What if marketing’s biggest problem and challenge wasn’t the onslaught of new social platforms or edgerank, Google’s changing search algorithm or even inbound marketing or marketing automation? What if the biggest problem and challenge was its definition?

There are some differences, some tasks that change from company to company, but overall, you know what Accounting does, you know what Sales does, you know what HR does, you know what Customer Service does. But what does marketing do? It markets your product, but what does that mean? Does marketing guide product development or does the Product team do that? Does marketing find leads or does Sales do that? Does marketing do media outreach or does PR do that? Does marketing guide design?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing marketing for roughly 15 years and I have a better understanding of its nuts and bolts, but it feels to me like marketing is the least well defined group. it’s the group that has found it’s work. So often it ends up with a long grocery list of to dos and very little input. On the other hand Marketing sometimes sits at the table and pushes the agenda forward along with our friends in Sales, Biz Dev and Finance.

I think, in part, this explains the increasing popularity of Growth Hacking and the “growth” team.

True, the fact that Growth Hacking is based on efficient, scalable growth is appealing to say the least. But I believe that the fact it’s so mission driven has something to do with its appeal.

And maybe that’s what we need, the end of marketing and the beginning of growth. Who gets the leads (or even customers if you’re a SaaS company)? The growth team.

Let the President and CEO decide who the company is, the values, the culture and the big picture stuff and let HR find the right people to execute, let Sales close the right clients. Let the Growth increase the user base, by focusing on efficient and scalable tactics?

(Photo credit: Efrén)

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What if no one could see or hear? What if there was no way we’d ever find out? Would you cut corners? Would you cut corners? Would you spam? Would you embellish the click-through rates? Would you omit a detail?

One of Steve Jobs’ defining characteristics was his obsession with the way products were crafted. Something he picked up from his father, according to his biography. A mechanic who “loved doing things right. He even cared about the look of the (car) parts you couldn’t see.”

When working around the house his father would refuse to use poor wood for the back of cabinets. “For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

A marketer is often faced with the possibility to cut corners. No one will see the workflow you built or the campaign tracking you implemented. It would be so easy to plough through. Who would know?

Sure it’s easy to cut corners when nobody’s looking. But we owe it to ourselves to raise our game.

An expert doesn’t need to cut corners. She knows that the short term gain of a cut corner, will always pale compared to the long term gain of carrying the aesthetics all the way though, so to speak.

(Photo credit: Liv)

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It used to be that if your message was important enough (the President of the United States for example) you could disrupt programming to give your message. You could do the same if you were willing to pay (advertising is precisely that).

Today – an age of abundance – disruption doesn’t work as well. It’s harder and harder to interrupt a mass portion of the population. Now although the audience is smaller there’s an opportunity to make them matter.

So to my small audience that matters greatly to me: my site got hacked over the holidays. That’s in part why there has been so little new content recently. There are still a few kinks to work out but I think we are largely back up and running.

Before ending, I would like to thank Ramy at SellWebHost, my hosting provider for limiting the damage and providing security recommendations. Also, thank you to all those on Facebook and LinkedIn who provided help and advice.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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I’m taking some time off for the holidays, to spend some time with the family. This is a Monday Morning talk I gave a little while back but haven’t posted yet.

Today, I would like to talk to you about where there’s a will, there’s a way.

It’s tempting to find excuses and blame:

for encountering problems that are always the same,

– for not getting things done,
– for staying on the proverbial hamster wheel.

And don’t get me wrong, most of us feel have a full plate. There is a lot to do and a lot of pressure for getting it done.

I get that.

But the truth is:

not getting something done, not finding a new way, staying on the hamster wheel is not a time thing.

It’s a matter of will.

The fact of the matter is we choose not to do, we choose to head down a same path, we choose to complain, we choose to give in and we choose not to fight.

So when you are up against a big wall, a whole pile of stuff to do, it’s really easy to sit and tell yourself,

“OK, I’ll do this, then I’ll find a new way.”

But you know the song – another project comes along; another file, another exam… Until you think to yourself

“I can’t believe I’m doing this this way again, as soon as I get it done I’ll find a new way.”

