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Dave’s blog

A baby bear gets my attention on LinkedIn

A year ago I was promoting the views of the megafamous digital marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk who proclaimed that “every company needs to be a media company first.” I still think that’s true.  And yet, there is SO, SO much NOISE. Browsing LinkedIn, among all the sincere posts to build brands with important updates, you know what got my attention? A heart-wrenching video of a baby bear climbing up a slope to reunite with its mamma (OK, here’s the link).

We don’t really care about what others post as a means to their ends – and that’s most of what’s posted. Noticing that online powerhouses like Amazon and rising star Warby Parker are opening physical stores, and having re-read Bluefishing, the Art of Making Things Happen, I’m shifting my thinking – back to deeper human connection. Please take a moment to think about this.  I’ll share my conclusions in my next blog.

P.S. The video to which I’m referring has recently illuminated the negative impact of drones on wildlife!

What do you see in this rock?

I was hiking during a long weekend recently – just relaxing, visiting with my wife and son, letting my head clear.  I saw the rock pictured below and by fluke – my position and the sun catching it just right – I saw a clear image in it!  I’m sure had I been thinking about work, I’d have walked right past it.  It reminded me to relax more to open my mind.  What do you see?

What the CU Buffaloes Are Showing Me About Customer Acquisition

I went to the University of Colorado football game last weekend along with 52,000 other people – the most fans in 20 years.  Winning attracts fans.

photo courtesy of Evan Semón Photography

I’ve been thinking of how I can “model” what a winning team does and use that to attract more customers:


Customers have to see this.  When I started my business I practically gave away the work, and then way overdelivered.  Why?  So that I could show the next customer that my customers were winners.

Keep winning.

Sounds simple and of course it’s not.  Winning teams don’t tolerate long cycles of failure.  After a loss they redouble their efforts.  After a losing season, they change coaches, change players, do what it takes to get back to winning.

Be humble about winning.

Fans are massively attracted to a winner, but not an arrogant winner.  Coaches thank players.  Players thank fans.  Businesses thank customers.

Listening to This Turned My Rant to a Laugh

There is so much negativity and I’m part of it.  When I saw this ad, I had some really critical, snarky thoughts about it, as well as about other ridiculous ads that I feel are disingenuous and insulting.  I started to write a blasting commentary about the responsibility of businesses to uphold the Colorado brand of collaboration and integrity.

After writing my first draft of this post, I listened to the Brian Buffini podcast episode “You Are a Diamond,” and it put me in a positive frame of mind.  I started thinking of this post and decided I was being too negative and critical.  With a lightened attitude I saw this ad as funny – the silliness of a ONCE in a LIFETIME EVENT has been HELD OVER! by the same company whose last ad was a “Private Sale” advertised in the Denver Post.  The more I think about it, the more humorous it all is.  So?

So that brings me to the NEW point of this post: listening to something positive turned me from having a critical and negative outlook, to feeling upbeat and acting positively.  This silly ad reminded me of what so many have taught: my attitude shapes the lens of my entire perspective.    

What if I fall to my death? Part 2 – Trusting Strangers

I discussed my last blog with my most recent podcast guest, Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services – an avid outdoorsman and climber.  He suggested that there’s more at play when I said I decided to “ignore risk” of using rock climbing anchors placed by strangers, simply because I wanted to climb.  He suggested that I felt, while perhaps not 100% certain, confident and secure based on the sense of a “trusted community” – the idea that while strangers installed the anchors that secured my life, these are strangers that I inherently trust.  Why?  Because there is a BRAND associated with rock climbers who install anchors for use by brethren rock climbers.  This is a brand I trust – and with my life, it turns out because I did fall several times, caught by anchors secured by people I’ve never met, and probably never will (thanks!).

Thanks to expert anchor installers, nearing the top. Ouray, CO

We’ve all talked about a continuum of brands we do and don’t trust.  It makes me think, “What more can I do, personally, to be a brand that others would trust?  With their lives?”  In business, is my brand, your brand, one that customers would risk their lives on?  Even short of life and death, is it a brand about which people feel 100% confident?

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