you don't have to win awards to be fricken amazing

You Don’t Need To Win Awards To Be Fricken’ Amazing

One day in the StratLab office Eddy says,
“eh, chew guys ever see Aaron Draplin’s Ted talk?!”
Me: “What did you just say?!?”
Eddy: “Just watch this….”

 

Meet Aaron Draplin. A crazy hat wearing, beard grooming, design denim god. He’s what we strive to be one day. Just happy to be able to wake up and create art every day. That’s something to get excited about.

  1. He’s genuine (I mean he wore a hat and swore in a Ted talk, haha!).

  2. He does not care about awards (they just inflate ego).

  3. He’s incredibly excited to be able to do his art every day.

1. He’s genuine

He cares. He cares so much about his audience he wants to show them how to be original. When someone swears in front of your it’s a sign of respect, they’re comfortable enough to be themselves. When Aaron takes to the stage you instantly realize this isn’t going to be your regular speech. His outfit makes him look comfortable as well, jean jacket, trucker hat? He’s making it okay to be yourself.

2. He does not care about awards

In the marketing/advertising world it’s hard to get very far without finding out about “an award you could win!” or better yet “you should apply for this award!”. Apply for an award?!? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?!? Yet it happens all the time. Agencies attach “awards” they’ve won to proposals not knowing that clients want to hire them to create value for their organization, not simply win awards.

Winning awards can send you down a dangerous path. Always striving for the next award. What there is no more? You can’t control that outcome hence why this author thinks it’s very silly to focus on winning awards.

Finally Aaron doesn’t need an award to make him feel good, he just needs to look at the team he works with and the amazing volume of work they’ve created, and smile.

Awards are a false idol you’re seeking. Their poisonous, they change people, once you are an “award winner” you’re never the same. Stay hungry, stay thirsty.

3. He’s incredibly excited to able to do his Art every day

When I met Hugh MacLeod for the first time I asked which of his cards he created was his favourite. He said he had a lot he really liked but one always came to mind.

“If you have your health and you can make a decent living doing what you love, then you have little reason to envy other people.” -Hugh MacLeod

If you have your health and you get to do what your love

The way Aaron looks when he talks about being “able” to do his art every day. That’s incredible. That’s what I want to become.

You don't have to win awards to be fricken amazing-strategy lab

the worlds great lie-achievement is greater than fulfillment

The World’s Biggest Lie: achievement is greater than fulfilment

​The World’s biggest lie according to Tony Robbins, “achievement is greater than fulfilment.”

On the Tim Ferriss Podcast with Tony Robbins, Tony goes off on an amazing but very thought provoking tangent.

fulfillment is greater than achievement

Fulfillment is greater than achievement.

His theory of what’s wrong with society is that we continuously put achievement before fulfillment. We’re always looking for the next big thing, the next toy, house, car, or vacation. Nothing is ever good enough and you’re destined to die a lonely death.

Tony talks about Robin Williams and how he asks about Robin to crowds all over the world. Everywhere Tony goes he says 98% of the crowd LOVES Robin Williams, the other 2%? He makes fun of them too.

He asks crowds about Williams because he trying to make a point. Robin Williams of all people had it all, he’d won every award in his field, he was widely regarded as one of the best comedians and actors of his generation. Then Tony get’s mad. “And what did Robin after all of those achievements? He hung himself. He still wasn’t good enough in his mind.” 

We have a duty in the life to help others. One major way is to focus on fulfillment and forget achievement. How can you do this? It’s hard to forget about achievement, we’re built to want ti achieve. It makes us feel good, it’s an ego boost. But the problem with achievement is that it can get addicting, you can want it at all costs, sacrificing things you never would have. Eventually simply focusing on achievement will lead you to disappointment.

The wise owls always worry about fulfillment before achievement, for achievement is but a fleeting emotion, fulfillment feeds the soul.

Fulfillment is sustainable. Fulfillment is that feeling that makes you smile when you wake up in the morning and the reason you’re happy falling asleep. It’s challenging, it’s spiritual, it’s something personal, it’s your journey. It has nothing to do with anyone else, it’s your art and only you know if you’re putting in 110% all the time. When you do, you’ll get a weird feeling of contentment.

Fulfillment is greater than achievement

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Purple Cow

Welcome To The @StratLab Office

Marc’s first day

 if-you-want-to-go-far-go-alone

Kind of a motto around here. “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far join us.” Stop trying to do things on your own and find an all-star team to help you.

Super Hero Office

We have a lot of “Super Hero” symbolism around the office. Jordan Mcfarlen told me a story about a time he visited Silicon Valley. He went to a place called “Draper University” and in the incubator part of Draper they had a “Hero Alley”. A place where the walls inspired you to be a hero. To be selfless, humble, hard working and to be a great teammate. We love it and our office will always have Superhero’s in it!

