Saturday, January 30, 2010

Experience Is Overrated

One of my more popular posts is about the self perpetuating circle of being "The Little Guy" in a world of big fish. It hasn't drawn any public comments, but I get tweets and emails about it all the time.

Yesterday was Day 19 of Sarah Robinson's "30 Days To Changing Your Game" blog series. The day's entry, written by Marie Forleo, was about what not to do. I'll wait for you to read it, its worth it. Done? Ok. Good.

Did you see the part where she talked about taking a job she had no experience in just because she knew she could do it? THAT is amazing. Its also why experience is overrated. Someone thought enough of her to offer her a job that she'd never done before.

You hear about that kind of thing every so often, but you almost never hear about the inverse. Someone with no experience in a particular field can rarely go up to a professional ANYTHING and say "Hey, I bet I can do that. Gimme a shot." and get away with it. There is a misguided assumption that you need experience along with education to do anything these days. That's bullshit. Just because you have experience, doesn't mean you're any good. You could have experience in doing it WRONG. The guy without the experience is coming in with no preconceived notions on how he's going to do things based on what he's done before. He'll take chances, he'll learn, and he'll get it done.

If you need experience to get a job, how can you get it if you can't get a job? You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job. Lovely fucking circle, isn't it? Do what you have to do to break that circle - if you know you can do something, do it. Tell people who try to tell you that you need experience to do something that they're wrong.

If you think you can do it, you can. Go do it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Hide It?

Why is it that sometimes a major change goes unnoticed? Is it on purpose?

I know that some people don't mention when they get a new haircut, or have a new significant other - sometimes that IS on purpose, to make sure it's going to work.

But if a business goes through something that changes that business down to the core of its very existance - how can they possibly think that hiding that change is a good thing?

Most companies go on the offensive if they change even the smallest thing possible. Massive publicity campaigns, new marketing, new logos, new colors, new anything that would let it be known that there has been a change.

But some companies seem like making changes known is an afterthought. Why hide it? Why not let people know that something is different? Why not be prepared to be able to do so?

Perhaps its my mindset that's clouding my understanding - my marketing brain cannot understand why a change for the better isn't plastered all over the world, why someone isn't standing on top of a building screaming the news.

Am I that messed up? I don't get it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Marketing Year

So...its 2010. Does anyone really care? I don't. Did anything change when the date went from 12/31/2009 to 1/1/2010? Other than the date, not really. I'm still a thirty year old married male with a degree in marketing and a retail job. My wife is still my wife, and so on. I woke up the morning of 1/1/10 and went right back to work, I didn't have the day off.

So if you're expecting a retrospective on 2009 based on the title of this post, you'll be dissapointed, because that's not what this is. 2009 was good to me, and that's all there is to it.

I don't really understand the whole restarting everything on New Years Eve/Day bit. Why do we do that? Most fiscal years aren't calendar years. Most birthdays are not on those two days - IMHO, a year begins and ends on your birth date. There is an actual marked transition there, as tied into the calendar as it is.

So what the hell is a marketing year? Its nothing, its an arbitrary term I just made up. There really is no marketing year. Marketing is measured by projects, campaigns, promotions, and a whole host of other things, many only loosely tied into date of any sort.

That's the way I choose to live my life. Birthdays and anniversaries are important dates to remember, because they actually symbolize passage of time in a relevant way to that person.

What's marketing got to do with it? Everything and nothing, both at once. Marketing is what I do, so its obviously tied into my life and its evolution and creation. But marketing has nothing to do with what date it is, or what time it is.

If you get all excited by the new year thing, good for you, that's great. But if you see me celebrating wildly on some other day, I may have just made a useful or realistic transition, on my own terms, and with my own skills and abilities. I didn't do it because everyone else did, I did it because it was time for it, and it felt right.

So go ahead, be one of those people who tries through February, and fails in March. Come see me in April, or July, September or December, I'll still be at it and kicking ass...because I want to be, not because of some weird tradition nobody really knows anything about.

So why'd you make your resolutions? What do you want to accomplish? Why didn't you do it before? Why now?