Apr 10 2011


If you don’t know how to 


apply what you know,


you know nothing!



I saw some guest blog post somewhere today that made me laugh out loud because it naively proclaims that “expertise trumps experience” and then proceeds to flex 20-something-years-old muscle with empty rants and raves about Internet skills, from blogging to SEO and beyond.

Not being one to let sleeping dogs lie, I submit the following for your consideration:

  • Younger generations have quite literally constellations worth of knowledge to offer to any given situation.

  • They are born of Google and Microsoft and American Idol and Harry Potter. They are filled with energy drinks that make a cup of coffee seem like Darvon.

  • We rickity old antique types watch high performance skateboarders, or teenage text message thumbs at work in astonishment — young people ooze skills that older people could never even have dreamed of possessing.

  • And I do once remember hearing, at age 32, that I was “older than dirt” from a 21-year-old who was quite serious at the time. 

Yet something tugs at my sleeve. Is it per chance that discarded old notion of respect for experience?

Perhaps the tugging is because experience is almost necessarily a product of quiet reflection while “expertise” practically requires a shout from the rooftops to get the attention of others. 


Maybe I live in fantasyland, but it seems to me that –other than some phenom celebrity types: Justin and Hanna? Or the dudes who invented Twitter and Facebook– there’s really no one on that horizon of greatness that once ushered in Bill Gates and Steven Jobs.

Ah, but then this isn’t about comparing generations.

It’s about the fact that expertise means absolutely nothing if you don’t have the experience base to know how to use it productively.


No need to look much beyond the world of professional sports for a few hundred perfect examples.

The Internet? Well, aside from Al Gore’s claims to have once invented it, I believe that the expertise” involved is in fact not with any single age or experience group, and research –even that which is distorted by Internet industry research leaders– is aptly underpinned with total age diversity in the expertise of blogging to SEO and beyond.

Ah, but then this isn’t about the Internet either, really. It’s all about the fact that regardless of all the wonderful online skills in one’s possession, not having a way to get paid for exercising them –because of lack of experience– also means absolutely nothing.

And there’s no need to look much beyond the artificial unemployment figures being cast about by self-serving politicians, who trickle on down from the White House, to clearly see a few million examples.



Expertise (whatever that means, and from whatever sources declare themselves to possess it) is simply a specialized knowledge base of how things happen or function.

Experience is knowing how to put that knowledge base to work to get results.

It’s pretty silly to be trying to make a case for one at the expense of the other. 


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 302.933.0116      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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Oct 16 2010

Consistency Sells.

Q. What if it walks like a duck


 and quacks like a duck, but 


 looks like a tyrannosaurus rex?


A. You’ve got trouble. . . 


right here in River City!


And if we’re talking about A~N~Y aspect of your business, you can be sure that your customers will have even bigger problems than you, which is not a good thing.

Take it from experience, the last thing you want is for your customers to be confused, because confusion doesn’t just cost you patronage; it costs you your reputation. All the good things you’ve done, and are doing, get flushed away with one jerk of the handle.

Anything that costs your reputation, costs you sales to existing customers, and costs you prospective customers too. Like winning sports teams, businesses that offer consistency succeed. Attitude consistency is paramount.

From McDonald’s to Charles Schwab, from Hershey’s to Microsoft, from Federal Express to Wal-Mart, consistency of products and services (and of innovation, operations, marketing and sales) is what puts businesses like these over the top.


Consistency doesn’t mean having inventories that collect dust or never trying new methods or line extensions, or always doing the exact same things in the exact same ways. Those are investments in maintaining the status quo — a boring and unhealthy practice.

Consistency means carrying integrity and leadership and customer service to the extreme every day of your life that your business exists. It means maintaining and nurturing one strong, simple, single image throughout all the ways you represent yourself to the rest of the world.

It doesn’t matter if some people don’t like your image or your message. What does matter is that your image and message is consistent and delivered consistently across the boards…in your advertising, marketing, promotional and PR efforts, online and off…all of the time, without exception.

You know that repetition sells.

Repetition sells.

Repetition sells.


Repeating what you do and the ways that you do it, over and over, is the best way to build and strengthen a loyal following. Ask any stage performer, producer, or director.

In that sense, you are no different. You are on your business stage every day (and often at night), and your performance (what you have to offer and the ways you offer it) is being judged by others all of the time, even when you’re not aware of having an audience. 

Look at it this way you want to get in better physical shape, but can’t make that happen by eating ice cream, candy and fried foods,  drinking heavily and smoking cigars only on weekends and justifying it by taking a long walk on Sunday afternoon.

