Archive for the ‘Positivity’ Category

Relentless – Secrets of Success

August 1, 2016

Relentless - Mary White

Relentless is a powerful word and you can picture something that never stops, wave after wave, determination, a powerful, unstoppable force.

For some reason the book “Relentless” by Mary White about the Cork ladies GAA team caught my attention.

This wasn’t a book about the success of a glamorous Premiership team, a World Cup team, a famous boxer or even a high profile GAA team – it was the incredible, largely under the radar, success story of the Cork ladies GAA team.

I think what grabbed me about this story is that there had been a huge transformation from decades of virtually zero success to an 11 year period whereby 29 titles were won including 10 All Ireland finals, nine Division One titles and 10 Munster titles.

Relentless - Mary White

Without a doubt Cork always had huge potential with a large selection of talented players to choose from, many who had enjoyed success at Club level but for some reason this never transformed itself into a successful county team.

Surely there was some magic behind this transformation, one thing that we could point to, one secret that we might all learn from that could help us in all aspects of our lives?

I eagerly turned the pages to search for the secret..

Instead of one “thing” I discovered lots of factors that contributed to this incredible achievement:

Pride in the Jersey

There was a really interesting incident after another miserable defeat against Kerry, which could have been a turning point. After the match the players one by one were throwing their jerseys on the dressing room floor and a leader appeared.

Mary O’Connor, the only player to have won a medal with Cork ‘lost it’ at this point “We don’t throw the Cork jersey on the ground any more. We earn those jerseys and we need to respect that. Fold them and put them back into the bag for the person kind enough to wash them for us. Our attitude needs to change, and it changes now!

Step up a leader – well done Mary O’Connor.

The right people on the bus

Some of the key individuals who were involved from the previous era had to be removed as they were identified as part of the problem – there had to be changes and even though this was a painful process it had to happen in order for real change to occur.

The need for this change to occur was identified as being necessary.

Belief

An unwavering belief was instilled in this group – while this seems like an obvious one it was a huge achievement to make a team of disbelievers actually believe that success was possible.

How do you change this mindset?

Clear vision and goals

This group of players were given a clear vision and goals by the manager. The manager produced a paper, which was distributed to the group, which outlined clearly what  his vision was for the group.

This is what I want – who is with me?

Hard work/Training

This Cork team trained more than any of the other teams. This training improved the team. Lets repeat this – they trained more than any of the other teams. Train more, win more – that’s a big lesson!

While this is a very simple factor this group of players were inspired and motivated to want to give so much of themselves. Cork is a big county and many of the players were travelling huge distances on a regular basis just to get to training.

How do you get a group to want to do this?

Commitment

Over this 11 year period this large group of players were inspired to give total commitment to the team – this wasn’t a glamorous ‘premiership’ project whereby stardom would be guaranteed. It was about something totally different.

How do you change a group to suddenly make them want to give absolutely everything?

Comradery not Rivalry

In the early days these individual talents used come together and stick to their own club cliques, sitting together and not mixing. It’s simple to see how this behaviour would not lead to a successful formula.

This changed and in time this bunch of individuals and cliques were playing for each other – how did this change occur?

Dealing with disagreements

Disagreements used happen as you could imagine but instead of these leading to divisions and a disjointed group a fair mechanism of dealing with these occurred and the group got tighter with problems being solved without festering resentments.

This was a big achievement that cannot be underestimated.

Cork ladies GAA team

Coping with disappointment

Success was not immediate and there were some early disappointments that could easily have meant that heads would drop and the rebuilding project would derail.

This was not allowed to happen and instead valuable learning’s were banked from every disappointment to help towards future success.

Later on there were further setbacks, which could easily have demoralised the team and end the run of success. This team always rebounded from every single setback.

Evolution and Experience 

The management team had a lot of experience and a very clever thing they seemed to achieve was a powerful blend of experience and youth at all times in the team. Over 11 years this balance always seemed to be there with new faces, youth and energy carefully and constantly being introduced to an experienced group producing a winning formula.

