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Embrace the pain to persevere.

When the difficulty of persevering is more painful than the danger of building the momentum again, we stop. Embrace the pain the preservering, it’s easier than the pain and energy it takes to build the flywheel again.

Just keep going.

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The scarcity of real urgency.

It’s unfortunate that despite good intentions so few work with a real sense of urgency. You could argue that downtime is critical for creative thought; or that we’re not running sprints, we’re running a marathon. But we should be running sprints. We find the direction, move fast. Adjust. Don’t mistake busy, frantic, and loud voices as urgent. Urgent can be calm, smooth, and kind.

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People matter more than process.

(But process still matters.)

Companies build processes in order to scale. Consistent quality output requires good processes. As Ed Catmull talks about in Creativity, Inc. it’s not enough to “Trust the process” – trusting a process does not take people out of the equation. People still own the process.

I’ve experienced poor processes. Processes so fine-tuned that nobody owns anything. There were constant fires to put out. Unfortunately, the answer was “We’re missing a step in the process. Add to it!” … the answer is not adding to the process, but revisiting it. Considering subtracting or eliminating.

You have to “Find, develop, and support good people” – hire people who know what they’re doing and care about the work they do. When something goes wrong, it’s not just the process’ fault. People failed. That’s okay. Own it. Improve it. We should be failing all the time, but if we don’t own that failure, we’ll never learn.

P.S. Creativity, Inc. is one of the best business books I’ve ever read. Grab a copy.

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One brain. Many hands.

Digital marketing is often accomplished by an individual with a computer (mobile, tablet, desktop, or otherwise), the Internet, and some smarts. As digital marketing matures and search algorithms improve, the worlds of SEO and links meld with Public Relations, design, and more.

No longer can a modern digital marketing effort be executed with one individual, no matter how intelligent she may be. I am a firm believer in the full stack marketer, but when there are dozens of web assets and strategies, it no longer becomes an issue of skill sets in the individual or the ability to handle the complexities of digital strategy, it is more about the sheer volume of work that deserves the time needed to produce quality.

Digital marketing now requires building a brand. A single mind should drive it, but it will be impossible for them to execute it alone.

Good thing we live in a world of smart freelancers, contractors, and communities.

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Develop muscles for uncertainty.

Some are born with the propensity to navigate uncertainty. Most of us are not.

For growth and success you must live on the edge of discomfort in a world that seems uncertain. The key is to pursue that world early and often. It’ll be hard. But you will have experiences that will teach you it’s worth it. The more you have, the easier it becomes. Not because it is easier, but because you are stronger.

The longer you live in uncertainty, the more comfortable discomfort feels.