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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Blog That Wasn't

I've made a deal with myself today. It's almost 7PM  and I am tired but I wanted to get one more thing accomplished before I call it a day at the office. I decided a great idea would be to write a blog since I have been crazy busy and I am well over due. Like my most people in business today, I spend most of my time running 100  miles an hour and trying to cram 30 hours of work in a 24 hour period. Somewhere in that 24 hours I also have to jam in eating, sleeping, taking care of bodily functions and family. To say it's a challenge is an understatement so when I actually get to sit at my desk to write a blog it's a rare treat.  ( I am happy to report  I haven't missed the bodily function thing in a  long time)

The problem I have tonight is BLOG BLOCK. In "olden days" I do believe  it was called writer's block  but I am trying to stay current so we'll go with blog block  I want to write and I have a million ideas in my head to discuss. From the headline story  about a child being put in a washing machine in a laundromat and what law will now become to fruition to come of that to the Facebook stock story to the fact that my customers text message me without telling me who it is so I get to guess.  ( That one will be included in the blog entitled Stupid Customer Tricks) .All of these things are rumbling around in my head as ideas for a blog but every time I start to write , it doesn't feel right and erase the paragraphs I have started.

I love to write and without patting myself on the back - I'm usually pretty good at it but tonight it's just not happening. Sitting here staring at the screen and getting a blank, I can't help but admire the columnists who used to write for the daily papers. These are people like Dave Barry, Erma Bombeck, Arianna Huffington and Art Buchwald, all who had to come up with topics on a continual basis that engaged people daily without getting stale. To me that is truly talent.  I wonder if they ever got writer's block.  I know they did but help me here - I'm stalling so I do what I always do when I can't think. I surf the net .I look up Dave Barry and find his infamous quote about writer's block -

"I believe 'writer's block' is the normal state of writing; that is, you rarely have anything just flow easily from your brain to the keyboard. And if it does, it's usually pretty bad. Good writing is almost always hard, and what I think sometimes happens is that writers forget how hard it is, or don't want to do the work any more, and they call this 'writer's block.'"  Dave Barry

Last time I checked Dave Barry was a comedic writer. That quote was less than comedic and tonight I am finding myself having an immense dislike of the man. I KNOW writing is hard. It's why I am sitting here struggling but did he have to be so damned condescending about it ? Geesh.

 Anyway I think for this evening I've tried enough. Tomorrow evening when I want to do" one more  productive thing", I'll pick something easier than blogging. Perhaps I'll clean up my desk.   Ok. Now as I look around my desk I'm thinking  maybe not. Hopefully  tomorrow the block will be over and I'll be able to write something brilliant . Perhaps I'll blog about  how the smartest people in business have the messiest desks. Yeah we'll go with that.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Believe

I truly believe that in less you wholeheartedly believe in what you are selling , you can't be successful.  Whether it's Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, Brian Tracy or any of the other great motivational sales training gurus, their message is always the same. The more you  believe in your company and your product-  the easier it is to get other people to believe in it as well. I learned this lesson recently at a funeral.

"Do I really have to ?" I'd moan

" Yes you do "my mother would say to me matter-of-factly   " it's all I want. When I die someday I want Shout played at my funeral"

It was an ongoing battle through the years. My mother wanted Shout played at her funeral because she said it was a testament to her life. She of course told everyone this throughout the years so I'd be forced to do it. I personally wasn't sure if was more due to a testament of her life or  a last minute dare to her only daughter to see if she would go against the  grain and play that very boisterous party song at such a somber event as a funeral. Either way on March 17th when my mother passed away my family looked at me and said "Well?" "Are you going to do it?"

I, as my mother's own child and best friend  really didn't see a choice.On March 21st when she was laid to rest, despite the family and friend's rolled eyes, my husband hit the play button on the portable CD player and I stood in front of my mother's casket and danced to Shout.  ( just for the record it is a loooong song and there is no short version available  )

 I was alone save for my one Aunt standing in front of 50 plus mourners who didn't really agree with this decision. Many people sat their watching me with their mouths open. It really didn't matter what anyone thought to me because I believe in it.I believe I was doing the right thing for my mother.

 During that song, while I defied tradition and danced to a party song in front of everyone, something interesting happened. Most of the s mourners, (many of whom had rolled their eyes) started to participate and by the end of the song,  hands were going up and the mourners were all doing "Shout". I knew  that day that my mother was proud. What I didn't realize until this week as I recounted the story is that Mom also taught me a valuable lesson about business that day

When you truly believe in something, people can see it , they can sense it and they will be moved by it.  All selling really is a transfer in belief, it's simply helping others believe the same way you believe about a product or a service. In the business world today , YOU are the message . When you believe totally in your products and services, your beliefs will be transferred to those around you. It's what will make you a success or not.

I am happy to say that sometimes in even the darkest hours , there are lessons to be learned. Before my mother passed away I was struggling with my decision to own a business.Owning a  business isn't easy and there are days when nothing is going right that you throw your hands up and think "Am I making a mistake".

 I know without a doubt now that Corporate Pajamas isn't a mistake but a blessing. I truly believe in what I do and know that my printing services  and promotional items are helping companies to market and grow their businesses. That's really all that matter. Success will come because of that.  I know now that believing in what you do and knowing that your products and services are helping customers is one of the most important keys  to success with any business.  Sometimes business lessons come from the strangest places.

Footnote: After leaving the funeral, we drove to the restaurant where we would gather for the traditional "after meal." As my Dad and I walked in and put our jackets on the backs of our chairs. "Shout" came on the radio playing in the restaurant. I don't think I've ever smiled so brightly while crying in my life. I love you too Mom . Thanks for continuing to teach me.