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The Best Business Card I Ever Saw

I knew from the first moment I saw his card that I had to talk to the person who left it for me. Why did I feel so strongly about it?

Well, for a start, it made me laugh. Nothing is as important as being alive, so enjoy it while you can: “Carpe Diem”. We’ve all heard it said, but how many of us really know much about it? Where it came from, or who said it?

“Carpe Diem”: the famous advice “Seize the Day” is from Horace’s Odes. (Odes in Horace’s case, being his thoughts on lots of different things). The full thought is: “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”, which may be translated as: “Enjoy today, trusting little in tomorrow.”

Thus, “carpe diem” from ancient times until now has been advice expressed in many different ways, e.g. eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die; make hay while the sun shines; enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think. Or in 2006: “Life’s a bitch – and then you die.”

Anybody who can make me laugh in the middle of my business day is someone I want to associate with, I can tell you.

The other reason I wanted so much to see the person who called and left the card, was that I needed to give it back to him. In selling, they say that the best way to succeed is by giving someone what they want. Because, in doing so, you’re fulfilling a need – or at least, what your potential buyer perceives as a need. (The latter being the reason why so much advertising is designed to create a perceived need). And this guy had certainly created a need for me to see him, simply by leaving his card!

I guess the third reason is that curiosity, as they say, killed the cat. How many of us respond to something simply because our curiosity is aroused? I freely confess that I do. The need to know is one of our strongest, human urges – some would say weakness.

(No reading ahead, please!)

For sure, curiosity has been the downfall of many an otherwise, over-cautious individual. I wanted to know not just who he was, but who had designed the card; what the person looked like who had presented it; and whether he meant what he said – sorry, no, that last bit isn’t true! I knew he didn’t mean it. He couldn’t possibly mean it.

So, it made me laugh; it aroused my curiosity; and it achieved its primary objective: it made me want to see him. What did his card say? Well, his name, business address and contact details were on one side. On the other side however, it read:

(The first two words were handwritten – the rest of the message was printed on the card.)

“Dear Hilary,

I would like to go to bed with you. If the answer is yes, please keep this card. If the answer is no, please return it – as I am running out of cards.”

What card does he use, you might ask, when the recipient is a fellow male . . . ?

Written by Jeff Goulding ( for the Goodprint Challenge. Goodprint offer Business Card Printing and instant matching stationery from their website.