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May 1, 2020
element54 Update & Gratitude to the #MRX Community

Written by: Bernie Malinoff

May 1st 2020 … who would have thought today’s #FridayGratitude message would be written like this, in appreciation to my element54 team, our gracious and incredibly supportive clients, industry partners, family and many many friends.

May 2020 will be a month we’ll want to put behind us. We are expecting some project deferrals (thankfully none of our clients has cancelled any projects and we continue to do inspiring work for a range of clients). But practically speaking, our revenues are down – and there’s no way to sugar coat that … it just is what it is. We appreciate that our business situation is very much like many others, including our clients who are seeing revenue declines as well. We are optimistic that May will lead to a brighter June .. and an even brighter July.

So to get ready for that, we just concluded our weekly element54 Fireside Chat where I shared the following with our team:

– element54 is a healthy business operating in a healthy market research sector, for which I’ve been blessed to be part of for over 30 years.

– we work with amazing clients that are struggling through this crisis too, but we’re in it together!

– Unlike the most difficult decision that I know many others have confronted, there will be no layoffs, terminations or salary reductions at element54.

We all of course hope the return to ‘normal’ happens sooner rather than later.

– We are investing in training and doubling down on our skill sets over the coming weeks, so that every member of the team is even sharper and stronger for when we emerge from the crisis. This includes analysis/analytics, reporting/visualization & storytelling skills.

– We are finalizing a new brand identity/logo, along with an updated new company website by mid-May.

– And we’ve launched a series of exciting (and inexpensive) solutions to help our clients conduct agile research to help guide internal decision making at the speed of business.

All this to say that we aren’t sticking our heads in the sand waiting for the storm to pass – we are holding our heads up high … and excited to paddle harder, weather the storm and emerge even more strongly.

#FridayGratitude #WorkFromHome #StaySafe #MRX #InsightsAssociation #NewMR #ESOMAR

October 11, 2019
11 Years Later

Written by: Bernie Malinoff

Dear friends and colleagues,

11 years ago today, I was fired – for the first time in my adult life (on a Friday just before Canadian Thanksgiving weekend). No way to sugar-coat … it was a difficult day.

But as each year go by, I am incredibly grateful for that day, in October 2008 – it was the beginning of an amazing journey.

element54 was up and running within 3 days of getting fired. By Tuesday, we had our name and website domain. Within 2 weeks, our first project. Within the first month, 3 clients. 11 years later, we have an inspiring team of curious insight professionals across Toronto and Montreal (and hiring more!), amazing clients from coast to coast, and outstanding partnerships.

So what did I learn?

Most are unprepared for the moment when you are told to pack your stuff and leave in 30 mins, and getting fired seems like a catastrophic event. Then you realize that no person has power over you. So you dust yourself off, reassure those closest to you – and give yourself some time to regroup.

You learn quickly who your friends are. Many will stand by you, have coffee, a chat, and when you’re really lucky, provide an opportunity which helps your business grow.

Don’t get me wrong, it takes time – and the entrepreneurial journey is a wild ride. It has many ups and downs – and even more sleepless nights.

I am truly grateful that 11 years later, all of the amazing people who were with me on Friday October 10, 2008 are still by my side – my family, friends, colleagues, clients and industry partners.

Happy Thanksgiving – and I hope the sun shines brightly for you tomorrow too.