Dare to ask

How many times have you been left in doubt? How many times have you missed the chance of getting a special treatment, getting an exclusive rebate or simply been left with an unanswered question?

Mi advice: don’t keep quiet, dare to ask.

To some, daring to ask might seem dangerous and like a threat to look dumb, innocent, ignorant or ridiculous.
Very few people are willing to show their vulnerability in order to ask, learn, grow or achieve something.

Thousands of misunderstandings a day grow out of proportion precisely because no one had the courage of being direct and asked about what is going on.
Thousands of people stay stuck in mediocrity for fear of raising their hands and ask if there is a better opportunity for them, for their family or for their life.
Thousands of couples break up because they weren’t capable of looking into each other’s eyes and ask if they were happy and what could they do to grow their relationship.
Thousands of parents fight with their children because they rather preach to them than ask what they need.
Thousands of travelers get stuck in small uncomfortable seats in a plane because they thought they would not be taken seriously if they ask for a free up grade.
Thousands of students fail to pass their classes just because they rather give the impression of knowing everything instead of asking their teachers to repeat the class for them.
And thousands and thousands of people are left with the intention of doing something just because they did not dare to ask if they could do what they wanted to do.

Dare to ask! There is no such thing as a dumb question; there shouldn’t be such a thing as an unanswered question (even if the answer is not always what we wanted it to be).

I’ve learned that the having the courage to ask always has its rewards.
Ok, I admit that some times the answers we get are not necessarily what we were expecting, but more frequent than not, they are.

In my case, some of the things I’ve gotten as a result of asking are:

  • My wife, when 10 years ago I asked her if she wanted to go steady with me and when 4 years later I asked her to marry me.

  • My home, when I asked if the owner would lower the cost she was asking for.

  • Free up grades to business class when flying coach.

  • The opportunity of becoming a co-author for the new book The Age of Conversation ’08.

  • Having access to participate as a speaker at different events and conferences at various universities and private events.

  • Open doors and opportunities to develop great businesses with prospects and clients, just because I asked them “How can I help you? What do you need?”

  • Establishing great business, but especially personal relationships with the people I’ve met through out my career by asking “How are you?” or an even simpler yet deeper question: “Who are you?”

So here are a couple of questions for you: What have you refrained from asking in the past that has kept you from moving forward? What have you wanted to ask for in the past that you haven’t dared to ask?
Answer these two questions to yourself and don’t let another week pass without daring to ask.


What is success?

Last week I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of great groups, big in size, yes, but greater in their interest and passion for what they do.

First, on Tuesday, I was in Guadalajara speaking about on-line marketing to a group of marketing communications professionals from the Agency Vértice Comunicación. Thank you very much for inviting me, for all your excellent (and in some cases difficult to answer) questions and thank you for your passion for on-line marketing. It will be an honor to collaborate with you in the future.

Then, on Wednesday, I was invited to share my thoughts about what Professional Success is for me, with students from the Communication School at Universidad Anáhuac del Norte.
And I would like to share with you a little of what I talked about with these future leaders on what I think is a real signal to know that you are on the right track to success:

Through out any professional career there are different stepping stones we escalate and that represent important achievements for us like getting promoted and getting more responsibilities, reaching for better positions and richer titles and of course generating a larger income.
Also the fact of working for an specific company, specially if it belongs to the privileged circle of the most important global companies is a considerable achievement in itself. The same goes for when some of these firms happen to be your clients (on advertising, consultancy, coaching, human resources, finance o whatever your discipline of specialization may be).
Another huge achievement can be being awarded with some recognition in your industry or the fact of belonging to some organizations as an active member, a temporary collaborator or a special guest.
But as I said to my new friends in U.A. I’m sure that even though these are all huge and very important achievements, real success is not necessarily in them.

For me at least, achieving success is finding your passion, your calling, your mission in life and doing it. Discovering that special activity that really moves you from inside your heart and working on it by taking this passion with you everywhere you go and imprinting it on everything that you do, letting this “calling of life” help you collaborate with others, touching somebody else’s life and letting them touch yours.
In the words of Paulo Coelho: “Discovering and living your personal legend”.

