Category

CREATIVITY

Category

It is ‘The Year of the Individual’.

The year where the express individuality of ‘you’ is of paramount importance.

This is year where your difference is what you should be shouting about.

Not shrouding.

This is the year where the fuckups that shaped you should be celebrated, thanked and retold.

Not ashamedly hidden.

This is the year where the only glass screen you should look to for affirmation or adulation is a mirror.

Instead of joining the misguided millions that fish fruitlessly for felicity in phones and laptops.

This year is The Year of the Individual.

An essential celebration that never, ever gets old.

This is The Year of the Individual.

No matter which year you choose to read it.

Don’t be late.

The best way to get better at something.

Sometimes.

Is not to keep on doing it.

It’s to stop doing it.

Just for a bit.

Stop.

When you stop.

It gives you perspective.

Distance is valuable.

Things look different from a distance.

They feel different.

You’ll learn to see it how they see it.

If how they see it matters, of course.

And you’ll learn if you miss it.

Then.

If you do miss it.

When you start it again.

You’ll feel fresher.

More relaxed.

Happier.

Better.

The best way to get better at something.

Sometimes.

Is not to keep on doing it.

It’s to stop doing it.

Just for a bit.

I have to be really careful.

Because it can be such a distraction.

I know it’s been a distraction for me many times over the years.

It’s distracted me from what I really should be doing.

Over.

And over again.

Big Difference.

There is very often a very big difference.

Between doing what makes us the most money.

And doing what we really should be doing.

I can’t explain why that is.

But I do believe it to be true.

Money.

Becomes the distraction.

Money.

I have to be really careful when it comes to earning money.

Because money has distracted me many times over the years.

To the point where.

Sometimes.

I was earning far more money than was good for me.

(Which makes it all the more stupid).

True.

There is very often a very big difference.

Between doing what makes us the most money.

And doing what we really should be doing.

I can’t explain why that is.

But I do believe it to be true.

Money.

Becomes the distraction.

I read more books in 2020.

Than I’d ever read before.

I don’t mean that I read more books in 2020 than in any other single year.

I mean that I read more books in 2020 than I’d read in my previous 50 years.

Reflection.

This is not a positive reflection on how many books I read in 2020.

It’s a negative reflection.

On just how few I’d read before that.

Books. 

The books I read in 2020 were all about brand.

Business communication.

Storytelling.

That kind of thing.

Before that, I think I’d only read two books end-to-end.

One was Catch-22.

(Joseph Heller.

As you know).

The other was Pet Semetary.

(Stephen King.

Again.

As you know).

It’s a miracle I can string a sentence together, really.

Or write proper.

Innit?

Don’t just describe things.

Even if you’re really, really good at describing things.

Tell a story instead.

People like stories.

And they remember them, too.

Creativity.

One of the things that creativity is for.

Your creativity, I mean.

Is storytelling.

Admittedly some people are better at telling stories than others.

But it is within all of us to have a go.

Rules. 

The age old rules will help you.

Tell people what it does – for them.

(That’s a benefit).

Not just what it does.

(That’s a feature).

And the first principle of any business communications.

Of course.

Is to get noticed.

And the best way to get noticed.

Is to be different.

Stand out.

Zig.

When.

They.

Zag.

So be brave.

Don’t explain.

Communicate.

Don’t describe.

Fire the imagination.

Don’t tell.

Inspire!

Readers. 

And write for readers.

Not for you.

Or your boss.

Keep things simple.

Clear.

Engaging.

Eaaaaaasy.

Charming.

Cheeky, even.

Stories Not Descriptions. 

Don’t just describe things.

Even if you’re really, really good at describing things.

Tell a story instead.

People like stories.

And they remember them, too.

Two weeks ago.

I was out with Frankie.

Frankie is a 10 year old Bichon Frisé.

Size of a cat.

Heart of a lion.

Brain of a sheep.

Beach. 

We were on the beach in Whitby in November.

And a slowing, ageing Frankie decided he wanted to play.

With a greyhound.

The Greyhound.

The only problem was.

No one told Frankie that his target playmate was a greyhound.

So all Frankie saw.

Was another dog.

And all Frankie had on his mind.

Was playing.

Not Knowing. 

Not knowing things is really useful sometimes.

Because where there are no rules.

And no prior knowledge.

There are no boundaries.

And where there are no boundaries.

Anything can happen.

100 Metres. 

Frankie first saw the greyhound at about 100 metres.

And when Frankie got within 10 metres of it.

That was when the greyhound slid into a full-pelt sprint so sudden and so effortless that Frankie thought the greyhound had disappeared.

Then.

