Jul 20 2011

Mind Your Social Media Manners!

TY, Thank You, THX,


Thanks, Appreciation,


Appreciate, Appreciated,


Appreciative, Grateful,


Gratefulness, Gratified,


Gratification,  tks, Please,


Pls, YW, You’re Welcome!



Have you paid off  your TY IOUs lately? Do you have a list of them? Are they in some order? Which ones are the oldest? To whom do you owe more than one TY? What are they for? What were the circumstances? How long ago exactly was the favor or courtesy or thoughtfulness extended? Might it now be time to clean some of these up?

If you don’t have one, let’s start with a business list, then move on to personal, or vice versa if you prefer. I like to keep a thank you list next to my desk phone, divided into two columns: “Calls” and Emails.” I add to them during the day between meetings, other emails, and other calls, and cross out the ones I’ve handled as each day passes.

Why? Who Cares? EVERYone cares. Which also answers the question “Why?” Simply put, there can be no better investment of your time and energy for boosting your business and personal reputations. And sales pros will tell you that personal and business reputations built on these courtesies translate directly to sales.

Oh, and let’s not forget that long-lost art of a personal handwritten thank you note stuck in the mail or office inbox. There is NOTHING compares with receiving one of those. And the busier you are, the more impact a note from you has. In other words: The more personal you can make your expression of thanks, the greater the impact!

It’s hard to beat a message that has a little hug hanging on its coattails!


Probably needless to add, but it’s well worth remembering: It’s also FREE, which makes it a no-brainer practice for business owners and operators, and especially for professional practice principals, who are seldom regarded as grateful for their patients and clients! 

Social media subscribers probably use the expressions in this post’s headline more than any other segment of society except Salvation Army Santas. It’s become standard fare Internet ettiquette. It’s the sub-culture of long-distance communications dipped in politeness and exchanged for the world to see, but seldom felt from the heart.

Twitterers send Tweets. If you like the Tweet, you respond mostly with a RE-Tweet (or RT) as a polite form of endorsement. Someone whose Tweet gets an RT, inevitably returns a TY (Thank You) note Tweet to that endorser. That endorser may send (Tweet) yet another note, like YW (You’re Welcome).

It’s said that these kinds of exchanges are all cover-ups for the acknowledged impersonalness of social media communications, that they somehow compensate for handshakes and eye contact and voice tone and inflections. Well, they don’t really. Not much could. But they do set social media cordiality apart from other media forms. 

Anyway, Thank you for visiting. I am truly grateful for the minutes you spent here, and if any of what I said is helpful to you in any way, well . . . YW.


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116 

  Open minds open doors. 

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you. 

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jul 16 2011

How’s Your Debt Ceiling?

When’s your statute 


 of limitations run out 


for non-financial debts?



Have you exceeded your limits? What are they? Have you exceeded your expectations? How much do you owe to whom? (Gratefulness, not money!) What’s preventing you from being grateful? Laziness? Ambivalence? Dumbness? Heart of stone?

Have you chosen for the passage of time to max out your ability to say, “thank you”? There are some immediate gratification lessons to be learned on Twitter. Just watch how fast people thank one another! 

Now, this next statement will send accountants and tax attorneys over the edge of the cliff (a good beginning you say?) because “appreciation”and “interest” have such different meanings:

Appreciation has no compound interest attached . . . except by the receiver.

It (“appreciation”) is just a way of expressing gratitude.


I recently received an email from a former student of some 30+ years ago, who said she had tracked me down on Google, and had thought often during her career what an important influence I had been as her professor.

She told me she had been highly successfully specializing in the subjects she had originally studied with me. She knew, she said, a great many years had passed, but she just wanted to say “thank you!” and let me know how valuable my teaching had been.

Do you know what a million dollars feels like? For me, that was it! But only, mind you, because I’m still alive. Imagine if the email never…

Maybe the idea of a response time ceiling on non-financial debt is not in any one’s best interest. Maybe it’s a good idea to read that last sentence again?

