Say a kind word. You will probably make someone's day. You may even hear about it years later.
I have done some reading lately by and about a Dutchman named Wim Hof. For years Hof, using himself as a guinea pig, has done experiments on the limits of human endurance (okay, some of them were stunts), specifically resistance to cold. Hof discovered that exposure to cold increases the number of brown fat cells, [...]
Set you DVR and record the 2003 Daredevil move starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. It is an overlooked and often maligned film but is one my favorites: the Daredevil character is compelling and the cast includes some great actors: Jon Favreau, Joe Pantoliano, Colin Farrell and (the sadly missed) Michael Clark Duncan. Check it [...]
The age of the internet has spawned a new way of thinking. No longer do you have to wait to be cast, signed, published or discovered. You can publish your own e-book, shoot and edit a comedy video, or perform, mix and release a bluegrass song. Probably the first person to express this sentiment was [...]
Listening to Spotify's Labor Day Cookout Mix, a song by Jill Scott song came on that caught my ear. The chorus was: Living my Life like it's stolen. Living my Life like it's stolen. Living my Life like it's stolen. Living my Life like it's stolen. Wow, I thought, what a profound lyric! Exciting, stolen [...]
Unless you do your laundry naked, the wash is never really done. And you will be chilly.
Path Dependence is a fancy way of saying, "We have always done it this way." It is defined by the Business Dictionary as, "Tendency of a past or traditional practice or preference to continue even if better alternatives are available." Examples of Path Dependence include the QWERTY keyboard, Microsoft Word (if you are going to [...]
Marketing is simply a way to get attention for your business, charity or organization. A way to stand out from the crowd, to create a story that attracts customers to your door (or website). Some gimmicks are personal in nature: Slash's top hat, Angus Young's schoolboy outfit, Richard Simmons' striped short-shorts, Steven Tyler's scarves. Some [...]
I recently learned of an online dating site called Bumble. Bumble bills itself as a feminist dating site, because only women can initiate a conversation. Huh, I thought, Bumble nothing new. It is an electronic Sadie Hawkins Dance.* A prize to anyone under 30 who knew what a Sadie Hawkins Dance was without clicking on [...]
Miss Karen and I have a philosophy. Decisions make themselves. When the time is right circumstances come together and - boom - the answer is right there. So gather the facts. And trust your gut.
Several websites including Google, PayPal, GoDaddy, Uber, OKCupid and Spotify have banned white supremacist groups from using their services. Clearly, no sane person supports these morons, but trying to censor them out of existence is a bad idea: It encourages their sense of martyrdom and provides a common enemy (in this case, the entire world), [...]
When I was a young professional, I was very sensitive about being called the diminutive, Bobby. Around the time I turned 50 I cared a whole lot less, because I was truly and indisputably an adult. Plus, I think I am 18.
He is old school. His partners are old. They don't use email. Those kind of guys. I sent my proposal. He pushed back on the fee. I stood my ground, and he agreed, but he had to convince his partners that I was totally worth it. I did my research and analysis and wrote up [...]
Why does no one mention the marvelous and intriguing fact that the the moon fits almost perfectly over the sun?
All virtues have a vice flip side. Thrift can turn to greed. Self respect can turn to pride. Righteous anger can turn to wrath. And so it is with marketing. Marketing is meant influence behavior, to change people. Through empathy, generosity and vulnerability, trust in the marketer grows and the student-customers can be influenced to [...]
Look, your business is complicated. You have to know a lot to do your work. But listen to yourself. When you are talking to a lay person, how much jargon do you use? How many initials or acronyms? How many [shudder] buzz words? You don't have to dumb it down, just use plain English. So [...]
I was giving some thought to recent marketing successes and Tito's Handmade Vodka came to mind. Tito's is the fastest growing brand in a very crowded field, full of well-known incumbents like Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Absolut and Svedka. I hate to burst people's bubble, but vodka is ethanol. It is what comes out of the end [...]
