Monday, January 25, 2010

We make the most amazing.

Chris Brogan offers a lesson on how to sell,

but when it came time to try and sell us dessert, I noticed a flaw in her service. She said, “Do you think you’re going to have room for dessert?”

The answer to this should always be no. To say yes is to say that you’re gluttonous. It also isn’t very appealing. It requires more questions.

Instead, if Jenna had said, “We make the most amazing molten chocolate cake here,” I might have raised an eyebrow. Even if chocolate isn’t my thing, my head would immediately go to the dessert I wanted, but then I’d already be shopping for it. Make sense?

Train schedules and signals

There is a magic in a train schedule. You know that there is certainty in your life. You anticipate the arrival and then the railroad crossing signals engaged as the familiar ringing blares out. Too often navigating in the uncertainty overwhelms and we long instinctively for a respite.

The negative to the positive of course is that there is a tyranny in a unbending schedule. If you are late, you are late. There needs to be a balance. I do not know where that balance point is, however I am certain that you need to provide that balance to keep your customer coming back.

Certainty without tyranny is a winning formula, find yours!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I thought this was easy

Tim Berry says it is not easy,

One of the hardest thing we do, in startups and small business, is figuring out when to stick to the plan and when to back up and try something else. There are no magic formulas, no software that can do that for us. It wraps up a combination of guessing the future, projecting different possible scenarios, understanding what’s at stake, and figuring out where assumptions were wrong, where sticking to the plan makes sense, and where it’s going to be like running your head against a brick wall over and over.

Add a little romance to your menu

Lexi Rodrigo thinks your use of words is critical, I agree.

Plain: “Solve Email Problems”
Heroic: “Battle Your Email Overload”
Romantic: “Love Your Email Inbox Again”

Plain: “Stop Procrastinating”
Heroic: “Defeat Procrastination”
Romantic: “Kiss Procrastination Goodbye”

Plain: “Advice to Help You Do Better”
Heroic: “Advice to Help You Win”
Romantic: “Advice to Make You a Star”

Plain: “Ditch Your Bad Habits”
Heroic: “Conquer Your Bad Habits”
Romantic: “Make Your Bad Habits Disappear Like Magic”

Swim ahead

Jon Gordon shares his Goldfish and Shark,

goldfish let fear paralyze them, but sharks choose to swim ahead, believing that the best is yet to come. Faith and belief in a positive future lead to powerful actions today! Life is a story, and the story we tell ourselves and the role we play determines the quality and direction of our life. The most successful people and teams are able to overcome adversity by telling themselves a more positive story than the rest. Instead of a drama or a horror movie, they define their life as an inspirational tale. Instead of being the victim (Goldfish), they see themselves as a fighter and over-comer (Nice Shark).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take a whack at stress:

Jessica Stillman introduces to a stress buster,

Recognize the reptilian brain. Elvira Aletta gives a brilliant neuro-psychology lesson in one of her posts where she explains the two parts of our brain: the primitive part containing the amygdala–which is responsible for generating and processing our fear and other primal emotions–and our frontal lobes: the neo-cortex or the newest part of our brain, which is sophisticated, educated, and is able to apply a bit of logic to the message of raw fear that our reptilian brain generates. Why is this helpful? When I feel that knot in my stomach… I try to envision a Harvard professor, or some intellectual creature whacking a reptile on the head with the a book, saying something like “Would you just evolve, you overly dramatic creature?”

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The purchase decision

Seth' asks the relevant question;

The goal is to create an offering that can answer these two questions. Why from you and why right now...

Most businesses that struggle are unable to answer these two questions in a compelling fashion. They act as though they deserve that sale, or that they need to aggressively close so you'll buy today, instead of working to build in these very elements to the product itself.

Birthday Card

We were having dinner with friends at a local restaurant when we mentioned to the server that it was Mary Ellen's birthday. At the end of the dinner the server brought a dessert that could be shared by all four of us. While we were enjoying the sweets another server came by with a Birthday Card. The card said simply, "thank you for sharing your birthday with us". The handwritten card was an unexpected hit and a physical reminder of the experience. Much more memorable than a group of servers singing Happy Birthday.

What are you doing to surprise your guests?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Profitable Relationships: has a post about;

Melanie Billings-Yun, author of "Beyond Dealmaking: Five Steps to Negotiating Profitable Relationships."

• Respect, friendliness, a sense that you like the other person as a human being, not merely as a means or obstacle to your end.

• Fairness in distributing and carrying out both responsibilities and benefits.

• Honest, open, and positive communication.

• Care and concern for the other person's well-being, both within and beyond the immediate transaction.

• Empathy and understanding.

• Collaborative efforts toward mutual success.

• Reciprocity, returning favors, responding to trust with trust

• Open-mindedness, flexibility, and willingness to adapt to different ideas and changes.

• Appropriate commitment at each stage of the relationship.

• Dependability, maintaining your understanding, and following through with your promises.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to change everything

Jonathon Morrow lays out the process for changing the world. It is not the idea or the action taken, it is the idea reaching someone else and sticking;

The secret to changing the world isn’t you having good ideas. It’s getting those ideas into the heads of other people.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Comparative lemonade analysis

Seth provides a comparative analysis of two business models,

Finally, once she's done, you put $5 in the jar, because your free lemonade was worth at least twice that. Well, maybe the lemonade itself was worth $3, but you'd happily pay again for the transaction. It touched you. In fact, it changed you.

What made today good?

Jon Gordon shares an idea to help your staff focus on positives.

to focus the staff on the positives of the work day. He posted the board and without saying anything to his staff, they just started writing on it.

Business planning basic.

Tim explains,

business planning, the way it is supposed to work.

Real business planning doesn’t lock you in over the long term. Quite the contrary, it sets directions and priorities, and concrete steps, and gives you something you can track and manage. It gives you more flexibility, not less. Keep the long term in mind while you deal with the short term. Watch how things unfold, what turns out to be as you expected, and what doesn’t. Manage your business, with planning.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


More math oddities 01-02-2010

Tribune story relating to numbers

"Each number has its own personality."

With this adoration in mind, consider Jan. 2, 2010. The day is a palindromic date: 01-02-2010, meaning the number can be read the same way in either direction.

There will be 12 palindromic days this century, Inan said, and Saturday is the second. The first was 10-02-2001. (To check out his complete list: