Category

LOVE & LIFE

Category

Your category.

The segment within which your business trades.

Or the segment within which your employer trades.

How are you taking your category forward?

How are you progressing it?

How are you changing your entire category for the better?

What is it you’re doing that makes the rest of the category sit up and listen?

What are you doing that makes the rest of the category feel like they have to ‘keep an eye on you’?

Impressed by your foresight and your endeavour.

My Brands.

For the avoidance of doubt.

Here are examples of categories.

My categories.

Always Wear Red is in an existing category called Premium Hand Knitted Jumpers.

ANGELFYSH is in an existing category called Brand Communications.

50odd is in an existing category called Personal Blogging.

(I state ‘existing’ because categories can be created. 

But you need an entirely different approach to, well, virtually everything if you create a category.

That’s another story).

Pioneering.

There is a reason that I am asking you about how you are taking your category forward.

It is because someone or maybe a few people will be being pioneering in your category.

Right now.

I say a few people because categories can be progressed in several ways at the same time.

More than just one person in a category can be hungry to change the category.

And I was just wondering whether one of those people was you?

And how you articulate, and work to deliver on, the change that you want to make?

Take It Forward. 

I am taking the Premium Hand Knit Jumper category forward by changing the relationship people have with the clothing they buy and wear.

I am taking the Brand Communications category forward by behaving like an un-agency. I am doing the opposite of what most agencies do. Flushing out bad and outdated practices where the client loses.

I am taking the Personal Blogging category forward by leading by example. Blogging to as high a standard as I can. Every single day. Telling my story. So others are encouraged to tell their story too.

Passion Plus. 

When you know how you are taking your category forward.

It feels like ‘passion-plus’.

It feels like a moral responsibility.

You look people in the eye when you articulate the change you’re trying to make.

And they are interested.

Because you are interesting.

You stand square-on as you talk to them.

You gesticulate.

Your eyes widen as you speak.

And you are consistent.

You are laser-like with your language.

You are bullet proof with your reasoning.

Because your planning is thorough.

And considered.

And professional.

And smart.

And complete.

Because you care.

Because the change you care about making matters to you.

And it matters to them.

Care.

So.

Your category.

Which category are you in, first of all?

And how are you taking it forward?

Over to you.

Forrest Gump said he started running,

…for no particular reason.

And that’s good enough for me.

Reasons.

A new ‘why’ does appear later in the film, actually.

When Tom Hank’s lovely character says,

You need to put the past behind you before you can move on.

That’s neater I suppose.

The idea that Forrest started to run because his mum had just died.

Or because Jenny had just left.

And as a consequence he was looking to put distance between then and now.

Nevertheless.

I prefer the first reason.

…for no particular reason.

Justification. 

Justification for decisions you make.

Sentences you feel you have to muster.

Sentences to quieten the frowners.

They are not necessary.

Honestly.

They aren’t.

For so many things in life.

There is no need for justification.

50odd.co.uk

You are reading this because I decided to write it.

I decided to write one story.

Every day.

For 10 years.

So I’m a bit like Forrest, I suppose.

Only he ran.

And I write.

A Thing.

And so here’s a final note about doing a thing.

Any thing.

And your reasons for doing a thing.

Basically, some people will understand the reasons why you’re doing a thing in a heartbeat.

And some people will never, ever understand the reasons why you’re doing a thing.

But the most important thing to remember about peoples understanding or misunderstanding of your reasons for doing a thing.

Is that neither opinion matters, really.

Because such reasons are personal.

Because you’re doing it for you.

It is as much a surprise to me.

As it may be to you.

When I hear back a podcast I’ve done.

Because I can rarely remember what I’ve said.

Zest.

Anyhow.

If you want to listen to me chat on for 27 minutes.

In October 2019.

To a bright young thing called Ashleigh King.

On a podcast called ‘Nurture Your Zest’.

Please pop here:

https://www.spreaker.com/user/nurtureyourzest/michaelowen?utm_medium=widget&utm_source=user%3A11583462&utm_term=episode_title.

And if you want to hear anyone else in the series.

