How smart are you? How do you rack up compared to your peers; your competitors; your parallel people?

There’s all sorts of smart, but only one that counts. It’s not high school diploma. It’s not college degree. It’s not university PhD.

It’s experiential smart.

Your experience. Your knowledge. Your ability to act. Your ability to react. Your ability to pro-act. It’s your fluidity. Your flexibility. Your awareness that smart is not not being dumb; it’s not being the dumbest.

Smart marketers see an opportunity before the opportunity presents itself.

Smart sales close the deal before the meeting.

Smart customer service prevents the issue before it leaves the manufacturing plant.

Smart human resources see through cubicle walls.

Smart public relations knows it’s not the story.

Smart comes in many guises, but the real smart? That’s what the smart folks have already figured out. Have used. Have profited from. And have moved on.

Smart is not last year’s model. Smart is not yesterday’s news. Smart isn’t even tomorrow’s headlines.

Smart – real smart – is all the stories you never see until they’ve happened. But you made them. And now you’re telling new ones as everyone else regurgitates yours.

And that? That’s smart.

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46 comments
Danny
Danny

Hi Patricia,

I think just being aware that there's more than the obvious to look at.

For example, if I'm in search marketing, and I have a product like an electric car, I should be looking at the bigger picture and seeing opportunities before they're clearly visible.

So, instead of looking for someone searching for "electric cars", I should be looking for someone on Twitter or Facebook that's bitching about gas prices. Then jumping in and saying, "Completely agree - would you like to learn about electric power sources?".

Or something like that. Think differently and be aware of all the opportunities around a single product, not just the obvious ones.

Cheers!

Danny
Danny

Hi Patricia,

I think just being aware that there's more than the obvious to look at.

For example, if I'm in search marketing, and I have a product like an electric car, I should be looking at the bigger picture and seeing opportunities before they're clearly visible.

So, instead of looking for someone searching for "electric cars", I should be looking for someone on Twitter or Facebook that's bitching about gas prices. Then jumping in and saying, "Completely agree - would you like to learn about electric power sources?".

Or something like that. Think differently and be aware of all the opportunities around a single product, not just the obvious ones.

Cheers!

Danny
Danny

Great point, Mark. The smartest leaders are the ones who employ people that are better than them. The results are all that count, so why wouldn't you want the best?

Cheers, mate!

San Diego SEO
San Diego SEO

Sigh, I wish I can actually say that I'm smart "smart," but alas I lack the ability to react or act correctly or on time. The frustrating thing is, I know what to do, but somehow, there's a fear or irratinality holding me back.

San Diego SEO
San Diego SEO

Sigh, I wish I can actually say that I'm smart "smart," but alas I lack the ability to react or act correctly or on time. The frustrating thing is, I know what to do, but somehow, there's a fear or irratinality holding me back.

predsicker
predsicker

Great stuff Danny... ...especially the part about "Smart marketers seeing an opportunity before the opportunity presents itself." I wonder what it takes to see the opportunity when no-one else can. Any thoughts on that?

predsicker
predsicker

Great stuff Danny...

...especially the part about "Smart marketers seeing an opportunity before the opportunity presents itself."

I wonder what it takes to see the opportunity when no-one else can. Any thoughts on that?

EugeneFarber
EugeneFarber

PhD? Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym.

EugeneFarber
EugeneFarber

PhD? Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach, teach gym.

Latest blog post: About Me

markaylward
markaylward

Hey Danny

Smart is also knowing what you don't know and surrounding yourself with people who do know. This one is really hard for a lot of entrepreneurs, because we are stubborn and control freaks for the most part. This maturation toward delegation is often what creates breakthroughs!

Peace

Mark

markaylward
markaylward

Hey Danny Smart is also knowing what you don't know and surrounding yourself with people who do know. This one is really hard for a lot of entrepreneurs, because we are stubborn and control freaks for the most part. This maturation toward delegation is often what creates breakthroughs! Peace Mark

Nikki Little
Nikki Little

Hi Danny - Can you explain what you mean by "smart public relations knows it’s not the story"? Are you saying smart PR means going beyond just finding and sharing the story? Not criticizing, just curious. :)

Nikki_Little
Nikki_Little

Hi Danny - Can you explain what you mean by "smart public relations knows it’s not the story"? Are you saying smart PR means going beyond just finding and sharing the story? Not criticizing, just curious. :)

MatthewRideout
MatthewRideout

I feel I have learned more in my first 8 months in a real job that I learned in all 4 years of college. I'm not sure what I would have learned in the additional 3 years getting my MBA, but there is no way it could be nearly as valuable as what I've gotten in Agency Experience.

MatthewRideout
MatthewRideout

I feel I have learned more in my first 8 months in a real job that I learned in all 4 years of college. I'm not sure what I would have learned in the additional 3 years getting my MBA, but there is no way it could be nearly as valuable as what I've gotten in Agency Experience.

newdaynewlesson
newdaynewlesson

Hmmm, am feeling a bit dumb now (or it may be the horrible jetlag I have) but I had to read that 4 times and I am not sure I get it. I think that I get it's about having experience and instinctively "knowing things".

What I am thinking is that it is all about connecting with people as the people they are and forging relationships.

newdaynewlesson
newdaynewlesson

Hmmm, am feeling a bit dumb now (or it may be the horrible jetlag I have) but I had to read that 4 times and I am not sure I get it. I think that I get it's about having experience and instinctively "knowing things". What I am thinking is that it is all about connecting with people as the people they are and forging relationships.

StacieWalker
StacieWalker

Danny, this is an inspiring post. Thank you for letting me know that I am smart after all :) I will be a regular visitor to your site.