When was the last time you: Updated your curriculum vitae? Updated your website? Checked in with your best customers? Sent a thank you note? Got new photos taken? Asked for a testimonial? Increased your prices? Really challenged yourself? Made some art? Today would be a good time. Pick one.
According to an article on the website Futurism, an incinerator in Switzerland was recently fitted with a carbon capture plant that is reportedly 1,000 times more efficient than plant photosynthesis. Filters capture the CO2 over several hours. The filters are then heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (no great feat, your teakettle does the same thing and [...]
You may not be familiar with the initials ACC. ACC is Anthropogenic Climate Change, more commonly called Man-Made Global Warming. There are a lot of people who are deeply and sincerely concerned about the effects of ACC, and rightfully so. The stakes are high. Without taking a side, however, it is clear that ACC supporters [...]
I am pathologically prompt. Five minutes before meeting time is what I consider on time. I think it is a sign of respect. But it is probably just insecurity.
Okay, adventures don't always turn out great. There can be problems. You can be inconvenienced, frustrated, frightened or even hurt (not badly, I hope). But all that shrinks into the background And the adventure becomes unforgettable. When you can tell the story.
If you are proposing an out-of-the-ordinary project, trip, event or place and need team buy-in, add these words: "A little adventure." What man, woman or child can resist a little adventure?
Look, I know what you are going through. You have a problem, and it seems insurmountable. But it is not. Yes, there may be some hard choices. Things may not be the same. Maybe it is time things changed. You are being prompted to move on. So move on.
I am a commercial real estate appraiser, but I offer much more than just a point-in-time value and a 100 page report. So how do I let my clients know that I have a variety of other skills that may be helpful? Here's something you may want to try: We send written proposals for many [...]
Feeling overwhelmed? It happens all the time, you are not alone. I suggest you do what is in front of you. Today. Right now. And nothing more. If you feel freaked out, this is not the day for big decisions. Give it time. It will pass. And the big decision will make itself.
I don't want to name the item or the company, it is a brand I respect. It is not Delta Airlines for goodness sake. I bought eight of the item three years ago and recently bought two more. But the new ones were different, flimsier, cheaper. I rarely post reviews on Amazon, but this time I [...]
In his April 2016 TED talk, Adam Grant made a point that I found fascinating. The best known and most re-recorded classical composers are the ones that generated the most content. Beethoven, Bach and Mozart wrote so much music that some of it turned out to be great. In other words, they were the ones [...]
A brand is not a logo, nor is it a clever name. It is who you are. It is what you commit to do for your customers. It is the story you tell about yourself. It is an issue of character.
There are some fine blogs out there, well written, thoughtful and authoritative. Too bad nobody reads them. They are just too long. I realize that Twitter's 140 characters may be too few to make a fine point, but holy smoke, 500 words? Every day? Here's a hint: if you write something so long that the reader has [...]
Here are some software and web-based services that I find really helpful: ToDoIst This web-based To Do list software runs beautifully on all platforms: Windows, Apple, Android, even Google Chrome. You can set up an infinite number of To Do lists for your business and personal life, and your ToDoIst lists can be shared with [...]
To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt: Small people talk about people. Average people talk about things and events. The best people talk about ideas. What do the people you spend the most time with talk about? Who do you want to be?
How exactly does one market professional services? I mean, we are not creating the iPhone here, some brand new gadget with intriguing design and features. Sometimes professionals feel like they are doing the same, or similar work, day in and day out. We are bound by sets of rules, accepted methods and client expectations. Stifling, right? Not [...]
Go on, admit it. You increased your fee because you think the client is or will be a pain in the patoot. In my experience, the relationship starts off badly and goes downhill. The client has a chip on her shoulder, demands a specific outcome, or complains about your terms of service. No matter how [...]
