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The (very special) light of the specialist

Maybe you’ve seen a Batteries And Bulbs store. When I saw one my first impression was to roll my eyes. Then came the day I needed a replacement for a 3-way bulb. What were my…

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Ideas are Slippery Little Rascals

When do you get your best ideas? Solutions to dogged problems? The perfect book title? Idea for a new service (or the rebranding of an old service)? The angle on something that made the neurons…

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Should it be this hard?

If you’re finding something is really difficult to do*, that’s usually a symptom of a UFP. What’s a UFP? An unidentified frickin’ problem. Here are what typically makes something extraordinarily hard – a UFP you’re…

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Holiday Hangover

Winter holidays are funny. After Thanksgiving, we run around (even if only online) procuring presents, digging up favorite recipes and decorations. We’re like squirrels preparing for winter — all action and activity. No time to…

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What I wish for you today…

My kids would laugh if they saw the boom box I’m using near the desk to play my CDs of Christmas music. Oh yea, I’ve got Apple Music, and plenty of other music sources, but…

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Lighten up!

I moved 14 months ago to a large apartment complex in a different state with new neighbors of different backgrounds. Right after Halloween, several of my new neighbors put up holiday lights. I’m familiar with…

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Good and Tired

There’s nothing as satisfying as being good tired. When you are good tired, you may have exhausted your energy, but you’d rarely complain “I’m exhausted!” Good tired is the result of making serious progress on…

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The Love Imperative

Loving what you do is radical. It’s also critical to success. After all, to experience success at work requires years of effort and energy. That can be hard to do if you’re miserable. The work…

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The Right Person

Have you ever had a bottle of wine and no corkscrew to open it? If you search on YouTube there are countless ways to get the job done — but nothing’s going to be less…

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Setting the Temperature

I’m not sure when I decided that 68 degrees was the right setting for the thermostat. There were many years growing up when 72 was the default. One day in one home 68 became the…

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As You Like It

I used to do something weird. In a typically-busy day, I’d think about how difficult it was to be so busy. How downtrodden I was! Most people who think similarly can blame their boss. However,…

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This Might Be a Lot

So, what is your lot in life? Is it predetermined, even allotted? Perhaps by genetics and early childhood experiences…but what about free will? I had a friend who — once a terrorist attack happened in…

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Want more mojo?

Last Thursday I saw this headline that got me thinking: I marveled at the thought. A deep well of mojo, suddenly run dry. Is that possible? How do you even know you’ve got mojo to…

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Deliberately More Fun and Profit

Sometimes, what may look like an impulsive decision is actually quite the opposite. The decision-maker has been considering the move for awhile, doing research, examining motivations, considering. Deliberating. Then, when the time is right (or,…

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From So-so to Sow! Sow!

One thing I know is you never know. I wrote an article about 10 years ago in an industry periodical. Someone cut it out, and it sat on his desk for 2 years. Eventually he…

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What if the simplest of words is gold?

Want better outcomes in work? In life? Make better decisions. Hard to believe, but you knew one of the best ways to make better decisions at around age 2 or 3. It involved saying the…

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Curious about your next move?

A move can be anything from a relocation, a sale, an email response (and who is copied), a phone call, a new web site, starting a book, finishing a book, etc. etc. There’s scheduled moves…dictated…

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Your Next Move Could Be Poetic Justice

Earlier this year I took a 6-week creative writing workshop. One of the more challenging assignments was to write not just a poem, but a specific type of poem. Here’s the prompt: Write a sonnet,…

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What’s my problem?

Let’s be honest. We all have problems. Ideally with good management these problems change. For example: First we had a lead generation problem, but we solved that, and now we see a customer service problem…

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Should you want a boater hat?

Does it make sense to pursue finding an occupation so enjoyable that we want to make it a part of our life…forever? Some of the most celebrated and accomplished people in the world are well…

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Everyone is Full of Sh**

Hehehe — you didn’t know that I spoke French? I hope you’ll forgive the use of that ugly word, but I’ve wanted to send out this essay with this title for MONTHS. When you read…

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Cross-pollination

What’s the difference between a helpful routine and a plateau? Between having something to look forward to and a calendar that’s too full? I’m guessing the answer might vary depending on the person, their priorities,…

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Goddess-worthy Goals

Diana was the Roman goddess of the hunt and the moon. And boy, did she inspire some beautiful art. These days, it’s easy to be oblivious to the phases of the moon and the only…

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How to Know Your Next?

Are you unsure of what to do next in your business? Allow me to make a suggestion. In my opinion, the next thing you should do isn’t customer-facing. It’s not even in the back room….

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What are you like? (REI Edition)

Ever sit down at a restaurant and ask, “what you are known for?” Well, a brand, and a reputation are like that. Yesterday I bought an air mattress at REI and found out that apparently,…

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Minding Your Business: What’s in a Name

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Agreed. Some have referred to the rose as the “queen of flowers.” No matter what you call…

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What could possibly be?

One of my favorite inspirational quotes is below. (Yes, it applies to business and beyond!) “You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.” — Rumi Let’s…

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Words matter — here’s proof.

