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April 25, 2014

How do you move forward?

Rewire yourself. Master your mind so that it can slave your muscles into action. As motivation drops, the only thing that separates you from your goal is how your mind is wired. You are what you think. Believe that you can rewire. What is holding you back?
April 24, 2014

Do you fear doing the right thing?

Sometimes when you are doing the right thing, you seem to be gripped by fear.This is insane if you think about it. Rewire yourself. Doing the right thing should be met with feelings of optimism, courage and strength. Not fear. Don’t listen to the lizard brain. If it is the right thing to do, do it. Do it with fervor and conviction. Why should you fear doing the right thing?
April 23, 2014

What answer do you want?

Some people live their lives getting answers they want by asking as many times as possible to as many people as possible till they hear what they want to hear. When that fails, they reframe the question. Or they ask a series of leading questions to get the answers they want. Their questions may be answered. But I am not sure if that is the answer. Is the answer you want the real answer?
April 22, 2014

Who are you fighting?

April 21, 2014

Who should you work with?

So much have been said about working in a team or a partnership and how to make it work. Some people believe in having like-minded people on board. It seems that makes things easier. You are on the same wavelength so to speak. Others purport that there should be diversity. Differences in the way each individual members look at things and works give you better results. Regardless of whom you work with – harvest the richness in the differences, reap the fertility in similarities. These can only work if you compromise. And that seems to be a bad word now-a-days. […]
April 18, 2014

Where would you be?

If you made small marginal 1% improvements in the things you do – doesn’t matter what they are, they be could habits, lifestyle, marketing, whatever – everyday, where would you be in a year’s time? In two year’s time, so on and so forth? Dave Brailsford, General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team) referred to this as “the aggregation of marginal gains.” Using this ‘principle’ he helped Sir Bradley Wiggins, the first British rider to win the Tour de France medal in 2012. There is a similar thought in the Chinese saying, “不怕慢 只怕站.” Translated to mean, “Do […]
April 17, 2014

What keeps you up at night?

Sure you can think about that question. But it is one that will likely lead you to things you worry about. That leads you to a sleepless night – worrying. A better question to ask yourself is “What gets you up in the morning?” That drives your focus. The things you can ACT on. That question probably brings better brings results. What gets you up in the morning?
April 16, 2014

Who’s on the other side?

Automated responses, answering machines, music on hold and such are usually an attempt by someone to engineer the process of customer service. When your business tries to engineer the process to make it better, who are you making it for? The consumer or your business? Engineer the experience. Not the process. When you look at the process, you are serving your business interest. When you engineer the experience, you are improving the consumer’s experience. Who are you fixing it for?
April 15, 2014

What’s your reward?

Sometimes there are no maps to show you how to get to your destination. Yes, there may be similar routes and similar travelers. But they are not the same. You know. Sure there are learnings you can glean from them. But they are not the same. You know. Given this, of course, the journey will be a lot more challenging. However, it is immensely more rewarding to discover new paths. And a priceless gain of discovering yourself. How do you get there?
April 14, 2014

How did you reach out?

Face-to-face is preferred to phone calls. Phone calls are preferred to emails. Emails are preferred to SMS, Whatsapp, whatever. Put a face to it; if that’s not possible then at least put a voice to it. A lot are lost when you communicate without the human elements of facial expressions, voice and body language. Did they get the message?
April 11, 2014

Who should change?

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy. Why should you change?
April 10, 2014

And what did you do with it?

You read the inspiring book. You dissected the case study. You envy the manager that quit and became an artist by the beach. You love what others do with their brands. All the talk, thoughts and feelings from being inspired by whatever just leads to lies being told to yourself or disappointment further down the road if it is not followed with action. Are you just going to sit there?
April 9, 2014

How valuable is your time?

If it is worth doing, do it well and excel in it. Whether you like to do it, love to do it, or hate it. If it’s worth your time, do it with excellence. Otherwise you are wasting your time and everyone else’s. Forget about the relationship you have with what needs to be done and how well you do it. Instead, think about whether you are investing your time in it. If you are, then do it well. Let’s face it, there are buckets of things out there that you hate to do but you still have to do […]
April 8, 2014

What do you want to learn?

Sometimes young executives repeat in interviews the fact that they want to learn and are willing to learn so many times that it scares me. I have seen people who say they want to learn but when things are being taught, they do not even know it. The adage that the teacher appears when the student is ready is true. Don’t expect things to be taught a certain way, what you should be taught and how you should learn it. When your mind is closed, how can you be taught? Much less learn something new? Purposeful teaching cannot happen when […]
April 7, 2014

Who are you reaching?

A captive audience does not equate a consuming market. Sure you can talk about conversion rates, we know that. A ginormous figure for the captive audience with a small percentage of conversion is all you are looking for and that can help you achieve your objective. Often times, people who quote captive audience figures tend to forget relevance and insights. As if the numbers will justify everything. Throw in terms like “long tail” and they think they have a business model.  Translating a captive audience into a consuming market takes more than numbers and gumption. Who is buying?
April 4, 2014

Which will make the difference?

