FARTING BUNNIES AND FAMOUS BRANDS

Well, it’s Easter. And I’m just not sure what to talk about … The magical bunny that farts chocolate eggs or the unshaven dude who rose from the dead.

Then again, maybe I don’t have to choose. Because if you stop to think about it for a minute, the two actually have a lot in common.

They both represent the power of pulling off a seemingly impossible deed.

I love the seemingly impossible. It’s always there, just begging to be proven wrong. And one of the things I love the most about being a part of the branding world is that so often brands do exactly that.

Did you know Colonel Sanders had well over a thousand doors slammed in his face before anyone was willing to try his secret recipe?

Brands like Volkswagen, Lacoste and Old Spice have all risen from the dead at one point or another.

And Apple, Amazon, Google and Disney all started in someone’s garage.

Pulling off the seemingly impossible is alive and well in the world of brands. And I love it! It’s a powerful and inspiring reminder to all brands – and all people running them – that there is truly to limit to what you can make of yourself.

And having been a part of the marketing world for as long as I have, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that, with the exception of Colonel Sanders, there really is no secret to the recipe of success shared by all the mega successful brands out there. In fact, it can really be whittled down to just one word.

Faith.

That’s the name of the game on Easter day, right? Well, it’s the name of the game everyday if you are building a brand.

You have to absolutely, positively know beyond the shadow of a doubt’s shadow that you have something totally unique and valuable to offer the world. And the real trick to that is knowing without a doubt that you, as a human being, are totally unique and valuable.

Yet far too few of us on this planet truly embrace that. As a whole, we good people are plagued with doubts and insecurities about our ability to succeed and really leave a powerful legacy behind. It’s the one fundamental difference between the vast majority of us and the stratospherically successful people we all so admire.

Think about it. Can you even imagine ever having heard Steve Jobs say, “I’m not sure I’m good enough to pull this off.” Or what the world might have missed out on if Walt Disney had bought into the whole notion of setting his art aside for a “real job.” Just think how many gazillions of dollars would have been left unmade if after 999 rejections, Colonel Sanders chose to believe in the naysayers instead of himself and throw in the towel.

Luckily that didn’t happen. Of course that didn’t happen. The people who built these brands all had passion for who they were and what they could create. They believed in themselves and their innate ability to bring their unique ideas to life. They knew long before anyone else that they had something valuable to offer the world. If they hadn’t trusted that, believe me, none of us would have little white chords spilling out of our iPod obsessed ears or fighting the SEO war to get our name to the top of that Google page.

We are all capable of making our marks in such a grand fashion. All we need to do is learn to get out of our own ways.

I really believe in this. I believe we find our super powers in our professional endeavors because we are willing to dig so deeply into this part of our lives. Think about the sleep we are willing to lose for our work. The hoops we are willing to jump through. The energy we are willing to expend.

We pour so much of who we are into our what we do for a living. And that makes this area of life an incredible opportunity to become powerful.

And becoming powerful is exactly what I wish for you.  I am investing all my marketing skill and life wisdom and personal passion into creating ways to help brands bust through the doubts that hold them back so that they can authentically create a powerful voice and presence. Build powerful profits. And leave powerful legacies.  Will you join me on my new Facebook page to help me in that cause? It’s called Branding Powers. And I’ve created it because I believe in brands, and more to the point, the people who run them.

On that thought I will leave you. Because, as I mentioned earlier, there are chocolate bunny farts to be eaten.

LENT 2.0

Well, it was a big week – Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday back to back – the annual, ultimate splurge and purge!

Having been raised Catholic, Ash Wednesday, and the subsequent season of Lent, was a pretty big deal when I was a kid. We were always encouraged to give up the hardest thing possible to really put our devotion to the test and show just how willing we were to suffer right along with Mr. Jesus. Looking back, it was the ultimate misery loves company kind of thing.

Which, I guess is a nice sentiment, but as I grew up and really started exploring spirituality in a very personal, dedicated way, I outgrew the notion that any kind of God would want me to suffer in any kind of way.

That sent me exploring the whole idea of Lent a little deeper. And here’s what I’m thinking: Maybe lent isn’t about giving up the things that lift us up. Maybe it’s about giving up the things that keep us down.

If you think about it, nothing keeps you down quite like death. And nothing raises you up quite like joy. So giving up the things that make you feel less alive, like worrying, jealousy, smack talk and insecurity, in favor of things lift up your confidence, your hope and your joy is, in its own way, a resurrection of sorts. Raising you up new levels of happiness that are currently buried inside you.

That being the case, it seems to me giving up something for Lent is not about sacrifice. I kind of feel like the concept of divinity increasing though suffering and sacrifice is a misguided human creation that has, unfortunately, taken a hold of a good many. Perhaps all that is required or asked during this time is that you give up any pattern of thought, word or action you currently live by that is not rooted in the highest quality of love and kindness and respect for who you truly are. (Which, in case you are wondering, is a magnificent, joyful, resilient, infinitely potential-filled rock star.)

Every time you are able to give up the habits and patterns of behavior that keep you down, you raise your spirit a little higher from the dark, unknown within, until eventually that awesome little sucker is fully walking around in the light of day. Maybe even prancing a bit. Who knows, souls very well might love to prance. (Double dog dare you to find out!)

In honor of that fancy, prancy spirit, I say we all update our operating systems to Lent 2.0. Let’s define Lent as time that has been “lent” to us so that we can fully focus our energies on the resurrection of our true spiritual greatness from underneath all the doubts and fears we’ve managed to bury it under. Think of it as a reminder that our time in body on this planet, as well as our bodies themselves, has been lent to us for the purposes of growing into a complete understanding of our true, undefeatable nature.

This Lent, I say let’s not sacrifice our happiness in any true way. Rather, let’s realize who we are. Give up who we are not. And raise, raise, raise the roof off this popsicle stand we call life. Whoooop Diddy!

©2002 The Book Of Duh, Merry Carole Powers and Sarah Lorraine Feit