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The Chamber blog is a great place to find out the latest news, see event photos, and get great business tips - send in your good news notices to for inclusion in our Positive Press for Members tag.

BBN - Sunny Side Up - Photos

Monday, July 25, 2011

Donna Douglas was our BBN speaker in June, giving an interesting presentation about her recent experience with copyright infringement. Donna had spent 8 years developing the Go Venture division of her business, working with hundreds of business people, developing the brand, and having a positive impact on Barrie's business community.

In March of this year, Donna received a notice of copyright infringement from a business in Nova Scotia. The letter had been written directly to her without the involvement of lawyers, and it ended with the line, "I don't take pleasure in writing this letter, as I'm sure you don't in receiving it, but as a trainer of entrepreneurs, I'm sure you understand that it is necessary." Because Matthew, the Nova Scotian business owner, had taken such care in contacting her kindly, Donna's reaction was somewhat unexpected; she wanted to meet him and understand his business. She called him immediately and asked if they could sit down together to discuss the situation, then booked her trip to Nova Scotia. 

When they met, Matthew explained that he had trademarked the Go Venture name in 1998, and that he'd been aware of her business for several years, and had watched her progress with interest. He'd felt no need to intervene or interrupt her success because he hadn't wanted to make her life difficult. Her recent social media activity, however, had ranked her business #1 with Google, and pushed him to the bottom of the 2nd page of Go Venture search results, and he knew that the time had come to deal with the matter.

Together, they talked about the situation, and worked on the problem together, rather than from opposite sides of the table. Donna asked him if she could put his logo on her website, with a link to his website, until she could get her name changed; he agreed and said that he'd put her new logo and a link to her site on his when she was ready. After an afternoon working together, they found that they were very similar in attitude, and in their interest in helping develop the entrepreneurial spirit in others. 

Donna has now rebranded her program as Grow Vantage; she changed her domain name, the text on her site, her metatags, her code, vehicle lettering, and promotional material. The Nova Scotia business has the first 2 pages of Google for a Go Venture search, and she has the first 2 pages for a Grow Vantage search; and they're both happy for each other's success. Even more importantly, they're both happy with the way that the other responded to what could have been a very difficult and unpleasant scenario. Had the copyright infringement letter been nasty rather than friendly, Donna's reaction could very easily have been angry, disappointed, and bitter. A few kind words made all the difference in creating positive energy.

Donna concluded her presentation by emphasizing that positive energy carries over into a business. The expression, "it's not personal, it's just business," is used by people attempting to justify their negative behaviour - some people still believe that business is personal. Donna encouraged everyone to take a positive approach in their business and communications - keep the sunny side up and see how far it will take you.

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