Starting a New Adventure

The past 3 days have been quite tumultuous, but remarkably – I’ve approached each one with a smile on my face.

I was laid off on Friday.  In this economy one might be freaked out.  And yet, I’m not.

I’ve been contemplating for a while what it might be to work for myself and set up my own business.  Now seems like the time to give it a shot.  I’ve got about 3 weeks of pay left from my old job until I’m completely on my own, so there’s no time like now to start.

So, I sit here at almost 11 PM on Sunday night setting up my new computer and designing a business card for a Kinko’s run in the morning.  I’ve got calls to make tomorrow and even a proposal or two to put together.  I’m even speaking on a panel at a conference this week.

I’m oddly calm and feeling not-quite-freaked-out.

So tomorrow is the first day of business for van Hilst Communications.  Wish me luck. Send me client referrals. And keep an eye out for cool things to come.

Making Mistakes and Corporate Communications

One of my favorite phrases is “If I’m not making any mistakes, it means I’m not working hard enough.”

The reality is that communicators, managers and all workers are under incredible pressures today. The speed to market, rapid communication through blogs and twitter, and management’s expectations to meet the numbers means we are all working at the speed of light. And the fact is…. we’re going to make mistakes. I’ve made ’em before and I’ll make ’em again.

I got an email from Silverpop yesterday that opened with “Hello %%FIRST NAME%%,”. As a corporate communications and email marketing guy, I know what happened. And I kinda chuckled — been there, done that.

So this morning I had another smile as I got a follow-up email from Silverpop titled “Dear First Name”.

Brilliant!  Not only was this an opportunity to have another contact with me, but they redeemed themselves by owning up to the mistake.  It made me smile, dig through my deleted items folder and look at the email again.

So what’s the lesson learned?  Own up to your mistakes!!!

We all make them.  But when you “man up” and do the right thing and treat your audiences with respect, they’ll realize you made an honest mistake and will probably cut you some slack.

I hope everyone remembers that next time I mess up. 🙂