Judging the need for fresh faces and getting the timing of their introduction right is a huge skill.

Playing for each other – friends?

At the Dublin Momentum Summit I heard Munster and Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell speaking about the importance of ‘playing for each other‘.

This element was abundantly clear in Relentless. This team made up of club rivals who initially wouldn’t sit together would end up doing anything for each other.

A spirit and togetherness was instilled in this group that made them virtually unbeatable – this was demonstrated time after time throughout the 11 years, most often during times of sadness and loss.

This team had trips away in the sun, half of them ended up with food poisoning on one of these trips – did someone decide that going away together was good for team bonding?

Never say die attitude

From the outside you imagine a team that was invincible, one that blew all opposition out of the way. While there was plenty of evidence of this during the 11 years there were also many times when this team were beaten, dead on their feet and staring at certain defeat.

This team won these matches – it always seemed to find something at these moments, there was a belief deep inside enough of the team or the management to turn things around and change certain defeat to success.

At times it was the experienced players, at times it was inspired substitutions – at all times there was enough belief in the team to lift everyone. 10 points down with 15 minutes to go and being played off the park in the 2014 All Ireland final – this Cork team won these matches.

Who instilled this in this Cork team?

All players count and no stars

While this team did have its top performers and it’s “stars” there were times when matches were won by the young guns, by the unsung heroes by the solid defenders who knew how to close games out.

This was a team, not a group of talented individuals.

Injuries and comebacks

I was really shocked by the amount of injuries endured by members of the team. For some stupid reason I was thinking with ladies there wouldn’t be as many (stupid me!) – the book is littered with stories of initial despondency, motivation, resilience, hard work, incredible recoveries and determination by those who were injured and there were the teammates who wanted to win for them.

This team had steel in abundance.

Complacency

When you win a big trophy for the first time do you take the foot off the gas? When you win a second time – do you notch down a gear and maybe not work quite as hard the next year, because after all, you are the best?

Managing complacency and guarding against it must have been one of the greatest achievements of this team – who was responsible for making sure this did not happen?

Brave decisions

Someone has to make the tough decisions and have the intelligence and gut to know when the time is right to make them. Choosing who is in the squad and who isn’t, who is in the team and who isn’t, dropping big players and introducing unproven, young players. At key moments in matches knowing when changes were needed and making the right changes.

Someone made a lot of very brave decisions over and over.

Simplicity

These 11 years had no extraordinary factors – there were no fancy methods, definitely no fancy facilities, no fancy perks. Deliberately keeping it simple and with no frills seemed to work perfectly.

Psychology

Knowing the right thing to do at the right time and knowing the right thing to say at the right time to ensure this team were always in the right frame of mind to win over and over was pure genius.

At times the team thought that the methods of their coach, former teacher, father of six, grandfather Eamonn Ryan were a little strange but ultimately they trusted him implicitly and would run through brick walls for him.

The book has many examples of inspirational things he did and said to individuals and the team such as the ‘flying V formation of geese flying‘ analogy:

By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are travelling on the trust of one another.  

Humility

Finally one of the most impressive success factors evidenced in the book is the humility of the team and the management. No one was allowed get ahead of themselves and everyone treated everyone with the utmost respect.

Their rivals held the Cork team in the highest regard because of how they behaved themselves and how they ‘wore’ their considerable success.

This humility is best captured by coach Eamonn Ryan when he was asked about this incredible success story, the team and his role in it:

I’m grateful for their cooperation, for no recriminations when I made a mess of things, and I’m grateful for their patience when things didn’t go well.

They did their best, I did my best, and we all had a great time

I spent the whole book looking for that one thing, that one factor that could explain all of this success and it seems to be …

Eamonn Ryan - Cork Ladies GAA

The Coach – Eamonn Ryan

He created a family situation where everybody relied on everybody else, and we all new we needed each other

He took over this team in 2004 while he was coming to the end of treatment for prostate cancer.