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chews-me-alex-painter

The Best Resume Ever

you-can-either-fit-in-or-stand-out-not-both

“You can either fit in or stand out but you can’t do both.”       -Seth Godin

Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you Alex Painter. I met Alex years ago on a Realtor competition. He wore a bowtie then and he still wears a bowtie.

Yes he IS Gumin’ At You!

Gumin' at you!

Alex is a different character, he’s creative, well spoken and generally the type of guy you want to be around. Alex was moving to Banff and wanted a job in the hospitality industry, but not just any job, an awesome job. Thinking there would be a lot of competition for jobs in Banff, Alex wasn’t going to make a resume like a shmuck, Alex needed to show potential employers who he really was. He needed to show them he was “Gumin’ at them!”.

He’ll tell you the idea came from a friends Dad who was trying to help him standout amongst all the other boring job applications.

chews-me-alex-painter

“Chews Me!” it reads along with Alex’s contact information and a picture of himself. If you cut open the pack, his references are on the inside. To cap it all off included is actual spearmint gum*(see the comment section for the type of gum).

cut-here-for-references

Off to Banff he went with several packs of “Chews Me” gum in tow.

How brilliant!!!

So the real question is did it work?

You better believe it. Of the first three places he dropped off “gum” at, two places offered him a job on the spot. Wow.

The next time you want a “cool” job, remember how many people are handing out resumes. If you want to standout to a potential employers don’t be afraid to do something that shows who you really are. Alex is a one-of-kind gentlemen who isn’t afraid to push the status quo of resumes and job applications.

In a world where we’re dying for creativity, it’s ideas like this that get talked about and shared. When you risk doing something different, usually you get the reward you were never expecting.

You want to keep people around you who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries on what is possible. You never know what the real benefit is until you try.

 

* – I actually have no idea what kind of gum he used, I assumed it was spearmint but who knows!  See the comment below…

17-books-for-2017

17 Must Read Books For 2017

1. How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big – Scott Adams

creativity-is-allowing-yourself-to-make-mistakes

Counterintuitive thinking on how one attains success. It’s a fun read, he’s a cartoonist so you can imagine how much fun Scott has in a book. My favourite part was the first time reading through, he gives you some piece of contrarian advice and then follows it up with “remember, you are the one taking advice from a cartoonist”. He’s not afraid to make fun of himself.

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Keep Thinking Different

Keep Thinking Different

A recent addition to Netflix “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” is a new look at the fascinating life of a change agent. Inspiring stories, interviews with people that worked with him, and the negative side to being a visionary. They don’t beat around the bush, people admitted that at times he was a tyrant, but those same people also talk about how much they learned while working for Jobs.

It’s an interesting watch, I hope you do! We all need a little inspiration every now and then, this documentary reminds us that we need to keep thinking different.

7 Buzzwords You Need to Stop Using at Business Meetings & in Life in General

7 Buzzwords You Need to Stop Using at Business Meetings & in Life in General

We all have come across those winners in meetings that love to use the latest business buzzword. You know the ones? They recite words and phrases you know they just heard for the first time while watching the Dragon’s Den last night.

You realize soon after school that the vocabulary you use has very little to do with your life and is more so correlated with pretentiousness. Yet the words below are used everyday, some times more than once, in offices and during meetings all over the world in hundreds of different languages. Well I’m sure other languages have their own overused meaningless terms that tend to follow the commerce crowd.

Before you start remember these are just opinions, please don’t be offended. Instead add your own overused word or phrase. Heck lets make this list longer!! Comment below with yours!!

Let's form proactive synergy restructuring teams

1. Synergy

The obvious one. Just stop it. Nothing says I’m a first year business student than using Synergy on purpose in a sentence. The exception to the rule you say? There is only one. Unless you work in the Easton Hockey stick Museum and you’re referring to my gold 2001 Easton Synergy Hockey stick you should never ever use the “S” word in a sentence.

 

2. Networking

Just a fancy term for people who don’t know how to make friends. Pro tip, stop networking and start doing things that matter. Volunteer, run for a board, help a non-profit, coach, be a big brother, do something that isn’t easy. Just showing up to an event and putting on a name tag isn’t hard. Volunteering countless hours for a great cause is a brilliant way to make new friends.

Do ANYTHING other then go to specific events just to “meet” people for the sake of a business relationship. Yuck.

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Monetize the website monetize the Facebook monetize our blog! Figure how much profit we can make

The New Age Marketing Rap | Edgar Alan Poems Vol 1

Everyone thinks they understand the marketing game.
But when you see their work, they’re so afraid to go against the grain.

