Apr 23 2011


As a national book award-winning author, a national marketing award-winner, and two-time university Professor-of-the-Year award winner, I can deliver the sales you want. 


Don’t believe it!


But if I tell you that I’ve created client programs that have delivered over $1 billion in sales, believe it! (Actually, all of the above is true. But if it’s sales increases you seek, “sales produced” is all that really matters, right?)

I am a writer so (for more than thirty years) I read approximately 1.5 books a week. Fiction. Nonfiction. You name it. I have my favorite books and authors, but I am always trying out new ones.

I rarely if ever choose to do any kinds of “reviews” on this blog, but —and I really should know better by now as I look back at bogus past big-name “Prize” recipients like Carter, Gore, and Obama-– when a Nobel or  Pulitzer Prize winner of any kind comes along, I am still (unfortunately) mainstream-media-conditioned to snap to attention.

Hence, to make a business point at the conclusion of this post, here is my 100% subjective review of Pulitzer Prize-winning book TINKERS by Paul Harding, MFA (who taught writing at Harvard and The University of Iowa):

First of all, considering that the speed of reading this meager (183-page) book could be equated with underwater page-turning, and that the torture of the story offered –which literally tells you how a clock is made when you simply want to know what time it is– Water-Boarding might have been a more fitting title.

If it doesn’t put you to sleep, or drown you in the author’s sweat (which he surely poured forth trying to polish and perfect every overkill shred of every word), it will make you so thoroughly depressed you’ll want to run to the nearest cliff to swan dive into the rocks below.

Even if your genes have been handed down from Socrates, you’ll be bored to tears at this writer’s heart-wrenching effort to draw you into a totally unremarkable story of death and dying.

If, by the way, the subject intrigues you, look up Elizabeth Kübler-Ross for a real education minus all the fluff.

But my advice? Don’t waste your time with TINKERS (or your $14.95/$16.95 in Canada) unless word craftsmanship and belabored descriptions get you excited.

If it’s a great read you’re looking for, you may rather want to go directly to Jed Rubenfeld, Nelson DeMille, Cormac McCarthy, Kent Haruf, or E. Annie Proulx.

Now, why is this like business? What does this have to do with entrepreneuring?


Lots of business service people out there sport big-name awards. But the odds are pretty good you’ll never relate to their missions. And, even if you do, they’re not likely to produce sales for you!

It’s probably a best bet to disregard what business elitists think, and direct your needs to those providers with real-life performance track-records.

If you’re brave enough to ask, I’ll be happy to tell you endless tales about creative groups, ad and PR agencies, marketing firms, management consultants, SEO “experts,” website designers, media moguls, and incompetent but well-intentioned relatives who have won major awards, charged a fortune in fees, and produced nothing!

Generally speaking, the classier and slicker the presentation (or book cover), the more award-conscious (as opposed to sales or productivity-conscious) a given provider tends to be.


As a business owner or manager, this translates to:

  • Exercise extreme care when hiring outside consultant or service providers to make sure they are more committed to producing what you need than to serving their own pursuit of awards.

  • Be careful about appearances. They are rarely what they seem.

  • Ask for samples and examples. Put genuine effort into the screening process.

  • Remember that awards of any kind are (like my review above) totally subjective. Sales are real, tangible, and measurable.


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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!

2 responses so far

Jun 30 2009


  Is Your Business   




     I am convinced that the number one reason for business failure is not the economy, not insufficient capital, not poor management, and not over-regulation by government, though all are symptomatic.

     Government interference is of course particularly irksome because it’s being crafted, dictated, and delivered by an arrogant socialist stampede of naive, incompetent leaders whose total business experience equals zero.

     So, what IS the number one reason for business failure?

     Dig deeper.  

     In the past few years, I personally experienced or had first-hand reported more than two dozen incidents involving owners, operators, and managers of sizeable, established businesses hurtling their business interests the wrong way down one-way streets with reckless abandon.

     All have either since collided or failed or are on their way

All have or had the following characteristics in common:

  • Lack of follow-through and a vested interest in maintaining the status quo (amazingly, even after hiring outside consultants to ignite, stimulate, and motivate!) 
  • Disregard for and disrespect of their employees, with tokenism providing the prevailing wind 
  • Disregard of the very talents and solutions they were outsourcing to shore up their own shortcomings (hard to believe, especially after paying for services, but true!) 
  • Complete resistance to initiate two-way “partnership style” communicating
  • Not having a sense of urgency.    

     I reduce all of these weaknesses to driving a business the wrong way on a one-way street. It’s noteworthy that many of them talk(ed) the good talk…but to themselves: Mission Statements with no teeth!

     Without keeping open to and encouraging two-way communication by exercising strong listening and feedback skills, by making assumptions instead of addressing differences, and by disregarding the very consulting input they were paying for (and then not providing feedback), they were/are setting themselves up for failure. 

The economy, under-capitalization, poor management, and over-regulation are excuses. Businesses succeed–even with all of these factors working against them–by communicating openly at all levels all of the time. Communicating openly at all levels all of the time is the ultimate trigger for business transparency.

Transparency, like pregnancy, cannot be half-way.

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 Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below. Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, good night and God bless you!

One response so far


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