When we put off saying thank you, we lose credibility or we put ourselves in the category of being unworthy, or we’re simply forgotten about. Is that a place we want to be? Is that a place we want our businesses to be?

Does it –in the long run– cost us positive growth opportunities to be considered unworthy or not credible or unappreciative? By internalizing accumulated expressions of gratitude, instead of being timely, could it cost us some stress? Health? Hmmm. Thank you for your visit! 


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  Open minds open doors. 

 Thanks for visiting and God bless you. 

   Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Mar 15 2011

Are You Doing Your BEST Today?

— ——WELCOME! ——–


Hal is taking off 3/16 through 3/22 inclusive to work on a new commissioned book he is writing (More news on this soon!) 

Be sure to plan to revisit here Tuesday 3/23 to check out Hal’s special post on a subject that impacts all small business leaders.

In the meantime: Help yourself to the Archives —> and enjoy Hal’s early 3/17 message with his best wishes for a


Happy St. Patricks Day!



What happens for you on this day every year? Do you get up and put on green clothes? Pig out on corned beef and cabbage? (This “traditional” meal is an Americanism, by the way. Like pizza not coming from Italy, the Irish eat spareribs and sauerkraut on St. Patrick’s Day!)


     Maybe you eat green bagels (ah, many of these in New York, but positively not an Irish thing!) Can you even find a florist with any green carnations left? Do you get smashed on green beer and end up with a hangover on March 18th?

Or is today just a day like any other?


     Y’know what? I think that if you think this day is just like any other, you have a problem needs fixin’ because what you’re really saying is that everyday is just like every other one, that nothing much changes and that nothing much is special, except maybe Fridays at 5pm and your birthday, right?

     Well, hopefully this isn’t you we’re talking about, but maybe you know someone who fits that description? And if you do, maybe wish her or him Happy Birthday more often!

     The secret of a prosperous business is to practice the secret of a prosperous life. The trouble is that practically no people get this until they achieve AARP status. The secret, after all, of a prosperous life only comes with the hindsight and wisdom of age and the kinds of genuine appreciation and gratefulness that only come from deep, deep inside.

     To me, it’s a lot like learning the positive and productive life changes that come from discovering the simplicity, value, consciousness and energy flow that come from deep breathing.


Click this link for a free, 60-second, 4-step “how to” that can change your life. No sales pitch. No gimmicks. Just a valuable “how to” that you’re likely to wish you’d learned long ago!       


     What can we do to come to realizations like this sooner in life? Maybe nothing. Maybe we just need to be grateful to have finally grabbed the brass ring (whoops! showing my merry-go-round age again!). and we should just take it and run!

     Well, breathing and running can get us nowhere if we’re living on a treadmill and afraid to step off. Breathing and running won’t take us where we want to go if we don’t believe in ourselves. and believe that we have the ability to get there, wherever “there” is for each of us.      

The point is that EVERY day –St. Patrick’s Day and the day after St. Patrick’s Day included– is a new opportunity to be the best that we can be, to do the best that we can do!

It’s a new opportunity to move another step closer to the “there” that we want to get to, the “difference” we want to make.


     Making your life happen the way that you want it to happen is 100% in your mind.

     It is your CHOICE! When you find your brain falling out, knees weakening, and upset feelings coming in, STOP! Take a deep breath, focus your mind on where you are and what you want and start going there.

     Dump the “upset” baggage and go forward. Make today and tomorrow and the next day, and the next, EACH the special day that you deserve to have. Choose it! Use it! STOP with the excuses! Do it!


God Bless You and

Happy St. Patrick’s Day



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

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Apr 01 2010

Are You Giving Key Employees The Key?

If you failed to teach a


key employee 


something important


today, are you


missing the boat?


     With what I presume to be 55% of American employees being UNhappy [See yesterday’s blog post below this one], there’s very little “happiness-transition” wiggle room for a business owner or manager to exercise. The first important step, though, in the direction of kicking up productivity is to more fully engage employees in the day-to-day operations of your business. 

     Should you flat out trust the one person who seems most likely to head off to a competitor? Should you risk sharing critical product development or service expense information with people who you’re not confident will even be there in six months? Does it make any sense to encourage the employee your classmates would vote “Most likely to be brain-dead,” who you’ve kept around to do the slug work nobody else will touch? Sometimes the least likely people rise to the occasion. Think on that one.

     How about — instead of asking those questions about your employees — you ask some questions of your SELF? Where, for example, are you and your business headed right now? Where do you expect to be in five years? How (what’s the process you’ll use) do you expect to survive the next five months? What will you be doing differently then than you’re doing today? Why are you waiting five months?

     Keeping on that track for another minute, what’s something new you’ve learned about your business today? What’s something new you’ve learned about your SELF today? (Yes, both events did in fact occur; you just blocked them out or didn’t give yourself enough credit for the discoveries.)

     How will any of that new information help you tomorrow? When was the last time you and your family depended on someone else’s decision making? When was the last time you put yourself in your employees’ shoes and thought about their perspective of your business and your decision making? How do you think dependency feels?

     When was the last time you stopped long enough to teach an employee something important that she or he can use to do a better job, or be able to take home to share with family? Do you take active interest in your people every day? Why not? They may never admit it and you may never believe it, but all studies ever done would reinforce that you can be sure they take active interest in you every day, probably every hour! 

     So, that means you’re obliged to return the interest? No. You’re obliged to do everything you can possibly do to cultivate employee enthusiasm for the work they are doing. When financial reward is not possible, emotional support and psychological reward and teaching by example have to suffice. And if you’re consistent about making those money-substitutes work, they will. All human beings need reinforcement and reassurance. Employees need it from their bosses. Are you on it?                                                                              

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Blog via RSS feed or $1/mo Kindle. GRANDPARENT Gift? http://bit.ly/3nDlGF

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Jun 20 2009

Make a living AND a life!

 “We make a living


by what we get,


but we make a life


by what we give.”

–Winston Churchill

Dedicated to one of my softball league buddies, Jimmy Travers, whose great sense of fun and spirit left us this weekend for his next life…… Thanks for the laughs and the hustle…Hit ’em where they ain’t, Jimmy!

     How you make a living may determine how you live your life, but how you live your life will determine how the rest of the world sees and experiences you and your business.

     What’s unique and exciting about this is that you can change either or both at the drop of a hat!

     Making the change, any change, is a choice…your choice, a decision made on a dime, in a blink, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, or lickity-split. Reaping the rewards may take a little longer. 

     It might, for example, take a little while to gain acceptance and appreciation and trust and credibility, but the end result is as permanent as your diligence.

     Have you ever quit smoking or started exercise? Neither produces results overnight, but the more you stick to it, the more you see that the change works. And the easier it gets to make that choice every day.

     Not only that, one positive change fosters others…a chain reaction that breeds success and satisfaction. Being in better health attracts others who share your pursuits. It attracts happiness too. Health and happiness attract financial success, business success, family success.

     And that’s when you can really “make” your life by giving back to others what you gained in wisdom from those who came before you, who also came and conquered.

     No, I’m not talking about some of the more popularly-publicized (and extremely naive) notions of socialistic wealth-sharing. That kind of destructive thinking never works.

(Dictating healthcare choices for everyone unfortunately appears headed to be the next proving ground for this point.)

     Donating money is a wonderful thing when it’s affordable and a free choice! I’m speaking here though—beyond money— of treating family, friends, neighbors, customers, clients and patients, employees and suppliers–all–with increased respect. Every day. Persistently. It comes back to you AND your business!

     There’s a small sign hangs over my desk for it seems a hundred years that says  “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” Or, as Churchill said, “…make a life by what you give.” That choice made again and again will make your business grow.

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com  (”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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May 23 2009

8 Words for this weekend…AND ALL YEAR!

“Thank you for your


service to our country!”


     It’s so simple. That’s all it takes. Walk up to anyone in a military uniform — or anyone who proudly wears or displays an insignia identifying him or herself as a veteran or active officer or recruit, extend your arm to shake hands, look her or him in the eye and simply say: “Thank you for your service to our country!”

