maximum potential

these are the thought starters, insights, and inspiration to get you, and the brands you manage, to reach your maximum potential

what’s stopping you?

by now you have certain instinctual reactions to things in life based on nature and the experiences of your past.  some of these reactions are based on positive emotions while others are rooted in the more negative ones.  and it is usually the negative ones that prevent us from doing certain things in life.  after all, many of our negative emotions are there to protect us.  for example, without fright you might try to pet the wild tiger instead of run from it.   but those emotions can sometimes deceive us.  

those negative emotions are sometimes doing their job when it isn’t necessary.  they sometimes try to protect you when you don’t need to be protected.  sometimes those feelings are unjustified.  and it is those times, when you respond to unsubstantiated emotions, that you will fail to make “it” happen, and therefore miss out, because you didn’t follow through on…  starting that business…sending the email…allowing yourself to love and be loved…going on that interview…making that career change…or taking that leap.  

next time your instincts try to protect you from doing something “risky” (besides standing in front of a loaded a gun) think about it.  is it as risky as it seems?  is your fear justified?  do the costs really outweigh the benefits?  if not, turn upside down, take your hands off the wheel, and let loose.  seriously, what’s stopping you?  

my upside down zip line ride in costa rica

my upside down zip line ride in costa rica

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only one way to grow dreams

yesterday i wrote a post on the importance of dreaming big.  today i am following it up with the only way i know to grow dreams…exposure.  it’s hard to know what you want if you don’t know what is possible and exposure is simply the best way to discover the impossible.  

can you dream of owning an island if you don’t know people who are doing it?  can you dream of running your own business if you don’t know any entrepreneurs?  what about running a marathon if you don’t know that people run 10+ miles everyday?  can you dream of being a multimillionaire if you don’t know anyone making over $60K/year?  can you dream of developing a technology that permeates 100 million households if you don’t know anyone who has done it (re: bill gates of microsoft had a dream to place a computer on every desk and in every home)?  

i believe in the idea of exposure so greatly that i have based my life around it.  i am constantly trying to surround myself with people who dream bigger than i so i can see the impossible and pick and choose what part of the impossible i want to attain.  how are you growing your dreams?  who is helping you grow them?  

today i leave you with this thought , which has inspired me for years:

“exposure to the next level breeds an intolerance for your current situation.”

get away from the people and things around you.  determine today to make a change.  get intolerant…expose yourself.  

Filed under: inspiration, lifemark, personal branding, quotes,

one way to guarantee success

dream big.  if you dream big you are more likely to accomplish big things; if you dream small you should expect small results.  it’s very hard to accomplish what you aren’t dreaming about or aiming for.  many of the highest performing people and companies had big dreams to start with.  show me the size of a person’s dreams and i’ll tell you what they will accomplish.  dream big.  period.  

how big are your dreams?  leave your dreams and/or thoughts in the comments below.

Filed under: inspiration, personal branding,

it doesn’t matter which way you go

Alice in Wonderland: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Chesire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: 
I don’t much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.

many of us don’t pay attention to where we are going.  like a ship without a sail we go in whichever direction the wind blows us, often ending up nowhere.  on our quest for purpose, success, career, and freedom we stop and ask everybody else for help along the way.  but it’s essential that you take the time to first search yourself and ask questions like:

in life…

  1. what do i want to be best in the world @?
  2. what makes me different and unique?
  3. what makes me cry when i see it (perhaps it’s a problem you should solve)?
  4. if i could make a million dollars a year doing anything i want, what would i do?
  5. what do i find myself doing in my spare time? 

in business/marketing…

  1. what do we want to the best in the world @?
  2. what makes us different and unique?
  3. what are we going to stand for?
  4. what is the purpose of this organization?
  5. what capabilities do we have that will enable us to win?  which ones are we missing?

the moral of the story is simple

if you haven’t asked yourself these questions (or other ones like them) then i have the answer to your question about which way you ought to go before you ask me…

“it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

(for those who are searching jullien’s got a lot more questions if you need it, click here) or check out his class here)

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2009 brand of the year

great brands…

 

…connect emotionally as well as logically

 

…change lives

 

 

 

 

… move people to action

 

 

 

 

…do the impossible

 

…inspire

 

 

 

 

…create change

 

 

 

 

 

only one month into 2009 and it’s clear that barack obama is the brand of the year (probably century).  and watching things transpire over the last few months it has become clear to me that a great brand can only be human.  there are products, services, and companies that we all love and respect, but can they ever be truly great?  

brands are built on relationships and connections and, for most of us, the strongest connections we will build in our lives will be to other people.  consequently, each one of us harnesses the ability to be their own unique and truly great brand.  the question is, do you have the courage to try?  

(for the most amazing display of barack obama’s inauguration, told completely through pictures, click here. )

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obama: build or destroy

“your people will judge you on what you build, not what you destroy”  

— Barack Obama, President, ’09 Presidential Inauguration

we are so used to destruction.  the reality of it is, destroying is easier.  it’s easier to tear down your employee or coworker rather than lift him up, or to criticize google rather than build your own, or to tell someone they can’t instead of telling them that they can.  as a marketer, it’s easier to develop ideas that destroy value by adding clutter to the system rather than developing breakthrough creative and ideas that add value to our consumers’ lives.  my biggest criticism of business school and the case study method was that so often we learned how to rip apart a company and critique what they were doing wrong; much less often did we learn how to really do it right.  too often we go the easy route.  

we should determine that every day we will build customer value into the system rather than destroy it, and that we will build upon the hopes and dreams of one another, and that we will build and leave a legacy in both our business and professional lives that we can be proud of.  building takes work; but the reward is much greater.  after all, according to barack, that’s how you’ll be judged.

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it’s 3 a.m., are you asleep right now?

diddy isn’t.  trump isn’t.  jigga isn’t.  ryan leslie isn’t.  why?  because they are aligned with their passions, they love what they do, and they want to do more of it.  the sheer excitement of flushing out their ideas, doing big things, and beating everyone to the finish line  in the arena they play in doesn’t allow them the luxury of sleep.  if you’re alseep right now i would ask myself one question: am i playing where i am supposed to be?  

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only morning

i am reminded this morning, via twitter, by racquel wilson, to celebrate the life of oscar grant.  his tragic “death by police officer” immediately inspired a myriad of thoughts.  

  • some compassionate – i wonder how his daughter is doing?
  • some personal – i hope my brother (who is a denver police officer) is never in this situation
  • some spiritual – i have to pray for his family…
  • some slightly more cerebral- if culture is a way of life, what is it about the american way of life that enables this to happen to so often to black people and not others?    

at the end of the day, i am careful where i allow my thoughts to take me and wind up here:

life on earth is short.  tomorrow is not promised.  ultimately, my life is about impact. like most millennials, i am determined to make a difference; i am going to leave this place better than the way i found it.  period.  since i can’t guarantee tomorrow that means something has to get done today.  thank God it’s only tuesday morning; lots of time to get things done…(thank you oscar, for the inspiration)

UPDATE – 1/13/09 9:54pm

today was a wonderful day.  i honestly believe that i made a difference.  chris, nick, tracey, and stacie i want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in your lives; and thank you for making a difference in mind.  see you at the top!

 

If You Read This, Out of Respect and Celebration for Oscar’s life, Tweet This (and any other stories you can find) to your Followers so that his story will be known:  

inspired by the life of oscar grant, it’s “only morning”: http://twurl.nl/67fj1f

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