This former teacher had a fantastic, simple, positive way of training and motivating the team: “Whatever we did, he was praising us loads. Praise meant so much to us, particularly the older girls. When it came to Cork we had no confidence in ourselves or in the set-up and brick by brick, Eamonn built it back up. He kept telling us we were great footballers

It seemed to work!

Mary White - Relentless

I highly recommend this fantastic book by Mary White which is available online and in all good bookstores!

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next guy paying for what the last guy did!

July 12, 2016

Paul Kelly - Console

That’s the last time I’m holding the door open for someone,

It’s the last time I’m going to let someone out in traffic,

The last time I’m going to open my mouth and offer an opinion,

The last time I’m going to spend loads of time on a proposal,

The last time I’m going to pay for lunch,

The last time I’m donating to charity,

The last time I’m going to give an honest answer,

The last time I’m doing pro bono work,

The time I’m going to trust a suppliers word,

The last time I’m going to look after a staff member,

The last time I trust someone and give them credit,

The last time I donate to a charity…..

While we must always learn from our experiences we must be really careful that the next guy doesn’t get short changed because of what happened with  the  last one.

Never stop being prepared to do good things.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Raising your head above the Parapet

June 27, 2016

Head above the parapet

My buddy Jonathan tipped me off that a particular guy on Twitter was having a right ‘pop’ at the “Power You”, Advanced Social Media Programme that I had recently put together and was promoting.

This guy was careful enough not to name or mention me so I didn’t spot his post initially but eventually I found it as well as the reaction some of his followers had towards it and his interaction with them – he loves me!

My new “friend” was having great fun – he was obviously quite curious about the peer to peer advanced programme that I had put together, which is targeting ambitious individuals who don’t want another social media course but one that can potentially elevate them (they can do it with my help) to the point whereby they could become a ‘Digital Influencer‘ in their field.

Power You - Advanced Social Media ProgrammeThis guy took a pop about the price (it’s 10 sessions, one to one mentoring and delivered in a small group), he challenged my qualifications to deliver such a course (I have been delivering training and consultancy in this area since the earliest days of social), he claimed I was using words I didn’t even understand to an audience who would not understand either (I am trying to achieve something quite different through this programme), he wondered about what big clients and campaigns I had worked on to justify my ‘status’ to deliver such a programme (unlike him I’m guessing)…and there was lots more!

I obviously stood on a sore toe with this fella and Power You upset him for some big reason – was he sorry he wasn’t running a programme like this himself (he works in the area) or maybe he thought what I was doing was pure rubbish!!

I was hurt and angry to see someone having a right go at me and my creation. I put a lot of time and attention into this and from my experience there is a real training gap in the social media market, which no one is addressing.

I was about to put on the boxing gloves and jump into the ring ..come on, “lets be having ya, Mr Smart Ass“..bang, bang, wallop..take that!! I felt like it, I promise you..

Before pressing ‘fire‘ I took a deep breath..

Do I ever criticise things that I don’t agree with? ..Yes.

Do I ever criticise new initiatives that I think are silly..Probably?

Do I criticise in a personal, nasty way – I hope not, but any criticism of you ends up feeling personal.

I put my head above the parapet with Power You but I have to accept that when any of us do that it is fair game.

When you do something new it will be judged, it will be criticised, those who compete against you will take a “pop” but then again some will hopefully like it and buy into what you are trying to do. Some might even buy!

This “new thing” of yours may or may not work but it’s important that you keep trying, keep doing new things and let yourself open to that criticism – it’s all part of it so don’t be getting upset!

