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.


# # #

Your FREE subscription: Posts RSS Feed

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

Nov 21 2008

EVERY BUSINESS NEEDS THERAPY: Physical, Occupational, Speech, and Psycho

Beating Business Breakdowns


     Why should your business needs be any different than your personal needs?  Well, sure, I know there are different parts involved, duh, and that living/breathing humans are different than paper-based legal entities.  But . . .

     When your body, brain, or emotions break down, you get professional help to work out and then implement some kind of rehab plan.  (Or maybe you first go get what doctors today like to softsell as a “procedure” –less threatening sounding than “operation,” but otherwise the same thing– and then do the rehab deal. 

     Either way, because you want to restore your vitality and get back to some level of normal functioning, you engage the services of people who are trained and experienced at assisting and guiding your physical, mental, and emotional functions:

  • PT (Physical Therapist)
  • OT (Occupational Therapist)
  • ST (Speech Therapist . . . yes there are some rumblings about switching the designation to Speech Pathologist, but not from my corner; therapists are helping professionals; pathologists deal with dead bodies!), and 
  • Psychotherapists (who of course will deal with you whether you’re dead or alive).  Just a little humor here.

     The point is that businesses have physical, mental, occupational and emotional breakdowns too.  And these will usually require the retention of professional “rehab” services as well: 

  • accountants
  • lawyers
  • turn-around specialists
  • sales and marketing consultants
  • management consultants
  • technical consultants
  • business development specialists
  • human resource consultants
  • financial consultants
  • creative consultants
  • IT consultants, et al. 

     The secret is of course being able to sort through the myriad of options and alternatives available and to select the combination of services that best address the rehab interests of your particular business needs. 

     Spend the time and energy to make it happen.  Cutting corners on this process can get so expensive or troubling that it can easily overshadow the original set of problems. 

     Remember that you get what you pay for. 

     Don’t worry so much about industry-specific experience or if the individual or entity you’re considering claims expertise in numerous related areas or has a solid track-record in diverse industries.  What’s important is to feel sure that the person or group has the right attitude and chemistry match to work with you and your support team. 

     Don’t be put off if you only get slim pickin’s for references since most business rehab people work with strict confidence arrangements.

     One highly successful business owner I know routinely brings in outsiders to assist with growth or repair issues.  He makes a point of taking prospective specialists and consultants to lunch or breakfast to get a better sense of the person’s real self

. . . I look to see if he or she says ‘please’ and thanks the waiter or waitress, offers to leave a tip when I pick up the tab, eats like a vacuum cleaner, orders alcohol, takes cell calls, etc.  There’s a lot to learn about how someone will work with you and your organization simply by observing how that individual behaves in a social setting.  I generally include an associate in the experience so I have four eyes and ears doing the sizing up,” says my business owner friend. 

     Periodic “how goes it” evaluations and recommendations from outsiders is also recommended when growth is part of your business goal.  Call if I can help you sort through and identify some best practice solutions: 302.933.0116     halalpiar

# # #

Check out and contribute to the daily growing 7-Word Story started 73 days ago (inside a coffin).  Click on the link to the right, or go to the “BOOKS” tab at the top of this page, then to the top headline link.

One response so far


Tag Cloud