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Monthly Archives: May 2009

25 Reasons Great Parents Make Great Marketers

talk-to-your-kids-11Here they are, in no particular order:

1.  They know how to listen for what’s really going on with you.

2.  They can clean up a mess and not get freaked out by it.

3.  They know how to say “NO”.

4.  They can handle your charming (yet sometimes monstrous) ego.

5.  They really really really want you to succeed and will do just about anything to make that happen.

6.  They can work on no sleep.

7.  They know what everything costs.

8.  They look past your faults.

9.  They know how to take care of themselves and other people at the same time.

10.  They know if they’re not happy, you won’t be either.

11.  They think about themselves first, then you and that’s ok.

12.  They know if their relationship with their partner sucks, everything else will too.

13.   They are time management masters.

14.  They are organized.

15.  They put first things first.

16.  They know what the battles worth fighting for are.

17.  They delegate.

18.  They have a few big goals in mind and that is what drives everything else.

19.  They know when it’s naptime.

20.  They know what it means to play nice with others.

21.  They act as role models.

22.  They will put you in timeout if you misbehave, then explain what you did wrong, kiss and move on.

23.  They are enthusiastic, yet pragmatic.

24.  They are kids at heart.

25.  They love watching you grow.

What’d I miss?

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“Hey look, that’s Phil Jackson.”

I had just sat down for lunch with my boss in the Valley about four years ago when he pointed to a table across the room.

Three men sat together in a booth.

Phil JacksonJohn WoodenTex Winter.


The High Priesthood of basketball coaching.

We ate our lunch and because my boss was friendly with Wooden, we made our way to the table.

Jackson was closest to me.  We struck up a quick conversation about a game he coached in my hometown early in his career and that was it.

Very friendly guy.

I have a soft spot for Phil Jackson.  Mainly because he is someone that took an intensely curious mind and channeled it all into one great passion:  bringing people together to achieve a common goal.

It’s not about basketball.

It’s about finding your passion and winning.

And to win you need some kind of team.

Whether it’s your family or partners or who you outsource your stuff to or your actual employees, you need help.

With that in mind, here are what I consider to be  Jackson’s 10 Best Lessons on Teamwork:

1.  It’s about us, not you.

2.  People first, process second.

3.  Discover what motivates each individual.

4.  Always be teaching.

5.  Find inspiration from unlikely sources.

6.  Have a massive goal that everyone can buy into.

7.  Let your team make mistakes and find their own way out of it.

8.  Encourage your stars to lead.

9.  Be cool when others around you are losing their heads.

10.  Date the boss’s daughter.

Did I miss anything?  Oh yeah…Go Lakers!

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“Who you are speaks so loudly I can not hear what you are saying.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can not hide on Twitter.

And this is a good thing.

Some think not.

They go to Twitter, punch in their thoughts and are shocked (SHOCKED!) when someone disagrees or simply offers an alternative view.

No one is perfect.

But it seems that many of us have been living in pretty little bubbles of ideal isolation.

One Twitter prick and that bubble has burst.

Happens all the time.

Sometimes you’re the prick, sometimes the prickee.

Bottom line…

Life is too short to spend it defending your precious ego.

And your mother didn’t raise a mute.

In Jean Paul Sartre‘s famous one-act play No Exit, the line “Hell is other people” is always misinterpreted as Hell simply being the existence of other people in your life.


The Hell part is people in your life who see you without the makeup, the window dressing.



Maybe right sometimes.

That’s why Twitter can be the ultimate reality check.

You go about your life, saying what you want, to people who either don’t have the desire nor the  courage to disagree with you, come to Twitter, start blurting again and WHAM!

This happens.

Tweet away but don’t be surprised if others disagree.

And take no offense.

We’re all in it together.

And yes, there is an exit.

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deadliestcatchI watch TV.

Most of it sucks.

Deadliest Catch does not.

Part of its appeal is not so much the drama of fishing on the Bering Sea but riding along with Sig and Jonathan and the rest of the guys and watching them lead, manage and operate their small businesses.

Here are five key things I take away:

1.  Know Who You Are.

dc5You hear it time and time again but it bears repeating.  If you are not crystal clear about what you do and why you are doing it, no one else will be.  Most of the Deadliest Catch guys are second or third generation fisherman.  It’s not like they have identity issues.  But for many of us forging a new path, we sometimes question if it is the right one. Don’t.  Be bold.  Build a boat and launch it.  It’s the only way to get collaborators and customers on board.

