November 23rd Monday Marketing Minutes

November 23rd Monday Marketing Minutes


The third episode of Monday Marketing Minutes™ was broadcast live via YouTube using Google+ Hangouts On Air.

Here’s a summary of the tips and advice that were included in this episode. You can click on the image above to watch the replay on YouTube at your convenience. And if you have marketing questions you’d like answered you can always send them to me at for inclusion in a future episode of Monday Marketing Minutes.
Slide3The tips presented during the November 23rd, 2015, episode have to do with measuring your marketing. If you can’t measure something it is virtually impossible to improve it so measuring and monitoring are part of the cohesive and comprehensive marketing plan mentioned in the November 16th episode.

There are a great many tools available to you on your website and social media platforms, like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and LinkedIn Statistics and they will work best if you plan your landing pages to take advantage of them.

The idea is to monitor your statistics to see what is working the best and use that information to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work. It’s not rocket science but it can make a huge difference in the level of success that your marketing campaigns achieve.

Slide4The advice presented during this episode dealt with considering the use of the Power of Free as a marketing strategy or tactic. You can use free things to build interest, build credibility and awareness and even to increase the size of your audience.

Think about it. The bakery that provides free samples sells a lot more muffins or cupcakes or pies or cakes than the one down the street that doesn’t offer them. Free trials are a great way to get people “hooked” on your product so that they will later convert to a version for which you get paid. The same goes for so-called “basic” accounts that give you some, but not all, of the full feature set of the product. These things work and they don’t have to cost a lot of money.

Today’s episode was the first broadcast to include a guest presenter — Mr. Leon Henry from WebStep in the U.K. Leon is a marketing and social media consultant who helps his clients similarly to what I do for mine.

Slide7We also had three questions from an audience member, Nana Bellerud, on the topic of business networking and those were addressed during the audience question portion of the program.

You can watch the replay of the complete broadcast here. Enjoy and please do remember to send me your questions for future episodes of Monday Marketing Minutes. You’ll find links to all past and future episodes HERE.

Hangout on Air Guest Invitation 825x400 CroppedAnd, as always, please do contact me if you’d like help with your marketing plans, strategies, and tactics. I’d love to be of service to you in building your business through better marketing.


November 16th Monday Marketing Minutes

November 16th Monday Marketing Minutes


The second episode of Monday Marketing Minutes™ was broadcast live via YouTube using Google+ Hangouts On Air.

Here’s a summary of the tips and advice that were included in this episode. You can click on the image above to watch the replay on YouTube at your convenience. And if you have marketing questions you’d like answered you can always send them to me at for inclusion in a future episode of Monday Marketing Minutes.

Slide2The tips presented during the November 16th, 2015, episode had to do with understanding that marketing is a process and not an event. Your marketing strategy and tactics need to be well planned in advance of the execution of your plan.

The plan itself must be cohesive if it is to be maximally successful. That means that all of the underlying strategies, tactics, messages and media selection must tie together and have a common look and feel. This applies as well to online marketing via social media and the design of websites and landing pages. The plan must also be comprehensive, covering all the bases in terms of media and messaging.

I also spoke about remembering that marketing involves everyone in the company from corporate management to customer service personnel — including every employee — and not just the marketing department.

Slide3The advice presented during this episode dealt with remembering WHY people buy: based on emotions and supported by logic. The emotions can fall into many categories, including being fed or driven by necessity, need, want, desire or ego. So when the messages are crafted they need to trigger the buying impulses based on the emotions you think will be strongest for your product or service.

I used some slides from my Probiotic Marketing™ presentation/infographic to illustrate these points. People buy things — or do anything else for that matter —  based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Thus, you need to craft your message to match the level of need — physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and the self-actualization levels — if you are to be successful. The three slides that followed in the broadcast were used to illustrate these points.

You can watch the replay of the complete broadcast here. Enjoy and please do remember to send me your questions for future episodes of Monday Marketing Minutes. You’ll find links to all past and future episodes HERE.

Hangout on Air Guest Invitation 1000x485And, as always, please do contact me if you’d like help with your marketing plans, strategies, and tactics. I’d love to be of service to you in building your business through better marketing.


November 9th Monday Marketing Minutes

November 9th Monday Marketing Minutes


The first episode of Monday Marketing Minutes™ was broadcast live via YouTube using Google+ Hangouts On Air.

Here’s a summary of the tips and advice that were included in this episode. You can click on the image above to watch the replay on YouTube at your convenience. And if you have marketing questions you’d like answered you can always send them to for inclusion in a future episode of Monday Marketing Minutes.

Slide2The tips presented during the November 9th, 2015, episode had to do with analyzing your current customer base so that you can find out who your best customers are and why they are your best customers. With this information in hand, you can then craft a strategy to find more customers like them from other sources.

Knowing who your best customers are, what they are buying and, perhaps most importantly, why they are buying is critical to identifying places to locate additional members of your most successful target markets, crafting messages that will resonate with those prospects the way your current messaging is working with your current top customers and using the right media for reaching new audiences containing prospects who best fit your target customer profile.

Slide3The advice presented during this episode dealt with the message development step in crafting the most effective messages — messages that not only appeal to the logic the customer uses to justify purchasing what you are selling but also to the emotions — the belly — that trigger the buying impulse. Both elements must usually be present to motivate an immediate purchase.

It’s also critical to understand WHY people buy things in order to craft the right message for them. Eliminating a problem or alleviating pain is often a good strategy, depending on the product or service being offered. Other good inducements include reducing fear of loss, desire for gain, the need for comfort and convenience, the satisfaction of emotional needs and the creation of a better lifestyle or life condition.

You can watch the replay of the complete broadcast here. Enjoy and please do remember to send me your questions for future episodes of Monday Marketing Minutes. You’ll find links to all past and future episodes HERE.

Hangout on Air Guest Invitation 1000x485

And, as always, please do contact me if you’d like help with your marketing plans, strategies, and tactics. I’d love to be of service to you in building your business through better marketing.


7 More Reasons Not To Hire An Expert

7 More Reasons Not To Hire An Expert







It was three years ago this month that I wrote a post about Ten Reasons Not To Hire An Expert. I got to thinking today about that subject for some reason and thought I’d share some additional reasons with you.

  1. You are too smart to need any help from anyone. You know everything there is to know about every subject under the sun. There isn’t a question you can’t answer nor a topic you can’t expound upon with certainty. If it weren’t for the fact that I think that puts you into category seven below I would actually envy you.
  2. It would hurt your pride to admit that you could use some help. This is more of a male trait than a female trait. Not being willing to admit to being lost and not being willing to ask for directions is the epitome of this. So is refusing to read a user’s or instruction manual. How many things have you screwed up, broken or had to replace for this reason? Just remember: pride usually goeth before a fall.
  3. You can afford the time, effort and expense of doing things over again instead of doing them right the first time with a little help from someone who knows more about the task that needs doing than you do. Just think about the amount of wasted time, effort and expense, not to mention the long-term negative effects on your life, your business and even the environment from indulging in this strategy.
  4. You can’t afford it because you never budgeted for it. This is such a common problem with small businesses as to be almost epidemic. This one came from a friend of mine who is a CPA. It helps explain why so many small business owners are never able to scale their businesses to success.
  5. You don’t see why you should pay someone for sharing their expertise with you even if it will take away your pain and frustration and provide you with more time, energy and profits. If this is what you feel, why do you think someone should pay you for your product or service or time or labor or knowledge?
  6. You are too stubborn to accept help even when it doesn’t cost you anything directly. This is truly a cardinal sin in today’s world of the overwhelming availability of knowledge and expertise in virtually every field known to mankind. If you Google a subject and don’t get at least several pages of hits then I’d suggest you become the expert in that topic. When you see something offered that might help you, take advantage of it!
  7. You are too ignorant to know that you actually need help. This puts you into the category of unconscious incompetent and you have my sympathy. There are ways to become conscious of the areas in which you could use some help and then to act upon that new knowledge. Does that make sense?

