How to Be the Calm in an Economic Storm

What would you most like to see in all this chaos?  With the huge stock market swings,  global war, threats of global warming, drought, famine and drug wars, turning on the television or reading the newspaper is bound to depress even the most optimistic among us.  Especially in large doses like we’ve been getting recently.  Makes one want to head for a little island in the middle of the ocean, with a couple of coconut trees and a hammock strung between them, a few good books, a basket of fruit and plenty of water.  Maybe a few other amenities but NO newspapers, no TV, and no “spreaders of doom.” Continue reading

What Birthday Parties Can Teach You About Social Networking

Give this a moment’s thought:  Is what you heard at the birthday party of a friend last night worth tweeting about…or adding to your Facebook post?

It is if it’s important.  Newsworthy…good or bad.  For example, a friend at a birthday party I attended recently mesmerized all those standing within earshot with her description of why she wasn’t going back to a certain restaurant…and was very specific about why everyone listening should pay attention about what she had to say.  “Bad service, high prices, limited menu.” Continue reading

How to Start a Social Network Revolution

Want to really skyrocket an idea or a product into the next level for your business?  Then draft an army of believers and let them help you.

Take your 50 best customers who love what you’re doing, and ask them if they would like to, and are willing to  share your new product or service with at least 10 of their associates, or people they know who could benefit as much from your product as they have. Let them know that you value their assistance and that you insist on showing  your appreciation in some way, either through an affiliate program if they care to participate, or in some other way that allows you to show how much their support means to you.

Think of Amway, Avon, Fuller Brush.  How have they done so well for so long?  They’ve helped other people succeed through sharing.  They have found ways to show their gratitude in a business relationship that creates a win-win for everyone.  How many times do you get 3, 4, 5…or more…emails, tweets, or facebook posts in a single day that are touting the product of a friend?  A friend or business associate of yours telling about what another friend has or does that you might find interesting or beneficial?  And don’t the majority of those postings acknowledge their affiliate relationship?  Continue reading

How to Find Happiness Every Day

Did you start your morning cranky, crabby and out of sorts?  Were you thoughts gravitating to what your spouse did or didn’t do yesterday, or what your children should have done but didn’t?  Or were you dreading the thought of getting up this morning and heading out the door to a boring, dead-end job that may help pay the bills but brings you no joy whatever?

If any of that is you, then this post is dedicated specifically to that one part of you that wants something different…a better way of living, a better way of being…a happier way to wake up in the morning.

First, I can say with a great deal of authority that I am an expert in this area.  That is…the area of knowing what it’s like to wake up crabby, cranky and depressed.  It took a lot to move myself out of this space and into a new arena where I create my future and then live it.  I’ve invested time, money, and effort.   There were some major roadblocks that you may recognize: Continue reading

What? What Makes This Moment…This Day…Special?

In business social networking, real time displays can be extremely important.

Sharing with your community what your customers like…and dislike…about your business, as well as your competitors’ businesses, makes you real.  After all, if you’re in business, it’s because you have customers.  And they all want to have input, as well as know what everyone else in your neighborhood thinks.

Business today…especially on the Internet…is a bit like having the whole family together for a holiday.  The ability to share thoughts, ideas, and feedback has reached an entirely new level.  So how do you offset Uncle Fred’s “It’s not the turkey dressing that your grandmother made” with Cousin Louisa’s ” I love the fact that the turkey dressing was not only delicious but made with organic, healthy products”?

Soft sell, not hard sell, helps you make the genuine connection.  When your company’s employees, along with everyone in your community, are in collaboration…problem solutions, in addition to new products and services arise easily and effortlessly.  Maybe you can’t please Uncle Fred…or maybe he’ll agree when he really sees what benefits he gets from a delicious, but different, healthy turkey dressing.

So…how do you use social media in your business to work with Uncle Fred, Cousin Louisa as well as your whole community, using their feedback and perspective productively?  Let’s look at the components: Continue reading

Writing for Profit and Fun

I’ve noticed something.  Many marketing and writing gurus are boring.  Don’t get me wrong…some are excellent teachers, and there is great information being formatted every day in different ways that help you create your marketing and writing style to fit your market.

The one thing I find missing, though, in many “how to” books, articles, blog posts, and videos, is the lack of humor…the thing that not only keeps you engaged, but helps you find ways to engage your prospective market.

I read an email this morning about the joys of motherhood.  A great post, timed perfectly to coincide with the upcoming celebration of Mother’s Day.  The email described the scramble for sanity in a 3 small-child household with everyone getting ready to take Mom out for breakfast.  The middle-child, a 2 1/2 year-old was “missing” in the house, and discovered in the bathroom, putting chapstick on the cat’s butt.

His mother had previously given the child permission to use her chapstick on his own lips, and had shown him where she kept it in the bathroom.  When Mom entered the bathroom and observed what he was doing, he simply said “Chapped.”

