… almost ignored a new client.


Yesterday, I spoke with a prospective client about working together. This morning, he sent me an email saying he wanted to go ahead.

I read it quickly and moved on to something else.

Just now, I thought, “Wait a second, what happened to that email?”

I found it in my trash.

The point is, it’s easy to send an email – with a proposal, a request, a greeting, or whatever – and when there’s no reply, start making up stories about why the other person is ignoring us.

Sometimes the email never arrived. Other times, the bonehead on the receiving end threw it in the trash.

When it comes to email, it’s a miracle it works at all. I always double back if what I send goes unanswered.

(I shudder to think how many potential clients I’ve accidentally trashed over the years.)


… received an email from Kelly Rourke.


I know, I’ve never heard of her/him either.

Turns out Kelly works for The Hanover Theatre, a venue in nearby Worcester, Massachusetts that we have been to several times.

But since the “From” field only said “Kelly Rourke,” I nearly deleted it (I opened it because I thought it was from somebody else with a similar name that I do know).

The “From” field in an email is the primary way in which people decide whether or not they know you.

While I commend Kelly for keeping things personal, it’s always important to fill that field with whatever is most recognizable.

In my case, I use both my name and my company name: Michael Katz | Blue Penguin.

If they don’t open it, the value of what’s inside is irrelevant.


… had a coaching call.


It was with a terrific client who treats me well and pays me well.

Sometimes, people who are new to working for themselves ask, “How do I, too, find terrific clients who pay me well?”

Here’s the secret: Stop working for lousy clients who don’t.

I know, it’s easier said than done.

But “someday” is never going to get here on its own.

You don’t lose the bad ones when you finally get enough of the good ones.

You get enough of the good ones when you finally get rid of the bad ones.


… reread the draft of a client newsletter.

… for about the 15th time.

I always do it, even though it’s rarely necessary.

I just have this thing where, when I write something important, I need to read it over and over again – out loud and from start to finish without interruption – until I can let it go.

I admit that it’s borderline obsessive. But it turns out to be a pretty handy compulsion when you are in the business of publishing email newsletters.

How about you? What are you naturally drawn to, skilled at, and/or obsessive about?

If you can match that to the work you do, you create a competitive advantage without even trying.

(I read this post no fewer than 10 times.)


… resent a webinar invite.


The event is tomorrow and I already sent an email to my list last week telling people about it.

So, isn’t sending it again going to be “annoying?”

To some people, absolutely. But that’s the wrong side of the equation to pay attention to.

The right side is the people who thank me for the second email – they forgot, or missed the first message, or whatever. Fully half of the sign-ups to these webinars come after I send the second notification.

If you believe in the value of what you are offering, you’re doing a disservice to people by keeping quiet about it. (The people who send me daily alerts about vaccine appointment openings, for example, are not concerned with annoying me).

Your stuff is good. Spread the word!