April 20, 2010


It is 2:30 AM. You are sound asleep. Everyone else in your home is away on this night. You are all alone. In the middle of a dreamless sleep, a heavy pounding on the front door, a distant glow of red pulsating through the curtains and in the distance, the sound of a wailing siren gets louder. You can smell something acrid on the air and your heart leaps into your throat as you struggle from deep sleep to confused consciousness and try to make sense of the noise and the feeling of panic assaulting your senses. You can barely make out the loud voice at the front door yelling, "Fire!" You take a deep breath in the hopes of finding some calm and creating some sense from this place of unreality and your throat fills with the taste of smoke and you involuntarily begin to cough and grab at a bathrobe hanging on the back of the bedroom door.

Another breath, through your nose this time and some of the smoke smell is filtered out and you begin to regain some semblance of common sense - you begin to think, "What do I need to do?" You listen more carefully to the voice at the front door warning you to leave your house immediately, the entire structure is engulfed and you need to get out immediately. Another shallow breath and you realize that you have a few seconds to save what is most important to you. Your family, pets included, are safe. It is only yourself and a house full of things.

The question is, in these few seconds, what do you take with you? A wallet or purse - OK, but what else. If you have 60 seconds to rescue what is most important from your years on this earth, what would you take?

April 15, 2010


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

APPLE ad copy

April 14, 2010


Networking events scare the heck out of me! I went to my first one in over a decade yesterday at noon and managed to survive. A group of 30 or so marketing and sales types met for lunch in order to hear a guest speaker talk about expanding your customer base. Imagine my surprise when the first two things our of her mouth were the "Law of Attraction" and the writings of Esther Hicks - WOW, has marketing ever changed in the past few years. I was caught completely by surprise when someone, a professional corporate speaker/trainer, has the courage to open with those two items. By the way, just in case you do not know me, I wholeheartedly agree with both references in this wondrous new world.

Back to the networking part; I guess that I would never make a good politician since the idea of glad-handing my way through a room full of strangers both terrifies and bores me to tears, at the same time. I would rather meet 5 or 6 people and hear a bit of their story than find comfort in how many business cards I managed to collect and distribute. The story is the essence of my interest in something like this and well, in fact it is the story that is always the most interesting for me. If I chose to look at myself closely, I would realize that the only writing projects I like, reveal a story, perhaps reveal an inner truth or create a connection through the struggles and success of the main characters, real or fictional, corporate or dramatic. I find it interesting that today's marketing is moving in the same direction of finding a connection through the authentic exchange of information that reveals a bit of who the individuals really are, at a core level.

I would never be sought our for my networking techniques since I seem to be more of an observer than participant but what I see in a room full of strangers is three types: A) also an appropriate letter for this group who move effortlessly through the entire room and offer a few sentence to each conversation, introduce who they are and elicit the same information from everyone else, exchange business cards and quickly disappear to find the next group to repeat the process. For some reason, they remind me of those speed-dating shows they show on TV from time to time. B) the second group enter into conversation with a few people that seem to fit the same description of not quite knowing why they are there and just want to meet somebody/anybody that they can carry on a conversation with. They are happy to tell the story of their own business and seem genuinely interested in their conversational counterpart but mostly, they are relieved to have a warm body to share the general discomfort with. C) this group retires to the back of the room, questions their own sanity and decision making process for being here in the first place and just hopes to God that someone will wander over and introduce themselves and not leave too quickly. They enviously survey the room and admire the exploits of groups A and B and generally end up making some sort of mercy-connection with another group C member.

I float somewhere between the last 2 groups and am always a little amazed when someone seems interested in what I do, but the easiest way to extend a conversation is to be interested in what your conversational partner is doing in their own life or business. The event host invited everyone to introduce themselves to the group at large after we were seated for lunch. He used a nice ice-breaker when he asked each of us to say what 3 things we would bring if we knew we would be stranded on a deserted island. Many people watched too many of those survivor shows but I chose to bring a fully loaded Kindle, a surfboard and a bottomless bottle of red wine. Now, if I could just work on my name-remembering skills a bit, perhaps I will not wait another decade before attending my next event - see you on the hustings.

April 8, 2010


“Think Big and you’ll live big. You’ll live big in happiness. You’ll live big in accomplishment. Big in income. Big in friends. Big in respect… Start now, right now, to discover how to make your thinking make magic for you. Start out with this thought of the great philosopher Disraeli: ‘Life is too short to be little.’”

~ David J. Schwartz from The Magic of Thinking Big

April 2, 2010


"...people who want to maximize their potential throw caution at the wind and ignore the pleas of parents, coaches, spouses, and bosses to be ‘realistic.’ Realistic people do not accomplish extraordinary things because the odds of success stymie them. The best performers ignore the odds. ... instead of limiting themselves to what’s probable, the best will pursue the heart-pounding, exciting, really big, difference-making dreams—so long as catching them might be possible.”
~ Dr. John Eliot from Overachievement