Scar tissue: Monday Morning Meetings #4

by Fabrice Calando on November 24, 2014


A little while ago, I was put in charge of the Monday morning meetings at TIMC. Here are this week’s opening remarks:

Today I would like to talk to you about scar tissue.

Henry Rollins once said:

“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength and move on.”

We all face difficult situations at times: disappointments, setbacks, challenges. Sometimes people talk behind our backs, we get placed in overwhelming situations, we’re doubted. Sometimes the critics are so loud that when you’re the one in the arena it feels like it isn’t worth it. It all hurts and leaves scars.

But you see, the critics don’t understand what Henry Rollins figured out. All the rumors, the criticisms, the let downs… they think they’re wounding us and hurting our chances to step up, but in fact, they’re making us stronger. They’re giving us scar tissue: the strongest tissue you can have. In effect, they’re making us bulletproof.

So for those of us who chose not to be a passive spectator, but to step into the arena, while it’s tempting to ask:

Why me?
Why did I have to go through that?
There was a better way I’m sure.

Truth is, you have very little impact on decisions and actions that happen around you, but you do control how you react. So when you get slighted, when unfairness happens, when “the shit hits the fan” as the expression goes, you can either get all bent out of shape, complain, get upset, rewrite the past in your mind or you can accept that it’s made you stronger, that you have something more than you had before, that this adversity has given you more than it has taken away.

Like a grain that needs to be in the mud and dirt to grow, we need to go through mud to grow, become stronger and achieve great things.

So to the critics and those who let down, I say, bring it on! You’re only making me stronger…

Have a great week!

(Photo credit: Bryan Oblivion)


Raise your voice

by Fabrice Calando on November 19, 2014

LinkedIn recently reminded me that I’ve been writing here at [] for five years now. It is by far the longest professional endeavor I’ve ever undertaken. I say professional because this site has indirectly and directly contributed to my career.

It has indirectly gotten consulting contracts with Microsoft Canada and the United Nations and a few other smaller gigs as well. It indirectly helped me get my last position as a Digital Strategist and I knew it directly contributed to my current position at TIMC when the President showed up to the interview with my latest posts in hand.

It’s a professional endeavor, but at its core, it’s personal. Some of the greatest feedback I’ve gotten is “your posts have helped me get over the death of my husband” and “I love reading your stuff, this is a big professional transition time in my life and your site is right on.”

Raise your voice Although touching I think the greatest personal opportunity comes from having a microphone: an outlet to raise my voice, to take a stand, to reflect on my beliefs and to challenge myself.

I sometimes get asked how I get my inspiration and the answer to that is practice. The more I write, the more I have to say. Seth Godin says (and I’m paraphrasing):

there is no such thing as writer’s block – you never hear of speaker’s block because there’s always something to say. Writing is just another medium.

It hasn’t always been pretty (my first post was a promotion for a friend’s project), but on this 5 year anniversary I am grateful to have this forum that pushes me to speak up and raise my voice.

I’m also grateful that you are here, taking the time to read, reply and share. And what I wish for you today is that you take your own stand and raise your voice. It doesn’t have to be on your site, it can be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Google+, Instagram or whatever (as long as you understand the trade offs). Just take the opportunity that’s available.

Now, more than ever we need individuals who raise their voice. Believe me, it makes all the difference.

(Photo Credit: Ernest Duffoo)


Putting your name on it

by Fabrice Calando on November 18, 2014


Most advertising agencies and marketing firms don’t put their names on the products they deliver. Sure, they pick some of their best projects and submit them to win industry awards. But over all you and I don’t know who came up with that last campaign, designed that site or helped with that strategy.

I understand why. Most clients wouldn’t want the name to appear either. I don’t know if i would want the names Bye Bye Bambi, Market8 and Jean Blais to be prominently featured on TIMC‘s website even though they did the design, development and photography and I am quite proud of the end result and would work with anyone of them again. It’s a mutually agreed upon arrangement.

But what would happen to the work if you did put your name on it? If you had to sign off for all to see – you did that.

The same question applies for any industry. In a way, that’s what Uber and Airbnb have done to transportation and room reservations. They’ve allowed drivers, room owners and even passengers and guests to put their name on it. They’ve made us accountable.

They’ve forced us to be ourselves. To deliver an experience we can be proud of. What would happen if you delivered service as though your name was stamped on? How would that affect the quality, imagination? How daring would it be?

(Photo credit: Tian Chew Lim)


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The losing game

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