Rob Frankel - Branding Expert

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Taking the hit with a full bucket

You should know that I'm getting a ton of posts from well-intentioned people regarding the attack on America. There's lots that you can do to help the victims, but I want to share something else with you:

Yes, you need to help who you can. But don't forget to help yourself, too.

Everyone is hurting from this. Me included. I just got off the phone with a guy who just laid off 30% of his work force. I'm really pissed. This was a terrific new business contact, who was supposed to be calling about signing a deal. Needless to say, that's not why he was calling. He called to tell me that "everyone is cutting back, because, you know, um, Los Angeles could be the next target."

Terrific. Exactly the way General Patton would have phrased it. So much for national unity.

Lots of major companies are cutting lots of people loose. Yesterday, talking to a friend of mine in the insurance business, I heard that while most insurance companies are paying claims on the WTC/DC attack, there are a few who are still on the fence about paying: apparently, "terrorist attacks" are covered by their policies, but "acts of war" are not. And as despicable as it may seem, some companies are actually mulling over which classification should apply.

Unbelievable. Or is it? While I can't believe that an insurance company could even think along those lines, it does bring up food for thought:

A friend of mine used to tell me that everyone has a bucket. And everyone likes to help others. "But," my friend warned me, "you can't give anything to anyone if your bucket is empty. Make sure your bucket is filled, so that when you want to give, you can."

It's true. I can't tell you how disappointing it is to hear the voice at the other end of the phone justifying reasons why they can't do this or how everyone else is doing that. It's pointless and unproductive. Worst of all, it's draining your bucket.

I guess what I'm saying is that helping one another is good, but don't get blind-sided. You still have an obligation to yourself and those who depend on you.

Don't go running for cover. If you do, we lose and they win. You owe it to yourself -- and to those you want to help -- to keep your bucket filled.

Rob Frankel

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