Please pop here:

https://widget.spreaker.com/player?show_id=4077194&theme=light&cover_image_url=https%3A%2F%2Fd3wo5wojvuv7l.cloudfront.net%2Fimages.spreaker.com%2Foriginal%2Fbd00a10c6135477c0ffb2845dbc6f555.jpg&playlist=true

Here’s what you can expect from me:

Join your host Ashleigh King as she chats with Michael Owen, multi-talented creative, business owner of ANGELFYSH, Always Wear Red, and and writer of the 50odd daily blog.

You’ll discover:

  • How he finds the inspiration to blog every day.
  • How he pushes past fear.
  • Nurturing creativity and the meaning of true creativity.
  • Imposter syndrome and why you really ARE good enough.
  • His simple sum for proving why you DO matter.
    Celebrating and embracing your differences.

Thank you.

There are 3 Truths.

Personal Truth.

Political Truth.

And Objective Truth.

And once we tune in to each definition.

We can, at least in part, see how governments, businesses and people in general can get themselves into a really shitty mess.

Personal Truths.

Personal Truths are born from things that we, as individuals, believe in deeply.

Things such as religions, I guess.

We don’t look for proof.

We just believe.

Political Truths.

Political Truths spring to life, largely, because of repetition.

Based on the idea that if something is said enough times.

By enough people.

Then other people start to believe it.

And it becomes a kind of truth.

This is understandable actually because, as human beings we are hard-wired to react like this.

We look for patterns.

And such things can be exploited.

Objective Truth.

Then there is Objective Truth.

Scientists live here.

Scientists don’t actually prove things.

But they get close.

They look at scenarios.

Both identical and similar.

They experiment and explore.

And compare results.

And when something happens over and over and over and over.

It is deemed to be true.

The 3 Truths.

So there you have it.

3 Truths.

Personal Truth.

Political Truth.

Objective Truth.

Bother.

I think that we get into bother when we, for example, start to make rules based on Personal Truths.

Certain beliefs dictate certain behaviours.

Behaviours that you may like.

But that I may not like.

And that’s a problem.

And Political Truths are problematic of course because.

Well.

They are not Objective Truths.

They are very often simply repeated half-truths.

Or notions.

Or ideas.

Or opinions.

Or maybe even lies.

And there are also problems with Objective Truths.

When we start to form opinions about Objective Truths.

When we start to dispute facts.

This is what is happening with Climate Change at the moment.

Climate Change is, as I understand it, an Objective Truth.

It is an Objective Truth that the planet is getting warmer decade-on-decade, at least in part because of the behaviours of the human race.

It’s a fact.

Yet some continue to have an opinion that these facts are not true.

Hmmm.

Funny Old World.

It’s a funny old world when we get onto the subject of truth, isn’t it?

I am not sure that I even know what truth is any more.

And that’s the truth.

Or is it?

I have immense admiration for such an emotional and beautiful piece of creative as this.

Nevertheless.

This is a little warning.

Because if it catches you off-guard.

You’re in trouble.

(I was).

Offguard. 

And if you’re a dog lover.

Or a dog owner.

It’ll be worse for you.

Because even if you’ve seen this before.

If it catches you off-guard.

You’re in trouble: https://www.50odd.co.uk/offguard/

Aaron Sorkin is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and playwright.

He worked on A Few Good Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, TV’s The West Wing and the films A Few Good Men, The American President, and Steve Jobs.

He also won an Academy award for writing The Social Network.

And a perhaps less well known fact about Aaron Sorkin.

Is that he showers up to 8 times a day.

Showers.

It’s weirder than you think.

Aaron has actually installed a small shower unit in his office.

Because he thinks better in the shower.

I take six to eight showers a day.

I’m not a germaphobe, it’s not like that.

I find them incredibly refreshing and when writing isn’t going well, it’s a do over… I will shower, change into new clothes and start again.”

Weird.

There.

Told you.

Weird!

Not Weird.

Not like you, of course.

You’re not weird.

You’re much more sensible.

Because whilst Aaron is showering and rejuvenating.

And getting ready to go again.

You’re sat frowning at your laptop.

The creative hill you’re climbing steepening by the second.

The creative fog you’re trying to see through becoming thicker by the second.

The eyelids that must sit high on your eyeballs becoming heavier by the second.

And the coffee you’re pouring down your neck becoming less impactful by the second.

