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From Scarcity to Abundance – a great model for water and a great model for life

Living in the Sonoran Desert is indeed a place where everything about water takes center stage. You know how everywhere in the world people talk about the weather? Well, in Tucson people talk about the possibility of rain with neighbors, friends, coworkers and strangers as if they are trying to conjure it. If there is a chance that it is going to happen, everyone will be talking about it. And then when it does rain everyone celebrates – people routinely sit under their patios and take walks in the rain. Then of course everyone talks about it after in great mythical tones.

People who live in the American Southwest, for the most part, have great respect for water. So it is no mistake that many people are actively harvesting rain here in Tucson. Sometimes it is done with more complex, purchased containers but often it is as simple as everyone placing their plants and spare buckets outside when there is a remote chance that it might rain.

One of my favorite authors of rain harvesting is Brad Lancaster. He is one of my favorite because he believes that each one of us can move from an idea of scarcity to an idea of abundance. Brad is talking about rain harvesting, but I think we can apply this to life as well!

The wasteful path to scarcity

The wasteful path to scarcity

The stewardship path to abundance

The stewardship path to abundance

I think this model of scarcity makes us anxious, depressed, and cut off from our fellow man. It makes us think that we have to dominate or horde the things we have. Think about it, if we think “oh well I can’t do anything about water scarcity,” then you will probably be depressed and probably not be motivated to do anything.

But if you think “of course I can do something,” you will feel motivated and positive and full of possibilities. You will say: “I can hook my washing machine up to provide the greywater systems water,” “I can landscape my yard differently,” and “I can use my mulch and clippings to keep moisture in the soil.” Little things add up!

Each time we live with the earth as opposed to against her we feel more full, more rich and more in tune. Make yourself happy by believing in abundance instead of scarcity. When someone takes the last piece of pie don’t cry and say there is no more pie, bake another pie!

On this day let us thank the universe for the blessing she gives us and harvest water (if we are lucky enough to have rain).

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ИкониПравославни икониikoni

What a great and simple and powerful logo!

Usually I hate banner ads but this logo just blew me away! And I clicked on it!

What a great example of simple but precise logo development.

Check out the video for girl effect here: http://www.girleffect.org/

All of their fact sheets are beautifully created and well researched.

We could all learn from this simple but powerful approach to cause related marketing

Become part of Girl Effect http://www.facebook.com/girleffect?v=wall

and I know that it works ’cause it worked for me!

Become Market Ready!

Mary, Amy and Yvonne at ALA Chicago 2009-Workshop Girls

I have just returned from vacation and I am back to my desk and my emails, but I keep thinking about the energy, excitement and participation at our Become Market Ready! workshop at ALA in DC.  Even though it was 8:30 AM in the morning, the vibe in the air was electric with curiosity. Mary and I are decidedly not morning people and were dreading the fact that we were placed in the 8AM workshop slot. There was so much interaction, Mary and I felt like we were not leading the workshop, but facilitating it!  Everyone was asking questions and generating ideas, there was laughter and activity; but what really caught my sleepy eye was that with all levels of experience in the room, there was support and respect amongst all of us and I thank all of you who participated in that workshop.

So I have to tell you about what happened right afterwards.  I was in the bathroom, because my Venti Americano had done its job, and a participant stopped me to tell me that the workshop was both “valuable and entertaining.”

“Thank you,” I said, “we had fun too.”

Mary and I look forward to facelifting this workshop many more times and if you want us to come to your organization write to Mary @ marye@fearless-future.com

What makes a great marketer? Curiosity!

The most iconic television show ever created about  marketing and advertising started with a scene where  Don Draper is asking the busboy in a restaurant what  kind of cigarettes he smokes and what would make him  change brands.

If you want to be a great marketer you must be curious.  You must keep your eyes out on the train, plane or bus for  what people are reading. You have to ask people what  they are listening to on their Ipods. You have to be aware  what people are wearing. What are they watching and  how are they watching it?

