Suddenly Marketing

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Your Secret Marketing Weapon

Imagine you had a secret super power that helped you make your marketing instantly more effective, more viral, and more fun. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Good news: This isn’t a hypothetical question. You really do have a secret weapon (even though you might not know it yet). I’m not going to keep you waiting; I’m just going to spill the beans. The secret weapon that will help you stand out, make an impression, and get people interested in your ideas/products/cause is:


The sad truth is that most people hold back on their enthusiasm. They keep it bottled up inside because they are scared. Scared of what, you ask? Scared of looking silly. Scared of making a mistake in their joyful abandon. Scared of looking stupid or appearing unsophisticated, immature, unprofessional … you get the idea.

You see, somewhere along the line, some jerk told us that it’s not okay to be all happy and enthusiastic about stuff. We’re supposed to grow up, be serious, attend to the Important Things with decorum, authority, and levelheaded perspective. As Srinivas Rao from the Skool of Life puts it, “some well intentioned jackass tells us to be realistic, pragmatic, and practical.” (Which is just one small reason why I enjoy Srini’s blog so much.)

Sadly, happy people are often looked down upon. (Crazy, right?) We assume that they must be missing something. We’re suspicious of people who smile too much. What image comes to mind when I say “village idiot.” How about the expression “grinning like the cat that ate the canary”? See what I mean?

The danger we can easily forget is that sometimes the jerk telling us to simmer down is US. We are the ones who are reining in our unbridled enthusiasm. For all the reasons mentioned above, we decide – through some twisted anti-logic – that it’s smarter to keep our eagerness, zeal, and exuberance under wraps.


That stuff is rocket fuel, baby. It’s the magic juice that can send you (and your business) to the moon. Is it scary to let loose and be open and vocal and LOUD about the things that really turn you on? Is it scary to get up on a soapbox and proclaim your beliefs and passions to the world? Hell, yes. Someone might not like it. Someone might not like you. Someone might tell you you’re wrong. Someone might (gasp!) laugh at you.

Who cares?

Maybe it’s that I’m officially “over the hill” (and swiftly approaching “middle age”). Maybe it’s because I’m somebody’s mom (and have learned not to take life so damn seriously). Maybe it’s because I’ve been through a divorce (and come out stronger, braver, and more “me” on the other side). Whatever it is, I’m starting to just not give a rat’s ass about measuring up to someone else’s standards … even if they are the standards of the annoying, dream-killer voice in. my. own. head.

SO … how can you start cultivating your own enthusiasm? Step #1: know that it already exists. You’ve had it inside you forever. You may not let it out very often, but it’s there. You don’t need to create your enthusiasm; you just need to unchain it. Remember when you were a kid and you wanted something so bad that you’d do anything to get it? Remember jumping up and down in excitement? Remember when you thought it was not only okay, but a good thing to be happy? Go back to that place. If you need some help getting there – here are some tips inspired by the world’s most unabashedly enthusiastic souls: dogs.

If you’re not feeling your enthusiasm naturally bubbling up from your heart, start from the outside and work your way in. Put a big, ol’ grin on your mug and see how it feels … see if it doesn’t start your enthusiasm engine rumbling. Though we may be suspicious of people who we think smile “too much,” we are – in general – drawn to people who are smiling. They seem more approachable. Try using a Big Smile in your avatar for your website, blog, and social profiles. See what happens.

Indulge your curiosity.
You don’t need to know everything. It’s okay to be ignorant of some things. And it’s more than okay to be curious and to let your curiosity show. Curiosity is often the spark that ignites enthusiasm. We are intrigued by something and then lean in for a closer look, and suddenly we’re learning and exploring and it feels good and – bam! – enthusiasm explodes. Ask people questions. Be interested in what they are doing and saying. This is an excellent way to make new friends (and contacts).

Say “Hi!”
Enthusiasm is best when shared. Don’t keep your newly released joy trapped inside. Reach out to other people. Share your excitement and passion. You might be surprised at how people react. Sure, they may be a little stand offish at first, but be patient. They’ll come around. Maybe they’ll even share their enthusiasm with you. Reach out to people through blog posts, comments, etc. If you write or share something and think a particular person might really like it, tell them!


