Posted by Scott Bywater in general Jan 30th, 2009 | No Comments »

I’m back from my three week break – which I spent with
my beautiful wife, Helen, my son, my dad (who visited us
from Bangkok) and the in-laws – and boy am I glad to be
back in the office.

Why am I so happy to be back at work.

Aren’t holidays supposed to be what we live for?

Sure, they are – and personally I am planning to have more
of them every year. But if you love what you do… you
realise that you cannot have one without the other. And
the holidays bring more passion to your work (or purpose)
and your work ensures you gain more enjoyment from your

I for one would never want to be retired and on
holidays 24/7.

However what I do love about them is they give me the
opportunity to switch off and let my creative juices start flowing. Here’s a few ideas I picked up over the holidays
while I was reading, spending time with my families and
basically enjoying some time in the sun:

1.Things can change very quickly in life. Spare a moment for
the Australian cricket team. At one stage of the second test, they had the South Africans by the scruff of the neck at about 7 / 200… I think South Africa was at some incredible odds to win the game – 17 to 1 or something – but with the help of the tail and a masterful innings by Duminy, they
came back and snatched the game and the series.

The lessons: Never underestimate your opponent. Never listen
to the odds other people give you. Things can change very quickly in business and life if you stay focused.

2.Even a three year old can spot something which doesn’t add
up. On Christmas day, I thought I’d put on the “red and
white” suit and play Santa Claus. Now personally, I think I
did a pretty good job (sorry, I didn’t take a video – maybe
next year 😉 but my niece wasn’t so convinced, asking me
where I was and probably wondering why everyone was calling
out “Scott” to that Santa guy as he was unwrapping the

The lesson for business: It’s okay to spot a flaw in Santa,
but make sure your products and service are flawless,
because people will notice. And they will talk.

3.I watched a few movies while I was away – “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, “Traitor” with Guy Pearce and a few other actors, “Tropic Thunder” with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Junior and Tom Cruise… and “Taken” with Liam Neeson. Each of
them was a class act and I was relaxed enough to look into
what made each movie great.

Alvin and the Chipmunks was fun, appealed to kids, related
to Xmas and had these cute fuzzy creatures. It also
incorporated the good guy, bad guy routine and had a
happy ending. Plus it’s a classic which has been redone.

Lesson: find a product or service you can reignite and
bring new life to.

Traitor touched on the emotion of what you would do if
someone you loved was taken from you. And boy, that thought
gets the blood boiling and makes you want to put your hand through the television and throttle some of those guys.
Lesson: touch on a chord.

Tropic Thunder was just plain funny… and you’re never likely
to see a more entertaining dance from Tom Cruise in your
life. The guy is brilliant and plays an incredible role as
the tyrant. Lesson: humour sells.

Traitor touched on the emotions we have towards terrorists.
And it showed both the positive and negative side of
religion. This touches on an emotion which is very timely
and something which – based on events over recent years –
has thought about at one time or another. Lesson: understand
your audience and be timely.

4.I read bits and pieces of Donald Trump’s book – “Think Big
and Kick Ass” and he had some interesting lessons in there. Here’s a couple: if you’re going to do something small, you
may as well do it big. Get momentum working for you – the
secret to success is to constantly work on building
momentum. I once heard Anthony Robbins say something like
“When you start a business it takes 10 ounces of energy to
create one ounce of results. But once you get the ball
rolling, the tables turn and one ounce of energy can create
10 ounces of results.

5.My dad came over for Xmas – thankfully. It was my job to
do the BBQ on Xmas day, but he was around, so I got to spend
time with my boy instead. Lucky for the guests – my skills on
the barbeque are far from the best. But I can cook an awesome batch of eggs on the stove top. Lesson: Let people do what
they do best – even better if it’s your old man, because
he won’t charge you for it!

6.I cleaned up my clothes cupboard for the first time in one
or two years. Those who are close to me will know that I’m
a very messy guy. My wife hates it and is the complete
opposite, so she’s always walking around saying “zen, zen,
zen” and last year my sister in law paid a visit to my
office before I could clean it up and caught me out with
hardly a spare space on the floor. My nephew cheekily pointed
out the “How To Clean Anything” book which was on the floor
– you may have guessed I haven’t read that book.

Anyway, I’m very productive though. I plan every day and
week and simply figure I am far better off writing copy and making money than cleaning up. That being said – there’s
part of me that also believes an organized home or office
is an organized mind. So I’m experimenting with being very organized this year and that’s the first thing I did when
I got into my office yesterday. And I’m feeling really good
about it. Lesson: Clean up your workspace and you’ll be
more focused to write better ads and run a more productive business. (I’ll keep you posted on how it’s working out
for me).

7.I read a novel by Nelson DeMille called “Plum Island.”
Reading a good novel can teach one a lot about writing. Try
this time next time you read a good book – ask yourself “How
does the writer get me engaged”… “What’s the theme here”…
“How do they introduce new plots”… “How do they open to hook
me in.” DeMille is a great writer. Personally, I think he
takes a little too long to hook one into the story (Dan Brown
is brilliant at that) but he finishes with a bang and
really knows how to get you to give personality to a
character. (By the way, Plum Island is a great read).

PLUS… I had a whole heap of laughs with my 2 ½ year old
son who jumped all over me day in and day out… shrieked
with delight on Xmas day when he received all his presents…
and said “Daddy, you’re the best” on a number of occasions.

Now THAT is what Christmas is all about. Ho-Ho-Ho until
next year.

Scott (the fake Santa Claus) Bywater

P.S. I’ve been a little slow getting emails out lately,
because I’ve been focused on creating a new product called
the 3 minute ad formula which is going to be HUGE. All
that’s about to change though, because I’m fired up for one
heck of a year where I plan to ‘Bywaterise” as many of
my subscribers as possible into getting richer in the
recession than you did in the boom. In the meantime, if
you’re not already a member of my customer sucking machine,
check out – and MAKE

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