It wasn't long ago that a business owner, preparing to pose for one of our cover photos, half-jokingly asked how big of a frown he should make for the picture. He proceeded to scowl and grimace good naturedly for a few warm-up shots before we told him a serious, confident pose would be fine, thank you.
Although it was an off-the-cuff remark, that business owner's comment struck me. And when I began recalling the cover stories we ran in the latter half of 1998, I quickly understood why he'd developed that image of SBN.
We featured-in no particular order-stories about the forced sale of a local company, the demise of a once-prominent downtown law firm, the agony of rebuilding after a business fire, the struggle of doing business in a war-torn country, the pain of uncontrolled business growth. I've got to admit, it's a rather somber string of covers. Unfortunately, that's the reality of doing business in today's world.
There are serious decisions we face-and grave lessons we often learn-in the course of running a company. While that may not afford us much reason to smile at times, these stories need to be told. Readers tell me they appreciate them; they identify with them; they share them with other CEOs. That's what our publication is all about: educating business owners about how to win the war of business growth without having to fight so many battles along the way.
That said, I have to admit there's also a fine line between delivering hard-hitting articles and depressing our readers. With the line-up we've produced in the past year, we may be teetering a bit close to the brink. And God knows in these gloomy, waning weeks of winter, it doesn't take much to push us over the edge.
So here, for your sheer amusement, is some obscure business-related trivia I've gleaned from various friends and business associates who use the Internet (which, of course, means some of this may just be urban legend). While these tidbits may not directly help your balance sheet, the stress relief you get from a quick chuckle just might make you more productive-and give you something new to talk about during your next business dinner. Enjoy.
- In Europe, Super Glue is commonly used in place of surgical sutures.
- Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
- More Monopoly money is printed in a year than real money.
- In most television and newspaper advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
- Proctor & Gamble has more than 100 registered Internet domain names including underarm.com and badbreath.com.
- There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S. than real ones.
- The founder of FedEx got a C on his college economics paper outlining his idea for the business.
- The electric chair was invented by a dentist. (We should've known.)
Nancy Byron, editor of SBN Columbus, welcomes your comments by fax at 428-2649 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.