In late 2018, I realized the eureka moment I experienced over the summer might in fact be something special. As I noodled over the original idea for Differentiation Zone®, I reached out to people who could help me figure out if I really had something worth investing in.

From my connections across nonprofits and the arts community, I called two people whose contributions helped get me here. They believed in me. So I kept believing in me too.

First, Denise McMahan of CausePlanet. In the early 2000s, Denise spotted the promise of a virtual platform for nonprofits and leapt in courageously. Fourteen years later, she’s a powerhouse of content for the purpose-driven sector. I knew that Denise could spot a novel idea, after all she was engaging with authors and creators every week. I also knew she’d let me know if my idea was worth pursuing. She’s been my right hand ever since, with wise counsel and cheerleading on-demand. Even the bold need a nudge. 

Second, Dave Ratner of Creative Law Network. Dave was referred to me by a dear friend in the arts community. Dave’s specialty is intellectual property for creatives and artists. He and Emily Irwin have been invaluable in helping me navigate the trademark process and the importance of copyrighting my original ideas.

Here I am, almost two years later. Trademark registration was important to me because it conveys significance. It’s a testament to the seriousness of the creator and the value of the idea. As Dave shares in our upcoming webinar, there is great value in protecting your creative assets. As more of us migrate to sharing online, the need—and value—of copyright and trademark protection is that much greater. Consider it as your organization pivots to the next normal.

I leave you with this mantra: Be the silver lining. You never know whose cloud contains a glimmer of new possibilities. Shine a bright light. Be the silver lining some else needs today, Reader.

And finally, our distortion index. You can count on us to keep an ear to the ground and eye on the horizon. We’re scanning the meaning of today.