Another Day in the Office

In temperate rain forests, mosses,
lichen and ferns cover most of the ground.

This creates a highly dense forest floor, which makes it hard for seedlings to

Until a tree falls. Then everything changes.

Known as nursery logs, these trees allow
seedlings to germinate on their fallen, decaying trunks. They provide the
foundation for the next generation. Thanks to their death, young plants can grow
by sending their roots down the log to the ground.

To me, this is beautiful. It’s a biological example that everything is
connected, everything has a role, everything has a balance, everything has a
reason, everything has a season and everything has a story.

To nature, it’s just another day in the

Customers Already Sold Themselves

The biggest change in retail isn’t online shopping, it’s how online shopping has recalibrated the offline experience.

When your customers walk in the
door, they have papers in their hands, pictures on their phones and prices in
their minds.

They’ve already sold themselves. You’re just the

that’s the case, the interaction changes.

Instead of selling, your job
is to serve.

To move heaven and earth to please the customer, regardless of how peculiar
their request is.

Instead of asking, your job
is to anticipate
To suggest unexpected ideas they may not have discovered in their initial

Instead of encouraging, your
job is to empathize.

To deliver piece of mind that confirms the decision they’ve already made.

customers will happily and hastily move on to the next guy.

How to Run a Social Audit for Your Product

Access to information is free, but access to each
other is priceless

Whatever you make, whatever you sell, be sure to emphasize
its social function.

Below is a comprehensive list of critical questions to ask
yourself, your team and your organization. Each question is worthy of its own
discussion, so I encourage you to use them individually as conversation
starters, icebreakers and thought experiments for your team.

Think of it as a social audit for your product.

How does it help people meet each other? How does it connect
the disconnected? How does it make people feel less alone in their misery? How
does it create a platform for sharing emotions? How does it deliver meaningful
interactions in addition to helpful information? How does it create a community
where users can support each other?

How does it turn people into leaders, curators and
impresarios? How does it help people build an online legacy that increases in value daily? How
does it allow people to publish their evaluations and recommendations? How does
it let people share moments with each other so they can experience things

How does it deliver a healthy dose of gamification? How does
it give people bragging rights and increased status? How does it create more
breathing the same air experiences for people? How does it foster collaborative
learning and shared knowledge? How does it give people an excuse to get the
hell out of the house for a few hours?

How does it make it easy for friends to stalk each other?
How does it curate situations that bring discovery of cool new things? How does
it make it easy for people to complain and say thank you? How does it reward
people who are good at introducing art to others? How does it make it seamless
for people to express themselves?

That’s your social audit.

Now your company can do more than just sell products.

What Happens When You Spot Growth Early

Amazon is the most profitable online retailer in the world.

Considering its massive catalog, absence of inventory, elegant
user interface, speedy customer service, enticing product previews, free
shipping, efficient logistics, recommendation algorithms, low prices, ongoing
discounts, helpful reviews and simple return policy, it’s no surprise they’re
the best.

But what most people don’t know about Amazon is the is
context in which it was created.

Twenty years ago, Jeff Bezos discovered a statistic that
changed everything.

He learned that the
Internet was growing at over two thousand percent a year.

Two thousand percent. Nothing grows that fast. Not even

But he recognized a good thing growing when he saw it. He
built a business that made sense in the context of that growth. And he made a
fortune off a phenomenon that nobody else noticed.

Not to mention, Amazon completely transformed the way humans
bought things.

That what happens when you spot growth early.

The river of dividends runs deep.

Humans Are Social Creatures Who Were Born to be Liked

Like buttons are nothing new.

Long before social media governed
our relationships, long before the web changed our economy and long before
digital technology shifted our culture, we all had like buttons.

They may not have been visible. Or
clickable. Or even called like buttons.

But we all had them. Still do. In our nature is a built-in
need for approval from others.

It doesn’t come from a well of
insecurity. It doesn’t stem from a sense of
unworthiness. It doesn’t grow from a lack of positive

Humans are social creatures who were born to be liked.

And no matter how independent,
confident and popular we think we are, no matter how often we remind the world
that we’re not operating out of a need for their approval, it’s time we finally
stop bullshitting ourselves and just admit it:

We want to be liked, by everybody, all the time.

And there’s absolutely nothing
wrong with that.

As long as we don’t violate our
own constitution. As long as we don’t let it become
our controlling motivation. As long as we don’t change who we
are for every person who doesn’t like us. As long as we don’t allow our need
for approval to bring us to the brink of a nervous breakdown.

Let’s wear our like buttons for
the all the world to press.

Besides, if we don’t need people’s
approval, why do we need to keep reminding them of that?

The Core of Intention is Creation

On the neverending list of things to do, at the top will always be “more.”

Creating more real work, executing more actual product and
shipping more lasting value, in the unique way that only we can deliver.

As my friend Chris says, we have to get our units up. Our
work, our art, has to be living in as many different venues as possible, both
online and offline, for as long as possible.

It’s a numbers game. It’s probability. If we want to be
in the right place at the right time, we need to be in a lot of places.

And at the core of that intention is creation. Everything
else is a close second. Even sales or networking, both of which are fighting
for the top spot, they fall to the wayside when it comes to creation.

That’s our primary task. We don’t have to do it all day, but
we do have to do it everyday.

