Where Does The Time Go?? AKA Who Inspires You?

I don’t know how time seems to fly so fast, no matter what’s happening in life.

Recently I was texting back and forth with a friend and colleague and she said she couldn’t WAIT for this month to be over. That caught me very off guard. Wait, what?? She wants time to go even faster?! No way.

I don’t think that’s what she really meant though. She meant she was eager to get through some really big projects and come out the other side. I get that – we likely all do.

P1040351So in thinking about writing today, and checking the last time I posted, I realized it’s been toooooooo long. I do love to write so there’s no good (or bad) excuse either. So where does the time go? How do we get on with other things, and forget or neglect those things that we still want to do?

I have no idea.

What I do know is that there’s inspiration everywhere for me. Who inspires me is way more important than the open question of where does the time go. It just does, that’s it. I can’t control time or it’s speed of flight. What I can control is who inspires me.

To that end, I was thinking about a few upcoming events I’m involved with and wanted to make sure I shared them with you. Have that fun & be inspired since time flies regardless.

For more, visit our Events page here.

Thanks.

Oh – and that friend? Turns out she inspires me too. Onward, flying time be damned.

What Differences Do You See

Look at these two photos. What do you notice overall?

When I look at them, I see a few obvious differences:

What attracts your eye to the books here?

What attracts your eye to the books here?

Business Books

  1. White, red, and dark blue.
  2. Predominantly very easy to read font and short titles.
  3. 5 faces of real people

Food Books

  1. Busy, multi colored covers
  2. All food, no faces
  3. Fonts various sizes, some hard to read

This is called Walking The Stacks, with a nod to Mike. Looking at books and magazines to see what you see, what you don’t see and figure out what you’d like to – and sometimes need to – see in order to engage with that patiently waiting

How about here?

How about here?

publication. I imagine the same is true with DVD’s and CD’s…

And if you’re thinking of writing a book or in process (as I am) it’s critical you do this same exercise, at a few different places where bunches of books are sold and where you may want yours to be sold. Do it a few times. Ask some valued colleagues to do it for you, in different areas of the shops as well as where your book would likely be placed. Request only honest direct feedback.

My editor took these shots and asked me what I thought. Since I’ve done this before, I immediately understood what she was asking: What stands out, how does it catch your eye, what’s clear & clean and what’s busy, what attracts and what do you pass by.

This is a prime visual and visceral example of the importance of marketing. Bring a book to market, hard copy, means it will physically sit somewhere – shelf, tables, floor, wherever – and to get to that position, it must be attractive to you.

I’m excited to be writing my first book and am already thinking of the covers. To be sure, I’ll walk the stacks a few times, in different places. BTW: for those of you in business, notice the books in the airport shops (it’s a big sales opportunity).

Set yourself up for better success with thoughtful book cover design, investment and execution.

Professional Service, Profit & Service

A few years ago I was invited to speak at various classroom audiences CWU. As it unfolded, I had a bit of time between classes so wandered around the building and found a library-esque room with a wall bookshelf of various academic text books and other books, including some on accounting.

In reading the spines, I pulled one book out and found a letter printed and pasted to the inside of the book. The book was A Search for Fairness in Financial Reporting to the Public Volume II (of 2), Copyright May 15, 1973 by Leonard Spacek, Chicago Illinois. Selected addresses and articles by Leonard Spacek, 1969 – 1973.

Mr. Spacek was regarded as ahead of his time. Yet in reading the letter I’d say he was simply a very self-aware, world aware, and business aware person.

I hand copied the letter for myself because I found the entire thing to be entirely worthwhile. Today I share it with you.

“To all members of our organization…

As I look back over my career in the Firm, I have reach certain conclusions that bear on a question that seems to bother many people in professional activities. So often the services of a professional organization such as ours is regarded as a business endeavor and only a profit-making effort. If making a profit were the principal objective of the Firm, our work would have the characteristics of only a business. However, so long as we conduct ourselves with proper attention to client service and achieve a high quality of performance, combined with a sense of responsibility to the public, our work has the attributes of a profession even though it also provides an adequate income to all of our personnel and to the organization as a whole.

So often a business [person] cannot venture into new fields or concepts because the public is not ready to accept the new product or the change in operations. The business [person] must strive as much as possible to create products and give service under present circumstances. Many of our problems in ecology, transportation, environment and energy shortages are due not so much to error, lack of concern or irresponsibility of the business [person] as they are to the fact that in the past the public and its government representatives demanded goods and services at understated and erroneous competitive prices without concern for the cost of preserving such services in the future. Thus burdened, the service eventually ceases or deteriorates to crisis proportions, such as in the areas of transportation, energy and ecology.

A profession, on the other hand, has the responsibility irrespective of the public opinion, government fiat and current practice to look ahead to see what the problems will be and how they should be resolved in advance. Also, the public should be informed in advance of pitfalls that are involved with current procedures. This forward-looking process in [this profession] is frequently criticized because it conflicts with current accepted practices; and thus, there will never be a popular demand for forward thinking in giving quality service.