     Not only will you make that person’s day, but (and this may surprise you) you’ll make your own as well. You’ll feel as pleased walking away as the person you took the ten seconds out of your life to stop!

     Remember Memorial Day Weekend is more than beaches, BBQ’s and parties. It’s a time for tribute to those who have lost their lives and those who have served us all in defense of America. What does this have to do with business to warrant attention on a business blog? Your business and mine could not even exist without the courage, vigilence and protection of those who serve our country.

     Thank you to all those who have served in and for the United States Armed Forces. You make and have made it possible for business owners and managers and entrepreneurs to be free to conduct business and grow business and make business work.

     It is, after all, small business that has made this country great, and it will be small business that leads the way to economic recovery. You who have served our nation have kept small business pathways clear. Now it’s the job of small business to step it up and take advantage of those openings to regain the economic stability that government and big business lost along the way.


Make “Thank you for your service to our country!”

a statement of appreciation year-round.


     By making it part of your ongoing practice to extend these words with every armed services encounter (not to mention the recognition due our police, fire and EMS personnel too), you will in fact be boosting your own business as well as your reputation for caring about what’s truly important…because it is!

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”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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Apr 02 2009


I’m so happy and so grateful,


clap my hands! CLAP, CLAP!


I’m so happy and so grateful,


clap my hands! CLAP, CLAP!


I’m so happy and so grateful,


I could eat another plateful,


I’m so happy and so grateful,


clap my hands! CLAP, CLAP!


     Okay, so when’s the last time you acted like a 3 year-old and danced around the room and did this little routine, or something like it? C’mon, be honest. Weeks? Months? Years? Never? Well I have some good news and some bad news. I know, I know, you want the bad news first.

     Here it is: If the last time you danced around the room and did a dumb, childish little happy act mixed with a dose of gratefulness was longer ago than this morning, you’ve been eating stress between meals! If it’s been weeks, months, years, or (heaven forbid) “never” you may be well on your way to premature death, or you may already be dead?

     Ah, but the good news is: ratta-tat-tat, ratta-tat-tat (yeah, a pretty feeble drumroll, but, hey, we’re talking 3 year-olds here). The GOOD news is that you can turn your whole life around right this minute by getting up from your computer (go ahead; I’ll wait!), by taking a deep breath (go ahead; I’ll wait again!) and by  stretching. Good!

     Now, dance in place! Yeah, right there where you are, just you and your screen; put some music on if you want. The thing is D A N C E ! You wanna shout? S H O U T ! Whoop it up! Yell out some appreciation for all the great things you have right this very minute. Sing out!

Hey, I’m a grateful plateful and I’m so happy to have my slippers and my incense and my icy glass of water! Yaaa, ya-ya-ya-ya!”

(or whatever strikes your fancy is fine; in fact, delete me here if it makes you nervous!) 

     Try clapping your hands! It’s okay. Your family or neighbors or dog may think you’ve finally lost it, but, oooh, doesn’t it feel good? Really, doesn’t it? Just imagine how good you can feel every day by moving your body and losing your brain–for just one minute like that–every day!

     You may not be able to stand yourself. (But you’ll be happy and grateful. And that brings you more incidents, things, people, places, experiences, and ideas to be more happy and more grateful for. That sure beats being unhappy and ungrateful and creating more incidents, things, people, places, experiences, and ideas to make you more unhappy and ungrateful.)

     What’s the old saying about misery loves company!? Bull! You don’t need to buy into that thinking. You owe it to your SELF to be happy and healthy and thankful. I’ll tell you what: if anybody can leave a comment here that tells me what could possibly be more important to YOU than those three qualities, I’d like to hear about it. This offer, by the way, does not apply to zombies, hermits, cannibals or vampires


TREAT YOURSELF! IT IS A CHOICE! DO IT EVERYDAY! IT IS A CHOICE! You will surprise yourself with your new one-minute-let-loose-personality. And others will like you even more! IT IS YOUR CHOICE! ;<)    

Good Night and God Bless You!  halalpiar     

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Nov 27 2008


Well, it’s here: Thanksgiving,


and my 200th posting! 


     Now you not may think much of either of those milestones, but suffice it to say about the first of these that I do love turkey (except the species featured in yesterday’s post!), and about the second, that it’s like a baseball player reaching 200 career errors (because I’ve learned something from every post and miscue!).

     Actually, I never thought I’d find anything as challenging and rewarding at the same time as writing a daily blog.  It’s challenging because I rarely know where the inspiration is going to come from ’til I’m staring at the blank screen like a post-surgical labotomy patient.

     And the discipline involved?  I’d rather do push-ups.  The nightly time crunch and rapidly advancing bedtime with a take-out-the-dogs thing sandwiched in between doesn’t do much for my heart rate when all I’ve figured out is some dumb headline that I’ll inevitably scrap and redo anyway.

     I know, it’s welcome to the journalist’s world.  God bless ’em, I really admire the talented few writers who can pump out daily newspaper features that educate, inform and entertain . . . night after night. 

     Anyway, enough of me spamming your brain.  All I really want to say today is thank you. 

     My blog visitors have grown from a weekly count-on-one-hand number seven months ago, to a consistent few hundred-and-growing-steadily every single night. 

     People tell me they laugh and they learn.  Who could ask for more? 

     I am so grateful.  I appreciate every time you stop by and every new person you send along to visit . . . and every laugh.  YOU are my adrenaline. 

     Have a safe, peaceful and happy Thanksgiving wherever you are and who or whomever you’re with.  Thank you Michael Infusino for your skillful, good-natured tech support.  And thanks, Kathy, for always letting me stay glued to my keyboard without complaining when I know I should be doing chores.  I love you!  

     Oh, and remember our troops out there, will you?  Their courage, sacrifices and vigilance make this special day and all the freedoms we enjoy possible.  Thank you.  Hal    

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Nov 16 2008


What ARE you looking


to do with your life?  


     Okay, your business is your life, or at least a humongous chunk of your life, yes?  That’s great.  I love my work and consider myself fortunate to be doing what I most enjoy as my means to earning a living so we’re in this together.  BUT . . .

     When did you last break away from your job

and thinking about your job to . . . hug? 


     Renowned Gestalt-based family therapist/author/icon Virginia Satir www.advanta.net/ said it takes 12 hugs a day to grow emotionally strong.  And you do know that being mentally and/or physically strong enough to do your job effectively, and excel, requires that you also be emotionally strong. 

     What good are you as a business or professional practice owner or manager if your emotional scale is tipped too far to the left or teetering on the edge of a breakdown, temper tantrum, road rage, or worse? 

     So what does your scorecard look like?  How many hugs today?  You initiated them or someone else did?  Planned or spontaneous?  Real or token?  Pitter-pattery or bone-crushing?  Start keeping track.  You’ll learn a whole lot about others and your self.  And the more you know about you, the better you’ll deal with others.

     Ah, dealing with others.  Right.  So now that your cage is arattlin’, lets’ try another quiz: When did you last pat someone on the back for a job well done?  A staff member?  A peer?  A teammate?  An opposing team member?  A child?  A parent?  A stranger?  Your spouse?  A customer?  A partner? 

     People –ALL people (and most domestic animals too)– appreciate being appreciated, especially for performing small deeds and accomplishing routine little tasks that ordinarily go unnoticed.

     Try a pat on the back accompanied by: “Thanks for taking the responsibility to do your homework before playing computer games!” or “Thanks for the great dinner; I really enjoyed that salad!” or “Good job with that regular weekly report; it’s nice to see your efforts be so steady and reliable!” or “Good hustle, Harry; you were almost safe, and you did knock in that run!” or “I don’t ever mention it, but you should know I appreciate that you just automatically do so much laundry every week, and never even complain; thank you!” 

     Or just: “Thank you for helping me become the person I am” or “Thank you for helping me become a more authentic person” or “Thank you for helping me to grow” or “Thank you for being so supportive when I needed it!” 


     In the process, you will “happily surprise” others, but you will astonish your self!  Guaranteed!  Thank you for considering these ideas! 

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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!

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