Near Hit or Near Miss?

Which are you hoping for today: A near hit or a near miss?

It’s the same concept as asking: are you going towards something or away from something?

Your perspective has everything to do with your vantage point and hence your action. Knowing you can only control your self and your thoughts and behavior in life as we know it – rather than the ‘other person’ – we must focus on near hits and going towards something.

Case in point: this website.

Near miss or near hit?

Near miss or near hit? has long been mine. I secured it years ago when I jumped into the pool of websites, posting and in general developing my global presence via the Internet. With a nod to Mike, it was his finger aimed at me one day when told me as much, “You’re going to write online.” Okaaaaaay, I remember thinking. Delivered in his imitable and completely visionary style, it made sense even if I didn’t understand all the parts. I was going towards something. He already knew this and was coaching me forward.

So I began. Writing (posting, ‘blogging’ – though I hate that undefined and sloppy word). Sharing. And learning to find and fine tune my voice. I did that with a previous business, then used that same sage and timely advice and insight when I launched Women Enjoying Beer. And again for this site.

In the case of this site, it’s here to help me (and you) go towards. I’m also quieting the Women Enjoying Beer site – so this endeavor right here – this site – provides the ‘towards’ goal and vision. It helps me happily get up in the morning, instead of dreading other dead end work.

One great thing about going towards and aiming for near hits are they are positive directions. Away from and near misses indicate not so fruitful and perhaps negative directions and directives.

Take a step or three back, watch yourself and see what you’re doing. Take a look around you and see who else is doing what though still remembering that you are in charge of only you. What do you need and want to go towards?

Marketing is all about moving towards. It’s offering up, sharing, and communication. Progress in a forward direction is necessary to get to this near hits and somethings – until you reach them. Now, go get it.

Are You Leading Or Managing: Round 2

On Wednesday, I published what incidentally became Part 1 of today’s Part 2. Today I’ll explode the view, as promised.

“The difference between management and leadership 1

Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. 2

Leaders, on the other hand 3, know where they’d like to go 4, but understand that they can’t get there without the tribe 5, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen. 6

Managers want authority 7. Leaders take responsibility 8.

We need both 9. But we have to be careful not to confuse them 10. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce 11 and thus more valuable 12.”

All of us.

All of us.

1. This is only one person’s definition of difference.

2. It’s implied here that managers are focused on faster and cheaper – not so. Universal sauce poured on any particular people, setting, scenario are dangerous.

3. What if you only have one hand? Why not see them together rather than disparate?

4. This implies managers don’t know where they’d like to go. Again, dangerous and inaccurate universal sauce.

5. Of course they can go and do without a helping hand. One definition of manager is “a person who has control or direction of an institution, business, etc., or of a part, division, or phase of it.” So of course that is the supposed direction…should they not manage instead? Then what are they?

6. Tools are with and within us all. Circumstances tend to inspire use or dormancy of tools.

7. Assumption.

8. Assumption. Did Rosa Parks want to be a leader? Doubt it. I bet her employer would more likely have said she managed her responsibilities, which is at odds with this sentence.

9. Whether we need or want all kinds, we’ve got them. And to delineate and separate creates curious and sometimes helpful, sometimes unhelpful activity. of course we need all kinds of talents and skills. We get all conceivable shapes and sizes who tackle the every day, every way.

10. Confuse seems to be the wrong word. There’s overlap in managers and leaders; there’s an irony to not counting managers as leaders, and not seeing leaders as managers.

11. Leaders are not scarce. Equity is scarce. Equality is scarce. Opportunity is sometimes scarce. We can provides the forum for leaders and managers to emerge and work together. Without the supposed “managers” please tell me exactly whom would the leaders lead?

12. …nor are leaders more valuable. This is an insult to the managers and everyone else not falling into a narrow definition of leaders. People with guts, fortitude and the willingness to move forward are the valuable ones. And they truly are everywhere and we do need them.  Though to denigrate the “non” leaders and managers would paint me as a hypocrite as well.

