Sunday, April 28, 2019

Being Memorable

I live around 30 miles west of Times Square, in Boonton Township, New Jersey. The Garden State. I personally do not "garden" but our neighbor raises goats, and chickens and they have a cool Donkey named Dominic. The braying of Donkeys is a distinct sound. Donkeys have the ability that horses and zebras lack: they can vocalize while they're breathing in as well as while they are breathing out. Significant sound is produced during both air intake (the hee) and air outflow (the haw). It may not be the most musical of sounds, but it's always memorable. And it is special and specific to this species.

This past week, I had my morning coffee on our deck, before heading into NYC for a day of events and meetings. And Dominic the Donkey could be clearly heard through the trees, reminding me:

Be memorable today, but don't be an ass in the process.

NYDLA helped to sponsor "For Creators by Creators NYC" which is an event for creators, entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders and innovators. It was an amazing gathering of successful crowdfunded companies and experts to meet, share resources, and engage with the community - international creators, retailers, manufacturing, legal, and investment firms.

It costs me $12.25 to take the bus from Boonton Township to 11 Times Square, NYC. One day in the near future, I am sure that this bus will be electric and self-driving. I actually enjoy these bus rides - I sit in the last row (leg room) and I work on my laptop (Secure WiFi) and I usually do Zoom meetings or chat in Basecamp with our global team during the commute. When I arrive in NYC I usually take Uber or Via or Lyft to wherever I am going if it is MORE than a 20 minute walk. Weather permitting, I like walking in NYC.

As I returned home to The Garden State that evening, I reflected on the events of the day. I had meetings with mega companies like Salesforce and Wells Fargo. And I watched freshly minted entrepreneurs - the creators, the makers, the visionary founders trying to become memorable. I remember clearly when Salesforce was born, and now we have a Salesforce Tower in NYC. I just witnessed the Zoom IPO, one for the record books. It seems like Zoom came from nowhere and now is everywhere.

When it was my turn to speak, I asked: "Raise your hand if you have a Zoom account" and I would say that 99% of the people in the room were happy Zoomies. How did Zoom do it? How did Salesforce do it? You never know who will become the next Uber or Airbnb or Spanx. Or Zoom or Salesforce or Apple.

How do you become "memorable" without becoming an A$$ in the process? One of my favorite quotes is "Become so good they can't ignore you." Make a product, a service, a system, a technology so good that life is better with you. Time is the most precious thing we have in life. If you give someone your time, you have given them a part of your life. Makers and Creators. Founders and Visionary Leaders. Make spending / investing "time" in you, with you, the best possible use of their time.

Bootstrapping entrepreneurs, or future billionaires, all have the same coin of the realm: time.

If you invest your time in a person, or in a project, or attend an event, you are forever connected with anyone and everyone who have taken that same leap of faith. Everyone in the room (at that event) anted up and pooled their most valuable resource - their time - and they (we) all can only hope that the mutual investments will pay dividends.

Whenever I attend an event, I give out my "Golden Tickets" along with my business card. I want to be memorable, and I want to curate and nurture new (and mutually rewarding) relationships. I can immediately see on the person's face their reaction. This will either become the beginning of a wonderful new relationship, or the Golden Ticket card will find it's way into the trash. And that's fine. I like to think that I can be friendly with anyone, but I can't be friends with everyone.

Time is the ultimate resource, and it is scarce.

I have no doubt that the next Zoom or the next Uber or Salesforce was in the room at the "For Creators by Creators NYC" event last week. But everyone who attended that event, has given everyone else who attended that event a part of their life. They made the investment of time. And now, since you have taken the time to read this blog - so have you.

This country, the USA is a creation "dreamed up" in the minds of it's founding fathers. Our entire country is built on the backs of and in the minds of creators, inventors, small business owners who had a vision and a dream. And all of these founders, makers and creators all worked very hard, and invested the necessary time and other resources to see their vision and dreams become reality.

So always strive to be memorable, just don't be a braying ass about it. And respect and defend others time, as if it were your own.

Because after all, it is.

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