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Scenario: "Dude, fish can't make you happy. Yay!" Oh, but it so could. According to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine:

  • "People who dine on fish are not only happier, but they tend to have more pleasant personalities than people who don't eat seafood."
  • "People who don't eat much fish are more likely to report mild symptoms of depression, feelings of impulsivity and a negative outlook on life."

According to the researchers, fish contains a ridiculous amount of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids -- which keep your brain rockin' like the badass you were meant to be. Get started with some delicious Rachael Ray fish dishes. Yum.

Eat fish.


Posted on November 26

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Scenario: "Dude, to complete all of our client projects, let's just set a single deadline. Then we'll try to finish all of our projects by the deadlines we set. Everybody does that. We'll accomplish so much, and be billionaires. Yay!" Blah. Here's why: The familiar cycle-that-keeps-on-cycling, known to most business builders, goes:

  • Day 1: "Dude, let's finish this project by the next month! Yay!"
  • Day 30: "Dude, we haven't finished yet. Let's re-set the deadline to the next two weeks. Yay!"
  • Day 45: "Man. Still not finished. We suck. Let's re-schedule the deadline to 15 more days. Yay!"
  • Day 60: "Uh-oh. Still not finished. Let's turn in this shoddy work, anyway."

It's a vicious cycle that we're sure you're familiar with if you've ever worked on any big project for you, your client, or your company.

We call it the "Set-it-and-forget-it" cycle.

(Yeah, we kind of stole the term from that awesome Rotisserie dude in those infomercials.) That is, you set a single deadline for your project (e.g. "Get Lisa's project done by the end of the week.") -- then you completely ignore the project until a few days before it's due. As a result, you turn in shoddy work well after the deadline. Sound pretty familiar, doesn't it?

To most of us, "One-Big-Deadline" is a fact of life.

That was the continuing theme when we started Trizzy. To an extent, it still is -- and we admit it. That's why we're re-writing this article so you won't make the same mistakes we did -- and still do. So how do you turn kick-ass work on time? Simple:

First, set the ultimate deadline; then set a series of deadlines in between.

It's so easy, it's sexy. Four reasons why you must set a series of deadlines:

  1. It gets you working now.

    Most people set deadlines way in advance. Then, they tell themselves: "Hey, that deadline's not until the next five months. We don't really have to focus on the sucker yet." So they don't work on the project until that very last month. As a result: shoddy work delivered well behind schedule. A series of deadlines on the other hand, gets you producing now -- by breaking that big-ass deadline into a series of small, manageable ones.
    • You can't climb Mount Everest without setting milestones.
    • You can't climb a flight of stairs with one leap.

    No, you take it step-by-step. A series of deadlines gives you those steps, and drives you to produce results now to start climbing those steps.
  2. It gets you producing kick-ass results at every stage of the project.

    When you set a big deadline, you're focused on the big picture. That's it. You don't worry about the small details. You don't have any milestones for the project, except for that ultimate peak. Instead of excelling every step of the way there, you're bumbling around clumsily trying to get to the top -- without building a solid foundation to get there.

    Say you're starting a Mexican restaurant near a university. You have two ways to set your ultimate deadline.

    Scenario 1:
    • Deadline ^1 (Day 20): Open taco restaurant to students.

    Scenario 2:
    • Deadline ^1 (Day 1): Get chef.
    • Deadline ^2 (Day 5): Get friendly front-line workers.
    • Deadline ^3 (Day 7): Get tacos shells, condiments.
    • Deadline ^4 (Day 10): Lease retail space.
    • Deadline ^5 (Day 15): Furnish space.
    • Deadline ^6 (Day 16): Send out marketing materials.
    • Deadline ^7 (Day 18): Finish training workers.
    • Deadline ^8 (Day 19): Get meat. Get cheese. Get drinks.
    • Deadline ^9 (Day 20): Open taco restaurant to students.

    Why Scenario 1 Sucks; and Why Scenario 2 Rocks
    1. Scenario 1 psychologically makes you think you have way more time to open the shop. Then like most people, you'll probably wait until Day 10 to even really do something. By Day 20, you'll likely miss the deadline. By Day 25, you'll open your shop -- but you're missing condiments and cheese, and other assorted -- but vital -- stuff.
    2. Why Scenario 2 rocks: This scenario gets you kicking ass every step of the way there. You have clear small deadlines/milestones to help you kick ass on that ultimate big one.
  3. It keeps you on track to getting the sucker done on time.

    How many times have you made good on your self-set deadlines? Likely, it's not working in your favor. A series of deadlines on the other hand works to your advantage because you'll have many chances to complete a deadline if you miss one. For example:
    1. You miss Deadline ^1.
    2. You know you've set Deadline ^2 for tomorrow.
    3. You work overtime trying to complete both Deadline ^1 and Deadline ^2 for tomorrow.

    In other words, you get more chances to make up for your missed deadlines. This keeps you on track and boosts your chances to finish the entire enchilada by that ultimate deadline.
  4. It's in the research.

    Yeah, you know we don't claim things if they're not absolutely right, would you? Research by MIT's Dan Ariely and INSEAD's Klaus Wertenbroch concluded that setting a series of deadlines works best:


    In one experiment, three groups of people were asked to complete a complex proofreading assignment.
    1. The first group was given a single deadline, three weeks out, for completing all the work.
    2. The second group was given a series of interim, weekly deadlines for completing portions of the job.
    3. Members of the third were told to set their own interim deadlines. Participants were paid according to the number of errors they corrected and were penalized for missed deadlines.

    The Results

    The results showed dramatic differences in both the timeliness and the quality of the work performed by the three groups.
    1. The worst performance on both counts was turned in by the group with a single, end-of-project deadline. Their work, on average, was 12 days late, and they corrected an average of only 70 errors.
    2. The best performance was delivered by the group that was given a series of interim deadlines; their work was only 0.5 days late on average, and they caught 136 errors.
    3. The performance of the group that set its own interim deadlines fell in the middle: 6.5 days late, on average, with 104 errors caught.

So when you're setting that one, big deadline -- don't forget to add those smaller ones as well. The moral:

Set a series of deadlines. Start noticing your badass kicking ass.


Posted on November 26

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Scenario: "'Dude, we gotta expose our brains to a variety of creative texts over this Thanksgiving weekend. Then, we'll be way creative. Yay!" Ahh-fa-shizzle. Or, you could do what most people do during their weekends:


Have fun with your friends, family, or your bad-self. Play a game of tag. Throw a Frisbee. Fly a kite. Dance like nobody's watching. When you have fun away from work, you boost your creativity. Says psychologist Hara Estroff Marano:

[Play] refreshes us and recharges us. It restores our optimism. It changes our perspective, stimulating creativity. It renews our ability to accomplish the work of the world. Play appears to allow our brains to exercise their very flexibility, to maintain and even perhaps renew the neural connections that embody our human potential to adapt, to meet any possible set of environmental conditions.

Life is pretty great, ain't it? The moral for your badass:

Play like it ain't nobody's business.


Posted on November 25

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Scenario: "Dude, we can't eat the turkey, cranberry, and stuffing. Those will make us slow and stupid. Yay!" Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! And, we also hope you had some delicious Thanksgiving food. Why? Two reasons:

  1. You're stuffing yourself some mutha-$!@^@^ delicious food.
  2. You're boosting brainpower.

How Thanksgiving Food Boosts Brainpower

Turkey's rich in proteins, making your body stronger -- and keeping your mind sharp. Stuffing and cranberries then are loaded with antioxidants -- keeping your memory rockin'. In a study of the effects of antioxidants, researchers found:

Compared with animals fed a standard diet, aging animals given cranberries showed actual improvements in normal age-related declines in working memory, reference memory, balance and coordination. They were able to keep on learning.

