How Are You the Opposite?

Consider what you are compared to what you are not.

Here’s a striking contrast:
Sell your firm as an ENTER Strategy, Not as an EXIT Strategy.

This turn of a well-known phrase emphasizes what is to be gained and shifts the focus away from the owner, the price tag and the negotiation process.

It promotes the opportunity the acquirer has to gather expertise, penetrate new markets and add clients — all by using a buy rather than build approach. An acquisition/enter strategy may be an expedient and cost-effective solution to quickly expand in a desirable and growing market and niche.

Similarly, would you like to resolve your separation from your spouse in a private setting and at a lower fee, supported by an attorney, a divorce coach and a financial advisor?

Or would you prefer to duke it out in an expensive, protracted public battle over the future of your family? Do you relish a process that may devalue all your assets and leave every participant bitter, emotionally drained and physically exhausted?

That is the premise, admittedly exaggerated, of the collaborative divorce process as practiced by a recent client, the Collaborative Divorce Center of Coastal Virginia. Guided by legal and financial professionals and a child development specialist, divorcing couples invest in a customized, mutual agreement. They allocate their resources and arrange for the care and education of any children, instead of a third-party (judge) determining their individual and collective futures.

These examples demonstrate how an organization or company can effectively set itself apart by describing how it is the opposite of what is familiar.

I follow this path also. With an eclectic background in various industries (law, Wall Street, nonprofit) I made the logo of Falk Communications and Research an octagonal shape.

You might be a round peg and someone else, a square peg; I am not so easily categorized. I am an octagonal peg, someone who does not fit the mold.

Not being an industry insider often makes me a keener analyst who is better able to assess the situations of my clients. By tapping into a range of valuable experiences, I develop unique communications solutions.

This Month’s Tip

Consumer goods are well known for flaunting their other-ness. Apple urged customers to Think different. In the beverage industry, 7-Up was the Un-cola. For cars, one manufacturer nearly denied its heritage: This is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile. Consider the attributes of your cohort to see where you might be most different and distinctive.


How might you define who you are in contrast to who you are not? Let’s take a traditional slogan or image and turn it on its head. Contact me at, set an appointment here or call me at 212.677.5770. We’ll devise ways that make you the opposite of the crowd.

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Thanks to Art Stevens, whose observation inspired this newsletter.