In my case for instance, living my personal legend means connecting with people, establishing and cultivating great relationships by sharing what I’ve learned and what I think and by listening and learning from what others have to say and promoting an environment of collaboration and synergy.

What does this mean exactly? Well, that I don’t necessarily have to work on a specific profession, like teaching, to develop my strengths (although that would be very cool), but that I can (or should really) imprint my calling in everything I do as an advertising and communication professional.

I think Howard Behar – President of Starbucks International – said it best when he wrote in his new book It’s not about the coffee: “If you choose a job just for the title that just might be all you get out of it. If you follow your passion and greater purpose the rewards will be much more meaningful, and you’ll make a bigger impact”.

Excellent words, don’t you think so?

Well, this week I will be speaking about how brands should communicate with the Mexican consumers to the Marketing and advertising students of the Tecnológico de Monterrey at their Monterrey City Campus, in their conference “Addicted to advertising."

And I cannot wait! See you on Thursday!


Be present.

As I was writing the presentation for a key note I’m going to deliver at the Communication Sciences school ex-alumni's conference from the Univesidad Anahuac (My old Alma Mater), about Professional Success, I could not help asking myself: Am I successful? My answer: I believe so, yes, be cause I lead the life I want to live. I have a wonderful, healthy and happy family. I have a beautiful home full of peace, love, abundance, harmony and prosperity. I have an excellent job where I have space to grow and help others grow as well, and I have the great opportunity to share my thoughts everyday with many people, through all the different media I collaborate with, starting with my own blog.

Later that day, having a chat with some friends I had to ask: "What is a person suponed to do to be successful?" And these are some of the things we concluded a person needs to build success:

  • Work hard, really hard everyday.
  • Study everyday, not letting a day go by without reading something worth putting inside your mind.
  • Sacrifice a little fun and down time to dedicate to work.
  • Be patient and not losing focus.
  • Be patient and putting up with more than one power hungry ass… throughout your career.
  • Take responsibility over additional tasks to my own.
  • Act with a lot of responsibility.
  • Be creative and innovative.
  • Hone a strong strategic thought process.
  • Behave as a real leader.
  • Establish excellent personal and professional relationships.
  • Get back on your feet more times than you’d like to say after a failure or a hard fall down.
  • Be profoundly grateful for everything you’ve lived and experienced, every lesson and every single blessing life has given you.

But there is also another very important key factor for success that in fact complements each and every one of the above: Being present.

I mean being present in the organization your work for and in the community you live in. Let people know your are there to help and collaborate.

I mean being present and know how to share your happiness and pleasure to live with all your loved ones.

I mean being present for all the opportunities that come your way, leaving fear aside and taking the bull by the horns and tackling all the possibilities that have come all the way to you.

I mean being present and behaving with responsibility and acting as a true leader, even with out the formal title.

I mean being present and opening yourself to a world of possibilities that lie ahead and go into each new adventure with an open mind and open heart. Yes, even if it leaves you somewhat vulnerable (there is nothing wrong with being a little vulnerable).

I mean being really present where ever you are, so turn the black berry and the cell phone off, put the laptop aside and focus your complete attention on the people you are with. Make them feel that you are truly present for them.

I mean being present in the moment you are living in. Not in the one you already lived and cannot change, nor in the one you haven’t yet lived.

Yes, definitely BEING PRESENT is a key factor to build success.
After all, how are you going to find yourself in the right place at the right time if you are not truly present?


I’m a co-author for The Age of Conversation 2008

In 2007 two of the top blogers and opinion leaders in the blogsphere, Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton joined forces to invite over a 100 authors, editors and content creators on the Internet to participate as co-authors in their very successful book The Age oc Conversation, in which all these experts in their own disciplines shared their point of view, learnings and observations on how Social Media is changing the face of communication, advertising, marketing and business in the world.
An excellent book you must read.

This year Drew and Gavin did it again BIG TIME and sent out an invitation to create The Age of Conversation 2008. And I say BIG TIME because this time they gathered 275 authors! And I have the great honor of being one of them!

We’ll soon start working on this new book and although it will not be an easy task, I’m pretty sure that with such an impressive list of co-authors, it will be even more successful than the first one.

Now meet the authors of AoC 08:

Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

A couple of my favorites are Phil Gerbyshak and Chris Wilson, whom I read consistently.

I’ll make sure to keep you updated on the project, in the mean time don’t waste the opportunity to visit all these great blogers sites and of course don’t miss reading
The Age of Conversation 2007.


Dream big dreams.

For the last couple of years I have been reading regularly my blogsphere friend Phil Gerbyshak’s blog: Make it great, but for one reason or another I did not have, or better said, did not give me the opportunity to read Phil’s book: 10 ways to make it great, until last weekend.

More than a regular book I would say this is a work book. More than a simple text providing new ideas, I would say that what’s really innovating in Phil’s proposal is the way he makes us remember the most simple, yet frequently forgotten ways to take our life to the next level and how simple it is to start immediately.
In summary I’d say this book is a daily guide to keep your north in your life.

I have to say that the concepts in this material are ideas that have been shared by great and important opinion leaders throughout history, so if we cannot say that Phil discovered a great revelation, we can certainly say he does a great job in preaching it and communicating it to others.

What revelation? Simple: Each one of us has the same ability to decide and choose to take clear steps to take our life from ordinary to extraordinary.

I’d hate to spoil the book for you so I will not discuss it further, and will limit my self to comment on one of the 10 practices the author recommends: “Dream big dreams, do big things”.

Definetely something key for taking your life to the greatness it deserves is DREAMING BIG. I know I’ve said this before, repeatedly, but I will not get tired of sharing it, because its true: “Every single thing you experience in life you create twice, first in your mind when you think it, imagine it, dread it or whish it, and then on the physical world when you actually live it".

So what better way to pre-create in your mind great things for you than dreaming? And I don’t mean dreaming about colored elephants, Pegasus and a dragon, but dreaming about our ideal life.

Ask yourself right now: What would your ideal life look like? What would you be doing, who would you be living with, who would be your closest friends, where would you live and how would your home look like? What would you be doing in a normal day? What things from your current life would you still have and what would you get rid off?
Think about it, if you get to answer at least some of these questions you would have taken a great first step. So what is next? Dream, think, project, draw, imagine, and create!

There are actually a lot of different ways to put this into practice, from writing in a single piece of paper a phrase that sums up your dream life statement to using images that you can download from the internet or cut from a magazine and that reflect that way of life you dream of. The objective at the end of the day is to have a guide that you can recur to every day, every morning, and every night to remember your dream, think about it and continue creating it.

In his book, Phil recommends having a “dream place”, a special place you can go to dream, it can be a certain corner in your home or office, it can be a park or a coffee shop or anywhere as long as it works for you to revisit your dreams.
Personally, after a good couple of years of working on a similar practice of creative visualization or dreaming big as my friend calls it, I’ve found that anyplace works for me as long as I have with me something to write with.
That something has become a permanent companion and along with my cell phone, my wallet and my watch, it goes with me almost everywhere I go: my journal.
In the pages of this old friend I enter all thoughts, ideas and feelings regarding many many things. I register how I reacted to a certain event, how I behaved during a specific situation, I draw images and concepts and write about whatever cool or crazy ideas I might have, like this blog that I have been writing for the last 20 months. So I can go back to it any time and study and learn from myself and about myself.
Dreaming big has really worked for me. Visualizing your life is really an excellent way to do great things and live a great life.

It may well be that each person has a different way of putting this principle into practice, it may be that each one already has special place to do so, it may also be that some have never done it, others stopped for a while and others are thinking of going back to it.

It doesn’t matter, what’s really important is that you never stop dreaming, never stop growing and never stop living the greatest life possible.

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.