And most importantly keep “Raising your head above the Parapet

The Power You Programme is starting in Dublin in the middle of July – click here for details!

p.s. This blog is for Daragh – Instead of boxing gloves I tweeted him “Thanks for giving my programme a plug

Thank you for reading!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

 

Young and Old Momentum

May 22, 2016

Rubyhorse pictured at the White Horse in Ballincollig, Cork

I had a really great, inspirational day at the Dublin Chamber, Momentum Summit, which was held at the Aviva Stadium last Friday.

This was the second year of this full day event, which featured a really nice mix of speakers, master classes and good, old fashioned networking during the many coffee breaks, lunch and drinks reception.

We had top class panelists from a variety of businesses big and small around topics such as “Differentiation“, “Scaling” and “Online Opportunities“, we had a fantastic speaker Jamil Qureshi who spoke about the importance of your Mindset and your Purpose and lastly we had a “Competitive Edge” sporting panel, which included Paul O’Connell (who incorrectly predicted an Ulster win!), Henry Shefflin and Jack McCaffrey.

This easy and relaxed Friday was superb and as Dublin Chamber of Commerce President, Derry Gray eloquently suggested at the beginning of the day, it was “time for you to think and quietly reflect“, which I certainly did.

Improper Butter -

The two young entrepreneurs, Elaine Lavery and Hannah O’Reilly who co-founded Improper Butter spoke really well about their exciting start-up journey and I think they gave me and many others cause for reflection!

Privately while I listened to the story of these two young entrepreneurs I wondered about my life, my career and the things that I have achieved along the way. I have worked in fabulous companies, I opened, closed and sold many different businesses and now I am dedicating most of my energy to Fuzion, which I love.

That voice in my head started: “Should I have done more with my career, have I achieved what I wanted to, have I been a success, do I have the same energy that I had when I was the same age as these young entrepreneurs and I am ready for new exciting opportunities when they come along?

Has it passed me and my generation by, I wondered and is it now up to a new generation to do these new things?

These thoughts were bothering me a little as I ate my lunch and the guy alongside me said loudly what I had been thinking. Some of the others I chatted to during the rest of the day were also saying the same.

While we were so clearly impressed by these young entrepreneurs we were at the same time feeling that our time had come and gone.

I hopped in the car and faced rush hour traffic (Luas strikers adding an extra layer of volume – thank you strikers and SIPTU!) as well as a trip to Cork to get to a long awaited comeback gig by Cork band, Rubyhorse.

Those thoughts about the “Momentum” of youth lingered with me on this longer than usual journey.

Eventually I got home, fed the dog and headed to the White HorseBrendan my son and his buddy Alan were at the gig as well as Alan’s dad Harry – I was chatting with Harry as we watched our two boys, who are now in their late twenties. Both are part of this younger, carefree generation, both with exciting careers. Brendan is flying as a music and advert director and Alan is a writer who is just back after participating in a documentary project in Columbia of all places!

The boys are about to start work on a short film together based on the storyline from the music video that Brendan did for Gavin James “For You”.

We were chatting about this generation and how different they were to ours – at least that is what we feel. How many fathers and mothers have had this conversation about their children?

Harry told me about a young lad, who was a neighbour of his when he was growing up. This lad packed up school really early. As early as the age of 12 he used head to Croke Park from Cork on the train for big matches selling merchandise. At 17 he bought his first pub.

Harry met him recently and he is now working for someone else, happily punching out a weeks wage – we try things and some of these things fail. If enough things fail we retrench, we lose that will to try again and maybe that entrepreneurial spirit gets knocked out of us.

That question was back in my head – Do we lose that ‘Momentum’ as we get older?

The gig kicked off..

This gig is a really significant part of this blog post as there is a very special story behind it so bear with me just a little bit longer!

These guys came from my school in Cork – they formed a band and dreamed big!

Dave Farrell - RubyhorseThe superb lead singer, Dave Farrell (he was born to be a lead singer!) was once sent home from school for declaring he wanted to be a rock star! It was like that at that time – get a solid job was what we were all encouraged to do.

Dave and his band of merry men followed their dreams and their success came in the United States where a few years of hard work and great songs resulted in them hitting the Top 20 with appearances on the top TV shows such as The Letterman and the Conal O’Brien show.

In an interview with the Irish Emigrant in 2003 Dave spoke about the differences between Ireland and the U.S., which he summed up in one comment “Here, you have loads of freedom and opportunities. America grants you the opportunity to pursue a dream“. Things have changed in Ireland..

Rubyhorse

Unfortunately through a combination of burnout, geography and young families these special, very talented school friends called it a day on Rubyhorse and settled in to ‘ordinary’ lives in different parts of the world.

Through a quirk of circumstances (a charity reunion last year) these older and wiser guys are now back with a vengeance and a very privileged audience were treated to a proper Rubyhorse gig full of old classics and some sparking new material from a new album that will come later this year. (Well done Dave, Joe and Deccie and a few new faces!)

After a superb gig and a few beers I walked home and thought – We are older, we have experienced the highs and lows that life throws us but we still have it and we are going to “Sparkle” just like this new generation.

It’s all about our Mindset and Purpose!

If we want it …we have Momentum

Check out “Sparkle” the track that broke Rubyhorse in the U.S.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

Chores and challenges 

May 2, 2016

Drudgery

Sunday of the bank holiday weekend and I knuckled down.

I had to clear down emails, work on copy for the new Fuzion brochure and work on new training materials for an updated social media course.

A dark cloud appeared over my head as I was in no mood for this work and everything was a grind for me.

The cloud got darker and darker and eventually I had to call a day on my work as we had planned to pop over to friends for the evening.

I was in poor form as we walked over to our buddies as I felt my “day off” had been ruined.

And then it came to me – I love what I do but I had been treating the work I had to do as a series of ‘chores‘ and not ‘challenges‘ because of my poor frame of mind and as a result my day and mood were ruined.

Every email was full of potential opportunity, the work on our brochure was a chance to really capture who we are and showcase why we are a special agency and the work on my new social media course notes was a way to explore new features and how to apply them.

I had wasted my day ..

If your work is a series of chores try changing your mindset and turn them into challenges.

If they are still chores despite the change of mindset then it’s time to change what you do!

Today was a great day..

#Positivity

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Leap of faith 

April 17, 2016

Brendan Canty - Feel Good Lost

I’m sitting on a plane heading to the UK with Brendan my son for a huge Liverpool FC match versus Borussia Dortmund. How he managed to get tickets for such a match I have no idea but then again he has always managed to do things like this with his interesting network of friends and connections.

He is absolutely buzzing as he has just won another role directing a major advert for a huge international brand. After the Budweiser, Conor McGregor “Dream Big” advert this kind of work was going to come.

His enthusiasm is infectious and I listen to his plans, how he wants to shoot the advert, who he wants to cast in it and I watch him as he quickly and seamlessly sketches out the storyboard for the advert on his notebook.

He was chatting to me about the costume girl for the advert and he has opted for Sarah who was the costume girl in one of his fantastic music videos. The problem with Sarah is that she hasn’t done commercial work before but the great thing about Sarah is that she is raw, beautiful, authentic, pure and a gorgeous fresh face that Brendan knows will deliver something very special.

Adverts are big business and the process is expensive so you need people who know what they are doing so using an unknown, unproven person is a risk so the safe thing to do is to hire someone who has done it before.

He has told me she is already proving to be a star as she has gone away and researched the role so she can immerse herself in it and she has even unearthed material that will help the overall project.

Sometimes being safe is risky and if you want something special, something that will make a real difference then take a leap of faith and go with that unproven star who could just bring you some magic.

Go on, take a leap of faith..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Grabbing opportunities just like Ferris

April 14, 2016

Liverpool v Newcastle

Part onewritten on a flight from Cork to Liverpool, 14th April.

It was April 1996 and I was sitting in my office in Guinness in Dublin flicking through the newspaper.

