Over the past couple of years, I have had the wonderful privilege of meeting incredible people of all sorts. Today I wanted to introduce you to a particular Rockstar who is transforming the landscape of how we experience, how we educate, and how we execute ideas into reality. Hamza Khan is an award-winning digital strategist, educator, and co-founder of Splash Effect-a Boutique digital marketing + creative agency. More than that, he is a gentleman who is constantly challenging himself and others to be better, think better, and design better.
During our last conversation a couple months back, I asked Hamza what ten strategies he believes will help others #makeasplash in 2017. And this is his reply…
*NOTE: I wrote this post in 2016, but sat on it in the wake of the U.S. Presidential Elections. I wanted to get a full grasp of what problems we were up against, before prescribing any solutions.
These are testing times. A surging global population mixed with a plummeting global economy has resulted in a fiercely competitive job market. In the United States, Trump’s victory has sent shockwaves across the world which seek undermine the work we’ve done to advance social justice. Meanwhile, our planet is getting sick (and may very well spit us out if we’re not careful). This is not a time for meek moves. This is a time for quantum leaps. A radical change in the way you live, work, and play. Here are 10 strategies that I’m prescribing. Marching orders, if you will. Inspired by others.
- Do Fewer Things: When it comes to productivity, we tend to value quantity over quality. Working more hours, and on more projects, makes us feel like we’re getting more done. This isn’t always true. Warren Buffet’s 25–5 rule will help you identify what’s essential, and what 20% of inputs to focus on in order to generate the 80% outputs.
- Deload Often: Don’t confuse working on fewer priorities and less hours with working any less hard. In fact, there’s a tendency for a smaller list of priorities to have an inversely proportional effect on difficulty. Your work in 2017 will be hard, and you will likely make a project out of different ways to get it done. Be sure to take Timothy Ferris’ advice and schedule “deloading” phases in your calendar.
- Scare Yourself: Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” This is perhaps the most simple way to develop a major key to success: resilience. Before it gets any easier, 2017 is going to get a whole lot harder. And unless you’re prepared to withstand the stress, you’re going to struggle to push through.
- Pop Your Filter Bubble: Trump’s victory was shocking for me and a lot of my friends. But upon further examination, I realized why: whether we liked it or not — with or without our permission — tech companies have programmed our experiences to be contained within what Eli Pariser calls “Filter Bubbles.” We must be proactive to burst these, and diversify our media diet.
- Make Right Choices: When my friend Tesni Ellis went pescatarian for environmental reasons, it got me thinking — what seemingly harmless behaviours am I engaging in that are causing larger (and often invisible) damage? In 2017, there’s likely an alternative to every product, service, and event in your current lifestyle mix. Choose to support brands with a strong ethical mandate.
- Make Choices Right: On that note, you can’t always make the right choice. But in the words of Mohammed Ali Jinna, “You can make those choices right.” Even if you’re entrenched in a bad decision, be aware of it, and work hard to turn your situation around.
- Show Up: Seeing Hillary Clinton at Trump’s inauguration was painful. Here was a woman at the receiving end of lies, harassment, death threats, and overall downright ugly politics. Yet she showed up. Not for Trump, but for her values. And for the people who depend on her. To make a splash in 2017 is to show up, even when you don’t want to.
- Do The Work: But it’s not important to simply show up. You’ve also got to do the work. A project I’m eagerly following is Onwards by ex-SpaceX Executive Dex Torricke-Barton to start a project aimed at listening to why people voted for Trump across America. This is exactly the type of proactive work we need to be doing in order to better our circumstances.
- Speak Out: The Twitter feed of Stuart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, isn’t just product updates or inspirational quotes. It’s daily criticism of Trump’s administration, and shows of solidarity for victims of social injustice. Will Stuart burn through some goodwill with Trump supporters? Absolutely. But will he go down in history as someone who spoke out for those without a voice? You bet.
- Plan For 5 Years: Gary Vaynerchuk underscores the idea that “overnight success” doesn’t happen overnight. It’s 5, 10, 50, 100 years at times. People don’t plan for the long term. If your goal is to only make a splash in 2017, you’re doing it wrong. You want to make a splash in 2018. In 2019. In 2020. And hope that in 2021, you’ve created a wave. Think bigger.
This is the year you lose some friends. You will push away some family. Your colleagues will balk at your intensity, and the world may scratch their head at the moves you’re making. But remember — a splash in 2017 for waves 2021.
How are you planning to make a splash in 2017?
To learn more about Hamza and Splash Effect, please visit: