Author Archives: michael


… bought a new keyboard.


Not that unusual except … my old keyboard is working just fine.

The thing is, I spend so much time writing each day, that I am very particular about the way the keyboard feels. I’ve had the same one for about 10 years.

And I like it so much – Dell Model SK-8125 – I want to be sure that if they ever stop making them, I’ve got a backup waiting.

The tools you use in getting your work done matter.

Figure out what works best for you and invest in them.


… made a suggestion.


I asked a friend who had recently started a new life-coaching business:

“What do you say when somebody asks, ‘What do you do for a living?'”

Her answer was pretty concise (two sentences), but it was mostly about her qualifications and methodology.

A better approach, I think, is to focus on the specific problem you solve and for whom:

I help seniors navigate the healthcare system.
I help adults with ADHD be more productive.
I help small business owners buy and sell their companies.

Word of mouth works by people telling other people about you.

At this initial stage, nobody cares how you bake the cake or what makes you qualified to do it.

The people who are ready to hire other people have very specific problems. Position yourself as the solution.


… listened to a live webinar.


The presenter opened by saying, “Today I am going to try using PowerPoint slides to help me stay on track.”

That tells the audience two things:

  1. I’ve never done this before.
  2. I don’t really know what I’m doing.

Both may be true, but your audience doesn’t want to know any of it.

They want to believe that you are an expert and that the time they are about to invest is going to be worthwhile. 

Yes, your performance may burst their expectation bubble. But there’s no reason for you to do it yourself, before the fact.


… received an unexpected note in the mail.


It was a $5 Starbucks gift card, sent by the tech support guy at the company that manages my email.

I had asked him the week previous to upgrade my account to give me more storage space.

I was shocked. I pay these guys about $250 for the entire year; I am far from what you would call a key customer.

But here he was thanking me? With a handwritten note? And not from “the marketing department,” but from the guy himself.

All I can tell you is that literally, in an instant, they went from being just some vendor of email services to people I want to do business with.

Remind me again why we don’t all do this kind of thing all the time?


… scheduled a client newsletter for 8:15 AM.


I never send newsletters on the hour or half hour.

Why? Because that’s when meetings begin.

Which means that when the meeting ends, the first thing people do is look for things to delete that arrived while they were offline.

A few minutes before the hour or half hour, on the other hand, and people are sitting at their desks, waiting for the next Zoom call to start.

What better time to read an interesting and informative newsletter?!