Everything in marketing is about  the customer or audience and not about you. It does not matter if you don’t like Lady Gaga ’cause everyone else does or that you don’t watch TV, ’cause  most people do.

If you are not interested in other people and their habits you will not be a good marketer. But if you are curious about this big gigantic world we live in and you love learning new things, well that is a good place to start.

Full Time Fearless!

I have resigned from my position in PA and I am currently in Washington, DC working with a variety of amazing Fearless Future clients. From here I will venture to Western PA.  to visit my extended family. Then I will make my way to my spiritual home-Tucson, AZ. I try to stay away from the sonoran desert but it pulls me back each time!

Jonathan and I knew when we started Fearless Future five years ago that sooner or later one of us would do it full time. We have grown from just hopes and dreams to working with amazing educational, environmental, wellness and social justice clients. These clients inspire us to create the best design and marketing to get the word out about the amazing work they do!

I will always be a librarian and I am grateful for the 12 years I spent in higher education. I love working with students on their research and have been deeply effected by many of my colleagues’ kindness. I have incredible friends from everywhere because of libraries.

We hope to continue to work with librarians all over the world to create exciting and fresh marketing. And of course I am always available for workshops and consultations.

The world of social marketing and design is so exciting right now that I feel that I just cant miss it. Witness the growth of magazines like ODE and groups like GOOD.

I feel like our society is right on the verge of realizing how to apply great marketing and design to solve some of the world’s largest problems.

Most of you know that I have always loved studying and making art and creating social design is my way of translating that skill to the world.

If you have a great non-profit or small business that you think makes the world more fearless for all of us please write me @ marye@fearless-future.com and tell me about them. We would love to connect with them and help them bring awareness to new audiences about  the amazing things they do!  Be fearless!

In honor of the Copa Mundial

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FF at ALA in DC!


Mary and I will be signing our book, Bite-Sized Marketing, with our co-author Nancy Dowd at the Swap & Shop.
Come by and say hi!

Sunday, June 27, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Swap & Shop Presents: PR X-change (Public Relations Exchange)
LLAMA—PRMS Washington Convention Center—Special Events, Hall C, Aisle 700

Also, at the Swap & Shop my colleague from American University Library and fellow Fearless Collaborator, Patricia West and I will be accepting our award for the Best of Show Annual Report we created together last year.
This annual report has also won two additional awards: The Graphic Design USA InHouse Design Award and the Award of Excellence from the Communicator Awards.

Internal marketing is really important to us at Fearless Future. It something we often talk about with people when we are conducting workshops around the country. Internal marketing is defined as everything you do to inform and include your internal staff in your marketing efforts. It is so important that we devote a chapter in our book to the topic.

Mary and her colleague and friend Amy Ward will conduct an interactive workshop on internal marketing as part of the Grassroots program called Become Market Ready!

Become Market Ready!
ALA Washington Convention Center -101 Staff Support Interests
Monday, June 28, 8–10 a.m

Libraries now understand the importance of articulating value deliberately and consistently; some call this marketing. Prepare for marketing to your users by sharing the why, how and when with your organization. This workshop will focus on making your institution “market ready.” Before your organization spends time and money on marketing, attend this workshop and discover the proven tools needed for staff buy in. Learn how to create and conduct a publication audit and open forums for the entire staff. Find out how to develop style sheets and templates that will bring professional consistency to your marketing.

Neither Mary or Amy are morning people so it will interesting to see them dargging their coffee in for this one. They are both skilled trainers and presenters, so this should not only be fun but also informative!

Marketing Workshop Inspires Immediate Action


May 19th, Mary and I presented an introduction to Marketing to the Southern Pennsylvania Information Exchange Source (SPIES). Beth McGuire, one of the event’s organizers, applied our principles before we had even finished the workshop! Inspired by our introduction to style sheets, she immediately began creating one for the SPIES group. It felt fantastic to see such a strong, enthusiastic response to our message. We know that creating a solid style sheet and sticking with it will only make their marketing efforts stronger. Thanks, SPIES, for inviting Fearless Future to speak with your group of dedicated librarians.

If you are interested in having the Fearless Future crew come to your organization for a workshop on staff development day or any other day, please contact me directly: desiree@fearless-future.com.

First Online Workshop

This past month, Mary and I taught our first fully online synchronous workshop through Amigos Library Services.  Although, I have developed and taught online courses in asynchronous formats, both Mary and I learned a lot about the dynamics of teaching synchronously.

Transforming our in-person workshop to the online format took a considerable amount of time because we wanted to avoid the common pitfall of believing that what works in the classroom will work online. So, much of our time was spent in creative designing and brainstorming.  Our face-to-face workshops are fun, lively, and collaborative events where participants are constantly talking and bouncing ideas off each other. To replicate this online, when we  designed the online version of the workshop we stuck to the following:

  • Short lectures:  We didn’t want to bore participants with long lectures, so we kept them short and sweet (we hope).
  • Visuals:  Even short lectures can be boring, so we added life to our PowerPoint slides with engaging and thought-provoking images of the marketing campaigns to which we referred.
  • Student interactions: We peppered our hourly workshops with multiple opportunities for students to chime in and show examples of their own work.

The result?  A great experience for instructors and participants alike.  Participants came up with the beginnings of some great campaigns.  I loved Kelly’s idea of promoting her Southfield Public Library’s homework help service by offering parents the reward of more quality supper time with the family.  Lanee’s idea of “Professor Approved” databases for University of Arkansas students also stands out as a favorite.  Frances from the University of Washington came up with some great ideas of images for her Veterinary Medicine students. And finally, Sarah from Yuma Public Library came up with some great ideas for getting parents to use the summer reading online sign-up service.

Mary and I learned a whole lot about delivering classes synchronously. I am not sure I will ever get accustomed to lecturing online, telling a joke, and then just silence; it can make one quite self-conscious.

Martha and Luda: (Inter) Personal Brands

I am fascinated with Martha Stewart’s love of rap in general and Ludacris specifically. I first discovered Martha’s passion while watching her daytime show last year; her guest of honor was none other than the famous performer Ludacris. Yes, Martha does host a variety of guests but the rapport which she shared with Ludacris astounded me!

I had forgotten the titillating episode until a few weeks ago when Martha was playing a rap video clip for her  audience. Listening to the TV casually from the next room, I recognized Ludacris’s voice immediately and ran into the living room. And there they were, happy as clams, with Luda flirting demurely with the Craft Queen. They discussed his upcoming album over a glass of his new cognac, Conjure!

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I think what makes the pairing so intriguing is their distinctively different personal brands — and I mean distinct. There are a few brief definitions of personal branding on wikipedia. My favorite defines it as “the creation of an asset that pertains to a particular person or individual [that] includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, appearance and knowledge contained within, leading to an indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable.”

Martha’s personal brand can clearly be defined by the “knowledge contained within” her. Whether it’s how to cook a complete Thanksgiving dinner, fold those tricky fitted sheets, or how and what color to paint your boudoir, Martha’s your girl. She has a line of crafting tools and materials sold in Wal-Mart that is branded simply as “Martha Stewart.” Her name alone is enough to convey quality to her customers. Her personal brand gives you a warm, fuzzy, grandmotherly, traditional feeling, which is why her affinity for rap and Ludacris is so scintillating!

Ludacris, on the other hand, is known for his raunchy (but hilarious) lyrics that describe his love of women. By appearing on Martha Stewart’s show, Ludacris has the opportunity, helped by Martha’s “endorsement,” to reach a new market of women — women who might have the impression that the rapper’s lyrics are disparaging to, rather than celebrating, women. I hope to see him again soon with the Domestic Diva!