Are You Nuts?

NutsMarketing has changed. The old way was to run ads that would be seen by as many people as possible so that the people would make a decision based on those ads. Thank goodness, the old way is dead. Now we chose who to talk to. Instead of trying to convince everyone, we can talk to the people who are already likely to listen. 

The new way requires us to know who we want to talk to. 


Do not say Adults Ages 25-49. That is not a who. That’s agency speak and a generalized 25 year “demo” won’t get you any closer to reaching the right people than randomly picking people from Times Square in NYC. The more you can focus, the more successful your marketing will be. Who are you speaking to?  Describe him or her. Don’t be afraid to narrow too much. Who is she?

What does she want?

What does she actually need?

What scares her?

What moves her?

Who does she pay attention to? 

What does she believe in?

What already has her attention?

Who does she trust?

What could change her mind? 

What does she value?

Who has her attention?

When you know who she (or he) is, make sure you have what she needs. It won’t work to try to fit her to your product. If you don’t have something to sell your intended audience, they are not going to buy it.  I love the saying “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” 

New marketing is about connection and people and personality. Successful marketing is specific, not general. If you do it right, the people outside of your targeted audience may think you’re nuts. But that’s okay, you’ve got your own tribe. 



You Thought You Could Do It Alone

StartHave you ever tried to lose 10 pounds but kept it quiet in case you failed? Have you ever decided that you wanted to accomplish something at work but that goal never stood a chance because too many other “important” things got in the way? Or maybe you’ve tried to quit your sugar habit (yes, this is a personal one) but never truly intended on counting gummy bears as sugar. 

There are a few really simple things to do in order to set yourself up for success that are as important as having a goal itself. They can start now. 

Clarify what you really want. Write it down. Commit. Create your own accountability that’s realistic and appropriate for you. Then start.

Just begin.

Stay positive. There will be setbacks. Never forget why you started in the first place. 

 Photo Courtesy of Steven Depolo

I Screwed Up

I'm Sorry

When a customer experiences a problem with our service or product, it’s up to us to provide thoughtful response, attention and an apology. It’s up to us to see the situation from his or her point of view and it’s up to us to take full responsibility. 

The problem is, when something goes wrong, our gut reaction is to fix it quickly then down play the whole thing. Even worse, we often blame it on external factors or another department and then take the credit for the fix. 

The next time something goes wrong, apologize in a big way. Be human. Let the client know you understand the mistake and that you–YOU–are going to go above and beyond to rectify the situation. It was not another department’s mistake, it was not the weather, it was not a fluke, it was not the company’s problem. And even if it was, it does not matter. You are the solution provider and you will make it right.

Ultimately, the real opportunities lie not within never making mistakes, but with the way we deal with mistakes after they happen. We’re in a connection society and everybody wants to feel they have been heard. 

I Don’t Love Classical Music And Other Secrets


“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau

I like classical music, but not as much as I wish I liked it. To be quite honest, sometimes the fast and buzzing sounds of a symphony make me feel anxious and keep me from concentrating. But now and then I buy an album or tune the radio in just to try to learn to love the sophisticated genre of music that opens the mind for many people. 

And then there’s hiking. I don’t do it often and when I do, I enjoy it and even more so, I really admire people who spend their free time climbing trails in the brisk mountain air. But given the option on a Saturday morning, I find myself happiest running, or settled in to a coffee shop, writing. Yet I still feel guilty for not being a more prolific hiker.

It’s not just classical music and hiking that I try to convince myself to enjoy more. I wish I liked business social events. They’re a great way to meet other business people in the community but conversely, they often leave me drained. I admire beautiful gardens and sometimes wonder why I don’t spend more time in mine. Sometimes I even try to convince myself I should go out for Happy Hour on a Friday evening, after a long week, instead of curled up with my family, dog included, waiting on Dateline to start. 

Why is that I find myself trying to change my mind and questioning my instincts? Because I think I should want to enjoy those things—because other people do, because others find great value in them, and because I fear I may somehow be missing out.

In the end, I waste my time mentally wrestling with myself over doing things that I am really  not passionate about instead of actively participating in the things that I do. 

It’s true that sometimes we need to do things we don’t enjoy if it is part of a larger process we’re committed to. However, it’s important to recognize the difference between that type of conviction and simply pushing ourselves to do things we don’t find appealing because we think we should. Authenticity and happiness are closely related. 

How To View Vulnerability In Yourself As Courage

VulnerabilityOften, the very traits we admire in others and view as courage, are the ones that, when we exhibit them, feel like vulnerability. But when there is something big at risk, something we truly believe in, we are often required to put ourselves out there. It’s typical to fear that we might not please others, which can leave us feeling exposed.

So how do we handle the little voice inside our heads that tells us that we are unsure and can’t be certain the outcome will be what we had in mind in the first place?

Live in the moment. Of course, our past experiences will play some role in our points of view. And we certainly can’t predict the outcomes of the future. Living in the moment is not about ignoring the past or present. It’s about acknowledging them and then understanding that they have little to do with the here and now.

The best way for us to treat our own vulnerability as courage is be present and know that the only thing we can control is what we think at this very moment. Take a moment and breathe. Positive realignment goes a long way.

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