dog barking

Don’t Hire A Dog To Do Your Own Barking

Brandon Uttley Overcoming Business Obstacles Leave a Comment

Once I had a boss (an advertising agency owner) who delivered a classic line to a client who was trying to tell our team how to do our jobs.

As the client was delivering his withering criticism of our work, my boss interrupted him and said, “You don’t hire a dog to do your own barking.”

It stopped this complainer dead in his tracks and was a simple yet profound lesson for me:

Don’t hire an expert then tell them how to do their job

Bad things will happen when you hire an expert—outside your field of expertise—then proceed to constantly tell them how to do their job differently to fit your perception of what’s “best.”

  1. They are going to get confrontational, which could lead to you firing them or them quitting prematurely before they are allowed to provide the quality of work you hired them for in the first place.
  2. They will stop giving you their best advice, the more you bitch and berate; instead, they will just do what you demand, even to the point of producing lousy, sub-par work—just to shut you up and get paid.
  3. They will get the work done, finish the contract, then go tell others what a terrible experience it was to work with you.
  4. Or worst case, they will intentionally sabotage the work, possibly undetectable by you for a long time (lesson: revenge is sweet).

How to Muzzle Yourself

If you are self-aware enough to see that you are constantly telling the “dogs” you hire how to bark, here are some different behaviors you can try.

  1. Be patient. Unless you are bleeding to death or your pipes have burst (or some other crisis), stop expecting immediate miracles. Most things take time, regardless of how fast you expect the world to work.
  2. Be nice. I’m talking about being diplomatic and collaborative. Instead of saying, “I hate this! You are terrible! Do it this way! etc.” try having a conversation. Examples: “Tell me why you went in this direction….help me understand why you are recommending this (or why this is taking longer than anticipated, etc.)…explain to me again your process.”
  3. Stop berating. If you beat, shock-collar or scream at a dog long enough, she will learn to cower when you approach. If that’s how you treat the professionals you hire, you’re going to end up with a lot of quivering lapdogs around you. Congratulations, that makes you both ineffective and a bully.
  4. Learn to trust. Delegation is extremely hard for some people. It requires a degree of trusting that people will do what they say they are going to do. If you can’t extend that trust to other professionals, don’t hire them in the first place.
  5. Trust but verify. I liked when Ronald Regan famously said when dealing with the Russians on nuclear disarmament: “Trust but verify.” Notice he wasn’t a jerk about it…he was diplomatic. He first trusted, but yes—he verified. He demonstrated aplomb at the ultimate level. If after tactfully verifying that your needs have not been satisfied, then at that point perhaps you are justified in doing a little “barking” to rectify the situation. But that approach shouldn’t be your default response.

How you found yourself on the receiving end of someone who hired you and kept telling you how to “bark?” How did you handle it?

Interesting or vital

Interesting or Vital? The Simple Question to Stay Focused

Brandon Uttley Overcoming Business Obstacles 2 Comments

How do you deal with the daily onslaught of information? What criteria do you use to determine what gets your precious time and attention?

I devised a simple question that helps me quickly decide what to focus on:

Interesting or Vital?

It’s deceptively simple, but whenever I go into “IV” mode, I get more productive instantly. It’s super effective whether I’m trying to power through my in-box or make a crucial life decision.

You can define interesting and vital however you’d like, but mine are defined roughly as:


  • Anything that feels like immediate gratification
  • Virtually every “clickbait” headline
  • Easy things to waste time with
  • Shiny objects
  • Most current news and entertainment articles
  • Stuff that makes me feel like I’ll be “smarter” for looking at it
  • Stuff that leads to more consumption and less creation


  • Things that are specific to the tasks I have at hand
  • Things that are pertinent to growing my business
  • Things that contribute to my health and happiness
  • Things that will help me add more value to the world
  • Things that align with my purpose in life
  • Things that are hard…not the easy “activities” that are not truly productive

It’s crazy how many inputs compete for our attention every day. The mostly free and addictive drugs of email, social media, games, Netflix series, TV shows, etc. do their best to derail us.

Here is just a sample of the headlines that flooded my inbox this week and tempted me to click through—all of which I deemed interesting but not vital:

  • 3 Killer Techniques to Boost SEO
  • A Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers
  • Three LinkedIn Strategies Working NOW
  • 5 Habits of the Highly Effective Entrepreneur
  • Quick & Easy Ecomm Profits Without a Store
  • 6 Facebook Remarketing Tactics That Work

Try asking yourself this question—“Interesting or vital?”—when you get what researcher David Levy of the University of Washington calls “popcorn brain.” That’s a brain that is so overstimulated by electronic multitasking that it basically makes you a vegetable offline.

Certainly, there are times when you need to veg out, chill, unwind, binge watch House of Cards or whatever. Just be aware of how often life and especially the Web and electronic devices will lure you away from doing the things that really matter.

I love popcorn, but most of the time the answer to the “interesting or vital” question is glaringly obvious. The popcorn can wait.

Learn Facebook Ads

Brandon Uttley Marketing And Sales, Resources And Tools Leave a Comment

Learn Facebook ads ebook

There have been a few times in my three decades as a marketing professional where an emerging trend hit me like a ton of bricks:

Circa 1994-1996 — When I first discovered the Internet/Web and realized the massive reach and influence it would have (after the Netscape browser came out, I quickly learned to code my first crude websites and soon after left my job at an ad agency to start a web design firm)

Circa 2008 — When I discovered my first podcast and later that year created my own first show (short lived!) called Web Business Freedom…which has led to a passion for podcasting (even though my latest show has been on hold for a couple months…sad but true)

Also circa 2008 — When I discovered Twitter and Facebook and saw the trend of social media taking off and took the plunge to learn all I could about it

Circa late 2016 — When Pew Research Center came out with their annual stats on social media usage and I realized how much Facebook has truly won the social game, with:

  • 79% of online Americans now using Facebook
  • 76% of Americans who use Facebook visiting it daily

Source: Pew Research Center

I mean, I knew Facebook had reached catastrophic numbers, of course…but now we’re at the 80/20 inflection point.

While I had dabbled a bit with Facebook ads, suddenly it became crystal clear to me that this is the most significant communications platform of our time…and it is imperative as a marketer to understand and utilize it to the fullest extent. And yes, I mean Facebook ads…vs. trying to beat your head against the Facebook Wall trying to achieve “organic” reach. For most of us, that is a futile cause.

Announcing Facebook Ads Authority

I’ve been diving deeply into Facebook ads the past few months and want to share what I’ve been learning.

My latest digital product is called Facebook Ads Authority. Click the link to learn more about this. If you like it, it’s just $7 US to get a copy. If not, no worries…there are a lot of other great resources out there.

Regardless, I encourage anyone running a business or working in marketing to pay attention and get up to speed with what is possible with Facebook ads. They continue to innovate the platform, offering a virtually endless combination of possibilities to reach your prospects at a fraction of the cost of “traditional” media like print, radio, billboards, trade shows, etc.

If all this seems awesome but overwhelming and you would rather focus on your business and not Facebook ads, contact me to learn about our done-for-you Facebook advertising services.

If you have a good case study to share about your use of Facebook ads, let me know!

Create and sell digital products

Create and Sell Digital Products

Brandon Uttley Growing A Business, Podcast, Resources And Tools, Starting A Business Leave a Comment

Go For Launch Show 88How would you like to create and sell digital products? You might be surprised how relatively easy it is to do this and start earning extra income.

In today’s podcast, I share information about why digital products are so effective. I also talk about the process of creating them—speaking from personal experience. Over the past week, I created a multi-part digital product offering just to demonstrate I could (and to create a passive revenue source!). Then I did a webinar about it and launched the product, How to Create and Sell Digital Products.

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How to write a best selling book

How to Write a Best-Selling Book

Brandon Uttley Business Motivation and Inspiration, Growing A Business, Marketing And Sales, Podcast, Starting A Business Leave a Comment

Go For Launch Podcast Show 87Want to know how to write a best-selling book? Believe it or not, there’s a service for that now. It’s called Book In A Box, and it is a game changer for professionals who want to write a book but don’t know how—or who can’t commit the time that is typical involved.Tucker Max

I had the pleasure of speaking with Tucker Max, the co-founder and CEO of Book In A Box, that has turned book writing and publishing into a service.

Tucker himself has written three #1 New York Times Best Sellers, which have sold over three million copies worldwide. He is only the third writer (after Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis) to have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List at one time.

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How to disrupt an industry

How To Disrupt An Industry

Brandon Uttley Business Motivation and Inspiration, Growing A Business, Marketing And Sales, Podcast, Starting A Business Leave a Comment

Go For Launch podcast show 86Some of the most promising startups happen when their founders discover how to disrupt an industry. They see opportunities to radically change or improve “business as usual.”

That is what Mike Devlin and his cofounders are doing with LureBoats, an online marketplace that enables customers to book boat charters across the country right from their computer or mobile device—it’s like an OpenTable or Airbnb for fishing charters.

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Super Healos

Start A Business By Helping Others

Brandon Uttley Business Motivation and Inspiration, Podcast, Starting A Business 3 Comments

Go For Launch podcast show 85Many people have this idea that they can start a business by helping others. But few act on their instincts.

Kathryn Jones is one of those who decided to turn her passion for improving others’ lives into a business that is helping children who are facing medical treatment get the emotional support they need.

Kathryn is co-founder and head of product development for SuperHealos, a company dedicated to helping children facing medical treatment feel like superheroes.

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