Sometimes we’re just doomed to have a bad day. For most of us, we can simply slide by under the radar until things start looking up again. For others, especially those on bigger stages (presidential debates, anyone?), it’s not so easy to lay low. But being dealt lemons rather than sweet oranges doesn’t have to be all bad. It’s what you do with those lemons that counts. I say, turn adversity into opportunity. So here’s a look back at a classic, but brief, blog post from 16 months ago. It was sage advice then, it remains sage advice today. 

Turning Lemons into Lemonade
(Originally published June 10, 2011)

There’s an old saying in Public Relations: “There’s no such thing as bad PR.” Now, I’m partial to positive attention, myself, but I have to admit if it wasn’t for negative PR, some folks would get no attention at all (especially celebrities). At the very least, it seems to keep them in the spotlight and a part of the public conversation.

A couple of months back, my MSN email account got hacked and someone spammed all of my contacts with a virus. For many people, this was the first time in a long time they’d heard from me—and quite clearly not in the way I intended nor they expected. Suddenly, despite the circumstances being less than ideal—I mean who wants to get a virus, really? (certainly not this King Monkey)—I was back on a number of people’s radar screens, which resulted in a lot of shot outs from old acquaintances/business contacts and opportunities to reconnect.

In fact, at last week’s Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, I was able to connect with several long dormant contacts who had been spammed, leading to rekindled friendships and potential business opportunities. How sweet is that? I must admit the activity spurned by this ill-intended hacker rivaled some of the best response levels to my newsletter, blog, or social media efforts. Go figure.

So what’s the moral to my story? I’m certainly not suggesting everyone add “hacking” and “spamming viruses” to their media plans. But I am suggesting everyone rethink the power of an even older saying, “turn lemons into lemonade” (or is that “turn old bananas into banana bread?”).

Sometimes opportunities show themselves in the unlikeliest of places. We just need to be watchful so we can make the most of them when they present.