Glorifying Busy

Bees glorify busy!

I took this photo on my walk today and generally I’m all for “stopping the glorification of busy”. But this had me re-thinking busy.

Bee flower

Bees are busy, but they are so much more than that. They are purpose-filled and add distinct value. They have clarity of purpose, they are planners, architects, team players and make the world more beautiful. Now that’s a business model that buzzes with all the right elements.

Busy as a bee – count me in!


Speaking the language of your customer

Ok this picture of a bunch of sweaty guys maybe isn’t what you were expecting is it?

BasketballAlbaniaHere’s how the story goes.

My two boys are in this picture.

Not such an unusual picture – they love to play basketball and the post-game pose is not all that surprising.

What makes this picture unique is that these basketball courts are in Albania.

They bring a basketball wherever they travel and over the past few years they have seen courts all over Europe and northern Africa. Sport can be such a unifying language!

So they arrived at the courts in Albania where several guys were playing and they didn’t feel totally welcome. They stood by understanding the language of the courts – that you need to be invited onto the court. And  they get that. So eventually the invitation came and hours of basketball was played. Friendships were made and the games continued on as the Albanians took them out on the town for one of the most memorable experiences they have had.

This story is just so good on so many levels but I couldn’t help to think how it related to some of the work I am doing right now on how to make sure your clients hear you. Effective communication with clients means being clear on your purpose.  Then you need to find them where they live, understand their worldview, and put yourself out there with your heart on your sleeve. That kind of authentic communication will be heard – even if you don’t speak the language.


What do you do?

What do you do?

I have one son studying in France, and another son packing his bag to go meet him, so my thoughts have been swirling about all things French.

It got me thinking of a time, not long ago(!), that I was enjoying a similar adventure back packing through Europe after studying at the University of Edinburgh.

One memory that has always stuck with me is when our merry band of adventurers boarded a train in Paris. We had no set plan and would hop on and off trains as we liked. We happened to be sitting with a very suave Frenchmen (right down to the elegant leather shoes, sans the nike swoosh) and the conversation naturally got around to us asking him “What do you do?”

And his answer was simple and succinct – he simply said “When?”

For a bunch of soon to be graduates, it left us a bit speechless. We had been asked incessantly “what we were going to do” once we graduated, we were expected to have a plan, to have our life laid out, milestones marked and above all else know what the answer was to: “what do you do?”

Since this was our “Go and find yourself” European style adventure his answer could not been more appropriate. And,  I’m guessing that since I have never let go of the conversation, that finding my “when” is just as important to me today as it was then.

As a marketer we are always looking to perfect the 60 second pitch. It’s way up  there on the “important things to master” to market yourself, your cause, your business, your brand. And you can count on us diving deep into that very concept on this blog so you are armed and ready for when the big question, that can make any of us stumble, comes your way.

But sometimes, there will be days, when life asks you “What do you do” and saying “when” might just be the best answer.

Happy travels to the spirited of adventurer in all of us.


Be Indispensable

How could I not love a book like Pam Slim’s Body of Work when she says things like “the quality of your life and business, is directly related to the quality of your stories. Tell them well.”


In fact, I was so intrigued by her philosophy that I signed up for her course to become what she has coined  an “Indispensable”. The idea of seeing your whole life as a body of work was just a brilliant concept and I knew it would fit beautifully into my research and work in personal branding.

And fit it did.

It really validated  why we need to develop  our own personal brands so that we can truly do our genius work.

Pam, is both solid and inspiring and intensely kind. And you know that right after the first few minutes of the first class. In a world of “make a 100k in a month” kind of e-courses her approach was refreshing, real and vital.

You could call it a career handbook for disruptive times but that might be selling it short, or perhaps a career transitions handbook but that too would be selling it short. What she really gets at is – how do you take action and responsibility to keep the passion for the life that you create alive. And that’s powerful stuff.

Her creative process takes you through an in depth look at what matters to you, defining your roots, then you work your way through 3 highly acclaimed personality and strengths finding tests all while you are creating your “Indispensable Plan” and turning on your “winner’s switch” (love that concept). It got me to think deeply and plan clearly. Two of my favourite things 🙂

If I had just bought the book I would have loved it. I would have highlights everywhere and little notes in the margins, pages folded over but likely, I would not have taken the time to really “do” the exercises. The course helped me with the “do” and the community that develops amongst the “indispensables” is supportive and expansive. So now I can join Pam’s many graduates who can say I am an “Indispensable” with an “Indispensable Plan” and I am pretty jazzed about that.(I can also now spell indispensable  without spell check which is just an added bonus)

Many of her words spoke to me but none more so than “We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our ‘stuckness’ when we create. We reinvent our lives, tell new stories, and rebuild communities when we create. We reclaim our esteem, our muse, and our hope when we create.”

And I think that is just a compelling thought to leave you with.

Create how you want to be indispensable by creating a body of work that matters. All you need is you! (And Pam’s book)

*This is an unsolicited review of Pam’s book and her course. Nobody asked me to, or paid me to, I just can’t resist sharing good stuff, good people and inspiring thoughts.


The Power of Story


Stories move us to act, to dream, to buy, to make millions, to build communities, and to create change.

Story marketing can be a tactic, a strategy or a way of doing business. We believe the real power of story lies when you live your story.

Every business has a compelling story. That story is the life force of your brand. And it is the core of what matters to you and, to those who matter to you – the ones you want to serve.

When you are clear on your story, decisions come easier, opportunities reveal themselves, growth happens, and you build a community that deeply connects and loves your brand.

Don’t settle for your story being a tactic or a strategy when it has the power to be so much more.

Never settle.

Instead, live your story and love your brand.