Archive for D.J. Allen

20 Lessons from the Past 10 Years [10th Anniv. Special Edition]

D.J.There are a lot of things we have learned over the past 10 years. If you don’t mind, we would like to use this platform of the 10th anniversary celebration of Imagine to share 20 of those lessons:

  1. Stay patient, stay humble.
  2. “Cash” and “flow” are the two most important words in business.
  3. Tragedy plus time equals comedy.
  4. Success is a process – not an event.
  5. When in doubt… more white space.
  6. Every meeting is a sales meeting.
  7. Don’t hire new employees – recruit them. (Poor hiring practices are the No. 1 mistake made by most businesses.)
  8. Crave partnerships. If I want to help you as much as you want to help me, we’re going to make magic happen.
  9. If you surround yourself by people better than you, you can all accomplish great things.
  10. Write thank you notes.
  11. Read Socrates and Franklin. (Those cats knew what they were talking about.)
  12. Be the One.
  13. Marry up.
  14. Seek good coaches to help you in life.
  15. Don’t give the people closest to you the remains of your day. (Thanks, Rick.)
  16. Sometimes saying “No” now is better than saying “I’m sorry” later.
  17. We’re all special needs kids. After all, we all need love.
  18. Make plays for your teammates.
  19. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. (Thanks, Rick. A different Rick.)
  20. Imitate Jesus.

To all of those who have supported us throughout the years, thank you. It has meant more than you will ever know. Peace.

D.J. Allen is the founder/head visionary of Imagine Marketing.
Contact D.J. at

The Intangibles [10th Anniv. Special Edition]

I admit, I’m not a huge fan of comics. Perhaps it’s the realist in me that finds them unbelievable. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like the idea of superheroes.

As a society, we need superheroes – people we can believe in and trust to do the right thing, who go above and beyond, who are proud to carry out acts of selflessness often without a passing nod of appreciation. If you ask my 2-and-a-half-year-old what he thinks, he’ll tell you superheroes exist and that they’re cool. I agree.

Doing business in marketing can be a tough gig. In an industry that is subject to constant criticism and one everyone seems to think they’re an expert at, due to its subjective and creative nature, the ability to accomplish an impactful marketing program can take a group of superheroes to carry out.

In light of Imagine Marketing’s 10th anniversary, I’d like to celebrate our team of superheroes. These are the people behind the scenes, all of whom have their own set of superhero powers, who have been helping our clients succeed in business over the last decade. We are: The Intangibles.

Iron Man Iron Man (a.k.a. D.J. Allen) – A self-made superhero who possesses superhuman capabilities in all ways imagineable.

 Blade Blade (a.k.a. Brian Rouff) – He has superhuman reflexes and the ability to react faster than a normal human.

The Thing The Thing (a.k.a. Alex Raffi) – He stands out from a crowd, has a heart of gold and is the rock upon which Imagine Marketing stands.

Beast Beast (a.k.a. Josh Griffin) – His superhuman senses give him the ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal human.

Metamorpho Metamorpho (a.k.a. Jeff Jensen) – He can alter the elements around him by changing one substance into another by rearranging its structure.

 Captain Comet Captain Comet (a.k.a. Ehsan Kaveh) – His chameleon-like ability gives him the power to adapt and evolve to environments many cannot.

Phoenix Phoenix (a.k.a. Megan Lane) – A central figure in our cast, she is caring and nurturing. But, don’t be fooled. She’s an omega-level mutant with cosmic forces.

Dawnstar Dawnstar (a.k.a. Sue Burkholder) – With a superhuman pathfinding ability, she can trace an individual or object through supernatural means.

 Cyclops Cyclops (a.k.a. Wes Thurman) – He carries the ability to generate or transform various forms of ideas and energy into a solid or cohesive structure.

Storm Storm (a.k.a. Melissa Rothermel) – She possesses the empathy and skill needed to sense the overall well-being and conditions of someone’s immediate environment.

Flashback Flashback (a.k.a. Gail Orta) – A temporal duplication specialist, she can bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.

Rogue Rogue (a.k.a. Morgan Doyle) – Just as in X-Men, don’t let her beauty fool you, as she possesses the ability to permanently absorb skills and powers from others.

Supergirl Supergirl (a.k.a. Amber Stidham) – She’s invulnerable and has the ability to be immune to many forms of damage, making her a frontline superhero fighter.

We’re the people behind the scenes, making others look great. A team of marketing experts that have extraordinary powers they use for the greater good. Now you know their true identities.

Congratulations Imagine Marketing. And thank you, for letting my inner “geek” shine through by posting this blog.

Amber Stidham is the director of strategic planning at Imagine Marketing.
Contact Amber at

"More White Space"

Here at Imagine Marketing, we like to think we’re a different kind of marketing firm. I know everyone says that, but we back it up every day.

What makes us different? Our attitude, for one. Even in these challenging times, you’d be hard-pressed to find even a hint of negativity among our team members. We call it “realistic optimism,” and it’s something our clients, strategic partners, vendors and prospects can’t help but notice. Some of them even find it refreshing.

In the areas of graphic design, public relations, copy writing, strategic planning and overall creative thinking, this is the best group of people I’ve ever worked with. And that’s saying a lot. I’ll stack our quality, our follow-through and our communication skills up against any organization in any field. Can we improve? Sure. We’re still a company in progress. There’s no complacency around here.

Here’s another thing. We do what we say we’re going to do. When founder D.J. Allen said he wanted to write a book about coaching, business and life with Coach Lon Kruger, he made sure it got done. The result is the “Xs and Os of Success,” one of the best books of its kind. Read it and you’ll understand that success doesn’t happen by accident.

Likewise, when the Imagine team said they wanted to establish a video division, they did it. If you’ve seen any of our “Imagine Shorts,” you’ll know why I’m so proud of their accomplishments.

On our staff, we have a nationally-known award-winning editorial cartoonist, a best-selling novelist, a respected golf columnist, two MBAs, a slew of outstanding public speakers, and a company Mom to keep us all in line. With a group this talented, you should sit in on one of our brainstorming sessions. In fact, consider this your invitation. The door is always open. It’s the most fun you can have at the office. It’s the reason we got into this business in the first place. Not art and creativity for its own sake, but in the name of commerce and results. We’re good at striking just the right balance.

Okay, I’m done bragging now. Except for this – A few years back, we decided that Imagine produced so much funny, quirky material, it could be its own sitcom. Rather than waiting for some Hollywood honcho to discover us, we wrote our own script, “More White Space.” While it generated some L.A. interest and even took top honors in a script-writing contest, you won’t see it on TV anytime soon. But I’m confident it will get filmed, even if we have to do it ourselves.

In the meantime, here’s a link to the script. It’s based loosely (extremely loosely) on the people and events at Imagine Marketing. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. Let us know what you think!

Brian Rouff is the Managing Partner of Imagine Marketing.
Contact Brian at