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Dave Murray

Envisioning a Happier World

Envisioning a Happier World

“Here’s to the crazy ones…”

With those words, Apple’s “Think Different” campaign was launched. The year was 1997. I was a 20-year-old cocky kid who didn’t take his classes seriously, skipping everything but my acting classes if I was on a roll at the pool tables. At the time I was in junior college, bored out of my mind and a touch rebellious. At my core, I was a good kid. But when you’re like me, there are few things in life scarier than boredom. And I had no choice but to do whatever I could to alleviate that fear.

I don’t remember the first time I saw the “Think Different” ad, but I do remember how I felt when I saw it. It spoke to the rebellious kid in me in a way it didn’t speak to others. “Maybe I could be one of those people,” I thought. I let that idea die as I pursued my education in the arts, and my work in the “real world.” It was even buried away after my dad died, while Vanessa and I were running Good Stuff Studios.

It wasn’t until 2014 – and Mayniax Branding – that the thought returned. “Holy crap! Vanessa and I have the opportunity to be two of the crazy ones!”

The Vision

The official vision for Mayniax Branding is to help more entrepreneurs than the governments of the world pretend to. I think we need to change that. It’s a little too cynical.

We talk about the world being broken, and believing entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it. And we do believe that. But how they can fix the world is pretty cool: they can make it happier.

The Ripple Effect

The best entrepreneurs really get into what they do. When they’re genuinely passionate and can build a community of like-minded people around their “whys” – purpose, cause, or belief – they have the power to create incredible cultures – cultures where everyone involved is a little happier because they’re working toward something they believe in. That effect carries over to those people’s friends and families, making everyone they come into contact with happier.

I Like to Think I’m Already One of the Crazy Ones

People talk about work / life balance, but I see that as an entrepreneurial fallacy. As Doc Holliday said in 1993’s Tombstone, “There’s no normal life, Wyatt; it’s just life. Get on with it.” And his quotes are all true, because Val Kilmer was a badass Doc Holliday.

Mayniax Branding Doc Holliday Quote from Tombstone

My Definition of Success

My success is a mix of both personal and professional. It would be waking up on a cool, crisp fall day, turning my head to meet the soft gaze of a remarkable woman, and saying as sweetly as I possibly can, “Hey, wanna go to Italy, today?”

We’d hop on our plane and be in Italy later that day. Then we’d check out Greece because I’d want to see both places where western civilization started. We’d see where our ideas of philosophy, art, and language began. There’d be so much history, I wouldn’t be able to help but geek out. We’d even visit Paris to see the sights, especially the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. And we’d stay in all these places as long as we’d like.

And this will all be possible since Mayniax Branding will be able to function without me. Because let’s face it: one day, it’ll have to.

So my idea of success is complete freedom that I get to share with a remarkable woman and some incredible kids, along with the rest of our friends and family. And when my time’s up, however I go, dying with the knowledge that Mayniax Branding will continue making the world a happier place – by helping gutsy entrepreneurs – long after I’m gone.

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world…”

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!

Dave Murray

Our Own Gutsy Advertising

Our Own Gutsy Advertising!

Vanessa and I declared this the year of advertising, and holy crap, has 2016 delivered!

Our Gutsy Networking

We’ve gotten a little more selective about the networking we do. We’re part of a B2B networking group, attend specific A2Y Chamber events, and are going to more structured entrepreneur events. I’ve even joined a committee dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build their businesses, because hey, that’s what we’re all about anyway!

Because of networking, I’ve been able to set up some talks to help us get business, help us get the Mayniax Branding name out there, and help us give entrepreneurs some free, much-needed branding advice. We’re cool like that.

Our Gutsy Blog

I’m really working hard on writing a blog post at least every two weeks, and with my schedule – along with being on a constant lookout for rabid spider monkeys – that’s pretty tough to do. In fact, I’m writing this at 12:02 am. Ah, the things I do for our gutsy entrepreneurs.

Our Gutsy Newsletter

The newsletter goes out every two weeks, generally without fail. After all, we’ve always got something to talk about – even if it’s just a branding tip or two. Plus, it allows us to link back to our website so Google sees we’re kind of a big deal!

Our Gutsy Social Media

This is one of the things I’m most excited about. A goal of ours for this year is to own page one of Google in any and all “Ann Arbor branding” searches. One of the ways to do that is to load up on social media. Something we know about social media, however, is that for it to work, you need to have a consistent presence. And we just didn’t have the time to make that happen.

And then we met Stefanie Mitchell, of S Mitchell Marketing. In Vanessa’s and my nearly six years of networking, she’s the first person we’ve come across who knows more about social media than we do. So we gladly handed the social media baton to her to make things happen for Mayniax Branding.

Except for Instagram. Because Vanessa and I like pictures.

As an added bonus, Stefanie also has us creating content for ads on social media, as well as Google AdWords. And as another added bonus, with her rocking our social media, Vanessa and I can spend time doing the things we’re actually good at.

Our Gutsy Commercial

The commercial. Ah yes, the commercial. In the grand tradition of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign – and partly because of the wise words of Simon Sinek – we realized the most important thing we could advertise is, duh, the most important part of any brand: Why it exists in the first place. In fact, our “why” and story have been at the center of all our advertising this year.

The problem is, we didn’t know anyone who could really help us communicate our “why” as passionately as we wanted it communicated. Or so we thought. Enter George Pariseau, the founder of Brainstream Creative.

George is a pretty easy-going dude who gets serious about videography. He also understands enough about marketing that, when we said, “We trust ya. Just do what you do,” we knew he wouldn’t let us down – even though I completely changed the script the night before we filmed it.

My bad.

Our Gutsy Upsell

That just sounded, well, dumb. Gimme a break – it’s 12:32 am.

If you’re in the Ann Arbor area, and thinking about getting your business branded, fill out the form on our Contact page. We’re happy to answer any questions you have, and never charge for the first hour. We’ll even spring for a caffeinated beverage or two. For you, not just us. Though we’ll probably spring for a caffeinated beverage or two for us, as well.

Because sometimes we’re up late at night writing blog posts.

Stay gutsy, gang!