Let your freak flag fly.
It’s okay to be different. In the world of branding and marketing, it’s actually fabulous. Don’t hide the eccentricity of your enthusiasm. Let it out. Be proud of it. If the thing that makes your heart sing also inspires you to dance in the streets, shout from the rooftops, or run around giving out free hugs – do that. As much as you might start out feeling like an outsider, there are other people out there who feel exactly as you do and believe in the same things. Use your enthusiasm to broadcast how you feel and they will find you and be loyal supporters.

Finally, if you feel happy, let it show! As our canine friends often demonstrate – happiness can look a little silly, BUT it also feels really, really good. And – let me tell you – when people are exposed to genuine, honest happiness they can’t help but smile. And you know what happens when they smile? They start to feel good and their own enthusiasm starts bubbling up from the depths. That’s when the magic happens.


Enthusiasm alone won’t take you everywhere in life or business, but it’s a great place from which to start. Own your enthusiasm. Embrace it. Use it to light up your face and your message. People will respond.

For an up close and personal look at enthusiasm in action, check out my friends Bernardo and Monica. They have passion to spare and a great style that showcases their irresistible enthusiasm for all the world to see. Bravo, you guys! 😉

What are your thoughts on enthusiasm? Do you let loose, or play it a little closer to the vest? Have you seen enthusiasm work for an individual or brand?


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  1. This is the best post, ever.

    How could you not be enthusiastic when you see all those photos. (and your advice to say hi coupled with that tiny dog reaching up to the man will forever be remembered.)

    Thanks for a great kick in the pants today (and a boatload of smiles.)

    • Jamie Lee

      So glad to have delivered you some smiles today. I couldn’t have hoped for a better purpose to this post.

      Here’s to enthusiasm and joy, Wendy.

  2. Love it. So many great insights in this. This post isn’t just about marketing. It’s about being true to yourself. When you let what’s inside shine, you find your superpower. Mine happens to be yapping behind a microphone. I do think it’s so weird that people are annoyed by happy people. You should see some of the comments that i’ve been getting lately on some of my posts.

    You brought up enthusiasm which is so important. If you don’t think you’re awesome nobody else will (hmm. that’s a blog post in the making).

    • Jamie Lee

      “Yapping” behind a microphone … I think the dog pics are putting words in your mouth. 😉

      I agree – it is weird that people are so often annoyed and put off by happy people, or – worse – assume they are less intelligent than unhappy people.

      When I worked at the agency, I always found it amusing that the “big wigs” were constantly storming around the place, growling and grumbling … looking ANYthing but happy. It was like in order to be considered smart and savvy, they had to be miserable. Truth is, being miserable didn’t make them any smarter. It just made them miserable. (Not to mention the negative impact it had on the karma of the whole place!)

      I for one am grateful that you don’t listen to the people who try to tear you down for being happy/optimistic/whatever they take issue with. I love what you do and the enthusiasm you bring to it. It inspires people. It inspired me. It inspired this post. So – keep on keepin’ on. May the happy people inherit the earth!

  3. Jamie,this article is the true essence of Branding YOUR Fire, you are awesome. This post is so well written and so profound, I will post the link on my blog, could not say it any better. Life can be so easy and, sometimes, we make it so complicated. All we have to do is to be authentic and bring our true self to the forefront. That is all the marketing we really want to do. Thanks, you are inspiring!

    • Jamie Lee

      Thank you for being one of the inspirations behind the post, Monica. You bring an amazing “verve” to what you do and I love that about you.

      So glad I was able, with my Savvy Sisters, to be part of your show. Had a wonderful time!


  4. I am SO with you on this although I would have preferred it if you’d used a picture of one of my woofs !!!

    But seriously, enthusiasm is imperative. How are customers going to invest their time, trust and money in us if we’re lacking in enthusiasm.

    Passion and enthusiasm isn’t everything: you need skills to back it up. But passion is infectious. It should be celebrated.

    • Jamie Lee

      HA! You make me smile, Jon.

      “Passion is infectious” – that kind of sums up my whole post in three words. Nicely done. It’s true – joy spreads joy. If you can infect people with your joy, they are going to want more of that. No question.

