Quitter to Winner

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

INTERVIEW: Marketing + startup best practices with Bidwell ID

You’re starting your own small business. Congratulations. Overwhelmed by “expert advice” on marketing and business best practices? Understandable.

That’s why we spoke with John Bidwell, strategic marketing and branding whiz, and founder of Bidwell ID. He’s seen what works for his own business and his clients. John offers valuable marketing insight to startups, and shares small business do’s and don’ts: from how to keep clients to weathering down markets.

What branding advice do you have for startups?

I don’t recommend investing too much into branding until after a year or two in business. If you’re looking for investors, you should focus on creating a solid, professional-looking business plan. If you’re launching a product or service into the marketplace, I recommend the following approach.

1. Choose a name. You can brainstorm on your own, or buy some “trusted advisors” dinner to help you come up with names.

2. Due diligence. Google the selected name to see if a url is available. I also strongly recommend running the name by a lawyer. They’ll do additional due diligence to see if the name is already taken. I’ve seen big, costly mistakes with companies having to change their name because they didn’t do their homework.

3. Create a logo. I don’t recommend getting too fancy during the launch phase. Work with a freelance designer to create a clean, simple mark. Be sure to use it consistently.

4. Know your audience and what you want to tell them. Ask yourself:
a. Who is my audience?
b. What do they want to hear?
c. How is my offering relevant?
d. Is the audience large enough to support my model?
While it’s costly, market research is valuable in helping answer these types of questions.

5. Take good notes. You’ll learn a lot about your business and customers in the first year or two. Use that information to shape your brand and message.

Bidwell weathered the recent economic downturn. What suggestions can you offer startups to help them stay afloat?

1. Focus on sales. It’s easy to want to spend a lot of time on branding. It’s fun and creative. It also helps define how you talk to your customer. But if you’re not drumming up business, it’s not the best use of time.

2. Watch your spending. It’s wise to evaluate your expenditures. That varies in each business. For us it’s time management. We don’t sell widgets. It’s our time that’s billable.

3. Maintain existing relationships. Remind clients that you care, and that you want their business. Never take them for granted. Schedule a formal meeting, or meet them for coffee. Tell them you appreciate their business and you look forward to more work.

4. Keep their trust. Never squander a client’s trust. You can’t get it back.

What are some ways small businesses can build long-term client relationships?

1. Work with people high up the ladder. The more integral you are with the decision makers, the better your chances of staying on their radar.

2. Remind them you care. It seems obvious, but letting clients know you value their relationship and the work goes a long way. Keep in touch with them formally or informally.

3. Find the right match. Ask yourself what type of clients is the best fit for you and your company.

4. Hire good employees. Attitude is just as important as aptitude. Getting a bad fit is an immense waste of time. Look for team members who are optimistic, enjoy working with clients, and are persnickety yet willing to roll with the punches. If you need help starting the hiring process, the Employers Association is a great resource.

Tell us your thoughts about the social media buzz.

Absolutely. While it’s free, it requires a decent amount of time and effort to do it right. I’d say it’s a half-time job to do Facebook, Twitter and a blog justice. Some of the work is certainly a good project for interns. Pay attention to the metrics and the types of people following you. Are they potential customers? Will they pay for your service? Tailor your posts and tweets about your business to your audience.

Why did you start your own agency?

I always wanted to run my own business. Both of my grandfathers had their own businesses. And my father started a local insurance agency. I had a strong family model for doing your own thing.

I starting working as a designer for several publications and marketing agencies, but I also had strong writing skills. Problem is that most companies see creatives as writers or designers, but not both, and designers never move up the ladder beyond the title of creative director. Leaving my career in other’s hands was far too limiting. Opening my own shop was a way to avoid falling prey to all of that. It allowed me to control what I’m doing and where I’m doing it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

INTERVIEW: How to maximize Twitter with MMJ Tech's Jonathan Mast

By the end of 2010, Twitter boasts about 190 million users and counting. A good portion of Tweeters are entrepreneurs. I asked Jonathan Mast from small business social media experts MMJ Technology about some basics on how to use Twitter to its full potential.

What are the five must-do's when setting up a Twitter account?

