Think Fast and Move Forward
"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." -Haruki Murakami
Thinking for yourself, thinking on your feet, and thinking freely do not get nearly enough credit today. Instead, all glory goes to the formula. And the result of formulaic thinking is stale work—in film and TV, in literature, music, politics, and more.
Drop the formula and work your process
Building a business or a brand isn’t a paint-by-numbers exercise. It’s a work of inspired creation. Yet, there are thousands of so-called experts ready to sell you on their patented process. Sadly, there are just as many buyers, because it’s human nature to want easy answers.
From the marketer's side of the table where clients and their agencies live, locating and leveraging true insights about your product or service is a process, but it’s not patented. Also, a process is not a formula. Formulas are flat and therefore easy to package and preach. Your process, on the other hand, needn’t be unique to work, and you don’t need to make it your own. Your process is like yoga or a workout routine—the results come from consistent dedication to the practice.
No social media marketing needed
Betsy & Iya in Portland makes beautiful jewelry. They also make human-to-human connections with their customers in real life. They also make perfect sense when stating their reasons for stopping social media marketing.
For years, social media had been a fight – a fight against the algorithm to actually stay connected to people who’d chosen to follow us. A fight for our time, which was increasingly being spent on caption writing and photo editing and strategy sessions and marketing consultants and on and on and on. A fight to be who we set out to be. The truth is our content was only reaching a very very small percentage of our community. No matter what we tried we couldn’t crack it. We found ourselves spending uncomfortable amounts of time comparing ourselves to others, worrying about our look, likes, followers, shares, etc. This caused stress, lost time, lost money, lost connections, and even loneliness–essentially, the opposite of why we started with social media to begin with – a fun, new technology that was supposed to help us share with and connect to more people with greater ease. -Betsy and Will
Building a new capability is hard
How do you put intentional learning into practice? To acquire specific knowledge or a new skill, you need a process that guides how you learn it, plus people and practices to help reinforce it. That’s how you transform knowledge into concrete capabilities, McKinsey reports.
To that end, we have designed a simple heuristic—“3x3x3”—as a memorable baseline method for designing professional development goals in a way that aligns with the practices of effective learning. In simple terms, 3x3x3 encourages you to define three development goals, over a three-month period, engaging three other people to support you in those goals and hold you accountable. It’s a framework that we use in varying forms to help ourselves put intentional learning into practice. Here’s how to think about each category.
When writing a book, launching a new business, or any other tall challenge, the 3x3x3 framework can help.
“The Sea” is new music from Sierra Ferrell. Her sound, while fresh, is as old-timey as it gets.
Dump the Request for Proposal. In its place, book a “walk ‘n’ talk.”
Recent studies have found that while most people anticipate that phone calls will be awkward and uncomfortable, that’s a misperception. Not only are phone calls no more awkward in practice, but they also tend to strengthen relationships and prevent misunderstanding, contributing to more fruitful interactions among teammates. (via HBR)
How the tiny town of Round Top inspired ‘Texas Boho’ style.
What to wear to a Phish show or yacht-top wedding.
Carhartt wants America’s workers to be “Fit For The Next Frontier.” Why won’t the Biden team make some commercials of this sort? It’s not how politics works. It is how shaping public opinion works.
Cast A Spell
To connect with people in today’s marketplace, don’t just state your offer. Cast a spell. If you need help, let me know.