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Over the weekend, our cat Coco (or “my cat” as she was known), passed away. She had a rare tumor, and for a number of months, we knew it wouldn’t be that much longer before this happened.

I won’t get maudlin, but the story of Coco’s adoption holds a couple of solid lessons.

Cyndi had wanted a black cat for some time. While waiting for her to finish at a store in our nearby shopping center, I saw, in the car’s rear view mirror, a Humane Society volunteer carry a caged black cat toward the early Saturday morning pet adoption just down the way.

When Cyndi returned, we decided to see about adopting the black cat. She was sitting rather forlornly in her cage when we found her. In talking with the volunteer, we discovered she was a Manx kitten, i.e. she had no tail. The volunteer explained how this caused potential problems and made these cats more difficult to care for than the typical cat. She asked us whether we had other cats and if they went out doors. After answering a few more questions, we were told that we wouldn’t be able to adopt this kitten.

We were surprised but went on our way. Later, we figured that beyond the fact we told them our two cats went out in the back yard, the fact we had gone over to the shopping center before getting all spruced up in the morning may have been a factor. Granted, we probably looked pretty scruffy, but I’d never known being unshaven to be grounds for being denied the opportunity to adopt a pet.

Running errands that afternoon, we decided to go back and see if the cat were still there. Sure enough she was, and now, nicely dressed, we got none of the questions we’d received in the morning. Instead, we were welcomed and within a very short time, were headed home with Coco.

That was nearly fourteen years ago.  We talk often about how in a world where people increasingly look disheveled, the way we looked that Saturday really did matter in how we were judged. We also remind ourselves about all the joy we’d have missed in our lives if we’d have taken the first “no” as the final answer.

To close, here’s a quirky moment from Sunday night. I was looking at a video I’d shot of Coco earlier this year when Clementine, our last remaining cat, hopped up on the desk, as she so frequently does. It’s an unstaged, double video goodbye between the two of them. One in January and one today.

I’ll admit this post was kind of light on strategy and innovation. Thanks for reading it anyway though, because I just had to write it – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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A Reflection

Published on October 30, 2009 by in Brainzenning, Brainzooming - All Posts, Career, Video

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We never know how long important personal and business relationships will endure. That necessitates using every daily opportunity to help those around you grow and to learn from them as well. A post last year when a friend was leaving our company included questions to see if you’re really giving enough of yourself to important people in your life. The questions warrant repeating:
  • Can you see your positive influence on these people?
  • Have you helped prepare them to pass on to others the lessons you’ve shared?
  • Do these people know how much they mean to you?
  • If you had one extra day to spend with one of these important people, would you do the same things to help them you’d do any other day?
  • Are you ready to let them go so they can grow and develop even more?

If you answer yes to all of these, you’ve truly given of yourself in helping someone grow and develop.

Entering a new career phase, I want to thank all those people who should be answering “Yes” to these questions in light of what they’ve given to me. They know who they are, and if you look back through the first two years of posts on Brainzooming you will too!

And as suggested by Chris Reaburn, here’s a time lapse Brainzenning video of the denuding of the orange in my office.

What’s Next? I’ll be in Chicago Monday, leading a roundtable on Business Innovation Roadblocks at the Frost & Sullivan Marketing World 2009 Conference and having a Brainzooming tweetup / happy hour get together on Monday (11/2). – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Brainzenning – A video moment of calm and reflection.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Brainzenning – A video moment of calm and reflection.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Brainzenning – A video moment of calm and reflection.

TweetIt from HubSpot

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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So what do you think? Brainzenning started as a summer feature, and it’s now Labor Day weekend. Would you like to see more Brainzenning videos? Let me know via email or in the comment section.


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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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