Piotr Jakubowski – Mind over Marketing

The 4P’s Applied
October 26, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: advantage, advice, attitude, Business, learning

A while back I wrote about the 4P’s, an idea passed down to me by one of my mentors – John Bowman at Saatchi & Saatchi. 

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful, albeit stressful, opportunity to test this theory. Unfortunately, I had run into a few visa problems when trying to re-enter the country on my student training extension. Within a week I was:

  • Denied entry to the US on both my visas – extensive time at the border
  • Stranded in Canada with just the clothes on my back, my car, my laptop and my camera
  • Informed on the day I was supposed to start work in the US that I would have to wait 6-10 weeks for an appointment in Canada
  • Flying back to Indonesia the next morning, arriving the following evening
  • Appointment and interview at the US embassy the next morning
  • Fly back a week later – complete with “random” screenings on ever leg
  • Flying through Chicago to get to Toronto – and getting stopped at the border again
  • Taking just a 6 hour break between 45 hrs of flight travel and an 8 hr drive
The entire process was mentally and physically straining, but it was important to remember that there was always an answer to all of the questions, and the end was always there. The goal was to make sure I wasn’t away long enough to lose my job. I returned – beaten and battered – to start work two weeks after I was supposed to.
Persistence is key, and I know that I learned through this personal experience that the 4P’s are true. 

Passion Plus Perseverance Prevails

  • Fuel your passion
  • Steel your resolve to persevere
  • Picture yoursellf prevailing over obstacles
  • Achieving goals

“That” Question
September 28, 2008, 10:53 pm
Filed under: advantage, advice, interviews

One question that will always be a part of the interview process is the one we all fear, and many of us don’t know how to answer. What is your weakness? I’m getting shivers from it already. I’m pretty sure that anyone who’s interviewed for a job position has had this question shot at them; I know I have.

According to an article from the Yahoo! Hot Jobs Career Advice center, one of the best ways to answer this question is to be honest. The question’s designed not necessarily for candidates to reveal their shortcomings, but to identify potential for personal growth.

One thing that is definitely not recommended is sidestepping the truth. The last thing anybody wants is an employer finding out your shortcomings on the job. Not only is that an express ticket out the door, you lose a source for a future recommendation/reference, as well as gain the challenge of having to explain your early termination to your future employers. 

Amanda Mertz, one of the recruiters contributing to the article mentioned a very important point; “Let the job description guide you.” If the job calls for extreme attention to detail, something that is not your forte, it may be a good idea to consider whether its a good fit. Or make the necessary changes in your own habits to make sure it’s a good fit. If the job is right, however, a weakness of a detail oriented person could be “perfectionism.” Mertz emphasizes that “a weakness on one hand is a strength on the other.”


Getting ready for the interview is just as important as the interview itself. With the right preparation, you can be ready for any of the questions that the company would shoot at you, even “that” one. 


Check out that article here!

Nobody Gives You Credit, You Have To Earn It
December 3, 2007, 2:33 am
Filed under: accountability, advice, credit cards, finance, financial intelligence

I was watching a documentary, “Maxed Out” about credit card use in the United States. The situation is dire. Before I get started, here are some quick statistics. 

  • Total US Consumer Debt (including installment debt, but not mortgage debt) – $2.46 Trillion in June 2007
  • Total revolving debt is $904 Billion
  • US Households will have received 5.3 billion offers for new credit cards in 2007
  • 40% of US families spend more than they earn

 Courtesy of Credit Cards.Com and Hoffman Brinker.

One of the best quotes in the documentary was “Nobody Gives You Credit, You Have To Earn It”. Funny thing about this, is that the quote came from a very old clip from the 50s or 60s. This mindset is not new, yet it has been disregarded so vehemently over the last few decades.Nothing in life is free, especially not credit.

Yes, you may start out with $500. But when you’re paying 24% interest on your last missed payment, are you given credit? Not anymore. I keep returning to this subject, but I strongly believe that it is important to establish a strong sense of financial responsibility early. Yeah, you could buy that car that you can’t afford. But do you want to be paying $30,000 for a car worth only $20,000?

Robert Kiyosaki hit the nail on the head in his book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” . One of the only ways out of the Rat Race of debt (yes, chasing yourself silly to find money to pay off next month’s bill is a rat race) is the exercise of financial intelligence.

“The only way to get out of the “Rat Race” is to prove your proficiency at both accounting and investing, arguably two of the most difficult subjects to master.” – Robert Kiyosaki

Yes, we do live in a “right here, right now” world. But wouldn’t that computer or TV be so much sweeter if you worked hard for it and bought it with cash?

