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June 23, 2014
Make Mistakes — On Purpose
 
Here's an idea guaranteed to make you more valuable, respected, and happier.

Or, to get you fired from your job or client in a hurry.
 
If you're feeling a little nervous right now, take three, slow, deep breaths and later I'll explain the critical difference between "bravery" and courage."
 
Mistakes, and the ability to freely and frequently make them, are the very heart of creativity, artistry, mastery. If you've ever wielded a brush full of paint on canvas, you know what I mean. If you've ever selected the "wrong" Photoshop filter setting, you know what I mean.
 
Mistakes show we're stretching and growing, consciously or subconsciously, beyond our past limitations, paradigms, and habits. 
 
I always ask to see a young job candidate's greatest mistakes — and over and over again, in each one, sleeps the seed of something amazing.
 
Some examples I'd like to see: something WRONG and DIFFERENT such as a smile or surprise in a web store product description or the store's checkout cart process. A line of upside down text in a blog. A brochure or print ad full of typos. An app that displays upside down until you shake it. Seven times.
 
Just cuiruous....atre your raedinug this line more catefcvfuy;klyt than ay pther?
 
This is not to say that sloppiness is the new desired quality. No. No. No.
 
I mean that we need to search out and feel a sense of risk, of fearlessness, of courage everywhere.
 
Have you ever tried the art of disruption? (Merci beaucoup, Jean-Marie Dru.)
 
Play with it like this: Make a list of your product/brand's conventions, the behaviors, the things no one would question, the obvious, tried-and-true qualities.
 
Then, make another list of the exact, opposite qualities to those tried-and true conventions. These are the potentially useful, powerful disruptions. I do this often.
 
Look at this list of disruptions like a child with a playful, open mind and often you'll see a genius opportunity in one or more.
 
I do this often.
 
The right sleeps in the wrong. The masterpiece sleeps in the mistake.
 
We're so worried about doing things right all the time, we often forget what joy there is in a beautiful mistake.
 
Yes, a beautiful mistake. Not a mistake born of inattention, or bored, casual indifference to excellence.
 
Rather, I invite and challenge you to look at every single part of every single project, every last aspect of a client's brand as an opportunity to surprise, delight, shock, and make someone's day.
 
But it takes a courageous heart to try to be wrong.
 
And it takes an inspired, open heart to see the value in the mistake.
 
Now, before I leave you to try this, or to follow your familiar, safe path, allow me to explain the very real difference between bravery and courage.
 
Bravery means going into danger blindly. It's essentially stupid.
 
Courage (cour, from heart, that is) means to know the danger, to look fear in the face and go ahead anyway.
 
It is said: "Fear knocked upon the door and Faith answered it — and lo — there was no one there."
 
I know there are lots of wise sayings about the fear of risk; feel free to post your favorites.
 
So. Are you courageous enough to post your biggest mistakes here?
 
If you will, I certainly will.
 
Follow my agency's potential huge mistakes at http://the1101experimentblog.org and at www.the1101experiment.org
 
See you out there in the world.

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As a strategist, writer, designer, producer, director, actor, musician, performer, teacher, trainer and speaker, creative marketing was a potentially ideal career for Paul. Yet after years of winning dozens of global creativity awards with various agencies, Paul gave up the awards pursuit and became a professional human being.

Paul launched the1101experiment in 2001, focusing on bringing top-level strategy, creativity and multi-dimensional success to global brands, but with an added emphasis on positive ethical and social opportunities. Paul's thinking has been published worldwide and has predicted many global cultural shifts long before they happened. 
Paul leads a mastermind network of friends, colleagues and multi-talented professionals from around the world who are strategists, writers, artists, web, social and interactive specialists, who are involved on all client work.
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