Achieve your goals on time – every time

Our friend Ann Elliott agreed to work with us on our 1st book. Its mission was to teach sales people the top 7 strategies of sales super stars. They were great sales people we had worked with over the years. Ann worked with us about an hour and left us a goal setting work sheet.
The sheet required us to write a richly detailed description of the book’s purpose, describe how we would feel when it was finished and published and to set a realistic date for completing the final draft.
Finally we listed each step no matter how minor that we needed to finish the final draft and publish and market the book.
Each step had to say what was required, who would we need to help complete it and a firm deadline for it to be finished.
Using Ann’s work sheet, we listed each thing that was yet to be done and finished the book a few weeks later. The sheet provided a great incentive and a step by step road map to get where we wanted to go.
We use that work sheet with all our coaching clients and in every mentoring session. It helps our clients hold themselves accountable. They never come to a session feeling ashamed a step was not completed.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email Get an electronic copy by clicking here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Your best source of new business

All of us know we should ask for referrals but we too often forget to ask.
Our friend Ruth King advises her coaching clients to place a statement at the bottom of their bills, proposals and the backs of their business cards.
Print “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provided excellent customer service, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
This statement lets a customer know that you are serious about providing outstanding customer service and that you appreciate referrals. Some will call you with referrals. Some will let you fix a problem rather than spreading the fact that they were unhappy to friends, neighbors, and social media.
The statement on proposals should be slightly different: “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provide excellent customer service when you become our customer, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email
You can also order an electronic edition through Amazon by clicking here.

Master the short game of business

The “short game” of golf is where you are near the green, chip onto it and putt your ball into the hole.
We’re not just talking golf when we consider the short game. We’re talking about the game of business, life and success.
You may lead great organizations or small businesses. You may be a veteran who feels the hot breath of eager young entrepreneurs on the back of your neck.
They may be able to drive the ball farther or make more sales calls a day. But when you are close to the green, you have an edge. You have more experience and you know the value of practice.
This bit of wisdom comes from Austin, TX, Country Club pro Harvey Penick. If you are a golfer, you should be familiar with his “Little Red Book” on golf.
Harvey maintains that older golfers can excel at the short game with practice. And he recommends you do it with only one ball, just as you would in playing a game.
He says it helps sharpen your focus.
This is true in business and life, too.

  1. The more we practice what it is that we do in life, the better we become.
  2. It helps for someone like Harvey to coach and teach us good practice habits.
  3. Practice keeps us sharp and focused.
    That’s where golf and life are alike.
    We discuss such ideas in, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Make Me See

The grey sea and the long black land 
and the yellow half-moon large and low. 
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep.

That’s how poet Robert Browning set the stage
in his poem about young lovers “Meeting at Night.”
You can see what he was seeing.

Editor Gene Roberts tells how his first editor,
a blind man in Goldsboro, N.C. had to have his wife
read him the newspaper each day.
He insisted to all his reporters “make me see” what they had seen.
Among his other duties, Gene covered farming.
His editor insisted that he close his column each week
with “This Week’s Prettiest Sight.”

Gene didn’t like doing it.
His friends kidded him about it.
But the experience and discipline
of doing it made him a keen observer.
That skill led to success at
The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

All good writing, said Saul Pett,
one of the Associated Press’s great stylists,
is two sides of the same coin.
How is this man different from me?
How are we alike?

Does the richest man in the world
have everything he wants?
Does he bother with the prices on a menu?
Or on a yacht?

Tell me the large and tell me the small.
Identify with me. Plug into my circuit.
The eye of the writer is sharper than
the television camera because it is
linked to a brain and a heart.

Here is how award-winning reporter David Waters
of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.,
helped his readers see his subject:

Big Teddy Carr was big enough to have his way
and bad enough to lose it.
Kids made fun of his size until he found out
his size could put a stop to that.
Teddy’s bearlike stature was a source of shame.
Then it become a source of income, mostly illegal.

Journalist Jimmy Breslin wrote of 
the Dublin poet Patrick Kavanaugh:
His tie is loose and the long end thrown over his shoulder. 
He had on two pairs of eyeglasses. 
Both sat cockeyed and were steamed up in the hot pub. 
He sat hunched over in his rumpled overcoat 
with his arms folded and the pint of stout in front of him. 
His shoes were open and the laces caught under the soles.
Breslin makes us see Kavanaugh. 