In the classifieds I noticed a ticket and travel package for an evening midweek league match at Anfield, Liverpool versus Newcastle.

I am a die-hard Liverpool FC fan but I had never been to a game at Anfield. Liverpool were playing exciting football that year, in contention for the title but Newcastle were the really exciting team of the season that had taken the league by storm.

I thought long and hard about going but managed to find some reason not to and I ended up watching on TV what people still describe as the best match ever in the Premiership as Liverpool scored a last minute winner to win 4-3 in an incredible match that had everything.

I could have been there…

Brendan Canty celebrating Liverpool beatingg Dortmund 4-3 at Anfield

When Brendan, my son called me 20 years later to say he could get tickets for Liverpool versus Borussia Dortmund, the quarter final second leg UEFA Europa Cup match at Anfield I didn’t think too long and hard about it.

Of course I had things in my diary, of course I could think of 100 reasons why I couldn’t go but as Ferris Bueller famously said “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

I embraced this spirit and here I am sitting on a flight to Liverpool with Brendan. Hopefully the match this evening will be great, poised delicately after the away tie finished 1-1 against a really superb Borussia side.

Bring it on..

Part twowritten in the Holiday Inn Express, in Liverpool while Mr Canty junior is working on his next TV commercial (he always gives out to me for working too hard!)

Lovren and Klopp celebrate

At 2-nil down at half time against a fantastic team “we” would have to score three without reply to win the match … This was a monumental task of Istanbul proportions and probably not possible.

It didn’t stop “us” fans (yep, we were in the middle of it, strangely sitting next to a few Borussia fans that had all the officials upset) belting out “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as the teams emerged for the second half.

The young and powerful Origi scores for us after 3 minutes and the place went berserk …maybe it was possible?

Liverpool piled on the pressure, the fans were urging them on with a wall of noise and then the sucker punch. Borussia score again – this team are just too good for us and the balloon of hope was burst.

The fans recovered and started singing again and my mind drifted back to that famous 4-3 match that I stupidly missed.

Never.. ?

Coutinho scores, 3-2 … The place erupts and now I am witnessing that special Anfield Magic. It’s the team and the fans together in a frenzy, the noise is crazy and there is belief everywhere.

Sahko scores, 3-3 … The place just goes ballistic and the frenzy has been whipped into the stratosphere and there is a tangible electricity flowing from the team to the crowd, from the crowd to the team, a powerful invisible nut tangible force.

Dortmund manage to contain this pressure and the game gets a little stop start as the clock nudges painfully to 90 minutes…4 minutes of extra time.

A strange thing happens..the crowd start to belt out “You’ll Never Walk Alone” again… everyone joins in. This is really odd as the Liverpool faithful only really sing this at the end of a match when they know the game has been won.

Free kick, Milner to Sturridge, Milner keeps running into the box and takes a return ball from Sturridge. We all gave out about Milner’s corners during the game but this time he delivers a perfect cross into the box for Dejan Lovren (who had an awful start to his LFC career the previous year) who rises above everyone and powers a header into the net.

(Admission – At the time I had no idea who scored it happened so quickly!)

Lovren scores the winner against Borussia Dortmund

Oh my god…. I have never witnessed anything like it. I was hugging Brendan, the guy next to me, the people in front of me. Everyone played this match together, singing, urging, believing… When the players lost hope we were there, when we lost hope, they were there.

Now we were there together – Jurgen Klopp walked past us, saluting the crowd and punching his chest, his heart. We got it.

If you haven’t seen it yet you just have to click here to see the incredible celebrations at the end of the match and click here for some crazy fan celebrations!

4-3 ….best night ever?

Ferris was right, we need to grab those opportunities when they come along

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Dreaming Big is banned in Ireland!

March 21, 2016

Conor McHregor, Budweiser advert banned by RTE

Our state broadcaster, RTE has just banned the Budweiser commercial featuring UFC fighter and Irish hero Conor McGregor.

