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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Don’t let them steal your business identity

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Ask the 100 year old

Want to live longer?

Talk to people who are 100+ years old and ask them how they did it.

Want to get great results when you advertise or market your business?

Talk to someone who has a long track record of doing just that.

Too often we buy into bright shiny media salespeople who have the perfect pitch, but no track record of success.

Have they ever guided a business through a stubborn recession, a weather emergency, staff problems, the hassles that come with road construction, or the challenges of facing a powerful new competitor who is stealing customers?

Before trusting your business and your brand to someone, dig deep. Ask questions. Ask for client referrals.

Like my sister Tammy, a nurse once told me:

“Before anyone ever lets a doctor operate on them, you need to ask how many of these same operations have they done before?  If it’s less than 100…get up and leave their office…and let them practice on someone else!”

Sounds like good advice to me.

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What’s the password?

We need to know the password to access bank accounts.

Same is true with home security systems, cell phones, computers, social  media, and more.

Forget the password and the world says, “forget you!”

This is also true in getting consumers to buy from you.

Use the wrong words and they reject your message.  Use the right words and your message passes through their defenses and enters their brain, where it can germinate.

(Talk to a young female school teacher differently than you would talk to a 54 year old guy working construction, for example.)

I know, this is basic stuff.  Basic stuff that great marketers like Apple, Google, WalMart, Disney, GEICO, McDonald’s, and Nike are awesome at.

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