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The truth is it's not you, it's you. (I'm so glad I don't have to look at you plural as I write this.)

Anyway, thank you (plural) for everything. See you (ibid) on Mugbook. Hugs...

6 days, 21 hours ago on Gin and Topics: Farewell, Lindsay Bell

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Thanks, Shonali. I shall send your post to all those new appearances in my inbox. This gives new meaning to quality over quantity: content marketing.

1 week, 5 days ago on When Content Marketing Lets You Down

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@Shonali @JackVincent Indeed, Shonali, especially since the SpinSucks folks know me as the Love Affair guy :-)

4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Shonali Burke

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Typo… nice to meet you :-)

4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Shonali Burke

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@ginidietrich @JackVincent Gini, I thought you knew me better than that, with all my crappin' on about love affairs and the like...

4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Shonali Burke

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Love this post.  It's human.  It's nice to need YOU, Shonali, in a more closeup setting, as I often check out your blog and see you elsewhere. 

I love the vulnerability, too. I'm becoming a bit cynical with bullet-proof personas online. There can be no Hero's Journey without struggle, right?

So now, about New Orleans...

4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Shonali Burke

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@mattevs @JackVincent I personally don't answer RFP's in certain/many situations.  If they come "out of the blue," I insist on meeting with the managers who will need the work done directly, and even then I have my radar up as to if they might just "using me" (yeah, like dating!) to be able to tell management they looked at x number of vendors, or if they have an incumbent and they're just trying to learn off my unfilled time.

Even then, I recommend doing your best to get the customer involved in building the solution, or at least reviewing your work in several phases and providing direct feedback. You should gladly do the work of modifying when they're reviewing and commenting.

In my case, I'm happy to compete against others; that's reality. But we must be qualifying at every step.  It's so easy to answer every RFP, but losing deals is energy draining and karma draining, especially when you see the writing on the wall in retrospect.

4 weeks ago on Skin in the Game and the Art of the Next Step

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@mattevs @JackVincent Sad that we've divided Toastmasters Europe into north and south, although we had to due to the growth. 

I won't go to Borås in May, although I would love to. I've booked for Porto and will probably give a workshop. Maybe I'll come north for the fall conference.

4 weeks ago on Skin in the Game and the Art of the Next Step

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@mattevs Good points, Matteus.

Indeed, it's not that we ask the customer to do all the work.  It's incumbent upon us to do much of the work. But getting the customer to invest in the next steps is a good indicator of how you should budget your time, and it's also a tactical tool for keeping them involved in working with you.  Often, they want to, but they get distracted, and that could lead to disinterest.

On the point of proposals, there's a chapter in A Sale Is A Love Affair, "The Best Proposals Don't Propose." They confirm what's been agreed. Try to keep them engaged in the process, because we, as humans, more often buy into solutions that we've contributed to.

Thanks for your comments, and hope to see you in Sweden… when the weather gets warmer :-)

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Skin in the Game and the Art of the Next Step

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Love it. We can beat the giants, yes, we can.

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Growing a Business: The Jump Shot Strategy

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@LauraPetrolino Laura, of course I think it's a fantastic analogy, too… and not because I wrote it, but because of what drove me to write it, which, if I may, is in Chapter 5, "And So It Blossomed."

I won't tell you the chapter here, you'll read it :-) but… 

… when the idea hit me, the title came simultaneously.  OK, such is the creative process. But then I could not get the idea out of my head. It "charmingly haunted me" for 18 months, and so I knew I had to go through the painful, yes, painful process of writing the book.

Hmmm, charmingly haunted. That damn idea was FLIRTING with me… and I fell in love with her...

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Skin in the Game and the Art of the Next Step

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@belllindsay LOL, Lindsay. And it's the same in a sale.  "OMG, she just left me a voice mail."  It takes your breath away, doesn't it?

Voice mail, answering machines, carrier pigeon.  Both love and sales are timeless.  Title to Chapter 8: "Love Is A Survival Instinct. Sales Is A Survival Activity."

:-)

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Skin in the Game and the Art of the Next Step

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@Eleanor Pierce Eleanor, when I was "out there in the dating market," I was in the space of coach and be coached.  I asked a lady friend of mine, "When I'm trying to get a second date with (a woman), if I err in my follow-up frequency, should it be a little too much or a little too lithe."

Without hesitation, she said, "A little too much."  

I think this applies to following up with prospects, too.  And now I wish I remembered to put this in the book.  

That's probably the biggest problem I had in finishing the book. There were infinitely more anecdotes and parallels I could've included in it!

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Skin in the Game and the Art of the Next Step

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If your Friday recipe exchange involves RecipesSuck, I'm sure that'll be a winner!