So if you have leftovers, don't feel guilty about indulging. You'll boost your brainpower in the process.

Thanksgiving food. Yum.


Posted on November 24

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Let's play a Thanksgiving pseudo-game.
  1. Think of 5 places that rock your life.
  2. Think of 5 things you do everyday that rock your life.
  3. Think of 5 relatives who rock your life.
  4. Think of 5 friends who rock your life.
  5. Think of 5 people you've met this year who rock your life.
  6. Think of 5 days this year that rock your life.
  7. Think of 5 websites that rock your life.
  8. Think of 5 books that rock your life.
  9. Think of 5 employees/co-workers that rock your life.
  10. Think of 5 customers that rock your life.
We could go on with the list, but we won't. The point:

You live a rockin', fabulous, sexy, and amazingly super-awesome life.

Anything else just adds to the already-sweet life of yours. The moment you see your life as half-full, that's the moment you become more content, happier, and more ready to rock the world like it ain't no thang but a chicken wing on a string.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 23

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Scenario: "Dude, our customers love us. We have rockin' customer service response. We treat all of our customers like family. F-a-m-i-l-y. We'll make billions. Yay!" Most businesses think their customer service rocks; but, the reality: they suck, and don't-even-know-it.


You betcha. For most of us, we're biased in how great we think we are. It's a reason why a chunk more than 50% of us think we're "above-average/super-good" in:

  • Our businesses.
  • Our communication skills.
  • Our managing skills.
  • Our looks.
  • And, of course: our customer service.

"But dude, my customer service totally rocks!"

If a crazy amount of your customers send unsolicited testimonials about how much you rock, you're probably kicking-mutha-$^^@!&-butt -- and we salute your badass. Keep on rockin' -- yet, know you can still improve. Most businesses however don't experience a tidal wave of unsolicited love mail. If you're in this camp, your customers judge your service as:

  1. average
  2. mediocre
  3. sucky-suck-suck

If you think that's you: Don't sweat. Take a chill pill. You have hope.

The solution to rockin' your customer service for eternity?

Think in two steps:

  1. Be humble about your service.

    You're probably not as great as you think you are. Humility drives you to improve, consistently -- even if customers already love you. So, trash those rose-colored glasses. Let your competitors wear them.
  2. Stick to facts.

    Bad businesses unfortunately adopt the "This-is-how-we-think-they-like-it" approach. For instance, say the majority of your customers prefer paying online rather than phoning your warehouse: Sucky business-builders: "No! No. No! They don't like phoning because they don't have our new order forms that make it easier to phone our warehouse. They'll love phoning. Yay!" Rockin' business-builders: "Reality says they care much more about their efficiency with an automated online system that saves them loads of time. Let's build it." Uncover the harsh facts of your customers' needs, then proceed accordingly.

Of course, those two steps are easier said than done. Use one of our secret sauces by guiding yourself with something similar:

"How much do we suck in: __________?"

That drives your company to improve a certain aspect of your business when you seek answers to that question. You start asking customers, employees, vendors what could make your company rock your customers' worlds a million times more. Then, you'll uncover powerful solutions to do so. It's the classic "Check yo' self before you wreck yo' self" philosophy.

For the Already-Fab...

That above mindset's vital if you think you're already super-good. Why? The moment you think you've "arrived," the moment you're slowly-but-surely destroying your customer service as your powerful competitive advantage. Companies that rest on their laurels experience the "oh-you-got-mutha-$@$^!@-own3d" effect: An up-and-comer/fierce-rival will snatch Goliaths' customers by exploiting Goliaths' passiveness. Just ask Dell. Viciously and constantly improve to combat those threats. "Great customer service" is -- indeed -- an oxymoron.

Embrace your suckyness as a means to rock your customer service.

