Random thoughts from a marketing non-conformist: Alan Forrest Smith Friday’s Week 3.
Friday’s week is a collection of random thoughts from this week in no particular order.
I always end my week with a visit to the gym. In fact I go to the gym at least four times a week but Friday is a day I enjoy because it's a nice feeling to the end of the week. I feel ready to pick up the world and throw it on my shoulders.
At the age of 47 I had never seen what a gym looked like inside. I always imagined a gym was for posers and muscle men. Never once did I think people go to look after their health but they do. There are different types that go. There are those that want to create turnarounds in their health. There are those that realise they are getting older and want to maintain good health. There are also those that want to change the way they look completely. I am a mix of the second and third. The difference is huge.
My friend Ben was in a punk rock band. In fact he'd played gigs with Green Day and other big acts. He loved his green Mohawk so much it almost him.
Until one day he woke up with no hair. No hair anywhere at all on his body. Alopecia totalis had arrived and has never had a single hair since anywhere. This was the motivation he needed to get to the gym. Today he has gone from skinny punk rocker to a competition body builder. He does look amazing in his 'cover nothing' trunks.
I see a guy I used to know from being a young man. He walks past regular. He had two claims to fame. The first was the volume of alcohol he could put through his body. The second was his Irish fighting skills. And he smoked like a trooper! I didn't see him for a while until one day I saw someone that looked very like him in all places my gym.
He could only walk with a stick, had lost a huge amount of body weight and he had aged fifty winters since the last time my eyes saw him. I have to say I was shocked. It turns out he ignored all of the warning signs his body threw at him and suffered a huge stroke. His health cannot be reversed. He will die like this but at least he is trying.
Health is a little like business. There is a point it can be turned around but there is also a point when it is far too late.
CLIENTS ARE A PAIN IN THE ARSE!
OK - not all of them ... But if I can be really honest that is how I feel at times. This week we ended a relationship with a really good client. He lost sight of the value and his memory had become misted by a new team member. His new guy knows nothing about marketing but you know what they say ... A little knowledge can be dangerous. Over a period of two years we sent this company millions in sales and leads. I am proud of the position we left them in. Number one in their industry, strong positioning, conversions at 49.2% and enough sales to live the life of a real millionaires and so much more.
So the new guy went on a course. By the way this new guy is in accounts. So he went on a course and came back convinced that he is now a marketing genius. Our client has become a believer. Yawn .... I've seen this so many times in the past 30 years. New heroes and fallen idols that want to simply make their mark. So not a thank you, not a well done, not an email and not even a quick phone call to thank us for the phenomenal results we handed on a plate to them. Time is the revealer of all things. Even then I wish them well (bastard lol).
It's a crazy thing to allow anyone to walk into a business that is doing amazing and destroy everything simply to make their mark. Why the hell do clients allow that to happen? Some of the most spectacular results I have ever had are almost always based around harnessing what is available, making small and powerful changes that have deliver totally incredible results. Whenever I see these guys walking in and creating their thing I can only yawn yawn yawn and wait for the next sunrise as I watch the end of another business due to the utterly moronic actions of some.
iPhone 6 Plus
I liked it and then hated it but am learning to like it now. It is big. One of the major problems for me is the feeling that the thumb action on my phone has now become two hand action. You know when you want to close the screen and you reach your thumb over to 'X' at the top... It just doesn't reach, how annoying. Also I found out quickly it's almost like taking a laptop to the gym with me. I keep wondering what hell do I do with this thing when I am riding at 300 MPH on the latest gym bike. So I started falling out with it really quickly until that is.
I realised that when taking my phone to the gym I was checking my phone despite my trainer standing next to me. That's rude behaviour right? So now I have no phone and we give each other complete attention. The effect twice this week has been really good with a better result on the workout.
The thumb stretch has also been sorted. No I didn't cut my phone in half but I got shown a shortcut that I didn't know about. I can make the screen drop down so my thumb can reach the close symbol. Apple do think of everything I just never took the time to discover properly.
So less distractions actually made me more productive in the gym.
BEING MARRIED AGAIN
Tamuna told me she loves being married and of course being married to me (obviously). She told me that she loves to see the ring on my hand as it make her feel closer. She also told me it warns of women who might be looking but once see the ring back-off. Interesting psychology at play here because clearly I never thought of that. Am I really that stupid. Do people really look for rings?
Omg I could never do that dating stuff again especially the online stuff. You see someone online that looks so great and when you meet them they literally look nothing like their photo. I know a I am shallow but I like to check out the goods before I make a purchase.
Once I drove to Liverpool for a lunch date. I swear she was not only twenty times older but twenty times heavier than her photo. I was too polite to leave so sat down for a coffee together. She then got out her note pad and asked me if I minded her going through a series of questions. One was do I like cornflakes or prefer porridge! Nuts I know!
I am so happy I found a woman that gets me, loves me and simply accepts me as I am. I love being married but love even more being married to Tamuna. Think about it; marriage is the ultimate commitment, why wouldn't anyone want that these days? Maybe it's a commitment issue. Don't know. It suits me and I love it.
YOGA NEW YORK
We decided to go to two yoga studios when in New York. Tara Stiles, Rebel Yoga. We met Tara and her class and her was everything and more of what I would have expected. The second class we went to was Jivamukti Yoga. Hmmmmm!
Tamuna went to the desk and checked in. It went like this.
Tamuna Machavariani Forrest-Smith
I'll put smith because it easier.
No my name is Machavariani Forrest-Smith
So Miss Smith are you in the system (what the hell does that mean)
My name isn't Miss Smith it is Tamuna Machavariani Forrest-Smith
So Lauren I cannot find you in the system
My name isn't Lauren it is Tamuna.
The girl sighs and shouts the other girl. Both look beautiful but both have miserable serious faces that not only look like smacked backsides but also need a smile to make them accessible.
Tamuna is now annoyed.
I feel annoyed for her.
The girls couldn't care less and still call her Lauren.
I find it incredible a global brand like this don't train their frontline people. Maybe they are hoping the universe will train them for them. Such a real shame as we anticipated something amazing only to be hugely disappointed by bad service
So tonight we are walking to the cinema to watch MACBETH. I love Michael Fassbender and love even more the super sexy Marian Coutilard. I'm done with endless CGI it just doesn't work anymore. This looks like blood, mud and a lot of reality thrown in. I can't wait!
I started two new books this week . Starting a new book for me begins 12-moinths before I write. I have to think endlessly about it before i write a word. On the day of writing I pace around like a man on the edge. I actually get nervous before I write.
The one I really made a good start on has a working title. The Man Named Happy. I'll share more on it very soon for those that are interested.
Life has to be measured. Life has to be created. Your business or work situation is the same. Nothing happens by chance, you have to create and design everything.
So that's the week that was so far.
I keep emailing and asking you to work with me for greatness but you never reply. Either way I am truly. Grateful you read my emails, read my waffle and ramblings and I hope you enjoy my letters.
Your eternal rambling iconoclast
Shall we work together or are you stuck in the same old place forever? Hit me up and lets talk possibilities.