2 months, 1 week ago on Things to Do While the Boss is On Vacation

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@LauraPetrolino @JackVincent Waddya'mean "know the truth," Laura?  You're not another one of those grown ups that are going to try to sell me that idea that Santa's not real.  No! No! No!  I won't believe it.  I won't grow up.  I won't, I won't, I won't!!!

(My wish-I-was-a-kid way of agreeing with you. Yep, pretty remarkable.)

2 months, 1 week ago on Santa, the Communications Pro

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As a former sponsorship sales guy, I think Coke should pay the North Pole much more the next time the contract comes up for renewal.

2 months, 1 week ago on Santa, the Communications Pro

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Love it. And the brand evangelists are pulled in at an early age, and never stop believing in the beauty of the story...

2 months, 1 week ago on Santa, the Communications Pro

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@MartinGBEdwards @JackVincent Martin, I'm the expert at aspiring to balance, and the amateur at doing it.  That's human.  Power on, guy!

2 months, 2 weeks ago on How to be Honest Without Wrecking your Business

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@Danny Brown @JackVincent Danny, thanks and… here's my imperfection and current struggle :-)  The draft I sent you still had some typos and stuff that could be expressed better.  It's been cleaned up twice since then. Let me know if you want to bang on with what I sent, in which case, "be aware of the struggling hero." :-)  Or, if you haven't started, and I'm cool with that, I'll send you the latest.

Thanks, amigo!

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Balancing Your Autobiography

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Absolutely, Martin.  Authenticity and honesty… the bedrock of our business.  Love it!

2 months, 2 weeks ago on How to be Honest Without Wrecking your Business

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Love it, Danny. 

What I'm finding more effective when talking about, um, me, is not to run through all my glorious successes. Rather to talk about how things that I struggled with, and how I ultimately turned them into something great or even just a little better.

Success after success is not compelling. It's not compelling. People are more engaged by the struggle before success, The Hero's Journey, which includes a couple of failures along the way, than they are with just the glorious destination. If an autobiography is a story, then make it heroic. Heroes struggle.

Now I'd better struggle along with some work to finish before the holiday. Have a happy one!

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Balancing Your Autobiography

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I so much agree that no amount of PR can change Uber. That would be would be the classic example of putting lipstick on a pig.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on The Uber Issues Cannot Be Fixed by PR

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@belllindsay @ginidietrich @TracyRedefined Lindsay, way back when EZPass was introduced (bridges and highways in northeast, anyway), I first thought, "What if somebody steals my EZPass in the early afternoon, crosses the bridge, gets off at the exit, murders someone, comes back and puts the EZPass back in my car…?

We're weird… 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Anonymous Social Media: Why You Shouldn’t Participate

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@Randy Milanovic Love it, Randy. 

I've journeyed from journalist to marketer to sales and back to journalism/writing.

You have made my day!

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Is It Time to Trade Your Blog for a Newsletter?

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@ginidietrich @JackVincent You haven't sat with Ken Jacobs and me at the same time. We bring out the, um, best in each other.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Anonymous Social Media: Why You Shouldn’t Participate

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I really like the point about removing the temptation to tailor your website around search engines instead of people. Trained as an editor in university, and before becoming a marketer in my third job, we journalists had it drilled into our heads: "Know your audience... and write to their hearts, as much as their minds."

I feel it's stronger to resonate with MY readers and hope they share or talk about me than it is cater to the search engines who might deliver numbers. If  my content doesn't impact those new readers, I don't believe they'll become qualified leads, anyway.

Great post. Although I claim to have thought about this already, this is a simple message… and simplicity is memorable and actionable. Very valuable, Randy and Danny. Thanks!

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Is It Time to Trade Your Blog for a Newsletter?

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Yikes! 

I simply can't trust any online platform to maintain my anonymity. Whether it's the technology or another user being motivated enough to figure out who I am.

Besides, I'm offensive enough in open forums, anyway :-)

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Anonymous Social Media: Why You Shouldn’t Participate

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Great post, Shonali with great points.  I like Lisa's point that if we don't have our own blog, we might be looked over when prospects look for supplier-partners. 

I know a lot of people sharing other people's material on LI, etc., but when they combine that with their own creation of material, it seems to have much more impact, at least IMHO. It brings some level of thought leadership with frequency.

Good food for thought, here. Thanks!

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Is it Shortsighted Not to Host Your Own Blog?

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"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," is a healthy way of looking at Point 1.  Thanks also for pointing me to Alisa's post.

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Monday Roundup: Blogging for Veterans

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@Danny Brown @JackVincent I'm actually doing better with the spouse/partner since I've been using my sales tools with relationships… and vice versa.  That's what my book's about, and I think you'll get it in a NY Minute.

Let's have that chat.  I'm happy to call you at a convenient time.  With my Euro time zone… one of your mornings.

