Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Jul 24 2018

HELP Launch This Brilliant New Musical Movie!

This inspirational film musical is

about 3 intertwined, related love 

stories… with a touch of fantasy. 

 

Humor, memorable songs and dramatic edginess ala Sound of Music, La La Land and Mama Mia are delivered yet again with new and different captivating characters–struggling to conquer the trials of life in:

FEARLESS! ABOUT LOVE 

                                                                                                                                 

The music drives the emotions and dialogue of the characters singing original songs by composer Valerie Connelly in a variety of genres. 

NOW — with more than a dozen years of production testing and development (including a range of live stage performances), YOUR HELP IS NEEDED to open film production doors, recruit top talent and assist with initial development costs.

To visit a complete representation–including music and stage performance trailers–and Valerie Connelly’s lifetime of songwriting, music arrangement and composition, her recordings, live performances, and life path, simply click on the black-outlined logo box/link at the top of this column. 

 

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Mar 20 2014

MOVING – ONWARD AND UPWARD!

“Got here safe & sound, Y’all!”

 

AND STILL UNPACKING AND SETTING UP NEW OFFICES . . .

GUESS WHERE?????  Email your guess: Hal@Businessworks.US  (“New Office” in Subject Line) Winning guesses entered in drawing for a FREE first edition signed copy of HIGH TIDE fictionalized account of America’s biggest drug deal! See www.HighTideNow.com

Thank you for your visit.

If you’re new to this blog, please mark your calendar to return on April 16th for the beginning of Tax Return Recovery, and to help kickoff an exciting new series of posts you won’t find anywhere else!

If you’ve been visiting here regularly since the birth of my blog in April, 2008 (and now closing in on 1500 posts), thank you even extra!

You, especially, will want to return April 16th to see what’s in store for innovative, spirited business and healthcare professionals. You’ll get  proven new ways of thinking to boost your sales and make the most of your leadership skills — for profit and nonprofit businesses and professions alike. You’ll get coaching that works in the office and meeting room, on the phone and on paper, on the smartphone and the computer. You will get specific how-tos for building and enhancing your leadership posture in your industry, your marketplace, and your community.

When you return here April 16th, you will get the beginning of an input stream that no one else dares to share . . . on ways to feel better about your SELF (no product or service sales pitches, no lectures, no gimmicks). You’ll get ways to be encouraged, ways to make a difference with your career and family pursuits, ways to rise above the clutter.

You’ll get solid substance based on more years of experience than you probably are old. Not just passive observations, you’ll get frontline/hands-on experience with over 2,000 business consulting and return engagements AND with more than 20,000 students and management training participants. PLUS –as incredible as it’s always been–it will be free on this blog. Try it. You’ll like it. Send your friends.

In the meantime, to better serve our Entrepreneurial Clients (Including Business Startups, SalesPropreneurs©, Doctorpreneurs© and Corporate Entrepreneurs©), BUSINESSWORKS.US and TheWriterWorks.com, LLC will be in the process of relocating to another State. You’ll get the details as soon as we’re settled. In the meantime, Happy Spring!

See you the day after taxes!!!

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Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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Dec 22 2011

CHRISTMAS IN IRELAND

Updated From the Best of Hal’s Christmastime Business Posts . . . 

A toy truck, a stroller,

                                            

and pub coasters

                                          

strung with dental floss…

                                                                                                                        

                                                                                 

A few years ago, on a re-visit trip to Ireland, Kathy and I –romanticized by the classic Bing Crosby Christmas song, “Christmas In Killarney”– spent our first Christmas away from home at Killarney Country Club.

                                                       

 Up a rocky, grass-between-the-tires dirt road from downtown Killarney, jockeying “the wrong side” car controls to bounce cheerfully along between the endless stone walls that separated farm from farm and cows from sheep, we drove under a brick archway and into an historic-looking brick complex that held captive about three dozen two-story townhouses.

There was one other car at the far end. We parked and followed the “Office” arrow. We found a smiling, green-eyed, freckled face and bubbling thick Irish accented young lady at the office counter. We registered and unpacked. We were shown to a spacious two-bedroom upstairs arrangement with living room and kitchen downstairs. Our windows overlooked the property’s main courtyard and pathway to the Country Club Pub.

It seems when I think back that (after the first day of dealing with the one other car’s occupants — a rude tourist family of six that commandeered the odd three-feet-deep indoor pool), we were actually the only guests there for the rest of the (Christmas) week.