The Beauty of Burnout

We should never feel bad about burning out.

It’s part of the life experience.

None of us is invulnerable to the emotional exhaustion that
comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur. Or an artist. Or a leader.
Or a parent. Or a whatever.

Burnout affects
everybody, everywhere.

It’s human, it’s healthy, it’s helpful, and best of all, it’s humbling. It’s a reminder that, despite our best efforts, life is a
carousel of sugar and shit, not a yellow brick road to happily ever after.

So where we triumph is when we stop trying to run from burnout
– or, worse yet, trying to conquer it – and instead, try to recognize it, respect
it and reinvest it.

If that means admitting that what once turned our gears
feels a bit rusty, so be it.

If that means articulating that business isn’t going like
gangbusters, so be it.

If that means accepting that surf’s up on the waves of
anxiety, so be it.

Because no matter how strong, how successful, how creative,
how driven, how committed and how supportive we may feel, we can’t outsmart
getting tired.

All we can do is stop, breathe, replace guilt with
gratefulness, overwhelm fear with faith, smother cynicism with trust, and
surround ourselves with people who make us laugh until we pee.

Besides, being burned out is a lot better than having no
fire in the fist place.

How Sold Are You On Your Own Brand?

The first sale is the one I make to myself.

Before I make the call, meet the client,
give the pitch, show my wares and ask for the order,
my chief weapon is
the convincing of myself. The internal monologue that inspires me, down to my
bones, to believe in who I am and the value I deliver.

And it’s not just the first sale, it’s also the hardest and
the most important one. But we can close that sale consistently if we keeping
asking ourselves one question:

How sold am I on my
own brand?

If we don’t think what we’re selling is the greatest thing
that ever was, we’re finished. If we don’t think our work matters in a massive
way, we’re toast. And if we don’t think our ideas are going to change people’s
lives forever, we’re done.

I met a guy last week who had just changed sales jobs. When
I asked what prompted the move, he said it’s because he no longer believed in
the company he worked for. They weren’t bad people or anything, he just outgrew
their mission and was ready to move on. And he didn’t want to stay any longer because
it wouldn’t have been fair to the organization. 

So he got a new gig working for
himself, a brand that Mark had no trouble believing in. And when I asked how
the new job was going, it’s no surprise that his sales numbers were through the

Because he was sold on his own brand. And he kept making
that sale, every day.

Sell and resell yourself on you, and the customer will buy
and rebuy from you.

Consistency is the Best Marketing

When we tell our story the same way, all the time,
everywhere, people don’t just buy from us once, they join with us forever. 

at any Ritz Carlton around the globe, and the employees offer the same warm
welcome, deliver the same anticipatory service and embody the same attitude. 

a class at any Bikram studio around the world, and the instructors will use
the same language, teach the same postures and practice the same philosophy. 

Virgin Air to any city around the world, and the flight crew will have the same
casual demeanor, the same friendly nuance and the same attractive design. 

same, same

It’s the four letter word people expect from us in the future.

Scott Ginsberg’s 2012 Inhale List

    Unlike a certain former president, I do inhale.

    Nothing drug related. 


   It’s just part of my job.


   Here’s a list of my favorites from this year so far.

1.     The Challenger Sale. If you help customers think differently and bring them new
idea, then you earn the right to a relationship.

2.     Art+ Copy. It’s not a truth about the product, it’s about being part of the
community that the product is a badge for.

3.     Charlie Kaufman’s Speech. We try to be experts because we’re scared and don’t want to
feel foolish or look stupid. We want power because power is a great disguise

4.     The Cluetrain Manifesto. We have better things to do than worry about whether
you’ll change in time to get our business.

5.     Digital Vertigo. Our entire bodies and histories are being opened up and colonized and
stored by the very people who want to sell us things.

6.     Helvetica.
Most design is a dull blanket of sameness that says do not read me because I
will bore the shit out of you.

7.     The Intention Economy. Advertising is something people tolerate at best and loathe
at worst. Improving a pain in the ass does not make it a kiss.

8.     To Inform and Delight. The role of art is to give people the gift of common ground
so they don’t kill each other.

9.     The Nerdist Way. You certainly can’t control everything, but you can at least put a
structure in place that tips the odds heavily in your favor.

10. Page One. If you write about the media long enough, eventually you’ll type your way
to your own doorstep.

11.  Objectified.
Design something that gets better with use, something that’s plugged into
natural human behavior.

12.  One Click. We’re supposed to care deeply about customers, provided we can care
deeply about them at an incredible rate of speed.

13.  Press Pause Play. When everything is left to the audience, you’re undermining the
seriousness of the artistic endeavor.

14.  The Startup of You. Place yourself in a market niche where your existing assets
shine brighter than the competition.

15.  Gary Vee’s Speech. You don’t love your customer, you love your data. You have millions
of eyeballs that don’t give a shit.

16.  Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview. The way we’re going to ratchet up our species is to
take the best and spread it around to everybody so everybody grows up with
better things

17.  Smart Customers, Stupid Companies. Each touch point either brings customers closer to
you, or helps to push them out the door.

18.  Turning Pro. Something that’s boring goes nowhere. It travels in a circle. It never
arrives at its destination.

19.  Users,Not Customers. Today’s business environment demands a frictionless interaction
between company and customers.

Thanks to all the geniuses who exhaled to make this happen!

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