      RE: your woofs – send me a picture and I’ll craft a post around it. Deal? Let’s get it on! 😉

  5. As always, You leave me with little words to express what my heart feels for you Jamie. I ADORE your post it contains so much truth and power. I heard recently that happiness for a reason is pain because as soon as the object of happiness goes away so does the happiness, Happiness without a reason is bliss. I agree wholeheartedly that we often buy into a set of rules that ask us to attain so much prior to being incredibly happy but the truth is underlying our core, we are both love and happiness. Thank you for another inspiring post and incredibly humbled by your shout out. Te quiero muchisisisisisimo.

    • Jamie Lee

      Much of my happiness, Bernardo, comes from my conversations with others – people like you and Monica and my Savvy Sisters and so many others who bring joy into my world.

      You are SO right about true happiness coming from our “underlying core.” “Things” do not make us happy – things (like music, for instance) can only ignite the happiness we already carry inside us. They give us a reason to let our happy out.


      Big hugs!

  6. I will send you photos of my dogs (and cat!) too!

  7. Loved the post, Jamie.

    Our world works on the principles of expectation and boundaries – we expect ourselves and others to live by certain boundaries. To an extent, they do help us (Some boundaries are needed to live a balanced life – between order and chaos).

    I love the idea of standing apart. Of course, it does depend on what we are standing apart from. Certain ideas are only good when we live according to them. For others, it is better to stand out. Who knows? It is about experimenting, analyzing, learning and making the wise choices – based on our understanding.

    Be Happy. Be Crazy. Stand Out. Yet, stand in.

    Thanks for the post, Jamie


    • Jamie Lee

      Thanks for your comment. :)

      ” It is about experimenting, analyzing, learning and making the wise choices – based on our understanding.”

      There is absolutely value in boundaries, but mostly in the ones we set for ourselves based on our own beliefs. It’s when we let ourselves get hemmed in by other people’s boundaries that we risk limiting our own potential.

      Be happy. Be crazy. Absolutely!

      TKS for being here. Jeevan.

  8. So much love for this post Jamie – and I love that I can feel your beautiful smile behind this too.

    Here’s not to giving a rat’s ass about anyone else’s standards and instead creating our own!

    • Jamie Lee

      Morning, Jane!
      I’m feelin’ the love. :)

      Thanks so much for coming by, the virtual hug, and for sharing on Twitter. Here’s to spreading enthusiasm – letting it loose and seeing the magic it creates.


  9. “We’re suspicious of people who smile too much.” Jamie, that soooooo true. They’re up to something those smiling freaks!

    There’s nothing wrong with entusiasm at all. In fact I used it today in a discussion with a Partner Firm, who ALSO works for my client, about our “partnership” needing to become more solidifed and unified in order to be more effective and efficient in our delivery model.

    FORIEGN concept, that!

    I got a few blank stares but it was probably because I was venturing wayyyyyyy outside the “proverbial” box.

    Anywhoooo…..WHATEVER….we’ll leave ’em in our dust. Great, great post!

    • Jamie Lee

      I love that you put enthusiasm to work for you, Ralph, even though (especially because) it was wayyyyyyyy outside the proverbial box.

      Sometimes, surprising people with a passionate approach can be just what’s needed to tip the scales in your favor. The truth is, most people are looking for someone to follow. If you can get enthusiastically and confidently behind your idea, people will eventually gravitate towards you (though they might – as you experienced – initially look at you with a blank stare.)

      Most people do not share their enthusiasm – especially in a business context. So, that kind of fervor does deliver a certain amount of shock. BUT … if you can pull it off and get people riding along with you – enthusiasm can be your ace in the hole!

      Hope it all works out.
      As always – thanks for coming by & sharing. :)

  10. Cat

    Love this advice! I actually find enthusiasm a really useful guide to making choices, too. If I’m enthusiastic when thinking or talking about something, its a pretty good indication that I’m on the right track. It’s like your instincts urging you to follow your heart and your passion by making you feel really good when you do.

    I’m really glad I found your blog, Jamie. Will definitely be checking back. :)


    • Jamie Lee

      So glad to have you here, Cat. :)

      I couldn’t agree more.
      If I’m working on something I’m NOT excited about, staying up until 10PM feels like a Herculean task. If I’m working on something I’m enthused about, the clock can be chiming 2AM before I even remember where I am.

      Enthusiasm brings us into the “zone,” or – as many artists call it – “flow.” It’s a very happy (and productive!) place. :)

  11. Richard

    This is … it. Thanks.

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