Trusting Your Gut
November 27, 2007, 2:55 am
Filed under: advantage, advice, attitude, instinct, trusting your gut

In the past few weeks I have discussed with many different people the concept of instinct. I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet.

Personally, I believe that some people have or develop an innate ability to read/decipher a situation without having a logical reason as to how this process happens. This is called the gut or the instinct. Sometimes, your gut feeling pulls you one way, whereas logic and reason pulls you the other way. On some occasions, your gut may be right. On others, it may not. Some people have trained their instinct a little more, some people are just born with it.

Do you think that somebody who is very good at what they do calculates the pros and cons of the situation every single time? After a while, the processes become innate to the point where the person simply knows which decision is good or bad.

I came across an interesting article today on Newsweek.com.  In his piece “Less (Information) Is More”, Wray Herbert discusses a new take on the strength and credibility of trusting your gut.

Check it out! “Less (Information) Is More”

Outrunning The Bear
November 20, 2007, 1:35 am
Filed under: a game, advice, bear, competition, etiquette, running shoes
  • One of the concepts mentioned by our Etiquette Coach was the importance of getting ahead of the pack. It is important for students in college to get ahead of their competition. To put things in perspective, in the field of advertising there are about 80,000 new graduates a year, and only a handful of top companies. Not everyone will be able to work for them.   

  • That being said, she mentioned a short story of two hikers in the woods. After coming across a bear, they started  running away. One of the hikers stopped, pulled out a pair of running shoes and put them on instead of hiking boots. “You can’t outrun the bear in any kind of shoes,” said the other hiker. “You’re right, I can’t. But I can outrun you.” 

  • The college experience provides very many opportunities for students to standout from their peers. Everything from internships, research projects, extra curriculars and other leadership opportunities. When employers look at resumes, they pay special attention to these sections, to be certain that they have a future leader knocking on the door. What kind of running shoes did you put on? 

The Effective Handshake
November 12, 2007, 12:48 am
Filed under: advice, Business, communication, Excellence, handshake, image, reputation

A few days ago I wrote about the different types of “bad” handshakes.

After attending an etiquette dinner sponsored by our school, I learned a few tips about the most effective handshake.

1. Stand up – It’s important and effective to respect the person by standing up.

2. Extend your hand first – This shows confidence on your part, and your interest in meeting the person

3. Full contact, firm shake – Nobody wants a “dead fish” or the “four finger”

4. 2-3 Shakes – This is enough contact to get the point across. As our educator mentioned, “you don’t want to hold the person hostage”

5. Eye contact – Shows respect and that your full attention is on the other person

6. Smile – Nothing warms the relationship up more than a smile at the end.

Another quick fact that our educator mentioned.

In the first 60 seconds of meeting someone, people make up to 11 judgments.

That’s in 60 SECONDS!

An effective handshake will sway the judgment for the better.

Which Handshake Are You?
November 6, 2007, 12:38 am
Filed under: advice, Business, handshake, image, reputation

Saw a great article about the importance of a solid handshake.

More often than not, I feel faced with people whose handshakes are ludicrous, and do not reflect on their confidence at all. Here are the worst ones:

“The “macho cowboy”… is the almost bone-crunching clasp many businessmen use to shake hands. What are they trying to prove, anyway? There’s no need to demonstrate your physical strength when shaking another person’s hand.

The wimp… is usually delivered by men who are afraid to “hurt the little lady” when shaking women’s hands. Modern female professionals expect their male counterparts to convey the same respect they’d show their male colleagues.

The “dead fish”… conveys no power. While there’s no need to revert to the macho cowboy death grip, a firm clasp is more powerful than one that barely grabs the hand.

The “four finger”… is when the person’s hand never meets your palm, and instead clasps all four fingers, crushing them together.

The cold and clammy… feels like you’re shaking hands with a snake. Warm up your hand first before grabbing someone else’s.

The sweaty palm… is pretty self-explanatory, and pretty gross. Talcum powder to the rescue.

The “I’ve got you covered” grip… happens when the other person covers your hand with his or her left hand as if your shake is secretive.

The “I won’t let go”… seems to go on for eternity because the other person won’t drop his or her hand. After two or three pumps, it’s time to let go. “It’s a lot like a kiss — you know when it’s over,” Brody says.

The “southpaw”… happens when the person uses the left hand to shake because the right hand has food or a drink. Always carry your drink and plate with your left hand to keep your right one free for meet and greets.

The “ringed torture”… occurs when the person’s rings hurt your hand. Try to limit the number of rings you wear on the right hand to only one or two and be mindful of any that have large stones.”

Just like bad breath, a bad haircut, a bad suit and a bad tie will compromise your reputation, a weak handshake will do no better.

Which one are you? Which one do you dislike the most?