Posted on November 22

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Scenario: "Dude, here's what I do when I find a customer complaining about something we just sold them: 'Yo, you bought it. No refunds, sucka. Yay!'"


When you create a negative customer experience, you're not only losing that customer -- but you're also losing future sales from that customer's personal network. It's word-of-mouth -- in a disastrous way; and, it can spread virally -- destroying future sales.

Don't Be Like Most Companies

Too many companies think of the first sale. That is, nothing matters but that customer transaction. So what happens? Long lines. Horrible customer service. Non-existent support. Bad manuals. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. The worst offense: Bad products disguised as good products. The common practice:

  1. Manager Mary: Hey, let's sell this defective computer.
  2. Employee Eddie: Yes. Then, we'll slap a no-refund policy on the sucka.
  3. Manager Mary: You're genius. Yes! We'll make $$$!


  1. Customer Charlie buys the defective computer.
  2. He brings it home.
  3. He discovers it's a defective product.
  4. He tries to return it.
  5. He gets handed the "No returns." policy.

What disaster happens next? Charlie tells his friends. Those friends tell their friends. And, so on. (Worse, Charlie probably posts his negative experience to a popular online message board -- exposing your bad service to way more people.) In a marketing study by Wharton's Stephen Hoch:

Almost half those surveyed, 48%, reported they have avoided a store in the past because of someone else's negative experience.

Don't Do a Kramer.

You might know what happened with Seinfeld's Kramer: his ugly rant at The Laugh Factory on Friday that killed his career, forever. Decades of good work -- ruined by one filthy, horrible, disgusting act. A fabulous reputation takes years-and-freakin'-years to build -- and you can ruin it by doing something stupid/unethical/immoral. So, when you're out rocking your business like it ain't no thang, stick to this mantra like white on rice: Take the high road, always. Always. Sure, you might mess up; but customers accept apologies for unintentional mess-ups -- as opposed to intentionally-cheating-the-$@!%-out-of-'em. They'll love you for it.

"How do I start? How do I start?!"

We highly encourage it: Have a guarantee policy. That is, display this sucka -- or some derivative of it -- as prominently as you can: "If you don't like our stuff, get a full-freakin'-refund. We suck. We sorry."

Why Backing Your Products Rocks

Having a guarantee policy helps you in three ways:

  1. You ensure your products fulfill what customers want.

    Johnny pays for your $30 widget. If he doesn't ask for a refund, you know you probably fulfilled what he wanted. Now if he does ask for one, the guarantee policy viciously drives you to improve your products for the customer -- or you'll lose money on refunds every time.
  2. You retain that customer, and the customer's personal network.

    Johnny won't go on a rampage insulting your company like a mofo, driving away future sales. The guarantee policy ensures -- at the least -- a customer who won't go blabbing about how you suck. (Now, wowing the shizzle out of those products belongs in its own article. We'll write that sucka soon.)
  3. You sell more products.

    Because you've guaranteed your product rocks -- or they get a full refund, your customers become more confident in your offering. You've removed the biggest their biggest fears: "What if this product sucks?"

Don't Forget: They Won't Tell You Everything

Remember, you can still have a dissatisfied customer that won't take you up on your guarantee because of the hassle. A simple and sweet method we use: Measuring the number of word-of-mouth customers we get. Customers that love you will tell their friends. If they're not: Uh-oh. But if they are, keep on rockin'.

Like a badass, always build great products like a mutha-$@!$!-white-stallion that you are.

Posted on November 21

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Scenario: "Dude, every superstar we have keeps leaving. We give them money. Money! Why are they leaving? Ahh!" Don't think money keeps your people -- especially the superstars who are kicking booty for your company. When employees feel ignored, they experience emotional drainage -- and a sense of "How come they don't like my work?" syndrome, even if that's untrue. That quickly leads to burn out, and exits. Instead, your superstars want something more: recognition for their filthy hard, ridiculously sexy, and amazingly awesome work. Recognition keeps your superstars happy, content, and ready to kick more butt -- because hey: More great work = more appreciation and recognition.