We made the trek into town everyday, a beautiful, historic, bustling hub filled with happy holiday shopping locals, who seemed to visit a shop or two, then stop in a pub, then visit a shop or two, then stop in a pub . . . you get the idea. And we drove hundreds of miles of picturesque unspoiled (and unlittered) countryside during the week, meeting only pleasant, accommodating-to-a-fault natives all along the way.

Night driving seemed a bit perilous, so we opted for evening visits to the Country Club Pub (the alternative was staying in our unit with three tv stations, two of which were German!). The only Christmas tree we could find ($45 American) made Charlie Brown’s look like Rockefeller Plaza. Our scruffy pine was about 30 inches tall and had about 16 (or maybe it was 14?) scrawny branches.

We had no ornaments, but confiscated a wide range of cardboard pub coasters in our travels, punched small holes in each with a fork, and strung them up with pieces of dental floss. A homemade aluminum foil star found its way to the top. We stuffed two ”Season’s Greetings”-scrawled plastic shopping bags with small sofa pillows and hung them in our windows.

We grocery-shopped for the all-time elaborate brunch of Irish rasher (bacon), eggs, cheese, jam, butter, toast, fruit, crackers, caviar, coffee, tea–  and a bottle of asti that (being entrenched deep in beer and ale country, cost 11 gazillion dollars American) tasted a lot better than it was.

We exchanged gifts we had bought the day before, walking down opposite sides of the downtown, waving in between passing cars, trucks, buses, pedestrians, and shopfronts, a book for me, a piece of Irish crystal and a little stuffed Irish Christmas Bear for her, plus some other goodies. It was great fun and everyone wished everyone Merry Christmas!!

Every minute we spent there was great, even when fifteen native Killarney guys had us singing with them (at the Country Club Pub where they’d hiked to by flashlight from their nearby farms) until 3am which led us to the hilarious discovery that no one there had ever even heard of the Crosby song, “Christmas In Killarney”!!! (I tried to sing it and they all looked at one another like I was from Mars.)

With the rows of “y’got ta finish dem” topped-off pints of beer and ale lined up from one end of the bar to the other, planted there when 11:15pm closing time came, it ultimately mattered not that anyone heard of any song as long as you sang. And sing we did! When Kathy was asked to present a song, she sang “Zippity, Do-da, Zippity-A…” which brought the house down.

So much for that, but it was a wonderful experience. Just one thing was missing. Family. We spent half the afternoon trying to phone home, with circuit connections going from where we were on Ireland’s West Coast, to Northern Ireland, to Boston, to Florida, to New York, to the clan in New Jersey who sounded like they were in a tunnel.

It made us realize that all the happiness of the week there was momentarily lost to being lonesome for family. We managed to bounce back after that when the resort manager and his wife (who we suspect might have been listening in to our phone connection efforts) invited us to their home for a Christmas drink. 

We got to see the doll baby stroller Santa brought for their daughter. (Last Christmas, Santa brought the doll!). I think their son got a toy truck. One single present each and those children were in heaven! Uh, it might be worth repeating that: “One single present each and those children were in heaven!”

That certainly gave us cause for pause. We in America are blessed with so much, and family is, well, what Christmas is all about now, isn’t it? It was a Christmas of great learning that stayed with us.

I truly hope for you that you enjoy what you have today, and not take any of it for granted.

Oh, one last thing: Please remember to God Bless Our Troops for their eternal vigilance that grants us the freedom we have to celebrate this joyous day and season! Enjoy!

 Peace be to you.

                        

The original of this Christmas story appeared on 12/25/08 on this blog site.

                               

God Bless You One And All

And Merry Christmas To You!

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Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Aug 29 2011

A human-side lesson for business owners

If I had my life to live over

 

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously.

I would take more chances. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it over again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”

   

— Nadine Stair, 85 years old (in 1968), Louisville, Kentucky

(Links inspired by these words were inserted by Hal)

                                          

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Mar 07 2011

Daily Commutes: Exhilarating or Zombie Zone?

To and from work, are you

                                        

wide-eyed and bushy-tailed

                                   

… or in a trance-like state?

                                                             

DOES IT MATTER? Well, does your job attitude matter? Your family attitude? What goes on with you in that little Twilight Zone commuting-to-and-fro time window? Are you looking and acting like you just stepped out of (or into) some weird, skin-crawling Steven King story? How does your daily commute impact your business? Career? Family?

