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Marketing Maturity with Scott Jeffrey Miller



Great brands aren't built overnight, and they're also not built without mistakes being made first. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of speaking with best-selling author Scott Jeffrey Miller to discuss all things branding and marketing. Our discussion runs the gamut from learning to focus on what's right, versus *being* right, and how people can learn more from others' mistakes than they can from other's successes.

In addition to being an author, Scott is also a radio and podcast host, leadership coach, columnist, and global keynote speaker. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.


If you'd like, you can also listen to the conversation on any streaming platform, such as Spotify or Anchor.


Scott Jeffrey Miller:

Every marketer's biggest temptation is to spread themselves too thin, across too many ideas, and deliver a bunch of C+'s versus having the patience; quite frankly, the maturity. It kind of boils down to, do you have the maturity to say no to good ideas, including genius ideas that you cook up, that might come at the expense of executing with extraordinary excellence on a game-changer.


Ian Evenstar:

Welcome to this episode of All About Brand. Today we are joined with no other than the Wall Street Journal best-selling author Scott Jeffrey Miller. He's here to discuss his latest book "Marketing Mess to Brand Success."


As a quick opener, I was hoping you could tell the audience a bit more about yourself.

Scott:

Sure. I live in Salt Lake City with my wife and our three sons. I just concluded a 25-year career with the Franklin Covey company. Many of your listeners may know that, of course, as the iconic brand, behind "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and dozens of other leadership development solutions. For almost a decade, I was the Chief Marketing Officer and served as the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership. I also write a column for Inc Magazine every week. I'm a multi-time author. Fortunately, now a bestselling author, and I host the world's largest weekly leadership podcast globally, called "On Leadership with Scott Miller." And I love occasionally being a guest on podcasts as well.


Ian:

Scott, you have such a decorated background and resume. It is a true honor to sit down and have this opportunity. Thank you for carving time out. I know that our audience will love your insights, and be eager to pick up this book. Why don't we jump off with one of my favorite branding questions: who are you, and why do you matter? You told us the "who you are" part of the question, but why do you matter in this world of marketing and branding?


Scott:

I'd say I'm a bit of a mess, and that that doesn't mean I haven't had success. I just had lots of successes, but they generally have come through mistakes, challenges, and setbacks, and I have been privileged to write a series of books in the "Mess to Success" series. My first book was "Management Mess to Leadership Success", which came out 18 months ago. My second book is "Marketing Mess to Brand Success." And I've got a whole litany of books that are kind of in that genre of just recognizing that we all have messes and everybody's talking about them. Everybody knows them. Why not just embrace them, acknowledge them, show the vulnerability not just to own your mess, but teach through them? I think everybody learns more through somebody else's mistakes or messes than you do their successes.


I've hit this pinnacle of my career, and I decided to be vulnerable; to share all the mistakes I've made in my 30-year career that spanned the Walt Disney company for four years, and now Franklin Covey for over 25 years, and share with people that are in the same journey that I am, some of the insights that I've learned from both my successes and my messes. I think it's rare. You see a lot of speeches and books written by C-Suite people. People like myself, and much more successful than me. You don't hear a lot about their mistakes. You hear about the, ya know, tripling of market cap and, and all the acquisitions. Rarely do you see the underbelly that got them there. Most people that have got these successes, they've had hundreds, if not thousands of failures and messes. And I think that's where the learning is to be shared.


Ian: That's a wonderful premise. I couldn't agree more. I think when it comes to branding and brand-building; oftentimes, people feel vulnerable when they share those messages or mistakes, not only in their professional life, but also in their personal life. So when you can own up to those mistakes, or messes as you call them, and teach with them as a tool, I think you're right. I think people really gravitate toward them and learn a lot. I'd love to come back to a question about, is it necessary to repeat some of these messages on your own to truly get the lesson or to learn the lesson, but why don't you share with us one of the lessons that you have learned along the way, and maybe one that we would find in the book.


Scott:

I can share a lesson that I actually learned from another brand, and this is a public discussion there, the household appliance we know as the Roomba, right? The automatic electronic digital vacuuming device. It originally was launched. It was originally launched. It was called ISOC. No, not that well-made, but from a group of very competent people. And what we now know as Roomba was enormously well tested in factories and for batteries and durability. And when they first launched the product, a surprising number were coming back with burned-out motors, far beyond what any of the QA testing had shown, and the researchers and the owners and the engineers could not figure out why there was this massively disproportionate number of Roomba motors that were burning out with consumers. None of which was replicated in any of their QA testing in the development of it.