- Pick a memorable user name. jonathanm or jonathanmast is good. jon3234m not so much.
- Upload a picture to your profile.
- Fill in your bio. Use keywords relative to your business.
- Send out a tweet (that would be a Twitter message).
- Find people (tweeps) you are interested in and follow them (at least 20 to start with). Use Twellow.com to look for people with similar interests or in similar industries. This is a great time to follow your competitors and see what they are doing!

2. What are some strategies to keep in mind when you start tweeting?

- Tweet regularly. At least a few times a week; a few times a day is better.
- Don't talk about yourself all the time.
- Use Twitter to establish yourself as an expert in your field. I recommend sharing links to articles and blog entries that would be of interest to your audience.
- Try not to have more than 120 characters in your tweet. This makes it easier and more likely that your tweets are re-tweeted (shared by others). Use a URL shortener like bit.ly to shorten long links that you want to share.

3. Can you describe how and why to use some of Twitter's features? (Lists, mentions, etc.).

- Lists are a great way to keep track of and manage your followers (or if your a bit paranoid to keep tabs on your competition without following them).

- Use Direct Messaging (use "d USERNAME" to send a direct message) to send private messages to other tweeps.

- Re-Tweet (share a tweet you like) regularly. If you read a good tweet choose Re-Tweet to share it with your followers. This shows you're willing to share the credit for good stuff!

- Use hash tags like key words to help get your tweets noticed. A hash tag is the "#" follow directly by a keyword (i.e. #socialmedia #marketing #business #branding).

- Use Twitter search for tweets mentioning you or your organization and then respond when you find them.

4. Which company do you think best uses Twitter?

- There are hundreds ranging from street vendors in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles to major firms like Southwest (@southwestair) and Jet Blue Airlines (@jetblue) as well as international companies like Ford (@scottmonty). There are literally thousands of success stories from small, one-person operations to large, multi-national companies. ALMOST ANY company can be successful on Twitter.

5. How do people manage to attract tens of thousands of followers?

- The most reliable way to get thousands of followers is to share and write content that your audience is interested in. Pick a topic and stick to it for the most part.

- FOLLOW BACK when someone follows you. It's simply the right thing to do and will increase your following.

- Be consistent. Tweet regularly and on topic.

6. How can you generate sales using Twitter?

- Twitter is a great vehicle to establish your credibility. Focus on establishing your credibility first (this takes MONTHS) and then focus on selling. Oh, and remember, no one cares about boring, mundane updates like "eating breakfast - oatmeal and toast."

- Remember that Twitter is only a tool. Use it to establish and maintain connections and always remember to reach out in person when ever possible. If you find someone interesting arrange a phone meeting, schedule introductions over coffee, etc. It's still about personal relationships.

BONUS TIP - To save yourself a lot of time, use a tool such as Hootsuite (you can get a FREE trial at http://ht.ly/3BIAo).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

INTERVIEW: How to maximize LinkedIn with Jonathan Mast

Many colleagues of mine are on LinkedIn. During a conversation about the site, we all came clean: none of us use it to the max (if at all). I asked Jonathan Mast from small business social media experts MMJ Technology how startups can use LinkedIn to its full potential.

Why should a startup join LinkedIn?

As a startup you need to generate business and to connect with possible customers. LinkedIn provides one of the best ways to do this online. Think of LinkedIn as the Facebook for Business connections. LinkedIn is an online networking tool that will allow you to connect with people and businesses. It’s also unique in its "Get Introduced through a Connection" feature that allows you to find out which of your existing connections know someone you are trying to connect with and ask them to introduce you.

What are the top "must-do's" once they join?

1. Complete your profile to the fullest extent you can. Adding in items like past schools and past employers helps you connect with more people and can dramatically increase your connections. Remember that the value of a social media connection is not always simply to do business. On LinkedIn in particular your past connections may be of more value in helping you connect to new individuals that you are trying to reach out to.

2. Add a photo to your profile. A profile without a photo is much less likely to be productive in helping you connect with others. If you don't have a current photo use your mobile phone to take an updated one and upload it to your profile.

3. Once you have completed filling in all the information you can start finding connections and ask them to add them to your network. One tip, when adding a connection you have the opportunity to write them a note. Don't just accept LinkedIn's standard text, write a personalized message and you will dramatically increase the likelihood your connections accept.

What are some do's and dont's regarding generating sales on LinkedIn?

1. Don't try to sell everyone you network with right out of the gate.

2. Do use LinkedIn to share information that is relevant to your connections and that establishes you as an expert in your field. For example, I am an Internet Strategist and I make money by selling websites and consulting projects. I share information about how to use social media successfully, how to brand your business or organization effectively and what is going on in the industry.

3. Do reach out to your LinkedIn connections and try to connect with them in person. If your connections are local, propose meeting up over coffee. If your connections are outside of your area, propose a phone conversation. You can glean huge benefits from your connections if you actually reach out in person.

How can I use LinkedIn to promote my company?

LinkedIn also allows you to setup company profiles. This is valuable to your firm as it allows people to follow your company and also allows LinkedIn users to see what is happening with your company and your employees (if you have them). You do not establish connections from your company to others. Although by sharing relevant information that's going on in your firm, others can keep up on the latest news and offerings from your company.

How has LinkedIn helped MMJTech?

We use LinkedIn to establish connections with other individuals and companies that can help grow our business and to keep tabs on our competition. Our technical staff uses LinkedIn to establish connections with other technical professionals. In a sales role, I use LinkedIn to establish connections with existing and prospective clients. By using LinkedIn effectively and by connecting to the other staff that I work with, I can then leverage their connections when I need an introduction to someone outside of my network.

By using LinkedIn we minimize the number of true "cold calls" that we make and in turn find ourselves getting more appointments through leveraging the "warm" connections we have via LinkedIn and reaching out to connect with them in person. Ultimately, LinkedIn helps us generate more revenue by working smarter.

You can also read Jonathan's first interview with Quitter to Winner here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

INTERVIEW: Career break pro Sherry Ott

Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT. She's now a long-term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She's a co-founder of Briefcase to Backpack, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice. She also runs a global travel blog writing about her travel and expat experiences at Ottsworld. She is one of the driving forces behind Meet, Plan, Go! Events across the country to inspire more people to get out and travel. Sherry talks about her own career break experience, and offers advice to those considering taking the plunge.

Is it safe to say that your current career is helping others take career breaks?

Yes, that’s certainly part of my current career. I actually have many jobs that all form a career! My main focus is to inspire and help others take career breaks and travel – via BriefcasetoBackpack.com, Meet Plan Go! events, and our upcoming Career Break Boot Camp. Quite frankly, it also can expand beyond that niche of career break travel. I really want to help people understand and see the world through travel. That ties in my personal website – Ottsworld. Finally, I also do IT freelance work managing a retail website for a small company, photography, and occasionally I teach ESL.

Career breaks are getting more and more attention in the States. Why do you think that is?

I think there are numerous factors at play.

1. The Boomers and Gen Xers are realizing that our traditional definition of retirement is not necessarily going to happen for us. The world of work and retirement are changing. Whereas my father worked for the same company his whole life and is supported by a pension, that’s no longer the case. With the disappearance of pension programs – the idea of ‘we have to take care of ourselves’ has evolved. Each generation has moved around more from company to company trying to further their career. People don’t expect their employers to take care of them any longer…especially Gen Y. This movement in careers allows more people to take a break in between them or even negotiate them as they change jobs.

2. The workplace is demanding that we become more global. We travel more for work, we work with people from around the world. I think that naturally starts to grow curiosity and desire for more global travel. There’s no better international education than to travel to different cultures.

3. The explosion of the internet over the last few years has now allowed us all to be voyeurs in people’s lives. I think there were always people out there doing extended travel and taking career breaks – but there was no way to really hear of them unless you were their personal friend. Now we find many people are doing extended travel and career breaks thanks to our tendency to want to tell the world about it! Reading about other’s doing it plants seeds. When you ‘know’ someone (even virtually) who has taken a career break and traveled – all of a sudden it becomes a little more mainstream and accessible to you personally.

4. I’d love to believe that the work we are doing at Briefcase to Backpack and Meet Plan Go are also contributing to it a little!

What advice do you have for someone concerned about explaining their sabbatical to prospective employers?

The first thing to keep in mind is if a prospective employer feels taking a break and traveling to increase your international experience and maintain your balance and well being is negative – then you need to consider whether you want to work for a company that isn’t in alignment with your values.

We recommend to people not to shy away from talking about your career break to prospective employers. However, prepare yourself for that conversation. You need to take the time to go inward and really think about what you gained and learned from your break and how it benefits the company. Does it make you a better manager and employee – most likely. People who do extended travel AND try to incorporate some knowledge building and volunteering into that travel come back with better soft skills such as: Risk taker, negotiation skills, flexibility, patience, adapt quickly to changing environments, and enhanced decisions making. In my opinion, much of these skills fall into one important area in business – leadership.

One of the most important things to possess as you are working your way back into the workforce again is to have confidence in your ability to do so. If you don’t believe that your career break was beneficial and you are simply trying to create a sales pitch, then it won’t be as successful. As you converse with future employers and network with colleagues, you must ooze confidence about your career break. No regrets!

What parts of the world do you find most open to the idea of career breaks?

The idea of career breaks is very accepted in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, I would probably lump most of Europe in there, too.

How have your breaks helped your career?

My career break actually helped me change my career! I worked in corporate IT for 14 years. I was good at it, I moved up the ladder, but I didn’t really like what I did. Finally, I knew I had to make a change and I took a break when I was 36 years old. Once I got away from my cube – it provided me the time to really explore what I wanted to do; what I was passionate about. I’ve made the choice to be entrepreneurial and give the travel industry a shot; I love writing, speaking about and photographing travel and the cultures of the world. However, I know that if one day I want to go back to corporate, I could do it. I now have so many more skills that I’ve developed from a leadership standpoint and I’ve developed my knowledge and expertise in new areas such as social marketing. However – I’m not ready to go back to a cube anytime soon!

Meet, Plan, Go was quite a success. Did you find most attendees were already unemployed and were tired of job hunting? Or were they burned out and were ready for a break?

Most people still had jobs and were trying to figure out a way to take a break for a bit. Or they were planning on leaving their jobs and knew they wanted to travel before they started a new job or started a new chapter in their life such as marriage of parenthood. Surprisingly, we learned that many people not only wanted to travel, but they wanted to do some sort of work on the road and explore areas further. People were eager to really experience a country or place.

When is your next trip? Where are you headed?

I’m constantly on the road now. I’ve given up my ‘home’ and now don’t have any home base. So in some ways – I’m always traveling! However, this December I will be in Chicago and New York City before leaving for Italy for a week and then to the Middle East; Amman Jordan and Beirut Lebanon. I will be doing volunteer work for GeoVisions in the Middle East this winter and will be writing all about the realities of international volunteering. Then I’m back in America for the spring, and then this summer I take off on an adventure of epic proportions – the Mongol Rally. It’s a charity rally where me and three other bloggers are driving a car from London to Ulanbataar Mongolia. A journey of 9,000 miles where we’ll be raising money for charity. Our team website and information on the rally can be found here - http://thesocialmediasyndicate.com/

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How startups can maximize the web and social media with MMJ Technology

Having a web a social media presence is key for any startup. MMJTech's Internet Strategist, Jonathan Mast, offers sound advice to help entrepreneurs maximize SEO, social media and web development partners.

What are some social media/web best practices for a new small business?

I think the most important thing a new small business can do is to establish a presence online where their potential customers and brand evangelists can find them. In my mind, that's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in addition to a good website. I believe it is important for new business owners to understand that although the social media channels are valuable in attracting attention and communicating with your audience, the fact that you can not control what happens there means you need a solid website as the core of your online marketing strategy. Use social media channels to drive traffic to your website - not the other way around.

I recommend the following simple steps:

1. Register your domain name (abcbusiness.com).
2. Setup email at your domain name. Do not use and AOL, Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail address for your business. You instantly lose credibility.
3. Set up a Facebook business (fan) page and begin branding the page by using a 200x600 graphic as your profile picture. This 200x600 graphic should be seen as a "mini-billboard." It's an excellent way to brand your Facebook page and provide information to your audience.
4. Get a Twitter page for your business. Think about your Twitter profile icon. Most people will not see your page although they will regularly see your Twitter profile icon. You don't have much room although it's another chance to effectively brand yourself and/or your company.
5. Get a YouTube page for your business.