April 3, 2014

Are you ready yet?

April 2, 2014

What fancy stuff do you want to learn?

As a student, we all want to progress to more impressive things – to do the fancy stuff. Sometimes, teachers and coaches get influenced too. They too want to teach the fancy stuff. Why not? On the one hand the students want it and on the other the teacher gets to show off. Or at least, the class becomes interesting for both. It takes truck loads of discipline for both to stick to the basics; knowing one will fall off and the other being accused of spending too much time on stuff that is supposedly boring. It doesn’t matter what […]
April 1, 2014

What else do you need?

Creativity is your asset. Sure. Great. Now let’s see your stamina. Why do you need other things?
March 31, 2014

How small should you be?

A multinational client visited our office recently. They conducted their due diligence on the possibility of us working together. A nice gentleman among them mentioned that we maybe a tad small for them. A fact we do not hide. We have always been proudly small in the number of people. So we explained to him that the number of people is crucial in certain industries. For others, like ours – it really depends on the requirements. There are factories with drones that churn out mass sameness, and then there are craft shops that hand make their art. I think he […]
March 28, 2014

What do you want to do?

March 27, 2014

Did you think clearly?

March 26, 2014

How often do you change?

March 25, 2014

How do you quit your job?

March 24, 2014

Which is your brand?

March 21, 2014

What will you leave us?

When you are gone, what will people miss you for? Leaving something of value that no one else can deliver as well as you do when you are gone, can guide you to what differentiates you from the rest. This is true of people and brands. Our time is finite. It’s time to deliver. What will we miss when you are gone?
March 20, 2014

Why are you arguing?

March 19, 2014

How much risk do you take?

If you planned well and took risk, caution would be involved. In a world where taking risk is so glamorized, some people take it as if it is a magic potion to the land of success. Caution is necessary for survival. It takes courage to be cautious especially when risk has its rewards. Taking risks without plans are suicidal. Why would you be cautious?
March 18, 2014

What’s there to show off?

Showing off something is only of value when you elicit the sort of envy you crave from the other party. That can only happen if the party you are showing off to places equal or more value than you to the thing you are showing off. What do you know about your audience?
March 17, 2014

How do you live?

You know you hear people say “Live like you are dying tomorrow” because you are not supposed to live with regrets and you should take risk.  I am not so sure. Not that I disagree with living life without regrets and taking a certain amount of risks for the things worth risking for. I think it’s better to live like you are going to live tomorrow. What if you don’t die tomorrow?
March 14, 2014

Who is on the job?

March 13, 2014

Who did you wrestle today?

I think everything worth having is when you wrestle anxiety successfully. A few ways in pinning anxiety down – have a good plan that has cautions in place, understand what risk means to you and compute the price difference of doingand not doing.  Who’s tapping out?
March 12, 2014

What didn’t they tell you?

Whether you are getting feedback from consumers or an opinion from your consultants; what is not said can hurt you the most. What you hear depends very much on who you are and your experience. What you will listen to depends very much on the size of your ego. And of course, the size of your ego also dictates what people tell you. How do you make people tell you the truth?
March 11, 2014

So what if you are wrong?

March 10, 2014

What flags do you follow?

Marketing is an adventure only if you are a risky explorer. You cannot expect to take the tried and tested path and say you had a wild adventure with marketing. Some marketers much rather sign up for a group tour herded around little flags. Others take the beaten track; they come back bruised having earned the right to say, “That was an adventure.” Are you Indiana Jones?
March 7, 2014

What’s the value of failure?

If you fail and learn and fail and learn and fail and learn, I suppose that will get you somewhere. Either your eventual place, or a platform that springboards you to where you want to be. What you need to be cautious of is the failure to learn. How did you learn?
March 6, 2014

Will this be an eventful day?

Messiness allows you to do something and be of value. Think about messiness as a process to masterpieces. That way, you learn not to worry but instead see opportunities. Are you enjoying the process?
March 5, 2014

Where is the end of the tunnel?

If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, start making your own light. You obviously cannot be grappling in the dark while hoping for some hope. Make a light. Of course it is easier said than done. But do you have a choice? Make a light. It beats beating yourself up. In. The. Dark. Where’s the light coming from?
March 4, 2014

Whose race are you running?

You don’t need to race against anybody, whatever your game, whatever your race. The success of beating your own time, the weight you carry far outweighs those that you beat others. I am not saying don’t compete. I am saying the fiercest competitor lies within. What are you saying to yourself?
March 3, 2014

Do you see a dead end?

When things are beyond your control, find peace in doing what you can. Even when doing seems futile, just do anyway. One thing leads to the next and the solution you did not think possible appears. Just as if, there is no path initially but you beat a path between the bushes. Then suddenly the road appears. Of course, the road did not just appear. It has always been there. It would not appear unless and until you start beating a path between the bushes. What’s beyond what you cannot see?
February 28, 2014

How’s puberty?