Well, after a lot of research, what they realized was that when this product was launched, a significant number of consumers buying them were heart patients, people that had just recovered from a double bypass or a triple bypass or heart transplant, they were home for several months, could not leave their house for a variety of obvious reasons. And they also were not able to vacuum with an upright vacuum in their home. So they, or their family members, bought them a Roomba, a bot to keep their house clean, because they could receive guests, but they couldn't leave. They wanted their house to be clean, but they also wanted companionship. In many ways, the Roomba was a friend, it's a family member. In fact, in most cases, people named their Roomba. And so I guess the hindsight of that is, their market research was really not perhaps that clear on who was their consumer, what was the circumstance, to quote Clayton Christianson, the famous Harvard business professor, a friend of mine who passed about a year ago, "What is the job to be done? What is the problem that your product and your brand is solving? And can you deliver on it and build a reputation around it?"


Again, I don't mean to criticize the Roomba team cause, you know, maybe who could have figured that out. But I think there's a great lesson to be learned there. When you are launching a product and building a brand, you probably cannot spend enough time getting uber-clear, to quote Seth Godin, a good friend of mine and a marketing genius. "What is your smallest viable market?" And I think too often brands are envisioned and launched with the opposite of mind, who is your largest viable market? When in fact Seth would say, "no, no, no, opposite. Who is your smallest viable market? Who is your first customer? What is their name? What is their profile? What are the demographics? Who is the second person, the third and the fifth and the ninth?"


And I think there's great wisdom in that is as brand builders, can you exercise the patience and the deliberation to get really clear on "Who is your consumer and how should your brand be built to speak and solve their needs?"


Ian:

Well said, Scott. And I think also that problem that you identify early on may change, right? As, as the marketing takes effect and you get more market research back and some of the indicators, your KPIs, you start to really understand that problem a little bit deeper, but if you miss it out of the gate, obviously you have to pivot pretty quickly.


Scott:

Can I follow up on that with another example? I'll make this brief. As your listeners know, I worked for the Franklin Covey company and I still advise them and consult with them and speak and write for them. And we're the world's largest leadership development firm. Certainly, I think the most prestigious offices, nearly every country in the world, and one of our flagship offerings is "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." This book has sold 40 million copies in 30 years. It's arguably one of the top three business books ever written. And so like a lot of training companies, consulting companies we're obsessed with showing results to our clients as, as we would expect to do. The fact of the matter is most clients don't want to show ROI on soft-skill, or even that matter hard-skill training for their teams, both organizations, perhaps sometimes to our horror, by "The Seven Habits" offering, because they just want to make an investment in their people. They want to build a culture. It's kind of hard to measure culture. So, you know, we're all obsessed with trying to build the business case, which is an important thing to do and to measure ROI for our clients. When the fact of the matter is most of our clients, aren't looking for that from this product, they know if it's going to improve their organization, they can feel it. They can see it, they can hear it. People are quitting less, people stay, people are more engaged. So lots of times that you think your customer might want might not be it.


Ian:

And when a brand encounters that, what's your best advice given that situation, is it dependent on the circumstance largely? Or is there a quick follow-up recovery method?


Scott:

I think it's dependent on so many things, but here's a principle. I think great marketers, great brand-builders are able to continue a level of agility, emotional agility, intellectual agility, a maturity to change their mind, to move off their own ego, to listen to what the market is telling you. There's a fine balance. I think it was Steve Jobs that said something along the lines of, "We tell our customers what they want because they don't know." I misquoted that, but I get that thought. I think generally in my experience, 10 years as COO of a public global company, often I thought that I knew what our customers wanted. And I even tried to educate them. In many cases, it was an uphill battle and I had to own that mess and pivot quickly. What I learned was I needed to check my ego. I needed to recognize it's not personal. This is not a setback for me. It's an opportunity to be humbled. And from that humility, exercise a better strategy. I love this quote from our co-founder Stephen R Covey, he says "Humble leaders are more concerned with what is right than being right." And when you exercise the business judgment to be focused on what is right versus being right, magical things can happen for your brand, your company, and your clients.


