Surprise Has a Payoff

(Yes. There’s a surprise message inside)

I’m hand-crafting a Superb Snail Mail Package for Chris Guillebeau the best-selling author of $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Conformity.

It’s a tribute of gratitude really to some of the things I learned from Chris, especially from his guest post at Tim Ferriss’s blog: Chris advises,

Put happiness in a box…and make people feel special.

That’s infused into the premise of Superb Snail Mail.

Though Chris is aware of the upcoming delivery, he won’t know what he’s getting until it arrives. I’m shooting for memorable, personalized delight and wonder.

My Startup that has it’s challenges…
to really know how good Superb Snail Mail is one should experience it. But a pre-customer hasn’t experienced it.

I say pre-customers optimistically…
because I have this gut feeling that with some diligence the value and “preciousness” of Superb Snail Mail will gain bona fide traction, and not merely among postal enthusiasts. In many ways this can be possible because of the power of surprise.

It’s sobering: Surprising someone runs the risk of misunderstanding…failure.

While most people like good surprises what a good surprise is varies from person to person. So, it takes some work ahead of time to do well.

What I love is that when we offer a surprise that brings delight there’s a positive payoff: A relationship is built.



Figure out how you can offer a good surprise for your team, your customer, a new friend, or someone you care about. Remember that good surprises build relationship. That means something and it builds your legacy.

How will you build relationships this week through good surprises?


Ready for my Surprise?

6 Notes on Creativity: A Dispatch from Sparky Pronto

I’m writing as “Sparky Pronto” (my alter ego) who has the wisdom of the Muses to spark your creative muse and give you encouragement.

A few thoughts…

• Ignore insinuations that creating isn’t part of your reason for being here.

• When you make good art consistently, eventually you will be rewarded.

• Only a few people will “get you” and what you’re doing, if any do at all. That is no reason to stop creating.

• If you feel alive when you create, it’s crazy to stop or let it lag. Don’t.

• Creativity is like water. Jumping into a creative flow will be messy. Know that going in.