You can read the original article, which was couched in far more polite language than I’ve used here. Or you can ignore it and dismiss this one as well. See reason number one above.

As always, your comments, compliments, brickbats and other non-profane thoughts and words are welcome.





Chapter 1

1 Welcome

Quote #1

Welcome, dear reader. And thank you for making the decision to read this book. That decision indicates that you have an interest in changing your life for the better. It shows that you want to learn something new that will help you improve your present situation.

You’ve made a good decision, for the simple decision to learn something new is one of the first steps in personal and professional growth. Learning is critical to staying mentally and physically sharp no matter what your age. It’s been said that when you stop learning, you begin to die. So don’t ever stop learning!

There is magic in this book. Not so much in the words but in the results that will happen for you as you go through the processes that may fit your situation best. You’ll discover how to make your dreams and desires become reality. You’ll find ways to become the person you want to be. You’ll learn to find happiness and satisfaction in accomplishing your goals.

Are you truly happy in your current relationships with yourself, your significant other, your career, your community, your constituency or any other people or things with whom you interact? If not, there is only one person who can change things to make you truly happy. And that person is YOU!

How do YOU define happiness?

Think about that for a moment.  The critical words in the previous paragraph are “important to you.” Throughout this book you will find advice, suggestions and exercises that start with making sure that what you are going after is truly important to you, and not some superficial thing that your mate, your boss or society thrusts upon you in the name of success.

Will that bigger screen television make you truly happy? And, if so, for how long? What about the fancy new car, a bigger house or the promotion? What if the new TV helps you isolate you from your spouse and children? What if it adds to your debt? How about that car? Besides the monthly payment does it raise your auto insurance premium to astronomical levels, make you a target for local law enforcement and tempt you to do reckless things while driving?

And what about the big, fancy expensive house? How much time and money will you spend decorating and maintaining it? Or throwing parties to show it off? The promotion you’ll need to pay for all these things might come with an impressive title and a corner office. An office you might spend very little time in because your new prestigious high-paying position requires you to spend an inordinate amount of time sitting in cramped airplane seats as you suffer the vagaries of what passes for commercial air travel these days. How much of this will make you happy?

The way you see yourself and feel about yourself will have a tremendous impact on how far you go in life and whether or not you fulfill your destiny. — Joel Osteen

Answering that question requires that you take time and effort to think about what happiness means to you. What success means to you. What fulfillment means to you. And what tradeoffs you are willing to make both short and long term, to achieve your goals. It really boils down to how you feel about yourself in both the short- and long-term. Because the way you see yourself and feel about yourself will have a tremendous impact on how far you go in life and whether or not you fulfill your destiny.

If it is important to you to spend time with your children so that they grow up to be productive members of society, however you may define that, does spending the majority of your time away from home on business matters contribute to the accomplishment of that goal?

If going camping most weekends in different locales is important to you, will having a house that requires a full day of maintenance each weekend be compatible with that goal?

While you will find magic in this book, you will not find a magic wand. You will find tools and techniques to help you achieve what is important to you with effort, sacrifice, trade-offs and work.

We’ll explore the topic of visualizing the outcomes you wish to achieve as you move through your life and career choices. You’ll learn who to integrate into your plans so

Once you learn how to be happy, you won’t tolerate being around people who make you feel anything less.

that they support your vision and contribute to your long-term happiness, contentment and success. You’ll realize the importance of practicing and how good it feels when that practice pays off when it comes to realizing your dreams and desires. We’ll also talk about the importance of celebrating your successes – small and large, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year.

Perhaps the most critical messages are contained in Visual Image Formation. That is where you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of making “the magic” happen – of making your pictures, coupling them with pleasurable feelings and then making them real. This is how I have been able to do some amazing, remarkable and wonderfully rewarding things over the years.

I went to a customer in Canada one winter in the mid-1970s – when I was in my late 20s – to collect $125,000 for a piece of test equipment that still wasn’t working. The company I worked for needed the money to survive and I was the VP of customer support (which is another story for later in this book). I received the check and my people eventually got things working. The company survived.

Who could have told me that at age 28 I’d be talking to the 50-year old General Manager of a multi-million dollar division of an office machines supplier, basically begging for enough cash to let our company keep its promises to him. I could hardly imagine it as I was doing it!

I gave presentations to audiences in the hundreds. Sometimes on topics I was given on short notice and sometimes for clients I had ghost-written them for. And I won awards for many of those presentations. I don’t tell you this to brag. I say this to illustrate the point that you will be amazed at what you can do when you put your mind to it.

I wrote a 77-page book over a single weekend in 1978. I decided to self-publish it. This was long before print-on-demand and e-books for those of you who may not be old enough to remember when you took a typed – not word processed – manuscript to your local printer and had him make your first print run. And you went to VeloBind to get covers and binding strips and even punching and binding machines.

I had the book printed on very nice paper and the hard cover was a walnut veneer with gold printing. Very good looking and conveying very high quality. The book was titled “Design for Testability” and I priced it at $95. That’s $95 in 1978 dollars, which today would be roughly $347. For a 77-page book in 8-1/2” x 11” format.

Everyone said that I was crazy to ever expect to sell any of these books. But I was convinced based on experience that there was a knowledge vacuum on this topic that I could fill. So I bought a full-page ad in Electronics Test magazine for $1,800 (which today would cost $6,500).

And I sold a few books. About half as many as needed to pay for the ad. But I ran the ad again the following month and sold 3 times as many books as I needed to pay for the ad. I was now on the way to profitability, even with a $10 ($36.50) cost of goods sold. And sales kept increasing.

Gosh, it was fun to get the mail every day. Orders with checks attached. Names of book buyers who obviously had a significant problem to get their companies to spend that amount of money for a book. Going to the garage to punch, bind and put the covers on those books was a labor of love. J

Not six months after that first book was sold I was in the seminar business teaching design for testability to all of the major electronics manufacturers in the United States. My little book had become “The Bible” of design for testability. And it remained that way for over ten years.

Why do I tell you that story? Only to point out that what I’m about to say to you in this book is not fiction. Nor is it wishful thinking. It is a compendium of thoughts, beliefs, and processes that are proven to work. Because they have worked for me and, properly applied, they will work for you.

I was privileged in my formative stages many years ago to have had many opportunities to listen to many wise people. And to be associated with several people who I respected and admired and who became role models for me. I have also been privileged to have become a mentor, an example and a role model for others. And it is that role – that role of giving to others, of inspiring them to do things they never thought that they could do –  that I cherish most throughout all these many years.

I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say “Because of you I didn’t give up.”

And so, dear reader, I invite you to move on to the rest of this book in the hope that you will take my words to heart. I believe that following at least some of them will do you some good. Enjoy, grow and succeed.

There is magic in pursuing personal growth.


If any of the above resonates with you at all you owe it to yourself to read the whole book. You can order it at for only $3.49 (electronic) or $12.95 (printed copy that you can hold in your hands — highly recommended!)




What Can I Do For You?

What Can I Do For You?


How can I help you? How may I be of service? What might you need that would make your life easier, more productive, more profitable or more fun? What keeps you awake at night?

These are the kinds of open-ended questions that are designed to get to the root cause of a person’s needs, wants and desires so that you can help them — either personally, professionally or with your business product or service.

Years ago, when I was selling pianos and electronic organs in my father’s music store I learned the value of open-ended questions. If, for example, you ask someone “Can I help you?” there are multiple possible answers other than the “Yes” that you are looking for. “No,” “Not now,” and “I’m fine” come to mind.

Not very conducive to furthering the conversation — or the sales process. And if you can’t “sell” someone you can’t help them. I am a believer in what is often called education based marketing. That means that I promote the idea that you provide enough up-front valuable information to your prospective clients or customers to establish yourself as a “trusted advisor” so that WHEN they need what you offer that they choose you.

My work in helping my clients identify their true target markets, crafting messages that will resonate with the people in those markets and selecting the right media for delivering those messages led me to develop an infographic call “Probiotic Marketing.” The name came from watching a TV commercial for yogurt of all things, but the idea is to get to the guts of the client. Yes, it’s a play on words, but hopefully one that will be remembered. And the “gist” of the method is illustrated in the three drawings below.



































The idea is to map your messages about your product or service to the right levels in the hierarchy of needs and to craft those messages using words that will resonate with the emotional (e.g., gut level) level of the prospective buyer. Pretty simple. But not always easy.

When you think about your marketing it might be useful to consider how asking the right questions can help you learn to map your messages to your markets.

I hope you found this information helpful and I welcome your feedback.

A Choice Between Two Things vs. Two Choices

A Choice Between Two Things vs. Two Choices

Pardon me, but I get really ticked when I hear someone misuse “choice” and “choices.” Capital One comes to mind immediately because the ads are so pervasive. Samuel Jackson is always telling you that you have “two choices” when he really means that you have A CHOICE between two things!

Two choices means two separate sets of decisions, each with two or more options. YOU HAVE A CHOICE between the credit card he is hawking and some other brand of credit card. You DON’T HAVE TWO CHOICES!

If you wanted to have two choices you might need to choose, number one, whether or not to have a credit card at all and two, whether or not to have the credit card brand he’s selling. That’s two choices.

If you were buying a piano from me, I would tell you that you had A CHOICE between walnut or mahogany, not two choices. If you were buying a piano from me, I would tell you that you had A CHOICE of delivery dates — Tuesday or Thursday.

If I want to give you TWO CHOICES I’d tell you that you had two choices — one regarding the finish — walnut or mahogany — and one regarding the delivery date — Tuesday or Thursday.

Now you have A CHOICE. You can choose to ignore this post or you can comment on it. That is your choice. You actually have more than one choice here. If I give you TWO CHOICES your first choice involves whether or not to ignore it or to comment on it and your second choice involves whether you comment positively or negatively.

Got it? Thanks for reading. I hope you choose to comment!


Celebrate Your Successes

Slide43Celebrate Your Achievements & Successes

Don’t wait until you’ve reached your final goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.

You’ve read seven chapters. Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back. Do your “happy dance.” Take ten minutes to do something you really enjoy. Tell someone how proud you are of yourself. Give someone a hug (with their permission, of course!) and ask them if there is something you can do for them that will make them want to do their happy dance.

As important as it is to celebrate success, it is also important to analyze the not so successful things that inevitably occur in the course of your journey toward accomplishing your goals – of achieving your dreams and desires. Let’s deal with those. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is one of the most admired and one of the most hated people in the world. He says, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

This from a guy who is responsible for the creation – and perpetuation – of the dreaded “blue screen of death,” where your work disappears for no apparent reason and can never be recovered! This from a guy who knows there will be bugs in his software and accepts that as an OK state of affairs. This from a guy whose virtual monopoly on business operating systems lets him ride roughshod over the people who have and continue to contribute to his billions of dollars of net worth.

Totally off-topic note:When you are working on something on your computer, make sure to use “CTRL+S” every few minutes! “CTRL+S” is your friend.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not bad-mouthing Bill Gates personally. Or event Microsoft (although I bet some of you do)! I’m not suggesting that we not learn from our setbacks and “failures” – a word I hate to use. Certainly we need to say to ourselves “OK, self, what can we learn from this less than optimally successful outcome? What can we do better next time?” Then we need to celebrate the success we did accomplish!

We actually did something that no one else has ever done. We made progress toward realizing our dreams and goals even if that progress was, in Bill Gates’ terminology, a “failure.” I like Mia Hamm’s advice much better: “Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.”

