This past week, I received an email from a fellow entrepreneur. It was a notice, that after five long years, he was taking his company off the respirator and closing it down. The news was sad. I know he and his team gave it their all. I could feel his pain in the letter he sent to his customers and friends, it was as if someone had died. My friend lost more than money. His entrepreneurial soul took a traumatic hit too. It’s never easy to pull the plug on a business you started. Especially when you are an eternal optimist, which most entrepreneurs are. You cling on to hope. You believe in miracles. Your ego screams, “No freakin way can you bail and be branded a quitter”. Egos do not always give the best advice. There comes a time in business, when quitting is the wisest action to take. Postponing it will just delay your next success.
"I use Grammarly for proofreading because without TYPOS, I have less gray hair and then I look much, much younger*." (Read the entire blog to make sense of this opening quote.) Of all of my skills and talents, proofing text is not one of them. In fact, if there were an award for the most consistent practice of missing those grammar gaffes, those punctuation oversights, or the spelling snafus, I’m sure I’d be a finalist. I’m okay with this because I know I have many other valuable skills that these grammar gurus and spelling bee society members don’t possess. I know these shortcomings drive my journalism-minded, editing buddies nuts. I’m okay with this, too. I do respect the English language. I understand that errors and bad writing reflect poorly on one’s professional image, and that’s not good brand-building.
We live and breathe technology. Smart phones, dumb text messages, notebooks, PDFs, videos, virtual meetings, cloud computing and all the "apps for that". All this stuff has certainly added convenience to our lives, however, its also created a society of gadget addicts. And Heaven forbid, there is no Internet connection for 10 minutes! Someone call 911 and order me a respirator. IT withdrawals are worse than needing a crack fix. Technology has had a profound impact on how we function and communicate. This new world order has also zapped the tangible factor in many business connections. The days of touch, hold in your hand marketing and ink on your fingers are gone. We are now a digital domicile. A planet of wifi, plugs, chargers and adapters.
They put you to sleep, it’s a poor reflection on a good brand, and its just a down- right bad presentation, but they are still spreading around the globe. I experienced one just the other day. The saddest part of this story, these presenters were not first-time entrepreneurs committing a branding crime or a recent graduate new to the business world. These were executives from a large company, with resources, who should have known better.