                                                                                                                                                                              

Or, hey, maybe you’re hop-skip-jumping along in time to your happy whistling? (Hmmm, hard to remember the last time I heard someone whistle. Once it was commonplace, but now suggests serial-killer symptoms.) Or, no, I was, well, I was  going to substitute “humming” but that’s come to signal readiness for being committed, y’think?

I’m asking all these questions because I have been, alternatively: a tiger, a puppy-dog, and a zombie commuting to, from, and through a wide variety of career pursuits.

I’ve run the proverbial gamut of commuter vehicle experiences from choppers to car pools, and here’s some of what I found . . .

                                                                               

Years of Fortune 500 corporate client travels and commuter trains so jam-packed and smoke-filled, I often gave up a seat to stand, freezing, between the deafening, open-air train car connection spaces (an hour each way on those rare occasions when schedules were actually met), hanging on for dear life. And I won’t even mention the rain.

Ah, yes, and there was always at least one time when briefcase snaps failed or a coffee lid wasn’t secured!

Those enlightening death-defying train rides definitely fed appreciation like no other for the plastic suburbs and phony weekend-warrior neighbors.

I mean imagine racing home from the railroad station to screaming kids, barking dogs, complaints about dinner being cold and a mountain of bills. 

But, alas, those late arrival, go-getter young executives –after working long past punch-out time, in efforts to excel and earn more– often found that state of pandemonium a welcome greeting!

                                                       

In fact, it was almost a treat compared to straddling the clanking, jerking, bucklings that connected the stinking (slippery when wet) rail-cars after a stressful workday.

Then there were years of driving (and standing still on “expressways”) and tolls, bridges, bus fumes, and broken windshield wipers. I wonder how many hours wasted away waiting in lines and at traffic lights and in (cough!cough!cough!) claustrophobic tunnels. No, never mind, I really don’t want to know. It would make me crazier than I am.

So, take a taxi! Yeah, right! Talk about crazy. Besides that drivers must have to pass a taxi test that proves they can’t speak English, they all have their little trade secrets about longer routes to take passengers who are in a hurry, more dangerous routes to take passengers who look nervous, etc. Taxi? No thanks! 

____________________

Besides, I ditched all that nonsense years ago when I took the big leap off of payrolls and benefit plans and came crashing to Earth as (Ta-ta-ta-ta-tah-tah!) . . . poorer than a ragged beggar, more headstrong than the bull in front of the Stock Exchange, able to leap onto prospective clients in a single bound . . . Look! . . . Up in the air! . . . It’s . . . It’s a corporate mogul . . . it’s a pocket-padding politician . . . NO! IT’S ENTREPRENEURMAN!

Yup, that’s me! Shucks! You’d never recognize that frazzled commuter anymore. Now I just run up and down the stairs to my basement office, bathrobe aflutter, with an armful of pantry snacks, writing fool that I am, remembering the good old commuter days, and being soooo thankful to be struggling in small business with big happiness!

                                                                                  

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Dec 23 2010

CHRISTMAS IN KILLARNEY

A toy truck, a stroller, 

                                         

and pub coasters

                                        

strung with dental floss…

__________

                                             

A Christmas-in-Ireland Memory

(Featured Christmas Post for December 23- December 26, with no commercial interruptions. Fresh new daily blog posts on business and personal development will begin again on Monday, December 27th. Please return then, and please enjoy the archive insights anytime.)

Thank you for your visit!

___________

  A few years ago, Kathy and I made a return trip to the West Coast of Ireland.  This particular visit was  inspired and romanticized by the classic Bing Crosby Christmas song, “Christmas In Killarney.”  We spent our first Christmas away from home in the Southwest (County Kerry) corner of Ireland, at Killarney Country Club. 

___________

     Up a rocky, grass-between-the-tires dirt road from downtown Killarney, jockeying “the wrong side” car controls to bounce cheerfully along between the seemingly endless stone walls that separated cows from sheep, we drove under an archway and pulled into the courtyard of a two-story brick complex that reminded me of “Gone With The Wind.” 

     There was one other car at the far end.  We parked, followed the sign to the office, and at front desk found a smiling, green-eyed, freckled face young lady with what else but a bubbling thick Irish accent . 

     We registered and unpacked into a spacious two-bedroom upstairs arrangement, with living room and kitchen downstairs.  Our windows overlooked the courtyard and pathway to the Country Club Pub.  Farmland hills peppered the distant views.

