Put a little joy into your life

Audrey Joy was born blind.
Despite that, she has become a singer, entrepreneur and pianist. She never lets obstacles stand in her way, says our friend Andrea Nierenberg.
Andrea met Audrey at her Rotary club where she was club pianist and singer.
“Her voice would rival anyone on ‘The Voice.’ She lights up any room she enters,” Andrea says of her.
“Audrey sees so much more than many of us when it comes to taking the initiative and doing it all with a smile and a positive attitude.
She turns everyday encounters into opportunities, such as this one at her bank.
When she joined a small waiting line, 3 people offered to let her go in front but she declined and said “I’d rather wait in the line and do some networking.”
 She introduced herself as a piano player, singer and songwriter. She was talking with the owner of a nearby store when a young man asked what kind of music she plays.
Audrey offered everyone her “Walking Jukebox” business cards and told them how she  develops and showcases new talent.
The young man, a piano player, now works on her website, helps her with social media and “exudes enthusiasm.”
This is so simple, any of us can do it. Who knows? You may find a valuable partner, employee or new customer.
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

They could eat you for lunch

Avoid the most costly mistake in business
Eastman Kodak made it. You could, too.
When technology changes industries, businesses that adapt will thrive.
Kodak erred in doing the same old thing and lost a fortune to digital cameras.
You may not know this but Kodak brass filed a patent for one of the first digital cameras in 1977. But they made too much money on film to introduce it.
Kodak continued its traditional ways even as the market was going digital. When it finally woke up, it was too late. Kodak couldn’t compete with digital camera makers who had been doing it for years.
This was a repeat of the error of the buggy whip makers as Henry Ford and others were driving buggies out of business.
Smart buggy makers put engines in their products and joined the trend. Those who didn’t adapt went out of business.
You see this in the media today. Google, Facebook and other social media are gaining ad revenue steadily. This is costing magazines, newspapers, radio, outdoor and TV billions of dollars in lost revenue. It has hurt book publishers and book stores, too.
Smart media people are joining, not ignoring or fighting technology.
Printed books, magazines and newspapers aren’t going away. Yet publishing electronically will gain them more readers.
For a complimentary digital copy of my new eBook “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Are you a Road Runner or Wiley Coyote? 

Jerry Bellune’s August 2018 Leadership Letter

Are you a Road Runner or Wiley Coyote? 
Many of us came across the Hedgehog Concept in Jim Collins’ “Good to Great.”
I had no idea what a hedgehog was.
Collins was talking about a porcupine with quills.
The Mind Tools team in their monthly newsletter reminded me of this.
They urged me to be a hedgehog in business and embrace simplicity.
If you could choose to be a fox or a hedgehog, which would you rather be?
Many people would choose to be a fox. They are beautiful, sleek and cunning.
Hedgehogs are small, prickly creatures. Slow, quiet and plodding.
What do foxes and hedgehogs have to do with your success?
In short, everything.
It’s about the art of simplicity and creating a clear focus for yourself.
 
What the Greeks knew
The Hedgehog Concept is based on an ancient Greek parable:
“The fox knows many things. The hedgehog knows one big thing.”
In the parable, the fox uses many strategies to catch the hedgehog.
It sneaks, pounces, races and plays dead. Yet every time it loses, its tender nose pricked by spines.
The fox never learns that the hedgehog knows how to do one big thing perfectly: defend itself.
Think Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner.
Foxes pursue many goals and interests at the same time. Their thinking is scattered.
Hedgehogs simplify their goals and go after a single vision they can achieve.
Jim Collins wrote that we are more likely succeed if we identify the one thing that we do best.
In newspapers we need to do two things well: Attract readers and aid advertisers.
It’s just that simple – and just that challenging.
 
What you can do
1. Identify what you and your people are passionate about and where they excel.
Ask, where are we the best at generating revenue and growing our bottom line?
2. Identify from where most of your revenue comes.
Unfortunately, it’s not from subscribers
It comes from niche businesses who want to sell to your subscribers.
Dig in and find out what your profit is per advertiser and per subscriber.
What is your profit per employee and profit per zip code.
For example, if your readership is older, businesses who cater to them may be your best advertisers.
Don’t waste sales time trying to sell those who cater to young singles.
Your Leadership Challenge
1. What are my people best at delivering and feel most passionate about?
2. Where are our greatest revenue building and cost-cutting opportunities?
3. How can we reach, close and retain them with minimum loss of time and cost?
August Takeaway. The above is in “Lead People, Manage Things: Volume 1.” Would you like to order autographed copies of the book for your people as a discussion guide on leadership this year? For special bulk order rates, email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Jerry Bellune and his family own and operate online and print book, magazine, newspaper and newsletter publishing companies in South Carolina.

Can we count on you to keep your promise?

Our friend Denny Hatch has subscribed to Time magazine for 60 years. But he had a disillusioning experience the other day.
In a letter, the magazine offered him a “guaranteed low price of $81.95” for the next 52 issues. He thought that a bit high and online found he could get 52 issues for only $30 – a $51.95 saving.
Time just lost a subscriber.
Denny said he felt Time’s managers had lied to him.
Would he have felt the same way if they left out the words “guaranteed low price” and just made him the offer?
Probably not. But finding it cheaper online gave him reason to think, is this the way a 60-year customer should be treated?
As a veteran copywriter who earned his spurs writing magazine subscription and renewal offers, he said a guarantee is your sacred promise to prospects and customers. When it’s a big fat lie, who is going to trust you or what you offer?
He concluded that Time’s management obviously dooesn’t care. They are liars.
Now think about this:
• When you promise a customer or prospect something, do you have the power to back it up? Will you do what you promise, no matter what they consequences are?
• If you product or service doesn’t meet or exceed that promise, what do you do?
For a complimentary digital copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius,” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Speed up your business’s slow times

You’ve undoubtedly seen a few of the ads for Starbucks Afternoon Made. This is an attempt to generate more traffic, sales and revenue after lunch, their slowest time.
Starbucks is offering iced drinks, strawberry acais, caramel frappuccinos and other tantalizing afternoon concoctions to lure the morning crowd back after lunch.
Starbucks does a booming business in the morning for obvious reasons. What happens after lunch is another story.
We aren’t like Europeans who, with the exception of Germans, work nothing like Americans do. They sip coffee all day in sidewalk cafes and places like Starbucks.
I know that’s a sweeping generality and some Europeans actually work for a living.
Yet the European coffee houses were the inspiration for the Starbucks chain.
Starbucks is not alone. Think of lawn services, pool installers and others whose business is seasonal. Many have come up with other products and services they can offer in their slow times, be it weeks or months.
Even power companies encourage you to use non-peak hours by offering what they call “discounted” rates. Actually, they charge you a premium for peak hour use.
What are the slow times in your business? What might you offer to stimulate more business during those times?
For a complimentary digital copy of “Mastering the Master Mind” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Can politics harm your hard-earned reputation?

They say in show business, “Any publicity is good as long as they use your name.”
That may work in show business but it’s not the best policy in other businesses.
For example, this was posted online by a California visitor to a Lexington, Va., restaurant: “I was dining at the Red Hen and witnessed them rudely refuse service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I was disgusted and appalled by the incident. I will never eat at this establishment again.”
Mrs. Sanders is President Trump’s press secretary and daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. After a waiter posted that his boss refused service to Mrs. Sanders and her family, she tweeted that she was asked to leave because she works for the President. Mrs. Sanders wrote: “Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully.”
The cyberverse lit up, pro and con. Another wrote, referring to a Colorade business, “The baker had a right to not make a cake for a gay couple, right? This restaurant owner had a right to not serve someone who lies to the American people.”
Is it a good policy to let your political feelings decide your business policies? Could this kind of action backfire on you?
You’ll have to live with what happens.

For a complimentary digital copy of “Mastering the Master Mind” email JerryBellune@yahoo.com