Here’s an exercise if you’re game.
Write a description of every thing
and every person you can see
from where you are.
Now get up and move around the room.
Add anything else you noted that you
could not see from your desk.

This tip will appear in “The Little Red Book of Compelling Writing.”
If you like me to include a comment from you about these tips,
please email it to me at

You must believe in what you’re selling

Call us old fashioned. We’ve been sold on the power of newspapers and advertising most of our lives. And it has served us well.
Prospects can tell we are talking with them about something we believe in. Without that belief and the passion it gives us, we may not have sold the first ad campaign.
It takes passion to motivate yourself to get out there and show others how what you offer can improve their lives.
Sales legend Zig Ziglar said that we must have passion and belief in what we offer.
One of Zig’s favorite stories was about his colleague who wasn’t selling much.
Zig asked him if he owned the product.
No, the man said, but he “planned to” after he made a few sales.
Zig sold him a set of cookware that day.
He made a commission on it that his colleague could have used as a discount had he taken the initiative to buy it himself.
We must believe in our product or service so strongly that we own it ourselves.
If you won’t invest your own money in your offer, can you expect others to?
Your prospect will feel your lack of belief and passion. Your prospects will perceive that you don’t truly believe in what you are offering and your sales will plummet.
We discuss such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollars Strategies.” For a $20 autographed copy, call 803-359-7633.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Solve clients’ problems without cash

Have you ever had great clients who became unhappy with you or one of your people? Did you lose them? Did you have to cut your prices or refund their money?
Our friend John Carlton says that any problem that can be solved with money can be solved without money.
That simply means that using cash to solve problems shows that you’ve stumbled upon a value level where unhappy customers can be coaxed back into the fold.
But value doesn’t always equal greenbacks. Once you’ve established that the unhappy client WILL come back, for the right value … then you’re free to experiment with things other than cash.
Like free stuff that’s valuable to them.
Too many biz owners get caught up in a black-and-white world of cash or no cash.
To savvy entrepreneurs this means creating value with an hour of your time over lunch, free membership in master mind groups, gifts, golf outings, theater or sports tickets or other incentives you can provide.
Think what they would find valuable that’s as good or better than cash.
Does this make sense? Throwing money around cuts into your bottom line.
We discuss such solutions in “Maverick Entrepreneur’s Million Dollar Strategies,” a book that can change your life and business.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, call Jewel or Katie at 803-359-7633.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What could you do with a $180 sandwich?

We thought the epitome of extravagance was a $100 hamburger on the menu at a fancy schmanzy eatery in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. Then we read Jason Gay’s account in the Wall Street Journal of a $180 steak sandwich in a tiny 6-seats-at-the-counter hole in the wall in New York.
This clearly is an indefensible purchase, Jason wrote. It is a dish strictly for vulgarians, a decadent symbol of 21st-century gluttony and the over-luxurification of everything. To buy it is to wallow in one’s privilege, one’s shameless indifference to the plight of humankind.
OK. In case you’re interested, the joint is called Don Wangyu, and you’ll find it by looking for a neon sign of a cow smoking a cigarette. The steak is from Osaka, Japan, and Don Wangyu’s is its only US customer.
It took Jason five minutes to eat it with fries, and we assume his boss paid for it.
Was it worth $180? That depends a lot on whose money you’re spending.
The important business lesson in this is NOT to price yourself out of business.
It is about creating buzz – word of mouth that gets people talking about you and your business – and attracting upscale customers who will spend bookoo bucks with you.
We discuss these kinds of ideas in our co-authored book “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Ideas.”
For a personally autographed $20 copy, call Katie and Jewel at 359-7633.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to create a successful business