     It seems when I think back –after the first day of being sneered at by a non-English speaking tourist family of six who seemed to resent us poking our heads in to take the front desk clerk’s invitation to check out the odd, three-foot-deep, indoor pool they had commandeered– that we were actually the only guests there for the rest of the (Christmas) week. 

___________

     We made the bumpy drive into town every day, a beautiful, historic, bustling hub filled with happy holiday shopping locals who appeared to be warming up for the coming Saint Steven’s Day celebration that started the day after Christmas, and pretty much shut down the country for twelve days.

     Most of the shoppers we observed seemed to visit a shop or two, then stop in a pub, then visit a shop or two, then stop in a pub . . . you get the idea. So, “When in Rome…” or Killarney, as the case may be, we simply followed the crowd.

     I’ll always remember clusters of rowdy-looking teenagers huddled together on sidewalks, laughing and smoking and being teenagers, suddenly backing up out of the way as we approached (smiling, gesturing us past, saying “Good Marnin’ ta’ya!” and the boys actually tipping their caps) to let us walk through. Who knew?

     Of course we didn’t spend all of our time in town. We drove hundreds of miles of picturesque unspoiled (and un-littered) countryside during the week, meeting only pleasant, accommodating-to-a-fault natives all along the way. 

     Night driving seemed a bit perilous, so we opted for evening visits to the Country Club Pub.  The alternative was staying in our unit with three tv stations (two of which were broadcast in German from Germany! Go figure). 

___________

     The only Christmas tree we could find to buy (for $45 American) made Charlie Brown’s famously forlorn little scrub pine look like Rockefeller Plaza.  I think the one we got was about thirty (“turtee”) inches tall and had about 16 (or maybe it was 14?) scrawny branches. 

     Back with the tree, but (Oh, yikes!) no ornaments!  We had managed to confiscate a wide range of cardboard pub coasters in our travels, and strung them up with pieces of dental floss. 

     We fashioned a homemade treetop star from a piece of aluminum foil the bartender scrounged up, and stuffed two ”Season’s Greetings”scrawl-imprinted plastic shopping bags with small sofa pillows, and hung them in our windows. 

     We grocery-shopped for the all-time elaborate Christmas morning brunch of Irish rasher (bacon), eggs, cheese, jam, butter, toast, fruit, crackers, caviar (no, I was not leaving caviar for Santa; this was, after all, vacation!), coffee, tea . . . and –being deeply entrenched in beer and ale country– a bottle of asti that at the price of about 67 trillion dollars American, tasted a lot better than it was. 

___________

     We ended up exchanging gifts that we bought “secretly” as we walked down opposite sides of the downtown, waving across the road at one another between store visits while hiding shopping bags behind our backs — a book for me, a piece of Irish crystal and a little stuffed Irish Christmas Bear for her, plus some other goodies.  It was great! 

     Every minute there was great, even when fifteen native Killarney guys –the town butcher, a gooseneck twister (yucht!), dairy farmer, mailman, horseshoe maker, “tyre” changer, carpenter, and on and on– had us singing with them until 3am at the Country Club Pub (where most had hiked by flashlight from their nearby stone and clapboard farmhouses).  

     With the rows of “y’got tafinish ’em” topped-off pints of beer and ale lined up from one end of the bar to the other (planted there when 11:15pm closing time came and the lights were flickered, the doors locked, the lights turned back on and the singing began), we joined in the raising of glasses and voices. 

___________

     It was this experience –as we worked our way through “I’ll take you home again, Kathleen” and “Danny Boy” to an endless string of Christmas songs– that led us to the astonishing discovery that no one in Killarney had ever even heard of the traditional classic Crosby song, “Christmas In Killarney” that brought us there in the first place!

     But it didn’t matter that no one knew Bing had celebrated their town, as long as we sang with them, and with some measure of gusto.  Well, sing we did!  Kathy (besides being only one of very few females who ever stepped up mto the bar there, even led a chorus of “Zippity Do-dah!” 

     Laughter rocked the pub all night. 

     Walking uphill between farms the next morning, a man about a hundred yards behind a crumbling rock wall, dropped his handheld plow, patted his horse and jogged across the field just to tip his hat, reach over the rocks to shake hands, and wish us Merry Christmas!

     So much for all that pleasant surprise stuff; we really did have a wonderful experience there. 

___________

     Just one thing was missing.  Family.  We spent half of Christmas afternoon trying to phone home, with circuit connections going from where we were, to Northern Ireland, to Boston, to Florida, to New York, to the clan in New Jersey who sounded like they were in a tunnel. 

     It made us realize that all the happiness of the week we spent there was momentarily lost to being lonesome for family. 

     We managed to bounce back when the resort manager and his wife (who we suspect might have been listening in to our phone connection efforts) invited us to their home to see the doll baby stroller Santa brought for their daughter.  (Last Christmas, Santa brought the doll!). 

      Their son got a toy truck. 

     One single present each.  The two children were so thrilled, they thought they were in heaven! 

     T h a t   certainly gave us cause for pause. 

 _______________________

    

 We in America are so blessed with so much . . . and family is, well, what Christmas is all about now, isn’t it? 

     Kathy and I truly hope that you and yours

     enjoy what you have today, and every day,

and not take any of it for granted. 

     Oh, one last thing: Please remember to God Bless Our Troops for their eternal vigilance that grants us the freedom we have to celebrate this joyous Christmas day and holiday season! 

                                          

Enjoy, and Peace Be With You!

[The original of this Christmas story appeared on 12/25/08 on this blog site.]

 

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www.TheWriterWorks.com

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Nov 04 2010

When Reality Sucks!

Tired of Reality?

                                                     

Ache for Fake?

 

Comes a time for every professional practice and business owner or manager to step up into the world of make-believe, and take a brain break from daily work realities and nightly reality TV.

I’m not talking a week in the islands or weekend at Disney World or some quality after-dinner minutes with kids or pets. These are all wonderful brain breaks recommended for every working human.

No, I’m talking about introducing a new ingredient in your daily schedule. You already read, right? But do you read right?

Are you filling your head with world news, industry news, market news, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow analyses, and all those advice articles: “How To Be A Better Leader”; “Saving Your Business From Financial Collapse”; “Why Motivating Customers AND Employees Is Like Juggling Seagulls”?

Ah, and even in the car, and late night TV, is it more business news?

Are you getting like one of those Washington DC-area C-Span junkies?

                                               

There is more to the world and more to your life than that. There is also more to your business than what you absorb from dwelling on business. And what might that be? Try INNOVATION!

Innovation doesn’t happen when you lock yourself up in a closet for a bunch of hours and suddenly come sweeping out with the magical answer (Note this analogy, those of you who retain creative services, which involves the same dynamic).

Innovation, it should be said, ONLY STARTS with a good idea. Ditch-diggers can come up with good ideas. For innovation to set in, you need a brain break!

Innovation means taking an idea

all the way through to fruition.

It requires comprehensive analysis of the product or service, the market, the competition, the creation and production options, the developmental costs and timelines, the human and operational resources needed, and so on and on, up to the point of launch countdown, and projections that go beyond that.

To foster and nurture innovation and innovative thinking requires a different mindset than is typically engaged on any given workday. The kind of free-spirited thinking that you evidenced when you started your business or professional practice or managerial job.

That attitude is not born of trade journals, online and traditional business media sources, or the rest of what you do every day!

Innovation comes about

from a mental shake-up!

It surfaces when you challenge yourself to look somewhere else besides the worlds of reality that cling to your shirtsleeves 5-7 days a week.

Yes, indulge yourself with travel and friend and family visits, and playing with your kids or pets (or the neighbor’s kids or pets). Take more photographs. Paint. Draw. Write. Get out of the rut.

One of the best ways to take this daily journey to increased productivity and innovative thinking is to do more reading — but not business stuff. Stop choosing excuses. Replace some of that reality overload with visits to fantasyland.

Go buy two FICTION books that look interesting to you. You might even find it surprising that you really CAN enjoy a novel. Set aside 20, 30, 60 minutes a day for it!

Anything from comics to Nelson DeMille’s serious humor stories, or Annie Proulx’s probes into America’s heartland, to Harry Potter books (you thought these were just for kids?), Richard Russo’s and Kent Haruf’s mainstream Americana stories, or a good mystery or suspense thriller. Just NOT business. And NOT nonfiction. And shelve the biographies and memoirs.

Your head needs to swim in make-believe. 

                                                                  

Do this conscientiously for just three weeks — your business cannot help but grow quicker and more brilliantly. Dangerous side effects: Your family, friends, and associates will actually enjoy being around you more. And (Aha!) less stress ( !) and new leadership opportunities!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

931.854.0474 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Aug 10 2010

Commuting to work . . .

