Editor's letter

Let’s Be Honest

I’m not perfect. There, I’ve said it. Just ask my husband and kids and everyone who works with me and I’m sure they’d be happy to count the ways.

You’re not perfect either – let’s be honest. But who says we should be? I recently read a spot-on tweet from Brand Innovators (@brand_innovator), citing an article by Ted Rubin, its acting CMO. It read: Real trumps perfect … stop worrying so much and engage! I liked that sentiment so much that I favorited and retweeted it (hey, look at me with all this social media talk).

Have you noticed and read our new “Hey, You’re Human” section? It focuses on just how imperfect we all are. It’s our mission in this section to help you learn from yours, as well as other people’s, screw-ups.

I particularly enjoyed reading this issue’s installment. Matthew Watkins, of LogoSurfing Promotional Products and one of our Editorial Advisory Board members, normally follows proof-checking processes fastidiously, but during one very busy period, he neglected to immediately purge an old proof. An entire order of sticky notes was printed with an outdated email address.

Remarkably, his client said it wasn’t a big deal, but Watkins insisted it was and set out to make it right. What ensued was an honest heart-to-heart during which both young entrepreneurs spoke about building their businesses. Watkins even shared a few tips he’d learned along the way. That slip-up turned out to be a bonding experience. Read more about it on p. 160.

Another don’t-miss read on the topic of screwing up is Senior Writer Chris Ruvo’s article, “Success After Setbacks.” In case you’re not aware, Walt Disney, Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, author JK Rowling and even the beloved Dr. Seuss were all – at one point in time – miserable failures. OK, that might be a bit of a stretch, but they faced firings, rejections and other blows that might crush the spirits of weaker folks. Each of them went on to build wildly successful careers. “What distinguishes successful business people from those who are less successful is resilience and capturing the learning opportunity that failure provides,” Tjai Nielsen, a management professor and former executive consultant, told Chris. This inspiring article highlights just how industry reps navigated bumps in the road, bounced back and further improved the way they operate.

Much of their success, just like that of the abovementioned “famous overcomers,” as Chris calls them, has to do with their way of looking at the big picture. It’s all in the approach to life’s difficult situations. As Danny Rosin, co-founder of Brand Fuel (asi/145025), puts it, “We have to train our brains from thinking ‘Oh no!’ to ‘OK, this happened. How can I make it better?’”
Do that often enough and your brain should be trained and your attitude adjusted. Once you’ve accepted that there will be slip-ups now and again – it’s a given – you will take on challenges with even more gusto and add to your long list of accomplishments as a result. Now go get ’em.