Saturday, May 24, 2008

Everlasting Peace - A Peace Of Mind

New product comes to my attention today that will be of great interest to anyone with a family member or friend in palliative care. I've known Joel for many years now, through our association on the NLPTalk-reserve Yahoo group and admire his work and his skills greatly.

We don't much like to speak of death in western society. And yet for many, every day, this is part of their landscape and for some, they will spend a considerable time in this 'half-way house' between life and death. Anything that brings comfort and allows for some grace to these individuals, is a fantastic contribution.

Here's what Joel Bowman has to say about it.

"Debra Basham, CHTP, and I have just released a special CD for those in Hospice Care. If you work with those close to transition, you may be interested. Here's the blurb:

Everlasting Peace is a special product created for use by individuals as they are nearing death. This project was done with a unique Hospice program in mind: Hospice at Home. Hospice is a program that works to manage pain (emotional and mental as well as physical) during this intense time of transition. Designed to promote a deep sense of well-being, regardless of current life circumstances, Everlasting Peace is appropriate for use by all of those involved family, friends, care givers, hospice staff, and others who desire reduction of stress and greater peace of mind.

The background music, Pachelbel's Cannon in D, Three Meditative Variations with Ocean, by Live & Let Live, is used by permission. To purchase their music, visit their website

Everlasting Peace will be available to Hospice at Home at low cost. In addition, SCS Matters LLC will donate $10 of each retail purchase to Hospice at Home. The single CD is $25, plus sales tax and shipping. We are excited to share this!"

Contact Debra Basham at

You'll find Debra and Joel's website at SCS Matters LLC

The Daily Reckoning

Why do I like The Daily Reckoning so?

Who could resist such well articulated thoughts?

"We would like to set the record straight. We are neither gloomy nor pessimistic. People who know us well say that we are often cheerful and fairly pleasant company. Even in adversity, we manage to keep a sense of humor. In fact, friends say we smile when bad things happen, provided, of course, they happen to someone else. And we often laugh gaily when reading the obituaries, as long as we don’t find our name mentioned."


The Daily Reckoning

Friday, May 23, 2008

Unexpected Results

Sometimes we can be too predictable. Boring even. People think they know what we mean, who we are, what we think, long before they know us enough to have the faintest idea.

Not knowing, doesn't stop people assuming they do.

A shame really. Suspend that impulse to assume you know, long enough to actually find out... can bring rewards. Not doing that can bring a great deal of loss of opportunity and life experience.

Here's a vid that reminded me of all this.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Your Website Grading. Do You Pass?

Thanks to Heidi Caswell at Connect Simply
for the heads up to this great online tool at that offers fantastic reporting on the strengths and weaknesses of your website and offers suggestions on how to improve it.

From their website: "It provides a score that incorporates things like website traffic, SEO, social popularity and other technical factors. It also provides some basic advice on how the website can be improved from a marketing perspective."

Web Marketing SEO Tools Score

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Got Acres Of Diamonds?

Over on TeamCircle I have been glad to see the members who've joined me from Merchant Circle, making the site their own. I am frankly blown away at the vast array of interests and businesses people choose to get involved with. Here's to a long and happy association.

And here's the blog that I wrote for them, since it is a closed group, and really, this message applies to EveryMan. Even the female ones. ;-)

Life on the internet is a little like a microcosm of life outside of the internet. Like watching a culture grow in a petri dish... a few cells here in the right medium, a little warmth and hey presto! a whole mess of activity and new cells growing apace.

The favorite occupation online seems to be rushing after The Next Big Thing. Websites...SEO... Identity verification... Got to have self hosted blogs, and on and on and on... And the reason? What is it? Find new people to show off our wares to. More, new, collect names, names, names... The frenzy for numbers. More numbers, must be better, right?

This often strikes me as a rush to be busy, but not necessarily always effective. In the 'olden days', it was marketing to get new clients. For some reason "new" seems better than "old" when it comes to clients, for some reason. And yet what is an old client, if not someone who has already shown that they like what you do enough to pay you! You already know that. You have clear evidence of the fact that they will part with their money for what you do. With a new prospect? Who knows. Maybe they will, and maybe they won't.

And yet the focus seems to be much more on looking for the New Thing, the New Customer. While never fully learning how to get the most leverage out of the Old Thing, or serving better the Old Customer.

Here's a link to an old story that I think is appropriate to this topic.
Read the story and let me know what you make of it.

