Oct 20 2011


Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!




How much is enough? How much is too much? I cannot recall a time or circumstance –ever– in my life when a sincere “Thank You” provoked trouble or, more importantly, failed to prompt a smile or increased cooperation or an enhanced reputation, or more courtesy in return. Can you? Think hard. Be honest. Thank you.

So, small business owners learn early on, by instinct, that every customer needs to be thanked with every purchase. But how often do we remember to offer thanks to our employees, partners, investors, referrers, suppliers, lenders, visiting sales reps, the cleaning and delivery people, outside consultants, the communities your business serve? 

Really. How often?Considering that sincere “Thank You’s” motivate people, if your answer to “How Often?” is a period of time any longer than a matter of hours, it’s not enough. 

Okay, so you always say “Thank You!” That’s great! CONGRATULATIONS! You are ahead of the pack. Now you need to ask yourself how sincere you are (REALLY!) when you offer your gratitude. Do you, in other words, look someone in the eye when you thank her or him? Do you shake hands or pat backs?

Or . . . do you just keep right on working, and keep your head down, like having to look up and smile and take 3 seconds out of your life is an inconvenient interruption? Do you keep talking on the phone or keep texting or emailing while tossing a half-hearted “Thanks” over your shoulder.

How do you feel

when others treat YOU

so nonchalantly?


In the end, “G” for GRATITUDE comes back full circle to “A” for AUTHENTICITY because token expressions of appreciation mean that the actions or words that earned a “Thank You” were considered routine, not special, and worthy of just a tiny, off-the-cuff mention. (No, don’t go rush off the deep end with smothering hugs and kisses!)

There is much to be said for following “The Golden Rule” in business . . . of “doing unto others what you would want others to do unto you,” and there may be no better place to apply it than with each of those with whom you come into daily contact.

The more you offer sincere gratefulness — thanking others and meaning it — the greater the odds you will see positive responses be triggered. Why? Because of what you already know: what goes around comes around!

If you don’t already, try thanking the restaurant waitress AND  the water server AND the table clearer with as sincere a smile and expression of thanks as you would give an angel investor who walks in and plunks down a no-strings-attached $250,000 check as an investment in your business. Go ahead. Try it. What’s to lose?

People notice and people talk. And, not to motivate, but simply to be conscious of: You might be amazed at being remembered by the water server, who could turn out to be related to a partner or lender or top client. “Hey!” (they used to say in NY Lottery advertising) “Y’never know!”

Say it.

Mean it.

Say it again.

It can never be too much.

Thank you.    


# # #

FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Dec 07 2010


A Wandering Mind


Gathers Much Loss


Every minute of every hour of every day, conscious and unconscious negative influences are fighting for your attention.


You own, run, manage, just bought, started, are planning to buy or start, or inherited a business. The last thing on your mind is your mind. You cast away all those inspirational quotes on Twitter and in church, and those gems of wisdom from your six-year-old.

You have no time for the You become what you think aboutwritings and teachings of Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, or the hundreds of other thought leaders. Yeah, you’ve heard the “As you sow, so shall you reap” line from the Bible. In fact, you have your own been-there-done-that style version: “What goes around comes around.”

But without being consistently grounded in this thinking, you run the risk each day of your thought-stream leading you down an unhealthy path. In fact, you can be obsessed with negative thoughts that create business loss and not even be aware of it.

Taking inventory might be a good suggestion. How can you find out if your mind has slipped over the top without you knowing about it? Try this illuminating exercise:

Ask some friends, associates and family members whose opinions you value to tell you what animal, what musical instrument and what song they most closely identify you with, and why.

They’ll probably laugh. Simply say you are doing a study and explain no further.

  • Be clear that you’re looking for their straight-out opinions.

  • Do not interrupt except to ask for clarification.

  • Do not refute, rebuttal or defend. Just listen, and take notes.

  • If you’re not sure you understand, ask for examples.

  • Whatever you get back, take it on the chin.


