“sure, we all need money. but I think we need chemistry more.”

[“Hugged”, which went out earlier this year in the newsletter. You can buy the print here etc.]

I love the backstory to the “Hug” cartoon above:

My mother, in her day, was a very successful education software consultant. “Have you hugged your client today?” was her line, not mine.

She always had about 6-10 Blue Chip clients on board at one time. Companies like Shell, Exxon, Coco-Cola etc.

And no matter what kind of day she was having, EVERY DAY she would make some kind of effort to demonstrate to each and every client that… she cared, that this stuff mattered, that she was willing to go the extra mile.

And it worked. It certainly paid for me and my sister’s education.

“Hugging clients” is really a no-brainer.

Unless you don’t really like your clients. Unless you’re just in it it for the money.

Then it just feels sleazy and wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with insisting on good chemistry, before you commit fully to working with someone.

Sure, we all need money. But I think we need chemistry more.

[P.S. Speaking of chemistry, I’m really grokking the work I’m doing with Rackspace at the moment. Thank CHRIST for people like Rob La Gesse etc.]


  1. ratTus rattUs says:

    I always thought the question was “Have you Hughed your client today?” ūüėČ

  2. Hi Hugh,

    Love this piece & the backstory. It’s a great story (and true).

    Just to expand on it, I think a lot of people understand this concept and know that it should be done (and certainly helps the client relationships), but aren’t exactly sure what to do and how to materialize it pragmatically. For those people, I’m curious if you know of any examples of how your mother “hugged” them every day and showed them how she cared?

  3. yes your are right, perfect quote :)

  4. I love this slogan, it should be in every customer service manual.

Speak Your Mind


Are you ready to work with us?

Get More Info


Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark