Category: Learnings

No times seven.

I love this photo of the young guns from our LA office. We learn to hate hearing NO at a very early age. I googled “how many times does a toddler hear no” and found this response from Nina Spence. “A UCLA survey from a few years ago reported that the average one year old child …

Q+A with Geno Church, our Chief Word of Mouth Officer

Geno spoke in Virginia in April and they did a great little Five Minute Q+A with him after the presentation. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a little time with this great mind today!     Got a good question for Geno (or any of us). Put it in the comments below and I’ll make …

Rethinking the two week notice.

I get super attached to people No.  Not in a creepy crazy way. That includes people who join the Brains on Fire tribe. Honestly it always hurts a little bit to find out that people you trust, people who work along side of you day by day don’t share their desires to move on to …

Advice for college grads looking for their dream job.

Photo by Libby Williams. It’s that time of year again. There’s  a whole new, shiny  batch of graduates ready to launch out into the world. And if you’re one of them, I have a thought or 16 for you about applying and interviewing for jobs.  For what it’s worth, here’s some collective advice from me and Mary Susan (the two …

10 Tidbits of Wisdom for Building a Better Brand

I work with words. I love words. So it comes as no surprise that I enjoy perusing the collective quoted wisdom on Pinterest. In doing so, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon. If you search for business quotes, Pinterest tends to spit back an uninspired mix of jargon. The business quotes suggest that all you need to build …

Act as if you just began.

Photo from the talented Libby Williams. I hate when people ask us how long we’ve been in business. Just hate it. Brains on Fire has been a company since 1999 (over 16 years) and before that a company called Greg and Greg was alive and well and so was a company called Phillips and Goot. …

Change or DIE.

What if we could live our lives with a sureness that things often fall apart in order to make way for something even more remarkable? Above: One of my favorite photos of Ramsey, Cordell, Mike and yours truly taken during one of Mike’s visits a couple of year ago.  In 2004, Mike Goot, my business partner …

I hope you get pneumonia.

If I move again, it will be to a really tiny house like this one. About four years ago, I got pneumonia. Trust me. Coughing up blood makes you listen hard to a doctor’s advice to stay in bed. So I canceled my fancy plans to meet with a client on the west coast. And …

Jam Time 101

You know the old adage about “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?” If life were a wedding, we’d be pretty set right about now. Something new? Check. Something old and borrowed? We’ve got a two-for-one going on. And that’s what we’re going to share today. (We’ll figure out that something blue another day.) With the flipping …

Inspiration for Changing Your Ways

It must have been the October 2000 issue of Fast Company where I first came across Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. It rocked my world then and it still does today. Bruce Mau is a renowned designer and he founded a design shop that delivers transformative experiences. In 1998 he gave a presentation on …

Six Lessons Learned in 2014.

Each year about this time, I sit down and do a little bit of looking back. I ask myself: “What have I learned this year?” This year that exercise isn’t coming as easy for me. Hmmmm… Maybe it’s because I am really, REALLY looking forward to 2015. We have so many plans in the works …

Best Blogging Practices

Recently, our new friend Debra reached out with a question: Your Brains on Fire blog is particularly great and before I get started with this somewhat daunting task, I’d love to hear if anyone at BOF has some intel to share on best blogging practices. Since I work in post-secondary in Canada, examples of my colleagues …

Are you OVER communicating?

A friend of mine just shared this photo of the snow storm in Maine. It’s a crazy storm even for folks who are used to it. Stay warm! Several years ago, I was having an conversation with someone at Brains on Fire and frankly, I was struggling with expressing my thoughts and ideas. My very …

Are you great to work with?

Oh, how I love this photo of John and Geno presenting together at WOMMFest in Chicago. The other day I caught myself thanking one of our partners by saying: “We all love to work with you guys.” And it got me wondering, what makes someone great to work with, outside of your company or internally? …

Build a Smart Company, Not a Loud One: On the Merits of Introverts

A couple weeks ago, a few of us took a Myers-Briggs test just for fun. Upon the big reveal, we discovered that all three of us were INFJs. “INFJs indeed share a very unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are …

There’s No Substitute for Function

I’m just going to say it: yesterday evening was a bit of a bust. The good news? There was a lesson in the bust. A few weeks ago, a friend and I registered to support the local branch of a national organization we love. It’s the kind of love we both regularly share on social. (A love …

Passion and Curiosity.

Often, when someone finds out that I’ve co-authored a book called The Passion Conversation they say something like this: “Boy. I could use your help.” Or “I would sure like to find my passion.” If you’ve read The Passion Conversation you know it’s not a self-help book focused on finding your personal passion. It’s a …

How Fab.com Turned “Oopsie” into “Opportunity”

As the finger that pulls the trigger on Brains on Fire’s monthly newsletter, MailChimp’s sense of humor makes me laugh. In those final moments before you push the button and relinquish control, the longer you linger above the button, the sweatier the nervous monkey arm gets.  In August, the popular site Fab.com had a moment …

Happiness Leads to Success.

This very happy illustration is from my super talented niece Alice Ratterree. You can check out her work here. For years and years the title of this post (Happiness leads to success.) has been at the bottom of every email I send. I heard it long ago and can’t for the life of me find …

A Lesson from the DiGiorno Disaster

By now, pretty much the entire world has heard about DiGiorno’s major flub earlier this week. Long story short, earlier this week, survivors of domestic violence stepped forward to share their stories on Twitter using the hashtag #WhyIStayed. Apparently DiGiorno’s Community Manager saw the trending hashtag, but didn’t take time to explore what it was about, …