Technology makes the world smaller – or so they say. But I’m beginning to question that theory. Sure, with Facebook I can connect with people I haven’t spoken with in 10 plus years. I can find out where old classmates live and work, and get the scoop on their families. With e-mail I can contact someone at their convenience and allow them to respond if and when they choose. Time is of little concern. I can send a question to Japan and have an answer the next morning. Even texting has impacted the way we communicate. I text editors at tradeshows to confirm a meeting. My daughter texts me to ask me where I am, find out what is for dinner or to tell me she loves me. All positive advancements as a result of technology, right?
Not so fast. (more…)
Recently, I was having brunch with a former colleague – and fellow writer – when she told me about a writing contest she’d entered. The challenge was to write a story using just six words. At first, I had to ask her to repeat what she’d just said. I mean, I know I tend to get a bit long-winded when writing, but compose a complete story using just six words? I admit I was skeptical. But weeks later when she told me the results of the contest, she also shared some of the winning entries (hers was among the winners). Her story: (more…)
Each time I take my kids to the circus, I observe the tightrope walkers as they slowly make their way across the tightrope doing flips and jumps, and I can’t help but muse that I do that every day. Sure, I’m not 300 feet off the ground with only a net separating me from a hard crash landing – and good thing too because I’m afraid of heights. But we do all walk that tightrope on a daily basis, trying to maintain balance.
I’m a firm believer that balance is a key ingredient, not only to a happy life, but also a successful life. While I say I’m a firm believer, I struggle to live what I preach. Much like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve been conditioned to believe (more…)
The United States Postal Service is at it again. I’m sure most of you have heard the USPS is proposing a rate increases for 2011. Groups of publishers, printers and other associations are banding together to try and stop it, and with good reason. Many of these groups rely on mail as part of their business, so they are likely a bit scared as to how this increase could affect their bottom line. However, I am not going to use this blog to discuss the death of print and direct mail. Instead, I would like to discuss one way to maximize your dollar and kick up (more…)
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day! Because of where I live, I’m in close proximity to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” which, for those non-geography buffs out there, refers to Minnesota. Every year over the Fourth of July holiday, my extended family heads to our lake cabin for fun, sun and quality bonding time. As I enjoyed the beautiful scenery and clear blue water splashing on the sand, I couldn’t help but think about how fortunate I was to be enjoying a vacation at the beach – not the “real” beach near the ocean, but close enough. Those in the southern area of the country, particularly the Gulf States, aren’t so fortunate.
The disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has (more…)
How many times do we keep our products, our services or our company a complete secret? Don’t get me wrong – it’s not intentional. At the same time we seek to grow our businesses, we fail to promote them in the most basic of ways. Last week, as I attended the Anti-icing seminar at the SIMA show, I heard one contractor share his experience with anti-icing applications. Though the whole presentation was interesting, my ears perked up when he shared one small story, and it got me looking at the contractors around me. I wanted to see if everyone else caught the tidbit and recognized the opportunity.
What was the revelation? Well, the contractor just briefly related how his company did a story with the local newspaper about its anti-icing system. He talked about how the company is protecting the environment because it uses less salt and chemicals, which translates into less of those substances ending up in the water system. And the result? The phone would not stop ringing. The stories multiplied, and the company picked up more business. But how many companies take time to tell their story? Whether it’s lack of knowing how to go about it or skepticism on its effectiveness, too many contractors, manufacturers – companies of all kinds – neglect to tell their success stories and capitalize on opportunities. Don’t fall into that trap. (more…)