Nov 18, 2014
In biz or life (and you really can’t separate the two, after all)—we all do it. We transform our wants into “needs.” Or, we use need as a way to avoid dealing with hard decisions and daunting realities.
For example, in my first meeting with an entrepreneur seeking funding, I ask, “How much money do you really need to get going?” Almost always we can get from “want” to the real “need.” We can then have a much better discussion about how to meet that need. What starts out as a “How do I get a
Nov 11, 2014
Regular readers know one of my pet peeves is “It’s not personal. It’s business.” Usually said (with a sneer) right before the knives go in…
I was reminded of this recently in what should have been a mundane meeting about (what I thought was) basic operational process. *Yawn* Oh. wait. Voices started to rise. People stopped listening. Sighing. Huffing. The general level of angst in the room rose about two levels. Everyone had valid points…but…
So, what happened? Two things. People were
Sep 30, 2014
I recenty attended a conference where one of the speakers (alas, not Liam Neeson) began by saying the above. How refreshing! And, how true. When it comes to marketing, there really isn’t any earth-shattering news. Sure, we’ve got all kinds of technology these days and can reach out to people in about eleventy-billion ways…and they can (and do) ignore us in about twelve billion ways. (More about Mr. Neeson at the end of this post.)
Of course, we humans are always looking for the ONE answer.
Jan 14, 2014
“You never know when you might need an old idea.” - Ian McEwan, at Edge, in attacking this year’s question, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?“post at edge.org.
He’s talking about Aristotle, who was actually wrong about a lot of things…but “his invention of zoology alone was priceless. Would you cast him aside?”
I love a good “intellectual bar fight” as the NYT described Edge (Over the Side With Old Tenets)...and I also love old ideas. Here are three old ideas that should never
Sep 12, 2013
1. “I don’t have access to that information.” (PNC)
2. “I don’t know how ‘they’ make that decision.” (American Express)
3. “Our system won’t allow us to do that.” (Citi)
Over the past several months, I’ve heard all three of these and more.
Best case, I actually make a human connection with the service rep and he/she even admits their company’s policies and procedures make no sense. (HT to that nice manager at Citi. He probably got fired if they actually do listen to calls for “quality
Aug 21, 2013
WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle (Elmore Leonard, NYT, 2001)
In honor of Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers - here are his ten rules for fiction writing. However, they apply to any form of written communication - from business plans to marketing brochures to web copy.
1. Never open a book with weather.
How this applies to your business writing: Of course, you (probably) wouldn’t start your web copy with “It was a dark and
Aug 20, 2013
I routinely caution clients to avoid spreadsheet myopia. (“Hey! It looks great on paper!”) - since the real world has a nasty way to blowing even the most meticulously thought-out financials. Investors don’t invest. Customers don’t buy. The economy tanks. The government grant is cancelled. Etc. etc.
That said, entrepreneurs can’t just blithely ignore the numbers either. Delusional optimism (one of my clients coined that one) has its place. (After all, if entrepreneurs weren’t just a little
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