The First Thing You Are: In Business

Years ago, I spent a summer working at an outdoor sporting company.

My job was to be concierge, mechanic and driver. Most time I spent driving a 24-seater mini-bus, taking tourists up into the mountains.

They would get into a kayak, make their way down to the valley,
and there I would pick them back up.

Fun job, though it wasn’t easy: That was the last year I lived in the monastery and I was technically still a monk.
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Why Sending Daily Emails Gets Me High Open Rates, Traffic, and Fanmail

If you’ve been a subscriber here for any length of time, you’ve probably been surprised at the nearly daily emails I’m sending lately.

And before anything else: I do hope it’s not too much for you.

If you do feel that it’s too often, or if you don’t feel my thoughts are worth your time, feel free to opt out at the bottom of the page. (Hope you don’t though).

Today on my Mastermind call I was asked why I mail so often these days.

Am I not worried that people will find it too much? Shouldn’t I schedule them and spread them out over several weeks, so my writing gets me more mileage?

Reasonable questions, but I decided to take this approach for a specific reason.

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Build It. They Won't Come. Plus, the Solution

Isn’t sad when you see good people make bad decisions?

I can’t stand it: Someone comes up with a good idea, and then they just murder it off.

Point in case: Back in April, a friendly couple here in town decided to start selling soft-ice on the beachfront.

By all standards, a great idea: Tropical coast, summer, tourists, soft-ice. Spells profit, doesn’t it?

Sadly, it didn’t.

When I first heard of their plans and was introduced to them, I had serious doubts.

I asked – of course – my favourite question: How are you going to sell that stuff?

The owner blinked at me. Was I stupid?

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Why My First Ever Client Will Never Go Anywhere

Recently I worked on a client project with an incredibly smart User Experience (UX) expert.

We fell in love with each other’s work, and a few weeks later she ordered some copy from me.

During the briefing process, she told me one of THE most important notions in business:

To the end user or customer, the user experience IS the product

There is so much truth in it, it’s staggering.

You can apply the principle to every aspect of your business, from your website all the way to the fountain pen your client signs a contract with.

You’ll have heard about the difference between features and benefits, but user experience is probably even more important.

Now, people don’t consciously make purchase decisions based on user experience.

Having said that, you can bet your bottom dollar (literally) that a broken user experience is a fantastically effective sales killer.

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Warning: Old Psychology Wine in New Bags Coming Your Way

There’s a brand-spanking new trend in marketing land.

If my calculations are accurate, you’ll be slammed and bombarded with it inside of two months.

EVERYONE is going to fly this here freak-flag, and all the marketing boys are going to be all ‘REVOLUTIONARY SHIT YO!’ at you.

You just wait and see.

Right now, it’s only a few of the big dudes, and most of them are only beginning to really talk about it.

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Do What You Say, or They Walk Away. (Good Thing I'm Not a Poet)

Sometimes, big boys make big mistakes.

Today I received an email from WhichTestWon (interesting site, btw – I can recommend it if you’re into testing).

Which by the way, is something I recommend to all my clients. Test, test always be testing. Test early, test often.

Anyway, onwards: the email promised me a free download which looked interesting: Touted as a brand new 20 page whitepaper, I decided to click and get it.

I was taken to a site (not the WhichTestWon website) and landed on a squeeze page.

The call to action was: Fill out the form, receive the white paper by email.

Proceed to fill out form, click, page reloads…

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Always Look On the Bright Side of Sales

You know what’s ethical about sales?

Solving problems.

When someone – anyone – buys something, he or she is looking to solve a problem or meet a need of some sort.

A buyer is always looking to improve something, fix something, reduce or remove something negative.

If what you sell does that for them, it means that with each sale you’re essentially doing someone a favour.

If what you sell doesn’t solve a problem, why are you even in business?

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Want More Sales? Act Like a Pussy

In business, there is only one valid and current language: the language of the customer.

It’s the same in teaching – a good teacher knows they should talk at the level of understanding of the student.

I was reminded of this when I read a report about a research project into the language and behavior of cats.

If you’re a cat owner, it won’t be news to you: Cats have trick for getting your attention: a particular type of ‘baby-meow’. It’s a tiny little lilt, and it sounds remarkably similar to a human child asking for attention.

In fact, it’s not just children: we adults also use the same type of sound when we need attention, or help, or if we feel hurt or wronged.

It’s that lilt which drives you up the wall when your spouse uses it. With me? Right.

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Want More Sales? Learn How to Shut Up. (kindness inside)

With all the talk about social media and how you should join ‘the conversation’ and so on, there’s one thing that’s grossly ignored.


Silence is ridiculously powerful.

Not from a spiritual point of view or anything lofty like that.

See, we tend to talk too much. Most of us do. I sure do.

When you talk you can’t listen. It’s impossible.

I don’t care how good you are at multitasking: You either talk, or you listen.

Now, why is listening so important? What makes it such an effective tool, especially in business?

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La Traviesa

There’s a restaurant here in town called La Traviesa.

In the nearly six year I’ve lived here, I’ve seen the place change ownership at least seven times.

The food has generally been decent to quite good, depending on the owner at that time.

But as nice as the view might be, and as good as the cook may be, the fun kinda gets spoiled if the kitchen window opens onto the terrace, and the cook is a screaming fury who insults here staff whilst loudly throwing skillets through the kitchen.

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