Nike was a client of mine a few years ago and this…is one of my favorite stories.
In the 70s, Phil Knight needed to come up with a name and mark to register what was to be the “Just do it” brand when he was branching out and creating something new from his previous company of Blue Ribbon Sports.
Asking a designer to create something quickly, the Nike swoosh was born for $35 and Phil Knight is known to have said something like ‘I’ll learn to like it…’ Clearly, whether he initially liked it or not, the combination of product and branding would render the swoosh (and biz) in the top three of iconic companies and logos in the world. And though Nike achieved this iconic logo and biz greatness through what could have been coined a “temporary” logo, this is no everyday occurrence.
In fact, many entrepreneurs and business owners go through quick-decisions and temporary route alot. Not only for their marks but for other elements that make up their business. The number one thing I’ve heard in ten years helping men and women-owned businesses is exactly that: “Oh, it’s just temporary / It was just temporary.” I’ve heard it about hundreds of logos (that clients come to MGI to “fix” or re-do), websites, business cards, offices/studios, printing methods/materials, a client’s pricing, email systems, colleagues, vendors, even about some products gone out (and list goes on). I’ve been guilty of using the word “temporary” at times too, it’s human, however I can tell you with 150% certainty it didn’t serve me at all! It’s actually very un-like me to think in terms of temporary but so many times time isn’t on our side as business-owners.
I think it’s important for all of us to watch what we’re putting out into the world. “Temporary” newsletters or “temporary” products or business cards, however small or insignificant they may seem, do add up. I think it’s an especially precarious situation when playing temporary is on repeat. Clients and potential clients might excuse it for a variety of different reasons and for a length of time, however, the crux is really this ~ if the majority of what you’re putting out into the world is “temporary”, won’t that be what you get back? Temporary income, temporary clients, temporary blips of what you would consider success?
Having convictions and making firm decisions and being proud of what you are birthing is not only important, in my opinion, it’s crucial to our success.
I constantly remind clients if they’re not excited about what’s going out, how should we expect anyone else to be excited about and pay for it? We need to be proud. Not only of our products or services but in how far we’ve come and only focus on our forward movement from that place.
Essentially the message here is we need not play small, nor to shrink but really tell the world what we think and stand up in our permanence. And because hardly anything here at MGI is only about business, take this as a mantra in life too. Stand up in everything you are.
Prior to the year, make a conscious decision to achieve through intention (grow your actions/habits from the seed of
“I intend…” vs “I try” as try is an admission of potential defeat). Phil Knight might have learned to love his swoosh but we can love what we do from the start. Just decide to and do it.
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Life is good.