To Your Success,

Stacie Walker

StacieWalker
StacieWalker

Danny, this is an inspiring post. Thank you for letting me know that I am smart after all :) I will be a regular visitor to your site. To Your Success, Stacie Walker

Mark Longbottom
Mark Longbottom

ONce i have re read this a few times i amy be smart enough to say more :)

Mark Longbottom
Mark Longbottom

ONce i have re read this a few times i amy be smart enough to say more :)

Ali Mac
Ali Mac

After I graduated college I got nervous - I had no plan, didn't know what to do, and wasn't prepared for the "real world." Many people I knew were running back for a masters - some of whom knew that's what they wanted, but of course some who just liked the idea of another degree and buying more time before having to decide "what to do with their lives." Everyone around me was convincing me how "prestigious" it would be do have more degrees. Scared shit, I followed suit and entered the Masters program in education and worked my butt off the first sememster to get a 4.0. I then slapped myself upside the head and thought, what the hell am I doing? I must be the dumbest person I know. I caught flack from certain people when I dropped out, but quickly stopped caring when I realized they weren't paying my bills or living my life. A degree would not guarantee me anything - I could just see myself for the next 20 years, hoping I could scrounge up enough change to buy the swiffer to dust off my "prestigious" diploma. But later, one of my professors actually told me that because I exited the program, it made me her smartest student - and that was worth more to me than the diploma!

Raj-PB
Raj-PB

Smart customer service preventing the issue before the product leaves the manufacturing plant? LOL. I'd be glad if some of them prevent the issue 30 DAYS AFTER the faulty equipment is brought in! Somehow, I feel smart today, after reading your post... :)

Raj-PB
Raj-PB

Smart customer service preventing the issue before the product leaves the manufacturing plant? LOL. I'd be glad if some of them prevent the issue 30 DAYS AFTER the faulty equipment is brought in! Somehow, I feel smart today, after reading your post... :)

jessicamalnik
jessicamalnik

Love this post, Danny. Simple, but very profound. Being smart isn't about how many degrees you have, instead it's about the experience and knowledge you possess and how you choose to apply it.

Danny
Danny

Hi Patricia, I think just being aware that there's more than the obvious to look at. For example, if I'm in search marketing, and I have a product like an electric car, I should be looking at the bigger picture and seeing opportunities before they're clearly visible. So, instead of looking for someone searching for "electric cars", I should be looking for someone on Twitter or Facebook that's bitching about gas prices. Then jumping in and saying, "Completely agree - would you like to learn about electric power sources?". Or something like that. Think differently and be aware of all the opportunities around a single product, not just the obvious ones. Cheers!

Danny
Danny

Great point, Mark. The smartest leaders are the ones who employ people that are better than them. The results are all that count, so why wouldn't you want the best? Cheers, mate!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@Nikki Little Hi Nikki, questions always welcome. :)

Where I'm coming from is that the best PR isn't obvious, whether it's promotion, crisis comms, media training, etc. Think of it like a duck - all we see is the smooth glide above the water, while all the work goes on below.

With PR, equate that to the client always being the story, and the PR agency not being self-promotional and making sure they're always mentioned in every thing that's made public.

Hope that makes sense! :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Nikki_Little Hi Nikki, questions always welcome. :) Where I'm coming from is that the best PR isn't obvious, whether it's promotion, crisis comms, media training, etc. Think of it like a duck - all we see is the smooth glide above the water, while all the work goes on below. With PR, equate that to the client always being the story, and the PR agency not being self-promotional and making sure they're always mentioned in every thing that's made public. Hope that makes sense! :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@MatthewRideout I hear you, mate - I spent 4 years getting my Marketing degree, but it's in the trenches where you really learn the stuff you need to know. Cheers!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@newdaynewlesson Hi Susie - hope your jetlag is better. :)

Sorry for the confusion - my take is that we have all we need to succeed already inside us, and we add to that with every day we live new experiences. The rest is just a nice bonus. :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@newdaynewlesson Hi Susie - hope your jetlag is better. :) Sorry for the confusion - my take is that we have all we need to succeed already inside us, and we add to that with every day we live new experiences. The rest is just a nice bonus. :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@StacieWalker Glad it helped, Stacie, and look forward to chatting more in future!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@Ali Mac Awesome story, Ali, and kudos to you for having the gall to leave the program - that couldn't have been easy.

It's funny how peer pressure makes us do funny things, and often the wrong ones at that. Here's to less peer listening and more personal listening.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Ali Mac Awesome story, Ali, and kudos to you for having the gall to leave the program - that couldn't have been easy. It's funny how peer pressure makes us do funny things, and often the wrong ones at that. Here's to less peer listening and more personal listening.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@Raj-PB Hey there Raj,

Over in the U.K., there's a company I used to work for where the customer feedback would drive the updates and next product runs. Their goal was to eradicate issues before they arose, or before the product went out the door. Really cool approach and made a big difference for users.

Now if only more companies could do this. ;-)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Raj-PB Hey there Raj, Over in the U.K., there's a company I used to work for where the customer feedback would drive the updates and next product runs. Their goal was to eradicate issues before they arose, or before the product went out the door. Really cool approach and made a big difference for users. Now if only more companies could do this. ;-)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@jessicamalnik Seems so simple when you say it like that - yet so many still miss that simple thing. Hey ho... Cheers, Jessica!

Nikki_Little
Nikki_Little

@DannyBrown Got ya. Makes complete sense. Thanks for elaborating!

newdaynewlesson
newdaynewlesson

Ahhh now I get it. And brain is still jetlag mush. Horrible invention jetlag is. @DannyBrown

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