Eventually.

Frankie refocussed on the greyhound 100 metres away again.

And 0ff he shot.

Then when Frankie got within 10 metres of it once more.

The greyhound slid into a full-pelt sprint and ‘disappeared’ once again.

And so it went on.

Frankie And The Greyhound.

Frankie and the greyhound had a great time.

But only because Frankie didn’t know what a greyhound was.

Frankie knew nothing of the mismatch.

It was only because Frankie didn’t realise that the greyhound could run like the wind.

That Frankie attempted to catch it.

And if he had known.

This wonderful chase would never, ever have happened.

So instead.

On that day.

They both had a brilliant, brilliant time.

Anything.

Not knowing things is really useful sometimes.

Because where there are no rules.

And no prior knowledge.

There are no boundaries.

And where there are no boundaries.

Anything can happen.

It doesn’t always have to hurt for it to be good.

This is me I’m talking to now.

Me.

Because I am still too stupid.

And unconfident.

And self-doubting.

To accept it.

Maybe one day – I will.

Hurt.

If something takes blood.

Sweat.

Tears.

And whatever other bodily fluid that metaphor-manufacturers through the ages have wanted us to excrete.

That’s fine.

But none of these things are a prerequisite for the creation of something good.

None of these things are essential for something of value to appear.

Because sometimes.

Your experience.

Talent.

And ‘you-ness’.

Mean you can produce something good in a heartbeat.

In a second.

In the blink of an eye.

And so it is also important to acknowledge the converse.

That just because you created something in a heartbeat.

In a second.

In the blink of an eye.

That does not mean that it must not be good.

Good.

It doesn’t always have to hurt for it to be good.

This is me I’m talking to now.

Me.

Because I am still too stupid.

And unconfident.

And self-doubting.

To accept it.

Maybe one day – I will.

Segment your audience.

Understand each segment.

Hone your offer for each segment.

Tailor your words for each segment.

Then give each of them gifts.

Give willingly.

Give generously.

Give openly.

And consistently.

Help them.

Support them.

Give them little things they may find useful.

Take the time to get to know them.

Personally.

And by personally I mean go beyond the segment.

To each and every person.

In each and every segment.

One.

By.

One.

Message them about the precise part of your offer that is most relevant to them.

(And the better you get to know them.

The better you will be able to do that).

But do this only when you and they feel ready to have that conversation.

After you connect.

Really connect, I mean.

And if you have really connected.

You’ll know exactly when the right time is.

Time. 

But that takes you and your brand so much bloody time.

Ages!

So here is a different option.

The ‘Splat!’ option.

For the Splat! option, combine all your offers into one single, complete, more easily manageable clump of aggregated and layered blob of information.

Everything you want to say to everyone you want to speak to.

All in one place.

Then imagine that you are holding this blob of information in your arms.

Imagine this blob as a great big heavy ball of shite, if you like.

Then imagine all of your various targets stand in a ring around you.

Loads of them.

Beckon them closer with a nod.

Nod.

Nod of your head.

Then.

When you are sure they are stood in the right place.

Raise your arms.

Lift your blob of shite.

A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-n-d.

Splat!

Splat!

Drop your one, single clump of aggregated, layered and all-encompassing blob of shite.

As hard as you can.

Onto the floor.

Yes!

You got them!

Now you can feel amazing.

Because you hit all of them.

With hardly any effort.

You hit every single one of them with every single bit of information you have about your business much faster than the fannying about that I mentioned earlier.

It saved you time.

It saved you money.

Your hit rate was pretty much close to 100%!

So now you really can feel great.

Because the reach, precision, speed, scale and completeness of the task beats my earlier approach a hundred times over.

That’s the difference between me and you!

You cry.

And then you remember another difference as well.

Aha!

You cry

That’s not the only difference.

You cry.

Because you just remembered something about your content.

You just remembered that not only did you get your content out there to more people, more completely and much, much faster than the first way

You also remembered the other big difference about your blob of content.

Which took a little bit of the shine off.

It was shite.

It came to me as I watched this.

The one thing I must do.

And the one thing you must do.

To make us truly contented and complete.

Feel.

I must admit that I am not there yet.

But I do know which of the brands I own that can help me to achieve it.

I can feel it.

Energy.

And therefore I know where to put my energy.

And by the way.

When I say that this ‘one thing’ came to me.

That’s not strictly true.

I did not invent it.

I heard someone say it.

And that someone was Dennis Potter.

One Thing.

Do this one thing.

Align Your Life’s Work.

With Your Life’s Meaning.

That’s it.

This is worth watching: https://www.50odd.co.uk/one-2/.