Ian:

That's excellent. It also reminds me of the concepts in, and I'm sure you've read this, the idea of extreme ownership and when you're wrong. The very first thing to do is to acknowledge that you are wrong and not say "I apologize for", but to literally use the word. "I am sorry for blank" and really take ownership as quickly as possible.


Scott:

So well said. I think a sign of a great leader, a great marketer, or a great brand builder, is someone that can exercise that level of humility and vulnerability to offer what we would call excuse-free apologies, just own it, learn from it and implement it moving forward. Easier said than done. That would not have described my leadership style in my twenties or thirties or much of my forties. I hope it really describes my leadership now and in the future.


Ian:

I'm sure it does. Just hearing the empathy in your voice, as you tell these stories and connect with the listeners, the fact that you've offered to come on to this podcast and spend time knowing very well that you have a long list of other things that you need to get to in terms of priority, that shows the empathy and the humility and the openness to giving back, and ties directly into your mess to success series. I'd love to know a bit more about the genesis behind this brand, the brand of "Mess to Success", and maybe a little bit more just on why you developed a "Mess to Success" as a brand.


Scott:

I'm delighted. I'll try to keep the story short, but it's not a short story. I mentioned earlier that I host the "On Leadership with Scott Miller" podcast series. I was interviewing a guest a few years ago. It actually happened to be the son of a very famous author. And I asked him if he ever felt the desire to write a book, given his father's fame. And he said, no, not really. He was a CEO and a very successful entrepreneur. And then one day he said, "I realized that I actually now did, in fact, have a book in me." And he wrote a very famous book and it sold several million copies. And I was on the set as the interviewer thinking, you know, I don't really have a book in me yet.


And then several weeks passed as I was germinating on it, and I realized, you know what? I do have a book. And my book is going to be about the underbelly of leadership, most leadership books are very aspirational. They're lofty, they're kind of unattainable even. And I wanted to write a book to say, you know what, not everyone should be a leader. Not everyone should be an anesthesiologist or a commercial airline pilot, or you know, an Excel expert. Not everyone should be a leader.


So I wrote this book, "Management Mess to Leadership Success", that basically talked about 30 major leadership mistakes I'd made. And it was kind of raw. It was very real. And I hope relatable to a lot of people who've realized that leading people is not for everyone. And the book took off and sold like 30,000 copies in the first few months. And then it spawned this series. And then I decided, you know what, I've got more messages to share.


And so I decided to write "Marketing Mess to Brand Success", but really the genesis of it was, I was interviewing a guy named Eric Barker. Eric Barker is a social scientist. He wrote a phenomenal book called "Barking Up The Wrong Tree." And in this book, he kind of dispels a lot of the social myths, you know, nice guys finish last, and the early bird gets the worm. And it's a great book. But in the book, Eric talks about the power of owning your story. When ironically, just the night before, I was prepping for an interview with a famous actor and producer, Viola Davis was, she also talked about the power of owning your own story. I came home to my wife and I said to Stephanie, I'm crawling into bed one night. "Have you ever told yourself your story?" She's like, what are you talking about? I'm like, have you ever actually out loud told yourself your story. Now, mind you, I'm 49 years old. She says, "No, I'm tired, I'm going to bed." Ian, I walk into the kitchen, I pull out a wire whisk like Larry King interview style. For the next 40 minutes, I walk around my living room. And I finally, at the age of like 49, late-forties, I tell myself my story. Again, it's pitch black. It's 10:30 at night. Everyone's asleep. I'm about 49, late-forties, 48, I don't know, years old. And I walk around my living room.


I say, my name is Scott Miller. I'm 48 years old. I'm the CMO or Franklin Covey. I'm married. I have three kids, blah, blah, blah. I'm one of two sons raised from a middle-class family in central Florida in the '80s. My father's dad died when he was 10 years old of cancer. My father's twin brother caught polio and spent about a decade in an iron lung, and basically died after that. And therefore my father, his dad, and his twin brother passed away and his mother went in mourning for 70 years. My mother was the daughter of two violent alcoholics, one of which I heard took their life, but we don't talk about it. And she also was raised parentless. And I go on to kind of unpack, you know, the storyline that contributed to my story, that's a pretty big mess on both sides of the house.


And then go on to say, you know, I'm a stutterer, I'm a lifelong stutterer. I have a speech impediment. I spent gosh, about six years in braces, two times and headgear and retainer. And I've had multiple speech pathologists and speech coaches. I still to this day have an articulation coach and a big stage speech coach. There are 46 words I cannot say in public where they come out cha-cha-cha-cha, and it doubles in the winter and the cold. I go on to share all of the challenges I had in life. All the lies that have been told about me by people well or mal-intended. I talk about how in sixth grade, my principal made the decision to segment the grades into three levels, advanced, medium, and slow. I kid you not, advanced, medium, and slow. And Scott Miller in the sixth grade, skinny Scott Miller got put into slow math, slow reading, slow science, slow music. The hell is slow music? And can you imagine the damage that did on my self-esteem of my self-confidence and probably my self-worth, and that night I unpacked all of the truths and non-truths about me. And then I decided to just make my own story, my identity, I was going to choose my identity, not fulfill someone else's identity for me. And literally in my late 40s, I went to bed, woke up, and the next day and I wrote the book "Management Mess to Leadership Success."


I went out and landed a radio program on iHeartRadio called "Great Life, Great Career." I started a podcast and here I am four books later talking to you. And I think the big story there is, my brand is now vulnerability. It's sharing my messes in the hopes that others can learn from them. And I argued to say it's exploding because people are relating to it. People want to work with, and for, people they can trust and relate to and have real conversations with. Gone are the days where people can't relate to or have authentic discussions with their leaders. Those days are over. Long story, but that's my brand journey.


Ian:

A long story, but certainly one we all needed to hear to understand the origin of your brands. To understand the journey and the trials that you've gone through. You know, I think it's oftentimes a misconception that successful people are born successful and that it's not the trials that they've overcome that have actually led to their success, but rather, you know, some act of good fortune, that's brought them to those moments. So I really applaud you for sharing that. I love the idea that "Do I have a book in me?" And you told your story and you woke up the next day. Not only did you have a book, but you had a whole series ready to be told and, and written.


Scott:

I wanted to build a brand out of that. I liked the idea of having eight or nine books in this "Mess to Success" brand, right? The next one is "Job Mess to Career Success" [coming 2022] and there'll be "Communication Mess to Influence Success." So I am very deliberately building a brand. And as you know, iconic brands are not built overnight. There's no such thing as overnight brand success. There is overnight fame, but that usually comes because there was something, you know, untoward involved, right? But there is no such thing as overnight brand success. Look at "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Look at "Chicken Soup for the Soul." Look at Rachel Hollis, right? And her brand around "Girl, Wash Your Face" and "Girl, Stop Apologizing." These brands are carefully built, usually like an iceberg, years and decades toiling. And then all you see is the person bursting on the scene at Wimbleton, right? Or bursting on the scene in the movies. Look at Harrison Ford, that man did more acting work that you've not seen than you have seen. It's a constant theme of iconic brands.


Ian:

I love that iceberg analogy. I will use that henceforth, or at least borrow it from you, and attribute that to you, because it's such a great way to visualize the process of brand building and really what's needed to see the tip of the iceberg. Great analogy. I'm curious, do you want the readers to read them sequentially? I know you don't need to, but is it part of your vision that there's like a linear trajectory from one book to the next.


Scott:

Not necessarily. I think you can skip around, you can read "Chicken Soup for the Soul for Kittens" before you read "Chicken Soup for the Soul for Crocheters" or whatever those 500 million copies have sold. If you can believe that, 500 million books. I think you can bounce around. I think if you read "Management Mess to Leadership Success" first, you really get to know me and my journey and how I have grown into my own as a leader. "Marketing Mess to Brand Success" is a focus on brand building, marketing lessons that I've learned. Everything from building lists, to trade shows, to quality standards, to business acumen, to trending your competition, right? There's a broad variety of principles known, so someone can bounce around.


Ian:

Good to know. I like the idea that your first book is also a doorway, if you will, or a window into the Scott Miller brands. And it's a good starting place, at least. I'm curious about, you touched on, really understanding your audience's problems or their pain points. And I wanted to just turn the lens here on the series and, and ask you, what pain point or what problem are you looking to solve? Or who's the ideal audience for this book, who should pick up this book?