Many of life’s “failures,” according to Thomas Edison, “are experienced by people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Napoleon Hill agrees, saying “Most people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”

Celebrate what you accomplish, but raise the bar each time you succeed. – Mahamm

Success doesn’t come easily as I’ve pointed out before. It’s kind of like reaching for heaven. You have to work to get there. So celebrate your accomplishments, no matter whether they are huge successes or, more likely, successful steps along your way to the ultimate goals.

If you aren’t sensing some common themes as you read this book then either I’ve done a less than adequate job of presenting them or you are really obtuse. J

Winston Churchill defined success as the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Taken in the abstract, outside of any specific goals, success can be considered as the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out, that move us toward our ultimate objective.

You know you’re on the right track when you become uninterested in looking back.

How will you know that you are on the right track as you move toward your goals? For one thing, you will find yourself “in the zone” more often than not. You’ll find yourself visualizing the end result you are pursuing so vigorously that you’ll stop looking back and really concentrate more and more on looking forward. You’ll begin to adopt thinking patterns and action habits that will consistently propel you forward.

Celebrate the small successes as well as the large ones. A great life isn’t necessarily about great huge things. It’s about little things that can make a big difference.

When your self-doubter begins to try to undermine what it is you are doing to achieve your dreams and desires – to become truly happy – then remember that how you think and act will have a significant impact on how well you perform.

Unsuccessful People:

  •       Fear change
  •       Blame others
  •       Think they know it all
  •       Are Transactional
  •       Talk about people
  •       Hope others fail
  •       Never set goals
  •       Horde data and information
  •       Exude anger

Do you want to attract people who fear change and blame others for their every misfortune? To be around people who think they “know it all,” avoid forming close and lasting relationships and talk about others? People who take perverse pleasure in hoping that others fail, never set goals for themselves, horde data and information and exude anger all the time?

Not me. You can have these kinds of people – if you want them in your life. But these types of people will suck the life out of you. You want to surround yourself with positive people. People who will lift you up, help you move forward, celebrate your successes with you as if they were their own. People who will continuously encourage you to grow and excel in whatever it is you’ve decided to do.

Successful People:

  •       Embrace change
  •       Accept responsibility
  •       Continuously learn
  •       Are relational
  •       Talk about ideas
  •       Hope others succeed
  •       Keep “to-do” and “to-Be” Lists
  •       Share data and information
  •       Exude joy

I want to be around successful people. People who accept responsibility for their own situation, who learn continuously and who embrace change. People who value relationships and who talk about ideas instead of people. People who share information, hope – and help – others (me! you!) succeed and exude joy as we celebrate our successes.

Your celebrations don’t always have to be loud, grand or raucous affairs involving multiple people. If you’ve had a good day with a success or two you might just look in the mirror, smile, and nod at the person looking back. Sometimes the best way to end a great day is with a silent acknowledgment of achievement and, more important, fulfillment.

One activity that I’ve found very valuable is to build up a storehouse of favorable outcomes and their accompanying feelings for use with future challenges. If you use, for example, the physical techniques that Amy Cuddy suggests, you can couple those physical actions with the feelings of success that are associated with overcoming past challenges to build your confidence in overcoming future challenges.

You can also simply try smiling for ten minutes before entering a meeting or an interview. The act of smiling will change your brain chemistry just as Amy’s techniques have been proven to do. I do this before joining networking meetings and it works wonders.

Rather than letting your self-doubter undermine your confidence you can use positive self-talk to increase it. So when life is sweet say, “Thank you,” and store those times away for times when life is not so kind to you.

When life is sweet say “thank you” and celebrate. When life is bitter say “thank you” and grow.

You can use even the not so nice times to make life more pleasing in the future. As Oprah Winfrey has been known to say, “The more you celebrate in your life, the more there is in your life to celebrate.”

Promise yourself also to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

There is magic in celebrating your achievements and successes.


The above material is from Chapter 8 of Inspiration Now! Order your copy now at to read the other 8 chapters!



