On Your Mark!

Yesterday was a frustrating day – I spent all day either in a car or in a car dealership.  I’m frustrated at being in Canada (Alliston nonetheless) and my inability to train with the High Park Demons.

I’m determined to make today a much better day.  I tore into the archives of some people that I take inspiration from – Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki to name two.  I’ve found a masters degree program that I would be interested in attending in 2012 (Luxembourg School of Finance), written web copy for the Gobi web site, looked at some auto loans, reviewed financial statements for hotels, and set up a few phone meetings today that could turn into substantial business before I leave for China.  Now it’s time to get back to work.

Seth Godin – May 29, 2009: The Difference Between Marketing and Sales

Marketing tells a story that spreads.
Sales overcomes the natural resistance to say yes.

If you don’t pay the salesforce (because you go direct, or you go free), then who is going to do that for you? The only answer that occurs to me is, “your users/fans/customers.”

This means that a critical element of any strategy that ditches the salesforce is to figure out how you will empower and encourage your customers to take their place. Easier said than done.

Guy Kawasaki – September 19, 2008: The Soul of Wit

According to a series of psychological studies discussed on Psychology Today, research participants are able to successfully communicate sarcasm and humor in a mere 56 percent of emails—and most of the senders had no idea their attemps were so ineffective.

How do you avoid this? The article gives some tips:

    • Read your emails aloud and listen for parts that could be confusing.
    • For important emails, walk away from the computer and come back with a fresh perspective.
  • Eudora apparently has a “Mood Watch” function, which highlights volatile phrases—one, two or three red chili peppers, depending on the burn.

This is a great reminder, especially when writing pitches or cover letters. Wit can be a great tool—as long as most readers get it. Clearly, subtlety is not the soul of wit.

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