May 22 2011

USA TODAY: Do you think we’re stupid?

The front page lead story on “Unemployment Worst Since 1930s” for your 5/21/11-5/22/11  weekend edition starts out with a qualifying statement about the recession having ended over two years ago . . .


Surely You Jest!



Your paper has a reputation among many businesspeople of  being a highly opinionated medium (vs. a showcase for responsible reporting that probes beneath the surface of what’s printed, that carries an air of integrity instead of marching to the innuendo drums of alarmist and manipulative journalism).

Like the empty stories produced by low-grade tabloid papers and sensationalist TV news programs, yours are clearly the fodder of simpletons. For your paper to survive the long haul, it will need to step up to the complexities of providing information realistically, particularly as it relates to small business.

To be effective enough to grow externally, you must grow first internally, by exercising sufficient integrity to cut the White House puppet strings . . . to actually report the news objectively and honestly.

It’s true that you’re not known for such bold moves, but consider the following:

There are 30 million small business owners in America. (And pardon me for not giving you back one of your little pie charts showing that at least 90% of all new jobs are created by small business, especially NEW small business.)

And we 30 million are not stupid!

Your thinly-veiled suggestive lead-in (one of endless numbers) is trying to say that there is no longer any recession, that the recession is well on its way out of quagmireville.


Not only is that simply not true, it is a misleading and deceptive cover-up for what you well know to be fact:

. . . that Mr. Obama and his free-wheeling taxes and reckless spending have rapidly exacerbated a difficult economy into a catastrophe.


And the truth? The truth is there is no end in sight until Mr. Obama has been replaced. No, I am not some radical conservative on the warpath, or some uninformed run-at-the-mouth businessperson, nor am I interested or capable of running for anything, except in my daily exercise program.

Surely you disagree (I assume you well know where your bread is buttered), so don’t take my word for it.

Instead, take one of your famous surveys. Poll a statistically representative number of the 30 million small business owners and ask them:

  • Has the recession been over for more than two years?

  • Is the recession over now?

  • When will the recession end? (for those who think it’s still here).

  • Why is the recession still around? (for those who think it is still around).


The truth is that the recession has not gone away, not even in even the slightest, that it will unlikely go away for another two years after the 2012 election, even if the nation is fortunate enough to unseat the power-mongers that rule the White House . . . Messrs. Obama and Biden have proven themselves incapable of appropriate, responsive leadership and decision-making.

Not only do they fail to understand what small business is really all about, Messrs. Obama and Biden have been doing their best to undermine and squash every attempt by small business to straighten out what the two of them and their union-vote cronies have made crooked.  

History proves that small business is solely responsible for job creation, and has proven itself as the only entity capable of turning the economy around. Government job creation is meaningless and a waste of tax dollars.

Perhaps your writers who opinionate on business-related subjects should be talking with real business people (vs. corporate executives and government flunkies who lack complete understanding of entrepreneurial reality. Perhaps they should do a little research on why entrepreneurial ventures represent the only real chance we have for regaining economic and employment balance, in addition to global dollar value and reputation.  

If I can be so bold as to suggest it, a good starting point is to not react to what’s said here, but to instead respond by taking a meaningful scroll through daily posts made on this blog over the past nearly four years. There’s nothing new here, except the stating of my opinion that your paper’s “news coverage” has far exceeded the bounds of responsible reporting. Maybe that can still be fixed?


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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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Jan 31 2011

STOP Beating Down Doors!

A knock unanswered is a nudge


in the direction of more


productive selling, not an


invitation to pound on the door.


Every one in every business or profession is engaged in sales. Some don’t want to be. Some don’t accept that they are. Some push so hard running in place that they wear out their treads and lose traction.

Some give up on the starting line.


For the benefit of those from the “knock ’em dead” school of pushy salesmanship (who are probably out there selling cars instead of reading this anyway), put all “the failing economy” excuses aside, and consider these ugly face-the-facts truisms as you examine reasons for not making sales quota:

Assertiveness is not aggressiveness.

Speaking up for yourself is not the same

as punching someone in the nose

. . . and the flip side:

No one ever bought anything

from a slab of fish fillet.

How happy this news must make all you handshake aficionados who are smart enough to know deliver a handshake that comes down the middle, avoiding both the MMA bone-crusher grip and the floppy wet, soaped-up washcloth slither slide.

Effective, successful sales professionals mimic and resemble in attitude what they present of themselves in that first three customer-size-up seconds of presenting a genuine smile, trustworthy eye contact, and a handshake that speaks of authenticity.

So why do most home and business service providers not get it? Most one-man-band performers see themselves as service provider performers, not sales professionals . . . not sales anything.

They are SEO consultants, or upholsterers, or plumbers or electricians, or painters, or carpenters, or designers, or bookkeepers, or carpet cleaners, or hairdressers, or artists, or window-washers, or specialty retailers, or delivery service people, or car service specialists, or appliance repair specialists, or photographers, or building maintenance people, or writers or editors, or . . . you name it.