Scott:

Mindful of Seth Godin's advice, right? I mean, I coach a lot of people weekly, just as a favor when they want to write a book and they inevitably, I asked him who is your market? And everybody says, "You know what? Broad marketing, really anybody can benefit." I mean, no, no, no. Wrong. Wrong answer. Seth Godin, who is your smallest viable market? I think my book "Marketing Mess to Brand Success" is aimed at someone that's trying to build and grow a marketing career. They will be a graduate from college. They're a marketing coordinator, they're a product manager, they're maybe moving up into becoming a marketing manager, perhaps they are a marketing director. But this is really about someone that wants to understand what is the role of marketing inside organizations? How should marketing collaborate and drive sales and revenue?

I've met so many marketers that spend all day talking about brand and meetings. And I have more than once pounded my fist and said, I get it, but you cannot staple brand to the back of a deposit slip and put it in the bank. Brand is great. Brand is invaluable. You can only staple revenue to the back of a deposit slip. It's a metaphor, right? But you can have lots of great marketing advertising ideas, but at the end of the day, all of that has to boil down into business development, revenue, cash in the bank, satisfied clients.


In some ways, my book might even offend marketers. Now I was a decade-long chief marketing officer. I also was a decade-long executive vice president of sales and business development. And so in many ways, I liken myself to a Utah basketball analogy. I'm not a big basketball fan, but you know, any Jazz fans will remember their famous duo, John Stockton and Karl Malone, right? And the famous kind of call-out was "Stockton to Malone", right? Stockton would often, you know, tee up the ball to the net, for Karl Malone to dunk it in. And that's the role that I think marketing should play. Marketing is John Stockton, sales as Karl Malone. One is not better than the other, but everybody knows their place because I think often in organizations, there's this cancer, which is sales and marketing always pointing the finger at each other. It's every CEO's worst nightmare. So to double down on your question, I really wrote the book for aspiring marketers, wanting to build a career and really know how to make yourself relevant and build a career. That's not at the whim of the VP of sales selling you out, or the CFO or the CEO being frustrated that marketing is just full of blackhole creative ideas. And although they should be obsessed with brand, they understand you cannot staple brand to the back of a deposit slip at the bank.


Ian:

I love the trajectory on that answer. If we're using Karl Malone and Stockton as marketing and sales and getting those two teed up together and aligned on one central cause, is the central cause then brand? Where does brand fit into the sales marketing combo?


Scott:

Well of course, it's brand, right? There is no sale without brand. I'm sure it can be defined broadly. You know, I'll take my license. Brand is your reputation. Brand is your deserved perception by clients. Either your headache medication does or doesn't solve the problem you promised. Either your radio station does or doesn't deliver the information you need. Your sushi does or does not give me food poisoning. Brand is simply the collection of all of your promises and your ability to deliver on them to the client's expectations. And so there is no successful sales organization without brand equity. And so I think there's this delicate balance inside every organization, any institution, whether you're talking about a product or a service or an individual's brand, is everybody listening to you has their own brand as well. It's either accidentally created or it's deliberately created through their own determined behaviors.


Brand is hard to build. Brand is the outcome of all of your decisions, your investments, your alignment, or your misalignment. I think it was Arthur Jones that said "Every organization is perfectly aligned to get the results they deserve", and your brand is the same. Meaning, how much effort and time you put into delivering on your promises, that's your brand. Here's a great example: A week ago, you and I spoke and you asked me some quite strategic questions around brand. I asked you, could I punt and think about them carefully? I think we'll get back to you in an email in a couple of days with my thoughts around it. And I didn't. I did not send you that email. It haunted me for three or four days, no excuses. And today you reached out and said, "Hey, do you have those questions?" And I had to admit the fact that I didn't, you were gracious enough to pre-forgive me and move forward with today's podcast. But quite frankly, my brand coming into this podcast with you was a guy that maybe has a lot of charisma and wrote maybe a good book, but at the end of the day, he didn't deliver on his promise to send you the questions. Now, I don't mean to ask you to forgive me. I want to prove a point that, I'm sure it's factual, that my brand coming into this was I didn't do what I told you I was going to do. I had to be much more mindful around making promises. I can't keep writing checks, metaphorically that I can't cash. Everyone's got their own brand. Every product, every service, every person and brand is merely the outcome of delivering on promises you've made.


Ian:

Absolutely. I agree. 100%. And don't worry, your brand is not tarnished by not having those questions in advance, but it's a relevant example that does touch on the solid foundation that a brand is a continued promise, which is expressed over time through your brand touchpoints. And those touchpoints might be physical, digital, experiential, but it is a continued promise that it is expressed and felt over time.