Nowadays, what words weigh the most? “He’s a tech bro.” “They’re a philanthropist” “She’s a Democrat.” “He’s newly engaged.” “She’s a hunter.” Did you have thoughts about the people who the words described? Or at…

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I Do Declare!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Independence Day long weekend! Last week, pulling together a social media post, I narrowly averted disaster. Instead of posting an image of the Declaration of Independence I almost…

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Plandemic

Inspired planning can be summed up in 3 stages. There’s Dreaming – Strategizing – and Doing. What makes the planning important and motivates us to implement? Priorities. And, what helps the plan stay current? Pivots…

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You Guys

Most weeks I send out a short article or essay, but this week let’s all take a look at some of your responses! It’s so enjoyable reading your replies to the newsletters. In “What’s Wrong?” I…

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Communication is Consideration

[Sound Waves Picture] Thursday night at my mothers house, the Visiting Nurse Association called to say mom’s paperwork had been received and to tell us an intake nurse would call the next morning between 8…

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Worthy Passions

Last week, Memorial Day got me thinking about what’s worth dying for. And, since none of us will get out of here alive anyway, I started thinking about not only what makes a life worth…

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What’s Wrong?

[Pea Photo] You remember her. The Princess and the Pea was bothered by that pesky teeny tiny pea at the bottom of her very high pile of mattresses. It literally kept her up at night. So that…

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Which Came First, the Offering or the Sale?

[Chicken OR Egg picture] There’s a reason that – when they like what they see – the sharks of Shark Tank then ask about sales. The next answer is a critical point. Are we soaring…

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Never Missing a Sunrise…and the opposite

I hadn’t seen a sunrise in decades. We night owls whose bedrooms don’t face east don’t glimpse many cracks of dawn. A move to a new home with an east-facing well-windowed bedroom changed all that.  Now…

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A Question for the Ages

Android or Apple? Paper or plastic? What’s the meaning of life? These are not uncommon questions. But, boy, the customer service call from Wayfair asked a question that beats them all. Last month I placed my…

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You Survived…What’s Next?

[Vinyl record sleeve photo] When my older son Rob survived 13 days on a ventilator last Spring*, none of us could know we were at the beginning of a year-long pandemic siege, unlike anything any…

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But I Didn’t Order This

“Silly Waiter” was a game we’d play when my two sons were little. One of us would welcome the other to our “restaurant” and take their order. Repeating the order – which often included lobster and chocolate…

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A Good Conundrum?

Is there a correlation between likability and competence? Or — put another way — if someone is nice, does that make them good at what they do? There is NO correlation, though I wish there…

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Minding Your Business

Hi everyone, The buds are a buddin’ and the blooms are a bloomin’ and – if you’re at all like me – Spring’s arrival is not a minute too soon. Last week I had tricky…

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Something Different

[Quote with flower image by Sherry Lansing] Hi everyone, Instead of my usual article, I decided to mix it up this week by featuring a quote I love, and something on Twitter that tickled my…

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Good Morning, Sunshine

[Hiking stacked rocks photo] Let me ask a question. Do you have something you’ve been meaning to do — that’s important to you — that is just NOT getting done? It doesn’t have to be business-related,…

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Simplicity

[Einstein Photo] Simplicity is genius. I believe this. Einstein himself said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” He had a point. We can sometimes oversimplify to our detriment. Autopilot is absolutely simpler than…

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Bear Hug or Bare Truth

Spring approaches and the bears are coming out of hibernation. So are you and so is your business. We’ve all been dormant for awhile. That’s natural in the winter. This year, though, the impact of Covid-19 exaggerated…

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Note from Marilee

Hi everyone, just popping in to remind that registration closes TODAY for the 9HReset program I’m holding this Thurs. & Fri. from noon to 4:00 p.m. EASTERN. Details are below. I’m also super-excited to tell you that I’m kicking off…

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Everyone is Full of Sh**

Hehehe – you didn’t know that I spoke French? I hope you’ll forgive the use of that ugly word, but I’ve wanted to send out this essay with this title for MONTHS. When you read the…

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Happy New Yea!

No, that’s not a typo. In thinking about the new year, I’m thinking that – instead of slamming 2020 into the ground and grinding it to a pulp under our boots – there’s a more…

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Eight to Great

It’s extraordinarily easy, when you are busy with the day-to-day, to let your business run you – and not the other way around. I’ve observed that businesses, brands – and people(!) – that thrive over…

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Your Gold Medal

Whether or not you were a big fan of the Summer Olympics, there’s just something about a gold medal that I think we can all agree is impressive and inspiring. I think it’s what it…

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What’s the Rush?

Sometimes I see kids enjoying the summer…towels around their shoulders, on their way to or from the pool or beach, and I remember what it was like when summer seemed to last forever.   Hot…

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Wills and Ways

Ah, the workaround! I know you have these in your business too. It’s when you have so much experience, that’s it’s easy for you to fix a problem that seems insurmountable to someone you’re talking…

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Murphy (Brown’s) Law

How important is a great assistant? I can personally attest to how important it is – but only if you want to remain composed, unhurried, thoughtful, and less frazzled. Like one can’t prove a negative,…

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Eeeeeks!  Differentiating The Invisible without Looking Like an Egomanic

Are you an insurance agent, lawyer, coach, bookkeeper, virtual assistant, speaker…or do you have a business where you are selling an intangible?  Then it’s likely you know what I mean when I say there’s a…

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Fonts and Knowledge

Fonts – Can’t Live With ’em, Can’t Write Without ’em! This article is from my current newsletter. For your own subscription sign up here. You and I are knowledge workers. Our value is not measured…

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“It’s Worse Than The Flu. It’s Big-Case-itis”

Reach goals are a healthy thing. But big-case*-itis is not. Big-case-itis is a malady that can befall someone who has identified an extremely potentially profitable opportunity, and is blinded by dollar signs. The pursuit of…

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I sat down with…

Each month I interview a top long–term care insurance agent for an insurance industry publication. The current interview is with Phil Grossman. Phil gets leads from radio commercials, and also from relationships with 200 agents,…

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