Monday, November 24, 2014

Gamble with a Better Business Card

Many of us are on the never ending journey of self-improvement. We are constantly striving to become better at our craft, looking for ways to improve our productivity, increase business and grow as human beings. As part of this journey we come into contact with people who are brilliant teachers with the ability to empower us to think and act differently. Recently , I was fortunate enough to attend a one-day workshop given by serial entrepreneur, author and educator Peter Shankman. Peter is probably most known for founding HARO, Help a Reporter Out, a popular resource for journalists , which he started in 2007 and later sold to VOCUS in 2010. He is also a public relations maven and the author of four books.

Mr. Shankman's SHANKMINDS classes have been taught across the country and involve a day long business mastermind group led by him that focuses on growing your business and increasing your revenue. These small groups, a maximum of 30 people, are broken up into tables that are arranged by Peter to place different experts from different industries together to allow the members of each mastermind group to provide each other with a variety of ideas on how you can grow your business and arrive at a solution for the most pressing business problem that you have presented to the group.

The ideas, comments and suggestions that I received from my table mates were quite enlightening and caused me to have a number of paradigm shifts. The talent, experience and breath of information that I received from this collective group of experts was truly amazing. Perhaps the greatest takeaway for me came at lunch when Peter asked each of us to hold up our business card. Naturally, many of our cards were quite similar, some were different colors, a few had printed material on both sides and others had attractive images. Peter remarked that they all looked quite nice but that he had a card that was unique, that no one ever threw away, that people kept on their desk or bureau, that they kept it in their pockets, that they were unable to put in a Rolodex photocopy or place into a computer program. I wondered what it could be?

He then held up his card. A two-sided poker chip with printed information on each side. The chip had the weight and quality of an actual casino poker chip. It made a nice sound when clinging against another chip. It was unique and yes, I would not throw it out but leave it on my desk or  bureau or perhaps keep in my pocket. The uniqueness of this business announcement was so striking that I immediately went out, designed and ordered these marketing marvels for my law office. I began passing them out to friends, people that I do business with, family members and business associates.

I am constantly told about how unique this offering is and how easy it would be to pass it on to someone who might need my services. I share this information with you because, in our busness we can profit from differentiating what we do. What do we do better or differently than our competition? What is our unique selling proposition? How can we stand out from the crowd? I would suggest to you that a poker chip business card is one way to get the attention of people that you meet in any type of new networking opportunity. Differentiate yourself, be unique and stand out from the crowd!

And when you get a chance, visit Peter Shankman's website,, and sign up for his next mastermind group. The information  you will receive from other like-minded individuals who are always looking to improve what they do and how they do it can certainly bring you to the next level.


  1. Richard,
    Great vivid example of how to stand out from the crowd. Thanks for the info.

    1. Alain- This will work for any business and makes you quite memorable!

  2. Great idea and a constant reminder to those that keep them on their desk.