Not taking risks… is risky.

When I ran brand and marketing agencies I’d deliver ‘opinion’ events. One was called ‘Marketing is a Waste of Time’. The message being that without a differentiated and distinctively communicated brand, all a marketing agency can do is get their client to to outspend your client. Agencies win. Client lose. So we called it out. It’s risky having a pop at your own profession.

But not taking risks… is risky.

100 people paid to come (money to charity) and – at the start – I introduced the day, and my 2 guest speakers.

First, I introduced my sister, Debbie, a television script writer. I said Debbie would talk about character and precision storytelling. I told the audience that, as Debbie’s brother, I had unique insight into her as a person, too. I listed 3 amazing things about Debbie’s ability then, at the end, I said, ‘Oh, and she has a thing for older men.’ Debbie didn’t know I was going to say that. She smiled. The audience laughed. Ice broke. It was a risk.

But not taking risks… is risky.

Then, I introduced my second guest, Ali. Our biggest client and owner of a powerful brand. A 50-ish year old guy, married with children, respected, intelligent, brilliant. I said Ali would reveal how we helped him become the number one brand in his category. I told the audience that, as Ali’s longstanding agency, I had unique insight into him as a person. I listed 3 amazing things about Ali’s ability then, at the end, I said, ‘Oh, and he has a thing for older men.’ Ali didn’t know I was going to say that.

All was quiet as I slowly turned to Ali, sat slightly behind me. He smiled. The audience laughed. Ice, gone. It was a risk.

But not taking risks… is risky.

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