Over the last 6 months, I have spent a lot of time at my new job learning and growing as I have been challenged with all sorts of new projects and programs. I went from being a focused specialist to being the “buck-stops-here” point for all things digital within the company – and those are two very different roles.
I’ve learned something though, as I have expanded and gotten involved in projects ranging from landing pages for print ads to entire website redesigns and overhaul.

There are two kinds of…

If you stick a bunch of digital marketers in a centerfuge and spin them around, they will separate into two different groups. Yes, I know it’s silly to distill people down to two groups, but hang in there.

Builders

Some marketers are builders. They start from the ground up, building programs, websites, projects, etc. They have the unique ability to look at the thin air in front of them, and envision the end result. They are heavily entrepreneurial, vision-driven individuals who can identify the opportunity, and put the plan and steps in place to seize it.

Optimizers

Some marketers however, are optimizers. They can take a look at a program, site, project, etc, and identify ways to make it significantly better. They can see the goals and the existing paths to accomplish those goals – but then find new paths as well. They take something already built, and make it more efficient and effective.

Ok so there aren’t two kinds.

Really though, I think most marketers fall more heavily in one camp or the other. The people I know that can build great programs and sites are not necessarily the same people that can take existing sites and maximize the opportunities.

Looking back at my own career, I have fallen most often in the Optimizers camp. It has been a fairly significant adjustment in my new role, since I now have to spend much of my time building programs from the ground up. I have had to think about sites and programs in an entirely new way – and it’s been hard.

All marketers should spend time doing both – because the skill sets are completely different and equally important. I won’t say one is easier than the other – just different.

Where do you fall? Where do you want to?

Stormtrooper New Years ResolutionGiven the time of year, you might think that it’s fairly cliche to put a post up about goal setting and resolutions… But you know what? I’m good with it. Why not take the time that everyone takes for a little introspection and stock-taking of your life?

I actually started thinking about goal setting a few weeks ago because we were gearing up to go into full “employee review” mode at work. I realized right away that the goals that I had set for myself and with my team were less than ideal. Not all of that is my fault – there is a lot of bureaucracy in that process at my work and our goals have to fit inside a particular set of checkboxes. But letting the bureaucracy get in the way of benefits of setting goals is crap, and that’s what I did.

What I SHOULD have done is check those boxes with the numbers and goals that fit the requirements, and then augment those requirements with goals that better fit my team and my specific needs and strengths. So that’s what I’m looking into now – setting the goals I need to set, but not neglecting the goals I should set.

I’ve also been thinking about a few resolutions, and some things that I could do better. I’ve found that I’m not good at the little, daily things that I know I should do but somehow never get around to. The type of things I wish were habits, but I haven’t been able to make stick. So I’ve added a category to my task list (I’m a bit compulsive with the to-do list) called “Daily” and added a few things to it that I want to do every day. So far it’s helped to have the daily reminder show up on my phone and tablet and laptop and everything (he says, 4 days in). I’m going with the Seinfeld Don’t Break The Chain method of motivation, because it adds personal accountability, and that’s what I believe it takes.

Nothing too drastic, and really not too specific. I’m leaving myself the option to change out what the daily tasks are, so I guess my resolution is to actually have the list of daily habits that I stick to. We’ll see how it goes.

What about you? Resolutions?

There is a lot that keeps us from getting it done. You know what I’m talking about – that thing you need to do, that’s been waiting for nothing but you to do it. The first thing that pops in your mind when someone says the words “to do list ” or “procrastination”. We all have that task or project or whatever that we know we need to do, know we should do, but we are just really not eager to do it at all.

I noticed that I had this tendency to want to procrastinate.. and the first thing to go was always it. That one thing. So I came up with a plan..

Every day, the first thing I do is it. That’s right. I move that crap I don’t want to do to the top of the list. Before email, before hopping on the twitter, before any reporting. Before.

The effect of making progress on it is that I find myself in a productive mindset. I no longer have this one thing looming over my head, and I feel freed up to prioritize and work on whatever else needs done. Seems to work pretty well for me.

What about you? How do you keep yourself from procrastinating?

 

There have been tons of articles about it over the past few years – Multitasking is not as efficient as we would all like to believe. We have reached a time where it is not only common to be doing 4 or 5 tasks at once, but it’s pretty much expected. Job descriptions list it as a required skill! We are encouraged with “open door” policies to stop by our coworkers’ desks. We have opened ourselves up to phone calls, email, IM, text messages, tweets, pokes, & about a billion other ways to be distracted, and that’s even before we start working on a bunch of things at once. Continue reading

ChrisG.comOne of my favorite blogs (just added to the blogroll, as a matter of fact) had a great post today entitled 41 Blog Success Tips from 10 Years of Blogging You Can Learn Today. The author is Chris Garrett, who is a professional blogger and consultant in the UK. If you haven’t read chrisg.com, I highly recommend it.
Back to the topic at hand, Chris lists 41 blog success tips that he has learned over the years. As I read through these (realizing how much better I should be doing with my own sad little blog), I came to the conclusion that these tips are not just good blogging advice, but good advice for any marketer/manager/worker to follow as well. Continue reading

Buffett BookI just finished reading Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist – an awesome book. Warren Buffett, if you don’t know, is arguably the most successful investor of all time. He is the third richest person in the world, worth about $55 Billion, and has had a long systematic history of outperforming basically everyone else in his investments.

Speaking about his many successes, Buffett said the following:

“The best thing I did was choose the right heroes.”

Continue reading

Everyone has a bad day. Don’t try and say you don’t, because you will be a liar and nobody likes a liar. Regardless of the cause, every now and again you just feel like throwing it all in, walking out the door and kicking everyone along the way.

Unfortunately most rations of paid time off won’t cover days such as these, so we have to battle through our own moods at work. The question for the day is: how does your mood affect the people around you? Continue reading