Apropos of my post on modern marketing, I saw the strangest thing yesterday. A billboard on U.S. Route 1 in Lawrence Township. Advertising an Advertising and Marketing company. A billboard is relatively expensive and it is designed to market to a large audience, so it is most helpful if your customers are well, everybody. Big [...]
I really don't care for board games. I have no idea how to play Backgammon, Cribbage, Yahtzee or dominoes. I don't know how to play Spades, Rummy or Bridge and I am fuzzy about the rules of Poker. I kinda sorta understand Blackjack, but when it comes time to split hands I get lost. I have [...]
Here is what you can control: How you spend your time, one day at a time. Your attitude. The rest is out of your control. So don't spend any time thinking about it.
I am a firm anti-ranter, but I decided to make an exception. Friends of ours have a time share in Florence, Italy and they invited Miss Karen and I to join them on their annual trip this fall. Because I am thrifty, I used our Chase Ultimate Rewards miles to buy two tickets. The timing [...]
Spending the annual long weekend on the cruise ship on land called Woodloch Pines. In our first years here, the kids, all 11 of them, were little. As a team we didn't stand a chance against the families with older kids. They were too fast and they were better at trivia than our brigade of [...]
I am sure that you have received a request for a Give Back. Can you do the project cheaper? Or faster? I learned a long time ago that if you decide to give something back, you should take something back. "Want it cheaper? I will need more time," is my standard answer. I recently heard [...]
Wind and solar power are getting more efficient and cheaper all the time. Which is great, as long as the wind blows and the sun shines. The Holy Grail of research in Clean Energy field has been storage. We need bigger, more efficient and cheaper batteries. Well, this is about to happen. According to a [...]
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Boston Properties Inc. Executive VP Raymond Ritchey pointed out, “...The millennial generation [is] moving out of the cities, forming households, having children, looking for better schools and that's going to drive rate demand in the suburbs.” Want to know how to predict the future? Follow the hype and say the opposite [...]
I know a guy who owns a lot of income-producing real estate, and he does everything wrong. All of his properties are in his personal name. Pleas by well-meaning lawyers to create single property LLC's to protect his personal assets have fallen on deaf ears. He leases space based on monthly rent and is not [...]
We purchased a new washer and a new dryer several months ago. The washer has a setting called Fan Fresh. When the wash cycle finishes, the machine breathes in fresh air and occasionally tumbles the clothes to keep wrinkles at bay. The Fan Fresh cycle lasts up to 12 hours. When we wash a load [...]
Picture this: Two side-by-side five-acre interior (not corner) lots with 500 feet of frontage. The lots are located on a major highway and are improved with two identical steel frame and masonry buildings, 100,000 square feet in size with 32 foot ceilings. One building is zoned for retail use, suitable for occupancy by a "big [...]
What defines a person of substance? The traditional definition is someone who is rich or noble born. But in America nobility is made, not born. Here are some likely characteristics: Responsibility Commitment Service Justice Faith Charity Compassion Morality Consistency I am not entirely sure what makes a Person of Substance, but I am sure that [...]
I am listening to Abundance, The Future is Far Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, which is a fascinating book. Far from the usual dystopian view of the world of the future, Diamandis and Kotler outline dozens of ways our lives, and perhaps more importantly, the lives of the "Bottom Billion" [...]
Today they call it anxiety. They used to call it worry. It is the same thing, running a problem through your mind over and over, with no solution or resolution. I suffer from worry occasionally, and when I catch myself (I have no idea why it takes so long), I re-read Dale Carnegie's How to [...]
At my worst I get peevish and snappy and I lash out at the critic. Why? Sometimes it is just a bad day. Under other pressures I lose patience. Sometimes I just feel like the critic does not understand what I am trying to do. Sometimes I feel like the critic is embracing a bureaucratic [...]
What's it like when someone calls? What's it like when someone enters your place of business? What's it like when they speak to your staff? What's it like when they speak to you? What's it like when they buy from you? What's it like when they receive your product or service? What's it like later, [...]