Like building a healthy life, building a healthy business is a full time commitment to consistency.

If your business walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, don’t make it something it’s not. Consistency sells.

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 Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US        or comment below

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

 Make today a GREAT Day for someone!


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Oct 11 2009


EX-employees can


be your best sales source!


     Remember that young dude  you liked who used to work for you? He was the guy who moved too fast for others in the department, and never seemed challenged enough, but there were no quicker-paced jobs open at the time, and he left for parts unknown? Well, he’s back in town and working for one of your major suppliers!

     How about Old Man Muckitymuck  who retired after 20 years with your company? Did you know he’s now on the board of directors of one of your biggest customers?

     And so it goes.  If you didn’t fire ’em, and they were people who left on good terms and simply moved on or retired, they represent a potential gold mine of accelerated sales, new revenue streams, and quality employee referrals, among other possibilities.

     Even someone who’s retired and living in some active adult community,  playing bocce by day, and poker by night, has formed new friend networks that can easily include the father of a major customer or the brother of a key prospect you’re trying to sell… maybe enough to tip the scale in your favor. Y’never know!

     But you never really WILL know  until you start digging and updating and taking inventory of who is where now, and how each may have an opportunity to help your current business needs. 

     Remember that these are all people  who have a working knowledge of your business and industry. They already understand your unique selling proposition, and — hopefully — have a positive attitude toward you and your business and the work experience they had with you. 

     That fact alone makes this group the ideal salesforce. Make them a captive audience and you never know where it can lead you. It is proven. It is being done by major business leaders in companies like DOW, and Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, and Deloitte. It is just as easily done by you. And it’s FREE!

     What’s required is simple. You get these folks together a couple of times a year — perhaps in a special “off-campus” social setting where you treat them to drinks and dinner, and perhaps some overnight accommodations and special events, including an update of what’s new since they were involved… and where you see things headed… and ask for their help.

     Add to that,  an email newsletter and a password-protected page or two on your website that allows for chatroom experiences and a bulletin board for classified ad postings.  

If you’re interested in a FREE “Benefits to Your Business” summary and FREE 10-Step Plan for initiating an Alumni Relations Program in your company, just shoot an email to me Hal@Businessworks.US with “10 STEPS” in the subject line and remember to include your name, business name and a phone number where I can call you with one free (no-strings attached) update to the attachments. Email and phone number privacy are guaranteed! 

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Input always welcome Hal@TheWriterWorks.com “Blog” in subject line or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Hal

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Jul 19 2009




Defragment and


give your SELF a


stimulus package!


     There’s plenty of unused storage space in your mind, believe me. Even if it’s just a little teeny bit true that Einstein supposedly only used about 10% of his total brain capacity, where does that leave the rest of us? I mean, give that about 27 or 28 seconds of think time right now.

     Think about all that extra (empty?) space in your brain that’s available to put to work. Leave it plugged in tonight and just click on accessories> defragment. By the morning, VOILA! You’ll be ready for anything.

     Maybe we should sort out who’s working where first. That way, when you’re all freshly defragmented, you’ll be in a position to make more of what you’ve got, or jump into something different.

     If you work for a big company, raise your hand and leave the room. If you work for someone else in a small company or you work for an organization of some type, or you’re in school learning how to work for somebody else…or you don’t work (Wow! What’s thatlike?), you’re probably not reading any of this anyway because you’re too busy surfing FaceBook.

This now leaves us with the heart of the businessworld: YOU!

    You run and/or own and/or manage a business,

OR you are self-employed.

     Oh, there’s that nasty hyphenated word again: self-employed. This simply means that you run AND own AND manage a business. I love you for that…but don’t get yourself worked up over my affection because what do I know?

     Federal and state government leaders don’t think you count.

     Obviously they haven’t a clue about how Apple and Microsoft got started in garages by self-employed geniuses. Anyway, don’t hold your breath waiting for some kind of  stimulus package since “self-employed” doesn’t count as a small business in government circles.

     I saw a handful of governor-conference-attending governors on CSPAN last night, including I am sorry to say, Delaware Governor Jack Markell who clearly doesn’t get it…who thinks his small business job creation plan to help established small businesses get bigger is going to have big economic impact.

     Sorry Jack. You need to get real, and talk with (LISTEN TO) some of Delaware’s thousands of self-employed small businesses –the ones that are NOT established, that are struggling to get established to see what they need to get up to 3 or 4 or 11 or 25 employees…and TIP: it’s not more loans!