Even if you don't know how you're going to use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, claim your pages now.

What questions should a startup ask a web developer during the vendor selection process?

Ask about results. Your website is essentially useless if it is not helping you make more money or, at a minimum, save money. Many web developers are enamored with "cool" technology. Don't get caught in that mind set. Think about what your potential customers are going to be looking for and provide that type of content.

Also, make sure to ask about changes to the site. DO NOT get a site that you can't make changes to on your own. I'm a big fan of Joomla!, an open source content management system. Joomla! allows you to add, edit and modify your content easily. Other common platforms are Wordpress and Drupal. If you have to pay your web developer or learn a programming language to make changes to your site keep looking.

Ask about support. You will have questions as you grow your business and make sure that the developer you choose has the capabilities to grow with your business.

One last thing, as small business owners we are regularly looking to save money. Do not trust your website to someone who you wouldn't want to be representing your company in person. Your nephew may think he knows a lot about web design from the class he is taking in school. If web design/development is not his business, find someone else. Studies show that over 90% of your potential customers will get online to learn about your company prior to contacting you. Your web presence needs to create a positive and credible image for you.

To CMS or not CMS? What are some pros and cons to a content management system?

Choose a web developer that uses a CMS. Joomla! and Wordpress sites do not need to be expensive out of the gate, yet they will provide you with tremendous flexibility and ongoing development savings as your business expands. Choose a CMS that is commonly used though (such as Joomla!, Wordpress or Drupal). Avoid "home grown" or "in-house developed" CMS systems. Remember, you want flexibility and that may include the flexibility to choose a new web developer in the future.

What three things must a startup know about SEO?

1. There are NO guarantees. If a firm offers you guarantees run away.
2. SEO is an ongoing process. It is not a matter of simply entering key words and waiting. Content matters.
3. Google, Bing and the other search engines keep changing their algorithms to provide the best results to their customers. Do not try to beat the system - you will lose.

Can you really get sales from Twitter and Facebook?

To some extent it depends on your business, although the answer is almost always yes. Remember though that your primary goal with social media is to communicate, not to sell. By using social media to communicate with your audience you will better connect with them and establish yourself and your business as an expert in your industry. Use social media to get your prospects and customers to reach out to you, when they do that it is time to start selling.

One last thing. Social media is not an event. It is not something you do once and then forget. Your website and your social media presence need regular, ongoing input and work on your part.

Contact Jonathan Mast at jonathan@mmjtech.com for more information.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

INTERVIEW: Engineer > Career break > Ice Cream shop owner

Jim Ingram opened Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream seven years ago. A total 180 from his engineering career. Jim shares the why and how of his transition.

How did your career break come about?

I wasn’t one of those guys who hated working for someone else. I worked for a good telcom company with decent pay. Got my masters for free. I left at five every day and never took work home. It wasn’t bad. I did that for about 13 years. But one day I recall sitting in a meeting. I looked across the hall at a guy 25 years my senior. He worked at the same company for many years, probably doing pretty much the same thing day in and day out. He looked pretty beaten down. I didn’t want to be that guy in 25 years. While I was comfortable, I started to think that something was missing. It was like a dull ache. I thought I should push myself before it’s too late.

I took a director-level position with a tech startup. Going from a comfortable job to startup was a big risk. It crashed and burned after 18 months. After my layoff I went to the beach wondering, now what? I had essentially been working most of my adult life without a real break. I thought, how could I make this an opportunity? Travel was my first choice. I drove cross- country, coast to coast. I spent that summer living out of my car, camping or couch surfing and journaling. I didn’t think much about future during that time. As I was heading home I got a call from a buddy asking if I wanted to do another trip backpacking through Australia and New Zealand. That turned into another year of travel.

How was your reentry into the workforce?

My heart wasn’t in the job hunt. After all that time off, I thought about what I really wanted to do. I realized I had a chance to do something very different. I started to look out of the box. One day I was having breakfast with my dad. We were talking about his long run as an ice cream shop owner. It sounded like a fun business. It was also serendipitous. In an entrepreneur class I wrote a business plan to start an ice cream shop. So I had a rough plan and 40 years of real-life experience to tap into. My dad discouraged me at first but he came around. He said if you find a good location, go for it. That’s when another fateful incident occurred. I ran into a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years. She knew someone who was looking to rent the space I’m in now. It was perfect. Everything was lining up. I thought I’d give it five years. If it didn’t work, I could go back to engineering. I’ve been at it now for seven years.

