Five Golden Rules for Job Success

An old client posted an article on his site a few years back titled, “Guerilla Product Management: 17 Golden Rules for Achieving Success on the Job.

I recently found it while doing research for a newsletter I write. You can find the entire article here, but you’ll have to submit your email address for it.

Although the advice is geared toward product managers, anyone can read it and learn from it. So, because I don’t make New Year’s resolutions (who wants to give up mocha almond fudge ice-cream in order to lose a few pounds anyway?), I thought I’d post a few of his “golden rules” here — but edited for B2B marcom types who want to write better copy.

Rule 5 — Do research — all the time. The world is your lab. Make time to sit in the call center and listen to how orders and complaints are handled. Watch customers use your products. Read industry publications. Look at one competitor’s Website every week to see what they’re doing. Understanding your market is one of the most important skill sets you can cultivate.

Rule 7 — Get a thick skin. When you get negative feedback on your copy, instead of getting defensive, ask what idea the person is trying to communicate and why the copy isn’t working.

Rule 9 — Show your enthusiasm all day long — for your job and for your products. I live by David Ogilvy’s creed: “There are no boring products, only boring writers.”

Rule 12 — Take a hike. Get out of your office. Go to the gym. Write a poem. Paint a picture. Do yoga. As writers, we need serious downtime in order to recharge. Make the time to unwind, no matter how busy you are.

Rule 17 — Build a community. Whether you work for a company or on your own, build a community of people who support you, challenge you, and feed you new ideas. We like to think writing is done in isolation, but it’s not. Without new ideas — and the people to share them with – writers and marketers are dead meat.