     Making stimulus package room for startups and struggling self-employed is like making disk space by defragmenting. Clear out the junk, the spam, the space-wasters.

     You see what I’m saying here about brain capacity?  Defragmenting cleans up your harddrive. The same concept will clean up your brain, and help you focus on how to be more productive with your time and energy.

     You can be sure of not getting government support, so what can you be sure of? Your SELF! And how do you make that start to work for you? The same ways that Messrs. Jobs and Gates made their one-man-band garage ventures start to work for them.

     They made the choice. They worked hard at their ideas. They didn’t give up when things looked bleak. They didn’t worry about stimulus packages. They put their heads down and charged. You can do that too! Start tomorrow morning…after you defragment tonight!     

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Input aways welcome: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in    subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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Jun 17 2009

Networking Begins After Networking Is Done!

“Don’t I recognize you


from my last job?”


(OR, “An employee today could be a customer tomorrow!”)

     There are not many pages that small business owners and managers like ourselves can take from universities or big business owners and managers, but here’s a new one that’s worth paying attention to…we like to think (being small and flexible and aggressive and innovation-driven) that we have a lock on the whole notion of networking.

     I mean when’s the last time you saw campus or corporate executives at Chamber of Commerce mixers or Better Business Bureau networking events? Ah, but they (academic hot-shots and corporate type muckity-mucks) are mainstays in the job search networking arenas. Yes, you might say, but that’s not real networking; that’s just exploitation of another job search tool.

     Who’s to say? After all: whatever you network for is what you network for. Hmm? If, in other words, you attend a networking event cranked up to meet and greet prospective employers, then job search is indeed your purpose. If you bring six pockets full of business cards with the idea of getting everyone you meet to visit your blog, or follow you on Twitter, then your purpose is to build an audience.

     The point is that we all network everyday with associates, employees, vendors, customers, referrers, prospects, even friends and family. Sure, so what’s this big page from big business (and academia, which hasn’t even a clue about business reality) all about?

     Many major corporations, which themselves have stooped to conquer unsavvy academic methodologies are now seeing great sales and business growth opportunities from networking with former employees! Aha! So, it’s not all of academia here that’s lighting fires? Correct.

     The ignition points are lodged in the sacred college and university halls of alumni associations, alumni directors, and development officers. They started it. Corporations are following it. Small business is next and starting to happen! The corporate social networking we’ve all heard about is now beginning to add a new dimension: employee alumni programs.

     A 2009 article by Mary Hall identified a few representative companies that have already entrenched themselves in commitments to build successful alumni programs: Microsoft, McKinsey, KPMG, Booze Allen, BearingPoint, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Bain & Co., Dow, Coca-Cola, Accenture, Agilent.  

     Hall’s article poses the question: Why would a company want to focus its attention on a group of people who are no longer employees? Because, she says, “whatever path former employees choose, they are likely to be expanding their personal networks and getting to know new people. Why wouldn’t a company want to do the same? An employee today could be a customer tomorrow or have in their network a future hire.”

When ALL is said and done, isn’t it true that ALL of business

is ALL about relationships?

Alumni associations are here for small and mid-sized business. Many already recruit employees from them. Many hold annual reunions that produce payloads of workable i9deas because they come from those who understand how the business works to start with.

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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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Mar 07 2009


Entrepreneurs Are


Imagination Junkies!


Okay, friends and enemies, enough bitching about the economy. Get out your “imagination sticks.” We’re going to group-beat the recession!

  • “You’re a whack-job, Hal!”
  • “Y’think?”
  • “Yeah.”
  • “Well, you may be right, but I also have some news for you. Are you ready?”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited.

Imagination encircles the world!”


Who was the dumb idealist who said that, Hal? Hey, none other than our dumb old idealist friend Albert Einstein. And I know it for sure because it’s in a frame on the wall at the Delaware Creative Writing Center in the Cape Gazette Building in Lewes, Delaware, and Delaware Creative Writing Center people are very careful about the words they choose to surround themselves with!

So what? Who cares? What does that have to do with me? We’re in a recession in case you haven’t heard. And we don’t have any time to run around imagining things; there’s enough real stuff right here to deal with, besides you’re always preaching to be realistic and stay focused on the here and now, and now you’re saying we should all go off to never-never land with Tinkerbell and Michael Jackson?