Visualize and Plan

Visualize & Plan – Chapter 2 Excerpted from Motivational Magic

Motivational Magic Front Cover

Motivational Magic Book Back Cover









Beginning the process of growth requires you to ask yourself a lot of questions. What is it that you’d like to accomplish in your life? What would you like to be doing as a career? How would you like to look? How would you like to be contributing to your own good, the good of your loved ones and the good of society? How do you want to be viewed by those who you care about? By those who you leave behind?

What is your fondest dream? How does it look when you visualize it? If you are not currently living it, and I can only assume that you are not or you wouldn’t be reading this book, how does it feel when you imagine that you are living it?

Regrettably, I can’t answer any of these questions for you. Only you can imagine how things should be, how you want them to be, how they will be once you’ve done what’s needed to make them happen.

What is your dream? How important is it to you? How willing are you to pursue it? What risks are you willing to take and what sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve your particular dream? Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream that no one can see but you!

Change begins with a vision. A picture coupled with an emotion – how things feel when you’ve done what needs to be done to make reality as you experience it match reality as you have envisioned it. We’ll talk much more about the details of using the Visual Image Formation technique in Chapter 9, but the concept is essential to any and all changes that you’d like to make in your life.

If you can create a vision, and you most certainly have the power within you to do so, then you can constantly remind yourself of that image. You can use affirmations, notes on your bathroom mirror, schedule messages to pop up on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can do whatever you need to do so that the vision remains in the forefront of your conscious mind so that it can be continuously transmitted to your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind – mainly the right brain hemisphere – is designed to keep reality as you experience it in harmony with reality as you envision it. In other words, if the reality as you’re currently experiencing it does not match the reality as you visualize it, then your subconscious mind will go to work to make you do the things you need to do to make reality as you experience it match reality as you envision it. Or it will change your vision. But more about that later.

Once you have successfully implanted your vision in your brain, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. And if you can’t stop thinking about it you won’t be able to stop working on it – or for it. It’s a simple, but not necessarily easy, matter of putting your mind to work on making you do the things you need to do to make the vision a reality.

What will it make you do? Let us count just some of the ways:

  • It may prompt you to get answers to questions you hadn’t thought of before;
  • It may provide you with “aha” moments or answers – particularly after “sleeping on it;”
  • It may cause you to be more aware of something or someone around you;
  • It may encourage to gain new knowledge or new skills.

I have no clue exactly what will happen for you since I have no clue as to who you are, what you want, who you want to become or why you want the dreams you want. But you do! Or at least you can begin to find that out.

Identify what you want – creating a vision or mental picture as clearly and in as much detail as possible – enables you to plan to make that vision a reality. And it is in this planning phase where special care is needed.

Let’s say that you have a relatively short term dream of walking across the stage of a prestigious university in a cap and gown to receive your college degree. Visualize yourself doing that. Imagine, in great detail, how that will feel. Think about how much pride you will feel when that degree is hanging on your wall in your home, your study or your office. Imagine the things you can do now that you have your degree that you couldn’t do before.

Are you with me so far? And isn’t something else happening as you go through this exercise? What is it? Isn’t it your brain telling you that you can’t? That you don’t have the time, the intelligence, the money or something else to make this dream a reality?

This is where you really need to watch out. When you create a vision that is different than reality as you are currently experiencing it, then your subconscious mind will go to work to help you resolve the disharmony that is created when reality as you envision it doesn’t match reality as you experience it. So it will either help you do the things you need to do to make reality match your vision or it will change or corrupt your vision! But it will resolve the disharmony!

We all have the self-talker inside of us. It’s usually negative and left over from our earlier experiences as children or early in our careers. The “Well, I can’t because…” syndrome: I’m not good enough, I’m not handsome or pretty enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not blah, blah, blah…”

When this happens, we need to recognize it and tell this inner voice to shut up! Tell that doubting voice that those excuses are in the past and are no longer inhibitors to new dreams and plans. Those were the bad old days and those were the bad old ways. You are good enough and, by golly, if you aren’t yet you soon will be! The strongest factor in achieving success is self-esteem: Believing you can do it, believing you deserve it and believing you will get it.

If you fall victim to this inner voice and begin to say to yourself “I can’t…,” then you will achieve nothing except the ability to say that you are always right. For if you say you can’t then you won’t and you should probably stop reading here.

Keep in mind as you visualize and begin the process of goal setting, strategy development and tactical implementation of your plans is that you’ll want to learn to develop a sense of urgency for achieving your goals. Life is short, and if there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that really matters to you, then the moment to get started on that passion is NOW!

Another thing that we’ll talk about further in future chapters is letting going of other kinds of baggage besides the self-doubter and the I-can’t-er. It is hard to keep a sharp focus on your vision of the future if your eye is stuck on the past or even sometimes on today.

This is not to say that the vision and the plan should become so all-consuming that we go overboard and ignore our day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Moderation in all things is the watchword.

We want to keep our vision in the forefront so that as we set goals, develop strategies and implement tactics we are making sure that each action we take contributes in some way, shape or form to the overall plan. We want to make sure that we make the rest of our lives, starting from this moment, the best of our lives.

I said in the beginning that there is magic in this book.There is also magic in believing – believing in what you want, what you visualize, what you need, what you desire or want and, most importantly, believing that you will get it!


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Networking Necessities, Niceties and No-Nos

Networking Necessities, Niceties, and No-Nos

If networking is part of your marketing strategy mix, and for many if not most of us it should be, are you really good at it or is it something you do because you’ve been told that you should do it – like I just did? If you are selling a commodity product, you may not consider networking as an important element of your marketing strategy. Things, after all, should pretty much sell themselves if they are useful and provide clear benefits to the buyer, right? Well, maybe… It might depend on the kind of things you are selling.

Food storage bowls come to mind. You wouldn’t nor­mally think of increasing your sales of these via network­ing as an important element of your marketing strate­gy.

But even with the Internet my spouse had a heck of a time finding some help selecting new bowls until I met someone at a networking event who sold them. How about auto insurance? Sure you can buy it over the phone or the Internet if you don’t believe in the value that an agent you know, like and trust can add to your purchase. Having an accident, of course, can change your point of view on this and insurance agents who network know this to be a fact.

I’m a believer in networking because it works for me and for a great many of my clients. The Networking Tips topic in my monthly newsletter is one of the most popular sections. But you have to do networking right if it is going to work for you. So here are some tips on doing it right.


The first necessity is a positive attitude. If you dread networking activities it is going to show. You are going to be more of a wallflower than a winner, you are less likely to meet as many people as you could and the im­pressions you make may not be stellar. The next necessity is a set of goals. How many new people do you want to meet at a networking event? What kinds of people do you want to meet? These goals will help you to select the right networking events. If you sell garden hoses, for example, a home and garden networking event will be much more productive for you than a meeting of condo owners where gardening is done by the association’s hired help.


Once you have the necessities covered, it’s time to con­sider some niceties. Wear a name badge so that people know who you are when you come up to them to ask them what business they are in. Invest in a permanent badge with your company logo on it and wear it on your upper right side to make it easy for people to read as you ap­proach to shake hands. That way you won’t spend your time wrestling with a generic paper badge that will dis­lodge itself several times during an event. And be confi­dent but considerate when shaking hands. No one likes to have their hand crushed so don’t try to show your domi­nance of others by doing that to them.


This list could get pretty long but here are the top first few. Mostly talking coupled with little listening is a no-no. How will you find out how you might be able to help someone if you don’t find out what they need? And why waste your own time talking to someone who might nev­er need what you offer. Don’t interrupt an ongoing con­versation between others. It’s rude. Wait for your opening while listening to the conversation. You never know – you might learn something! Don’t monopolize. A networking event is not the place to present your entire company and product or services story. It is a time to establish enough rapport so that you can arrange a meeting at a later date given that it makes sense for both parties.

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Article credit: The A to Z Blog Book and Inspiration Now!  (both by Jon Turino and available on Amazon and Kindle).