Posts Tagged ‘business etiquette’

A portrait of the writer as a young man

Friday, July 8th, 2011

At the Marketing Excellence Awards dinner last month, I met a rising senior from a local university who reminded me of me.  I’ll call him Ernie.

Ernie has no clue what he wants to do when he graduates. I asked what he’s passionate about, and he said writing short stories and falling in love. I asked why.

“To me, falling in love is like writing in dreams,” he said. “It’s so beautiful. It’s so true. Then you wake up, and it’s gone forever. And you realize you never really had it.”

I was impressed. When I was his age, I could not even have come to an event like this, due to the fact that my only tie still had ketchup on it from the last Valentine’s Day.

“Kid,” I said, “you should be a copywriter.”

“No way,” he said. “I only write from the heart.”

“That’s great,” I said. “Stay true to what you know. There’s no reason to give that up, ever. Keep writing from the heart, no matter what you’re writing.”

He said, “Right,” and looked away, bored.

Exactly as I would have done.

What about you?  What advice would you give a young person who reminded you of you?  Leave a comment below.

(And while you’re here, have another Robroy.)

Possibly Related Posts:


Share

5 steps for guest bloggers

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Every now and then, someone notices how passionate you are about your topic, and asks you to submit a guest post to their blog.

You graciously accept.  After all, there’s nothing you love better than sharing your passion with others.  But what is the best way to structure a blog post?

1. Start with the Problem: For example, in this post, the problem is that it’s hard to write a guest post.

2. Dwell on the Consequence: If you don’t, you won’t be able to share what you are passionate about as clearly.

3. Find the Turning Point: What does it take to turn the problem around?  You know what to do.  You’ve lived it.

4. Share the Vision: Here you create the possibilities you have been imagining, so that others can see what you see.

5. Reap the Reward: Wrap your post with something that gives readers a reason to dream.

Be a proper guest.  Apply the 5-point structure to your topic, and you will make an imprint on the world.

That’s all we ask.

Possibly Related Posts:


Share

5 quick lunch tips for starting a blog

Friday, March 5th, 2010

One of the nicest unintended consequences of writing a blog is you get so many invites to lunch.  People are hungry to know how they can start their own blog.  So, yes, let’s sit down.  Tell me what you’re passionate about.  I’ll listen.  And here’s what I may recommend:

  1. Soup – To get started in blogging, you need Web stuff.  You won’t believe how easy it is with WordPress.com.  For 1:1 time with a Webber, Robroy trusts Dustin Pfeifer Creative.
  2. Salad – The healthy course is to have a social media strategy.  Some of the freshest ideas are coming from Right Source Marketing.  For example (I love this): http://bit.ly/br6kYJ.
  3. Entree – The meat and potatoes, the true richness of your blog is the size of your readership.  To be successful, “be famous,” to quote my friend, Marci DeVries.  Check out her Web energy company, MDV Interactive.
  4. Coffee – Care enough to serve the very best content.  Good strong stories can be addictive and keep your audience coming back.  Write them yourself, or hire a professional copywriter.
  5. Dessert – Indulge.  Respond to all comments on your blog with feeling.  Return the favor by commenting on their blogs.  And always, as they say at Etsy, “Be sweet.  Retweet.”

That’s it.  It’s really that simple.  Follow these 5 tips and you may never pick up the check again.

Unless of course you’re out with Robroy.

Possibly Related Posts:


Share

Poking fun at the networking event

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Sales is a numbers game.  That boring cliché is true.  But you know what happens when you get too focused on the numbers, and not focused enough on what the hell you’re doing.  Things get un-boring, quick.

Take Robroy.  In my first year of sales, I was all fired up in my suit and tie at the early morning reception for Baltimore business leaders.  My goal was to shake at least ten hands and get at least ten business cards.  Unfortunately, with time running short, I reached out a little too fast for one guy.  He had a coffee in one hand and a pastry in the other as he turned and walked right into: “Hi!  I’m Rob Macdonald!”

He doubled over with a “woof!”

I was mortified – horrified! – for him and for myself.  I felt like I was the one who’d been punched in the gut.  I rushed to say how sorry I was and see if he was OK.  Was there anything I could do?  He just waved me off.  Knowing that he would never forget me, and not wanting to add more memories, I sorta allowed myself to be swept away by the crowd.

Ever since that morning, Robroy has worked hard to stay calm and be present to the other person and not worry so much about the numbers.  But one thing will never change.  Danger is my calling card.

(read more posts below.)

Possibly Related Posts:


Share

The f-bomb

Friday, November 6th, 2009

The dramatic theory of bombs, according to Alfred Hitchcock, says that if a bomb goes off under a table where two people have been idly chatting, that’s surprise.  If the audience knows there’s a bomb under the table, but the characters don’t, that’s suspense.  In film, suspense is better than surprise.

F-bomb graphic

In business, neither is good, as Robroy learned the hard way.  It happened several years ago, when I was trying to win an important partnership for my young creative company, Smith Content.  The meeting was with two somewhat intimidating advertising executives in their stainless steel office downtown.  Now, Robroy generally likes to keep it clean, but that day, in a pitiful attempt at bravado, I let fly with: “We know what the @#*! we’re doing.”

Yep.  The f-bomb.  The execs were clearly underwhelmed.  One cocked his eyebrow.  The other drummed her nails on the table.

If only it were a movie.  The director would have jumped up, waving his arms and yelling, “Cut!  Cut!  What were you thinking, Robroy?”  Then he would have given me a “take two.”

But this is real life.  I had one chance.  And I blew it.

@#*!

How about you?  You’ve been sitting there so politely.  Have you ever been blown up by an f-bomb?  What happened?

Possibly Related Posts:


Share