My favorite feature in Esquire magazine is called “What I’ve Learned.” In it, the subject (an economist, a scientist, Jack Nicholson, Muhammad Ali or whoever) is interviewed, and his or her words are presented in bite-sized chunks. It’s always the first thing I turn to when a new issue arrives, and there’s some real wisdom in surprising sources.
I can’t promise the wisdom, but here’s my version of what I’ve learned in the first 6 months of 2008:
- It’s possible to survive a four-month stretch running on only deadlines, adrenaline, and very little sleep.
- While it’s possible to do so, it’s not desirable. I need to do a better job of working on the business, not just in it.
- A difficult personal and professional situation taught me to never again confuse charm with character.
- There is always more to learn about branding, and always a better way to share those learnings. This lesson is reinforced weekly, sometimes daily.
- Nobody works alone.
- When I started this business, I wrote a simple mission statement: “To help good people build great brands.” That hasn’t changed a bit in 11 years. But I’m constantly amazed at how many good people there are in this biz. In the first six months of 2008, it’s been my pleasure to work with dozens of good people at the following organizations: Cheskin, Humana, Elegant Fare, Know Apparel, Spectrum Financial Services, Agenda 360, the Business Courier of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber CEO Roundtables, Wood & Lamping, Fever LLC, Olivetree Research, Linserpelle Creative, Cooney Faulkner & Stevens, and a little company called Hoist that you’ll be hearing more about in the next 6 months.
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew founded Three Deuce Branding in 1997 with a simple mission: “To help good people build great brands.” He’s a former CMO who repeatedly led underdog brands to dramatically outpace the market, and now he does the same for the clients he serves. Businesses with revenues of seven to ten figures trust Matthew to help them achieve “brand clarity” through core brand strategy and positioning. Matthew is also a highly-rated speaker. Contact Matthew here. He’s based in Chicago.
Copyright 2008 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.