… am in love with Staples of Milford, Massachusetts.


That’s correct. Staples.

A couple of weeks ago, while attempting to replace a $7 wire that powers the screen of my laptop, the motherboard, apparently, died.

The store manager gave me the news and then immediately said, “Don’t worry, we will either fix it or give you a new computer.”

He could have just as easily said, “Sorry, we didn’t touch the motherboard. Not our problem.”

Or, “I’m happy to give you a discount on a new machine.”

Instead, when I came back a couple of days later, he handed a brand new, still in the box machine.

As a result, he earned himself some free advertising and a new customer for life. Not a bad investment.


… had breakfast with a new colleague.


We’ve never met before, so we told each other a little bit about our work.

I said that among other things, I help solo professionals create email newsletters.

He said, “Financial planners, management consultants, leadership coaches … sounds like pretty dull stuff.”

He’s right, it can be. But the people themselves never are.

That’s why, I explained, we make sure to fill these with personal stories, first-hand experiences, and the occasional dash of humor.

If you want your content to be more interesting, the answer isn’t to use better words. It’s to use more of you.


… received an email from Norm.

He was thanking me for responding to his emailed question yesterday by telling him not to register for my Beyond Email Newsletters webinar next week.

Norm wants help with newsletter content development; this webinar is about taking the content you already produce and using it in additional ways. So it’s not what he needs.

Which means that today, I didn’t make a sale.

That’s okay. Marketing (over the long term) isn’t about “closing” people. It’s about helping them.

Do enough of that and the sales always follow.


… am working on my back-up computer.

My main computer is in the shop (don’t ask).

Most people, of course, know to back up their important data.

But few people I speak with seem to have a back-up machine.

If your computer were lost, stolen, or suddenly in need of repair, how long would you be out of business (even if your important data were safe)?

You can buy a computer (PC) for just a few hundred dollars. This week, I’m happy I did!


… am writing a newsletter.


After 18 years, it’s still my go-to marketing tool.

But writing it is at least as valuable as sending it.

Writing (especially short-format writing) forces you to organize your thoughts and clarify your point of view.

The thinking involved in writing a newsletter becomes the ideas I share with prospects in talking about my work and the insights I share with clients in doing the work.

So sure, I’ll push the “send” button tomorrow. But I’ve already received half the benefit.