… am going home early.


With the holiday tomorrow, it’s a quiet day, not much happening.

Fifteen years ago, though, quiet or not, I’d be here at my desk all day.

Somehow, I got the idea that until I “became successful,” I had to always be working: Do the work when it’s there; chase the work when it isn’t.

Then somebody said: “How would you behave if you were already successful?”

That was a stop-in-your-tracks question.

The funny thing is, when you start making decisions that way, it starts to happen.

Go home. That’s what all the successful people are doing today.


… spent all morning rewriting my home page.


It’s just 121 words (I counted).

That’s a lot of time on a very little bit of content.

But if you want to attract the right clients on a regular basis, it makes sense to pay as much attention to the front end of the process (marketing) as to the work itself.

Give your own home page a look.

Does it still do a good job of describing who you are and the value you provide?

(Did it ever?)


… read an article about email newsletters.

It said that I needed a “strong open rate.”

That’s only sort of true.

Open rate is a calculation: Emails opened divided by emails sent.

Which means that if you want to, for example, drastically raise your open rate, just delete anyone who hasn’t opened your newsletter in the past six months.

If you cut the denominator down, the open rate goes up, even if no additional people are reading it.

Of course, what we really care about are readers, not rates. (Actually, what we really care about are engaged readers, but that’s a topic for another day).

So try this: Start paying attention to the raw number of opens you’re getting each time you publish.

At least then you’re focused on the number of people who are taking in your message, not a stat which, in and of itself, doesn’t really mean anything.


… have been talking with the cable company.


And yesterday.

And last week.

The TiVo stopped talking to the box with the cable card and the Roku app thinks left is right but only when it rains on a night with a full moon…

You know the drill.

Lots of technology and lots of people involved, none of whom are individually able to solve the overall problem.

It’s not because they are not trying. And it’s not because they are not smart.

It’s just that the “machine” they have built is so big and so complicated that it’s really really hard to provide an experience that is even adequate, let alone great.

That’s why I love being a solo. 

In a world of byzantine bureaucratic behemoths, all we have to do to delight our clients is respond quickly to emails, fix problems on the first try, and never, ever ask anyone to please listen closely, as our menu options have changed.


… had a conversation about newsletters.


It was with a consultant, somebody who is thinking of launching one.

He said he planned to, “Send 6 or 8 a year.”

I made two suggestions:

1. Send more frequently.

With all the noise out there today, you need to be in front of people at least monthly to break through.

2. Make a real commitment.

There’s a big difference between saying, “I plan to go to the gym a couple of times a week,” and, “I will go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 AM.”

One is a hope. The other is an actual plan.

It’s the same with a newsletter. If you don’t commit to a specific schedule (first Tuesday, third Friday, whatever), you’ll push it out of the way as soon as something more urgent comes up.

If you’re going to launch a newsletter, commit to doing it monthly for one year. Then feel free to assess the value!