Avoid the Common Management Trap

How most companies treat their employees:

  1. "Katie, write a proposal for Client Cassie."
  2. Katie kicks butt writing the proposal.
  3. "Katie, prepare the financial docs."
  4. Katie kicks booty preparing the docs.
  5. "Katie, design brochures for Client Billy."
  6. Katie kicks ass designing the brochures.
  7. "Katie, ...."
  8. Katie's gone, homey.


Why Under-Appreciation Sucks

Think back to your worst job experience. Chances are:

  1. You worked your butt off at the beginning of your job.
  2. That sucka-of-a-boss ignored your ridiculously hard work.
  3. The boss focused on a hundred more to-dos for your behind.

Eventually, you reached a breaking point -- and likely (1) slacked-off, or (2) quit. According to Wharton's Sigal Barsade,

Employees may need to mask their true emotional reaction regarding how their organization treats them while they assist their clients. This masking and suppressing could increase emotional exhaustion, a major component of burnout studied in the human services industry.

Superstars, instead, need refueling through praise and recognition.

Recognition Keeps Your Superstars Ticking

A secret sauce we use: We recognize, appreciate, and freakishly praise -- or, try to anyway -- every little-bitty good work from our superstars. Whether that's solving a customer inquiry, cleaning a patch of code, or organizing some little document -- positive reinforcement gets our superstars kicking butt in every aspect, continuously. Think of appreciation as refueling your superstars. Otherwise, you'd slowly dissipate their energy and motivation -- and drive them toward the exit doors. The template to get you started:

"Katie, you are a badass. I loved how you rocked this sucka: __________, and __________, and __________. You're having a major impact on our clients. You're freakin' insane. Thanks, playa."


Posted on November 20

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Scenario: "Dude, I will write our sales manual when the right time comes. It's not the right time, yet. Yay!" Usually always, that "right time" never comes. If you want to change your badass into a bigger and badder badass, you probably need change in a certain aspect of your life. Yet, trying new things for us humans sucks because we experience that discomfort factor. The unknown scares us, so we avoid it.

Embrace Discomfort

Use discomfort as a sweet signal: it's hella good. Enjoy it, according to super psychologist Robert Leahy:

Resourceful people are not having fun all of the time. But they do feel empowered when they force themselves to do what's needed. They embrace "constructive discomfort." Such self-directed whizzes also reward themselves for maintaining the habit of tackling dreaded tasks, not just for the results.

So, strive for one discomforting experience per day. It'll help you improve whatever it is that your badass needs.

Discomfort is hella good.


Posted on November 19

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Scenario: "Dude, we're going to analyze a hundred different logo concepts like mofos. We'll do research, conduct studies, do interviews. We want the best. The best. Yay!" Yet, trying to seek that "best" choice will demolish your (and your team's) morale. Why? When you analyze each of your several options, you subconsciously think to yourself:

"Hey, my badass will have to reject more stuff."

Then, when you finally do choose something, you continually second-guess your bad-self: "Did I really make the right choice?"

Research: Over-analyzers = Unhappiest people

According to research from Swarthmore College psychologist Barry Schwartz:

People who examine every possibility thoroughly are the unhappiest of all. Those who apply the standard of "good enough" are more content.

So, forget over-analyzing your choices.

Just choose something, quickly.

Act on impulse. Use your instincts. Tap the cool side of your brain. Your subconscious will often make the better decision, anyway. And if it turns out you didn't -- at least you didn't waste a kajillion hours, and you can quickly adapt. Our first Trizzy logo took us 120 days. Our second logo took us 10 hours. The current one took us less than 60 seconds; unlike the others, we were -- and still -- super-ecstatic about it. The template to get you started:

"My badass will freakin' choose something, now."


Posted on November 18

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