If you aren’t familiar with Please Feed The Animals, you probably should be. Erik Proulx started it to create a space for laid off advertising professionals to reinvent themselves in what turned out to be a serious disruption in the ad agency world. In the process, Erik reinvented himself. I’ve had the chance to work with Erik a few times and I can tell you he’s a rare bird. Creative-brilliant. He’s been a great collaborator for me professionally and an inspiration for my solo efforts.

So when he said that his  his reinvention process has kept him away from feeding the animals on PFTA, and asked a group of us to guest post on PFTA to keep it and the dialog there alive and humming, I jumped at the chance. I’m honored that he asked me to a part of it.

If you’re interested in my take on personal branding, here’s my PFTA post, Personal Branding’s Dirty Secret.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

ErikaNA remarkable person has just landed a guest columnist gig with Entrepreneur Magazine.

Erika Napolefuckintano. The Readhead.

I say Entrepreneur is lucky to have her.

For anyone who’s attended one of my presentations – Branding for the Rest of Us or Leading in a Social World – you’ve probably heard me talk about Erika. I often use her as an example of remarkability – a section where I mash-up Jim Collins and Seth Godin to talk about declaring and being that thing that sets you apart.


Category : Marketing | Personal Branding | Presenting | Social web | Uncategorized | Blog

Creative Person

I spent some time with Nicole today, one of my favorite designers in the universe. It reminded me why I (all of us) need to be surrounded by the creative mind more. I’ve written about this before, but there’s some simplicity in my take-aways today.


Category : Uncategorized | Blog


If you feel like you need to apologize more in your life, here are three suggestions.

1) Hold a public office

2) Run a Super Bowl ad

3) Get married

I’ve never held a public office and I’ve never run a Super Bowl ad. This would make me, you might suggest, exceptionally unqualified to offer an opinion about how to apologize following a gaffe in either position.

I am married though. And I apologize quite a bit. Given the success rate of these apologies I suppose I’m even less qualified to give advice from that position. So I figure why not opine on the first two?


Category : Uncategorized | Blog
b2_quoteOnce I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Grotte-de-Dargilan,-FranceJim Collins or Seth Godin. Take your pick.

The small stuff matters, and it’s what makes change. I’ve even blogged about it before.

Ever thought that this law works across many other areas in life and work? Is this idea like gravity?


Category : Uncategorized | Blog

crocodile smile

Every now and then we’re reminded that the Niwot, Colorado-based fashion company Crocs is about to die. On their last legs in 2009, a failed brand 2010. This comes around every now and then for Crocs. I guess the remarkable aesthetic of their first shoe has polarized them in our minds. Which is a good thing for a brand if you want people to talk about it.

We respond to these predictions of Croc’s demise predictably. Like any other kind of polarizing thing. Sara Palin has nothing or everything to offer. Nothing in between.

Crocs isn’t dying at all, of course. They weren’t in 2009 and they aren’t today. Seems like they’re kinda like their namesake. One of the more adaptable companies around.

Business strategy, it’s been said, is like working with hypotheses. You do research before you try something, but in a market-driven context there’s no real way to test it very thoroughly until the market gives your hypothesis some feedback.

I wrinkle my brow a bit when branding and marketing experts craft brand strategies that they claim will cause action. Ideas that don’t just sound good on paper, but can be executed toward causing an action.


Category : Uncategorized | Blog

I’m guest blog posting again. This time with The Redhead, Erika Napoletano. One of my favorite people on the social web because she’s herself to the end. Without apologies. Love her style or hate it, you know what’cher gettin. She builds trust, proving that authenticity rules in today’s world.

What better place, I figured, to write a bit more about personal branding. Because what Erika does can be called Personal Branding, but it might be something more.

You can check out my post here. And by all means: add Readhead Writing to your RSS feed. Rants writing and musings that will make your day better. And maybe make you re-think about what authenticity really means. I know she did for me.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

It was my pleasure to write a guest post for a fairly new and very cool blog called Sundayed.com. You can check out my post here.

The post is a reflection of my ongoing interest in bridging the left and right-directed minds. I try to use the trumpet and improvisation as a way to illustrate how even in creative pursuits, we all deal with context and in fact it can create greatness. This is something the creative mind understands very deeply. But sometimes when context is presented in a business setting, creatives find the constraints instead of the inspiration. Or least mine did for long time.

Thanks for checking it out. Consider adding Sundayed to your RSS feed: a good site to feed the brain.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

I guest blogged on the website Please Feed The Animals this week. It’s worth clicking over for no other reason than to check out Erik Proulx and his work in inspiring people to turn lemons into lemonade. He’s a great guy with a great story and an even better passion.

Thanks, Erik.

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

AT school with the Marcus Roberts Trio*.

This is a long post. But if you’re in the mood for talking a little music and getting some groove and swing up in in your approach to branding, then I appreciate you settling in.

The Marcus Roberts trio has been together for some fifteen years. They occupy a place in American music that combines the maintenance of tradition and honoring the past with a highly innovative interplay of harmony, space, and rhythm.

And they’re heavy pros. Serious technique. If you haven’t heard Marcus walk a bass line with his left hand while improvising with his right you’re missing out on some joy in your life. I’ve shared a playlist on iTunes with a sample. Check it out.

But technique is just the start. They’re professionals with a steadfast dedication to the gig at hand regardless of their mood, the audience size, or a parent refusing to remove a fussy child from the auditorium. (Which happened recently. I witnessed it with hair raised. They played on, and blew us all away.)

And the gig at hand is larger than entertainment for them. It’s even larger than themselves. They have lessons to spread. Lessons in collaboration, flexibility, alignment, and dialog.


Category : Uncategorized | Blog