September 19th, 2015 - Brand

Two heads are always better

What’s with the ‘know-it-alls’?

The friend that’s already been there, done that. The co-worker that always knows best. And even the clients that somehow know your business better than you do.

After a few recent run-ins with these types, I’ve been left scratching my head. How can someone be blessed with such misguided self-confidence? Why is outside input so threatening? And why do we sometimes allow these people to get under our skin?

Here’s a recent example.

I have the pleasure to work with a talented group of designers everyday. We put our heads together sharing ideas, research, and our passion for finding solutions that work. It’s usually fun and enlightening.

However, with work overflowing I started poking around in the freelancer community, looking for some extra resources. I was introduced to a new designer and invited her to a project.

The first red flag came quickly with a draft design and this note: “The brand brief is wrong. I have a better idea for your client.” If the note wasn’t bad enough, the draft was worse.

A glutton for punishment, I decided to try and see the project through. I provided input and suggestions for draft #2. Here’s the stunning response: “Hmm … after all I may do another draft, but I am not sure you are the right person for giving feedback, no offense.”

Hmmm… well I am sure you are not the right person for collaborating with…

No one, no matter how talented, can hope to achieve alone what a smart team of people can achieve when they work together.

Collaborate. Listen to each other. Trust your team, your partner your friend. Talk it through. Work it out.

At the end of the day, two (or three) heads are always better than one.

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Inspired by a little blackcoffee

Some of my favourite moments are spent in search of something beautiful while I drink my first cup of coffee and hear the house wake up. From there I move on to the paper and the news of the day. In this space, I’ll share some of those inspirations.


Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.