How you chunk up

                                                                                                 

daily commute time  

                                                                                                    

reveals the real you!

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Ever wonder what you can learn about others based on how they spend their work commute time?

As unorthodox an HR assessment tool as it may seem, it’s probably as effective as any other. How a person commutes to work (i.e., by what means and process) indicates, after all, a little something of each of the following career attributes:

  1. time and stress management skills
  2. concentration and organization skills
  3. entrepreneurship
  4. motivation and prioritizing skills
  5. sense of initiative and responsiveness

The first pair of these itemized attributes (time and stress management skills) signals a person’s ability to adhere to a schedule while juggling interferences, interruptions, and delays. It also offers some clue about tolerance levels associated with the daily barrage of pin-pricks and nit-picks (and occasional flair-ups) of fellow-commuters.

Yes, there are still carpool goof-balls who jam an unsuspecting neighbor between them in the backseat and proceed to laugh as they spill coffee on the sandwiched lap at every pothole.

Yes, there’s always a sprawling snoring (and probably drooling) sleeper to awaken and/or climb over who’s commandeering two (or three with luggage) rush hour train (or subway or bus) seats — always, of course, when there are no other seats available.

What’s a poor commuter to do? Standing for an hour of jerks (both kinds) and bounces is not usually a great option for starting the day, especially when the time window was planned for laptop or paperwork. And please don’t start with defensive comments from “business class” express trains or some limo drivers union. We’re talking real life here. 

The second pair of attributes (concentration and organization skills) assumes the first pair can be readily met and dispensed with. It’s almost always easier to concentrate and be organized when you’re on schedule and able to fend off anger, annoyance, and upset!

Then there are also some who thrive at concentrating and being organized in chaos and turmoil. (A terrific qualifier for government job applicants!)

Next is, aaah yes, entrepreneurship! First of all, most of these folks only commute a flight or two of stairs in their bathrobes. Hey, there has to be some trade-off with corporatesville, right? And if any of these types are not officially running a basement or garage or kitchen table operation already, they are planning the moment of great escape, and aren’t reading this anyway.

Motivation and priority issues surface as various commuters face the grueling daily ritual of “Commuter Mental Block.”  Not sure about that? Just stand back and watch how many smiles disembark commuter vehicles balanced atop those suits and skirts as they enter work zones and re-enter home zones.

You’ll get volumes of information to match up with Maslow’s Hierarchy theory of motivation and a truckload of clues about those with strong prioritizing interests.

Responsive individuals with a sense of initiative rarely keep commuting . . . except perhaps a bathrobe-clad flight or two. These are the innovators, the catalysts for change, the emerging entrepreneurs who will gladly move to live on the edge of their venturesome ideas. They are the people who happily leap from the daily traffic battles and 9 to 5 status quo monotony to take their chances with their own self control. For the rest: Don’t give up your day job!    

                                                                                                    

www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jul 18 2010

Bankrupt Branding

A lesson from one

                                 

 of the masters . . .

 

You run a business. You know that when you’ve got something good, you run with it, right? Wouldn’t you expect something better from one of the world’s leading brands than a half-hearted, slipshod application of their “signature slogan” theme line?

On the heels (and after many years) of one of the most memorable slogans in history — “Leave the driving to us!” — the company came up in 2007 with one of the all-time worst slogans: “We’re on our way!” [Typical consumer response: “Who cares?”]

“We’re on our way!” totally disregarded the surge in consumerism which rendered this kind of chest-beating as inappropriate and ineffective. (And to put the icing on the cake, Greyhound reportedly spent over $60 million trying to shove their braggadocio down consumer throats!) This move was so predictably bad that had they spent even one nickle on it, they would have been making a poor marketing and management judgment.

Ah, but there was a comeback. Almost. Greyhound finally did outdo itself by actually topping that “Leave the driving to us” classic with this more recent touch of brilliance [and I truly do mean brilliance]:

Greyhound. Stop Less. Go More. 

 

Wow! What a terrific branding theme line. It says so much with so little. It’s customer-focused. I saw it on the side of one of their buses cruising down the New Jersey Turnpike. (Yes, it is true that occasionally one may be fortunate enough to actually cruise on this road that’s eternally jam-packed with Evil Knievel and Kamikaze wannabees.)

But then a funny thing happened.

A second Greyhound bus passed that, instead of the great ‘Stop/Go” theme on the side, had some very somber and unintelligible statement on the back that was an assertion of sorts about a business alliance with some organization whose name was replaced with a totally obscure logo that seemed about the size of maybe a golf ball or two. . . not terribly identifiable at 65mph.

Awhile later, I noted yet another Greyhound bus that appeared to have nothing on it except their famous racing dog  logo.

SO what?

Here’s what. It makes no marketing sense whatsoever to have different vehicles from the same company displaying different graphics and not capitalizing on the proven importance of repetition in selling. Can you imagine spending millions of dollars to establish a theme line (or signature slogan as Greyhound calls it) and not have that line appear in every conceivable application?

And is it a no-brainer to put it prominently on the sides of vehicles you operate?

Now this is no small-time company here. We’re talking about the largest North American intercity bus company, with 16,000 daily bus departures to 3,100 destinations in the United States. That ain’t hay. Yet the money they spent might as well have been hay.

If giant corporate entities like this haven’t the sense to get the right kind of marketing input, just imagine the plight of small business enterprises.

But small business can do what big business cannot. Small business can turn on a dime, be more innovative more quickly and capitalize on opportunities as they surface. Small businesses can also make the kinds of marketing-judgment and tweaking-help choices that big businesses can’t make without getting themselves too tangled up in politics.

I have always thought Greyhound to be a great company with great service and a reputation to match, but in the instance cited, they have clearly failed at making the most of what they already have, to achieve their goals quicker and more soundly.

Don’t waste your time, money, and effort trying to be too smart about too many things. Bring in a fresh, informed and experienced, outside perspective to turn what you have to say into a marketing message and approach that energizes employees and suppliers, and that — most importantly — stimulates and generates sales.

302.933.0911  Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

God Bless You. God Bless America and our troops.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

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Jul 07 2010

Your Car and Your Business

Are you driven,

                               

or just driving?

                                                                                       

     Next time you slide in behind the wheel, think about how many similarities there are between operating a motor vehicle and running your business. Why? Because it will give you a new or renewed perspective on many if not most of the things you do every day, and shed some new light on old issues that may be clogging up your business works.

     Most of us tend most of the time to ignore business clog-ups, thinking they’ll just go away (or not thinking about them at all), but — like any plumbing problem — things unfortunately have a way of coming to the surface at the least inopportune moments.

     This is not to suggest that your business should be preventive maintenance-driven (unless you’re a doctor, lawyer, accountant or mechanic) because giving that kind of mindset your priority wouldn’t leave much room for fueling up on innovative thinking. But, much like a periodic tune-up for your car, you may want to do a little service work on your business. So, try this . . .

     What does your car have in common with your business when it comes to you exercising control? How much do you really have? What’s controlled by others? Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? Does that work for you? Does it work for your business?

     What is and isn’t safe about operating your car as opposed to operating your business? What is and isn’t productive? Economical? What is and isn’t a good direction for you to take? What laws and circumstances confound, delay and punish you? How often do you need to fuel up? Do you use economy or high-performance ingredients? Attitudes?

     How much baggage and how many passengers can you comfortably carry over what distances? How frequently do you need to detour from the routes you planned? In getting your driving and business missions accomplished, how dependent are you on mechanical and computerized functions? How adept are you at handling inevitable glitches? Are you dependent on others for this? How so?

     How dependent are you — driving your car and driving your business — on your instincts, intuition, experience, training, knowledge, observations, communication skills? How easily distracted are you –driving your car and driving your business — by outside influences (everything from sirens, cell phones, traffic patterns, B to B services, social media, industry trade and community activities, to weather reports, headline news, sports scores and issues, and tire rotations)?

     How much are you willing to pay to be able to pursue certain directions in the driver’s seat of both your business and your car?

     If you just scan these questions and answer only a couple, odds are pretty good that prompting some quick assessment thinking on your part will pay back your periodic time investments for giving yourself check-ups and arranging occasional servicing.

     Bottom line: Your car? Change the oil every couple of thousand miles; drop it off for regular servicing and keep aware of performance and tire pressure issues. Your business? Change the routine every couple of months; hold regular weekly “how goes it?” status meetings (Mondays better than Fridays); hire occasional consultants to bring fresh perspectives to your doorstep a few times a year. Keep aware of performance and pressure issues.    

www.TWWsells.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless:  You, America, and Our Troops. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

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