Episode 148 – Lessons From The TV Show, The Voice

NBC’s hit show, The Voice

Four celebrity singers. Each with his own team of 6 singers. Now, they’ll compete for top honors on NBC’s hit TV show, The Voice.

During Tuesday night’s show the competition completed the “Battle Round” or “KnockOut Round.” Each coach pits two team members against each other. The coach decides a winner, who will advance, leaving the loser to go home.

Four lessons emerged from these battle rounds. I’ve watched all four teams go through this round and every single time these elements enter into the equation to determine the winner — and the loser!

We can apply these same four things to our business building. I’ll give you one hint: song selection is critical.

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Episode 147 – Brand New Marketing Strategy Stupidity: Idea Extraction

You don’t get to be old bein’ no fool…

That was a line uttered by a Richard Pryor character. It’s not entirely accurate, but it should be. More often than not.

Age should bring about greater wisdom. And experience.

It’s on my mind for at least a few reasons:

1. I’m old. Well, actually, I’m only 55, but that’s much older than most who are podcasting, blogging and producing online content. It’s not older than most business owners though. I know people think the majority of “entrepreneurs” are in their 20’s, but that’s not true. According to the SBA, small business ownership is a quest of more mature people. In fact, look closely and you’ll see a decline in business ownership by younger people. I also remember reading a US Census some years ago (it’s now a decade old) stating that 1 in 3 businesses was owned by a person over 55. Eleven percent were owned by people over 65. I suspect those numbers are now higher!

2. That niche I’ve been looking for is found. I woke up one day (some months ago) and realized, “It’s me!” Mature people. Marc Freedman and Marci Alboher call it an encore career. Those of us who have spent a lifetime in one (or more) endeavor and now we’re looking for our “encore” endeavor. It’s a group that is no stranger to me so I’ve got some plans underway to serve this community.

No, that doesn’t mean if you’re younger that I no longer care about you. If anything, I care more than ever before about the younger people because I think I have something to offer you. Maybe it’s only perspective, but that can be critically important…to all of us. Who doesn’t need an improved, insightful perspective?

Besides, I’m fond of younger people and their outlook on life. Many younger people have a much better perspective of their lives than I had at their age. My peers and I were busy clamoring for financial success. We often sacrificed quality of life because it was a different time and we didn’t have the Internet, which is the primary game-changing tool for today’s income earners! I think these are very exciting times for young and old alike.

3. As I hear modern marketing gurus hold forth I realize that the lessons old heads taught me 40 years ago were old when I learned them. Science changes. Technology changes. People, however, are still very much as they’ve always been, albeit, they are more connected, aware and informed. The psychology of marketing is more quantified than ever before and I suspect that will continue, but we’re all still moved by the things that have always moved us. We’re moved to think, to shop, to buy and to act by very common (and ancient) drivers. The old direct-marketing copywriters of the 1940’s knew it as well as any modern marketing guru. People still point to the genius of P.T. Barnum.

Everything old is new again.

Let me introduce you to a phrase that I began hearing quite a lot a few months ago, “idea extraction.”

It’s brand new. It’s bold. It’s ingenious. And for a few thousand bucks you can learn it.

Or suffer the financial doom sure to come your way if you fail to learn it.

Yes, that’s sarcasm dripping from my lips. Give today’s show a fighting chance and let me enlighten you. Or maybe I can entertain you. Who knows? I might even make you angry. That’s okay. Go ahead. Click play.

Taking unfair advantage of people is so commonplace that sometimes ethical people are tempted to use predatory language and tactics. I’m opposed to it. Period. Rather, I think we must help, teach and share.

Age and experience, coupled with life-long learning can prevent any of us from being a fool. I do not consider myself a fool. I don’t consider you one either!

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Audio Quick Hit – Won’t Somebody Just Help Us Be Better?

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Last night on ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE, Diane Sawyer presented a special report entitled, “Hidden America: Inside Chicago’s Gang War.”

Watch it.

Then go here and read the Bible story of “the good Samaritan.”

Episode 146 – The Small Business Triple Death Trap

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Crying like a baby won’t help.

Business isn’t easy. It’s hard work.

That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, exciting and rewarding. It can be all of those things.

It can also be a death sentence – a J.O.B. that we can’t quit.

Today’s show is about three things that consistently hasten the death knell for many small businesses (and larger ones, too).

Let’s discuss these 3 things and see if we can avoid killing our own small business.

1. Toxic viewpoint

2. Lack of strategic thinking

3. Poor communication

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Episode 145 – If Your End Of The Boat Sinks, So Does Mine

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Running Time 30:27

Are you bringing on water?

Warning: You may be shocked at what I have to say about the “tropical auto-pilot” businesses you hear so much about.

“If your end of the boat sinks, so does mine.”

I’ve used that phrase through the years with regard to teamwork, but today I’m not necessarily talking about teamwork.

I am talking about ROI – return on investment.

Value. Providing high value.

Employees need to understand. Contract workers need to understand. Business owners need to understand. We all need to better understand these truths.

Life can be so much better. More profitable. More successful. More fun. But it demands we think about ourselves as a resource whose value is determined by our own efforts. Personal responsibility and accountability for what we bring to the party (or boat)…that’s the stuff of success! We can be an asset. Or, we can be a liability.

Listen around the 27:38 mark and you’ll hear Rosie bark. She’s determined to make it into every recording. Shame on me for not closing the door to The Yellow Studio!

Thank you for subscribing and listening.

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Episode 144 – Making Customers Happy, Keeping Customers Happy

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The Cloud of Happiness

This is the Cloud of Happiness. You may not have seen him in awhile, but he’s out there. Somewhere.

You want him in your life. Your customers want him in their lives, too.

How do you really feel about your customers? How do you really feel about your business?


So much of our business life is centered around managing the expectations, both our own and our customers. We often end up unhappy in our business because we’re not getting the results we expect. We’re disappointed. We’re afraid. We’re frustrated.

Sometimes our customers end up unhappy, too. They’re not getting what they thought they’d get. They’re disappointed. They’re afraid. They’re frustrated.

What are you gonna do about it? Anything?

It’s time to better manage the expectations – your own and those of your customers!

Thank YOU for listening.

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