Aug 05 2012


Boasting your way along 


“the humble leader” line______


Maybe it’s a paradox, but it’s really not always a contradiction.

Being both assertive AND humble can work when personal authenticity is in the driver’s seat.  There’s a terrific website that encourages business boasting because there are times when everyone needs to toot her or his own respective horn, and posting news releases on BizBrag makes it easy.

Of course, any news release content you post or create must be newsworthy and not overtly self-serving if there’s any expectation of actually getting traditional or online media coverage. And it should probably go without saying that the better the writing quality, the more likely a release is to gain exposure. Think about being an editor bombarded with hundreds of PR stories!

But speaking up for yourself is not bragging. And assertiveness is not aggression! Effective leaders are almost universally assertive in their thinking and behavior, and their boasting is usually limited to praising others–the teams they lead, the customers they serve, the competitors they battle with. And, therein (AHA!) lies “leadership humility.”

Anyone who tries to prompt business leaders to associate humility with milquetoast, hat-in-hand, apologetic, goody-two-shoes behavior is missing a lightbulb or two in the world of reality. No, this is not to suggest that those in leadership positions run around patting themselves on the back while giving themselves high-fives (making themselves likely candidates for chiropractic treatment), but it IS to say that taking a strong stand–internally and externally–is both healthy and necessary.

Here’s the bottom line: No one wants to hear about how great you think you are. No one cares. Get rid of the words that haunt braggadocio-minded grandstanders: Stop talking in terms of “I” “Me” “My” “We” “Our” and start addressing what customers and investors want to hear (The answer to “What’s in it for me?”) by talking in “You” and “Your” terms. “You get” beats “We are.”

A smile, a nod, a thank you are more than sufficient responses to a compliment or praise. Leave the leaping chest bumps and running wildly around the arena up to the Olympiads. Business people do not like business people who “talk themselves up.” Should customers and prospects know if you’ve won an award or recognition? Certainly, but don’t wear your medal to work or beat them over the head with your Oscar.

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Open Minds Open Doors

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May 16 2010


“Whaddaya, nuts?


My business


is shrinking.


What’s to expand?”


In the “Flower Power” 60’s with psychedelic drug influences on music, clothes, and lifestyles of people who’d grown up with the Lone Ranger, there emerged what had to be the greatest name for its time for a music group that I ever heard. I haven’t a clue about anything they recorded, but I always thought they earned the gold medal of rock group names: TONTO’S EXPANDING HEAD BAND.

     I thought of this name today for some reason, and was prompted to address the subject of business expansion in a still-rotten-and-getting-rottener economy where most businesses are tucking in their tails, cutting corners, and consolidating at every opportunity. Withdrawal, though, is not always the most advisable action to take when the competition heats up and pickings are slim.

     “Yeah, but our budget is slim too, and the last thing we can afford is to expand what’s already suffering; it’ll just create more suffering!”

     BRRRAAAAAAAAT! (That’s a basketball court sound.) Time Out! As truth will have it, if indeed you really think you need to be bailing out the boat instead of adding a swim platform, you are probably:

  1. working for the government (probably the dead and dying Postal Service; but, then, you wouldn’t be reading this), or 
  2. a major corporate executive (probably a hospital administrator type who’s big on efficiency and outcomes; but, then, you wouldn’t be reading this either!), or 
  3. a small business owner who’s lost sight of how you got started, and you may have gotten so beat up by the A and B guys above, that your entrepreneurial spirit has risen on up into the Ozone, and left you struggling to survive. Sound familiar? No? Good! But if it does . . .

     Guess what? You still have what it takes, and so does your business. Remember the sports training we got as kids? The best defense is an offense . . . stop blocking punches and start swinging!

     To effectively expand your business in an economic choke-hold, you need first to allow your brain to expand, and you’ve probably been pulling in the reins on your innovative thinking in order to pay the bills. Reality is though that there are plenty of ways to expand while others are shrinking, without murdering your finances!

     You need to look harder at what you’re doing. How can you offer more to customers without spending more? Instead of 9-5, can you stagger work hours and stay open instead from 8-6? Or re-think coverage possibilities for Saturdays and/or Sundays?

     Can you hand out free appetizers to customers who have to wait for dinner? (You don’t run a restaurant? This example applies to EVERY type of business. Consider how some version of it might work for yours!)

     How about expanding your marketing efforts with a service like that allows you free website postings of your news releases and promotional flyers, and then sends them out to your target email list besides (also free!)

     Shall I go on or will you just counter with excuses? Are you choosing to seek new pathways or choosing to simply settle for excuses about why new pathways won’t work? Hard times mean survival of the fittest. Hard times also mean that those who choose to step it up, make waves, and expand their horizons by expanding the the ways they do business, will thrive.

     What can you do better or more of tomorrow morning than you did today? Money need not be a growth issue.

Expand your mind to expand your business.    

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! God Bless America, and God Bless our troops “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

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May 15 2010


“Hot Diggity,




BOOM, what you


do to me . . .”

–PERRY COMO [Yeah, I know; he was before your time.]

