What if you had to double your fees? How would you explain it? Which customers would stick with you? How would your marketing change? How would it affect your brand? How would your volume change? How would your need for resources change? How would your manpower needs change? Would it actually be better? It may [...]
Two of the most basic tenets in football are keep your head on a swivel and keep your feet moving. These are not simply bromides: they apply both to the gridiron and the pressure cooker that is business today. Keep your head on a swivel reminds us to be situationally aware, constantly scanning the field for [...]
We have all seen them. Perhaps you worked at one. Or work at one currently. My condolences. Huge, bureaucratic companies where no actual work gets done, unless you consider attending meetings to be work. Or preparing packages and presentations for meetings to be work. How did things get this way? How do they make any [...]
I assumed fulfilling my request was not a problem. Mostly because it is your job.
Answer Yes or No to the following: Is the work you do every day repetitive? Do you know the answer before you start? Can someone be trained to do what you do in a month or less? Is what you do something that any healthy adult can do? Does your work involve forms of any [...]
When I regularly post blogs, the traffic on my website goes up. Dramatically. Calls for proposals also go up. Dramatically. The complexity and challenge of the work also goes up. Dramatically. Did the calls come from the same people that came to my website? I don't think so. A desire to encourage, inform or entertain [...]
Where is the modern Algonquin Round Table where artists and thinkers from a variety of disciplines come together to discuss big ideas? Where are the coffeehouses of Vienna where the likes of Jung, Freud, Zweig, Klimt, Loos and Adler would get together and toss about some bon mots? Where are the non-fiction Central Perk, Cheers or [...]
This past Saturday was my 56th birthday. Not a particularly special birthday, but I had a lot of fun training to volunteer for the upcoming President's Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. It was a golf nerd's dream. During the course of the day, my Inbox swelled with well-wishes from well-wishers, which [...]
I am cancelling my subscription to the Wall Street Journal, which saddens me. I once gave up the Journal because the delivery of the physical newspaper became unreliable. So I started reading it on my iPad. But the app sometimes locks me out of stories for no reason. It takes forever to download today's news. [...]
Say a kind word. You will probably make someone's day. You may even hear about it years later.
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 [...]
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), [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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?
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 [...]
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 [...]
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?
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, [...]
You loved the work I did for you. You wanted to let other people know. But I didn't ask for a referral or a testimonial. I'm sorry I let you down, Client I never met.
As you know, The Ol' Prophet is keen on technology and productivity. Here are some recommendations that may help you get more connected and efficient: ToDoist This little gem of a Task Manager is worth its weight in gold. ToDoist works on all platforms: Apple iOS (there are iPhone and iPad apps), Android, Google Chrome, [...]
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a new book by Greg McKeown that tackles the Unimportance of Practically Everything. Or, put another way, if you don't prioritize your life, someone else will. I originally bought Essentialism as an audiobook, but after I got a cold and was forced to stay home (and rest, and drink [...]
It all starts innocently enough. Telephone Call Number 1 is a pleasant exchange inquiring about our services. " I am thinking about selling my building and I am interested in getting an unbiased value before I list the property," says my prospective client. The proposal goes out, is executed, and comes back. I do an [...]
Repeat after me, "I [state your name] will never again refer to my delivery of professional services as 'selling my time'". You know who sells their time? Day laborers. The going rate for a pair of hands and a strong back is $40 to $50 per day, plus maybe half of a hoagie. Most of [...]
Most of my worst professional mistakes have been the result of one of two bad habits: haste, or wanting to please the client. By pleasing the client I don't mean simply doing good work in a timely manner with a pleasant disposition, I mean the ugly side of this coin, people pleasing. My business can [...]
Hey Guys, I hope is well. Everybody had it tough during the Recession, but you guys had it tougher than most. Nobody was growing their business, so there weren't many new buyers or renters. People who needed to sell didn't want to sell at a loss. Or were just too stubborn to admit they made [...]
I am a big fan of LinkedIn. It is a great source for news, business and personal improvement tips, marketing, networking and job seeking. But I can't help notice that some people just don't seem to get it. Here are some examples: If you are serious about your business or profession, let me suggest that photos [...]