Prose such as this makes me nervous. Do we need to put lines in the sand? Do we need to have a free for all? What is the best set up? I know not. What I do know is we need to call it like we see it, and extol less is more with labels.

Perhaps it’s all semantics for you. It’s way more than that to me.

Marketing: Are You Managing Or Leading And Does It Matter?

There’s a lot of talk lately on Leadership. Leadership’s always been around, whether it’s had a title or not.

It seems we want to lump Managers into the sheep herding category, feckless folks who simply are in place to follow orders, follow the drum beat, and follow (the) suit. Leaders, on the other hand, are held in high and almost mysterious regard and can do no wrong while they are making the world turn. They’re working on clouds of their own devising and people want to emulate and find those footsteps, thus supporting the loftiness.

Be who and what you are.

Be who and what you are.

While I may be a satirist here, it’s odd to me people feel the need to delineate at all. What purpose does it serve to say a manager can’t or doesn’t lead, or a leader isn’t a manager? personally, call yourself and each other whatever you wish. Simply slapping a title or label on someone doesn’t make them so.

Here’s a ditty I unearthed when sorting an almost forgotten box of stuff last weekend.

“The difference between management and leadership

Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.”

I agree and disagree. Come back in a few days for my follow-up view explosion.

Shoppers Aren’t Naive: They Simply Need Help

Shoppers are savvy. Make every assumption of that positive.

What seems to be naiveté sometimes is simply a lack of knowledge, available information, and assistance in getting the message. They’re smart. They’re just waiting so go help them out.

In a really worthwhile article, Delving Into The Mind Of A Naive Shopper by Neal Macdonald, Winter 2014 Artisan Spirit Magazine, Mr. Macdonald covers some prescient points.

1. The sample size of the qualitative info gathered is small and very personal. As a long time qualitative researcher, I find the insight to be quite similar to my data from hundreds and hundreds of participants as well. Said another way, I concur with many of the points. I appreciate this is NOT STATS. Give me a break with the numbers already….

Little Golden Books notwithstanding, read up...

Little Golden Books notwithstanding, read up…

2. Time is covered, as is size of bottle (though they missed any discussion on cans…another time perhaps). Holidays, flavors, novelties and name brands…all touched on.

3. What I really want to highlight is Point 2 on Price. Money is such a funny topic for most humans yet it’s something we seem to assign with value, when in fact the proposition can be completely separate. The Why We Buy needs to be the more important, not the amount we spend. We all have money for what we want to purchase.

I’ve found the 3 Universal Truths we pioneered to peel loud and strong, over and over, across category and people. Price falls under value, since value is a moving target. Read more on the 3UT here.

Reading about what works and what doesn’t work is smart business for all of us in business. What we must do it take it all with a grain of salt – or the little grey cells, as Poirot would say. Ask, listen, digest – and still extrapolate as it fits for you. Pay closer attention to qualitative data than stats. You have to know the why more than the what.

Contact me for help as desired.

Learning In Public

“It takes a lot of guts to learn in public.” – S. Wilson

Wilson’s right. When we put ourselves at the mercy of the public when learning something new, it’s a risk many are averse to. And learning something new regularly is how we will survive and thrive. Change is constant – so without it we’ll wither and die. Or at least become an unhappy and strange recluse.

Shhhh! Class is in session.

Shhhh! Class is in session.

To avoid the reclusivity and strange label, keep in mind that learning is a necessary part of growth. Growth lends itself to improved communication. And communication is marketing.

Here are some comfort tips to assist your public learning adventures.

1. Close your eyes and breathe deep 4 times before beginning a new trajectory. This helps us calm ourselves, tells our brains that we’re gonnabefine. Of course, we’re going to be fine – we’re pretty darn fabulous right now. Calm yourself and know that what you’re about to embrace will foster your continued happiness, competency and progress.

