Someone once told me…

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Advice. Sometimes we ask for it, sometimes we don’t—and we all know it’s not always good. But every once and a while someone tells you something that really sticks. Maybe it was a brilliant insight, or maybe someone said something that pointed you in the right direction at the right time. Regardless of how we came to these pieces of wisdom, there are only a few that stick with us long term.

With that in mind we are kicking off a new ZUM blog series! We have asked several members of our team about the best pieces of advice we’ve ever gotten—what it was and why it has stuck with them—and particularly how it relates to communications.

I was picked to go first, so here is the gem that kicked off the whole idea for this series:

“Everyone overestimates what can be done in one month, and underestimates what can be done in three.”



I picked this up from my first sales manager early in my career. I was working at a “computer peripherals” company, writing ad copy for the PC retail catalogs of the day.

It has stuck with me because it underscores the importance of consistent effort over time, rather than only working on one big moment. Change, whether it’s increasing sales or motivating employees, can take time.

Yes, the big product launch or annual sales meeting is REALLY important to get right. The success or failure of big moments set the course for everything that comes after, and they are often the anchor a campaign swings around. But one big moment alone does not get you there.

With the number of things competing for their attention, your audience will quickly move on to the next distraction if not reminded. You need to continually pull them back to the place they were when they were first inspired by your story. Without this, lasting impact isn’t possible.

Have you ever come across an audience that was skeptical? Perhaps a group of employees that were reluctant to change because, “they have heard it all before.” Or perhaps they see you as a new face, and are not quite sure what they think about you. In both cases, it takes consistent reminders over time to build your credibility.

So here we are. I have now delivered free advice, and it’s up to you to decide what to do with it. I hope it helps. 🙂

Next week, we will have the second installment of our “best advice” blog series. Jun Young, our intrepid CEO and founder, will tell the story of how a conversation with a former manager set him on a new path.

//peter

Peter McKiernan
peter@zumcom.com

Director | Peter@zumcom.com