BBJ Entry 011: This Time, It’s Personal

Left Photo by Gerd Altman        Right Photo by Kai Stachowiak

[FYI: The title “BBJ” refers to Bill’s Business Journey]

I opened the envelope and saw red.

For the 4th straight month, the cell phone bill was a mess. The revised plan we had requested several times was still nothing more than an empty promise. I grabbed my notepad and pen, dialed up the customer service department for the 6th time, and prepared for yet another 75-minute phone call.

This had to end. I couldn’t grow my own business while trying to fix theirs. I quickly prepared a get-it-right-or-else speech, armed with the most effective communication techniques I could think of for the situation. This was truly going to be a passionate presentation from the heart. It was time to get mean.

Then I had another idea.

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BBJ Entry 010: Show and Grow


Photo by Andre Hunter

[FYI: The title “BBJ” refers to Bill’s Business Journey]


2 years ago, the company I worked for hosted a presentation by an acclaimed scientist. His topic was the latest work that he and his organization were developing, to literally “re-engineer our solar system.” The content was fascinating.

But the presentation wasn’t quite as compelling.

For 2 days, I ruminated over the feeling that the astonishing nature of their work was a bit watered down by the talk. I thought, “If only someone could write them a better presentation.”

And then I realized, I know a guy: me.

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BBJ Entry 009: The Note


Photo by Ilya Pavlov

[FYI: The title “BBJ” refers to Bill’s Business Journey]


It was a really frustrating week.

So much to do, but so little got accomplished. Important tasks required far more time than I’d planned. Online sites that I’d expected would provide a wealth of required resources came up dry, forcing me to consider expensive alternatives.

Worse still were the implications: if things took so long and cost so much now, they’ll certainly be that way later, as well. My schedules will have to be seriously overhauled. I’ll need to devote more time to get less done.

Even on my three communication channels, where I often go for little bursts of encouragement, there was silence.

Except for one note.

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BBJ Entry 008: Integrity


Photo by Jordan McQueen

[FYI: The title “BBJ” refers to Bill’s Business Journey]

I once told myself that if I ever started a business, I would do it with integrity. I would see my role as that of a servant: I would treat my clients with all the respect and consideration I’d want to be treated with; I would try to communicate clearly at all times; I would admit any mistakes as soon as I saw them, then make it my top priority to fix them as quickly and thoroughly as possible; and I would never try to cajole clients into buying something they didn’t want. My aim would be to ensure that everyone I’d served could look back on our encounter and be happy about it, even 2 weeks later, and 6 months later, and 10 years later. My mantra would be, as I first heard it said by Gregg Harris, Doing well by doing good.

When I started Rhetorio Presentation early this year, I held myself to that mantra: I’ll either run my business with integrity, or I won’t run it at all. But I will run it, with integrity.

But every now and then, I come across a tempting idea that promises to make me more successful – if I compromise just a little.

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