High on my role model list is Herb Kelleher’s name.
What he achieved in 87 years on earth is amazing.
What’s even more amazing is that as a chain smoking, Wild Turkey drinking, Harley-riding lawyer, he lasted this long.
Herb was a New Jersey boy who worked the Campbell’s Soup assembly line.
He came to appreciate hard workers and productivity over paper work.
He earned a law degree, moved to San Antonio and met Rollin King.
Together they dreamed up a low-cost airline.
Their goal was to help people like those he had worked with on the Campbell’s Soup assembly line. They were people who could not afford to fly.
They would offer affordable flights in minutes across Texas that took hours in a bus, car or truck.
Herb drew a business plan on a cocktail napkin.
It showed Dallas, Houston and San Antonio as the 3 hubs of the venture they would call Southwest Airlines.
They used only Boeing 737s to save time and money on maintenance and training. They partnered with #2 airports where traffic was lighter and they could load and unload faster to keep their flights on time.
Southwest was truly egalitarian. No fancy first and business class seating. Everyone sat together and you picked your seat.
There were no frills. If you wanted to eat on board, bring your own sandwich. And you didn’t have to pay extra fees to change flights or check your luggage.
Their managers made employees happy in the belief that happy employees make passengers happy, too.
They did goofy things to have fun.
Pilots and attendants told jokes and sang songs on the intercom.
It was a refreshing departure from humorless airlines.
Kelleher created a sense of family. He remembered employees’ names and birthdays and showed concern for them and their families.
He encouraged them to show initiative and solve their passengers’ problems.
In a moving tribute to Herb, Southwest paid for a full page advertisment in the Wall Street Journal. It pictures Herb in a photo he probably loved.
He was dressed in a brown suit, brown tie and biege shirt. His hair was silver, her eyes carried their own bags and his smile suggested he had just delivered a punch line.
“Dear Herb,” it opened. “Thanks for always remembering our names, for keeping our airline flying high and our spirits higher, for always being there. For being the hardest worker and the life of the party, for turning a company into a family. We will be forever in your debt and aspire to keep your spirit alive.”
How would you feel if your family, friends and staff honored you like that?

February Takeaway. Great leaders are entrepreneurs at heart. If you aspire to be one, order “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” In it 11 entrepreneurs share their strategies. Be among the first to receive the book in December. Advance orders for $20 autographed copies are available at 803-359-7633 or email
Copyright 2019 The Bellune Company Inc.

Avoid the No. 1 networking mistake

Most people we meet at networking events make a sad mistake. They think they’re so special they have to tell you all about themselves, what they do, etc.
This isn’t networking. It’s word-vomiting all over some poor soul who deserves better.
Our friend Andrea Nierenberg, the Networking Queen, wrote recently about how to introduce yourself at such events.
Her advice is sound. I only would add this suggestion: Make it about them. Showing your interest in other people is a sincere compliment. So few people know to do it that it sets you above the crowd.
We must seize the initiative and ask them first: “What do you do?”or “What brought you here today?” or “How might I be of help to you?” You get the idea.
It is critical that you learn about them:

  1. What line of work they are in.
  2. Why they came to this event.
  3. What you may have in common.
    Find out about their needs or wants you may help them with. That’s a plus.
    This makes an almost instant connection. Your personal interest delights them.
    You will find out if they are someone who needs what you do or can refer you something.
    When they ask, “Now tell me what you do,” you have a good idea of what to say that will build their confidence in you.
    These are the kinds of ideas you will find in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a personally autographed $20 copy, call us at 359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Is ‘selling’ the wrong word to use?

Salesman Harv Eker says he doesn’t like the word sell. He’s not alone. He thinks it has a negative connotation.
He suggests that to avoid saying “sell,” say “help.” By using “help,” you emphasize an important distinction in your thinking and customers’ or prospects’ thinking.
Harv wants you to help people, not sell them something. It makes sense.
Most prospects want solutions to their problems – not products. They want what your products can do for them. That’s the main reason they buy from you.
The other reasons are that you offer them a benefit too great to refuse or the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.
No one buys from you because you’re smart, trustworthy or good-looking.
They give you money because you solve a pain or a problem for them or offer such value or hope that they can’t refuse.
The Godfather had it right. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. If they don’t see how you can solve their problems, you’re wasting your time and theirs.
Here’s one we have found that also works: Use “invest” instead of “buy.”
“Buy” implies an outgo of their money.
“Invest” suggests a return and reward.
We discuss this and other ideas in Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Ideas.
For a personally autographed $20 copy, call Katie and Jewel at 359-7633.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.