maximum potential

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

that’s great, but are you moving forward

today we will do a million things.  we will talk to a million people, sit in a million meetings, and move a million things through some ‘system.’  we will present one million ideas to clients, bosses, and employees.  we will send out a million resumes or use a million words to convince an employer of how great we are and why we are the right person for the job.

but what are you doing to move your brand forward?  is what you’re doing taking your brand to the next level?  a brilliant new campaign is not brilliant if it doesn’t progress the brand forward.  a brilliant interview response is not brilliant if it does not move the perception of who you are forward.  it doesn’t matter how smart you sound or how great your thoughts are, if they are not moving your brand to a better place they are worthless.  all action is not good action.  next time you do something, make sure your moving forward.

Filed under: lifemark, , , , ,

don’t forget the coach

as i watch my agency continue to hire some of the best talent in the advertising game i am reminded of, and am witnessing the, importance of surrounding yourself with excellence.  having the best people on your team can definitely take you to the next level and make your life just a little bit easier.  but i am also reminded today that it is not just making sure you have the right team (colleagues, partners, spouses, etc), you have to have the right coaches (re: mentors).

a good coach comes in handy on many levels.  based on their experience and knowledge of the game they can help you avoid pitfalls and identify the best opportunities.  coaches  can get you into places you never imagined and in front of people you didn’t know existed.  a good coach can craft the right strategy for the game, play for the situation, or just help you strengthen your shot in practice.  a good coach…scratch that…an excellent coach is a necessity.

based on where i am in my life right now, recognize that i need to make sure that i am reaching back and coaching others, but i am also on the lookout for a excellent coach.  in order to do the latter i’ll have to reach back into my network.  simultaneously, i’m going to try to this new social networking site,, that i learned about last week.  they are  “the ultimate career mentoring platform for students and professionals” and have all the credibility you want in a site like this (harvard and stanford mbas, experience building similar businesses in the offline realm, and a track record of landing jobs for people at some of the best companies).  if you are in the job market, or are just looking for a mentor, i would love for you to try them out as well and let me know if it was valuable for you.  i’m signing up today and will keep you all posted.

Filed under: personal branding, , , , , ,

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, , , ,

surround yourself with excellence

are you surrounded by excellent people?  if not, something may be wrong because great brands need great people to succeed.  and no matter how brilliant you might be, you are not immune to this truth.  

excellent people help propel excellent brands towards their maximum potential.  here are a few quick reasons why:

  • excellent people tend to feel uncomfortable performing sub par compared to others.  consequently, the higher the standard of excellence around them the more excellent they will tend to be.  yes, even excellence is relative
  • excellent teams are always better than an excellent individual.  two excellent people will always be better than one.  five will always be better than two, etc, etc.  (you get the point)
  • being surrounded by excellent people allows one to focus on the task at hand and focus is key to success.  too often when people are  not surrounded by excellent people they spend too much time distracted because they are worried about or busy making up for other peoples’ deficiencies.  

so hire excellent talent, work for an excellent boss, build a circle of excellent friends, find an excellent spouse, and get coached by excellent mentors.  their job title is irrelevant; the truth is, excellent people propel brands towards their destiny.

Filed under: business branding, 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
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)

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

your title doesn’t matter

on your resume, on your business card, underneath the nameplate on your desk…you have a title.  and chances are, that title doesn’t matter.  take me for example,  group account director.  i don’t know, you tell me,  what do i do? does my title reflect how i best provide value to my organization?

what is my personal brand promise?  is that promise accurately reflected in my title?  what would happen  if i changed my title to match up with what i actually spend my time doing or to reflect what i really think i should be doing to provide the best value to my company and my clients?  would it change my behavior?  how people see me?  expectations?  

here are a few ways to know your title may not matter:

  • someone else gave it to you
  • you have the same title as the last ten people in your job (is the job really the same?)
  • you get more value from your title than the people you serve (your employees, superiors, and clients)
  • people see your title and have no clue what you do  

i don’t know about you, but i think i’m in need of a title change.

Filed under: personal branding, , , , ,

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?  

Filed under: inspiration, lifemark, , ,

a life of (re)actions

every action has a reaction   




every action has a reaction

‘every action has a reaction.’   sometimes those actions may yield very positive results or positive reactions; and other times, our actions may produce negative results or painful reactions.  nevertheless, every action has a reaction.  and there will be times that we just won’t know the full impact of some of the actions we take because the reactions-good or bad-can extend far beyond what we see and know (see cartoon)

so then, how careful are we about our actions?  how mindful are we about the potential impact on others of the decisions that we make?  what about the impact on ourselves or on our world?  when you cussed out your employees, treated your girlfriend like she didn’t exist for a day (instead of like a queen), or failed to give that homeless person a dollar did you think about the consequences?  

 sometimes i do; sometimes i don’t.  but whether i do or not, the reality is, there will will be consequences.  I do my best to do the studying, reading, training, and praying necessary to acquire the wisdom, knowledge, and point of view that I need to have so that I can take the best actions at the best times.  there will be moments when i will fail miserably.  but, at the end of the day, my hope and prayer is that the aggregation of the positive actions i produce far outweighs the negative ones.  Simply put, I want to leave the world and the people I come into contact with better than how I found it/them.  

i also find consolation in knowing who i am and my belief that 99% of the time, action is better than no action.  i am an action-oriented person.  period. it’s one of my talents (see ACTIVATOR).  some people plan. these people will take 20 minutes printing out every google map so they can figure out how to get across town.  i’d rather jump right in and figure it out along the way.  to me, i learn best from my acting not necessarily my planning.  it’s a gift and a curse i have accepted.  this alone is an action with numerous reactions because it has enabled me to accomplish some great things at such a young age; and on the flip side it has caused error, rework, and pain.  

today, i reflect on some of my actions that are currently having negative reactions; but ultimately, for me, it is better to do something, than to do nothing at all.  i learn better and faster that way.

Filed under: personal branding, , , ,

best in the world

introduction.  when we first set out to work on my startup,, it was about about helping people fulfill their purpose.  we quickly learned that one of the largest barriers to our success was that many people were clueless about their purpose in life  (this is a topic for another blog post).  like all good marketers we had a choice, eliminate the barrier or choose a different target.  although a lofty goal, we chose the former and generated activities and lists of questions to help people identify their purpose (the company has since morphed and is a work in progress).  one of the questions developed by my good friend and partner, jullien gordon, stuck with me and i continue to use it as a guiding force for my life and others as i coach them through their quarter life/professional crisis.

what do you want to be best in the world at?

what do you want to be best in the world at?

what do you want to be best in the world at?  this simple question has the power to be life changing…if you let it.  the same question that my employers, clients, and startups face is the same question that every person must answer as well.  coincidently, seth godin, whom i have a great deal of respect for, blogged about it the other day as well saying that “you win when you become the best in the world at something.”  

so what is this blog going to be about?  it’s simple.  it’s going to be about winning by becoming the best in the world @_________ (you fill in the blank).  

  • for you, that means i will do my best to share the stories, tools, insights, thoughts, and inspiration that will help you become the best@ whatever it is you desire.  
  • for me, that means using this blog to track my journey as I try to become the best at connecting people to brands.  (disclaimer: i am heavily into social media right now so watch out)

so…thanks for coming on day whatever this is.  before you go, leave your footprint and let me know:  what do you want to be best in the world@?

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



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