When you have the input of five or six people, decide if there’s any pattern or overlap. For example, do four of them think you most remind them of a snake (or wild boar?), and a kazoo, and a song like “Angry Eyes”? Well. Organize the input you get to see if it makes any sense. Prioritize. Evaluate. Decide how to get more positive stuff and less negative stuff.

Feeding on daily TV show lineups can produce a steady stream of negative-related people and situations which can take a toll on  behavior and prompt offerings of defensive reasons and excuses for every action. Dr. Andrew Weil has been known to prescribe “No News” for a week to some distressed patients.

If all your mind does is think about cancer, or your weight, or your age, or your bank account or bills, you are going to (like rolling a snowball) generate more of that kind of thinking.

When some one’s thoughts are preoccupied with having an affair, it will be hard to pay attention to their spouse. A new baby or puppy in the house can drain your ability to stay focused.


Behaviors. Behavior is a choice. A negative mindset is something we bring on ourselves. Directly or indirectly (and often obscurely), we make lousy behavior choices. Regardless of the who, how, why, when, and where, if you’re feeling misery, failure, or frustration, accept that you are choosing it.

Take some deep breaths and choose instead to change the channel in your brain. Self-control leads to leadership control. The world’s greatest leaders are masters of self-control. Self-control means exercising compassion as well as passion, and being focused on the journey –not the destination– as the source of achievement.

When your mind is healthy and you’re concentrating on something, it –like a spotlight illuminating the outer edges– will be fully aware of what’s going on around you as well as what you’re targeting in front of you. You can do it. Choose it. Practice it. Keep choosing it! (Yes, you can call me for a little coaching!)

If you work at it sincerely and haven’t experienced remarkable change in three weeks, I’ll be astounded. Yes, after thousands of success stories with zero failures, I will be astounded!


931.854.0474   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!

2 responses so far

Sep 01 2009

NETWORKING: The contact you never expected

Travel in circles


of authenticity!



     I used to teach  my entrepreneurship students to carry their business cards everywhere. I even suggested that a couple of laminated cards tucked into a bathing suit pocket or workout or yoga bag wouldn’t be a bad idea. They thought I was nuts!

     I’ll tell you what…  you find me someone who is a self-made business success who doesn’t always have a business card available, and I guarantee you that an inheritance played some role. Proactive business owners and managers know that most explosive business opportunities come from where you least expect them.

     I’ve had people  track me down with a ten year-old business card that no longer had the same address and phone numbers. And of course you can find anyone these days on Google. The point is to not discount the value of every contact you make every day.

     Networking isn’t about  a great grip handshake, a business card exchange and a teethy smile. Networking isn’t a flashy passing or a thunderbolt. Networking is all about cultivating the relationships you initiate.  Here are four thoughts, and a bottom line…


Take the time and trouble  to jot down the date, event, and some memorable trait or visual or vocal characteristic or attribute on the back of every business card you collect. “Red hair / wire-rim glasses / unbuttoned collar / infectious laugh” are the kinds of comments that will help bring the individual back into focus after a hundred other cards and a hundred hours pass. 


Write something personal  on the cards you give out, especially to someone you really want to remember you. Scribble a connecting website or 2nd email address that’s not printed on the card, your cell number, or a book title you recommend.


Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.  Nobody does it. I’m not talking about being annoying or badgering; don’t waste your time. I mean if someone mentions they have a child with a special interest or need, and you run across information that’s related, send it along: “Saw this and was reminded of our discussion; thought you might be interested.”


The biggest and/or best business deal  you ever get is likely to come –as they say at the ballpark– from out of left field. It may be a contact you never dreamed of being productive, or one that comes as a second or third person referral from someone else who you never thought even noticed you.

The Bottom line . . .

Don’t write anyone off. 

The world is getting smaller every day.

People who like you and what you have to say

will talk about you and make sales for you . . .

when you least expect.

Oh, and expectations, by the way,

breed disappointment.


Value and appreciate everyone you encounter

regardless of appearances or stature.

What goes around, I’m reminded,

comes around!

Travel in circles of authenticity! 

# # #

FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet


Tag Cloud