4 months ago on Are We In Danger of Losing the Right to an Opinion?

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It's all about love, baby. 

It's a bit like having an argument with your spouse, partner or important friend/family member. You can escalate it and win the argument while damaging the relationship. Or you can acknowledge it, get to the root of it and find a solution while strengthening the relationship.

Too often brands are listening to their lawyers who get paid for escalation and confrontation. Instead, brands should be saying, "Thanks for your recommendation, counselor, but we're the brand, and we're going to do what's best for our relationship. We're going to engage with the critics."

Just my opinion, but being confrontational is almost never good for the brand. Engaging and resolving, on the other hand, is good for the critic AND for the brand.

4 months ago on Are We In Danger of Losing the Right to an Opinion?

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@DallasK @belllindsay I agree, and actually believe that, paradoxically, firing IS compassionate… for the HIGH-PERFORMERS. (Sorry about possible over-usage of "paradox," Lindsay :-) )

Negligence is not firing politicos and not trying to help the non-performers (before firing them if they can't deliver on the mission).

Your high-performers will most likely leave you if you don't take the lead with such difficult decisions, so why lose the good and keep the deservedly bad? 

Consistent with Dallas, I once fired a pretty good sales guy because his toxicity was threatening to become more damaging to the greater good. My team appreciated it, and we kicked proverbial ass in the marketplace.

4 months, 1 week ago on Protect Your Corporate Culture by Hiring Right

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@belllindsay @JackVincent Indeed, that's a paradoxic, isn't it, Lindsay?

Years ago I read that the most creative advertising comes from "tight briefs." (Don't let your mind wander, even though mine always does!)

And perhaps that's a good parallel to make re. Etsy's recruiting. Their process is rigorous and tight… their down-to-earth, grass-root'sy culture is all part of a master plan. Hire high-performers, indeed, but also those who can live the brand.

I'll send your congrats on. I'm wickedly proud of her… long before her hiring. She's a winner, a great working mother... and a great niece.

4 months, 1 week ago on Protect Your Corporate Culture by Hiring Right

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Sometimes it's the people with the least means or the greatest adversity who accomplish the most, and they're certainly the ones who are the most inspiring.

Sometimes I wish my childhood were tougher. But only sometimes.

Paul McCartney said John Lennon's genius and his drive came from his troubled childhood. Then Paul said (and I paraphrase), "Do I think that John was more talented than I? Absolutely. Would I take his childhood for it. No. And that's the real reason I respect him so much."

Very motivating story, Danny. Hawking is an example for the ages.

4 months, 1 week ago on The Little Boy That Could (Or Why We Need to Make What We Do Brilliant Every Time)

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This post is so important! I watched a company decay and literally go out of business because of poor hiring. But I shall steer this to the positive.

My niece was recently a candidate at Etsy, at their newest, smallest office in Hudson NY. The interview process consisted of about ten meetings over a month. Toward the end of the process, she said, "Not one of these interviews was wasted. Each person knew of my previous meetings in detail." She got the job, and she absolutely loves it, the people and the culture.

4 months, 1 week ago on Protect Your Corporate Culture by Hiring Right

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Love it.  I'm a Hero's Journey freak.  


It's not a story if it doesn't have a conflict and plot, and that's where the antagonist comes in.  I recently read that your protagonist is only as interesting as the antagonist makes him/her.


Then what makes it meaningful, in most literature, is theme. That's where revelation and transformation help in putting it all together… putting the theme together.


And… I'm an absolute Harry Potter freak.  JK Rowling wrote seven long books… 1.080,000 words to say three:  "Love conquers all."  Yet, she didn't waste a word. 

4 months, 1 week ago on The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

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@ginidietrich @belllindsay I believe any skill can be honed… but the motivation has to be there to DO it.  Often what holds us back from learning a new skill is the discomfort of doing, knowing it won't be perfect.  But that's where SKILL (vs talent) is developed.

So, paradoxically, I agree with Lindsay.  Some people won't ever learn how to tell a good story, but not because it's not within their reach :-)

4 months, 1 week ago on The Five Parts to Brand Storytelling Nearly Everyone Misses

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Even THIS headline is compelling. And then the you deliver on the promise, too ;)

4 months, 1 week ago on How to Write a Compelling Headline

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@Eleanor Pierce @biggreenpen Great post… and great comment thread here!  

We've all been guilty of complaining about clients… myself included. Then I went out on my own, and I can honestly say, I started WORSHIPPING my clients… LOVING them. 


Then I went "back in from the cold" and rejoined an agency, and I preached this "love" thing every day. I'm all for positive reinforcement, but it's even better when straight talk is part of the culture, too. So I would often say, "You don't love your client? Cool, but go out on your own for six months, then tell me how you feel."


