Who’s Making Your Rules?

You know me, I don’t tell people how to live. You want a pet boa constrictor? Be my guest. You want to live on a strict diet of baby food and beer? I’m not going to stop you. You want to give all five of your sons the same first name? Who am I to suggest otherwise? But there is one thing that bothers me – people who talk loudly and at length on their cell phones in the Hopkinton, Massachusetts Starbucks, a place where I make […] Click to read more…

 

Pen-Ultimate Marketing

Do you know what happens to me about once a year? If you said, “You’re mistaken for Vin Diesel?”, I’m going to give you partial credit. But no, I’m talking about the white padded envelope with no return address that shows up in my mailbox. It’s always the same thing inside: A sample pen with my company name already embossed on the side, courtesy of the National Pen Company. This year’s sales letter opened with the following: Dear Michael, You have one of […] Click to read more…

 

Good Clients Don’t Just Happen

I like to think of myself as open minded. So when my wife, Linda, suggested we purchase some “garden art” and become the sort of people who display this sort of thing, I said OK. Sure enough, just a few days later, we had installed a bronze flowery thing in our back garden (see photo). But it’s not just a flowery thing – it’s a spinning flowery thing that speeds up, slows down and rotates based on the strength and […] Click to read more…

 

The Joke’s On You

As is often the case with this kind of thing, the opportunity arrived without warning. Here’s what happened… It was last month and we were visiting our daughter, Emily, in Portland, Oregon. I was standing at the front counter of the Next Adventure store, attempting to make a purchase. In one hand, I held a jacket that my wife wanted. In the other, I held a tie-dye T-shirt. I said to the young man behind the counter: “The guy in […] Click to read more…

 

It’s Not Me, It’s You

My son Evan can juggle five balls (simultaneously). My daughter Emily finished a half marathon with an average speed of 8:04 per mile. My son Jonathan is lead singer in a band that won “Battle of the Bands” two years in a row at his college. Do you care? I didn’t think so. You’ve got your own life. And while reading about the skills and accomplishments of other people’s children might occasionally be interesting, it’s not something you’re likely to […] Click to read more…