Negative Plus a Negative Equal a Positive

Suzanne Bowen : Monetizing IP Communications
Suzanne Bowen
37 yrs in telecom, teaching, blog & grant writing, biz development, marketing, & PR. Favorite moments in life involve time w/ family & friends, networking, IP communications industry verticals & horizontals, running, traveling, foreign languages
| 1. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition..." Barack Obama ..... 2. "One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain." By Thomas Sowell

Negative Plus a Negative Equal a Positive

Tandy 1000 Antique"Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee," says the Euro-American conglomerate that sells hundreds of different, well-loved, pre-packaged, sugary concoctions. This means that everyone likes Sara Lee. Maybe not, but that's a cool slogan. Sometimes a negative plus a negative equal a positive. Likewise, negative things happen to us online and offline in business, personal and social situations, whether in our social networks, on a business forum, or in our workplace. The way we handle these "things" can get a positive result as correct English grammar notes or a negative result as traditional mathematics states.

Ruth Bridger, a VP of sales and marketing, recently and admirably handled a tough situation for Xorcom. Some customers used Twitter and other social networks to share with the public some issues, but before the first negative remark was made, Ruth stated the truth of what had happened, how Xorcom was being quick and smart about fixing the problem, and the measures they were taking to be proactive for the future. Just two or three weeks after the catastrophes, I found the Xorcom meeting room at ITEXPO East full of no fewer than 50 - 60 current and potential clients and industry partners. They were actively engaged at all times in watching demonstrations and ... answering and asking questions about the Xorcom products and services. 

I think back over my own life when I took an Introduction to Computers class at around age 17 at Pensacola Junior College. I had never used a computer before taking this class.  I wanted to take Ethics but Introduction to Computers fit into my two fulltime job schedule better.

The professor shared a short lecture and demonstration during each session and then sent us to a Lab to apply what we had learned. The assistants in the Lab did not assist. I struggled for the first time during my "lifetime or organized schooling." I had always earned A's or B's from * first grade through my first Freshman college semester in subjects ranging from Spanish to Chemistry to Journalism. Though I followed the directions to enter the code that would result in a computer game called Sorry, it never worked. I was certain I would fail the class. I asked the professor for help. He said that I should pay more attention in class. My report card said I earned a "D." Panic!

My professor further said, "Suzanne, sweetheart, don't worry. You're just not cut out for computers." 

I bought a Tandy 1000 from Radio Shack that had no hard drive. I had to boot it up each time with a 5 1/2 inch disk. Later after, graduating from University of West Florida with a B.A. in English and Social Sciences I got a job teaching middle school level students. Next, I wrote a grant in 1994 for a phone line in my classroom, so we could dial up to the Internet and discover something more than the world of Century, Florida which had a population of 1,400 people. We had a blast learning from and with people such as Pakistani software developer Syed Maroof and computer engineer Arshi Masood, South African banker Herman Dewitt, and German physical education teacher Inge Siepmann. Eventually this led to me switching careers from being an English teacher to co-founding (with Rehan Allahwala Ahmed) a dotcom startup Super Technologies, Inc. in 1999 with its first products of dialup voip Super Phone and being local and global via Virtual Phone Lines.

And ... from there, I am involved in exciting work with the clients, vendors, team members and industry partners of AstraQom and a few other companies! Who knows what negatives will automorph next? I'll choose the English grammar rule as the answer.

I shared this story and a few other stories with the couple dozen women who met to eat, sip hot liquids, inspire, debate, make friends, and develop business at ITEXPO East 2012 last week.

(* I am old enough to be among those who started school when kindergarten was not mandatory.) 

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