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Monday, May 23, 2011

Apocalypse, Later | A NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER

Apocalypse, Later

by Adam J. Kovitz

The beloved comic strip character, Charlie Brown, whilst perched atop the pitcher's mound, about to deliver the game's last defining pitch would often contemplate that no matter what happens, he would either be the "hero" or the "goat".  In that brief moment of anticipation prior to the pitch, while his adrenaline was running at the highest, an entire world of possibilities existed.  Then the pitch would come...time, as they say to "put up" or "shut up".  Inevitably, as would always happen for bad-luck Charlie Brown, he would emerge ever the goat.

In business, as in life, many of us entrepreneurs face this every day.  We all end up putting ourselves out there...our hearts, our souls, our energies, our efforts and our reputations.  The prize is always the big payday...we emerge as visionaries, make our fortunes, give back to those that helped us get to where we are, sell our companies, invest in others, live happily ever after...

...or we go down in flames.  

High risk...high reward...the nature of the game.

Certainly Family Radio's 89-year old founder, Harold Camping, has been through this now...twice:  once in 1994, and just this past Saturday as he predicted the end of the world (according to his calculations).  Moreover, Mr. Camping has been through this in a very public way.

According to a recent article in CBS News, Mr. Camping, when questioned about his failed prediction, unlike other public personalities used to facing such public scrutiny, had no "spin" or PR to either make it seem like he was misquoted (a recent "just because I said it then and it was erroneous so therefore it shouldn't be counted as fact or taken seriously"-type of excuse comes to mind) or that it was something that he meant to do as a publicity stunt.  

He simply seemed humbled and was quoted as being "flabbergasted" and went on to say that "It has been a really tough weekend".  At least it seemed honest to me...a bit refreshing.

And while the weekend might have been tough for him, imagine how it must have felt for the families who believed in his message and left their jobs, sold their homes, bought RVs and traveled across the country to experience an end that never seemed to come.

I think many entrepreneurs who have grown their businesses by sheer faith and belief who've attracted their own followings of believers have experienced this.  We constantly walk the considerably thin line between our dreams of a better world with our products and services within it and the harsh realities of economics, less than stellar employees and competitive forces.

We all want to be the stars of our own movies where we do hit it big - prove to the doubters of the past that it couldn't be done and be hoisted atop the shoulders of adoring fans.

We never want to be the goat.  We never want to be written off as insane and without a clue.  We never want to be the punchline of others derisive jokes.

So Mr. Camping...I certainly did not and do not share your faith, your beliefs or your ideas, but I do salute you in your failure (perhaps it is only temporary?) and in your avid belief that what you were doing was right enough at the time.

In fact as we in the United States near our weekend Memorial Holiday I salute all failures; the misguided ones, the justified ones, the noble ones, the ones that came so very close to being huge successes and all the others out there.  I ask all my fellow entrepreneurs for a moment of silence as we place garlands of flowers on the graves of the millions of ideas that have since passed on in and rest in the the figurative cemetery of business failures worldwide.

For the wise amongst us, let us keep such humbling memories alive as they provide lessons and fertilizer for future successes for we have all played the roles of hero and goat and will continue to do so as long as there's a human race.

To all of our readers in the U.S., have a happy and relaxing Memorial Day.  To all else, enjoy your weekend!

Speaking of taking off, TNNWC's Publishing and Informational Services Division will be taking their customary 5th week of the month off.  This means that The National Networker Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report will not be published next week, and will resume in June on the 6th and 7th, respectively. 

All my best,


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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