The brand of the future...is patient, consistent, connected, and trusted. The new brand is based on the truth that only comes from experiencing the product, not just yelling about it. Word of mouth is more important (by a factor of 20) than TV advertising, and the remarkability word of mouth demands comes from what we experience, not from spin or taglines or a campaign slogan.
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Insulate yourself... from anonymous angry people Expose yourself to art you don't yet understand Precisely measure the results that are important to you Stay blind to the metrics that don't matter Fail often Ship Lead, don't manage so much Seek out uncomfortable situations Make an impact on the people who matter to you Be better at your baseline skills than anyone else Copyedit less, invent more Give more speeches Ignore unsolicited advice
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Sooner or later, the ones who told you that this isn't the way it's done, the ones who found time to sneer, they will find someone else to hassle. Sooner or later, they stop pointing out how much hubris you've got, how you're not entitled to make a new thing, how you will certainly come to regret your choices. Sooner or later, your work speaks for itself. Outlasting the critics feels like it will take a very long time, but you're more patient than they are.
If you've got the platform and the ability to make a difference, then this goes beyond 'should' and reaches the level of 'must.' You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity. Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us.
I think it's fascinating to note that some of the most successful organizations of our time got there by focusing obsessively on service, viewing compensation as an afterthought or a side effect. As marketing gets more and more expensive, it turns out that caring for people is a useful shortcut to trust, which leads to all the other things that a growing organization seeks.
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Life is not about gutting out every situation. It's about identifying opportunity or the lack thereof. If your pride is all that is standing in the way of quitting, quit. The right people won't care and the wrong people don't matter. If you know you're on the right path, persevere though the pain. It will be worth it.
Emotions are far more contagious than any disease. A smile or a panic will spread through a group of people far faster than any virus ever could. When you walk into the office or a negotiation, then, wash your bad mood away before you see us. Don't cough on us, don't sneeze on us, sure, but don't bring your grouchiness, your skepticism or your fear in here either. It might spread.
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The goal in blogging/ business/ inspiring non-fiction is to share a truth, or at least a truth as the writer sees it. To not just share it, but to spread it and to cause change to happen. You can do that in at least three ways: with research (your own or reporting on others), by building and describing conceptual structures, or with stories that resonate.
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Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time. Forgive yourself for not winning every round. Forgive yourself for being afraid. But don't let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying.
You don't win an Olympic gold medal with a few weeks of intensive training. There's no such thing as an overnight opera sensation. Great law firms or design companies don't spring up overnight... Every great company, every great brand, and every great career has been built in exactly the same way: bit by bit, step by step, little by little.
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