… am preparing for vacation.


With the possible exception of what the “SysRq” button on your keyboard does, the one question that has baffled scientists for decades is why we are so productive in the days leading up to vacation.

I’m off next week and as a man in the midst of it, I believe I have an answer: It’s about getting things done.

In a regular week, you are probably getting things done, too. But, you’re also probably doing a lot of random, time-wasting things. With vacation looming, those drop away and you become singularly focused on what needs doing.

In my case, I’ve got eight things standing between me and a week off.

Note as well, that the pre-vacation week is usually very satisfying. It feels good to get things done.

So, if you’re feeling a little low energy, I recommend finding things – even small things – that you can check off your list.

P.S. If you know anything about that keyboard button, please fill me in.


… really like my clients.


I was just thinking how I don’t have a single client that I don’t like and enjoy spending time with (and I’m not just saying that because you all owe me money).

But it didn’t happen by accident.

If you want the same in your worklife, it’s not going to happen until you make it happen.

As a former boss once said to me, it’s the people you don’t fire who drive you crazy.


… read a client’s newsletter.


For about the 10th time.

By the time we publish it next week, I’ll have read it 10 more times.

I’m not complaining; I never seem to tire of rereading and tweaking something I wrote. It’s almost a bit of an obsession.

If what you sell is an activity you are naturally – and happily – drawn to, chances are you’ll both enjoy your work and be pretty good at it.


… heard a “red flag.”


I asked a prospective e-newsletter client: “Why don’t you just do this yourself?”

He said: “I don’t have the time.”

Uh oh.

People who hire you because they don’t have the time are not the same as people who hire you because they don’t have the capability.

Those in the former group don’t particularly value your work (and they never will). To them, you’ll always be just an extra pair of hands.

The latter group, however, sees value in the work itself, above and beyond what they could do on their own.

I pay someone else to wash my car because I don’t have the time to do it. That’s not why I go to the doctor.

Which profession would you rather be a member of?


P.S. Is it possible to actually hear a red flag?


… sent emails to a bunch of people.


All people I “know,” defined as, “If I ran into them in the supermarket, I wouldn’t have to introduce myself.”

No agenda, no sales pitch, no can-you-refer-me-to-x-types-of-companies request.

Just keeping in touch.

First, because it’s nice to have work colleagues, especially when you work solo.

Second, because word of mouth only works to the extent that people remember you are alive.

It’s up to you to keep your connections warm.