Phillip Stutts

Most everyone hates uncertainty — and boy are they getting it in abundance right now.

It’s an unsettling moment, and it’s also a test.

Whether your business is dying or thriving, you need to ask yourself, “How do I want to be remembered a year from now?”

Not sure how to answer yet?

That’s okay, I’m going to show you some amazingly positive examples of how business leaders are reacting in the moment. Oh, and I will show you what a few bad actors are doing as well.

Take note and decide which direction you will go — no matter how hard you are struggling in the moment.

Buckle up. I’m going to start with the most despicable business owners I’ve read about in the last few weeks.

Here are the companies I recommend “avoiding” — not only are their businesses failing, but their leadership’s mindset right now is to screw you first. (I’m only going to focus on two of these stories because I’d rather spend the majority of my post showing you the positive ones.):

Anna Maria Vacations in Florida

According to the Bradenton Herald, this vacation rental company is refusing to give refunds to families whose trips were cancelled by the pandemic. Nope. Anna Maria Vacations is spinning it by saying those affected can get a “credit” — but this distressed post from a customer, posted on Facebook, feels like that “credit” is deceptive.

What kind of person is running this company?

Carnival Cruise Line

As of this writing, there are approximately 6,000 Carnival Cruise passengers CURRENTLY stranded on ships! Carnival “hopes” to have them offloaded by the end of April. Not only are people getting sick and dying on their cruise lines, according to the LA Times, Carnival initially tried to fight customers seeking refunds over postponed trips. I get it, the vacation industry is suffering, but what the fuck are you thinking Carnival?

*BTW, if you see any other bad examples, email me — I want to write about this some more.

Now let’s flip the switch.

Here are some amazing companies that are stepping up to help others first. You should read each one to decide what you will learn from their generosity — and how you want to impact the world over the next year.


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Even though the clothing and accessory company has closed stores and scaled back employee hours, they are committing their resources to produce 50,000 medical gowns and 2.5 million masks. Read about it here.

Professional Products Inc.

This small-town medical device company in DeFuniak Springs, FL is stepping up in a major way. Shifting their focus to producing 50,000 medical masks per day. Damn, that’s amazing!

Silverback Distillery

Just like dozens of other spirits companies, this one is stepping up to produce hand sanitizer. The owners, Congressman Denver Riggleman and his wife (and CEO) Christine, have shifted their operations to help others. Amazing


This food company is doing everything it can to help its employees in their time of need. It’s a pretty remarkable move. Read about it here.

And finally, besides the good and the bad … there is just smart, fun marketing at play right now. Take Popeyes for example — led by their brilliant Global CMO Paloma Azulay, they smartly initiated a campaign that offered customers free Netflix access, with the catchy campaign “Fried Chicken ‘n Chill” — watch this ad.
When the world settles down, and we get back to business — how do you want to be remembered? The choice is yours to make right now.


P.S. — David Meltzer and I chatted on Instagram Live to answer the one question I’ve been getting from business owners lately: “What should I be doing with my marketing right now?” In the wake of the coronavirus you can stay afloat or even grow. It comes down to this one thing you must do. Watch it here.

P.P.S. —  In the model of the great Seth Godin, I only write these posts to share ideas and help fellow business owners. It’s a place to learn and grow without fear of being spammed or putting you in a sales funnel. I’m not doing that. If you’re a like-minded individual who might be interested in having these articles sent to you every two weeks, please email me ( or sign up below:

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