Standing On No

An old friend once taught me that if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. Standing for something means saying no to all the things you don’t stand for.

Taking a stand happens to be the best way to avoid being tossed about by every new trend, avoiding peer pressure, and to build your brand.

If you spend your time fulfilling the request of others, you’ll find yourself doing a lot of wheel spinning and not getting where you really want to be.  No is my default answer to most request for anything (both business, and personal).  I do make some exceptions. For example, when it comes to bar-b-que anything, fries with a shake, or when my friends Keith and Stephanie ask my wife and I to hangout with them…my default answer is always…”is a frogs behind water tight?”

When Porsche prices new entry level vehicles near $47,000 they’re standing firm on saying no to everyone in the market for a vehicle for less.  By doing so they can provide a better product, and service to the $47,000 plus market.

Likewise when a basic cashmere sweater at Neiman Marcus is $650 they’re saying no to everyone who wants a $99 one. Thus standing firm on their case for luxury.

Brands and people who have learned to stand on no understand that you can’t be all things to all people. In doing so you can be all that you can be to the all the people you’ve decided matter most to you.

Barbarian

The initial promise of social media was better connection.  An unintended, and un-forseen side effect is that it’s allowed easier access to our inner barbarian.

When we allow our inner barbarian to run free online, and then discover that we can easily connect with thousands of others with that same inner barbarian we give strength to barbarians.

What happens when our inner barbarian connects in real-time, in the real world, with someone outside our designated social camp? Public volatility! Barbaric society!

We all have an inner barbarian, and we must guard against the tendency of making those who don’t think like us, or look like us the others as well as the despicable public actions that accompany such beliefs.

Make the world a better place

For you, and for me, and the entire human race…Michael Jackson

 

It All Adds Up

Today, you can decide to be just a little more empathetic, a little more generous, a little more ambitious, a little more patient. You can do the same thing tomorrow, and of course the day after that, and then…well you get it.

You don’t have to make giant leaps forward, the little ones add up.  Before you know it you’re an empathetic person, a giver, a risk taker, the person others turn to.

Fear

Just in time for Halloween.  Fear may be the most useful of all our emotions. Our ancestors fled and hid from dinosaurs and that fear often kept them from becoming a meal.  Fear of starving, going without shelter, or food is great motivation to get us to work smart and hard.  And, fearing the wrath of God can keep us from sinning.

But misplaced fear can be a monster.  When we act on our fear of others because they don’t look like us, think like us, or because they come from a different place than us we ruin our chance for true connection and unity.  We violate the commandment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves…and that’s a dangerous state to exist in.

The thing we should really fear is the tendency we all share to view those not like us as monsters.

Beware anyone attempting to play on your fears.

The minute they see me fear me, I’m the epitome of public enemy…Chuck D

A Word About True Genius

Commoners usually can’t recognize the true Genius because what he’s doing is so far advanced that he’s miles away from the rest of us. In fact the true genius does not even recognize his own work as genius.  Because it’s rejected by the masses.  He just keeps doing it because the work matters to him.

We finally come to see the genius because when we view the body of work it dawns on us that this person has left us better off than we were before, and suddenly his work matters to us.  And nothing before his work was like it, but everything after him bears his mark.

Although the true genius is hard to spot, we can easily spot the imposter – he’s the one calling himself a genius, brilliant, or something akin.