Rags to Riches
The Dad Effect

Can You Do the Never?

by Guest Blogger, Lena West 

I used to read a lot of blogs. Now, not so much.Cowboy

But, one of the blogs that I subscribe to (in addition to this one!) is Seth Godin's blog. 

About two years ago, Seth introduced, it's called, "Do the never".  This simple yet revolutionary concept of looking at what businesses and industries ALWAYS do and then having the b*lls to do the opposite, has stuck with me ever since.  I find myself always asking myself, my Advisors, my coaches...how can we do the never?  Truth be told, we haven't exactly figured it out yet but, we're damn close.

In thinking about this yesterday, I had the realization that this time, right now, is the best time in the world for businesses to do the never thanks to the Internet. I mean, really look at what's going on. 

  • There are alternate universes/new publics like Second Life and There that are allowing companies to introduce products and services online in a controlled environment to see if the new ideas hold water. Launching a product/service before it was completed was virtually unheard of previously (unless you're Microsoft...ok, joking!).
  • The CEO of Marriott, Bill Marriott, has a blog that he actually creates the content for! (I didn't say he posts it himself, I said he creates it.)  Who would have EVER thought that the CEO of a huge hotel and resort chain would be this accessible? This transparent?
  • The owner of the Mavericks, Mark Cuban, has a blog that HE actually writes. And, he actually has an opinion and he's not scared of "Legal" coming down from the foothills to smack his virtual hand.
  • Donald Trump has distilled decades of business acumen into Trump University.
  • You can help increase the likelihood of more children being feed just by clicking your mouse.  No red tape, stamp licking or checkbook needed to pitch in to feed the hungry.

I could go on with a list of companies that are using the Internet to "do the never" but, I'll spare you the links.

However, what also dawned on me is that this is what we help our clients do...The Never (by using the Internet, of course!).  For whatever reason, I never made the connection before. I'm glad I finally did.

  • We recently launched a blog (and blog-as-website) for a pharmacuetical testing company. Yes, I said a BLOG for a pharma testing company. And, it's gorgeous.
  • We're currently working with a very well-respected journalist to put his complete body of work online. Because this person is intensely private, he has resisted putting any of his work together, in one place, online or off, for the past decade. We were able to get him off the dime. Talk about doing the never.

Gosh, I LOVE this concept. I can see it as a great tattoo (!) ...or at least an annual theme for a business.

But, the question isn't how can you use the Internet to "do the never"?  That's the easy question.  Here's the hard one:

Do you have the cajones to "do the never"? If you do...what are you gonna do? When?


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Lena West


Thanks for the kind words! And, thanks for reading and commenting, as well.

One of the things that you'l hear me say over and over again in my materials and when I'm speaking to groups is I am SO not about "keeping up with the Joneses". Not only is that approach (if you want to call it that) an exercise in futility it shows absolutely zero ingenuity and brain power.

So, good for your hubbie for having the guts to take the road less traveled and kudos to you for picking a smart guy! :)

Keep on doing the never,


Teresa Morrow

I enjoyed this post because it does go talke about not "keeping up with the Jones" mentality. I think that alot of us grew up with that (I know I did). It is refreshing to see others whom are willing (and wanting) to go against the norm and step up to the plate to be original. Do the Never, is a great concept and it will be interesting to see what others will think of and take action upon in their businesses. One of the sayings my husband said to me was, "If everyone is going left, I am going to go right". It does beg the question...why not go right...there may be something better down that road, then by going left. You never know...right? So, don't be afraid to go right when everyone else is going left.

Josef Katz

Thanks for noticing Trump University. We try to avoid the 'me to' business ideas.

Lena L. West


I agree...that's partly why we haven't figured out out whole "do the never" story.

My point in mentioning it was to get the mental wheels turning.

* How can we be different?
* How can we change the rules of the game?
* How can we change how the game is played?
* Are we just going through the motions?
* How can we innovate - even slightly?

Thanks for reading,



I like the idea, but with such diverse marketing schemes sometimes it is hard to figure out what the never is

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