Get the coffee on. The new year has started with a bang and, with the phones ringing and smiles in the office, everything at the tree feels good. Although, it would be wrong to blindly look at this year without reflecting on the last. Having done so, here are a few things that I shall bring forward into 2016.
Make more lists
Last year, I began reading about the ritualistic and slightly mad perspectives of Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey. He seems to live in the ether, above or beyond most other business people. Perhaps great success allows you the freedom to think so openly? Aside from his more obscure tendencies, one thing he swears by is making lists. His list of dos ground him throughout the day.
Another person who’s great at making lists is our apprentice, and when it comes down to it, she knows more about what she’s done and what she’s doing than anyone else in our office.
Aside from the practicalities of a good “to do” list, I’ve begun writing lists about good and bad things throughout my day.
I’ve noted positive sayings and turns of phrase that have shaped positive conversations. I have also noted perspectives that I disagree with or moments that have caused others to be upset. Every now and then I re-read my notes, and it reminds me of good and bad things that I would usually forget.
The good list has become somewhat of a tool kit for ideas.
Find new interests and revisit old ones
As a business, we employ people based on them being interesting and interested. Part of that is making sure that people’s interests lie in more than just work. Although, we do appreciate the efforts given by all in the office.
The more interests people have, the more sources they call upon for their ideas. As a result, in 2015 I saw our work being influenced by upcycling, 70s animation, Bob Dylan and ancient rock formations.
Use more apps
I’d hate to encourage more gawping and tapping as there’s plenty to see if you look up from your phone and open your eyes. That said, like any great product, certain apps are there to make your life easier. They can also provide you with previously unknown knowledge and information.
Last year I wanted to learn more about wine so I turned to Google Play for inspiration. Vivino is a genuinely useful database of UK-based reviews, lists and information that supplements any plonk shopping experience. It’s like having Oz Clarke sat on your shoulder as your browse the aisles.
Another app that has become almost mandatory at work is Evernote. If you’re not already using it, it’s a great note-taking tool that allows you to record sounds and add images to your written notes, and you can share them with your colleagues without having to manually transcribe them into an email.
Adopt technology, don’t pioneer it
I’m extremely proud to announce that we are now creating our own software products. We have developed “the root”, a content management system that we’re already reselling into clients. We’re also working on a number of other platforms that are yet to be finalised. In short, we don’t want to become technologically redundant.
At times throughout 2015, I disagreed with those who pioneer third party automated marketing technologies. Rather than pioneer any one option, we encourage our staff absorb them all so we can consult, knowing enough about their pros and cons to form the right solution.
We also encourage them to be forthcoming with ideas for new technologies as it’s our plan to reinvest in R&D every year. We will be able to talk about technology on a whole different level after we’ve succeeded or failed at creating our own.
This sounds very basic, but when you smile it does two things: It makes you feel better and it makes the people around you feel better, too. Even when people aren’t around you it helps. For example, when people smile on the phone those on the other end can hear it, making the conversation more positive.
If the effort is there, the rewards will come
I’ll never openly say it to anyone for fear of sounding like my Dad. However, it is true. People who work hard and stay interested will get their rewards in one way or another.
Not all industries, including marketing, pay as much as others do. In the same breath, some jobs aren’t blessed with the same levels of admiration or prestige as others. Regardless of that, if you stick at what you like doing and dig in, there is a huge amount of satisfaction to be had from more than the obvious building blocks for success.
Perhaps knowledge, self-confidence and trust are the right measures for success? Then whatever else may come afterwards?
Hopefully you disagree with some of the above because it’s likely I will too by this time next year. Although, it’s been a worthwhile exercise to reflect.