Heart of an adventurer, head of an entrepreneur, souls of an artist. Story Telling is Charlie Grosso’s natural talent, for Brands, NGOs and individual clients. Leveraging first hand global insights doing work that matters. Let her be your narrator.

Hi Love,

is a human Venn diagram in newsletter form. Topics spanning from branding, marketing, contemporary fine art, food, travel in far-off places, long-form narrative, social impact, refugees and bears. It will spark conversations. It might make you hungry or stroke the wonderlust or add another book to the nightstand. Most of all, it will authentic to the person I am and useful.

Grumpy? 7 tips on what to do.

Hi Love,

Do you ever get annoyed for no reason? Or annoyed because of a nearly nothing reason? These four days of Thanksgiving weekends are full of opportunities for these nearly nothing bits of annoyance to pop up and ruin your day. 

I got annoyed on Friday. I suspect I woke up that way and with the annoyance lens on, it was an uphill battle to shift into something neutral, god forbid something sweeter. Here are some of my go-to tricks when the day is such: 

1. Eat. Maybe I'm hungry. 

2. Nap. Tried and true with a 90% success rate. And fewer calories too. 

3/4. A brisk walk with headphone in/Yoga. Great options and it will burn off some of the calories from option one but it just is not something I choose with frequency. I should. But I don't. 

5. Lay down on the grass. I meant to take a walk around Central Park but the first nice patch of grass is so inviting...a little from option two and a little from three. It grounds me, the body, the earth, and letting go. 

6. Shower. Maybe I literally need to wash the ick off. 

7. Distraction. A good plot to lose myself in to stop thinking about how annoyed I am. 

This is the fourth installment of these weekly love notes. How are you liking it? Useful? Amusing? Inspiring? Let me know how you are finding it and what you would like more of. 

I am so grateful that you are here with me. 


Love,

Charlie  

IDEAS YOU CAN STEAL

I've got a few interesting things for you this week. 

1. Polarity Management.

I'm going through Acumen's Leadership Training Program and how to manage opposing view was the topic this week. It's based on Barry Johnson's book and the core idea is "polarity is not a problem to be solved but a system of energy to be managed." 

It's pretty dense and we were only got through the top line idea in a two-hour session. This work holds strong resonance in this political climate. It's heated. It's divisive. Each side edges towards a zero-sum game. Under Johnson's premise, instead of one side eviscerating the other and we keep taking turns doing that, we manage the polarity with early warning signs and corresponding corrective measures. If we catch it early then the correction doesn't need to be huge. More importantly, the polarity quadrant Johnson lays out reminds us that we have a shared goal in this tug-a-war, that greater good --- whatever it may be, and everything we do should be in service of the big picture.  

2. How to Turn Around a Sinking Ship? 

Victoria Secret has come under a lot of criticisms of late, leading to a CEO resignation. I got off the train at Herald Square, a station that covered in Victoria Secret advertisement and I wondered what I would do to save the brand (if it was up to me). It felt daunting, suddenly I had it. An idea for an ad campaign that would be the first step in rehabilitating a brand that has failed to generate excitement for the past decade. 

The ads would feature the top tier models as it has done except you would only see their head, shoulder, and legs. Their midsection, where the product lives, is covered up in the ad, the copy would say, "Curious to see what I have on? Not without my consent." 

It would create a splash and get them a lot of free media. It addresses where we are culturally in this moment and stops pretending like it doesn't have a role to play. It takes a stand, which some business fear and see as risky, but let's be real. It's not a political position such as TOMS and Gun Safety. It's a relative mild position that says consent is important and rape is bad. I think we can all get on board with that. 

This is the easy part. To come up with fun, splashy campaigns, you need a good pulse on what is going on culturally, understand the critique of the brand, then start at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of the status quo and start brainstorming. This method is effective for idea generating in all areas, not just for ad campaigns for major brands. 

The hard part is what comes after. An ad is a new dress. It doesn't make you skinnier or kinder or smarter or wealthier. You can build towards it from the outside in, a la Method Acting, or you can do it from the inside out, a la Stanislovsky. Both works.  


WORTH A READ

Love and Ruin: Tales of Obsession, Danger, and Heartbreak from The Atavist Magazine. An incredible collection of long-form essays. Impeccable writers; brilliant stories.  I've been slowly making my way through the collection, savoring one story at a time, between books, slightly dreading the day when I flip to the last page of the last story. One of my favorite essays is "52 Blue." It is about a whale that sings at a frequency that few whales sing at, he's lonely and can't attract a mate at this frequency. The whale becomes an embodiment of loneliness and attracts fandom worldwide. Long-form essays are time-consuming to read and it's a lovely way to slow down in a fast-paced endless news cycle world. 


WANDERLUST

Thank you for your four-season tent suggestions. I've landed on Sierra Design Convert 2. J and I will be gearing up over the next few weeks and get ready to celebrate my 40th trip around the sun at the edge of the world! 


DON'T MISS

I actually missed it. Keep an eye out for a play,  "What the Constitution Means to Me."  It got rave reviews here in NYC and had an extended run. I would be surprised if it doesn't show up in LA, Chicago or London next. 


Charlie Grosso