… “wasted” half an hour on the phone.

I got a call from a prospective client.

Five minutes in and I knew that I wasn’t interested. I could have ended it right there.

Instead, we talked about our respective businesses, realized we knew some people in common, and complained about winter (a popular New England pastime).

Waste of time?

Yes, if you think you need to monetize every interaction immediately.

No, if you think of every interaction as “marketing;” a chance to expand/reinforce your network and brand, knowing that this is where word of mouth is born.


… had to rewrite a client newsletter.


They hated the draft I sent.

That was disappointing – but it served to remind me of how rarely this happens.

If even 20% of what I write for clients had this response, not only would my work take a lot more of my time, but it would be way less fun.

It’s tempting to believe that, “any paying work is good work.” I don’t agree.

When your work is centered around doing what you are uniquely good at, your clients are happier, you are happier, and you make a lot more money for the time and effort involved.


… printed out a new weekly activity sheet.


Every six months, I print (yes, on actual paper!) a one-page “tick sheet” for tracking my marketing activities.

Each row is one week (I can fit 26 on a single page).

Each column is a marketing activity – things like…

… sending an email to connect with a contact (10 per week);

… lunch/coffee with a contact (1 per week);

… publishing a newsletter (every other week).

And five or six other things.

None of these necessarily leads to additional business today.

But if all you keep track of is that, you’ll have days, weeks, and even months with nothing.

By tracking your activities – which, unlike acquiring new clients, are totally within your control – you are not only more likely to stay on track with your marketing, but you will also have a feeling of accomplishment every week.


… am not in Starbucks.


Yesterday (Sunday), I needed to write something for a client and didn’t want to drive the five miles to my office. So I went one mile, to Starbucks.

It’s a nice place, and I’m in there at least once a week.

But… I try not to write there.

That’s because I write out loud.

Not just quietly mumbling the way I had to do it in Starbucks. I mean full volume, with emotion. Like I’m giving a talk to an audience.

The thing I wrote yesterday was okay. But when I came in this morning and was able to rewrite it in my usual way, it got way, way better immediately.

Where you work matters. Creating a spot that works for you will improve both your work quality and degree of satisfaction.

(And yes, I wrote all of this out loud.)


… published an article on LinkedIn.


Fifteen minutes later, my colleague Ken invited me to speak on a panel in March.

Was he already planning on inviting me?

Not likely. I haven’t spoken to Ken in months.

The article (which he forwarded with his invitation) prompted him to reach out.

In my experience, people don’t reach very far for solutions, whether that’s finding a new dentist, filling a panel of speakers, or referring one professional to another.

Your job is to stay in front of the people you know, over and over again, in a way that positions you as a likeable expert.