Alignment

by Fabrice Calando on March 26, 2015

The issue with many consultants stems from alignment (or misalignment). Some come and demo big and fancy tools while others, small and cheap ones. Which is fine in and of itself. The thing is, these are presented regardless of the priorities, promises and business model set out by the client.

Now of course big and fancy is exciting and small and cheap is appealing, but that’s not what matters. What good is the fancy tool if you’ve built your business on low margins? What impact will cheap have of you’ve promised uniqueness? The equation, of course, isn’t always that simple.

Thorny issues surrounding agency/client relations almost always stem from misalignment. As the service provider, you’re the expert, you need the courage to notice when your offer is misaligned with your client’s needs. No one wants to be the square peg being jammed in a round hole.

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The unremarkable brand

by Fabrice Calando on March 23, 2015

The unremarkable brand depends on legalese, contracts and fine print to enforce their “uniqueness.”

Of course it’s comforting to be unremarkable. Since school we’ve been thought to be average: try to get an A of course, but don’t stand out and rock the boat. So today, we work hard to be average. So when push comes to shove we have to do just that.

The other option of course is to be remarkable. It’s as easily said as it is done. What if we couldn’t compete with you because you had focused on being unique? Unique can’t be replicated. What if you worked hard on making people want to work with you? Contracts are then a simple formality. What if you offered products that did what they said and were in the best interest of the client? The fine print then becomes the main copy.

Tradition forces us to be unremarkable. If you can hide behind fine print, then why create something worth buying?

Why be remarkable when unremarkable can be enforced?

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What’s a website today?

by Fabrice Calando on March 20, 2015

Not long ago, it used to be that your website was the only way to live on the world wide web. So it made sense to hire a plethora of developers and designers to make it.

WordPress, Squarespace, Wix and all that came before stated that the website, although vital, was no longer what it used to be. In a world of Facebook, LinkedIn, Etsy, Pinterest where clusters can find each other and regroup, your site becomes something different.

Your site becomes a part of the story, not the destination. It becomes one of the places we can go to learn about who you are if we happen to be searching Google or Bing.

So while it used to make sense to pay to get the site taken care of, it seems irrelevant today. There are some for whom the site is what matters – Facebook, your online banking site, Google – but for the rest of us, the time, energy and money must be spent elsewhere: Creating content that resonates, interact in ways that matter, be part of the group…

Only invest if your site is the destination.

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Rituals and traditions

March 19, 2015

Rituals are automatisms we develop to make room for what matters. If you automate your mornings, the way you write your blog posts, your lunch hour, you decrease the energy it takes to make these things happen. The flip side of course is that it leaves more energy available for what matters: the work you […]

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Nothing to say

March 5, 2015

I’m tired, I can’t write today. I don’t feel like pushing the envelope right now. I don’t think what I have to say matters. What if I make a fool out of myself? Oh but I know he’ll dismiss what I write. I’m not important. I’m really in over my head here… All examples of […]

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SMART goals and other productivity hacks

March 3, 2015

The woman next to me on the train is reading up on SMART goals. I’ve read up on SMART goals and I’m sure you have too. Yet, are your goals smarter than they were before? Are we more productive and efficient? SMART goals work, so do most efficiency and productivity hacks. They only have one […]

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On grace and resentment

March 2, 2015

Generally, there are two ways to look at events and incidents. You can be gracious and grateful it happened or you can be bitter and angry. Sometimes it’s black and white; it’s easier to be one than the other. It’s easy to be grateful with a promotion. It’s easy to be angry after being mugged. […]

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On being generous and selfish

February 27, 2015

In a world of abundance, the one willing to be most generous, gets ahead. When everything is available, when the foundation for generating and executing any idea is available for all, holding on makes little sense. Until, of course you need to be selfish. At some point the buck stops. You need to be ruthlessly […]

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You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

February 26, 2015

Of course you can. You can teach anyone anything as long as they’re willing to learn. And that’s exactly the point. Seek out the curious ones, the ones who want to learn, the ones who, regardless of age, status, location or situation are open to new ideas and new ways of doing. I think our […]

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Relying on gameable systems

February 25, 2015

The problem with relying on gameable systems (Google search results, New York Times best seller list, grocery store aisles) for entertainment, information and products is that you aren’t necessarily finding quality information. It’s good enough information at best. Gameable systems don’t necessarily favor the best, they favor those who have figured out how to game […]

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