Things Change

I’m in the middle of my annual office cleaning. (I do it once a year whether it needs it or not.) It’s a good way to get ready for the New Year.

Today, I’m tackling my business card file (yes, I still save old-fashioned printed cards) and client files (ditto). Fully half of the cards I’ve collected are obsolete. Some of the companies have gone out of business. With others, my contact person has moved to a different firm or has transferred out of state entirely. A few (my role models) are now retired.  Sadly, a couple of folks are no longer with us.

It’s the same with the client and prospective client files. Some never panned out. Others have closed up shop or decided to go in a different direction. So I’m boxing them up and taking them to storage. There they’ll sit, collecting dust, until I’m comfortable depositing them in recycling on their way to a new existence.

Besides the emotional cleansing of starting the year fresh, the whole exercise is a valuable reminder of how much things change in 12 months’ time. Smarter people have said it better than I can, but it all boils down to the same thing: “The only constant is change.”

A brief digression (sort of). When my grandson was 5, he had a girlfriend named Sarah. Every day when my wife would pick him up from school, he and Sarah would hug goodbye. Then, one day, Sarah wasn’t there. My wife asked him about it and he said, “Things change.”

Indeed they do. And they churn and turn over and act in all kinds of unpredictable ways. The lessons are numerous but not necessarily easy. Don’t get too comfortable. Expect the unexpected. Embrace the future. Oh, and clean your office more often than I do.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. See you at the recycling bin.

Brian Rouff serves as managing partner for Imagine Communications.

Contact Brian at


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