It’s safe and reassuring to think that way. You hand over responsibility, but you know when you have a will, you do find a way. You look at that mountain and


maybe you get discouraged at first, but you have this need to make things a lot better and bigger. So you find a way for making it happen…drip by drip, you  move on



You don’t need permission, you don’t need to wait until someone says “go.”
And, truth is, the harder it is to get there, the more chances that it’s worth it to go.

It’s never a time thing, it’s always a will thing.

Have a great week!

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Take whatever time you can gather up and continue your education. You don’t need a school or university (although those are great options too), you just need a browser and an internet connection.

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When asked about our passion, I think the response I hear most is, “but I have no passion.” I hear it the most because I’ve said it often enough. I know I’m not alone here. Passion is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit. It’s lost it’s meaning. So what is passion?

Reframing passion

Seth Godin’s comment on his book we’re all weird helped me reframe the word. It’s about being weird and obsessive. It’s when things come to you without doing much. You can be the most normal guy with a completely average job or the most normal woman with the most regular families… There’s a time when you’re weird; it’s inevitable. Maybe fantasy football is your thing, maybe it’s running or you have a thing with cats or you’re weird about books. You’re weird because you read way more than the average person, you spend a lot of energy thinking about cats, you spend a lot more than most on running gear or you’re constantly thinking about your fantasy football team.

You might feel your passion isn’t much. So you’re weird about some things. So what?

Truth is, it’s amazing. A little while ago you thought you had nothing. Now you’re part of a community of others who are weird like you.

Why not spend some time to cultivate that weirdness? What’s the worst that can happen?

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The difficult work is the work that happens after the initial thrill is gone. After all the brainstorming, meetings, get-togethers and briefs. It’s the work that often happens when no one is looking; in fact the difficult work often goes completely unnoticed and it is grueling for that precise reason — there are no cheerleaders, no high-fives, no group hugs and there might very well be criticism and drag by the naysayers. So, more often than not, it’s just you and the sometimes terrifying empty sheet of paper, blank screen or canvas or virgin land.

I think it’s also difficult work because deep down you know that most worthwhile projects are never really done. They require constant tweaking, adjustments and improvements so the loneliness, criticism and fear are always around the corner waiting to be tackled by those who dare.

Yet this work is exactly what you need to get to the end-goal where the cheerleaders and high-fives are.

So the only question left is “will you dare?”

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] More people are doing marketing badly… I just spent most of the past week with one of our firm’s clients and his family. If you don’t know me, I’m a Marketing Director. Amongst many things, I organize campaigns and LinkedIn status updates, newsletters and retention strategies. I don’t really go out with clients, but this time I insisted I be part of it. The experience was enriching both personally and professionally. Why? I noticed. The cure to bad marketing is noticing and then speaking up. My next few weeks will be spent speaking up.
  • [Rethink Business] The road to resilience: How unscientific innovation saved Marlin Steel. When we think of innovation and corporate success we think of Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google… at least when you live in my world you do. But have you ever heard of Marlin Steel? Chances are you haven’t, but this is an amazing example of how the most “banal” of companies can innovate in the most exciting ways. Innovation doesn’t have to mean algorithms, computer programmers or engineering feats. It’s accessible to everyone. I’m fascinated by resilience and change in typically traditional fields (that’s why I work in finance). This is a wonderful article about resilience, change, innovation and great leadership. One of my favourite articles in a long time.
  • [Rethink Work] Three things I’ve learned from Warren Buffett. Bill Gates shares what he’s learned from Warren Buffett. If you’re not familiar, Mr. Buffett is one of the most successful investors of our time. What does this mean for you and me? It’s not about your title or what you do. Figure out what sets you apart. It also means…find your platform and once you do, use it wisely. Use it to be candid and honest. Finally, learn how to use your time.
  • [Rethink Life] Don’t be an anonymous cog — CTRL ALT Delete with Seth Godin. There’s too much greatness here to summarize in a paragraph so watch the video for yourself. I will leave you with this though — we spend too much time waiting to get picked and creating excuses for our failures and stagnation. I just spent some of my own money on a slimmed down version of a CRM for work because I need to revamp our company’s and I want to play around and fiddle a bit before we spend too much time and money on the big project. I didn’t ask for permission…I just did it. In the past I used this site to attract clients to an agency I worked at. I didn’t ask for permission. It’s easy to give others control and make excuses later. Pick yourself.

That’s it for this week, what are you reading right now?

