7:43 am
Wed April 24, 2013

If You Can't Finish, Don't Start

Little boys growing up in the ‘Thirties were taught not to start something that they couldn’t finish. Initially, that meant don’t punch somebody bigger than you in the nose.

It’s a wonderful warning to keep in your head throughout your career. Because a starter who can’t finish loses credibility. Socially. Athletically. In government and business.

Great ideas that don’t materialize have little value. From track to golf, and in every business career, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. 

Walk around for a few minutes downtown and see the result of placing large planters throughout with trees or bushes. With the exception of a few that are maintained by the property owner or lessee, the rest are in shambles. Forgotten by the Downtown Memphis Commission. Many are broken. In many more the plants have died. Most have become simply trash containers. 

It’s fine to want to beautify a public area only if you have the desire and resources to maintain it. Water it, clean it, repair it. Every day. 

A downtown is just like a business. Just like football. If you block and tackle, you don’t need complicated strategies. 

Don’t build. Don’t install. Don’t open anything new if you can’t maintain it. No schemes beats unworkable schemes.

No planters is better than unkempt planters.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to