The demand for action occurs when the crisis from prior neglect is at hand. Generally accepted [professional] standards is rooted to what exists rather that what is needed. Practice under such circumstances becomes only that which complies with present methods without warning the public of the pitfalls that inevitably must be faced as a result of these methods. Superior performance that looks into the future will also be denounced as radical, especially by the opportunist. Even though attainment of the needed changed is slow, analysis is showing the error in present procedures can lead to progress, which is the only way we can be a leader. Real progress is not the acceptance of comfortable evolution – it is evolution under pressure to move faster. The responsibility to perform this function, to educate the public properly, is ours as professional leaders, even though the burden of not moving fast enough falls heavier on the leaders than the laggards.

If there is any useful purpose to be served in publishing this book, it is with the hope that it will spark your thinking and imagination in the direction of what constitutes real progress and how to accomplish it on a timely basis. If this occurs, only with a few of you, I will feel it has been worthwhile.”

Mr. Spacek was with Arthur Anderson & Co., Forward by Paul D Williams, 4.3.1973

“ Leonard’s greatest contribution to his firm, his partners, and his professional may well be in developing a philosophy that there is a never-ending search for fairness.” – Harvey Kapnick, 4.3.73

Say No To Free Work

What do you expect to get when you work for someone? What can you reasonably anticipate when someone hires you or tells you they’d like you to do something for them – something that they value and desire and want accomplished?

You expect to get paid, right?

Yes. And of course you should.

Don't ask for - or do - free work.

Don’t ask for – or do – free work.

Taylor Swift nailed it in this open letter to Apple: No Free Work. I don’t ask you for free goods from you so don’t ask me for free work from me. I agree on every single point she eloquently and directly made. Adrienne’s classic article is another excellent read. As is this parody video Say No To Spec Work (read: frequest for free) and finally Mike Montiero’s F*** You, Pay Me video.

When you want something of value, be prepared and able to pay for it, whatever that exchange might be. Assume there’s a mutual investment. If a pro, consultant, musician, or plumber who wants to give you their work for free, that’s their choice – and should be their idea, never yours in the asking.

To ask for free work and goods means you don’t place full value on what you say you want.

Value the people, professions and goods all around us. Make your plans to afford what you want and need. then make it happen.

People equally vested in the end goal will work together when value is part of the deal.

Say no to free work.

Waste Free Marketing

So a marketer walks into a festival…..a chocolate festival in particular, to conduct flavor workshops. Okay, so it was me, happily so, at the OCF. (here’s a pre-fest video tip for you from The Local Dish)

And in the wrap up and final clean up for the last of three workshops I gave, I happened to look into the trash bins for some reason. What I noticed was material which could be recycled – so into the bin I went, retrieving that which can have a second life. It appalls me how wasteful we are as a species and I can do my part, so I do.

Proper marketing builds your business with no waste.

Proper marketing builds your business with no waste.

Waste by definition  = to squandor, to fail or neglect to use.

So it struck me afterwards: What does it mean to have Waste Free Marketing?

Answer: Planning. Forethought allows us the opportunity and time to consider our actions and activities before jumping in, where in we can mitigate on the front end what happens, with what collateral and how it all unfolds.

The key is to make the end goal to be no waste, of any sort.

What fits in a parallel fashion with marketing (vs. manufacturing)? Here are some starters.

  1. Ordering materials: Strategy. When you plan it, it will happen. When you don’t, you’ll still be stuck. Ordering is the good faith in real time that you are going to do something. Make sure it’s something smart and intentional towards your goals.
  2. Money : Money. Money is what drives a lot of marketing decisions. I don’t think it should – what needs to drive our marketing strategy should be desired and planned outcomes. Investing always means there’s a leap of calculated faith.
  3. Product scraps : Time scraps. Time is our most precious raw material. We all have 24/7/365 too so plan ahead to utilize the time you have in your marketing to best effect and effort.

There are more, for sure. These can get us started in looking at how the key to no waste is pre-action strategy development.

Marketing should be fruitful, fun, purposeful, and effective. And it can be when you choose to work with the right pro. Call me. I can help you reduce and eliminate marketing waste.

Your Marketing

“Our marketing is our employees doing their job well.”

Wise words.

Ask yourself today:

  • What role do I play in our marketing?
  • How do I best execute my work?
  • What do I need to perform at my best for the entire whole?
  • How do I continually evaluate and improve?
  • Who else is involved in this adventure?
  • How do we best work together as a team?
  • How do we best project cohesiveness and value for our clients?

Yes, my friends – everyone is marketing. Marketing is communication. And everything we do communicates part of that message in some fashion.

From our gait in our walk to our eye contact, from our writing style to our clothing, from how we smell to our handshake. It’s worth thoughtful consideration. You are a projection of your business. A living breathing image of your brand.

Figure out what you need to do to do you job well. Help yourself and help the others around you. You will be happier, your customers (internal and external) will thank you, and you’ll see positive effects ripple out.