Category: Learnings

What is your Jenny Craig?

Photo from Libby Williams. Keeping loving yourself forward in 2014! A week or so ago, I attended a conference in Atlanta. It was composed of a small group of business book authors and speakers from all over the country. Great group. One of the panelist ask this question: What’s your Jenny Craig? What is your before …

It’s the Not-So-Important Things that Matter Most

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Simple bank. Earlier this year I shared my own story as the recipient of outstanding customer service and the magic that happens when brands give their people permission to be awesome. As it turns out, it wasn’t the only one. In fact, nearly 600 other …

10 Personal Lessons learned from 2013.

The halls are decked at Brains on Fire. I love this time of year. I love giving gifts and sharing time with friends and family. And I love lots of twinkling lights and candles and laughter. Don’t you? Every year about this time, I also reflect about the things the year has taught me. So …

How Social Media is Saving a Four-Legged Superhero

Meet Orlando. He may not look like Superman or drive a cool batmobile, but this 11-year-old is every bit a super hero…with four paws a heart of gold to match. One look into his big, brown eyes will melt your heart. But Orlando isn’t just any dog, he’s a dog with a job – a …

Emotional Triggers + The Power Awe

If you’ve read our book The Passion Conversation, you know that emotion is a mighty thing. Brands that invoke strong emotional feelings are more likely to be talked about. And while joy, disgust, outrage and amusement are all worthy triggers, it’s the rarest (and perhaps most wonderful) of them all that really does it for me: …

Surprising and delighting.

I love, love, love this photo of my daughter Logan in Morocoo. She seems to be thanking everyone and everything on the planet with this embrace.  Okay. Stop what you’re doing for a moment. Stop everything and think: When and what was the last heartfelt compliment you gave someone? I’ve been really aware of this …

My morning.

This is what I see when I first wake up most days. I love the simple lines of this old house. This morning I woke up. Went straight for my coffeemaker (Kurig), popped in a Starbucks cup thingy, brewed a coffee and added a little Land of Lakes half and half. Put on my yoga …

Social Media: A Side Dish at the Banquet of Human Connection

It seems like every day I am seeing articles pop into my newsfeed about the toll social media is taking on the human psyche. “8 Ways to Avoid Social Media Stress” “Is Facebook Making You Miserable?” “Social Envy: How Cruising Can Make You Unhappy” “Docs Warn About Facebook Use and Teen Depression” These are just …

Case Study in Awesome: Uber Goes “Mewber” for National Cat Day

Once in awhile you hear about a marketing move that makes you stop and think, “DANG. I WISH I HAD THOUGHT OF THAT.” This is one such story. (It also came with a generous portion of “awwww!”) October 29 marked the annual celebration of one of the internet’s most beloved creatures: the cat. What could …

Shhh. Listen.

“As much as she talks, she listens more.” – From John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Indispensible Qualities of a Leader I have a little stack of books on a couple of shelves next to my desktop. Often when I sit down to think and write, I randomly pick one up, crack it open and start …

Getting Personal: A Lesson in Communication

Yesterday our client (and upstairs neighbor), Jennifer, shared a special story with us: “My Alaskan Malamute puppy Thor was neutered today. As a very anxious mommy, my anxiety ran high as I brought Thor to Cleveland Park for his pre-surgery blood work. I expressed my fears of putting baby under anesthesia having recently lost my …

28,835 Beans

Once in awhile you stumble across something that says everything so perfectly, you don’t need to say anything more. This is one of those somethings. How are you spending your today bean?

Turning the Gallup12 Upside Down.

Accord to a recent Gallup Survey, only 30% of the US workforce is engaged at work. Which means, 70% are not. Wow. And here’s where it gets even gloomier. Of the 70% that are disengaged, roughly 30% are ACTIVELY disengaged. Meaning they are walking the halls of our organizations spreading their unhappiness. I don’t know …

People love people who love people.

Middle school years are some tough and weird years. At least for some of us. Me? I was skinny and artsy (which made me different) and very, very shy. I didn’t smile a lot. (Four years with braces is a long, long time.) I might even go so far as to say I got a …

Be Brave. Be Grateful. Be Happy.

“A letter is always better than a phone call. People write things in letters they would never say in person. They permit themselves to write down feelings and observations using emotional syntax far more intimate and powerful than speech will allow.” | Alice Steinbach Last night I stumbled across a powerful video. It begins with …

Like is not a Brains on Fire word.

Joy Hiller, our last super shiny talented intern, did this little gift of art for me before she left last week. If you want people to fall in love with your organization you have to stand for something. And taking a strong stand means most likely someone on the planet won’t like that strong stand. …

Getting Punked.

I always wanted to rock a cool pair of Doc Martens like these. Photo by AKinsey Foto via Flickr. It makes my heart smile when worlds in which I live collide in cool ways. Last weekend, the hubs and I were enjoying our usual sipping-mochas-and-watching-CBS–Sunday–Morning routine (family world) when this cool segment about the career …

Fear is a crazy thing.

I love this photo. That’s my Dad in the middle. He was a really, really tall man. Fear is irrational. It’s powerful. It’s real and it can be really, really useful. When I was about six years old my family purchased a small house on a lake with a boat dock. My dad and his …

Stories and Heroes.

Jonathan and the mayor of Mazán, Dr. Edward Reátegui, are two of the partners in a global collaboration to build, staff, and operate a new medical facility in the town of Mazán on the Peruvian side of the Amazon rainforest. This medical facility will be the primary source of care for over 45,000 people annually. …

Put yourself in another person’s shoes

That’s what they say, don’t they? “Put yourself in another person’s shoes.” Who are they, by the way? Whoever they are, they’ve got a point. We as marketers, explorers, adventurers, need to do more than put ourselves in the shoes of others. We’d better grab a pair of socks, lace those puppies up, and go …