The banning has already led to newspaper articles, much discussion and a huge curiosity and will inevitably have everyone googling just to see what this “offensive” advert was all about. I suspect they will be left scratching their heads wondering what the fuss was all about.

In many ways this could be deemed as a huge success for the brand because it will now achieve a level of visibility and notoriety that it previously didn’t have, without having to pay the advertising costs.

While it sends out a big message from RTE you would like to think that this is a good, sensible one because we do want there to be watchdogs to protect us from danger. It is important that ‘banning’ makes sense, that it is rational and that it is fair.

The advertising guidelines around alcohol are very strict in Ireland and all of these were followed carefully.

In the advert there isn’t a picture of a bottle of beer, there isn’t a pub in sight. There is just Conor tastefully captured in a scene walking around his home town, Crumlin in Dublin, which then transforms into a street in LA.

This 27 year old apprentice plumber has achieved huge success by dedication to his sport and the advert demonstrates this with the help of these scenes and the voice over by Conor:

Never give up on your dream

Be your own inspiration, a beacon of self belief

Keep proving others wrong

If your dream doesn’t scare you, then its not big enough

So dream, as big as you dare

Only at the very end of the advert do we see the Budweiser logo and the usual drink responsibly message at the bottom of the screen.

For me the message from the advert is a very inspirational one, delivering a powerful positive message. Yes, it does come from a beer brand, which I think is more than ok. It shows you how the guidelines are keeping alcohol brands in a very responsible place and forcing a communication about positive values.

The message coming from RTE in banning this advert?

According to the newspapers they issued a statement to the Sunday Business Post that the advert breached advertising guidelines because Conor McGregor is considered a “hero to the young“, which will in turn encourage them to drink alcohol.

I don’t get it..

In my view banning the advert will achieve the wrong thing (besides totally confusing an industry that is trying to be very responsible) – viewers will definitely seek out the inspirational advert and could instead conclude that we are living in a censorship state that in some way has an issue with people from working class backgrounds having and achieving their dreams.

Banning the advert is also bad for the RTE brand as in my view it shows them as being ultra conservative and this is not good when they are up against such stiff competition. Leaving the censorship to the advertising authorities might be a much better policy.

It’s a great thing that we are seeing extra vigilance about alcohol advertising but we need to make sure that the brands that are working really hard to get it right aren’t punished.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Are you dreaming big enough?

March 18, 2016

Conor McGregor - Dream Big

If your dream doesn’t scare you then it isn’t big enough. Dream as big as you dare

These are the words that were challenging me and the strange thing is that I heard them uttered by Conor McGregor in an advert that my son, Brendan Canty directed for Budweiser.

I then hear both Conor (the apprentice plumber from Crumlin) and Brendan (the boy from Ballincollig!), two 27 year old’s from different parts of our fine country and from different backgrounds talking about “following your dream” in a behind the scenes video about the advert.

Brendan talks about throwing everything at your dream and Conor talks about following your passion.

From the outside it probably looks easy and then I think about Malcolm Gladwell and his theory about 10,000 hours in his book Outliers and I think about what I know about these two young men.

Brendan didn’t get the grade he hoped for in CIT because his lecturer had some issue with his short film “The Kid“. Take one look at the trailer or even the full feature and make up your own mind (Brendan will kill me for drawing attention to this – this work by a student is incredible!).

He regularly pitches for videos and adverts that he doesn’t win – some of these treatments have some of his best work in them but they will never grace our screens.

Brendan Canty - Feel Good Lost

He takes the kicks in the backside and drives on. Following your dream means driving on even when things happen that might leave you feeling on the floor.

Conor with all of his talent and brashness has followed his dream. I haven’t followed his story well enough to talk about his knocks but I am sure there have been many and I have no doubt that 10,000 hours of sweat, toil and disappointments are all in his ‘experience bank‘ that has him where he is today.

