“Thank Goodness”


I heard the term listening to a report from a group of hurricane survivors who locked themselves in a walk-in cooler at a restaurant in the midwest. The right situation to Thank God, but the young lady said: "Thank goodness we are all alive."

Thank Goodness.

I like this term. Not that I am against God by any means. I am pro goodness. Goodness is something we all can achieve. I have been thinking a lot about goodness lately. I guess it is because of all the hateful rhetoric we see on the news and social media. The country is so divided. What we all have in common is goodness. Can't we all just look for the goodness within and share more of that?

Recently on my Facebook news feed there have been a great number of hateful, wrong and down-right disrespectful posts by "friends". So I decided to do some "un-following". My announcement on this was quite simple and it led to a lot of support and a couple of people got angry too. 

I use social media to stay up on current events both internationally and within my small network of "real" friends and family. These updates help me to craft my marketing for clients in a relevant way. My assumptions were proven correct that out of my 1,500 friends on my personal page, I only see a small portion of their posts. By eliminating (by unfollowing, not by blocking) the negative hateful posts, my feed is much brighter and positive. I am seeing people who have been friends but lost in the bombardment of armchair politicians. I am seeing what people are DOING rather than ranting. And it's made my life greater.

This small difference in my social media use has big benefits. The positivity has helped me stay focused, see the future better and generate more valuable ideas.

Photo: Lindy Sue with Don Chamber's '55 Chevy Nomad at Car Crazy, Inc. in Orange, CA

What Is Your Greatest Moment?


Last week I was interviewed by Mark Greene from Cars Yeah! One of the questions he asked me was: "What was your proudest business moment?".

I really wanted to say this moment right here. And, that answer wouldn't be that far off. I was honored to be interviewed by Mark who has asked similar questions to many automotive icons.

I wouldn't be that far off because, many of my proudest moments are rather recent. I am sure, or hope that it is true for you as well. We all know the someone who goes on and on about their "glory days", usually as a high school sports champ. So what happened that they haven't continued to do remarkable things?

My thought, is that they put their triumph on such a pedestal it would be difficult to imagine, or achieve anything better. When most likely they did many things. Many things which, they just cannot see, because, they are living in the past.

The photo above is from one of my proud moments in business. We created a content development program for our clients. Check it out here.

I turn the question around a bit. What IS your greatest moment in business? With this question we automatically think in the present with a nod to the future. This simple change facilitates forward thinking and creating a path to more great moments.

I would assume for many of you, like me, your greatest moment in business is centered around your passion. Something you believe highly in. Something that excites and challenges you. Something that is difficult and full of discovery.

Please, share with me.
What is your greatest moment in business?

The Secret to Getting Ahead is to Get Started

Get There


I saw this post from Elaina, a student of mine, on social media the other day. I felt proud that this young lady is wise beyond years and inspires so many people with her social media posts.

The other day I was making a presentation at her alma mater. The topic was Idea Generation. We were discussing breaking through blocks. Writers block in particular. Most of the time blocks are put up right from the beginning. I remember writing reports for school, and getting started was always the hardest part. Then I figured it out. You don't have to start at the beginning. Just start writing, extemporaneously, as you are quickly scribbling down notes, there comes the AHA! moment. "That is where I should start this!" and continue writing. Editing as you go along. 

It's sorta like building a jig-saw puzzle. You can't start by taking the first piece out of the box and putting it in the right place. You have to dump the box on the table and start moving around all the pieces, till you find that one that you can start from.

I introduced the students to Roger Von Oech's "Whack Pack" cards which accompany his hit book "Whack On The Side Of The Head". In each example of thinking differently in problem solving, I shared examples of his Four Roles of the Creative Process

Download a FREE copy of the Four Roles of the Creative Process Here.

The roles are diagrammed as a circle with the four roles split in two main areas: Play and Work. This is one circle where you may go back and forward as you become the Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior.

The first two roles (Explorer and Artist) are in the play-time. The final two roles (Judge and Warrior) are in work-time. It is most important to PLAY when being the Explorer and Artist. In PLAY we do not make judgements, ideas are neither good or bad, but ideas. A very Zen way of thinking. You gather ideas as the Explorer, and you manipulate the ideas as the Artist. Without any judgement as to what you are doing.

"Impossible!" You say.

True. We are human.

The key is to question those judgements. Recognize when you are making an assumption. Ask the opposite. Change the rules. PLAY. 

At some point you will have the manipulated ideas figured out. We move to work and play the Judge role. You review the manipulated ideas and ask how they are solving the problem at hand. You make a case for the outcome. When the ideas are completely justified, we play the Warrior Role. We fight for the idea, no matter what it takes, we battle on. Without question. We are confident because we used the process that this idea is the best solution for the challenge. We create a paradigm shift. We WORKED.

And it all happened because we started.

When you are ready to get started. I am here to add the fuel. 
Tony Colombini • 949-584-5669 • TonyC@BlacktopMedia.net

Creating a Consistent Brand Image

Here at the Blacktop Media Network, we are very fortunate to work for clients who appreciate the value we have to bring to their brands.

AskewBlacktop Branding has developed a consistent and robust “Brand Standards” program. The program starts with a review of your current brand equity. Basically, we work to answer the question: “How do people currently view your brand?”. The answers lie in both the visual and the perceptual quality of your brand image.

Visual Quality:
The Brand Standards become the pallet or guideline on how we present the brand identity going forward. Strict use and definitions of design elements, typography, color, and iconography are outlined.

Perceptual Quality:
Since day one, Blacktop Branding has been a leader in developing a thematic voice for brands. A good thematic concept will touch people on an emotional level. They will be able to add their own story to the theme and connect in a way that will enable them to be brand advocates. What is the theme of the company? How do you want your brand to be perceived? We see themes in use at Helpful Honda, Subaru; Share the Love, RAM Trucks; Work Hard.

The link below is the brand identity design standards of an extensive corporate identity program for Boyd’s Garage. A blacksmith and hot rod shop in rural Montana: