Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Jim: Fold It Lengthwise.

In Organization on 10/18/2010 at 1:19 am

I was invited to do a podcast with the folks at Manifest Digital recently, and we covered a variety of topics, most of which were on social and digital media. (Stuff I really don’t have any expertise in, so I don’t really know why I was there, but it was fun to banter nonetheless.)

Jim handed me a pile of papers, each with an article about something we’d discuss in the podcast. We went through them one by one, deciding in advance which ones we’d take out of the lineup.

“Yes, let’s talk about iPads installed into the kitchen cabinet.”
“No, let’s pass on Philadelphia baking factories.”
“No, I know nothing about Apple’s single-touch advertising campaigns. Pass.”
“Yep, we can talk about Rick Bayless. Sure.”

All of the “No’s” were put into a pile, and Jim meticulously folded them in half, lengthwise. I looked at him, then at his pile. He said, “Oh. I fold it lengthwise so I know it’s garbage.”

So easy. So simple. And so implemented into my life from that moment on.

Jessie: There are 3 Types of Mean People

In Business, Human behavior, Tolerance on 10/18/2010 at 12:47 am

I reached out to Jessie, owner of Posies Cafe in Portland, OR, after I read her blog post about her experience with Groupon. Naturally, since we were going through some of the same things, I said, “Hey! Let’s be friends!” So now we are.

We were talking about how challenging it is to run a small business, and how so many consumers don’t get that it’s a personal extension of who you are, and how it’s so, so very tough to not take criticism personally. Especially when it’s on the internet and people are too wussy to show their faces with their mean-spirited comments (like so many were on Jessie’s blog post.)

And she said, “You know what? These mean people fall into one of three categories:
1 – They’re bitter and angry because you’re doing something they wanted to do, but never had the nerve to do.
2 – They’re bitter and angry because of an isolated incident, in which case, you apologize and hope they forgive you.
3 – They’re bitter and angry, period. And they hate life. And they’re complainers.”

I think she’s pretty much right. As a business owner, if you’ve done all you can to resolve an issue, come to common ground, and rationalize with someone who is just downright negative – and a customer still isn’t happy? Well, there’s only so much you can do. And putting any more effort into convincing a mean person to be nice is simply wasted.

Well said, Jessie.