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Souls of Cities

I’ve created ads for local businesses from coast to coast for nearly a quarter century and I’ve studied the population of every place for which I’ve written ads; more than 100 towns in all. And I’ve presented seminars in an additional 92. That’s a lot of travel.And I’ve noticed that cities have personalities.
Humor can be [...]

Finding Your Ideal Publisher

I know it sounds odd, but the relationship between writer and publisher has some of the same dynamics as the relationship between expecting mother and obstetrician.
(A collective “Whaattt?!” erupts from the audience.)
Both relationships are initiated by a ‘conception’ of sorts. Both involve parties working together on a project lasting the better part of a year. [...]

How to Become a Master Networker

Adopt these 10 traits, and you’ll have people knocking down your door trying to do business with you.
Networking is more than just shaking hands and passing out business cards. Based on a survey I conducted of more than 2,000 people throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, it’s about building your [...]

Shopus Interruptus

I recently got an itch to shop for toys. For real, in a real store. I found a great one, with fun, high-tech gadgets. I drove over, walked inside, grabbed a cart, and pushed it down the aisle. I saw something I liked, put it in the cart, and… BAM! I found myself and the [...]

Why We Buy

Happiness rarely triggers commerce. Unhappiness often does.
Purchases are triggered by dissatisfaction with the way things are. We purchase when we have a need, a desire, an itch to scratch. We want to change our condition, our surroundings, our state of mind. We buy because we are dissatisfied.
And this dissatisfaction is often created by the advertising [...]

Promoting Independent Thought

Bruce Pinchbeck’s parenting formula includes the following principles:

Don’t stifle them with rules and regulations
Encourage them to pursue their interests
Look for opportunities to guide them when they are receptive

Does it surprise you to learn that Bruce’s son B.J. became an entrepreneur at age 9?
Yep, while all his peers were playing video games, “BeeJay” was creating a [...]

How Deep Is Your Network?

You have a lot of contacts, but how well do you really know them? Strengthen the relationships you already have and you’ll grow a strong network you can always depend on.
Once, someone I barely knew contacted me and asked if I would promote his business service within my networking organization. I considered this person [...]

Want to Persuade? First, Delight!

Customer service sucks!
That’s not just my humble opinion. Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s parent corporation) has released a study showing companies are failing to meet basic consumer service expectations, despite the fact CRM (Customer Relationship Management) spending continues to rise. But I’m not here to keep beating up companies that practice customer abuse. [...]

Revealing the Vivid Unexpected

The Secret of Saying Too Little
I will not dissect my own writing like a formaldehyde frog in the dim light of your monitor. But I will, for your benefit, gently press my scalpel into a paragraph written by England’s brilliant Roy Clarke:
“The thing about growing up is that you get fewer scabs on your knees, [...]

Write Now, Figure the Rest Out Later

Our friends, Rich and Gwen (names changed to protect the guilty), weren’t talking about another child. With two wonderful little boys, a Labrador pooch named Tut, and each other, their family seemed plenty big as it was.
But then one night—“yada-yada-yada”—and it wasn’t long before Gwen started feeling nauseous. “No way,” she told herself. “I’m going [...]

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