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Are YOU a Good Investment? What We Learn from a Fictitious, Superficial Romantic
By: Corinne MacInnes
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Finding a desirable job these days is difficult, but for those creating their own employment, there are far more onerous challenges afoot. While startup artisan companies, mom & pop shops, and the general deconstruction of global conglomerates are highly glorified in today’s media and the popular mind’s eye, the obstacles of entrepreneurship are real. Without full commitment to the work and sacrifice involved, the ability to expect the unexpected, a good plan, and a bit of luck, most entrepreneurs will fail.

Though success is often at the end of a long and bitter road, wisdom from a surprising source will help the aspiring businessperson on their way. Despite the (many) weaknesses in the character of Confessions of a Shopaholic’s Rebecca Bloomfield she offers one nugget of supreme sagacity. When she blatantly tells love interest and boss Luke Brandon, “As an investment, you pretty much suck,” Rebecca asks all business owners, “Are you a good investment?”

Brandon sucks as an investment because his hard work and profits end up in his boss’s pocket. Essentially, with no prospects of future development and no spark of creative ambition, Brandon is simply a puppet for The Corporate that America hates. He finally becomes a good investment at the end of this bubblegum film when he gains his independence in the beginnings of his own magazine.

Most entrepreneurs have already taken this step to a becoming a good investment, but there is more to life than light-hearted chick flicks often portray.

Beyond the business idea, a good investment starts with the plan and the brand. While banks and financial supporters see your business plan alone, the public — your customers — see what you show through your brand. A good brand and advertising approach can go even further than a well-designed business plan (look at Aston Martin in the early '90s).

While it’s unadvisable to have a shoddy business plan in the works, it is absolutely vital to have an attractive, trustworthy brand. Without a brand, even the best plan can fall flat on its face before it gets out the door. For example, the highly underrated Earring Magic Ken doll was years ahead of its time. Though the brand idea was a flop in 1992, when conservative Americans were still sore from the '80s AIDS epidemic and just what it meant for society, today Earring Magic Ken would have made a killing.

The failures of the Aston Martin Vantage and Earring Magic Ken tell us, if nothing else, that the key to projecting yourself and your business as a good investment to the public lies in your image. A good business plan can help you along the way, but without a bewitching brand, your startup brain child could be finished up far more quickly than it began.


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About the Author

Corinne MacInnes grew up in Albion, MI. She attended Kalamazoo College and graduated in 2015 with a B.F.A. and concentrations in Spanish, English, and Art History under her belt. Today she works from Chicago doing freelance writing, creative writing, and event planning

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