Category

CREATIVITY

Category

Tim Stiefler interviewed George Tannenbaum and Cindy Gallop. And then asked to interview me.

So I thought he either hasn’t got a fucking clue.

(Mixing the likes of me in with those icons).

Or he’s confusing me with someone else.

Anyhow, it turns out that neither of these things is true.

And I learned these 2 things from podcasting with Tim.

Tim.

1. 50odd, this blog that is read all over the world now, is helping me to reach and have my thinking explored alongside some of my heroes.

2. Tim is the most interesting and layered communicator I’ve met in ages.

And a contradiction.

Because he genuinely is producing for himself (and for his clients as well I’d imagine) some of the bravest, punch-in-the-face-memorable content I’ve seen.

Yet he is also humble, likeable, clever, calm, interested and interesting.

Here’s what happened.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mychael-owen-is-my-dads-favorite-guest/id1523007275?i=1000490528020.

I completed a questionnaire last week.

The questions were good.

So the answers were good.

Questionnaire.

Have a think what your answers would be, maybe.

Here are mine:

What do you do?

What I am born to do.

www.50odd.co.uk.
www.alwayswearred.com
www.mychael.co.uk

Tell us what it’s like to be your age.

It’s OK.

I am aware of the brick wall, though.

The end.

Death.

But I am also aware that I will live for 1000 months only.

That’s it.

So I live bravely.

That’s why I closed down a raft of 7 figure turnover companies that I’d built when I was 46.

To do what I was born to do.

I thought that I’d better hurry up as I’d used 600 months or so doing shite that didn’t really matter.

Working with (some) people I didn’t really like.

It’s much nicer doing things that do matter.

And working with nice people.

What do you have now that you didn’t have at 25?

A daughter.

Izzy Willow.

Izobel is 4.

Insights that make judgement and comparison with and from others less powerful.

A determination to see just one film as I lie on my deathbed.

Most people see two.

The film they were in.

And the film they wish they had been in.

I am determined just to see just one.

The one I want to be in.

And what about sex?

It happens quite a bit.

Actually no, wait.

There has to actually be someone else there with you doesn’t there?

No.

It doesn’t happen much.

And relationships?

I’m with Lisa.

Lisa puts up with me very well.

And is probably much more important than I imagine.

How free do you feel?

Interesting question.

Always Wear Red is the business that defines me most accurately.

Always Wear Red is the best hand knits in the world.

For the most important times of your life.

Your downtime.

It’s your permission to pause.

I believe in 8/8/8.

8 hour working (on something you love).

8 hours sleeping.

8 hours free.

For pausing.

Because the time you do nothing can mean everything.

All of that (albeit authentic) brand-speak aside.

I am not as free as I could be.

But that might be OK, as it goes.

I’m not sure.

Freedom in of itself is not valuable.

What you do with it, is.

What are you proud of?

Izobel.

Always Wear Red.

Not turning into either my dad or my stepdad.

Both of whom were cnuts (conscious misspell).

What keeps you inspired?

Tomorrow.

And Izobel.

When are you happiest?

Mornings.

When Izobel is laughing.

And where does your creativity go?

Everywhere.

I imagine a world I want to live – and then I live it.

And I insist on people around me being endlessly free-thinking and creative.

I want them to think and behave in a blurty, Tourettes kind of way.

I assertively remove anyone that erodes the creativity inside anyone or anything with a great degree of determination and focus.

Creativity is breathing.

I can think of not one scenario where it’s inclusion would make anything less good.

What is your philosophy of living?

Life is nothing about what you do.
Life is all about what you are for.

And this… generosity is the most powerful driver of preeminence and leading an exceptional life.

Because generosity leads to a feeling of value and self-worth.

And value and self-worth leads to confidence.

And confidence leads to excellence, preeminence and leading an exceptional life.

I see this as very straight forward.

And dying.

It makes me very, very sad.

And urgent.

I’m still processing death as a notion.

I plan to avoid it if I can.

If I ever meet God.

(Which I won’t.

Because she doesn’t exist.

But if she did).

I’d encourage her to leave the death bit out.

To create both love and death in the same lifetime is the cruelest idea.

