One Picture Changed It All

Be Original We are starting a new business, nothing new to us. We spend our days helping companies brand new companies, new products, new services blah blah blah. So when it came to our company, I thought I had it The name was one I saw somewhere, a faint memory now pushed into existence for another business…it was good, not great. It would have worked. It would not have had a story….a soul.

So there I was, eating Chipotle at the fashion mall. Alone, I popped up my phone and hit Facebook, killing time while I digested my garden dinner. Then I saw it. A picture of Kid Rock in a pair of overalls. And that was my “ah ha” moment. The company I was about to launch had the wrong name…what the hell was I  thinking? Could I actually call my partners and tell them I was about to change something we had been working on for a week? Something I lobbied hard for? Yep, because when you are wrong, admit it. Pivot and move forward. The calls went well and everyone agreed, it was a hit. Someday when the company is big and the team is famous, we can look back and say thank you to Kid Rock for wearing those crazy pants.

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Just Say It!

Sorry!One word. One little damn word. It can change everything. Demeanors. Attitudes. Perspective.

Today I chose to say it 3 times. Yes, I said “chose.” A sincere sorry, planned and genuine is worth 100 flippant one’s. Here is my breakdown of sorry’s today.

First, to my company, yep, all of them. I let my emotions get the best of me and debated two stakeholders (we don’t use the “e” word at Fat Atom) in front of everyone. It wasn’t right. In fact, it was embarrassing. After talking about it with a co-worker, I thought it best to address the company and let them know I was not only wrong, but I was sorry for my actions.

Second was to a client. This was hard. I like to think we walk on water at Fat Atom, that we do know wrong. Well, that would be a big fat lie. No one, I don’t care what business you are in or company you own is perfect…it just doesn’t exist. Today I had to apologize to a client for what I believed we could have done better. I had to reveal my shortcomings (they knew) and fix them (they were happy). Was this hard? Yep. Was I sorry? Yep. Did it makes thing better? I hope so…but nonetheless, it was the right thing to do.

Lastly I said I was sorry to a neighbor. Long story short, I am a board member for our HOA. At our meeting tonight I felt like I overstepped my bounds in “running the show” and apologized to my neighbor, the HOA President, for what I felt like stepping on her toes. Did I want to do this? No. Was it necessary? No. Was it the right thing to do? Yep.

One word…sometimes hard to say but went said with feeling and intent, can make you and sometimes the recipient feel better.

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Sex Sells! Or Does It?

Logic tells me it does, or why else would advertisers use it? Focus groups can’t be wrong…can they? I believe viewers of advertising at their core want to be entertained, to be made to laugh. Marketers know this so they make humorous advertisements. They also must know that men love sex…and looking at sexy people. When was the last time you saw ugly people in an commercial? What about obese people? It just doesn’t happen. Advertisers are selling the ideal…not reality.

That brings me to beer. Most people buy it and companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get people to buy even more of it. So, does sex help them sell more? More specifically, do sexy women in ads help them sell more? I recently saw this commercial, which usually doesn’t happen because I TIVO most everything and don’t watch live TV. What stuck out most to me was the lack of sex…see for yourself.

Beer ad # 1 -

I cannot recall a time I have seen fat or “unattractive people”  in a beer commercial, but the people in the new Corona campaign are not ALL hot models. Granted, they aren’t obese or even pleasantly plump, but Corona did their best to make the “approachable” They do a nice job of not showing any boobs, no cleavage shots and even going so far as to be modest…a trait you don’t find much in beer commercials, or any commercials for that matter.

Beer ad(s) #2 -

I couldn’t just pick one here, and even though this compilation video is put together poorly, I am sure you will want to make it to the end…spoiler alert, you will want to make it to the end.

So the question lingers…does sex sell? I don’t know, but I will keep researching it to find the answer.


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Do YOUR Thing

Do your own thing
In 2000, I was working as a salesman for a great company, selling vinyl fencing, railing and decking across the Midwest. I had many ideas about how to do my job better and approached my boss about them. I remember leaving that meeting and saying to myself, I need to quit this job. What precipitated that response? After all, I was making six figures, had a company car and good benefits, why would I want to leave? In the meeting, my boss stated a poignant fact that many businesses have when it comes to their employees; he said, “We pay you to do the job we want you to do, not the job you want to do.” Huh?

I was frustrated. Was this really how businesses thought? Are employees squelched and not heard across America? Surely, this had to be an anomaly, it couldn’t be the norm. Sadly, I have to say that based on ten more years of talking to business owners, and employees, I think it is a standard practice in business today. Think about it, what business would want a bunch of employees running around thinking they know what’s best for a business they don’t own, that they didn’t create?

One of my passions in starting my own company was that I wanted to have the exact opposite approach. My goal as a business owner is to find employees that can do a better job for me than the one I hired them for. Let me explain…

Let’s say I hire a graphic designer, of course to design things. Now is that all I expect of them? I always say if that’s all I wanted, I would hire a monkey and teach it design (tongue and check as we all know monkey’s would never work for money). I want to hire a graphic designer that will grow, expand my companies horizons, push the envelop, learn new tricks and create better designs and have bigger ideas than I could ever imagine. I don’t want to tell them how to design things, I want them to tell me!

The same goes for programmers, developers and support staff. We hire more people at Fat Atom that have the ability/passion to learn and grow rather than those that have a degree or pedigree. It is our philosophy that if you hire only people to do the job you want them to do… that what you’ll get is a lesser employee. Everyone has more potential than they are currently utilizing, if you are the company that helps someone grow into their potential, you’ll get the benefits from that philosophy.

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