Scott:

Can I give one quick follow-up to that? When I was the chief marketing officer for Franklin Covey, I would talk to all of our salespeople around the role they play as a brand ambassador, the seven habits of highly effective people. I mean, we teach productivity. I mean, we are the world's productivity experts. You cannot show up to a client meeting late. You cannot show up to a client meeting not prepared. You can not show up to a client meeting and not listen. I mean, habit five is "seek first to understand, then to be understood." Habit six is "Synergize", habit four is "Think win-win." And so as much as my chief marketing opera or officer duties were around websites and blogs and keynotes and books and podcasts and brochures and slip sheets, and all of that, equally as much was around reinforcing in our thousands of brand ambassadors, "You have got to model our content, or you will look like a fraud. We will be a fraud." If you are late to the meeting, that's a brand touchpoint. If you talk all over your client and you don't listen, that's a touchpoint. And the same thing goes to every organization, right? You've got to make sure that all of your employees recognize that they are brand ambassadors on the clock and off the clock.


Ian:

Beautiful. And that is one of the seminal books in my history and development as a leader and career professional. And I always refer back to those. I even have a little card that has the seven habits listed out, and I always refer back to that and say, "Hey, if this truly is the brand that you aspire to be, how did you do today?" And kind of use it as a checklist of sorts. I have another question for you. So you claim that the book can transform your organization's brand. And we hit the point that this is for the aspiring CMO, or perhaps the marketing director coming up. So can you give us just a taste about your methodology? How will this book transform your organization's brand? I think the methodology that you laid out here is actually really smart, and I would just love a chance to hear it in your own words.

Scott:

I think a couple of a couple of assets come out of this book. One is a level of collaboration. I'm going to use the word humility again. So I teach a willingness to not have to be right. Not have to be unilateral, but I teach a lot of strategy on how organizations value, or don't value, the role that marketing plays. Now, of course, my experience isn't the same experience at Chevron or Disney or Apple, but I generally try to build a sense of better collaboration, being willing to change your mind. I have a whole chapter called bruise hard and heal fast. And I share a kind of the horrifying story of how in my tenure marketing was like Midas for like 19 quarters, just crushing it. And I had a grand pinnacle coming in, right? I laid a whole series of campaigns in front of the CEO thinking that we'd done it once again. And he looked at me and said in his very diplomatic and harmonious style, "Yeah, I don't think this is it." And I wanted to, like, slit his throat, but he was right. My hubris and the team's hubris and all of our hard work wasn't acknowledged the fact of the matter is, it wasn't right. And so we went back and we bruised hard and healed fast and recognize that not everything will work and we didn't, we didn't slow the train down because of our egos. We just got back up, brush ourselves off, and got back to work. So a lot of the book is just teaching kind of great solid business, pre COVID principles, that are going to come back, you know, in full kind of old school stuff that is still relevant. I mean, principals are old school. I took a lot about disrupting yourself and owning your own career.


As I mentioned earlier, the need to set quality standards across the organization and be willing to challenge your own, recognize that, you know, what someone's idea may well be better than yours. I talk about the power of writing and storytelling. Donald Miller and Nancy Duarte, two icons in our industry, who have both endorsed the book. Donald Miller, of course, the author of "Story Brand" and "Marketing Made Simple." And Nancy Duarte, of course from the Duarte company, wrote "Slide:ology", "Resonate", and "DataStory." I share insights from them on just making sure your message is not about you. Your message is about your customer. If your customer cannot find themselves in your story, they won't care. So I offer a lot of practical advice on how to build your writing skills and, make sure that you're not just focused on your company.


In fact, the first chapter is called "It's the customer, stupid." And I base it on the story of the 1992 presidential campaign with Bill Clinton and Al Gore when Paul Begala and James Carville wrote the famous sign on the door in Little Rock [Arkansas] on the Clinton war room that said, "It's the economy, stupid." The first lesson I teach is it's not about you. It's not about your product. It's not about your grandfather's hard, bootstrap story. It's not about your grandmother's recipe. It's about your clients and everything you write needs to be about them, and why they care, and how they find themselves in your story. So a lot of these are lessons that I learned the hard way after decades of doing it wrong. And I hope I've called on a lot of the big icons in marketing and branding and marshaled some of their expertise. So instead of reading 30 books, you can just read mine.