The picture formed immediately in my mind, and I burst out laughing.  Mom, undoubtedly along with the rest of the family, was thinking about how many times in the past that chapstick had gone from the cat’s butt to their lips.  Owwww…makes you pucker, doesn’t it? Continue reading

Who Will You Follow?

Hero or heroine? Who are yours? What are the characteristics that define who we look up to and choose to emulate…in business and in life?

I am fortunate. When I first started my company, and began looking for a true marketing guru whose skill set was exceptional, and from whom I knew I could gain the expertise to become not just a good, but a great, copywriter, I found one.

In my journey to find someone who not only had the knowledge I sought, but the ability to teach it well, I discovered how important it is to choose who you follow carefully.  The characteristics of who I want to emulate as I do business include: Continue reading

A Helping Paw…the Power of Pets

My sister, who lives in Alaska,  has spent the last week visiting our mother and her dog, Annie in northern California.  Annie is an Australian Shepherd.   Highly intelligent, extremely protective, and very energetic.  She has the short tail, regal demeanor, and herding abilities the breed is known for.  And, along with her master,  she loves her toys.

She also attaches to, and protects them…they’re her buddies.  While my sister has been visiting, she has taken on the task of doing some minor surgery on a few of Annie’s favorite toys that have  fallen prey to tug-of-war games, or toss-and-flop tussles.

While a good full-mouth tooth grab, a proper low-down front leg stance and vigorous head shaking in a tug-of-war game are clearly intended to ensure a win, the toys are often the innocent victims of the sharp teeth and push-pull pressure.  Hence, the required surgery.

Words could describe what is clearly worry about what’s happening to one of her “buddies”  during the  surgical intervention depicted below.  Words could also be used to tell about her relief, joy, and gratitude when the surgery’s completed.  Pictures, however, as they say, are worth a thousand words:


Continue reading

Futurism, Pocketism, or Piracy

Yes, this is an editorial.   Well, it is a blog…a writer’s blog.  The writer’s slant… hoping to convince you to take some kind of action.  What you do with what you read in this or any other blog is the responsibility of the reader.   Thinking and acting…two of the gifts that come free with that magnificent brain we’re each given.

This blog is not about what I usually write about…writing.  It’s about what’s going on in our country, the world, and what each of us can…and I believe must…to shape the world in which we live.  Right now, today, we need to step up and speak out.  I am outraged today by the oil futurists’ prognosis that “the sky is falling.”   Nonsense.

My responsibility, as a writer, I believe,  (whatever the topic may be) is to present a point of view convincingly enough that you, the reader  make an informed decision, and decide upon an action, (if any) you will take. Sometimes it’s immediate action.  Sometimes its’  further research.  Sometimes you’ll find yourself stating “I don’t believe this” and taking no further action.

But…if you’re even slightly intrigued by the thought that the sky really isn’t falling,  let your curiosity lead you on.  What I hope you are outraged by, encouraged by…but not passive about…after reading this article, is that you control the futures market, and you determine whether… for the coffee you drink or the gas you use to fuel your vehicle…it protects you…or holds you hostage.   Continue reading

How to Stay Strong Despite the Obstacles

What are the things that really trouble you as a business person?

Are they like my challenges…sometimes it seems there’s not enough money, not enough time, boring work, or just not knowing where to go to find necessary resources.  And I have a few odd-ball challenges as well:

  • There’s no cat on my lap or in the basket next to me.  You may consider that an odd challenge, but as a writer, I do a lot of work at home, and I am the first to admit, I get  inspiration from the bundles of fur and purrrrrr that normally supervise my every move.  If they’re not around, I feel bereft, lonely, and sometimes idea-less.
  • My coffee cup moves.  I don’t know how it happens, but one moment it can be right beside me, where it belongs, and the next…even though I have absolutely no recollection of putting it anywhere else…it’s gone.  I get up, go to the kitchen, wander the house, and sometimes it won’t show up for days.  If I ever catch the “coffee cup thief” I’ll have a word or two to say to them!
  • The heat goes up and down.  Yes, I have a thermostat.  I leave it set at 68 degrees.  Yet somehow, one minute  I am freezing, and then 5 minutes later, I’m cooked.  I tell myself that it’s because I get so excited about a new communication idea or topic for one of my clients that I get all heated up, and then as the excitement of the moment dies, my temperature drops.  My doctor thinks I’m nuts.  Oh, she doesn’t come right out and tell me that…but she has this “look.”

I know, these odd-ball things seem quite trivial.  And sometimes they are.  But sometimes they are absolutely THE most important thing there is, and I can’t possibly get to the real worrisome stuff until I resolve one of these little problems.

Then, of course, there is what I consider  the big stuff.  Like how to make more money when I want  to.  How to create time.  And how to have fun while I’m working.   I have to say, though, sometimes the big stuff seems easier.  No, I haven’t found the perfect system yet, but I have discovered a few secrets to meeting some of these major challenges: Continue reading