Are you still dreaming?

Yes.

Always.

It is food to me.

Imagination and creativity are everything.

Research shows that judgment and comparison begin to erode dreams and creativity at the age of 5.

We rediscover dreaming and creating as we get older.

Because we remove the two aforementioned blockers more effectively as we celebrate (and indeed crave) our uniqueness more confidently.

I could run, growling into every day.

Desperate to dream and do at every juncture.

And take everyone with me, too.

What was a recent outrageous action of yours?

I appeared in a TV programme where a psychologist was placed with me and my team for a week.

His intention was to bond us so closely that we’d come to work naked on the Friday.

This was pilot show for Virgin 1 TV channel relaunched.

They asked.

I said yes.

3 million people saw it in year one.

10m+ to date.

Being filmed driving 10 miles to work with an A to Z on your willy is.

Err.

Interesting.

(And cold).

end.

I think I like this so much because it’s about what children can teach us.

(If we are prepared to listen, that is).

And it reminds me to stop asking Izobel to act like a grown up.

And it reminds me to stop rewarding Izobel for acting like a grown up.

She’s 4.

I prefer children to grown ups, for a start.

So I must stop that.

Giant.

Anyhow.

Oscar Wilde penned the original story of The Selfish Giant.

And this is probably the best animated interpretation.

It’s beautiful.

And it is 20-odd minutes long.

https://www.50odd.co.uk/giant/.

 

Look out for the misfits.

The weirdos.

The oddballs.

The ‘why-notters?’

And the left-field thinkers.

They’re the ones that  can change everything.

Business.

Business is boring.

Mostly.

Because whilst it is important to learn rules.

It is just as important to know when to break them.

Because when you do.

You stand out.

Which gets you noticed.

And remembered.

And chosen.

And the best people to help you to achieve all of that?

It’s the misfits.

Misfits.

Look out for the misfits.

The weirdos.

The oddballs.

The ‘why-notters?’

And the left-field thinkers.

They’re the ones that  can change everything.

As a general rule.

Tech Startups can’t build brands.

And the reason that Tech Startups can’t build brands.

I think.

Is because they are really good at building software.

Software and Trust.

There is a big difference between:

Building a piece of software that delivers on the promise it is making.

And

Building a piece of software that audiences trust will deliver on the promise it is making.

Focus.

Good Tech Startups focus on getting the first bit right.

They make software ‘work’.

But they are generally really crap at the second bit.

The building brand and building trust bit.

So they never, ever maximise.

In terms of value, user take-up and long term growth.

Brand Building. 

My comments are.

Of course.

General comments about brand building in any sector.

But it’s particularly bad in the world of Tech Startups.

Hence the focus of this story.

Tech Startups think that getting the software right is all they have to do.

And they’re completely wrong.

The solution?

The solution?

Get your team mix right – from the start.

Or get someone like me in to sort it out.

If you’ve ever wondered why the world is round.

Here’s the answer.

The Answer.

The world is round to remind you to stop fucking moaning about where you are in life.

The world is round to remind you to accept.

Once and for all.

That you are where  we are.

And to bloody well get on with it.

Why The World is Round.

Think about it.

If you storm off from where you are.

Like some silly petulant child.

Because you’re not getting what you want from life.

(And we all feel like doing that sometimes).

Then because the world is round.

If you storm off for long enough.

You end up right back where you started.

Get On With It.

So as I say.

The world is round to remind you to stop fucking moaning about where you are in life.

The world is round to remind you to accept.

Once and for all.

That you are where  we are.

And to bloody well get on with it.

You need to see Izobel’s diagrams for this.

So please go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/corolla-virus/.

Corolla Virus. 

In an important update from our Izobel.

Here is the latest information regarding the Corolla Virus.

Diagram. Top left.

If you are dancing with someone.

The Corolla Virus will not get you if there is a ceiling fan.

Diagram. Top Right.

The bigger your head.

The more likely the Corolla Virus is to land on it.

(But only the version of Corolla Virus that looks like a spider.

And wears shoes).

Diagram. Bottom Centre (and bottom left):

If you see the version of Corolla Virus that looks like a small sunshine with a smiley face floating around.

