The holidays are forever changed for us and our immediate community.

Instead of celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year, we’ll now always think of December as the month Ben died.

Last week, this 31-year-old man of infinite musical talent and influence passed suddenly in his Colorado home. By all indications, he had some kind of episode, and the coroner said he didn’t suffer.

His parents are very close friends of ours, and my bride and I dropped everything to make ourselves available in whatever form was needed for their family.

But no matter how much you do for someone at such a disastrous time, it can never be enough.

The funeral was a sea of familiar faces. Hundreds of friends from around the county and distant parts of the globe turned out in support of these dear people.

All on a few days’ notice.

As a communications professional, I typically see everything through a marketing filter. I’m wondering if there’s a positive message in this heartbreaking situation.

For me, the takeaway is the importance of family, friendship, and supporting those you love.

Business owners typically spend so much time focusing on making more money…only there MUST be significantly more to your existence to legitimately call it a life.

Ben’s passing is a stark reminder that things we take for granted – birthday celebrations, holidays with the family…even Saturday night dinner – aren’t guaranteed. Life can change in an instant, and the need for balance – even for workaholics like me – is critical.

You’ve probably already got a pretty good idea what you’ll do with your business operations, marketing and sales in 2024. So I encourage you, in this final run-up to New Year’s Day, to consider the coming year as a personal fresh start. Take the opportunity to do a kindness for a friend. Tell someone you love them. And reach out and comfort someone who isn’t doing as well as you are.

Because if you’re reading this, odds are good your life is above average. Recognize how fortunate we are to have health, friends, food, clothing, and roofs over our heads.

The world’s a rough place right now, and rougher still for Ben’s family. It’s time for us to all appreciate what we have, rather than constantly whining about what we lack.

With that said, I wish you a lifetime of profitable relationships.

Reach Rob at And happy new year.