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Never overreact. Take a breath, make a plan and stick to it.

Never overreact. Take a breath, make a plan and stick to it.

Here’s today’s tip: Never overreact. Take a breath, make a plan and stick to it.

Whether in politics specifically or life generally, overreaction can turn a benign situation into a catastrophe. As a candidate or campaign manager, your patience and attention are frequently pushed to the limit. Consequently, when that limit is passed, tempers often flare and less than judicious decisions are made.

Train yourself to feel the precursors of anger or frustration. Establish a trigger. For me, it’s often a taste in my mouth and a tightening of my chest. Perhaps accompanied by a, “are you effing serious?!” in the back of my head.

When I feel that reaction boiling up, I know that my lesser angels are jettisoning my plan and overreacting out of anger.

Our Donors Merely Have Money – John Von Kannon

Our Donors Merely Have Money

Here’s today’s tip: “Our Donors Merely Have Money”

In a recent interview on the How to Run for Office Podcast, I talked to Jeff Trimbath about this idea in depth and highly recommend y’all check it out. The short of it is that Donors have money, but candidates and campaigns, if they’re doing their job right, have solutions. Unless the two find an effective match, nothing will be accomplished.

If you truly believe that the goal you’re pursuing is transformational, you should be tenacious in the pursuit of funding. If you’re not active in articulating the reason and need for funding, what should compel me to believe that your goal is so significant?

Titles for staff and volunteers are free and make people feel important.

Titles for staff and volunteers are free and make people feel important.

Here’s today’s tip: Titles for staff and volunteers are free and make people feel important.

Money is tight on the campaign trail…but you need quality staff. When you can’t pay people what you’d like, make sure you consider what else might be of value to them that’s free or cheap to you!

One of my favorite non-monetary ways to reward people is through titles. Often this is the last thing that a candidate thinks about when hiring somebody. It’s an afterthought because, after all, you’re focused on votes and how to secure them cheaply. I’d encourage you to put serious thought into the titles and job descriptions of your hires and volunteers. Those will be tools they’ll use in the future to secure future opportunities and the more thought you put into them, the more valuable they’ll be.

The campaign schedule should include family time, relaxation and sleep.

The campaign schedule should include family time, relaxation and sleep.

Here’s today’s tip: The campaign schedule should include family time, relaxation and sleep.

Life doesn’t stop just because you launch a political campaign. Bills need to be paid, your family needs your physical presence, mental energy and emotional engagement and your body needs rest. Even if you are one of the rare folks who can afford to take off work for the term of the campaign, there is plenty of normal life that shouldn’t be cast aside.

In spite of that, every election cycle, I see candidates try that strategy. It leads to exhaustion, fractured relationships and frustrated spouses.

As with every area of the campaign, writing down a plan and talking it through with your team is the best way to start. The first conversations should happen with your family. You should have already had candid conversations about what you’ll be sacrificing and holding sacred during the campaign team. Things like a regular date night and no-miss activities with your kids should be on the list. My list would also include church and my weekly mastermind group meeting.

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