Entrepreneur Tip: Get the inside stuff

Entrepreneurs need the latest market information. Where’s the best place to get it?

At your professional association.

If you haven’t already done so, join it. It’s worth 10 times the investment. This is the place where you find out what consumers are buying. Where you keep up to date on market trends.
Where you discover new products and services.

This is the place where you learn, learn, learn. Call and fill out a membership application today.

For more tips, see our “Doing More With Less” workbook. Click here to read about it.

TGIF: Your salad days

We celebrated my birthday this week. Yep. 39 again.

Our friend Joe Tingen offers this reminder. We were all young once. Remember your “salad days”? Remember those times of “youthful indiscretion”? “The good old days” or our “heydays”? Joe says youth, like a good salad, is fresh and green.

I certainly was fresh. Got me in a lot of trouble. It also made life more interesting.

As spring heads to summer, here’s a salad for you. Fresh and green, like our misspent youth.

Tri-Color Rotini Salad (for 4)
1 pkg tri-color rotini pasta
6 oz feta cheese crumbled
8 cherry tomatoes halved
1 red pepper seeded & chopped
1 green pepper seeded & chopped
3 large cloves garlic crushed
8 sliced stuffed olives
8 sliced ripe olives
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 loaf hot, sliced Italian bread
1 bottle of your favorite white wine

3 tbs balsamic vinegar
6 tbs olive oil
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/4 tsp each salt & pepper

Chill white wine. Cook pasta by package directions and drain. Mix dressing thoroughly and in a large bowl toss all ingredients with dressing except salad greens. Cover and refrigerate two hours.

To serve, nest greens on serving platters and top with marinated ingredients. Serve with hot bread. Open chilled white wine. Enjoy.

The language of leadership

Ever tried to learn to speak another language?
How difficult was it to pronounce those foreign words?
Leadership has its own language, too.
Here’s a lesson in the language of leadership:
“Lead people — manage things.”
Four simple words. Powerful message.
Leaders concentrate on doing the “right” things.
Managers work on doing things the “right” way.
Both skills are necessary for success.
Years ago, a talented sales manager worked with us.
Once, I marked ads in a competitor’s newspaper with a note:
“Why didn’t we get these ads, Bert?”
Bert didn’t get angry or defensive.
All he said was, “I feel like you’re trying to manage me.”
It wasn’t a compliment.
Bert taught me an important lesson that day.
Leaders say, “Let’s do it together”.
Not “You go do it and report back to me.”
It’s powerful when a leader says “Let’s do it together”.
Similar lessons are in my book:
“Lead People, Manage Things”.
It’s at http://www.jerrybellune.com/books.htm

Sales & Marketing: Sell the dream

What do stylists, fashion retailers and dentists sell?
Self confidence. Self esteem. An improved “you”.
What do realtors, builders and developers sell?
Your family sanctuary. The home of your dreams.
What do lawyers, cops and insurance agents sell?
Safety. Security. Protection for your family.
What do ad agencies, marketers and the media sell?
More business. Expanded sales. Revenue growth.
Living a comfortable and secure life.
Dream vacations. A house at the beach.
The best camps and schools for your kids.
Not having to ask the price of anything ever again.
Congratulations on choosing your career.
You help people realize their dreams.
Remember that as you craft your sales messages.
Sell the dream. And feel good about it.
Want a copy of my daily sales worksheet?
Write me at Jerry@JerryBellune.com
Please put “Sales worksheet” in the subject line.
You’ll quickly see a difference in your sales.

Success Strategy: Play to win

You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
How else do you know if you achieved your goals?
Would you play a game whose rules are unclear?
You can’t win unless you know how points are scored.
Are you playing to win this year?
You say you are. Then try this.
1. List four major objectives to achieve this year.
That’s only one per quarter. You can do that.
2. Break the first quarter objective into action steps.
3. Assign a deadline to each action step.
4. Do the same with your other three objectives.
5. Post a copy of this list where you’ll see it every day.
6. Check off the steps as you accomplish them.
For more Playing to Win strategies, go to
Scroll down to #46, “Playing to Win”

Tip of the Week: Track Customer Loyalty

Every business needs loyal customers.
Even funeral home directors.
Technology makes it possible to track customer loyalty.
Restaurant owners provide loyalty punch cards.
Retailers provide computer swipe cards.
Or they use software to track credit card buyers.
Check your professional association.
How do others in your industry track customer loyalty.
There’s no need to reinvent the ax.
You must know where your business comes from.
Who your customers are. What they are buying.
All this will influence your marketing decisions.
How, what and to whom you market.
For more, see our “Doing More With Less” workbook.
It’s at http://www.jerrybellune.com/books.htm
Tomorrow: Play to win.

TGIF: A birthday celebration

We’re celebrating my birthday next week.
We’ll be cooking one of my favorite meals.
It’s a northern Italian dish: Veal Scallopini.
The Italians say the French copied it from them.
We don’t care who created it.
Veal Scallopini is a simple but expensive dish.
Due to the price of veal, you may substitute chicken breast.

Veal Scallopini (for 4)
1 thinly sliced green bell pepper
1 thinly sliced red bell pepper
8 large mushrooms sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 lb veal, thinly sliced for scallopini
1 cup beef broth
1 tbs corn starch stirred into 1 cup water
1/2 cup dry sherry
Olive oil as needed
16 oz cooked angel hair or thin spaghetti
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat water in large kettle for pasta.
In large skillet, lightly saute peppers, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Dredge veal in flour mixed lightly with salt and pepper.
Saute until golden brown on both sides.
Remove from pan and keep warm.
Stir corn starch in water.
Add with beef broth and sherry to pan.
Stir to thicken and loosen brown bits stuck to pan.
This makes a fabulous dark gravy.
Return veal to pan with gravy.
Cover with peppers, garlic and mushrooms.
Cover pan and simmer 15 minutes while you cook pasta.
Drain pasta and serve with scallopini and gravy.
A green salad is a good accompaniment.
You don’t have to wait for your birthday to try this.

Can you pass the 30-day challenge?

Our friend Charlie Farrell has a challenge for you:
Go 30 days without whining or complaining.
When you whine and complain:
• 88% of the people who hear you don’t care.
• Another 7% are glad it didn’t happen to them.
The only ones who care are those who love you.
Why make them miserable with your problems?
Staying positive is a challenge.
Charlie says the world record is 19 days.
Here are six strategies:
1. Recruit an accountability coach at work.
2. Recruit another one at home.
3. Tell them about your challenge and your goal.
4. Ask them to stop you if you act negatively.
5. To compliment you when you act positively.
6. Offer to do the same for them.
You will be amazed at what happens.
Your positive attitude will attract others to you.
Think about it.
Who are the truly positive people in your life?
Aren’t they great to be around?
You might be interested in similar strategies in
my book, “Lead People, Manage Things”.
It’s at http://www.jerrybellune.com/books.htm
Tomorrow: Our favorite Veal Scallopini recipe.

Sales & Marketing: Tracking results

How many sales calls does it take to reach a decision maker?
How many calls on decision makers does it take to make a sale?
How many sales must you make to gain long-term agreements?
If you don’t know, you should. Here’s why:
Lets say it takes 10 calls to get to the right person.
And it takes five interviews to make a sale.
Why would knowing that help you?
Lets say your goal is to sell two new prospects a week.
Then you need to know how many prospects you must call.
You need to know how many times it takes to talk with them.
You need to know how much time all this will take.
Most sales people keep no records. They think It’s tedious.
Yet it can be highly rewarding.
With a record, you know what you have to do to reach your goal.
If you were running a retail business, wouldn’t you want accurate records to plot strategy, set goals and grow your business?
Starting this week, why don’t you:
1. Set clear, specific, measurable goals for yourself.
2. Track your calls, your goals for each call and the results.
It will take an extra 15 minutes a day.
That’s all it takes me when I’m selling.
Want a copy of my daily sales worksheet?
Please put “Sales worksheet” in the subject line.
You’ll quickly see a difference in your sales

Heading Time Bandits off at the pass

Three of the worst words in our language are “Got a minute?”
The Time Bandits use those words to waste hours of your life.
Some simply want to gossip or chat.
Many have no purpose other than to hog your time.
They have nothing better to do with themselves.
What can you do about them?
Strategy #1. If you have an office door, close it.
Some of the less astute may ignore this subtle signal.
If they do . . .
Strategy #2. Stand up when they enter.
Do not offer them a chair.
Most will get the message and leave.
For those who don’t . . .
Strategy #3. Ask what you can do for them.
If there’s nothing they need, thank them for stopping by.
Suggest you get together after you’ve finished your big project.
Let them know that may be some time next week.
For more Time Bandit strategies, go to
Scroll down to #19, “Dealing with Time Bandits”.