When Brands Derail

When brands go off course, it's usually not because of one circumstance that can be pinpointed. Instead, it's a slippery slope of seemingly minor decisions and inconsequential actions. A cranky reply here, an apathetic "good enough" there — all of these add up over time.

The math associated with this is where it turns unfair, because instead of adding up one by one, it functions like compound interest. Out of nowhere a major, brand-threatening problem appears, but in reality it was there all along, growing exponentially larger under an unfocused eye.

The converse is true as well: seemingly minor decisions and inconsequential actions — done well, done right — multiply quickly. The math here is the same, but this time it's what your competition calls your "lucky break."

Originally published March 2013

What You Gain From Not Paying Attention To Your Frienemies

Party by    Todd Events   , photo by    Cameron Clark   .

Party by Todd Events, photo by Cameron Clark.

One of the most toxic things you can do is try to justify or minimize another person's success. Just do your thing and let them do theirs.

Justifying or minimizing someone else's success often comes in the form of a statement like, "Jane can accomplish that because she has X, Y, and Z – whereas I only have Y and Z.” This way of thinking and living is debilitating. 

What could you accomplish if you channeled even a fraction of the energy you spend on being bitter towards someone else because they were seemingly dealt a better hand, or because others, "Don't know what Jane is really like?"

Spending 15 minutes per day – ten minutes here, five minutes there – hate-following someone on Instagram or Facebook adds up to 91 hours per year.

That's more than two 40-hour work weeks spent focusing on the negative. Over two weeks of creativity lost because of misplaced focus. And if we're honest, many of us spend much more than fifteen minutes per day focusing on competitors or frienemies.

What could you create with even just 10% of that energy and time if it were focused on making YOU better?

If you can't ever seem to find time to exercise, how would your health change if you committed to just fifteen minutes instead of the desired-but-never-happening hour-long session?

What new product or service could you launch if you had two extra work weeks in the year?

You have more time than you think.

The original version of this post was published June 2009

Making Change Happen

Photo by    Cameron Clark

Photo by Cameron Clark

We know what we’re supposed to do yet we don’t do it.

The solutions seem simple and trite.

Surely the people who are more successful have more complex routines and productivity secrets.

Surely profound life change doesn’t really come from small habits that add up like compound interest.

Write things down, set goals, carve out time in your schedule solely to sit and think, eat breakfast, drink enough water, stretch and move more, reply to emails quickly, send handwritten thank you notes. It’s all just a little too obvious.

The magic is in the obvious.

Originally published May 2014