Whoa! First of all, I’m not a big fan of either pixie dust or sequined gloves, but let’s look at the realism issue a minute, shall we? Realistically, none (zero, nada) of the world’s great businesses could have survived and thrived in economic problem times without imagination.

Only by fostering, nurturing and practicing the application of imagination to the products, services, ideas, R&D, and processes that launched them or put them on the map to start with, have they been able to make a difference.

Only when you plug imagination into your business’s status quo outlets will you experience the level of electricity that will thrust you into exciting new directions, markets, and revenue streams. Do you think Microsoft and Apple and HARO and TWITTER and revitalized old companies like GE just (pardon the expression) stumbled upon greatness?

Greatness doesn’t just fall from the sky and happen to happen! Greatness is created with imagination. You can build more of that commodity into your daily business activities. Start with some highly structured, tightly-timed brainstorming sessions as the road to expanding imagination!

Remembering that the solutions to any group problem are within the group, start with a group of 3-7 people (sometimes all managers, sometimes no managers, sometimes a mix works best . . . you may need some trial and error efforts to decide; sometimes three different groups tackling the same topics will produce the best results; don’t be afraid to experiment).

Conduct a disciplined 5-minute time period session with the goal of posting as many ideas as possible (on newsprint pages or whiteboard) that address the subject you spotlight. Encourage absolutely stupid and bizarre ideas (because they will trigger better ones!).

NO criticism is allowed during these 5 minutes! NONE!

When that list is done, take 3 minutes to refine it. This is the time to be critical, eliminate the nonsense, consolidate and combine points that seem to fit together, and take a good hard look at what’s left. Odds are you’ll surprise yourself with what you’ve orchestrated.

Many companies hold sessions like this weekly, and in some cases, even daily. The result is that people’s brains get stimulated. Productivity and sales increase. Imagination fuels the fire that heats up the economy. Entrepreneurs are imagination junkies.

Imagination is what made America great to start with. Imagination will do it again. Will you be a catalyst or an observer?

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Hal@Businessworks.US    or  931.854.0474

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jan 05 2009


When did the plumber


and the weatherman 


get their operations? 


     Am I living on another planet, or what?  When did the plumber become a mechanical contractor?  When did the weatherman become a meteorologist?  (Don’t get me wrong.  Meteors are interesting phenomena, but I only care about temperatures, rain and snow.  For meteors, I have the Science Channel.) 

     Oh, and please, when did an “operation” become softened to a procedure?  (Probably when numerous hospitals became medical centers, chiropractors became sports physicians, and cardiothoracic surgeons became heart specialists).  Ah, yes, and of course 99% of procedures are also routine procedures! 

     Speech therapists, who specialize in helping people speak and swallow better, no longer want to be called speech therapists; now they’re speech pathologists.  (Don’t pathologists specialize in dead people?)  

     Many salesmen and saleswomen who became “salespeople” during the sexual revolution are now (more PC) sales associates.  Like the trouble with mailmen and female mailmen finally settling into a state of  androgenous mush to become universally known as postal workers.  Oh, and have you noticed how few companies have employees anymore?  How about Members as in “going to work at the clubhouse.” 

     When I was in school, we had a janitor to clean the building.  Then the janitor became a custodian which no doubt upset many legal custodians (and, correspondingly, numerous lawyers and attorneys and attorneys at law — all of whom, in my judgement, deserve to experience upsets!).  Ah, but take heart, now the old guy is called a maintenance facilitator, leaving little doubt as to custodianship! 

     I hope we don’t all begin confusing the MVB with the DVM and start getting our cars in for flea and tick treatments, and tail light inspections for our dogs!  By the way, in this age of specialization, a canine ophthalmologist?  This is for those near-sighted pitbulls? 

     So what does all this mean? 

     For small businesses (especially startups) and big business HR departments and others who make these decisions: Don’t parade yourself around on stationery and business cards and websites as “CEO” when you’re a one or two-person firm, or as a large company “Director” of something that no one else is involved with (So how can you be directing?). 

     That kind of inflated title stuff worked in olden times, before every bank in town had 14,000 vice presidents, but not today. 

     “Founder,” by the way, is equally unimportant unless you started Dreamworks or Microsoft or Google.  If it’s that important to your ego, put it on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself of your genius talents.

     Bottom line:  Call yourself what you are!  Say what you do!  Stay away from fancy and misleading language.  Make-believe titles, overblown and over-inflated job descriptions do disservice to your organization, regardless of whether you’re a Mom & Pop operation or a Fortune 500 mega-corporation.  





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