How often do you think of
cutting a corner on a small, small, small element? Well, it's a little vague as
an open. Let me give you an example what I'm specifically talking about. That
was my attempt to be totally cagey and draw you in.
But here's what I wanna say...
ago, I was just beginning in my business. I was really a newbie. I was at this
stage where I was making my business cards by printing them on my printer at
home, and then I wanted to put them on really heavy cardstock. I couldn't get
the cardstock through the printer, so I would print them black and white on a
single piece of paper, then I'd walk it over to Kinko's, and I would get really
heavy cardstock of my own that I got at an art supplies store, put that through
the printer, and then hand paint each card so it was color. And then I would
slice them with a slicer. This was my process.
was beginning out. I didn't have business cards, didn't know how to get them.
And I had a big event that I had signed up to go to. So I thought, "I had
better have some business cards." In fact the guy hosting this event (it
was this elite, exclusive high-level retreat), he said, "I'd like each of
you coming to this retreat to send 12 business cards." And I got this
notice and I had very little time that week and I thought, "Let me just
print them in black and white. I'm not going to hand paint them. I don't have
went through the process of black and white, went to Kinko's, printed the cardstock.
Sliced them into individual 12 per page. Then I thought, "You know what,
let me do this right. Let me take the extra half hour to paint these
properly," because I figured he'd give one to each person attending the
I got to the event, no business cards were distributed, and it was a two-day
experience. The night between the two days I went back to my hotel room and
sitting on the bed was a box, a little bigger than a shoebox. I thought,
"What's this?" And it was a gift from this guy who runs the seminar.
In fact I'll say his name, because he was so great. His name is Nido Qubein.
Brilliant, brilliant leader. And I open the box and I pull out what's inside.
It's a bottle. You know, ship in a bottle type of bottle, and actually inside is
a ship. I'm thinking, "This is the coolest gift."
not only is it a ship, it's a ship that's made with business cards. I'm going
to have our camera woman, Becca, zoom in so you can see this. She's going to
nod to me when you can see. If you look carefully, you'll see the V and the L
of my logo. This is my old logo. Each of them is painted slightly differently
because I was working with watercolors and these little characters. And here's
the ship in the bottle made with my business cards. I was so glad that I'd
taken the time to paint the V and the L, because every time I look at this it's
so much more bright. And even though it's not something that I exhibit to
clients, it's something that stays here in my studio, it reminds me of the
importance of doing things right.
have a wonderful colleague, Gregg Goldston, who I've done many, many projects
with. We always use the phrase, "Ship in a bottle," which means,
"Do it right." So I say to you, the next time you think about cutting
a corner, remember, ship in a bottle, because you never know where your work is
going to end up.