(Photo credit: David Sifry)

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Patience and the eject button

I was recently reminded of the importance of patience and dedication. I’ve know those were important qualities to have in business ever since I heard the then head of a major airline here in Montreal talk about it. But something at work just reminded me of it.

In a world of tweets, just-in-time manufacturing and real-time advertising it can be hard to be patient. Heck, even email promotes short attention spans.

I’m not saying that staying put and idle will guarantee success or that change will lead to failure, quite the opposite in fact. I just think that we need a little dedication. We’re a little quick on the “eject” button at times. Let’s put it this way, great projects rarely materialize in a matter days or even months.

I guess the real question is when to switch things up and when to stick with it. I think if the project tests you and pushes you to think differently and dig deep within, it’s worth patience and dedication. If change is easy and simple, then you’ve pressed the “eject” button too soon.

(Photo credit: James Cridland)

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Last week was all about…part II of the meditation challenge

I’ve been meditating everyday for 2 weeks now. It’s not always easy. I guess that’s why they call it a challenge. The benefits are numerous and this past week is really showing me. Better sleep, more concentration, less…much less anxiety. This challenge is about creating abundance and setting the right frame of mind for letting abundance into your life. Abundance can be material, financial, spiritual, emotional. Usually, the only limit there is to abundance is you — your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs.

This 21-day meditation challenge is about re-framing your thoughts and beliefs.

What are the benefits for you?

#HYLP Challenge #45: Last week of the meditation challenge

Quite simply, this week I’ll be finishing-up the meditation challenge. Day 21 is this coming Sunday, if my calculations are correct. This is one challenge I want to stick with after it’s over.


It’s the last week of the meditation challenge. As I mentioned, I find meditating allows me to sleep better and be more focused. Meditation can even help develop your Sherlock Holmes-like skills. It’s the first time I’ll do 21 days in a row so it’s very exciting.

Will you join me for week three?

Past challenges

If you’re new here, on the first week of January I started the Hack Your Life Project. Each week I challenge myself to explore the details of the programmable system that is my life and stretch its capabilities, as opposed to most of us, who only prefer to learn the minimum necessary. I no longer want to breeze through my life, but take control of it.

These are the past challenges:

  1. Hack Your Life Project | Get rid of excess clothing
  2. Hack Your Life Project | Turn off the electronics
  3. Hack Your Life Project | Hello stranger
  4. And then…everything changes | The happyness metric
  5. Hack Your Life Project | Do
  6. Hack Your Life Project | Weekends and evenings
  7. Hack Your Life Project | Take a break
  8. Hack Your Life Project | Be decisive
  9. Hack Your Life Project | Set your limits
  10. Hack Your Life Project | Give a fuck
  11. Hack Your Life Project | Test your life
  12. Hack Your Life Project | Healthy mind, healthy body
  13. Hack Your Life Project | Back to basics
  14. Hack Your Life Project | It is what it is
  15. Hack Your Life Project | Workout daily
  16. Hack Your Life Project | Break a routine
  17. Hack Your Life Project | Life with a mission
  18. Hack Your Life Project | Hack your finances
  19. Hack Your Life Project | Random acts of kindness
  20. Hack Your Life Project | Spice up your life
  21. Hack Your Life Project | Take a cold shower
  22. Hack Your Life Project | Thank you
  23. Hack Your Life Project | The gaze
  24. Hack Your Life Project | Learn something new each day
  25. Hack Your Life Project | Do ________ daily
  26. Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000
  27. Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 2
  28. Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 3
  29. Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 4
  30. Hack Your Life Project | Save $1,000 Part 5
  31. Hack Your Life Project | Do something else
  32. Hack Your Life Project | Fascinate others
  33. Hack Your Life Project | Rethink what you do
  34. Hack Your Life Project | Contact a hero
  35. Hack Your Life Project | The ask
  36. Hack Your Life Project | Criticism sandwich
  37. Hack Your Life Project | Just say yes
  38. Hack Your Life Project | Negotiate
  39. Hack Your Life Project | Social rules
  40. Hack Your Life Project | Ask tie-down questions
  41. Hack Your Life Project | Overcome the fear of money
  42. Hack Your Life Project | Overcome the fear of others
  43. Hack Your Life Project | Meditation challenge, part I
  44. Hack Your Life Project | Meditation challenge, part II
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