DIARY OF AN ADMAN

My Immutable Laws of Business

David Ligon, Creative Principal, Sacramento

December 18, 2014

If you’ve ever been near my desk, you may have noticed sayings stuck to my walls and cabinets.  I didn’t realize it when I wrote them, but I was writing some of the laws that govern my business.

  • Don’t get jealous, get better.
  • If it’s not original, think harder.
  • The bathroom is where all good things come out. (also: The cleaner my house, the happier my clients).
  • Never get so stressed that life stops; the irony will be lost on you.
  • Shotguns save time.
  • Nothing is worse than no.

Entrepreneur and author Mike Michalowicz would call these my Immutable Laws.  Let me explain what they mean.

Ligon Media’s Immutable Laws

 

Don’t get jealous, get better.  Don’t spend a lot of time wanting what someone else has– instead figure out what you need to do to achieve the success yourself.

If it’s not original, think harder.  Clichés are for the clichéd.  If you describe yourself or your company as the “premier” or “leading,” congratulations, you have entered the late 1990’s.  If you’re revolutionary then you’re on about the 100th evolution of that term. If you’ve seen it done a thousand time before, trust me, so have your customers and they won’t remember you doing it.  Think a little longer.  Come up with a new idea or at the very least, a new way to say it.  If you want to stand out, then don’t wear the same uniform as everyone else … unless you’re the only one with pink hair.

The bathroom is where all good things come out. (also: The cleaner my house, the happier my clients).  Creativity seldom happens while sitting at a desk.  Sure, the final product may be produced there, but more often than not the thought behind the creativity was inspired while doing something else while your mind was clear.  The inspiration behind this campaign happened while crossing the street; and this one came while I was vacuuming the floor; and this one while I was, um, let’s just say standing and in the flow.  It’s like the old adage says: “My best thinking is done in the shower” … and sometimes other places.

Never get so stressed that life stops; the irony will be lost on you. Life happens. Everyday.  You can’t worry about stuff so much that it prevents you from doing what needs to be done.  Don’t dwell on the mistakes, learn from them.  You know, basically everything every coach has told every player ever.

Shotguns save time. This has been a public relations philosophy of mine for a longtime.  When it comes to free publicity, don’t only try to get news coverage in the section of the newspaper or on websites that only pertain to your business. Hint: your customers read other sections and sites too.  Focus on your main areas, but also spread around the resources so you reach the greatest volume possible. (Although, when it comes to paid advertising, then I believe in high-caliber, straight shooting weaponry so you get the most bang for the buck (get it?)).

Nothing is worse than no.  You’ve heard it thousands of time: “the worst that can happen is they’ll say no.”  That’s not exactly true.  There’s something even worse: not asking the question and thus never knowing the answer.  You will never get their business if you don’t ask.

 

These are the Immutable Laws that govern Ligon Media.  This way of thinking has worked well for me over the years.  And if it sounds good to you, then I’d love to hear from you.  We’re always looking for new clients who appreciate working with small businesses that treats clients like they mean the world to us — because they do.

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