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Monday, February 21, 2011

Dangers of being positive...

"The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Twitter is in low-level acquisition talks with Facebook and Google for a deal that would put the network at a $8 to $10 billion valuation. Stone tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “We’re not valued at $10 billion dollars. That’s just what people are writing in the newspapers, which unfortunately has the negative impact of my friends thinking I must have $10 billion dollars.” "(footnote)

Yeah... marketing.  If I am happy all the time, and my business is always communicating positively - does it always have a positive effect?


I own a small business in a great little town with amazing customers, a fantastic city that supports me, great landlords, awesome associates... it's not always rosy, but for cripes sake people, I don't talk about it in my social media (and if I do, I delete immediately -  #fail). Downside to only being positive online, looking like I live a life of leisure eating cheese and drinking wine next to winemakers, movie stars, and other peeps people aspire to be near for some reason - is that people think I am rich and that my business is ALWAYS booming. I have heard this from other small business owners - people say to them all the time - "You are so lucky - you have such flexibility!" or "It must be nice to not have to report to anyone" or "You get paid for your effort - that must be so cool".

HAHAHAHAHAHA - here is what I have learned in the 2 years I have owned a business:
  • If flexibility means working 24 hours a day -  then yes, I have that.
  • I report to my customers - and my customers drink :-)
  • Customers are your lifeblood - try as hard as you can to make them happy - and if you can't - know you did your best.
  • Good staff is even more important.  We all get tired, always let them know when they are doing something well.
  • Unless you invented Starbucks, you are not getting rich or paid for every hour you work - so figure out how to save your pennies to have some time to yourself.  I saved 10-20 bucks a night in tips for 100 days to pay for my vacation - it can be done.  (BTW - this makes you look rich too)
  • Ride it - perceived success can beget real success.  Perceived success usually has a strong foundation in truth unless you have an amazing Ad team that can spread it thick and well... if you are a small biz, it's probably truth.
So should you cut it out, and let it all out - so people know that you scrub toilets, pay taxes, have staffing issues or that your car won't start?  No. Stay positive.  It's hard for this black clothing toting, east coast reared girl to say it - but channel that bad energy into something good.  The more successful you are, there will be a percentage of people who want to see you fail and they are loud and nasty.  There is also a HUGE group of people who want to see you succeed, and an amazing core group who always knew you would and could and were always there!

Biz Stone from Twitter has this problem, his friends think he owns a 10bill dollar business.  Even at 3.7bill, none of that is in his pocket.  But, the news reporting 10bill all over the place lends credibility, stability and doesn't hurt his business at all.  Look at what is going on for your biz from that perspective. Marketing is marketing, even if it looks like news.


  1. You're rich in many other more important ways. Stay positive, I love following your adveture!

  2. you rock! thanks for the entertainment! :)

  3. Are you saying not to tip waitstaff? Just wondering.

  4. Laura, I am saying, if you didn't get good service, show it in your tip, ask for management, if you get horrendous service, don't go back.

    Understand, it's a tough job to serve everyone who are all incredibly different, and have all different expectations, and mistakes can be made.

    I called a repair shop the other day. The woman who answered was rude. She called me a name when she handed the phone to her boss, then after I fired them as my repair shop, I got an "apology letter" from her belittling the woman she spoke to on the phone and then apologizing for the foul language. I debate scanning it and putting it on yelp - but you know, me not giving them any money is really all I need to do for "punishment". She may be a bad hire, or even the owner's wife. He may be a bad manager, or even one of those people who should not be in customer service, but fixes a mean fridge.

    It's not my job to crush his livelihood. Bad reviews can, bad tips are a lesson.

    That's all :)