maximum potential

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

stop ignoring your mistakes

you made a mistake.  you dropped the ball.  things did not go as planned.  but do you know why you made the mistake?  do you know how the ball got dropped?  other people were involved.  you weren’t the only one to touch it.   perhaps you can blame someone else, a business partner or a subordinate, maybe.  even better, when your boss questions you about the issue you can just tell him you already have it solved and pretend like it never happened.  but what will you learn?  

admiting and understanding your mistakes will make sure that you never repeat them again.  in fact, according to jonah lehrer, neuroscientist and author of how we decide, we train our emotional brain (or what i interpret as intuition) by analyzing our mistakes.  although it may seem counterintuitive,  it’s the errors, not the successes, that better prepare you to perform in the future.  so while you’re ignoring your mistakes or hiding them neatly under the covers so that no one will see them, you are really missing an opportunity to get better.  stop ignoring your mistakes, trust me, you’ll appreciate it later.


Filed under: personal branding, , ,

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

Filed under: inspiration, personal branding, , , ,

best in the world: jonathan harris

this post belongs to a series about people who either are or aspire to be the best in the world@ something. more often than not the world is looking for specialists. they want the best marketer, the best analyst, or the best art director- seldom do they look for someone who does it all (jack of all trades, master of none). if you are not yet a specialist, part of (re)Thinking life as you try to discover the correct path to take, is to ask yourself: “what do i want to be best in the world@?”

i don’t know jonathan but, as of now, i think he is one of the best when it comes to visual design. i was floored when i first discovered we feel fine, a beautifully designed interactive “exploration of human emotion on a global scale.” and, after further research, i have developed a complete respect for all of the design work jonathan has completed. i encourage you to check out love lines, a similarly beautiful “exploration of human desire,” or jonathan’s other work here. if you know someone better, let me know; but based on what i know, if i need a visual design for a project i am working on, i’m calling jonathan.

what do you want to be best in the world@? leave your footprint here and/or if you want to be highlighted in this series send your story to

Filed under: best in the world, personal branding, , ,

monday spot(light): los pisingos adoption center

some of the best creative gets people to reThink the brand, the category, the problem, and/or the consumer.  on monday spot(light) we discuss some of the creative in the marketplace that accomplishes that, for better or for worse.  if you have recommendations, please email them to me at

considering monday spot(light) is changing this week, i thought i would celebrate the change with the first print campaign to be highlighted on this web site as well.  these ads come from one of my favorite places, bogota, colombia.  the ad is overflowing with emotion and the unexpected nature of the ad grabs my attention and forces me to get out of my daily comfort zone and actually consider the realities of those less children whose homes are in adoption agencies.  powerful.  (click each picture to enlarge it)

camila only has camila

luisa only has luisa

juan only has juan

miguel only has miguel


Filed under: business branding, lifemark, , , , , ,

2009 brand of the year

great brands…


…connect emotionally as well as logically


…change lives





… move people to action





…do the impossible







…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. )

Filed under: inspiration, lifemark, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



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