Don't want to sound holier than thou or perfect. In my worst moments, I still can be heard saying, "WTF." But I catch myself, and try to reframe. We can be "disappointed" with our clients, and we can be "surprised," but we MUST respect them, and then drill down on why they're doing what they're doing. That's not complaining. In fact, that's still love, in my view.  "Sometimes I'm disappointed, baby, but where would I be without you? Let's work on this." :-)

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Voice and Tone in Internal Communications

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Love it, Danny. After my spiritual journey of a decade ago, I told myself, "I am not the greatest, and I can not have it all. But I can be great, and I'll have what I need." Your post reinforces that.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on What We Want Versus What We Need

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I bet the drag queens are hoping they can be as radical as the kids!

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: The Kids are Dancing

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This is so true, it hurts! When people used to take photos of me, I would tilt my head up/back and smile, sometimes with my mouth open. And the result… ugh!


A colleague suggested I tilt my head down… not too much that it looked unnatural, to just pull my chin down… ever so little… toward my chest bone. Eureka! Now, GQ is not inviting me to grace their cover (those fools!), but I do like my pics… and videos... a lot more. Your point about higher camera angle / light angle accomplishes this, too. Thanks!

5 months, 1 week ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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Thanks, Gini. 


I believe many people today are saying, "Leaders are cool. Managers are dweebs." In fact, most of us have the opportunities to be leaders and, at the same time, most of also have the responsibility to be managers.  


Leadership manifests itself in "moments."  Something happens, and how we respond to it shows our leadership character.  Or, something needs to happen, and how we engage people to get it going also demonstrates leadership character.  


But we should not say, "Aw, I'm a leader; I'm above doing that management stuff." Anyone who is good at both will be a better performer overall than the one who focuses on just one.


Now it's time for me to do some management stuff.  It ain't glorious, but it needs to get done :-)

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Managers vs. Leaders: The Traits of Each

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Great story! Part karma, part collaboration… and all about forging relationships based on trust. Thanks!

5 months, 3 weeks ago on The Boy With the Bread – A Business Parable

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Agree with katskrieger that this (active listening) is a constant challenge, but, yes, also always working on it.  In fact, it's central to my sales coaching and training, AND, it's my belief that great sales people actually LEAD buyers to make the right purchase.  Central to that is listening (and asking the right questions!).  Thanks!

2 years ago on Shut Up: How Great Leaders Listen

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 @ginidietrich :-) I was going nowhere the other way, so I guess "forever" was shorter. 

 

I suggested this to several other writers with writer's block (or non-start), and two of them said that it worked.  Others thought I was crazy... but I already knew that.

2 years ago on Five Tips for Writing Large Body of Works

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Weird person that I am, I found that I could NOT write the first draft of my book at my desk, on my laptop.  (Second and subsequent drafts, yes.)

 

What really made the difference was this:  I started my book outline with the chapter titles or chapter concepts.  I listed them in approximate order.  I then inserted page breaks between each one, so that I essentially had chapter titles/concepts at the top of each (otherwise) empty page.  

 

I then printed each page out, again, with the chapter title/concept at the top.

 

Then, whenever I could dedicate the time, I took out the old-fashioned, hard-copy, mostly blank chapters and one-by-one would write in long-hand.  (Each time I got back to the office, I would photocopy the new chapters and store them somewhere other than my briefcase, where the originals stayed, just in case should happen to the originals!)

 

Once I had the first longhand draft done, I THEN sat down at my desk and plugged it into  my laptop.  Of course, I was editing as I was drafting, so now I had a second draft in my laptop.

 

I then printed THIS out, and edited by hand, and, yup, would LATER plug these edits into my "third draft" file.  Seven versions later, I was done.  

 

Yay... a first book!  I simply would not have gotten there if I had done it all from scratch in my laptop, because I'm just not wired to write large works from scratch that way.   Book 2 in the works, and, yes, I'm doing it the same way, and making serious progress.

 

 

 

2 years ago on Five Tips for Writing Large Body of Works

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I'm a big believer in personal branding.  

 

There are a lot of definitions for "brand" -- among them, a brand is an expectation of an experience, and a brand is what people (potential customers) say about you when you're not there.  If this is the case, then personal branding is a definite "it exists."  

 

I also agree with Dave Vandenwalle, not in the arrogance thing :-) but in the outside presence not matching the inside reality.  I believe that if the product experience does not match the brand expectation, then your brand is doomed, whether your brand is personal or product/service.

2 years, 1 month ago on Two Reasons a Personal Brand is Imperative to Business Growth

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Great post, Gini. And this also fits not just to job applicants but to freelancers and independent consultants. 

2 years, 2 months ago on How Social Media Affects Your Job Search

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