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Easy Tiger.

Sometimes we only get one shot at making the right decision and we need to make it fast.

It may be a decision relating to our career, a client or someone in our personal lives. Regardless, how do we ensure that we walk away knowing we did our best at a particular point in time? 

We slow down. As humans, we can get so caught up in ‘going fast’ that we don’t realise the importance of ‘going slow’ to go further. Our rational left brain tells us that we’re wasting time, however…

Slowing down allows us to reflect…

Reflecting brings us clarity…

Clarity enables us to respond, not react…

And responding leads to good decisions which lead to outcomes that are aligned with what we want to achieve. It helps us remain focused on the end result, not the urgency, hence minimising the risk of paying for a ‘wrong’ decision at the other end.

This is not a waste of time. This is an efficient use of time. 

The tiger does not always run around furiously seeking their prey. There is quiet time before the pounce. So go easy tiger, think before you leap.

Calling everyone to the table.

23 years ago I gave someone a gift. 

I had completely forgotten about this gift and just the other day I received a photo of it.

It was my very first ‘fresco’. I painted it at 20 years old in Italy where I learned the traditional art form of painting on wet plaster.

My niece to whom I gifted it as a newborn, expressed her gratitude for it and for the heartfelt words I had written on the back of the relief. It came as a reminder to me of the lasting impact every person’s creativity no matter what shape or form, can have on another. In this case, 23 years later, the gift of painting and words was still very much appreciated. It also made me realise that over the years creativity has always been at the heart of everything I do; I parent creatively, work creatively and find joy in playing with different ‘out of the box’ ideas. 

What I would really love to see however, is more people doing the same. Because you see most people, myself included, are interested in everything but cookie cutters. 

So I’m calling out…

Bring your true selves to the table. 

Be bold and brave enough to dip into your own creativity and weave it into your everyday work and play. You may bring in something new that could spark the next idea, path or success. It may be a new process, business strategy or an approach with clients. 

Brainstorm with others, be open to their views, encourage them as well as embrace your own. Some ideas may be awkward, some a flop. But this will eventually transpire and bring the ‘genius’ of you, your business and it’s people to surface. Then you can communicate your message authentically and make meaningful connections with your audience through immersive content and targeted marketing.

And this is when the real magic happens…

Not everything that can be counted counts

“Not everything that can be counted, counts and not everything that counts, can be counted.”

I am not a motivational speaker. Nor am I someone who has a ‘KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON’ frame in my home. However, I was in a consultant’s waiting room the other week and saw this quote scribbled on the whiteboard:

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”*

It intrigued me because the more I read it, the more I realised how vast the interpretation of this quote could really be. And at this time of year when everyone is frantically trying to close deals before Christmas, set up new ones for the year ahead and organise everything else in between, I thought this would be a good excuse to stop and reflect – something that none of us really have time to do, but something that is completely underrated. So if you can, just sit for one moment and give some thought to the following: Do counted things always count? And can those things that count, be counted?

Let’s first consider some qualitative aspects of a business. Things such as an employee’s honesty, integrity and value to a team; or a company’s strategy, marketing endeavours, and public reputation. These are all examples of things that weigh heavily in a business and count for a lot, however it is very difficult to place an exact value on what they contribute.

Now imagine counting the dollars spent on creating an innovative product. You outlay money to develop it and perfect it, only then to realise there’s no money left to promote it. Oops. If your target audience does not know about this innovative product, how will they know to buy it? If no one buys it, what does it ‘count’? One may argue it counts as a lesson in product development and the importance of marketing. However, the dollars spent can’t really ‘count’ as they have not delivered commercial success for your product. So the interpretation of what counts in this type of case, can be quite subjective.

And the same applies to personal reflection – it will be different for everyone. I could tell you that the effects of kindness cannot be counted. Or health, humility, honesty and trust. To me these values count, but to you they may not. And that’s ok, I don’t intend to impose peace-loving values on you or make you start ‘ommm-ing’.  Rather, I’m hoping this short note will encourage you to stop, for one moment and reflect on what really is important and what really does count, both in your career and in your home. Then you can be the one to decide whether this statement ‘counts’ or not.

(*There is speculation about whether this is Albert Einstein’s quote or William Bruce Cameron so here I give credit to both for a great thought provoking statement.)

acronyms and effective communication

“We don’t talk anymore…like we used toooo doooooo”*

GAS! (Greetings and Salutations!),
Not long ago I received a text message to which I replied ‘Translation please?’ The sender thought I was HHOJ (ha ha only joking). But I was HHOS (ha ha only serious). So I ‘Googled’ ‘most frequently used acronyms’ and compiled this short list to educate myself. It’s not that I don’t get the acronym thing. I do, I get it. But FCOL (for crying out loud) do we have to ‘acronymize’ everything? Now, CMIIW (correct me if I’m wrong) and NOM (no offence meant), but IMO (in my opinion) I really do feel as though the English language is being butchered. Am I the only one seeing this? I am a copywriter, so of course it would be completely OOC (out of character) to write like this all the time, but people do. Does that mean that I’m N/C? (not cool?) (shocked emoji right here!) Honestly IDGI (I don’t get it). I love language and communication. And I also love a little FTF (face to face) time too. Are we just TT2T? (too tired to talk) these days? Or do we think that it’s all a CWOT? (complete waste of time) WUWT? (what’s up with that?) BTA, TJM. (But then again, that’s just me)

So here’s a ?4U (question for you) – when a child comes home from school and says ‘OMG, my BFF is so funny LOL’ should we just all G&BIT? (grin and bare it?) SRY, (sorry) it’s just 2MFM (too much for me) There’s even an acronym for a DFLA! (Damn four letter acronym). EIE (Enough is enough), I say.

Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘Hey, ease up. A little conversational ‘acronymizing’ is okay from FTTT (from time to time) isn’t it?’ Of course it is. As long as it’s all in the right context, at the right times and through the right methods of communication.

For example, most of us can see that the following headline is the wrong tone and language for the product. (If you can’t see this, I urge you to call me immediately.)

‘OMG! Check this out! Inner suburb mansion up for grabs!’

However, if you were selling 50c polyester socks at a discount store, holding up similar headlines in a chicken suit, it may work. Basically, the socks are ‘cheap and nasty’ and well, so is that headline. Further, the target audience of that discount store is not going to judge the owners very harshly for using acronyms or a cheap and nasty headline. Or for using a chicken suit to attract their customers. On the converse, the potential sellers and buyers of an inner suburb mansion will severely judge the capability of a real estate firm if their marketing is not targeted correctly and if their communications are not up to scratch. Every piece of content and communication you put out there is a representation of you and your company. And clients and customers will judge you on it. Just like every piece of communication you personally write in an email or text message is also a reflection of you, your capability and intelligence. So whether it’s a private business conversation or a personal SMS, a tagline or company speech, think: ‘Is my audience receiving this the way I want it to be received?’ If you’re not sure, just pick up the phone old-school style and chat to a good copywriter with marketing smarts who can help you on your way.

HTHBE (Hope this has been enlightening). GTG (Got to go), HAG1 (have a good one).