the blog.

AKA a great spot to find marketing advice, inspirational tidbits, and fun articles about the power of story. Enjoy!

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Get Bored!

Lahey_DayDreamingCorrect_Post

Need to ramp up your creativity? Well, you might just need to get a little bored to do that.

Do you remember those summer days, half way through the summer when you got (and I cringe when I say this) – bored? My generation seems to think of boredom as a disease. If your kids were bored – you had failed as a parent. Kids were meant to be constantly  “busy”  bouncing from activity, to activity. Productive always.

Today, life is constant. Devices always humming and buzzing. Its really a challenge to get daydream, bored. We have taught and endorsed  busy –  we can’t possibly seize the day unless we have a millions things on the go. Full speed ahead. YOLO and all that.

But it turns out that some idle thinking-  staring at the stars, making friends with your thoughts and  and just learning to just “be”,  might  the best way to ramp up your creativity.

Our on the go lifestyle is crushing our creativity.  Science can now actually back up the fact  that creativity is on the decline. That just makes me all kinds of sad (and visions of “bring back boring” written on  t-shirts is emerging in my head) Turns out getting a little bit bored is what can ignite our creative juices. The daydreaming state might bring you  face to face with the  realization that you desire new goals, or perhaps help  you to see new ways to solve that nagging issue at work that  seems insolvable. Daydreaming can make your brain find new pathways, challenging you to think and act in new ways.  Study after study have shown that in experiments those  who were given more mundane or boring tasks were actually forcing their brain to make new  connections and that the “boring task” group came up with more creative solutions to whatever problem the researchers asked them to solve.

An occasional  bit of boredom can be good for us. Chronic boredom? Well, that’s not a healthy way to live. But while it’s still summer indulge in a little boring. Languishing on the dock, staring off into space – embrace the “do nothing” vibe. Chase those clouds across the sky and see where your mind wanders.

And if your kids come  running in saying “I’m bored”. Stand proud and tell them they just might be reversing the creativity decline.

Newton was under an apple tree when he discovered gravity.

Enough said.

Bring Clarity To Your Brand

Lake

This is a picture from earlier this summer at our cottage when the fire haze was so heavy that we could hardly see across the lake. It was eerie for so many reasons. First of all the concern for those living in, and fighting the fires was ever present. The feeling of connection and how tied to each other we really are, was palpable. These fires were burning so far from us and yet we were part of their story. We all know that our actions effect our ecosystems and that we have all created global warning but rarely can we actually see and struggle to breathe in the effects of what so many were going through.

I also felt unbalanced. I didn’t like that I couldn’t see the horizon. Even though I have looked at this landscape for so many years and could easily picture it in my mind- I could not see it. The lack of clarity created a sense of vertigo.

When I work with clients what they crave most is clarity. They want to see the path that takes them to where they want to be in life and in business. Lack of clarity, living in a haze it might be part of an initial creative process but it’s an exhausting and ineffective space to live and work in. Get clear on your brand, then create a brand aligned business plan, and marketing strategy. Keep it simple and actionable. We created the BIG BRAVE BUSINESS PLAN template that does just that. Clear on intention. Focused. The rudder of your success. Restores your balance and removes the haze.

For more details on our BIG BRAVE PLAN, send us an email!

Firsts

Firsts, are always special. So this is the story of my first … business.

Her name was Starstruck.

I have always been fascinated by stars, and on a drive back from Banff (a fair many years ago) I was determined to come up with a business name. Suddenly the northern lights lit up the sky, and “Starstruck” was born.

I never expected it to be what it became.

At the time, I was a happy marketing executive and loving my job at Harvard Developments. Starstruck, was going to be what Pamela Slim likes to call my “side hustle” and a way to express my passion for design through greeting cards.

Well, as the story and the song often goes – one thing lead to another!

Soon those designs were being painted on t-shirts, then sweatshirts and then a whole line of women’s clothing. As is, what often happens with the sweetest stories of our lives; paths cross with those – whose paths you are meant to cross. I met Dianne Pockett, a graduate of the Sheridan College School of Fashion and Design. She made miracles happen! She could take sketches, ideas, swatches, words, and turn them into exactly what I could see in my minds eye: Wearable art.

The ‘side hustle’ became my main hustle. And what a grand adventure it was!

Eventually, Starstruck included a retail store and a complete wholesale women’s clothing line. The Starstruck label was proudly carried in 321 stores States side, and 120 in Canada. And yes, a lot happened between those 2 sentences (some of which will be the fodder for future blog posts). If you can imagine, this line was marketed successfully, without social media or even email! You actually had to show up – in person, product in hand – or in this case – product in painted suitcase. Seriously! Pitching my first U.S. major department store, had me on a plane to their head offices in Florida with all of my samples in painted, garage sale purchased, vintage suitcases! We were true to brand from the start and I came home with an order that left me both terrified and transformed. Dreaming big, did work!

In many ways, fashion is an unforgiving business. The industry proudly shred brands for breakfast, that can’t move at a lightening fast pace, with the right product, at the right price, and in the right colour. Turns out, our team, had a knack for doing just that, and I learned, that it takes stealth like accuracy, a healthy does of humour, and a whole lot of grit to be a brand builder.

This blog is a home for brand building stories. Here you can read about the thrills, chills, and spills that make a brand matter. Tales filled with love, passion, desire, side steps, and missteps. And they couldn’t be sweeter.

Have a first business story you would like to share? We would love to hear it!

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.

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