     If you’re not celebrating your customers (clients/patients) regularly, it may be time to question priorities. In case you missed one of my past blog post references, it costs five (5) times as much money to get a new customer as it does to keep an existing one!

     And in case you haven’t noticed, or it’s escaped your awareness, existing customers send you new customers. Prospects don’t send prospects.

     Many small businesses and professional practices get to grow up and be big businesses and professional practices by catering to the customers they have. The best source of business is existing and past business.

     Cold-calling is essential to any meaningful sales strategy, but it needs –ALWAYS– to take a back seat to nurturing your existing and past customer base because that’s your bread and butter, and because your customer base will drive many more prospects to your door than you’re going to be able to ferret out for yourself with cold-calls.

     HOW to kick some customer catering and appreciation into gear? Have a party. Host a customer-families-only midnight sale. Email out 72-hour discount special certificates. Send “Thank You” cards out at Thanksgiving and birthday cards on birthdays. Call together a focus group discussion (with appropriate rewards) to review your service pros and cons!

     Offer discounts or credits for referrals. Send in that charitable donation you make every year in the names of your customers. Feature your customers in your newsletter and/or in a series of news releases. Post the releases free on and have BizBrag email them out for you to whatever list you provide — also free!

     Make “How goes it?” followup calls. Imagine actually getting a phone call from a restaurant, accounting firm, or construction contractor just to ask if your last visit was a good one, and what could you suggest to make the next visit even better? (How would YOU feel? Who would YOU tell?) And do this REGULARLY with existing clients.

     Parties and all that stuff too expensive right now? Make it a bagels and coffee breakfast stop-by reception for customers only. Combine forces and split up costs with neighboring businesses; you’ll even gain customers from one another in the process.

     No time? Hand the idea or the event off (with $25 cash or credit, or sports or concert  tickets, or dinner for two, or a limo trip?) to a relative or student intern or employee to organize and promote.

Whatever you do, do something. Try AAA:

Customers like being Appreciated, Acknowledged and Asked!  

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Call me at 302.933.0911 or comment below

or email Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

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

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

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Apr 26 2010

Do-it-yourself NEWS RELEASE (PartII of II)

How to write it and


where to send it!


Last night, some of the “unwritten rules” of news release structure and engagement were addressed . . . now here’re some basics on how to write a news release, and what to do with it.


     A good rule of thumb guide for your headline is to summarize the “hot spot” of the release in seven words or less and, whenever possible, include your business name in those seven words. Many professionals recommend starting your release with a brief, provocative question that gets a payoff in the text, or with a short summarizing quote that sets up the text.

     When quotes are used, include the source’s name, title and affiliation. ALWAYS (NO EXCEPTIONS) SPELL EVERY NAME, TITLE AND AFFILIATION EXACTLY CORRECT.

     Your first paragraph needs to deliver the meat of the whole release. It needs to answer the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Many times, a rushed editor who’s short on space or air time will just use the first paragraph. And even when the entire release is used, the first paragraph still must serve to “hook in” readers, viewers, listeners, visitors. 

     Give the first paragraph NEWSWORTHY SUBSTANCE and CLOUT.

     Use the balance of your release to support the heading and the first paragraph. Leave details like directions, address, related issues, and secondary points and quotes for the end. Don’t stray from the central message of the release, and don’t try to pack in too much information. Editors and writers discard and delete long rambling quotes and stories. If they want more, they’ll call you.

     Supplementing your release with a captioned photo (especially something unique or candid, which is far better than yearbook profile style) increases your media coverage odds substantially. (When there’s heavy news that day, and not enough room for the release, an editor may throw in a captioned photo. Some news coverage beats no news coverage!)

     Okay, the thing is done. Now what? After getting your media, customer, and supplier contact email and address lists out, my first recommendation (if you haven’t already done it) is to go to and sign up. 24/7, you get a FREE online news release posting, and email distribution to the global, local, or specialized market emails you designate (including any media email addresses you plug in).

     Because BizBrag services are so ideal for do-it-yourselfers, it’s a great place to start and build with. After punching in your “profile,” you just type in your release and even add a photo if you like, then BizBrag dresses it up, puts it into their homepage news rotation and sends it out for you to whatever email addresses you select, giving your business a third party endorsement look. Upgrades are available but not required and I’m told the first 10,000 sign-ups get a super, fixed-for-lifetime discount. 

     Happy News Releasing! 

  Click Here to work with Hal!                       

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! 

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May 22 2009

It’s “Thank You Friday”. . . THANK YOU!

Published by under Uncategorized

     Thank you for stopping by. I’m closed on Fridays for postings while I work on producing a series of video clips to feature here on July 4th!

     But while you’re here, please DO skim through some Archives (far right column). I guarantee you’ll find info and ideas that fit your current personal and business and professional practice development needs.

     For more information on my business services, please visit  

     I’ll return with my regular Saturday through Thursday daily posts beginning again tomorrow (Saturday) night. Please return soon. I genuinely appreciate your visits AND my ongoing blog following of family, friends, past and present clients and students, and business owners and managers from more than 30 different countries! Thank you all!

     My writing can also be found at

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Input welcome anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar              # # # 

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