Peoples’ careers are very much a part of their personal identities. How did you manage the “identity crisis” of a career transition?

I didn’t have much of a crisis. I did get a masters in engineering. I was going down corporate path pretty hard, and I did take it seriously, but I didn’t live to work. I didn’t work late or take work home. I actually work much harder and longer hours now owning my own business. I have to say the transition really wasn’t a problem for

How has your life improved since becoming an entrepreneur?

One thing I always tell people thinking about starting their own business: it’s a lifestyle. It’s so intertwined with your whole life. That’s why it’s so important to create an environment you enjoy. For my shop, summer is very busy. It’s fun but exhausting. The rest of the year it all balances out. It requires sacrifices, but that word sounds negative. The rewards so far outweigh the negatives. I take the month of January off. It’s sometimes tough to find a life/work balance, I’ll admit. But I try to remind myself of my Dad’s saying: I’m not going to work; I’m going to play.

Creativity is unlimited with owning your own business. If I have a cool idea, I can try it out the next day. You can’t always do that in a corporate gig.

An unexpected positive to my business is my connection to the community. People in town know me. Kids say there’s the ice cream man. It’s unexpectedly satisfying. I’m also creating jobs for high school kids. For some it’s their first job. The work habits they learn here will stay with them for their career.

Do you miss anything about your corporate gig?

I had a pension, health care, three or four weeks of vacation, and nights and weekends off. Those are the obvious perks. But one I didn’t think about was the social network built into working with a big company. When owning your own business you have to create your own social structure.

What advice do you have for someone considering:

A career break: If you get laid off, I recommend taking a break if you can manage it. It’s a great opportunity to do some things you can’t do on two weeks vacation. You can also decompress. You can view it as an open slate and look for opportunities.

An entrepreneurial venture: My dad’s biggest concern with my decision was, why throw it all away to become ice cream guy? What I’ve learned is that when you start your own business, nothing is a throw away. I was a supply chain engineer. That thought process in my old career works with how I deal with suppliers, vendors, and manage the numbers. I was also a shop supervisor. I found out how to find the good in people. My work experiences all became relevant in some way at the ice cream shop.

I also recommend viewing it as an adventure. There are a million reasons not to do something. There are another million reasons to do something. I didn’t want to look back on my life with regrets, wishing I had done something.

Talking to other people in the industry helps a great deal. I went to a local ice cream conference and spoke to vets in the industry. A lot of people helped me out. I’m willing to do the same.

What was your biggest obstacle when you started your business?

I bought the place in October seven years ago. I had to build out the kitchen and buy the equipment. I never worked a cash register. I had to learn everything from the ground up. I finally opened for business in the middle of winter. An ice cream shop in the winter. Needless to say there were a lot of lonely days. I certainly worried sometimes that it wouldn’t work out. But it was good in a way. It gave me a chance to work out kinks while it was quiet. When summer came around, I had more flavors and knew how to run things. Getting the word out took time, too. Word of mouth has been very helpful.

I’ll ask you the same question you ask others on your blog: What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

It’s tough to call yourself a failure if you try and give it your all. It’s a life experience. You could define some things as a failure, but you don’t have to look at it that way.

Finally, why do people love Mt. Tom’s ice cream so much?

It ties to the philosophy of starting a business. How can you create something better than competitors? If you don’t have a good product, people won’t come back. I’d have to say my ice cream is really creamy and good to the palette. I try to add something unique to each flavor as well as come up with new flavors. I recently made maple bacon ice cream. A lot of people tried it, and tons of people talked about it. I also made Guinness ice cream for St. Patrick’s Day.

People also like the experience. In an era where you can buy just about anything on-line, I think it's never been more important to foster the 'experience' aspects of your business. Someone once told me as ice cream shop owners, we're selling 'memories'. I clearly and fondly remember going to the local old-fashioned
candy store when I was a kid. If I'm able to create a memory or two like that with my shop, I will have succeeded beyond my greatest expectations.