Since 2016

April 2009

Lessons From A Cherry

Guest Article by Jim Blasingame
©2009 Small Business Network, Inc.

Jim BlasingameIt's difficult to imagine a more succulent image than a bowl of cherries. Indeed, if you had to choose one flavor that all things had to taste like, wouldn't you choose the sweet cherry?

And every parent knows that the active ingredient of bad-tasting medicine has more chance of getting inside a child if it's delivered with the motivating ingredient of cherry flavor.

Even the most earnest plea known, “Pretty please?” can still be raised one more notch on the pleading scale by adding, “... with a cherry on top?”

But there is something about this vermilion varietal that begs a closer look because everything about it is not sublime. Alas, the cherry's single blemish is its pit - that tiny little seed that you can't, or at least shouldn't, eat.

This dense little kernel is so potentially dangerous that some restaurants no longer sell cherry pies because if just one seed is not removed, teeth can get broken and a lawsuit could ensue.

So with that much potential danger to be found in a whole bowl of cherries, if such an offer were made to you, why would you still smile with sweet anticipation? Why wouldn't you think first of the pits? Aren't you afraid of them?

Well, the answer is yes; you are wary of cherry pits. But the fruit is so sweet you think of that first, which helps you overcome pit-o-phobia. Plus, you've learned that if you take the time to remove the pits properly, a wonderful and safe experience will result.

What would happen if you thought of challenges in your small business like you do cherries: a sweet opportunity to be had if you can first remove the potential danger? Perhaps the Chinese said this first because their word for crisis is spelled with two characters that mean danger and opportunity.

What if you saw the fruit of an opportunity first, instead of the potentially dangerous seed of a problem? How would your world change if you could learn how to do this?

The Blasingame Cherry Principle (BCP) proposes that finding opportunities among small business challenges is like eating cherries: Step one - remove pits; Step two - eat fruit. But how does the BCP reconcile with the worst recession since the Great Depression? Actually, in at least two ways:

1.  While there are plenty of ugly things about the economy actually in evidence, one could argue that the really bad stuff is found more between our ears than in front of our noses.

2.  Experience teaches that the crucible of tough times often produces the most creative work. Don't waste this crisis!

No one wants this recession, but we have it. Look past the pits and seize whatever sweet opportunity is possible.

Write this on a rock ... When dealing with a crisis, focus on the cherry, not the pit.

Jim Blasingame is one of the world’s leading small business and entrepreneurship experts and award-winning host of The Small Business Advocate Show. Find him at www.SmallBusinessAdvocate.com. This article originally appeared in The Small Business Advocate NEWSLETTER.

The Best Advertising Slogans of All Time

Alt tag herePeople take their favorite ads seriously! From Tony the Tiger to milk moustaches, many PR campaigns have left a lasting impression on people. Here are some of the best nominations from Digg.com users.

“A Diamond is Forever.” Created by N.W. Ayer & Sons, Inc. for De Beers, this slogan has been in use since 1948, ever since Frances Gerety, a young copywriter, dreamed up the famous line in her sleep. Thanks to the 1971 James Bond flick starring Sean Connery, this slogan remains etched in our minds—probably forever.

“They’re G-r-r-r-eat!” Back in the 1950s, Tony the Tiger growled his way into American consciousness with this memorable slogan for Frosted Flakes. Tony’s catchphrase has become one of the longest running and most recognized slogans in TV advertising history. According to AdAge.com, Tony the Tiger’s character has evolved over the years: he stands upright rather than on all fours, has traveled to more than 42 countries, and has a wife and a daughter.

“Gimme a Break, Gimme a Break” Since 1957, Kit Kat’s slogan has been “Have a break…Have a Kit Kat.” The commercials really took off in the ‘80s when boardrooms and newsrooms were shown breaking into song over a chocolaty wafer bar called Kit Kat.

“Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco Treat” Probably the most famous jingle in American advertising history, the first Rice-A-Roni commercial aired in 1959 and turned a sleepy family business, the Golden Grain Macaroni Company, into a food powerhouse that was bought by Quaker Oats in 1986 for $275 million.

“The Best Part of Waking up is Folgers in Your Cup” This line has been featured in every Folgers commercial since the 1960s. Throughout the years, the jingle has been rearranged and performed by many famous musicians, including Randy Travis and Aretha Franklin.

“Hey Mikey…He Likes It!” Created by the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency in 1972 to promote Life cereal, this commercial featured three brothers at a breakfast table daring one another to try a bowl of the “healthy” cereal. Little Mikey, who usually “hates everything,” dives in and quickly devours it, to his brothers’ amazement. When child actor John Gilchrist Jr. outgrew the role, an urban legend claimed he’d been killed by a lethal dose of Pop Rocks and soda. Hardly. He’s still alive and working in movies—as a grip.

“Don’t Leave Home Without It.” In 1975, Ogilvy & Mather created this slogan for American Express. The commercials were among the first to include celebrity cameos, including Jim Henson, Stephen King, and Jerry Seinfeld. In 1985, BBDO responded with “Visa, It’s Everywhere You Want to Be.” And not to be outdone in the plastic slogan war, in 1997, MasterCard brought the heat with “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” Priceless.

“Nothing Outlasts the Energizer. It Keeps Going, and Going…” Produced by DDB Chicago Advertising for Energizer since the 1980s, this is the ageless slogan that accompanied the cool bass-drum-beating, shades-wearing pink bunny that has appeared on more TV shows and movies than the Baldwins.

“Pardon Me, But Do You Have any Grey Poupon?” Created for Grey Poupon by Lowe & Partners in the 1980s, this ad campaign featured a gentleman eating dinner in the back of his chauffeured car. At a stop sign, another aristocrat pulls alongside the car, rolls down his window, and asks for a spot of the ole Poupon. The strangely effective commercial has been parodied countless times in the real world and in fiction, perhaps most memorably in “Wayne’s World.”

“I've fallen and I can't get up.” Beginning in 1987, Life Alert ran this campaign for senior citizens who experienced medical emergencies while alone. There have been enough allusions to this ad in pop-culture to warrant a list of its own, but Will Ferrell falling off a cliff in Austin Powers only to shout “Help! I’ve fallen down a cliff, and I can’t get up” is a fan favorite.

“This is your brain on drugs.” Launched in 1987 as a large-scale anti-narcotics campaign by a Partnership for a Drug-Free America, this PSA featured an egg (“This is your brain”) and an egg frying in a pan (“This is your brain on drugs.”)

Can't get enough of these? Here's the full list from Fast Company.

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Favorite Quotations

Favorite quotations “We have some great ideas, but most of 'em come too late to do us any good.”

~Will Rogers

Trivia Corner

Smiley guys invite you to visit promo place Charles Carroll was the last of the 59 men who signed the Declaration of Independence to die. He passed away in 1832 at the age of 95.

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