Elaine Bennett : Bennett Ink, LLC
The month of May is traditionally the celebration of Small Business Month. Due to COVID-19 advisories and focus towards relief efforts, this year’s celebration of small business week has been postponed to a later date in 2020.
We’re excited to celebrate with the small business community later this year. In the meantime, we also feel the importance of highlighting small businesses in our footprint now more than ever.
This month we will be featuring some of the incredible small businesses within the Berkshire Bank family. Give some of your time to learn about the story of our friends & family as they speak about their passion and purpose.
Today we are celebrating, Elaine Bennett & Bennett Ink, LLC
Can you tell us a bit more about your company?
I’ve been writing speeches for leading CEOs for more than 25 years. With the boom in small businesses and solopreneurs, Fortune 100 execs aren’t the only people who need to tell their stories powerfully. So I’ve created programming to serve those people as well — think of it as the Home Depot for do-it-yourself writers. I coach people individually and in groups, and offer more specialized webinars for people interested in giving a TEDx Talk or writing other kinds of speeches.
What’s something your company has worked on that you’re most proud of? Why does this part of the work resonate with you the most?
Sometimes you get a great idea but you don’t have the right venue; sometimes you have the venue but not the right speaker to deliver the idea. But occasionally the Gods of Speech-Giving smile and you have the perfect idea, the perfect person to deliver it, and the perfect audience to hear it. When that happens, it’s magic — and it won me a Cicero Award for the Best Speech on Diversity.
You can read more about it here: https://bennettink.com/business-writing/case-studies/award-winning-ideas/
What was your first job? What did you love most about it?
I started at the top — speechwriter for the CEO of Salomon Brothers. After a series of unfortunate events, our largest shareholder took over as interim CEO and that’s how I came to work with Warren Buffett. What’s not to love about that? I learned a lot from him, and he appreciated me, too.
He wrote, “You have a terrific ear and you turn straight thinking into straight writing.”
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given about money and/or owning a business? Who gave it to you?
While I was still at Smith College, a friend who’d graduated a few years earlier said, “Never say no when someone asks if you can do something. Even if you’ve never done it before, you can read a book [this was before the internet!] and figure it out.”
That advice came in handy years later, when my boss at Salomon Brothers asked me if I knew how to write a speech.
How would you say your company/organization positively impacts the community?
I help my corporate clients shape their messages around diversity and inclusion — I’m very proud of the impact I’ve been able to make there. And many of my solopreneur clients are women and members of the LGBT community.
How can people best support you during these times?
If you’ve ever thought about giving a TEDx Talk, I’m working with an expert TEDx booker to show people how to develop their talks. https://bennettink.com/tedxhappyhour/ And if you’d like to add a little creativity to your life, I’ve got a free program that sends you fun writing prompts twice a week. https://bennettink.lpages.co/15-minutes-of-freedom/
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