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Today's Marketing Cookie - Never Despair
"Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair."
Today's Marketing Cookie must have been written by a Red Sox fan sitting in a dark corner of the Cask'n Flagon, some time between 1918 and 2003... or maybe it was last night?
Sure. We've been in last place before, but at this rate, our boys may not qualify to get one of those participant ribbons, like they give out to the cub scouts for the pinewood derby. It seems the only thing that is harder to come by than a Red Sox victory is a parking spot near Faneuil Hall. Last season, the Sox gave us the worst collapse in franchise history and this year we're seeing them find new and interesting ways to sink lower, and lower, and lower. Yet, Fenway Park continues to sell out for every game and Red Sox fans throughout New England, except for a few turncoats in Connecticut that somehow became pin stripe fans, continue to believe that our beloved Red Sox will find their mojo and delight us all with a glorious come back.
I grew up in a conservative family and we did not have a TV in the house. However, my big brother came home one night with a TV so I could watch the 1986 Red Sox play against the New York Mets in the World Series. Well, that was my first experience in feeling genuine despair. You know the whole Bill Buckner story, when he let the ball slip between his legs. Right? It was a big let down, but somehow I became hooked on the Red Sox as a result of that season. I remember my father listening to the Red Sox religiously on the radio, throughout his entire life. He used to sit in the back yard yelling at his radio when things didn't go right.
When I founded my first Web design company in 1998 I bought season tickets for the Red Sox. WOW! Now I was living the despair, year after year, in the flesh. I kept the season tickets until I sold my company in 2003. Yes, 2003. The Red Sox of course waited until the next season to win their first World Series in eighty-six years. I was thrilled that we won and yet somehow still in despair because I missed the season of a lifetime. Oh well... I must work on in despair!
Sometimes things don't work out quite the way we'd like, but we must press on... especially in business. Several years ago, one of my largest clients went out of business. Not only did I lose the money they owed me, but I also lost the ongoing retainer revenue, which added up to nearly 40% of our annual income. That is a whole new level of despair. However, we brushed ourselves off, worked harder than ever, and over the next year, replaced it with seventeen new accounts. That's a lot of doing! They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but what they neglected to mention is that it may very nearly kill you. If you find that you are beaten down and mostly dead, the come back will be all the more glorious when you get back up on your feet.
If you ever become unsure of how you will manage to work on in despair, talk to someone you know who is a Red Sox fan. We're experts at it.