Debra Swersky
Alixandra Martin - Untitled.png


Opt-in for weekly journal, not blog, posts.


My mom has always said, “Everything happens for a reason.” She’s right. Of course, I initially learned this lesson as a kid when I walked away from an item to purchase. She would say, “If it’s still there when you come back, then it was meant to be.” Sometimes I forgot about the item (an important #lessonlearned in saving money) and sometimes the item was all I could think about. But, if it was there when I went back to get it then “it was meant to be.”

My book choices have gone on a similar journey. I put them on my list because they are inherently interesting to me, but can only commit to reading one book at a time. Oftentimes a book will sit on my list until I’m ready to read it. Sometimes, a recommendation is made that compels me to bump the book up on my list. (Think less about a “queue of books” and more about a “what was meant to be read next.”) Last week I was recommended to read up on the Net Promoter System: The Ultimate Question. So, I assessed the rest of my list and downloaded the book. In the case of being suggested the Net Promoter System and not having a strong reason to read any of the other books on my list (and also receiving a very generous Amazon gift card to fund my personal/professional development)… “it was meant to be.”

Clearly, on the brands that I love, I’m a promoter. And on the brands that I don’t love, I can be a detractor. The one good thing about me (maybe there’s more than one good thing?) is that if I’m going to be a detractor, I’ll likely come up with a solution for you to help turn me into a promoter… it’s what I do. 

In reading The Ultimate Question I happened upon a displeasing situation with one of my most favorite brands. (Because, spoiler alert: I’m still a promoter, I won’t use the brand name in this post.) I typically interact with this brand in-person, but took a leap of faith out of my comfort zone (#OOMCZ) and tried an on-line interaction. It was nothing like what I experience in-person and made me consider viewing the brand differently. I was shocked, appalled, mortified, etc. and above all, disheartened and disappointed. Was this the brand that I had been associating with for the past four years? Was this the brand that I spent oodles of dollars with month-over-month? And was this the brand that I put on an entirely different platform (not just pedestal) than their “competitors”? The short answer is: I don’t know. I’m still confused. And given my predilection for the brand, I feel offended and betrayed. 

But, “Everything happens for a reason.” I was meant to read “The Ultimate Question” and I was meant to experience the on-line interaction, and my offense was meant to be. It’s what I choose to do with that offense that will be my differentiator.

Personal pitch: I help people and companies create better first impressions. In this case the first impression that I received, the in-person interaction, from one of my most favorite brands was awesome. I’ve been a loyal promoter from day one. However, the on-line interaction was super sub-par. Their brand was totally out of alignment. I, as a loyal promoter, am meant to help them come to terms with their brand. Think of it the way that Mark Cuban does about whining.

Initiative: Taken. Opportunity: Seized. “Everything happens for a reason.” And if you can’t stop thinking about it then “it was meant to be.” Thank you, Mom. And thank you, Mark Cuban.

Debra Swersky