My parents 50th anniversary is coming up, and to mark the event they’re throwing a party for about 20 family members and close friends. The date’s been on everyone’s calendar for months, but my mom decided to send out more formal invitations.

Now formal, in this case, means she designed it in Microsoft Word. Then she proofed it. Then my dad proofed it. Then she faxed it to me and I proofed it. No typos.

But as my mom wrote in a very funny e-mail to everyone, there was one big problem:

Always, ALWAYS, have two good, careful editors who proof your work. In the case of the invitations for our anniversary, Meryl drew up the format and Andy and Daria scrutinized the work to make sure all was in order. All this careful drafting and scrutiny and proofing and editing amounted to naught, because we forgot to put in the date!

 

As I told my parents (after I stopped laughing), they never asked me to look for things that weren’t there.

There’s a business lesson here. It’s not always enough to do everything you’re doing well. What else could you do that would add value to your customers or clients today?

Photo by Dano (Flickr).