’s easy to assume what your problem is, it’s hard to take an intimate look at what’s really stopping your company from being great.

A $20,000 logo isn’t going to fix your branding problem.

A commercial isn’t going to solve your awareness problem.

A newsletter isn’t going to solve your customers not caring problem.

Sending a flyer in the mail isn’t going to solve your no one orders from us problem.

Taking an ad out in the phone book isn’t going to solve your no one’s calling problem.

Interrupting your customers with more e-mails isn’t going to solve your they don’t buy enough problem.

The first step is admitting you have a problem (this is the hardest part).  The second step is defining what the problem actually is.  The third step is a realization that you aren’t going to solve the problem on your own.

You’d be surprised at how many people and businesses can’t get past the first step.

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Episode 21 – Filming The Earth From Space, 50 Shades of Grey, and Nightmares w/ Jillian Walker

Episode 21 – Filming The Earth From Space, 50 Shades of Grey, and Nightmares with Jillian Walker

Jillian WalkerEpisode 21 with our Westcoast, fashion, marketing, HR, running and yoga Correspondent Jillian Walker.

You all remember Jillian (how could you forget her?!?).  She’s always good for an entertaining conversation.  Oh and I’ll warn you on this one, there is a wee bit of swearing, so don’t listen to this on the family trip up to the lake with the kiddies. Continue reading »

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