Please shut up!!!

You groan and force another fake smile as they continue to blab on and on about their vacation.

“…and  here’s a picture of us standing in front of the hotel…and here we are in the hotel lobby…and this is us tipping the nice boy who brought our luggage up…oh, and…”

They’ve been at it for what feels like hours, and your brain is about to explode.


The same thing happens with boring advertising messages.

(Sort of)

But, with advertising, we won’t keep pretending we’re interested.


With boring advertising, we just reach over and click off the station, turn the page, or skip forward through the ad.

Roy Williams sez you need to move the needle on their “I give a crap meter” with your ads.


Blah blah blah conversation is a pain in the butt in real life.

It’s a waste of money in advertising.

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Turn up the guitar!

I am the sound man for our church services a couple Sundays each month. Rehearsals can be challenging. Mostly because so many of the performers have their own ideas of how things should sound. Many of them come up to me and say things like: “Are the guitars loud enough?” “Maybe you should turn up the vocalists.” “I can’t hear the piano.” “How come the drums are so loud?”

Other sound guys often get bothered when people offer their opinions. “Who are they to question my work,” they might think.

But…I listen.

I can’t say I always agree with people when they suggest ways to improve the sound.

But…I listen.

Who knows…someone might have a suggestion that turns a so so musical performance into “woe baby that’s awesome!!!”

I’m attempting to do the same thing in business. Trying to encourage those around me to suggest ways to improve on my ideas.

Trying to keep my ego subdued when they do.

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People are saying WHAT about me???!!!

When people talk behind your back…what do they say about you?

Do they say you’re creative? A hard worker? Honest? Or, an opinionated idiot?

Ask those who know you best what people say about you.

You might get pissed.

Or…you might get motivated to finally cut out the weed that’s been choking your growth.

“I believe that if it were left to artists to choose their own labels, most would choose none.”  –  Ben Shahn






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The idiot in the F150

The morning after a blizzard dumped nearly a foot of snow – I hopped in my F150, blasted Kraddy on the stereo and went looking for snow drifts to bust. I soon found a snow covered road on a steep hill.


The snow drifts were up to my headlights.

My tires spun…the truck fishtailed…I nearly got stuck more than once.

Then something happened. I got passed by an rusty old Dodge pickup.

While I was spinning, the old pickup went smoothly – effortlessly – up the hill.

I had a fairly new F150 with good tires and all the latest gizmos…

His truck had to be at least 20 years old, and looking pretty rough.

So what’s the reason he was able to pass me so easily?


He knows how to drive in the snow. Whereas I’m basically a city-boy wussy faker wanna-be truck owner who has no experience tackling a snow covered hill.

The guy in the old Dodge pickup is the real deal.

I had the better look, but he had better skills.

Which got me to thinking…

This lesson can be helpful for anyone in business dealing with people who try to sell them stuff.

Make sure you seek out people with experience and skills so you get good advice and the product or service that will work best for you.

Don’t spin your wheels with people who simply look the part!

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Super Smile = Super Power!

Click on my story about the power of smiling in the Business Journal…

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You’re making my head explode!

Stop already with repeating the phone number in ads!

If you haven’t persuaded them emotionally, they will not call you anyway…no matter how many times you repeat your phone number.  And if you have connected with them and stimulated their emotions…they’ll find a way to get in touch with you, even if you don’t repeat your number a dozen times!

“Call 800 XXX XXXX.  That’s 800 XXX XXXX.  Once again that number is 800 XXX XXXX.  Call today 800 XXX XXXX…”


Nuff said.


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7 things

He is rich, well known, and successful and about 15 years ago I had a chance to ask him a question.

“What’s the biggest reason for your success?” I asked.

“Besides dumb luck?” He flashed me a smile. “It’s my ability to do only 7 things each day.”

My “I don’t get it” expression didn’t go unnoticed by him.  So he continued…

“Think about it.  7 things is about all anyone can do in a day.  I know, I know, we THINK we can do more, and we even get lost in a flurry of activity trying.  But when the day is done what do we have to show for it?  A huge list of undone tasks, and a weary body and brain.  Nope.  Not me.  I select only 7 things.  MEANINGFUL things.  And I do them.”

“But…what if there are more things that need to be done?”

As he turned to return to the podium (the crowd was waiting), he looked back at me and whispered, “Delegate that crap!”

Good advice.

Try it.




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How to feel local

At the moment I’m sending this out, one million eight hundred fifty six thousand three hundred forty three people had viewed the new McDonald’s ad on this YouTube link.

In marketing?  Run a business? You’ve probably already watched the ad.  If you haven’t…do.

It’s a powerful example of how even a corporate giant can warm our soul and feel as local as the sweet soft spoken grandma living next door…

(And…the business that feels the local-est wins customers the most-est!)

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Thank God for dirty towels

Abraham is a locker room attendant at the health club where I workout.

“Hello, Mark! How are you today?”

“Just fine, Abraham.  And you?”

“I am doing well, Mark.”

Abraham smiles when he sees my towel lying on the floor…

“May I take that towel for you?”

“Sure, Abraham.  Thank you.”

“Thank YOU, Mark!  Have a good day.”

I believe that Abraham actually likes picking up our dirty towels.  And if he doesn’t like it, he sure acts like he does.

Here’s my thought…

If there were no dirty towels to pick up, my buddy Abraham might be out of work.  And if he picked up dirty towels in a grumpy mood…he might be out of work.

We can learn from this.

What “dirty towels” can we pick up for our customers?

What unpleasant or inconvenient things are we willing to take care of for our customers?

If we won’t do it…our customers might find someone who will.

And, oh yeah…we need to smile while we do it.







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Now here’s a worthwhile goal!

I have a new goal for the new year.

The goal is to do more things that make my customers want to thank me.

That’s it.

I figure if all of my customers continually want to thank me, I must be doing something right.

Wanna try this with your customers?

I bet we harvest some awesome results for thinking and working this way!

(You can thank me later)

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