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Catherine Smalley

PSA about PSL

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Well it’s that time of year again. Cooler weather equals leaves changing, sweaters and, of course, the return of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes cluttering your newsfeeds. Instead of rolling our eyes and saying “bah-humbug” (I realize it’s a little early for Christmas references but the PSL has gone to my brain) we at d.trio decided to embrace the Pumpkin Spiced craze. So we put on our yoga pants and ugg boots (#sweaterweather) and decided to pumpkin spice everything this month. So stay tuned for videos, recipes and weird image filters because we are making this whole month pumpkin-themed.

And what better way to kick this off than with our first ever “Battle of the Brands,” featuring a taste test of the now notorious (and arguably overrated) Pumpkin Spiced Latte…. Want to know which brand “tasted like a mistake?” Watch out for our #battleofthebrands results coming soon!

Work Smarter not Harder… The difference between a workaholic and a top-performer.

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Why is “procrastination” considered by some to be a dirty word? Sometimes my best ideas are the product of a tight deadline or pressure of a ticking clock. So, when I came across this article titled “High Performers vs. Workaholics: 7 Subtle Differences,” it intrigued me and, ultimately, validated my (sometimes) instinct to “procrastinate.”

Workaholics vs Top Performers

Workaholics can look very similar to high performers on the outside, but they’re actually nothing alike, according to Jullien Gordon, a nationally recognized public speaker and notable talent recruitment and development consultant. The key difference? Gordon argues that, “A high performer works hard in healthy sustainable ways and feels happy and inspired, meanwhile a workaholic works hard in unhealthy unsustainable ways and feels unhappy and burned out.” Here’s the breakdown and some key takeaways I learned from Gordon’s study and article:

  1. High performers know their own value. Workaholics allow others to determine their value.

    Gordon ascertains that a top-performing individual knows their own self worth. They are constantly self-evaluating and giving themselves feedback rather than waiting on the approval of others. Comparatively, a workaholic relies solely on external validation from a boss, co-worker, or client.

  1. High performers give 100% at the right time. Workaholics give 110% all of the time.

    Gordon writes that individuals who are top performers “don’t buy into the illusion of 110%. They know that 110% is unsustainable. Instead they focus on increasing their capacity so that their 100% is better than the competition’s 110%.” A workaholic attempts to go all out, all the time. “They have difficulty prioritizing what’s important, therefore, everything is important in their mind.”

  1. High performers do business. Workaholics are busy.

    Have you ever noticed those people who are perpetually busy or don’t have time for a quick chat or an outdoor lunch? Gordon says the Number 1 goal of a workaholic is to be busy at all times as they believe the busier they are (or appear) the more important they must be. On the flip side, a high performer’s primary goal is to conduct business. “The only thing that matters to them are results, if they can’t see a way to create value in the moment, they strategize instead.”

My grandpa loves to use the old phrase, “don’t put off for tomorrow what you could complete today,” and this is great advice. Sometimes. Other times not so much. So, which one are you? Read the full article here:


Catherine’s Favorite Things

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As the newest addition to the d.trio team, I had planned to write my first blog about my observations as an outsider at a new agency. But then, Megan sent the following email around and it quickly changed my direction.

From Megan:

“Here’s how generations are characterized by a (self-professed?) generational marketing expert. Curious, do you agree/disagree?

Greatest Generation:  Strong work ethic with patriotic undertones.

Baby Boomers:  hard workers with rebellious streaks.

Generation Xers: Rebel consumers with minimal time for work.

Millennials:  Tech-obsessed, self-centered, but driven to succeed.”


I don’t agree, but in true millennial fashion, I decided instead to focus my blog on a little fact sheet surrounding my “favorite” subject: me. So enjoy the accompanying infographic and allow me to ironically introduce myself through some of my favorite things.

  1. Britney Spears – I don’t care how old I get I will always love the Princess of Pop.
  2. Chicken wings and beer – if I have to explain this, we might not be able to be friends.
  3. Veuve – or just champagne in general. But as a side note, Veuve is best served when someone else is buying.
  4. Puppies – I have a cockapoo. Her name is Olive. She is a sassy little rug rat.
  5. Running – I love to run the stress of the day away. I’m like a border collie, too much time locked inside and I go a little nuts.
  6. The Minnesota Twins – I love baseball, but I have a special affinity for the Twins. It works on multiple levels too because I am also an identical twin. I’m all about multi-purposing.
  7. The ballet – I love to dance but it’s really more of a hobby. I leave the exhibition of this art to the professionals.1
  8. Scary movies – I studied some film in college and my favorite classes focused on breaking down the psyche of horror films. Don’t get me started on that subject…
  9. Fashion – Coco Chanel is a personal hero of mine, but I love all fashion. Especially fashion on a budget. (I am at EXPERT level in online shopping).
  10. Mexico – this is my happy place. I take a trip every year with my family. It is my absolute favorite thing.
  11. Gummy Bears – See above comment regarding chicken wings and beer.
  12. Minneapolis – I hate the winter. HATE. I apologize in advance to my colleagues who will have to hear me complain January through April. But once May hits, this is hands-down one of the best cities to live in.
  13. Vietnamese Pho – while we are on the subject of Minneapolis, did you know we have one of the largest populations of Vietnamese immigrants? Guess what that means… Pho! If you haven’t tried this traditional noodle soup dish, you’re missing out. And if you need suggestions on where to go in MN, ask me. Shout out to Quang’s Restaurant off Eat Street in Minneapolis! (They know me by name)2I hope you enjoyed getting to know me, and I really look forward to getting to know all our d.trio clients as well! I couldn’t be more thrilled to be on the d.trio team, thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome.