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Archive for the ‘Observations and Inspirations’ Category

Creativity Block: Inspiration vs. Deadlines

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

We’ve all had epic moments when inspiration just hits. Whether it’s in the shower, at the gym or at work, the words and ideas seem to flow so quickly and eloquently. Conversely, moments when the deadline is knocking and there’s no creativity in sight are just as common.

So how do we press on to produce quality, creative and innovative content & ideas even on the days when the only creative idea you can think up is what you want for lunch? (if that!)

When the pressure is on, sometimes our ideas are less and less inspired. We start to factor everyone’s opinion in. What would a client want to see? What about a manager? How would co-workers and peers view the idea? While it’s not bad to have your end goal in mind, simply creating something that you think would “check all the boxes” may hinder your creative juices and prevent you from developing an idea of real value.

If it doesn’t make you a little nervous to press “send” on the idea – then chances are it’s not as innovative as you think. Be willing to discuss ideas that may seem out of the box. The worst thing that can happen is that no one likes it, but your bravery to try something different could be received well and your idea can be further developed through the brainstorming of others.

Don’t let the stress of an impending deadline leave you frozen. Take a walk, get some coffee and reevaluate what the main goals of your project are. The creativity will come.

Women Can’t Meet their Full Potential Until They’re Married

Friday, July 27th, 2018

They don’t have to say the words – we hear it in their tones and see it in their eyes. The subtle questions of whether or not we’re participating in the right activities, so that we can meet the right people,you know –professional, serious minded individuals that can “support a family.” The awkward, ever-present “Let me set you up with my brother’s wife’s accountant so we can all go out together” spiels.

That’s what we hear from friends and family who are just concerned. Because marriage is apparently the only thing that brings happiness and stability to a woman’s life. Sounds oddly similar to monotony and compromised dreams but call it what you want.

Realistically, when given the right match at the right time, marriage has a nice ring to it. But NEWS FLASH: When it comes to life, should “Do you have a 401K?” actually be discussed on a first date? Should we wait for our lives to begin until we’ve met the right partner? Should our opinions be less valid if they’re not backed by a man? Having to repeatedly explain why getting married to then immediately have a family to then quit your job as soon as possible is actually not your top goal in life is exhausting. The responses received are even more exhausting; there’s nothing like the sly… “Yes, that’s what I thought too until I met…” Good for you; no one cares about your unfulfilled dreams and unmet potential.

Sometimes in life we can’t have everything. Life can be a series of tradeoffs. Maybe the choice is between stability and passion or adventure and security. And the truth is that we’re not all going to choose the same way or be provided with the same choices.

But the bottom line is that you should never have to wait to fully live until you’ve found a partner. Every woman deserves equal rights and an equal feeling of fulfillment regardless of her tax marital status.

Does Following the Rules Prevent Progress?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Rule following comes naturally to some. Without rules or guidelines, there is chaos…. Rules have benefits for safety, security and order; for personal integrity and ethics. But, we are all faced with moments when blind rule-following only breeds inefficiency and mind-numbing dullness.

Rarely have innovative ideas followed the so called “rules” of the era. At some point we all naturally begin to understand which rules are incontestable and which are up for debate. Think back to grade school. You were asked to complete busy work every day and those assignments in total made up, let’s say, 10% of your grade –even though they took up majority of your class time. If you had only completed a few of those assignments but aced the tests and projects, you would have saved hours and still gotten an A. But it wasn’t about efficiency, it was about learning to follow the rules.

We’re taught about the vitality of rule following from the very beginning. It’s ingrained in us strongly by parents, teachers, even peers. But is this deep-seated convention inhibiting creative thinking, innovation and efficiency?

While a child is taught that a rule is unavoidable; an adult may identify a simpler process to attain the same or improved outcome. Sometimes the comfort of a rule or a process that is set-in-stone prevents people from even searching for a better way. A commitment to innovation and progress requires some level of openness to changing the game and breaking the rules.

Marketing is like God and First Aid Kits

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Marketing and communications tactics are like God and first aid kits. No one thinks they’re important until something bad happens.

Once the bottom line of a company isn’t looking good, a crisis arises or a competitive advantage is no longer prevailing, companies begin to think, “Huh. We really should’ve invested in marketing or a communications strategy before now.”

In today’s multi-tasking world, speed is everything and employees have more on their plates than they can easily navigate, making survival the priority. While solely focusing on important day-to-day tasks may keep heads above water – all other efforts that fall into the category of “optional” or ‘side of the desk activities’ are generally passed over. Survival mode does the opposite of fostering growth, too. Without resources to spare, whether human or financial, survival mode can become normal without the investment required for forward-moving progress.

It’s common for organizations to realize their need for marketing or a communications strategy and to even have a strategy only to come to realize that they don’t have the resources needed to execute it. But therein lies the question – do they not have the resources or are they simply allocating them to something more “black and white” instead of efforts that may be effective but more complicated to measure?

What if you had purchased a first aid kit before that skiing accident? Timing is everything. It’s never too late to reap the benefits of a newly executed marketing or communications strategy; having a plan in place prior to a product or new business launch is considerably more effective than trying to backtrack and add in a piecemeal strategy.

 We recommend you buy the first aid kit.

The Amusement Park of Life

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Let’s say you’re at Disney World waiting to ride your favorite attraction. You see a sign that the wait is 2-hours long. You hesitate but know that you’ll regret it if you leave without riding the one thing you came to Disney for. More important than the 2-hour wait are the people who stand beside you. Who are you waiting with? If you’re with the right people, those that inspire you and make the mundane more interesting, then the time lapsed won’t seem like waiting, instead it will be an extension of the overall experience. On the other hand, if you’re with people who make a living off of complaining, then that would suck.

In life, waiting is inevitable. We wait for red lights, for restaurants to seat us. We wait for more education or experience. We wait to find partners or start families. If you’re not careful your whole life will simply be a waiting game. Waiting is a necessity, but if you’re waiting with the wrong people, you’re wasting precious time.

Just like the complainers in the line at Disney World, there are people in life who have grown so tired of their own waiting games and ordinary routines that they focus their time on finding new things to complain about and new people to critique. They’re never satisfied because they’re doing nothing to improve their own lives, they’re only looking for ways to grumble about their current situations. It’s easy to become that complainer when you’ve been standing in a Disney World line for 2-hours, it’s 100 degrees out and there are screaming children surrounding you.

But in that moment, that’s when you’ll realize if you’re actually waiting with the right people. Can they make light of the uncomfortable situation? Will they stay positive in the face of heatstroke? Are they distracting you from how much your feet hurt because of how entertaining their stories are? These are the people you want to hold on to.

In the waiting game of life, there will be countless unpleasant moments. Surrounding yourself with the right people will turn any amusement park day of misery into a good memory in the years to come. When you’re truly living life to the fullest, you’ll make it to the front of the line without even realizing how long it took because you were enjoying your time in every queue.