“It doesn’t work on me”, everyone thinks they understand advertising.
Then they only buy pop-culture products by name brands, to me that’s not surprising.

The marketing world has been based on selling more eye balls, I need more exposure, more impressions, more branding!
The smart companies know that if they spend more on Customer service and making a better product, when the smoke clears they will be the ones left standing.

We’re about to enter the marketing war, you have no choice in this matter.
But it’s not about a bigger megaphone to try and create more useless banter.

We're about to enter the marketing war, you have no choice in this matter. But it's not about a bigger megaphone to try and create more useless banter

That’s what we don’t like, your boring message that’s supposedly tailored to my “demographic”.
Really you don’t care about my opinion of your product, you’re making a feeble attempt at increasing your website traffic.

The war of traditional versus the future, we’ve seen this battle before.
Older people don’t like to change but the younger generation can hardly wait for what’s in store.

Agencies have ruled over the marketing world for long enough, I wonder how they’re going to adapt.
When you work for one and offer an idea outside TV, radio, or print, you’re bound to get your hand slapped.

“Recommend billboards or TV, we make a quick 15% off every ad we sell!”
It’s this mentality at agencies that makes me think their business model is about to go through hell.

Monetize the website, monetize the Facebook, monetize our blog!
Figure how much profit we can make, heck put our logo on that dog!

You think I hate mass media, commercials are bad and have no use for the newspaper.
It’s not the medium, it never was, it’s your attitude I have a problem with, you sound like Don Draper.

it's your attitude i have a problem with you sound like don draper

You assume people want to hear about what your company has to say.
But for 98% of us we could care less about your company while going about our day to day.

Stop trying to get more exposure and stop interrupting me while I listen, watch and read.
Focus on the 2% and make sure you’re there the second your service is in need.

Have a conversation with your customers and realize you need feedback to grow.
Your other option is to listen to no one and change nothing, this last opportunity you will inevitably blow.

As marketing budgets get slashed and business models turned upside down, bankruptcy is no longer the “unthinkable”.
If you don’t want to adapt, if you don’t change the course. Always remember the titanic was touted as being unsinkable.

Experience will tells us it’s too risky to change, “focus on your strengths, don’t follow fads”.
Instagram and Snapchat seem like effort, it’s much easier just to buy ads.

Now here’s your warning, I’m delighted to let you know.
If you ignore the conversation and keep interrupting us, it’ll start to show.

You’ll alienate your loudest customers and they’ll be sure to let everyone know,
what an ignorant company you are and to your competition they’ll go.

The companies that will win have something you can’t get from an agency.
A dedicated tribe of people who care dearly about your company.

So fire the marketing department and hire a philanthropist or nine.
Begin your tribe by telling your story to the world online.

Written in January 27, 2012. Originally titled “The Marketing Rap”.

how do you create a visionary city

How Do You Create A Visionary City?

It needs to be remarkable

If you were Seth Godin you would say it needs to be remarkable! You know, your “Purple Cow” idea that will spread like wildfire.

 

You need a big hairy audacious goal

If you were Jim Collins’ you’d start with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Cities like Las Vegas, Austin, Amsterdam, Paris, even Victoria, all have a created visionary cities by doing something big, hairy and audacious. (they’re all REALLY good at something, or have something they are known for).

You need a social object

If you were Hugh MacLeod you would come up with a social object. Something people would have to talk about, have to share with their friends, it’d probably be really cool.

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At least you tried

The Next Time Someone Doesn’t Like Your Original Idea Remember….

They just don’t get it yet.

John Cleese’s advice is so perfect for creatives, “if you do something a bit original nobody gets it at the start”. You can’t be discouraged when someone doesn’t like your new idea. They just don’t get it yet.

I used to have the wallpaper on my computer of a Seth Godin quote: “All the creativity books in the world aren’t going to help you if you’re unwilling to have lousy, lame and even dangerously bad ideas.”.

No one understands an original idea in it’s first form, that’s why you shouldn’t get discouraged when people don’t like your ideas. The trick is to keep coming up with ideas, that way, when someone doesn’t like one of your ideas that’s just fine, tomorrow you’ll come up with another and the day after that another. As long as you keep creating, keep trying, and keep pushing yourself to get to that “one” person to say, “I get it”, you’ll be just fine. It’s that endless pursuit that makes it fun isn’t it?

If you do something a bit original nobody gets it at the start

the-whole-basis-of-gentle-teaching-isnt-trying-to-change-the-individuals-behaviour-but-rather-changing-our-approach-on-how-we-serve-the-individuals

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