They are not, and do not want to be salespeople.

They are not and do not want to be politicians.

They are not and do not want to be agents.

They DO want to be businesspeople and get paid fairly for their services, but most are not willing to be open-minded enough to accept that today’s market for home and business services is filled with less capable, more personable provider options.

And being successful means being able to compete . . . not by being “Mr. or Ms. Personality” but by being more focused on how they come across to others, on how carefully they listen.

It really doesn’t take much to ask questions, listen carefully to the answers without interrupting, take notes, nod, smile, offer reassurance, and hand over a supportive piece of paper or simple folder that outlines the basics:

  • credentials

  • insurance and bonding contacts

  • customer references

  • contact information

  • payment terms

  • satisfaction guarantee

  • ah, yes, and a website address (simple outperforms nothing every time!)

There’s no need to stand in place and recite these.

Face-to-face time must be used productively, listening 80%, talking 20%!

When a best-effort presentation or introduction has been made, and there’s no expression of interest, or there’s an expression of interest but the prospect literally “disappears,” stop beating your fist (head?) against the guy’s door.

A dead-in-the-water sales pitch will not revive itself because you don’t want to give up. It will instead eat your time up sideways, and haunt you. Knock on another door.

Accept that what you had to offer just didn’t work for that person at that time and/or that she/he simply overlooked being courteous enough to not lead you on . . . and get on with life!



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“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! 

No responses yet

Sep 07 2010


“I’m too busy for you!”


(Translated: “I’ll never be a leader because

I don’t really care about anybody else!”)


Is “I’m too busy for you!” the verbal or nonverbal message you might be putting out to others?

I just read a promotional endorsement written by someone I know who, years ago, I used to respect. He starts out his explanation of why the particular newsletter he raves about is one of a very few that he actually makes time to read. He opens his statement by saying:


“I’m busy — painfully busy, so

I’m stingy with my time…”


Pull-eease! Who cares? The source, though, may want to know that comments like this scream of the kind of personal frustration known to have led many to depression and isolation.

It would be viewed by not a few psychology professionals as the monolithic signature of an individual who has deep fears of experiencing any forms of intimacy with others.

“Intimacy,”defined by ground-breaking Gestalt Psychology authors James and Jongeward, “is free of games and free of exploitation. It occurs in those rare moments of human contact that arouse feelings of tenderness, empathy…genuine caring…and affection.” 

Businesspeople are not immune to these kinds of connections and cannot hide behind “business” as if it were a protective shield. But many don’t know that they’re doing it. It may be going on for so long, that it feels natural to be a “workaholic.”

Some may say, why interrupt my career mission to get close enough to someone who will want me to pat their hand when they have a crisis? Dealing with other people’s crises slows me down and forces me to sidetrack.


Much has been written in the literature of Gestalt and Reality Therapy about those who play the “Harried Executive” game in life and business.

These are people who define themselves as “overwhelmed” and “overloaded” and “swamped” and “up to my ears…”

They make themselves too busy to have to spend any genuine quality time relating to others.


This is not a healthy mindset, but it is often masked by offering token attentions and participating in general socializing. It frequently requires professional counseling and coaching to move this type of behavior beyond the personal relationship barricade the person has set up for her or himself.

That you might be conveying to others that you are too busy for them, means you are close to the edge of the abyss that forecloses on many of life’s most valuable opportunities.

“I’m too busy” type statements can also be taken by many to mean:


“You’re worthless to me;

  get out of my way!” 

(Can there be any more insulting an attitude to communicate?)


Can you, or anyone who works with you, actually afford to practice being too busy, never mind flaunting it as in the above example?

Time is our most precious and cherished commodity. Of course we need air and water and food and clothing and shelter, but time is what drives those needs.


One of your grandparents no doubt once told you that “Time and tide wait for no man” (a statement that predates modern English and whose authorship is ascribed to St. Marher in 1225) and that “No man is an island” (attributed to the Englishman who was proclaimed the greatest of all metaphysical poets, John Donne, 1572-1631). 


Surely you’ve heard those statements somewhere? Maybe they are worthy of re-considering from time to time.

What kinds of nonverbal “I’m too busy” messages could you be sending out? Arms and/or legs crossed defensively in meetings? Parentally looking over the tops of your glasses at other’s suggestions that seem too time-consuming?

You keep checking your watch, the clock on the wall? You keep checking for text messages? You keep reading emails while someone is speaking with you? Do you walk ahead of others you’re speaking with, or shoulder to shoulder?

Do you pick up the phone and dial when someone approaches you? Do you put off invitations to family gatherings and neighborhood events, or show up to smile and handshake a few people and then slide out the side door when others seem preoccupied?                                                                    

You may want to listen to yourself more…and, hey, check out that great smile of yours in the mirror once in awhile!


 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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