Tag Archives: business

Day 85: Richard

I used to have a stone that I kept in a small box of prized possessions. It wasn’t a valuable stone like a diamond or aquamarine or some other type of precious stone. Nope, it was a simple stone. Ok, it was a rock.

I have no idea what kind of rock it was – it was dark in color but not like obsidian. More like the color of slate. I picked it up near the shore of a river while looking for rocks to skip across the water’s surface. I picked it up and reached back to launch it across the river hoping that it would skip enough times to land safely on the other side. But this rock felt different – it had significant weight and a smooth polished feel to it and I decided to drop it in my pocket instead. I have no idea what I thought I was going to do with it, but I wanted to keep it.

earthlyelementsWell, apparently lots of people collect rocks – and not just 9-year-old cub scouts. Richard Bailey is a geologist and owner of Earthly Elements in Frederick, MD. “We’re the only rock shop in the state of Maryland,” he told me leaning back in a chair behind the counter. His welcoming shop feels more like someone’s home than a business – there are a pair of boots sitting just inside the door. He says on a busy Saturday he easily gets over a thousand people visiting the store.

He and I were meeting to discuss how social media can help his business. It was a fascinating meeting – and I learned a lot about rocks. Who buys them. Why. And which ones sell the best.

Oh, and if you’re wondering. I no longer have my rock. I know it made it to my freshman year dorm, but I’m quite certain I didn’t have it when I moved out.

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Dear Richard,

What a pleasure it was to talk to you about Earthly Elements and the story you are creating for social media. I was impressed with your shop as well as your understanding of the niche market that you are in. I hope that you will continue to invest in your Facebook presence – I believe you have a lot of untapped potential there. If I can ever be of assistance, please let me know.

All the best,

P.S. I mentioned your shop to my father and he has been in and purchased stones there a couple of times. I told him to say hello if he stops in again.

Day 76: Downtown Frederick Partnership

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I had the pleasure of spending Tuesday in Frederick, MD working with several companies on elevating their social media through the power of storytelling. So much of the social media that you see from companies focuses on their product and not on the real hero of their story – their audience. And I say audience deliberately instead of customers. With social media, we need to focus our messages toward the people who believe what we believe, and not those who want to buy what we sell. It sounds counterintuitive but it works.

I had a little fun and embossed the front of this card with a city skyline.

I had a little fun and embossed the front of this card with a city skyline.

After my talk in the morning, which competed with the 8am rise and shine “Kegs and Eggs” festivities two blocks away at the local Irish watering whole, I then visited five local companies and sat down with each of them to work on crafting their social story.

It was a fun day chock full of thought provoking conversations. I enjoyed getting to know each of the businesses I worked with and am thankful to the Downtown Frederick Partnership for making it all happen. They’re a fantastic organization working to enhance, promote and preserve the charming downtown area of Frederick. The next time you’re there, please stop into these five businesses and say hello. Tell them Reed sent you.

Gerry at The Trail House
Richard at Earthly Elements
Murray at Hunting Creek Outfitters
Maria at Unique Optique
and Lianne at Nido’s

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If the address on the envelope isn’t crystal clear – you need to visit Dr. Maria at Unique Optique!


Dear Kara, Brittany and Danielle,

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak at the Competitive Edge Series today– I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and so many of the wonderful people that represent the companies from your vibrant downtown business district.

I particularly enjoyed meeting one on one with some of the businesses and working with them on creating an effective social media presence. I look forward to keeping in touch with them – as well as with each of you.

Thanks again,

Day 68: Toma Bedolla, House of Genius

On Sunday I participated in a very cool workshop designed to help entrepreneurs further their business. Sitting at tables configured into a horseshoe shape in the beautiful Meridian building on 16th Street, I sat amongst a dozen or so other participants as we listened to three entrepreneurs pitch their companies and be vulnerable about where they needed help.

Each of us, experts in different areas, offered ideas. The unique element to this is that nobody can talk about who they are, what experience they have, or even use their last name. This unique format helps the entrepreneurs hear everyone’s feedback and suggestions at face value instead of tagging each comment with a filter based on that person’s established credentials. Maybe it’s a brain surgeon that offers up an idea on how to fix your online storefront distribution problem – but his advice is sound and could have just as easily come from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Only at the end of the session are participant’s identity revealed. It’s a cool process and this was the first one in Washington, DC. Thanks to Meridian International for hosting this collaborative workshop. You can find out more about House of Genius here.

My letter today is to Toma, a cofounder of House of Genius who was at the event.

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We didn’t get a chance to meet during the House of Genius DC, but I wanted to congratulate you on an excellent event. DC is thirsty for the kind of entrepreneurial environment that you foster and I look forward to being a part of future sessions.


PS. I’ve connected with Jonathan – in fact in turns out he’s a neighbor of my brother so I’m sure we’ll stay in touch.