2. Really listen. Take it all in. The best tool for learning is an open mind. I recently watched and highly recommend Julian Treasure’s work as resources you use, often. Listening is key to learning.

3. Ask questions. That open mind you walked in the room with? Make sure it stays open. All teachers want students who are curious and will ask questions. A great teacher will assume the students know what they need more than themselves and encourage questions and discussing.

4. Active learning is better than static for many. Find out what your learning style is and bear that in mind when taking instruction, asking for instruction and choosing the best formats of education for yourself. We can be at “active” or as silent as we like and still be learning.

Enjoy the experiences, always. learning sometimes seems as if it may be painful in the way that we’re going to have to change the way we feel, think, judge or otherwise characterize a concept we had previously held pretty strong feelings, morals, or opinions about – no matter where those feelings, morals, or opinions came from.

Challenging ourselves will stretch our minds. Stretching leads to growth. Growth leads to new improvements in ourselves, as well as all sorts of other discoveries.

Discovery – to me – is a huge part of the invigoration of being in business, ‘working’ as it were. I find when I discover, when I’m taught, when I embrace education, I hone my skills for communication and hence marketing to also tune up. How could I not apply new information for betterment?

Go forth & educate. First yourself, then share with others. Show off your guts.

“My Favorite Word”

There is one word –

My favorite –

The very, very best.

It isn’t No or Maybe,

It’s Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, YES!

“Yes, yes, you may,” and

“Yes, of course,” and

“Yes, please help yourself.”

And when I want a piece of cake,

“Why, yes. It’s on the shelf.”

Some candy? “Yes.”

A cookie? “Yes.”

A movie? “Yes, we’ll go.”

I love it when they say my word:

Yes, Yes, YES! (Not No.)

– Lucia & James L. Hymes, Jr.

With a grateful nod to an education pro who had an obvious impact on my education. YES!

Sing A Song Of Marketing

What’s your theme song? That’s right – what’s the ditty, jingle, number that describes who you are, what you do, why, and with whom?

jingle, song, ditty....what's yours?

jingle, song, ditty….what’s yours?

This morning for a business meeting with 30 seconds to make an impression, I took a popular culture jingle and reworded it to fit my message. Tell me what you think:

Oh – your business has a first name / It’s bee – are – a – en – dee…

And your business has a second name / It’s eye – em – a – gee – eee.

So make sure that you take good care / ensure that eyeballs everywhere –

Will understand your marketing / has the right feel, look & ring.

With smart marketing, everything is possible.

Successful brands the world over, particularly consumer goods, have used jingles for years with much success.

Who remembers the Cheerios tune, Dr. Pepper, and Chevrolet? Food and cars, not withstanding, a audio identifier is a powerful way to engage and create a memorable brand experience when done well. Yes, I want to have a pow-pow-powerful good-good-feeling – I want to be a Pepper – and I do love baseballhotdogsapplepieandchevrolet.

What’s your jingle?

p.s. bonus points: I’ll send a free GJ sticky note pad to everyone who tells which brand this jingle was originally written for (include your mailing address in your email to me, telling me which brand it was).

Filling Empty Space

When you have empty spaces around you, what do you fill them with?

Space is never really empty....

Space is never really empty….

Let’s start with the spaces first: Where are they, what purpose do they perhaps serve, what could they do better, and how sees them?

If you have a room with no people in it, does it feel lacking, comfortable, or spacious? Are you fine with everyone filling the space? How about 2 people? No one?

If you have an online platform, identify first why you have chosen to engage. What is the purpose, who do you desire to address, what do you plan to share and provide, and how often will you show up?

Knowing that space is empty, full and at every stage in between necessitates consideration of those spaces. A landscape in Central Wyoming isn’t empty. Ask the critters and plants who live there. New York City isn’t full. There are pockets and lots aplenty.

Space is what you make it. What do you have space for?