… walked away from a potential project.


It involved writing a bunch of copy for a bunch of web sites.

The prospective client was somebody I know fairly well. That was the problem.

Because the work was with somebody I knew, we skipped over a lot of the normal, early discussions.

By the time I gave her a price, it turned out I was more expensive than what she could afford. Had she been a stranger, we would have gotten to that much sooner.

Working with friends is great, but this was a good reminder that you still need to go through the steps of a “real” project.


… started my snowblower.


Not because I expect snow – September is way early, even for Boston. Rather, because the guy who I use to service my snowblower has a special offer:

“Schedule a tune-up by September 15th and get a discounted rate.”

I started it to make sure it would. If it didn’t, I would have made a service appointment.

What I like about this guy’s approach is that he’s found a way to (somewhat) smooth the peaks and valleys of his service business, something whose “product” can’t be inventoried.

What can you do to accomplish the same?



… am in control of my office air conditioning.


For 10 years, I’ve had to walk to the office down the hall and fool with the thermostat there that controls my office and a storage room (it’s an old building).

Yesterday, they moved the thermostat into my office.

Wow, what a difference!

I guess I had gotten used to walking over there several times a day, tweaking it up or down. I wasn’t aware how inconvenient (and hit or miss) it was until the change took place.

But you know what? In a month I’ll probably have forgotten how much better things are now.

Working solo is similar.

Once you’ve been out for a little while, you can forget how nice it is not to have a boss, a commute, clients and coworkers you may not like, mission statements that nobody understands (let alone cares about), etc.

Today I’m taking a few minutes to notice all the bad stuff that is no longer there. Feel free to join me!


… got an email from my accountant.


I had sent her a quick question about an hour before.

She said, “Such a coincidence! I just finished reading your latest newsletter!”

To tell you the truth, I’m kind of surprised she even reads it.

But who knows? Maybe she was having a slow day; maybe she just needed a quick break; maybe the subject line caught her eye.

Whatever it was, publishing regularly keeps me top of mind with a wide range of people, most of whom are not – and never will be – clients.

Some of those people mention me to others; some of those others hire me.

Publishing regularly is marketing magic!


… read three blogs/newsletters.


I try to read a few every day, to stay on top of things.

In the days when we all subscribed to paper newspapers and magazines, it was easy to keep track of how well we were keeping pace.

Now that most of it is digital (and the inbound information doesn’t literally pile up), we can lose sight of our own, ongoing education.