Sit back-to-back with someone on two chairs to stay safe.

Or better still, sit a few metres away (bottom left).

Watching other people sat back-to-back.

Smiling.

Updates. 

If I get any more updates on the Corolla Virus from Izobel.

I’ll let you know when she gets home from nursery.

Always Wear Red is relaunching in September 2020.

Here’s a blog story from the Always Wear Red website.

It’s called ‘Hate’.

And if you want to see the photo I am referring to in the first sentence.

Go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/hate/.

HATE.

‘See this 100% Merino wool.

It’s one of the best 100% Merinos in the world.

And I hate it.

Merino Wool.

I hate this 100% Merino wool even though it took months to find.

I hate it even though it looks amazing.

I hate it even though it feels so good when worn.

I hate it even though it’s the 100% Merino wool that became the foundation of the entire Always Wear Red business.

For 2 years.

And the reason I hate it is not even the wool’s fault.

It’s mine.

Hate.

In late 2019.

Just as I was preparing to storytell Always Wear Red’s journey creating The Best Hand Knits in the World.

Something really fucking annoying happened.

I found a better wool.

A Better Wool.

And not just a bit better.

This new 100% Merino knitted better.

It held its shape better.

The colour was better.

It knitted heavier and was still wearable.

And it pilled less.

So we switched.

We delayed the relaunch of Always Wear Red for a year.

And we revisited every pattern.

We revisited the tensioning.

And we revisited the gender neutral shape we’d developed.

We had to.

And the best got better.

Hate.

I don’t really hate 2019’s wool of course.

I don’t hate anything.

This is part of my journey.

But this chapter did teach me two things.

The first thing it taught me is that world class goals are really hard to realise.

And the second?

I learned that.

For me.

World Class goals are the only ones I care about.

Please go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/silly-people/.

You need to see the image that goes with this story.

Good News.

The good news.

Is that you can now get a £140 Always Wear Red flat cap.

For £4.70.

Bad News.

The bad news.

Is that it’s not an Always Wear Red flat cap.

(But you knew that).

Silly People. 

Silly people are copying the Always Wear Red range.

Or they are pretending to copy the Always Wear Red range.

So that other silly people send them money.

Clever.

I’ll say one thing for the website claiming to sell Always Wear Red things though.

They are clever in one way.

Because some of the things they are selling don’t exist any more.

They’re sold out.

Yet these clever people are saying that they do exist.

The flat cap that lovely Scarlett is wearing in the colour-highlighted image with this story, for example.

They can’t be bought any more.

Because these exact flat caps.

That I personally designed.

That I personally oversaw the hand making of in Yorkshire.

Then checked every single one with my own hands and eyes.

They’ll never be made again.

Clever!

Always Wear Red – The Early Years Sale.

Anyhow.

I have a choice.

I either invest my money in having the people chased down and the website taken down.

Or I invest my money real life Always Wear Red customers.

People that want to own real life Limited Edition Always Wear Red pieces.

That, once they’re gone, will never ever be made again.

I choose the latter.

Your Choice. 

So here’s your choice now.

If you want to go shopping for pretendy Always Wear Red pieces at about 97% off.

Go here: http://www.algeriepress.com/product_info.php?c=blood%20flat%20cap%20awr.

(Take care though.

The Algeriepress link is not a secure link).

And here’s where to go.

For a limited time only.

If you want to go shopping for genuine Limited Edition pieces at about 45% off:

https://www.alwayswearred.com/shop/theearlyyears

(This is a secure link of course.

So you’ll be fine).

And the reason you’ll get 45% off is because there’s 20% off anyway.

And the code below gives you an additional 30% off the already reduced figure.

(I have decided to invest my money in real life Always Wear Red customers as opposed to chasing the silly people).

So heres’ a time-limited additional 30% off code THANKYOUALGERIEPRESS30.

It’ll work through to the end of September 2020.

Use it as many times as you like.

And pass it on to as many people as you like.

But as some ranges have just one or two things left.

Be quick.

(And as ever I am here if you need me (mychael@alwayswearred.com).

Thank you for your support.