Sunday, May 25, 2008

JWN: Future of The VIP Profiles

The Future of The VIP Profiles

By: Joseph W. Norman

So, where do we go from here? We’ve written countless articles and featured over 100 VIPs. For those of you scoring at home, all of this was done by a couple of college students. Now, what? One of The VIP Guys graduates right? He’s going to be finding a “real job” now and moving on probably, right? This was a school project anyway, wasn’t it?


The VIP Profiles lives on. Ben and I founded this publication in order to build and maintain our unique network of relationships and we did it in a way that would give value first. The personal fulfillment has been overwhelming.

To stop producing The VIP Profiles now would be like killing my first born. I’m an entrepreneur and this was my first pure entrepreneurial act. Even Warren Buffet took years to close down and sell off his original investment, the unprofitable textile shop that was Berkshire Hathaway. In addition, although he sold it off, he couldn’t forget the name. Now, we know Berkshire Hathaway as one of the most lucrative investment vehicles in the world.

That’s the way I look at The VIP Profiles. Although it has changed throughout the last 70 weeks, it has become its own living, breathing entity which deserves respect.

Every Monday morning there is a loyal set of readers that wants to know what The VIP Guys are up to. It is a wonderful feeling but it is also a tremendous responsibility. It would be foolish of us to let those readers down by letting this pursuit flounder.

What about secession planning?

My response is, “Why?” We can streamline our actions by adding personal assistants which can do the bulk of the template design and content package. We can farm out the transcriptions of VIP interviews to others, or we can change the format of The VIP Profiles to accommodate more buy in from the VIPs in the final product.

All giving this product up would do is diminish some of the brand equity we have created. I must add, that brand has been created by more than a thousand hours of sweat equity. It is hard to betray that type of input.

You don’t make money, so why would you keep doing it?

First, we know we can eventually make money doing it, so this question is relatively moot. In fact, we’re currently working with Layer 8 Studios, a software company based in Orlando, Florida, to develop a brand new website which has a primary objective of becoming a resource for personal and professional development. They provide the system and the web maintenance, we provide the bulk of the initial content, and we split the revenues.

More importantly to the money question, we find such tremendous fulfillment in the whole process that it would be a heist of our joy. Yeah, working on Sundays is not easy. But, I’d rather be sharing my stories, experiences, and best practices with readers across the globe then watching a movie or laying out in the sun. It is just who I am. It is who Ben is. We have gifts and they deserve to be used.

My executive coach Jennifer Sertl spoke to me recently about the concept of potential. The funny thing about potential is that it is a complete sham. Potential is a word used to describe what could be, not what will be. The truth is that every one of us has a unique set of skills and gifts which we are responsible to share with the world.

And, the world needs those gifts right now!

That has become “The VIP Challenge.” VIP stands for “Very Impactful Person.” We believe this because everybody has an opportunity to make an impact on the world, but more often than not, that needs to be enabled by an outside source. Motivation comes from within, but inspiration makes the world move forward.

Our objective with The VIP Profiles is to facilitate positive change on the people and communities we associate with. We do it through our publication which gives value to a global readership every week. We enabled ourselves with this online medium to make an impact on you. That has become our gift to ourselves. The effects have been truly life changing. Now, we have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of that pursuit.

Why would we give that responsibility up?


Joseph W. Norman, resides in Macedon, NY, and is Chief Enthusiasm Officer and Editor of The VIP Profiles. He offers lectures and keynote talks on leadership, personal, and professional development and is always up for a business lunch.

Joseph can be reached at or 607.743.8569.

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