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« The illusion of control.... | Main | The ROI question on SM? »

March 29, 2009


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John Sternal

Congrats, Jon, on a very promising future. You may think you haven't yet figured out certain aspects of the SM space, but I think you have. At a time when companies are doing nothing but shrinking (mostly because of a lack of business planning and direction), it's great to her things are going well for you. Smart decision to always focus on two of the most important things in running a business - new biz development and, of course, people.

Jon Newman

Thanks John,

It's great getting solid advice and support from folks like you that I've met on Twitter.

Everyone, please follow @sternalpr on Twitter.



Jon -

Thanks for the plug (from the third commenting John, which I just realized made me sound like a pimp walking past with something smart to say).

My sense echoes yours -- this is a space where you either roll the dice and charge ahead, or you sit on your cards and pray. Either option is going to be bumpy, but with the first you get to retain some illusion of control. I launched my business on the first of the year knowing that 2009 might just be the worst possible time to enter the consulting space, but also that it was the only right time for me to do so. Good relationships, good fortune and a modicum of talent have served me well -- you guys at Hodges have all three in spades.

I had a very talented woman in DC tell me right after I stepped off the ledge in January to "grab as much real estate as I could possibly handle, and then some" and to do it soon. She explained, as we talked -- and I think this is as true in PR as in facilitation and strategy work (it's all the same, really) -- that by mid-summer there would be 40 or 100 or 300 people like me who had lost their jobs, been unable to find new ones in a shifting economic landscape and would be setting off on their own. "Position yourself to hire them for a fourth of your own hourly rate," she said. "If you own the business, they'll come to you for work."

Not a good time to be risk averse, I suppose. Can't wait to see where the next chapter takes you, Josh and your team.

Jon Newman

Thanks John, (totally confusing people now)

Great get to know and partnering with you and Floricane.



Sounds like the decision is about made - you say you aren't sure, but I think you are.

BTW, I don't think I count as "turnover." Maybe just someone who appreciates a good thing the second time around even more...

Jon Newman


As Yogi used to say, "it's never over till it's over."

Should have used a different word than "turnover," maybe hamantashen would have been more appropriate. :)

Besides you couldn't help it and we are so glad you decided to come back.



Nice post Jon. And quite right about it being a good time to go on offense. When so many are cowering, retrenching or frozen in place, it's a great time to hit the accelerator. Is this risky? Of course, but what we've all learned is that the things that used to seem safe (like working as a middle manager for a large bank) are more risky than we thought. Security is only an illusion.


Jon Newman


Thanks for the great observations and kind words.

And congrats on your new responsibilites at the VCU Brandcenter.

Best of luck,


Deborah Usry

Reflective post Jon, and I think it's rock solid. Your focus is a steady one -- on the bigger picture. Yes, SM is critical, but it's only a part of the bigger picture. The vision of THP from 30,000 feet should be the driving force.

Deborah Usry

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