Success

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

Doing The Work When You Don't Feel Like It

Owning a business is hard.

There will be days when you want to pack it all in, when you wonder why you ever left your cushy job with its guaranteed 401k and paid vacation days, when you’re acutely feeling the pressure of not only supporting yourself, but making payroll for your 40+ employees so that they can support their families, when you’re wondering if what you do is simply frivolous or really makes a meaningful difference to someone.

It. Is. Hard.

Here is my number one piece of advice to help combat the days when you’re so overwhelmed you’d rather curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket and Netflix: keep a file of all the kind things people have said about your work and look at it when you need a boost.

Your brain gives more weight to what it hears audibly, so if you need an even bigger boost, read those notes to yourself out loud.

Yes, you will likely feel foolish, but doing this works, and that’s what matters.

To keep this practical, I have an easy-to-use system. Feel free to steal it and make it your own:

  1. If I get a kind note in the mail, it goes in a physical box. Specifically, a giant heart-shaped box I received from Tieks a few years back. A heart box for kind-hearted notes.

  2. If I receive a kind email, I archive it in a folder called “Kind Words” – a simple solution that makes it easy to find later on.

  3. As an extra step, and you certainly don’t have to do this if you do the first two: I enter everything in a spreadsheet on Google Drive. This allows me to make note of the person, kind words they said, date they said them, and whether their comments came via snail mail, email, in person, or via social media. All kindness counts!

When my friend and client Stefanie told me that my work helped her land a wedding where she earned 180 times what she charged for her first wedding, I made a note of it.

When an attendee from one of the Engage Luxury Summits I spoke at told me that my presentation was directly responsible for helping them land a $12 million corporate contract, I made a note of it.

When a wedding pro sent me an email out of the blue to tell me she was “four hours and 53 pages” deep into my blog archives after coming across my site and that I had shifted her thinking about certain business obstacles she was facing, I made a note of it.

It can feel somewhat gross or braggy sharing these things or re-reading them out loud to myself, but when those feelings come up, I remind myself that true humility doesn’t hide its gifts.

The work I’ve done has helped people, the work I do now helps people, and when I feel overwhelmed, there is nothing wrong with reminding myself of this.

There is nothing wrong with reminding yourself that what you do matters, either.

Here’s to a new year, where we each confidently and unapologetically own our success.

Your Ego Is Their Competitive Advantage

Your ego is their competitive advantage.

Your complacency is their competitive advantage.

Your procrastination is their competitive advantage.

Your impatience is their competitive advantage.

Your laziness is their competitive advantage.

Your inflexibility is their competitive advantage.

Your jealousy and the decisions you allow it to drive is their competitive advantage.

Your bitterness from clinging to a grudge is their competitive advantage.

Your glorification of busy is their competitive advantage.

Your “no new friends” rule is their competitive advantage.

Your bubble is their competitive advantage.

Your red tape is their competitive advantage.

Your lack of process is their competitive advantage.

Your lack of research is their competitive advantage.

Your preference for short cuts over healthier, organic growth is their competitive advantage.

Your inability to prioritize your time is their competitive advantage.

Your micromanagement is their competitive advantage.

Your refusal to do the boring, unglamorous, tedious work is their competitive advantage.

Your insistence on putting all your eggs in the Instagram basket is their competitive advantage.

Your being ‘too good' to attend that event is their competitive advantage.

Your habit of indulging your FOMO (fear of missing out) rather than strategic JOMO (joy of missing out) is their competitive advantage.

Your refusal to ask for help is their competitive advantage.

Your staying within your comfort zone is their competitive advantage.

Your never raising your hand to ask questions is their competitive advantage.

Your nostalgia for the “good old days” of the industry in 2014/2004/1994 is their competitive advantage.

Work smarter. Work harder. It’s not an either/or scenario, and hasn’t been for a long time.