WWDSD (What Would Dr. Seuss Do?)


As some of you might know, I have 4 kids under the age of 7. And that means I read a lot of children’s books. I mean, A LOT. Which is awesome. And as I have been reading them lately, and trying to come up with something to write about for Deb this month, a few key themes have been dawning on me.

Kid’s books have a lot to teach us grown-ups. Much of today’s children’s’ TV programming and literature is about fostering empathy, helping others, and learning, but in different ways than those us of boomers or Gen Xers are used to. I grew up in the age of Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner where all the characters did was harass each other and blow stuff up. Now, I’m sure there have been PhD dissertations written about the intellectual value of those old school themes, and that we did in fact benefit from the messages in them (good vs. evil, humor, and even arts appreciation).

The following small sampling of children’s books, published between 1960 and 2004 have some great takeaways for us in sales on everything from standing up to bullies to finding our own way of expressing ourselves. Here goes:


Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – There is so much to love about this book. Did you know that the whole book is composed of only 50 words? That in and of itself is great cocktail party fodder (you’re welcome). And the simplicity of the rhymes and the illustrations are just a treat. Do yourself a favor and revisit it just for fun if you can. The takeaways for today’s purposes, though, is about how we allow our thoughts and beliefs to limit our experiences and therefore our ability to grow, change, evolve or improve. Same keeps trying to wear the dude out, asking him over and over again, a bunch of different ways if he would like the damn green eggs and ham, and the dude just keep resisting. Spoiler alert: he finally caves in, discovers that he does indeed like green eggs and ham, and then graciously THANKS Sam for being so persistent and getting him to expand his horizons. Sam is a hero and our dude is forever changed. Is there anything is your life that you have told yourself over and over again that you don’t like or can’t do? My list is so long I am truly horrified, but I will share with you that I have only recently discovered my love for coffee, that I can make a great chicken salad, and that my ability to grow herbs in pots are second to none!


The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle – Originally published in 1977, this treasure is all about standing up to bullies. A grouchy ladybug refuses to share aphids on a leaf with a friendly ladybug, and when the grouch challenges the nice one to a fight, the nice one replies, “If you insist.” This sends the grouchy one away on a search for someone “big enough” to fight. She progressively challenges bigger and bigger animals to fight her, all of whom reply with the same phrase, “If you insist” which keeps her moving on, until she gets to the whale, who (SPOILER ALERT) sends her flying back to the original leaf with a huge smack of its’ tail. This lesson is all about standing your ground, but in a simple way. We have all been faced with that client who thinks that s/he has more power and tries to throw that weight around. Remember the ladybug when you know you are right, and try to stand your ground using as few words as possible. It is easy to get mired in nerves and get too chatty when faced with a confrontation, but when you are right, you’re right. Don’t let the bully win! Have you ever been successful in standing up to someone who was trying to overpower you just because s/he thought s/he could?


ISH By Peter H. Reynolds – Our hero Ramon loves to draw all the time. I mean, he loves it. But when his older brother makes fun of his drawing because he can’t see exactly what he was trying to make, Ramon gets frustrated and swears to give up his art. Lucky for all of us, Ramon’s little sister helps him see that his work has value just for the value and the effort. (His vase might not look exactly like a vase, but it looks VASE-ISH) I include this one to remind us all that there is no ONE PERFECT way to get our jobs done. It is through our own personal stamp of humanity on everything that we do that makes our work special and valuable. The more of yourself that you pour into everything, from your voicemails to your letters to your emails, the more your clients and prospects will come to know you, understand you and value you. Never let a boss or manager make you change what you do or how you do it to fit into their vision of perfection. (unless we are talking about grammar – ALWAYS accept corrections to your grammar) Please let me know if you have ever had an experience in putting your personal brand stamp on something that worked out in your favor.

Thank you for indulging me and allowing me to bridge the gap between my home life and my work life. The lessons are out there – Where do you get YOUR inspiration?


As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant.  She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.

Connect With Kelly: Twitter @SuccessInPrint and check out her weekly blog on Printing Impressions.