Okay, he took a kick in the backside in his last fight against Nate Diaz but he spoke about “celebrating defeat” ..we have to if we want to succeed!

With all this talk of dreaming I was inclined to look at my own life and what I was doing at 27 years of age and what I have done since.

The dream of a thirteen year old was to work in the music business. I flirted with managing bands for about two years, which was fun for a while and then the bands I was working with broke up!

I always wanted to start my own business and I got that chance when I started a fast food restaurant with another guy. It wasn’t my industry of choice but this ‘golden opportunity‘ to start something and make some money seemed like a good idea.

It wasn’t my dream so I talked him into opening music stores. We didn’t know the first thing about this industry but it didn’t stop us opening one in Cork, one in Limerick and one in Galway in the space of 12 months. During that time we also opened a second fast food restaurant in Cork.

We were business trailblazers but we were crazy – this rate of growth was reckless and if anything went wrong we were in huge financial trouble. Some of these ventures worked out and some of them were miserable failures.

All of this was when I was incredibly still holding down a full time job – I was working around clocks that I didn’t even have!

I was then asked if I would become the General Manager of Deasy’s, the Guinness owned subsidiary that I was the Financial Controller of. I was staggered to be asked to take on such a role and this was another dream fulfilled! After doing this for two years I was asked to join Guinness in Dublin ..wow..working in a relatively senior role for a huge international company – another dream. I was 29!

I took a job as General Manager of a subsidiary of Heineken a few years later – I quickly realised that repeating myself wasn’t part of the dream and I needed to change.

Catwalks In 2001 I had a dream about creating a high end fashion and beauty event and taking it on tour around Ireland with the top Irish models. Myself and Dee created ‘Catwalks’ which was the talk of the female luxury sector in Ireland for a number of years.

Dee emigrated from Kerry to Cork and we opened a Fuzion office on the South Mall in Cork (before that we worked from home for a few years – thank you to Alison, Doreen and Barry who were happy to have enough faith in us to do that).

Soon after that we became the only agency in Ireland to have an office in both Cork and Dublin as we opened one in our capital city.

This year I was elected to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce council by the members – this sounds like a very trivial thing but it is a big deal as members from smaller firms find it impossible to get elected. This makes me very proud as it is a small tangible sign that we are succeeding in Dublin and achieving some recognition for the work we are doing there.

Brendan Canty and Conor McGregor - Dream Big

When I heard the words “If your dream doesn’t scare you then it’s not big enough” I had to admit to myself that I feared I had stopped dreaming big and maybe that I had stopped dreaming at all. After writing this piece I know this isn’t quite true.

This 51 year old hasn’t stopped dreaming but yes …I admit, my dreams don’t scare me.

Maybe it’s time to be scared again and not leave that to the 27 year olds!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

What advice would you give your older self?

December 31, 2015

Yoko Ono Quote

I was chatting to one of my kids buddies who was running their own business for the first time and they asked me a very genuine question.

With all that I have learnt along the way, what advice could I give them?

This was a really good question to ask because just like any other ‘older‘ (a very loose definition!) person I have accumulated a collection of valuable life experiences and learnings from my many different situations, which you would hope could benefit someone younger and with less experience.

I heard a series of interviews on the radio over the past few days with a similar theme: “What advice would you give your younger self?

This is a clever thing to ask because it is all about passing on wisdom that has been learnt along the way and trying to crystallise this into solid pieces of advice.

The only problem with all of this is that it is a little bit too retrospective and doesn’t do a whole pile for us!

Ok, we did learn things that might help those with less experience and we can give theoretical advice to our younger selves. Brilliant!

Instead how about asking that younger person with all of their freshness, different perspective, raw energy and enthusiasm to give us valuable advice about our lives and then apply our accumulated wisdom and knowledge and then do a totally different exercise…

Answer this question:

What advice would you give your older self?

Write down the answers and start following that advice straight away …what are you waiting for?!!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork