Another year with a balance in my favor.

For the last couple of years, around these days which mark the end of the year and the start of a new one, I’ve written a post titled “One more year with a favorable balance”, in which I recap and thank each and every one of the blessings that marked my life that year.

And this year cannot be the exception, because if there has ever been a year full of blessings for me this one surely was.

So thank you 2008 for being a great year, thanks life for giving me another year with a favorable balance!

Thank you for my beautiful daughter, healthy, happy and full of joy.

Thank you for my beautiful wife, healthy, happy and brilliant.

Thank you for the light that my two princesses shine into my life everyday.

Thank you for our home full or light, love, harmony, peace, safety, abundance and prosperity.

Thank you for my health

Thank you for our families, parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews and everybody else.

Thank you for our life long friends, loyal, close and healthy; and thank you the our new friends as well.

Thank you for our jobs: productive, honest and surrounded by good and well intentioned people.

Thank you for the chance of connecting with so many people through this blog.

Thank you for the opportunity of collaborating with so many different initiatives like the book The Age of Conversation 2, the speaking engagements at different conferences, forums and events, the training seminars and teaching at El Semillero.

And thank you in advance 2009 for all the blessings and opportunities you already bring for us.

Thank you again because, as I’ve said before, every year keeps getting better!


10 things you can do to avoid being part today’s collective depressiveness

Have you noticed it? You can feel it in the air, its reflected on people’s gestures, you can tell from their body language. There seems to be a general depression. Worry and stress is notorious. Inside organizations pressure to it’s members is more than evident: Bosses preoccupied with annual quotas and employees living in anguish of losing their jobs. And the fear in the streets is doing its thing to; and in this holiday season the festive feeling is the only missing feeling.

But despise all I say there is a lot to celebrate this year! That is why I decided to share 10 simple actions that I consider key to not be part of today’s collective depression.

1-      Write down your thankfulness list.
Nothing reminds us so much what we are suppose to celebrate as listing each and one of those things: our children healthy and happy, our families close together, full of health and wealth, our homes safe and full of love, our jobs fund and challenging, our friends loyal and close…there are tons of thing why all of us need to be thankful for.

2-      Go on a news free diet.
This is something that I personally have practiced all year long and believe me it works. Of course I do miss on the occasional gossip and unnecessary water cooler tragic police notes, but who wants to waste their time on those anyway? Besides if there are really important news that you must know, believe you will know.

3-      Give yourself time to recreate.
Recreation means to create once more, and in order to be able to do just that, one needs to make space and time for rest and relaxation, without these we will not have a clear mind and will not be able to think things more through.

4-      Watch yourself in the mirror and give yourself a smile.
Have you ever done this? See yourself in the mirror and make funny faces at you, talk to yourself in strange voices and tell yourself jokes? Laughing at one self is key to not take life to seriously, they say. (Ok, I might need to practice this a little more)

5-      And while you are at it, smile to other people too.
Even if it for no apparent reason at all. Few things are as contagious and makes people fell good as giving and receiving smiles.

6-      Do something spontaneous for someone else.
When was the last time you did something special for anyone without being asked? It doesn’t have to something big, a note, a coffee, a candy even or a recommendation can do. Whenever we do something for someone else we cannot help but feel good with ourselves.

7-     Do not do or work at what you don’t like just because you think it is your only option.
It is not! We all have great skills and strengths which are usually linked to the things we love to do most (because we are really good at it), so don’t waste time doing stuff you are not passionate about.

8-    Don’t eat junk food. It doesn’t nourish you and just makes you fat and feel bloated and heavy and when we feel like this we don’t even want to move and, since we are moving creatures, when we don’t move we feel like dying. Wouldn’t it be better to feel agile at all times? OK so this is something I really need to work on, but what better way to be aware of this than to write it and share it?

9-     Make a lot of time in your daily agenda to spend it with your loved ones. If you do not, not matter how important your job is or your projects are these will just not make any sense.

10-  Each morning as you wake up give yourself a special task or mission for the day, something to look forward to, besides all your daily chores and work. It can be to just have fun at anything you do, connect with new people, call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a long while, have something special for lunch, meet a deadline, anything, as long as it is something worth looking forward to.

So here they are my 10 suggestions to avoid being part of today’s collective depressiveness. I’m sure you can think a few others, so feel free to share!


Continental Airlines $8.06 Dollars per person!

Yes, eight Dollars ans six cents was the huge amount we, passengers of the flight 2646 to Houston, received in the form of meal coupons, eight days ago, whed due to electrical failures we had to deplan de aircraft we were in, right before it took off. Less than 2% of what, I least I had to pay for the round trip tickets to the Texan city, which was reimbursed as compensation for the extra 3 hours wait (additional of course to the original 3 we had already been there) so we could have something to eat at a restaurant assigned by them (not the customer’s choice) and in which by the way the less expensive dish in the menu alone, was almost the coupon’s worth (so it did not even cover an entire meal).
I’m not complaining. In fact I’m deeply grateful with the captain of the aircraft who responsibly tool the decision of not taking off, so THANK YOU VERY MUCH Mr. Captain!
That said, to their ground ops team I must ask: How much is it really worth to you a loyal returning passenger / client? Are we really worth less than 2% of what you charge us? Wouldn’t it have in better for you to help us with:
1-     Having a special placer to go to re-check on another flight, without having to leave the terminal and going to the outer check in counters?
2-     Transferring our baggage from one plane to the other instead of having us go to pick up our luggage at the baggage claim, having to go through customs without even having left the country! And then re-checking it?
3-     Providing us with a comfortable place to wait instead of giving us an insufficient meal coupon that doesn’t even covers the total check of the restaurant you chose for ourselves?
Now I think about all this and I cannot help but ask you my friends: How much do you value your customers? When you have and inconvenient, do you seek for ways to add value to your clients, something that really sends out the message “I’m sorry, I worry about your satisfaction and really value your business” or do you just try to put a patch on with a coupon?
You’ll see, most times organizations thing that a reimbursement of any given amount (sometimes even 100% of the cost) is enough to cover our faults, but it really isn’t. Reimbursing what we’ve charged is only what’s fair. It is the minimum expected.
But if we really want to have loyal customers, who keep bringing their business to ours, we must focus on providing them with a great experience, a service like no other that tells them that above all, even our own mistakes; we will always try to exceed their expectations. 
So I ask you again: How much do you really value your clients?

The pics of the week!
As always, here are some shots from my last presentations, this time DDB Mexico and Amipci and a special kenynote at Unitec. Take a look at them and see if you can find you in them!



Have you ever reported an emergency or an accident? Maybe a car crash, a gas leak or any other thing that required urgent attention? You surely did not reported it via e-mail right? You called 911.

Then, why is there people who insists on sending e-mails requiring an “urgent” attention?

An e-mail is not a tool to report urgencies; in fact it does a very poor job at it. E-mail however is an excellent tool to recap and document agreements and important messages, which is not the same as urgent.

Just how many times have you received an e-mail requiring an “urgent” response? Or how many times a member of your staff has told you they sent the “urgent” message via e-mail? Or even worse, how many times have you done so too?

If you require an immediate response, you should not send an e-mail, you should pick up the phone and call the other person. Or, if you work in the same office as the other party, you should get up and walk to their desks!

“Oh, but what about the people who have a blackberry or another smart phone?” Some of you maybe thinking. Well news flash! These useful and practical little gadgets are not a leash or a biper that magically get their owners to immediately and automatically answer your “urgent” message. These are rather tools that enables its owners to read and reply to their e-mails whenever and wherever it is more convenient for them.

Which actually should no be a problem, since in reality there can not exist “urgent” e-mails, since usually (and bare with me here, be honest and do an auto analysis) whenever we send an email requiring “urgent” attention, its because we just let time pass, transforming our requirement, more than in an urgent, into a delay we are trying to cover.

So next time you need to send an urgent email, before you click on send, stop, take a breath and ask yourself whether it is really urgent or not. If it is, save the draft, close it and do not send it until you have personally spoken about your requirement with the person responsible and only then, and just as a confirmation or recap of the agreement should you send it out.


How are you helping prepare the leaders of tomorrow?

They say that a lot of the jobs of tomorrow that we are training people for today, does not even exist yet.

And I could not agree more. Things are changing and they are changing a lot. The way we do things at work and how we can grow in it are very different than what they used to be even just 5 years ago. And the personal and professional growth is 180° different than what it was supposed to be like before to have a successful career.

Just picture this: today’s learners will have between 10 to 14 different jobs by age 38. But this is not something of the future, its happening today, in fact now a days 1 out of every 4 employees have been with their current employer for less than a year.

Change is happening today! And the question we need to ask ourselves is: What are we doing today to prepare the leaders of our companies tomorrow?

The expectations are high and roles are transforming.

The famous Gen Y is already becoming part of the work force and, according to Penolope Trunk (Brazen Careerist), this new generation will completely change the way companies treat their employees.

The people in charge of leading the marketing and communication of organizations are evolving with urgency, shares Digital Marketing expert Mitch Joel, to face the enormous opportunities that social media and technology present today. And according to Joseph Jaffee in the US and Rafael Perez-Toribio in Mexico, Advertising and Communication agencies will not be an exception.

So I ask again: What are you doing today to prepare the leaders of your companies tomorrow?

And we cannot let the answer be: “…well I’m sure the CEO of HR are doing something…” 
To think like that would be to condemn us to loosing power over our own careers. 
Each one of us has the potential and the responsibility to act as leaders, even if we lack the official title (Leaders without title, is how Robin Sharma names it), to place ourselves on top the wave of change and successfully ride it and help others do so as well.

Lets get it for once and for all:


So lets get to work!

The pics of the week!

And just like every week, here are a few pictures from the first class I gave at El Semillero (school of advertising professionals) and from the Digital Marketing seminar organized by the Mexico Internet Association and the Mexico Media Agencies Association, in which I got to speak along with a group of great digital marketers too!


An excellent policy to have.

You have them, the company you work for has them, your children’s school has them too, in fact any organization and institution has them: Policies.

Special criteria the helps organizations guide how the behavior and interaction between members, clients and suppliers should be. They have different policies about dress codes, work schedules, requests and usage of work equipment and even policies on how meetings ought to be run.

But what I very seldom see in them is a “No a**holes policy”.

Yes! A policy with which organizations can create an “a**holes free” environment. That is, a work place free of people who instead of positively and productively contribute, not only to the profitability of the company but also to create a space where the members of the team can work better and contribute more by growing their personal and professional skills; contaminate their peers and colleagues, creating a feeling of unnecessary tension and stress among everybody, leaving all without wanting to do any work at all.

There are in fact a lot of a**holes who interact with your team every day. It can very well be a manager, a key executive or any other member who feels or thinks he has special attributes and rights, or it can be an abusive client or a vendor who is not delivering like he should. 
But be it whom it may, the impact that these people can have on your organization could be bigger than you think.

This is why it is so important for companies and, why not, individuals too, to have a no a**holes policy in place, that prevents them of hiring, purchasing or selling to an a**hole, even if the immediate cost of it seems big, because believe me, the cost of sticking with an a**hole in the lung run could very well be a log bigger.

I mean, how important to acknowledge this is, that thought leaders with the likes of Guy Kawasaky and Bob Sutton have work on this subject too! (Do take a couple of minutes and watch his video)

Of course it would be very easy to point fingers and arbitrarily classify the people around us, thinking that we are no a**holes at all. So Professor of Management Science and Engineering atStandford UniversityBob Sutton, shares with us, as an offshoot of his book “The no Asshole Rule”, the “Are you a certified a**hole? On-line test.

And even though none of you might get a higher note than 5 (I got 1 by the way), you might know someone who can even break the record!


I need your help

What an active week the last one was! Definitely full of great events!

First, starting with a keynote at the WTC in Mexico City for the “Empresas 2.0” conference.

Then following up with the presentation at the “Universidad de Monterrey” and the “Empresas 2.0” Keynote at Monterrey as well; and then closing with a bang with the presentation of the YouTube Awards chapter with the “Círculo Creativo” (Creative Circle).

And just as promised here are a few pictures of the people who participated in the conferences…see if you show in one of them!

It’s funny, but when you dedicate a big part of your work and time to writing and public speaking you can get used to talk, to giving away suggestions and advice; although more frequent than not, you can forget to follow the very same recommendations you give. So thinking about this and looking to answer a question I’ve been asking myself for a few months now, is that I now am asking you for your advice.

You just need to answer the following 5 very simple questions. I will not take you more than a couple of minutes and you will be helping me out big time! So please do share your thoughts with me.


2 x 237 = 1

Yes, today October 29, 2 times 237 will equal 1.

That is 2 great thought leaders (Drew Mclellan & Gavin Heaton) with uncommon enthusiasm multiplied by 237 other really good bloggers around the World:

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 LeDrew, Brad Shorr, 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, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, 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, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, 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, 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 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, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, 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

Who got exited and engaged with the idea of being part of a great collaborative effort, results in one really great, excellent I dare say, book! THE AGE OF CONVERSATION 2: why don’t they get it. 

If you enjoy reading The daily and the not so, then you should really get a copy of AOC 2 where some of the greatest bloggers worldwide share their thoughts and insights on collaborative marketing, social media and yes, conversations.

Plus, not only will you reading a great book, you’ll be doing a social labor, since all proceeds from the sales of the book, all authors are donating to Variety, the international children's charity.

So take action right now, visit lulu.com and get a copy, hell take two or three, believe me the book will make for a very good gift for clients, colleagues and business partners in general. 


Small commitments to big objectives.

I must confess that I am very fortunate. Thanks to my current job and all the work I’ve done as  blogger and speaker in the last couple of years, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting people. People from different organizations and industries; with different jobs and callings and very different origins and education. All different but all with one thing in common: BIG DREAMS

They all have big ambitions and clear visions of how high they want to get. And they have frequently shared with me that they want to be the best in their trade, the number one, the stars: “We want to be the most important digital marketing agency in the market”, “we aim to be the first company in our category to fully digitize our business”, “we want to be number one on sales”, etc.

But just as often I’ve seen the same problem: Not all of them are prepared to accomplish their dreams of grandeur.

Many claim to not only be talking but to actually be doing what it takes to deliver on their vision. But are they really doing it or do they just think they are doing it?

I could share dozens of stories when I’ve heard leaders say they are really willing to do whatever is necessary to accomplish their vision of being the best, the first, the stars. They deliver really inspiring speeches that after a couple of days end up dispersed in the air, forgotten by their team, hidden under the chaos of tasks and daily problems, overlapped by sales quotas and P&L reports or simply lost in the lack of experience of the people who is supposed to help achieve those goals.

That’s why, after giving a lot of thought to this matter, I’ve concluded that the best answer to BIG OBJECTIVES are small commitments. Leaving all speeches aside and starting taking the necessary small but sure steps that will get us to our goal.

Now I know this sounds easier than it is done. And that’s why I wanted to share 10 steps (or rather small commitments) I believe are key to achieve our dreams:

  1. Define your intention. They say that having a clear intention is half the work, because from the moment we do so, our mind starts looking for ways to achieve that intention.
  2. Clearly understand your place in your market or segment. Know what strengths and capabilities you will need to develop to meet your goals. And make sure your objective is congruent with the vision and mission of your organization.
  3. Share your dream with the members of your team and ensure that they share the very same ambition and passion. If your team does not make your dream their own, they will always put it second to their own priorities.
  4. Make sure you have the right talent for the tasks and work you’ll need to get done to meet your goal. Identify their strengths and capabilities and help them maximize them. Provide them with the proper training and coaching and give them the right tools for their job. Develop great talent and recruit it as well.
  5. Define what steps your company will have to take in order to get to where you want to. Understand that even though some can happen simultaneously, others need to happen sequentially.
  6. Establish a Critical Path Schedule and assign timings for every small commitment or step that your team will have to achieve.
  7. Review your status frequently but please do not do so all of the time. Define very specific moments to do it. Understand that every path can have its detours and challenges, so be flexible and work around each situation.
  8. Don’t just make it about the money for the company. Make it about something else and find ways to publicly recognize and even reward those people who are helping the most. Help them understand the benefits they, as employees, will get out of your big dream. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard team members at different companies, say “I can see how this deal will make a lot of money for the company, but what’s in it for me? They’ll still pay me the same, only now I have to learn new skills and have more work”. Let them see how having a new set of skill will not only help them do a better job but will make more qualified for future opportunities inside and beyond your organization.
  9. Review in your mind your objective every day and visualize yourself and your team achieving it. Find a way to review these objectives everyday, make it a motto, adopt it as part of your vision, create a vision board that anyone and everyone can easily see and read.
  10. But please do not let your great intention become your obsession.

Come to think of it, the very best thing about this list is that you can apply it to your personal life as well!


A few suggestions…

How many of you are concerned, even obsessed with the economic crisis that is going on around the world today? How many hours have you already dedicated to follow the news each step of the way?

I even know some people who check the stock and the exchange rates every two hours. And I cannot help but ask: Is it really useful to obsess so much and spend so much time watching how the markets fall?

I definitely think that what’s truly important and what’s really going to help us all make things better is focusing on our work. Stop worrying so much about the stuff we cannot do anything about and dedicate ourselves to being productive with those things that are inside our circle of influence.

For example, I’ve always said that establishing solid relationships with our clients is of the utmost importance, even more important than sales quotas, commercial objectives and (how dare I) operation costs. Quotas will come and go, hopefully these will always be achieved, though sometimes won’t. But a loyal client, with whom we’ve created a strong, real relationship, will most likely, always be there.

Lately, I’ve listened to the marketing experts say that these trying times are also a great opportunity for on-line media (which I absolutely think so too by the way). But I also think that we have a huge opportunity to strengthen our relationships with our clients.

Not by giving away our work for free, not even by giving them a discount so they keep buying from us. A good and loyal client after all, understands the value of our work and will always be willing to pay what’s fair for it, even during hard times or despise tempting “lower prices” offers from our competitors.

But by giving them an even better service, making them know that we are there for them, providing them with a great customer experience and adding a whole lot more value to what we provide for them.

How? Here are a few suggestions:

-          Let’s start with a simple phone call at the beginning of the week, with no agenda but knowing how they are doing, how is their business, even how their family is doing. Just send the message that you are there.

-          Second, share your value (your network). If you know that a client or a vendor of you (yes our suppliers are our clients too), can benefit from connecting with one of your contacts, connect them. Send and introductory e-mail saying: “Dear friend X, I think you’d probably like to meet my friend Y. I hope you can get in touch and talk about how you two can collaborate with each other, and please let me know how it all turns out”.

-          Now, let’s follow up with a little quick and effective response timings. Time is today’s currency they say, and in times like these, it actually is. Companies today have very little to no time to follow up on your deliverables, so do them a favor and make sure to be one step ahead, they will surely be thankful for it.

-          And finally let’s close big by making sure we are friendly, kind and collaborative with every single person we interact with. Believe me, if there is one thing people need today is to see a friendly, smiling face asking them “How can I help you?”

Not much? Maybe, but let’s start with something, right?

And on another note, I want to thank Katedra for their invitation to participate as speaker at their Digital Marketing Seminar in Mexico City a couple of weeks ago, it sure was a pleasure to collaborate with you and share some time with such a terrific and dynamic audience.




Mekate Wednesday! My entry as guest blogger in The Marketing Spot

Are you a business owner or an executive worried about how you our your peers and colleagues support the values of your brand?

Drop a visti to Jay Ehret's blog, The Marketing Spot, and ready my guest post there.

"...I cautioned, “Always remember, the most important thing in your marketing mix is you”...


1-800 Congratulations and Appreciations.

How bad do you suppose your product or service is?

Why do we like to be treated ill? Why do we ask people to complain about us and recommend us how we can be not so bad? Why do we assume that we are doing it all wrong instead of focusing on doing it all right?

It doesn’t matter where we are, in the supermarket, in a department or a convenience store, walking on the street or driving around, we see it everywhere: clear invitations from insecure brands (no matter their size) asking us to complain:

“Complaints”, “Suggestions”, “Report it at…” or in the best case “Customer Service”, Isn’t any point of contact with a client, customer service, anyway?

Isn’t it ridiculous? We spend so much time trying to convey a positive image for our brand, we invest so many resources to make people want to interact with our brand, so that in the end, through a very poor word “Complaints”, we can tell our customers: “Yeah, we know, we most likely screwed it up, all the effort we did to bring you all the way to here, we probably wasted by not fulfilling your expectations, so please do let us know how bad we did this time, please complain and suggest to us how we can be not so bad”.

I just don’t understand it! Why not invest as much as we do in creating perceptions and attracting people to our business, in delivering an incredible and unique brand experience that surpasses our customer’s expectations?

Let’s make sure that we are really doing the best we can and that the best we can is way more than what our customers expect.

Do this and then invite our customers to call our 1-800 Congratulations and Appreciations line


Remember why you do the things you do

So here’s the situation: you took a new job that promised to be better than the previous one. Better work hours, better salary, better benefits, better title, better office, better development; simply better.

A few months go by and you start to realize that every that things are not so different at all.  Yes you are making more money, but you are spending more money on food, gas, etc. Your great work schedule is back to the old 12 to 13 hours work day. You do have better benefits but you don’t have any time to enjoy them, and suddenly the bigger office and bigger title just don’t seem to be incentive enough to convince you that you are doing better.

The typical problems of any organization start to fill your shoes with little rocks, the bureaucracy, dealing with people you don’t really like and difference of opinions with your boss make you ask your self whether you made the right choice this time.

The answer? In this case it presents itself in the form of another question: Did you choose this new job simply because it offered you better pay and a bigger title or did you took it because you really thing that it takes you closer to the life objective you’ve set for your self?

If your answer is option one, well my friend you sure are in trouble. Because it doesn’t matter how good your new employer is, you’ve chosen him for the wrong reasons, which, sooner o later, will make you tired of it.

However, if you decided to do this change because it helps you get more aligned with your life objective or personal legend, then it won’t matter how hard things may get, you’ll always have a strong and solid reason to stand by your decision.

Of course we all want better conditions as we move forward in our careers! After all these are “signals of our success” and show that we are growing as professionals. But what good does it do us to accumulate all these achievements, if we don’t have a final destination to aspire to? If we are not clear on why we do the things we do, and just do them to accumulate money and a titles, then we will always be susceptible to loosing our ground and going along superficial changes that “promise” being better, but that in reality are just another mirage like the one we are trying to leave behind.

That said, if we have a clear north, if we know what our calling is, what personal legend we are supposed to fulfill, then as we move forward we’ll be able to distinguish between the obstacles that we need to overcome to move on, the ones we need to circle around to return to our path and the small nagging tasks we hate to do but that are a condition to being able to stay in the path that will end up taking closer to where we want to reach.

So here’s a simple advice: If you haven’t done it yet, define how far you want to reach, discover and realize your personal legend; and if you already know what this is, but feel confused about whether to stay where you are right now, just take a deep breath and remember how far you want to get and how being where you are will actually help you get there. 


Your impact in other people’s life.

Usually, when one makes a living by providing intangible services or ideas and concepts like it happens in advertising, consulting, coaching, speaking or writing, you easily get used to sharing your thoughts with everyone. You dedicate yourself to talking and talking, sometimes even without stopping to listen, even though you know how important it is to do so to be able to achieve your ultimate goal which is connecting with people.

This is why a lot of us are frequently asking for feedback, be it through the comments box in our blog, via e-mail or in a phone call, also by way of a mention in another forum, a comment in the hall or in an event or even through a formal survey as well.

We are always looking, observing, learning the opinions of those around us, because we know that there is better way to help us get better at what we do, better at connecting with you.

In time you start getting feedback frequently and in many shapes and forms, some comments more personal than others, some flattering some not so much. But what always caughts my attention is that almost every comment you receive is about how, with a comment you shared, you somehow impacted the life of another human being. And believe me when I tell you that that is really food for the soul.

Now the funny thing though is that in most of the occasions, those people who let you know about how you impacted their life, are oblivious of the impact they are having on you! They ignore how you can go around and around a comment they left and with which you don’t entirely agree or how many times you read a positive comment they left for you and that always makes you smile.

They don’t know how proud we feel when, we get invited to deliver a new keynote as a result of the one we just gave, or how insecure we can get if after a presentation no one is asking questions or commenting on what we just discussed; or the great satisfaction we get when we are able to help or collaborate with someone else, be it a group, an entire organization or just one single person.

This is why, this week, I just wanted to share with you how gratefull I am for all your comments and the way you impact my life: the short and precise comment from Mr. White or from Jack, Franciscos e-mails, the comments from Tam in this blog, Ramiro’s opinion from Caracas or Gerardos messages too. The invitation from different universities to collaborate in their new conferences, the invites to connect in a social network and the mentions and links from other sites to The daily and the not so.

These are all what, in days like this, when I don’t have much to say, remind me of how important it is to keep sharing, because without a post like this every week, I would most likely not hear from you.

So here’s a quick recommendation: Never loose sight of the impact you can always have on the rest. It’s like Anita Roddick  (Founder of The Body Shop) used to say: “If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to ven with a Mosquito.”

By the way! As promised, here are some of the pictures I took during the last 2 seminars at Google, the one at CIM and the presentation at Ogilvy…Were you in one of these? Check out the photos and see if you can find yourself!




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.