Have you sold out? Who can we depend on?

by — March 7, 2001 (Comments)

I just learned of the demise of the great site for writers, Inkspot. As a Children’s Writer, I found the site more than four years ago. Over the years, I have found other great sites catering to children’s book writers, however, I continued to return to Inkspot.

What is happening that so many businesses have to sell out? Yes, I want to be able to make a living and/or to have a product I would be able to sell. However, at what expense would I sell out and at what expense have these businesses sold out? I remember the first words we are all told when a new business takes over, Nothing Will Change! Excuse me, that’s the first thing that happens, do they believe we won’t notice? The next thing they tell us is that, No one will be fired, laid off, read your own interpretation of that one. This is exactly the second thing that happens. It has happened so often in just that way, that we can interpret what is really being said.

Recently, I worked for a local specialty magazine. It was just sold to an out of state publisher. During our first meeting with the proposed buyer, they stated that they would not make any changes for 30 days. We felt that was enough time for us to either be successful with this magazine, and at the same time, look around to see what was available. The following month, the ink wasn’t dry when they came to give us our final paychecks. They closed the doors in Florida and moved the magazine to Arkansas. Uh-Huh!! How rude and abrupt. They showed absolutely no consideration, treating the employees like so much spilled sugar and just sweep it away, was horrendous.

How can we trust anyone? Who can we depend on? Can we afford to become attached to certain businesses, certain products, certain jobs, or certain entertainment?

Trust products? I don’t think so. I remember the adventure of being an Avon lady and at the same time loving the products. However, I would become attached to a perfume or a particular color for years, then they discontinued it. I am not picking on Avon, simply using the company as one example of what many businesses do with a popular product. I, however, tend to not trust a company that does this and refuse to be a consumer of it when something like this happens. I find that most companies have this policy, however, there are a few that do not and I will continue to support them. They have my business and will continue to inspire me to utilize their products. Who can we trust? There aren’t many.

At this point, I could make a list of a billion words: Do You Remember. . . . Foods, cosmetics, clothing, automobiles, sitcoms, magazines, some of our favorite things that are no longer available. Yes, we went on to something else too, but there are instances that we would have supported the product(s) but were never given a chance, because they sold out.

When businesses sell out they obtain money, on the other hand, I recognize that they may have poured their whole saving, their lives, and etc. and it has come time to sell out. Maybe the next group can make the idea or product different and/or better. I am not trying to say selling out is always bad. However, the new business then manages the old business and has no allegiance to the original goals and dreams (which is what the consumer has also adopted) of that original business. Therefore, the consumers of the old business tries to stay with it for awhile, or goes away because they cannot support the new concept. I do not understand why a new business takes an old business that is doing well and changes it. Why do they think it did well in the first place? Or if they do have better or different ideas that do not work, why not return to the original concept. But, do not let it DIE! When something or someone dies, there is a big hole where that something or someone stood. Who and what can we depend on?

The world without trust and stability leads to chaos. Many things in this world have led to the chaotic world we now live. I believe this (businesses selling out) is only one small part of it. Would you sell out? Have you sold out? How can we make certain that we retain some dignity and respect from those that have come to depend on us and/or our product? We are not alone in this world as some businesses (and people) seem to forget when it appears that they see nothing but the bottom line. Do we have a responsibility to each other? It is my belief that we do.