Excerpted from The Secret is You by Chris Cicchinelli who charts his two-decade journey transforming Pure Romance into the world’s largest in-home/virtual party company of its kind, while also sharing his innovative approach for empowering women to become successful entrepreneurs themselves. The Secret is You is now available for pre-sale order with an April 2021 delivery. Purchase the book here.
Too many business owners sit back and play defense, constantly worried about maximizing profits, competitors infringing on their turf, and so on. But as I’ve always reminded Patty Brisben (founder of Pure Romance), “Let’s play offense and tell our story before they make one up about us. Let’s control the narrative.” At the same time, we have been focused on educating people about what we do and surprising them by doing more than was expected.
Case in point: we got involved in our community early on by putting our money where our mouth was. We always contributed as high a percentage of our income as we could. We made sure we got out there every year and gave away more and more money. The first year it may have been $500 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Then it was $5,000 at the Pink Ribbon Luncheon.
We started becoming more and more recognized in the Cincinnati community because of our charitable contributions. Then, instead of going to Las Vegas, we started having our annual conference right here in Ohio due to community outreach and economic impact. To our mind, we were selling ourselves as much as we were benefiting and helping to take care of the area.
This kind of effort comes back to treating people with respect and advancing those who share your backyard with you. It also includes helping finance local restaurants and businesses that can benefit from the visitor dollars. The respect for us went up exponentially as we ramped up our area investment.
Does this tell us we live in a particularly materialistic world? Yes. There is a great divide between the haves and the have-nots in terms of the amount of cash you bring to the table. I wish that it weren’t that way, but I’m realistic about it. I figure that if I’m a good person and my faith in my community is genuine, good things will come my way as a result. It’s turned out to be true.