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The Road Less Traveled

January 22, 2010

I was having dinner recently with one of my favorite people. A friend. A colleague. A real marketing pro. And someone I respect immensely.

When we get together it’s (as the Bible says) “Iron sharpening Iron”. More times than not, we are brainstorming, throwing out new ideas and often getting excited about the possibilities of what lies ahead. The world is full of opportunity and we are going to find them.

I was fortunate enough to convince him to come work for me a little while back. It could easily be the other way around. I learn something new from him everytime we get together and we are having a blast working on initiatives that benefit our company.

During our dinner conversation, he said something iconic that struck me between the eyes. As we were discussing brands, brand value, positioning and strategy (I know, really exciting stuff to some of you!), he made the following statement:

Brands don’t die from one fatal blow. They die from a thousand deep cuts.

Wow, was he dead on. I’ve witnessed it first hand. It starts with a little compromise here. And then a little compromise there. And before you know it, you have strayed. Somewhere along the path, you have lost your way.

As I thought more about his statement, I realized it also applied to relationships. Relationships among people. And relationships between companies and employees.

As the cuts add up, they start to bleed…. and then someone comes along and offers you healing. And they remind you what it was like before you had the scars. And it sounds really, really good.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

In this case, my friend is taking the road less traveled. And it’s clearly the right decision.

I’ll miss the regular sharpening of the iron but I know the friendship will continue and that’s the most important thing.

Good luck @wwwBTIP. Until next time…


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