How to Clear Away The Clouds From Your Marketing Message

“I’m your financial weatherman. I look ahead at the clouds on the horizon, and keep your 401(k) from becoming a 201(k).” That’s how a financial advisor (Bob Williams) recently introduced himself at a local networking event, and it was masterful. Why? Because he used a relevant analogy, a touch of humor, and….most importantly….I remembered it. This […]

Fly the Jargon Skies

This week, I received in my inbox an introductory missive from the new President/CEO of United Airlines. This was not a first-class production. In fact, it should never have been allowed to leave the gate, it is so freighted with boilerplate business-speak baggage. This is what happens when you try to say all the “right” […]

Fixing Those Blind Spots

When I bought my Mazda6, one of the features that unexpectedly sold me on the car was a BSDS – Blind Spot Detection System. If you activate your turn signal and start to turn the steering wheel, sensors in the wheel wells automatically check to see if there are any vehicles in your “blind spot” […]

Here’s What ALL Your Customers Are Buying

“Plop, plop; fizz, fizz…oh, what a relief it is!” It was one of the most memorable commercial jingles of my growing-up years….annoyingly so. But this commercial teaches us a wonderful lesson about business and marketing – people buy pain relief. If you’re selling something, you’re making a huge (but very common) mistake by focusing on […]

How Do You Figure Out Your High-Level Strategy?

I had an e-mail exchange with fellow solopreneur Stephen Lahey this week about a very cool form he has developed (see: here). This several-page analytical tool is to help other people figure out who their best clients are (and why). I looked it over, liked it, and then made the remark that I wonder how many people […]

How Can I Help You Today?

  I sent this out to two of my e-mail newsletter lists today: The variety of requests coming in is fascinating. I think I’ll do a live update (anonymous, of course): – How can I gain respect back from some co-workers after some mess-ups, including miscommunications? (this recent post is relevant, actually: http://www.stevewoodruff.com/two-simple-ways-to-be-a-better-communicator-this-week/) – I would […]

Welcome To Charlie’s Takeout Char-Broiled Chicken Thighs Served on China

“Can I take your order? You’d like some char-broiled chicken thighs served on china? Well, you’re in the right place!” Is it possible to be a little bit too specific when naming your business? Actually….yes. I regularly advise companies not to be generic about their business name – Enterprise Business Solutions, Inc., for instance, says absolutely […]

Sleeping with a Masked Man

My wife now sleeps with a masked man. This does not upset me – in fact, I am very much in favor of the arrangement – since I am that masked man. Why am I wearing a mask at night? Well, a few months ago I had a sudden minor stroke while traveling (A Scary Moment in Terminal […]

How To Say “No” in Business

  This weekend, I received an encouraging newsletter from my friend and fellow solopreneur Stephen Lahey. He said “No” (and I hadn’t even asked him a question!) Here’s what Steve wrote: What Steve is doing is practicing businesss clarity – by having a very clear understanding of what the “Yes” of his business is, he has the […]

Career Shame

In recent days, I’ve spent a good bit of time talking to people who are in their 30’s and 40’s, and going through career transition. Actually, in some cases, it’s total career re-definition. Ever felt “lost” as an adult when you’re in mid-career-stride? Like, in retrospect, maybe you made some really bad decisions? Yeah, that. It […]