What are the acres of diamonds that you are overlooking, in the search for the New and Untested?

Acres Of Diamonds: Read Here

Acres Of Diamonds By Russell H. Conwell

I am astonished that so many people should care to hear this story over again. Indeed, this lecture has become a study in psychology; it often breaks all rules of oratory, departs from the precepts of rhetoric, and yet remains the most popular of any lecture I have delivered in the fifty-seven years of my public life. I have sometimes studied for a year upon a lecture and made careful research, and then presented the lecture just once -- never delivered it again. I put too much work on it. But this had no work on it -- thrown together perfectly at random, spoken offhand without any special preparation, and it succeeds when the thing we study, work over, adjust to a plan, is an entire failure.

The "Acres of Diamonds" which I have mentioned through so many years are to be found in this city, and you are to find them. Many have found them. And what man has done, man can do. I could not find anything better to illustrate my thought than a story I have told over and over again, and which is now found in books in nearly every library... continues Acres Of Diamonds: Read Here

Thou shalt be attractive - Michael Leunig - Opinion -

Michael Leunig looks at the modern curse - Be Attractive Or Be Nothing.

Style over substance? It seems to extend beyond mere physical looks.

Mortgages given to people with no capacity to pay once the 'honeymoon' rate reverts to normal. What were the banks thinking?

"That's how much it costs..." is not equivalent, when making a purchase, to "That's what I can afford."... No matter how much we might want something.

Is humankind really becoming so shallow? Is there potential for this to turn around some day?

"It is difficult to imagine any time in history when so many people claiming to be so free have lived in so much fear of being unattractive." - Michael Leunig

Thou shalt be attractive - Michael Leunig - Opinion -

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Offline Business Networking - Online

I'm finding it interesting the difference with online social networking and personal networking groups 'on the ground' as it were. It is almost like two different animals, and yet the purpose for both would seem to be the same.

Interestingly, I'm exploring a personal network for people to use online facilities to manage their personal network (on the ground) with online functions and a profit sharing component. It is available for members to join in any location, and seems to be an interesting way to combine in-person and online into a system that allows one to create a strong, systematic approach to endorsing those who are known to us as being reliable, ( and to whom we would refer now to the appropriate people), and allowing a way to monetize that as well. Since it is being put together by someone who is not involved online, it is going to be interesting to see how that develops.

For many trades people and bricks and mortar businesses, social networking is not even in their vocabulary. And meeting at regular functions is outside the constraints of their working day schedule. This might be a nice way to open up the door to the benefits of networking for these people who have really been doing it on their own up till now.

Let me know if this is something that might interest you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions? on BNET

Nice article from the Harvard Business Review posted on BNET, on values, obligations and commitments we make in our lives.

Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions? on BNET

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Corporate social responsibility - Focus for Executives at The Big Chair

Corporate social responsibility is still in it's infancy. What will it take to become mainstream? And when will small business begin to build their business model with even a nod to CSR?

Interesting times ahead .

Corporate social responsibility - Focus for Executives at The Big Chair:

"Although there are many businesses in Australia that are making advancements in this area, Longstaff says there are still large sectors of the Australian economy that are not yet really engaged in corporate responsibility.

“Not only is there really uneven participation amongst the largest of Australian companies, which have been really reluctant to make commitments in this area, but also there’s that whole area of small-to-medium enterprise which is yet to be really engaged in a way which makes sense to them,” he says."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What You Do & How You Do It - Marketing Basics

Marketing is still the big issue for business owners and when I say marketing, I mean right from the basic level of "what is it that I do, and how do I do it".

Knowing how to tell people these two things, can be the starting point to a good clear marketing message, and without them... it isn't going to be much of a marketing strategy!

I still think the Action Plan marketing resources are the best I've seen for starting out and clearly articulating both:

  1. What you do, and
  2. How you do it.

This is basic, basic stuff, and yet so often I see business owners trying to attract business without any clear idea in their own mind, what the answers to these questions are - so good luck finding a customer who can work it out!

Looks like there's been a bit of a revamp on the free workbook so check out the new offer and get your copy here

Need to attract more clients? Get a copy of Robert Middleton's Action Plan Marketing Plan workbook right here!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Basic rules of conversation

Interesting topic today caught my eye, on the basic communications rules.

The four Conversational Maxims

A. Maxims of quality
1. Do not say what your believe to be false.
2. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.

B. Maxims of quantity
1. Make your contribution as informative as required.
2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.