Growing pains are better than the pain of not growing. It’s true for businesses too. How old are you?
February 27, 2014

Who are the chameleons?

A lot of business people talk about culture. How the culture within a company is an important fertilizer for the growth of the company. But if you look closely, the subcultures of a company that exist within the greater culture – which the company wishes to be built on – is often masked by the dung of money. The head of a subsidiary that is good at turning a profit but runs counter to the culture of the company will often get away with it. When big bosses allow this, the message is “You can build your fiefdom as long as […]
February 26, 2014

Did you decide to do?

Sure, doing something is better than doing nothing. But when you decide to do something, do it the best that you can. The motto of my primary school says it best (before they changed it, and luckily after I left), “Do well whatever worth doing”. How did you do?
February 25, 2014

Are you the best?

Better than being better than other people is to be a better you. Fighting the resistance to be better than others and focusing on being a better you is a great start in the right direction. Is there a better you?
February 24, 2014

What’s big to you?

A big house, a big car, a big whatever. Ever thought about the size of things that you want them in? When size is equated to success, I think it’s time to rethink. I think for whatever big things that you aim for, something big enough to have room for other things in life is probably big enough. What’s your size?
February 21, 2014

What are you worried about?

February 20, 2014

Did you listen closely?

February 19, 2014

What are your responsibilities?

February 18, 2014

What should you face?

February 17, 2014

Are you in control?

February 14, 2014

How do you make a leap?

One way is to say, “What don’t I know about this?” another is to say, “What do I know about this that is wrong?” Others could be “How can I do better?” Of course, asking the question and getting the answer is easy. Doing is the difficult part. What do you need to learn?
February 13, 2014

What is a marketing plan?

There are many people in the industry that cannot distinguish between a marketing plan, a communications plan and a media plan. Just this past week, we got an invite to a pitch (which we of course do not do) which included in the five liner brief, “…to map out a 1 year marketing plan.” Isn’t that the client’s job? In a separate occasion, when asked for a marketing plan in order for us to map out the communication plan for the year, we were given a laundry list of sampling activities in different locations and mediums they plan to use. That’s […]
February 12, 2014

Where is the finishing line?

It’s common not to meet your targets. Or fail to meet your objectives. It could be for any amount of reasons. Getting from where you are to where you want to be takes more than a sack full of work. Failures and setbacks are part of the process. Learn to enjoy the process and give your plan more time. Perhaps the only ingredient lacking for you to achieve your goal is time. Use time to think through the next steps and new learning, time to execute a new plan. Sometimes the finishing line is farther than you imagine. Is that […]
February 11, 2014

What are you wasting?

The longer you wait, the more you waste. What are you waiting for?
February 10, 2014

Is branding your religion?

In some ways branding is like religion. Some people believe in it, some don’t. The different agencies and consultancies are like the different denominations and schools; each have their set of beliefs that they spew as the truth. Each claim their path will liberate your brand and unlock its value. Meanwhile, the practitioners each have their own interpretation of what is being preached and they soak up other beliefs from different sources. They put into practice what they feel is their truth. Some become dogmatic and fanatical, others nonchalant and eclectic. What is your faith?
January 28, 2014

Do you know your ABCs?

Whether you are playing a sport, learning to drive, diagnosing a disease or marketing your brand – always get your basics right. Then you can do the fancy stuff. Otherwise, the fancy stuff is just not going to work. Should you start with 123?
January 27, 2014

Why did you market?

For many business owners, what they sell and who they sell to, is kind of like how some of my friends got sent to learn the piano when they were young. Their mom saw that the other moms were sending their kids and so their mom sent them. Which school they got sent to learn the piano is usually determined by how close is the school to their house? Or how famous is the piano teacher (or in some cases school). I am pretty sure you have friends like these. Some of them grew up to like music or the […]
January 24, 2014

Are you curious?

One thing you will notice in good marketers. They have intellectual curiosity. They can carry deeper and better conversations with you. Do you seek to learn new things? 
January 23, 2014

What is your definition of marketing?

Or rather what is your company’s definition of marketing? It is important to get these terms sorted out. Especially, within your company with the various stakeholders. You may think that this is a given but you will be surprised if you asked around the people who is involved in the marketing process in your organization. Marketing to your tea-lady means going to the wet market every Sunday to buy her groceries. Marketing to your sales department means visiting dealers and closing the sales. Pounding the pavement and building relationships face-to-face with the dealers is marketing to them. Marketing to your […]
January 22, 2014

Who do they trust?

Seth has a very good entry here for a very basic question “Who are your customers?” When you are able to answer the series of questions – no it’s not as easy as filling in a form – with insight on your consumer’s inside, then you truly know them. What do they believe?
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