A Wax Seal, A Heart and A Hashtag


“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and always reminded of them.”

–     Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862), American poet, essayist, philosopher and best known for his primary works; “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience”

I seal personal notes with a wax seal — An “H” pressed into freshly-melted Heston Group Blue wax.  It’s time-consuming and sort of a pain in the ass.  And it’s worth it.

Every note I leave my wife, kids, or closest friends includes a hand-drawn heart above and to the left of my signature.  It’s trite and quaint and every last one of those people already knows that I love them.  But it’s worth it.

A valued, trusted client of mine notates every communication with the same hashtag.  Hand-written, blog post, social media post, internal communication — heck, I’ve heard him say “hashtag get better every day” verbally.  Yes, you guessed it.  It’s worth it.

Heston!  What. Is. Your. Point?

We can be ordinary and not worthy of mention, or we can be remarkable.

Seth Godin wrote a book right before I first met him in 2003.  “Purple Cow; Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable” transformed my career and my life.  Seth signed the book, “Steve, Moo! From Seth.”

The book defines being remarkable as “worthy of being remarked upon.”

Still not getting it!  Focus, Blogger Boy! Focus!

Ok, look!  Drive across the USA and you’ll see a bazillion cows; black, brown or other boring cow colors…you get the picture.  But spot just one purple cow and the dinner-table conversation tonight is set.  “You will never guess what we saw today!”

All right, are you saying we should paint cows?

Pretty much, yeah.

Each day, we have multiple opportunities to become remarkable by displaying our figurative purple cows in plain sight.

We might use a wax stamp.  We might draw a heart by our signature or attach a clever hashtag.

Here’s the scary part.  Each day, we also have multiple opportunities to leave an indelible impression, and instead, we whiff, trotting out a plain-old brown or black cow that has a better chance of being dinner than being remarked upon during dinner.

“Sigh,” you’re thinking. “For crying out loud, dude, we’re busy!  We don’t do it on purpose!”  Of course not, but we do it, nonetheless…

We might use bad grammar, misspell a word.  We might slump our shoulders, show up three minutes late for a meeting, or not pay attention, even if we’re on time. We might miss a deadline.  Not only will those indelible impressions undermine all the wax seals, kept-promises, hearts, and hashtags, they’re also easily avoidable.

Alternatives to decorating bovines…

Download Grammarly.  Set your watch ahead or, better yet, manage your day so that you’re never late.  Read up, yes, study before each meeting and come better prepared and better informed than anyone else.  In other words, one lazy, careless or unintended impression kills all the work that went into painting our cow a lovely shade of Waukee Warrior Purple.





That’s up to you.  What will you do with this concept to make a difference?


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