C. Maxim of relation
1. Be relevant.

D. Maxims of manner
1. Avoid obscurity of expression.
2. Avoid ambiguity.
3. Be brief.
4. Be orderly.

Full details in article on the link below:

Basic rules of conversation

Join Me On Merchant Circle

Do you have a business in the US? Big business, small business, NGO, charity, community group. Whatever it is, if you need to promote it in your local area, then this is for you.

Okay so here is the plug. Your free listing on Merchant Circle gets you....

* all the space you could want to promote your products and services on your own business listing (yes, it is already there, just go claim it and make it work for you!)
* facility to add photos or videos to promote your business
* a way for your customers to give you a review
* A way to monitor and manage your business reputation. Yes! You have one - who knew?!
* a newsletter function that allows you to create professional newsletters that look great and allow you to track how many you send it to actually open it
* a business blog attached to your business site. Simple, simple, and did I say, simple to add to, even if you know nothing about writing blogs
* coupons and advertizements to appear on your page AND on the pages of all the other merchants you connect with to network
* prominance in your local area in online searches
* enhanced traffic for your regular website if you have one
* a simple (again!) way to have a website even if you don't have your own yet
* interface to communicate with customers and potential customers direct from your Merchant Circle page
* an easy way to connect with other business owners in your area for joint promotion and referrals to help you both
* an easy way for your customers to FIND you when they need what you do
* remember, I said this is free, right...
* reports to show you how much traffic your site is attracting
* access to the Merchant Circle forum where you can mix, mingle, moan and marvel at the great information and helpful contribution that the members make to help each other

Well that's part of it. There are other things if you are an accomplished webmaster, or even a shakey one, including scripts to add your Customer Reviews and your blog to your regular website easily. Talk about making your main website easy to update!

More widgets and the like are added all the time so you probably have enough to know that there is something there worth grabbing. And I should mention I suppose, if all that isn't enough, you can upgrade to a range of paid services that turbo charge your ads with Google, Yahoo and the like.

The strength of any online community can only come from the people who participate. I have been honored to be asked to moderate this forum and for that I need active members asking questions, fielding answers, making suggestions, and sharing their successes, and not-so-successful efforts to promote their business. The tools are there... all we need to do is use them well.

Come join us - and drop by the Forum and tell us your story.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Online Networks And Participation

It's fair to say that I spend quite a lot of time on internet networks of different kinds. Some I moderate, and others I just participate in existing forums. In the course it this, it is evident that I am not the only one who is spending a lot of time pursuing this online activity, and yet some things continue to happen that make me wonder if there is much thought goes into the purpose behind the activity.

On forums we have people posting to boards, complaining about the topics that are posted are not to their liking - yet they are not posting the topics that they want to discuss!

Since many of us are networking for business purposes, it is odd to me, how often in the context of a forum, people will respond to a message that clearly sets out how to get in contact with a poster, for a specific purpose. Yet the post will be met with an "I need help" response, to the forum - not to the address specifically laid out in very clear and easy to understand terms.

I've seen the same thing with my profile on Ryze, where I clearly state, "Send me a private message" if you want to contact me, yet I will get an automated message from Ryze to say that "someone wants to network with me" - but apparently haven't bothered to read my profile, or they would have noticed at least ONE of the several separate messages I have there to say that the "Network For Me" function won't work!

Why are we doing all this network participation, if we are not going to pay the most basic attention to what those with whom we might want to network? Connecting on a network, is not the end of the action, it is the start. What comes after that, will tell the story of how well we are networking...or if we are just passing time on nothing at all.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Product Launch Blueprint

Interesting video in two parts, on a blueprint for launching a new online product.

Well worth a look.

The Product Launch Blueprint

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Stumbling Towards More Conversions | WebProNews

Time to learn about Stumbling and how StumbleUpon can be used in marketing. Lots of tips on this blog on WebPro news

Stumbling Towards More Conversions | WebProNews

Interviewing to Get the Right People

Great article from Business Week.

Interviewing to Get the Right People:

I particularly like this, and always encourage employers to pay attention to these two items, as they manage staff.

"1. Conduct a talent review of your team members.

2. Create scorecards for each role, so you clearly communicate what success is and isn't."

44.03.TenCommandments.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Snappy presentation from the Change This website on Visual Thinking by Dan Roam.

Check it out

44.03.TenCommandments.pdf (application/pdf Object)