2.  Fish for Crab.  Don’t Herd Cats.


Know your market.  And don’t waste time going up and down different channels and pockets of opportunity you THINK will pan out.  Find your freakin’ crab.  Know everything about them.  And make sure they are keepers.  You want big fat crab, not kitties.  Kitties are solo and hide and want to be left alone.  You want customers that are part of a tribe, hanging out together, waiting to be scooped up and…well…not eaten….but you know.

3.  It’s Gonna Get Rough Sometimes.

dc2It’s not easy.  90% of businesses are gone in five years.  It’s usually money or poor planning or not knowing #1 or #2.  No matter what you do it is going to take a herculean effort to break into calm waters where MAYBE one day you can coast for awhile.  And as soon as you do, another boat passes you by or a storm kicks up and you’re right back in it.  It ain’t easy, I know firsthand, but dammit, you just have to power through.

4.  Form a Band of Brothers.


Gotta have a crew.  Even if you are running solo, you need to have a group of peers you can meet with to bounce ideas off of and hold you accountable.  Otherwise you’ll start to feel sorry for yourself because the crazy idea you had isn’t quite working out.  Well guess what?  That idea was crazy.  And you didn’t know it because you kept it all locked up in your head.  Get out there.  Get some partners.  Collaborate.  Help people. It will all come back.

5.  There Has To be a Big Payoff.

dc6Come on.  I mean why are you busting your ass?  It’s no fun if you’re not building something that will take you somewhere.  Somthing that excites you because it opens the door to other possibilities.  Dream big or go home.  Watch Jonathan when the Time Bandit is on crab.  He’s like a kid.  THAT’S when it gets fun.  That’s when your hard work pays off.  Because you’ve done #1-4 and now there’s a reward.  Go out and do the same.  Get yours. You deserve it.

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copybloggerThere are 70million blogs out there.

I follow a couple hundred.

I read fifty.

One haunts me.

Brian Clark’s Copyblogger is one of the most popular blogs in the world and has generated millions of dollars in sales for Clark and his partners.

It is a site with a laser-like focus on online copywriting and social media content strategies.

And it makes me puke.


Because Brian and his team are incessantly devoted to smashing any fantasy I may have about avoiding the real work of online success.

They put people like me through Dreamer’s Withdrawl.

Think you are a decent writer and that alone will drive people to read your blog, your email newsletter, your sales letter,etc.?

Think again.

Because there is this thing out there called “reality”, which in Copyblogger World means “how human beings respond to the written word”.

Talent doesn’t always mean success.

Thoreau said, “Nothing is more common than unrewarded talent.”

You have to APPLY that talent.

There are time-tested and proven copywriting  principles that generate results online and almost all of them live at Copyblogger.

Web 2.0 has so lowered the bar for any half-baked concept that you think, “Wow!  Look at all these cool tools!   All I have to do is slap up a site and tie it to a blog and Facebook and Twitter and I’m off and running!”

Copyblogger will slap that notion silly.

It will force you to rethink what your are doing.

And get real.

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Marketing consultants tend to be divided between poets and plumbers.


The poets are usually the older set, raised within the TV-Industrial complex and smitten with words and phrasings and all things visual.  They love TV and media and demographics.  They are great communicators.  Which is what they want to do all day long…broadcast thought waves to the world.  They don’t like to hear that broadcasting is dead and they get really antsy when there is talk of ROI and accountability.  They understand people and market in emotion.


The plumbers, on the other hand, tend to be from the younger crowd and raised in the Digital Age.  They are quite at home using technology to generate results and expect and want to be measured on their performance.  At times, they will speak a language that only other plumbers can understand, but usually it is related to some cool new tool that makes it easier for them to get stuff done.  They are process oriented and detail driven.  They eat data for lunch.

Digital marketing requires both poets and plumbers.  One Dutch firm went so far as to name themselves after that very concept.  See here.  Notice we are not talking about straight regular old marketing, but digital – using digital distribution channels to promote products and services.  You can still get away with using a poet for print ads and writing press releases and the like.  But be honest.  When is the last time one of those things really hit a homerun for you?

You can get lucky and occasionally find someone who is both poet and plumber.  Someone who understand and has experience building digital platforms and staying present with ever-evolving technologies.  But for the most part, poets who are plumbers are rare.

Just know that you will need both, always.

The plumbers like to think that the poets are becoming obsolete.

But that will only happen if human beings evolve to become unemotional robots with no desire to connect.

And that’s not happening any time soon.