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I have a question, but I'm concerned that once I ask it, you'll tell me it will make a good post for our website.


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And, what is wrong with that?


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Sometimes I simply want to ask a question – not have to document the conversation.


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Says the former straight-A student who, to this day, takes copious notes?


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Yes, but at business meetings or when we're on business calls. Or when I'm talking with medical experts. Or maybe when … Never mind. I get your point. But not with my sister!


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But, you keep telling me our telephone conversations would make great podcasts, so how is basically creating a transcript of them any different?


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They would make great podcasts. Especially since most people could relate to my frustration of turning to you for answers, but instead getting questions. Lots of questions.


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Not always.


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You're right. Sometimes I get sarcastic remarks. Or you connecting dots that I think are unconnectable. I never know what to expect!


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Actually, you do. You know that you will get sarcastic – and pragmatic. Just like I know I will get warm and fuzzy. The good news is consistency and dependability are valuable traits. Regardless, what was the question you originally wanted to ask?


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I was wondering why do I feel like we're as busy as we've ever been, yet at the same time, we're as unclear about where we're going as we've ever been?


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That is an "almost" accurate description. Sometimes you know where you want to end up but need to figure out the best way to get there. Right now, we are busy keeping all options open.


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Well, that would explain why our daily posts are a mixture of real-life topics interspersed with our "commentary" on current events. And until we started doing them, I didn't realize that we'd touch on so many subjects, although I'm not surprised that you and I always seem to see things differently.


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That is an understatement. But, the challenge is we have so much existing content, and are constantly producing more, that is of interest to broader demographics than I ever expected. Layer on top, we are in an ever-changing marketplace hungry for content.


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That's been our problem ever since Neiman Marcus launched our self-published book, which at the time we thought could be the basis of a sitcom. But then the detours started, and we kept "throwing stuff against the wall" to see what would stick, and it seems everything did.


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The hardest thing for me was to let Red & Black grow organically, riding along as we traveled down different roads when part of me wanted to grab the steering wheel and drive it in a specific direction.


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You and your car analogies. But I've been shocked that you've been so patient. It seems very out of character, especially as you sign many of your emails "throttle on" and that's the last thing we're able to do.


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When you race, you are either on the throttle or the brake. You "pick a pedal" and stick to it. The purpose of braking is to slow the car down to steer through a corner (change directions), and you "throttle on" once the car is pointed in the right direction. So, that is basically what I am saying when I sign an email that way. But, right now we are coasting along.


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So keeping with your analogy, is the fact we hired an industry expert to help us identify the road to take to build the Red & Black brand as well as pitch potential partners (whether a publisher, an agency, a content provider, or even a consumer product company) like getting a new race car driver?


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Exactly. But, in this case, we are replacing an amateur (I know my limitations) with a professional because he successfully developed entertainment franchises for Disney and Hasbro. The fact he sees the potential for Red & Black to be a "franchise" is one thing, but having the experience and industry contacts to help make it happen takes it to a new level.


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It's funny. At first, I was confused when he used the term "franchise" as that term makes me think of buying a McDonald's, not building a brand or "franchise" like Power Rangers. But I guess every industry has its own terminology. Meanwhile, there's not much we can do right now except to let him get to work, have patience, and continue to "coast" …


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And, look forward to the day we can say, "Throttle on."

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.
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I love history and understand that “Lincoln freed the slaves,” but the Civil War was about more than slavery. It was about preserving the Union, and about states’ rights (some things never change) and westward expansion. However, once President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the war between the states would be forever remembered as a war to end slavery. Although I’ll admit that I’d never of Juneteenth until I moved to Texas. And I was surprised to learn it took two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves in Texas to be set free, but that explains why Juneteenth’s celebrated as the end of slavery in the United States. And why it was declared a federal holiday in 2021.


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Change is never as simple as issuing proclamations. Especially since slavery represented systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity. Real change requires words and actions, and a change in mindset. Celebrating the end of slavery is noble, but it should also serve as a reminder of where we are and how far we still have to go. Ending racism is not as simple as saying it is wrong but recognizing that it still exists is an important start.
Image by Kenishirotie on iStock


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Every Father’s Day , when I think of Daddy, I think about alligators and turtles. I know that might sound crazy, especially as there are so many wonderful memories, but those stand out. As does the fact that every day, he taught me about unconditional love and was always there for me. And even though he passed away over 20 years ago, the memories are as strong, both emotionally and “visually”, as if it was just yesterday. And for that, I’m so grateful.


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I know you are probably expecting me to talk about how Father’s Day is, in many ways, a form of “equal rights" since Mother’s Day was already in existence , or maybe the business aspects of it being a “ retail holiday ”. Instead, at the risk of sounding warm and fuzzy, I will just say that dads always have a very special place in the hearts of their “little girls” … no matter how old those “girls” become.

Wishing all dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

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It seems most appropriate that Flag Day falls during Effective Communication Month, or at least it does to Black, who years ago had suggested Red use race flags as a fun (and “safe”) way to communicate with her teenage daughter. From that point on, Red never looked at the “Stars & Stripes” the same way again … because she learned flags might be one of the most straightforward and effective ways to communicate – whether feelings of pride and support, messages to racecar drivers, or even to indicate your moods.


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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