And all of this.

As you struggle.

And groan.

And grind.

To a halt.

The Future of Work.

Pause.

When you can.

Pause.

Because the future of work.

Is doing more.

By doing less.

The future of work is doing deeper, richer work.

The future of work is having longer, more frequent breaks.

Breaks where you can think.

And recharge.

And refresh.

And this doesn’t mean pausing and staring into your bloody phone.

This means pausing and closing your eyes.

Or walking around.

And looking around.

Or, of course, it could mean showering.

Pause.

Pause.

It’s good for you.

Sometimes.

Here on this grass.

It’s awful.

It’s boring.

And this grass is just not good enough.

For someone like me.

I deserve more.

The Grass. 

You see; I hear there is better grass.

Over there.

And when I flick my eyes over there.

I can actually see what appears to be much, much greener grass.

Much juicier grass.

Much more interesting and inviting grass than this boring, awful grass I’m standing on today.

Important.

But then I remember something important.

I remember where my greenest grass actually is.

I remember where my greenest grass always was.

And most importantly I remember that the greenest grass doesn’t just grow by itself.

Over here.

Over there.

Or anywhere.

With me just stood.

Hands in pockets.

Moaning.

Thinking that ‘The Greenest Grass’ is something that I am somehow entitled to.

The Greenest Grass.

The Greenest Grass.

In actual fact.

Is the grass I choose to water.

Everybody you know.

Is going to die.

And so are you.

Awful.

I know.

It’s an awful thought.

But just for a moment.

Please.

Think about this.

The Generation Game. 

Do you remember The Generation Game?

Do you remember The Conveyor Belt bit at the end of the show?

Here’s a picture to remind you: https://www.50odd.co.uk/the-generation-game/.

The Conveyor Belt.

The reason I mention this is because.

Well.

Life’s like that conveyor belt bit.

That conveyor belt bit at the end of The Generation Game.

Because you slowly slide in from one side.

Slowly pass by the onlookers.

Illuminated by the spotlights.

And then.

Sadly.

You slide off again.

On the other side.

Bruce Forsyth.

This story is not just a celebration of Brucie’s magnificent sideburns.

And Brucie’s magnificent burgundy shirt and trouser combination.

It is a celebration of you.

And a reminder that your time here is short.

And a reminder that you are constantly moving.

And that you will.

Whether you like it or not.

Slide off to the right.

Just as you slid in from the left.

Standing Still. 

It is also a reminder that.

Even if you feel that life is standing still.

You are never, ever standing still.

Life is forever sliding.

Move.

So move!

Before it’s too late.

Do anything you want!

Do everything you want!

Soak up the heat of the spotlight whilst it is on you.

Because even though Brucie’s version of TV’s ‘Generation Game’ has gone forever.

And even though your very real generation game will not last forever either.

Your version of your Generation Game is playing out right now.

And you are the star of the show.

Sometimes.

The odds are stacked against you.

Not because anyone’s been nasty or purposefully horrid.

You just won’t win.

Because you can’t win.

Odds. 

It’s just the way it is.

You.

Will.

Fail.

And when you do it’s important that you just smile.

Maybe shake your head.

Maybe laugh.

Head down.

Eyes closed.

Because you have to get on with it.

You have work to do.

Magic Trick. 

Izobel had a magic trick to show me this morning.

‘Quite a simple trick.

And not really magic.

But as she’s 3.

I let that go.

Numbers.

Basically, she had a number in her head that I had to guess.

From just one clue.

So here’s how it went:

Daddy.

Listen to my magic trick.

It’s a number.

You have to guess.

And your clue is.

It starts with ‘fff’.

I bit.

Four!

I said.

Izobel laughed at me.

No!

It’s NOT four!

Silly.

Ffffffffffff.

So I guessed again.

Err.

Five!

Izobel laughed.

NO!

Silly.

She said.

So I gave in.

I was driving.

She was in the back.

And we were nearly at nursery.

Well what number are you thinking of then?

I asked.

And that’s when she told me.

In one of those, ‘how can you be that stupid?’ voices:

Free!

Odds.

Sometimes.

The odds are stacked against you.

Not because anyone’s been nasty or purposefully horrid.

You just won’t win.

Because you can’t win.