The 5 languages you must learn

How many generations work with you?
How many languages do they speak?
Consultant Alysia Kehoe says the quick answer to both is 5 generations, 5 languages:
Millennials, Generation Xers, Baby Boomers, Traditionalists and now Generation Z came to work for the first time.
Each generation’s birth years are: Traditionalists (1920 – 1946); Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964); Generation X (1965 – 1980); Millennials (1981 – 2000); Generation Z (2001 – 2020).
Each generation has different values and technology. Each has its own character shaping events and leadership styles.
• Traditionalists have a passion to be helpful to anyone. There are 57 million of them – 7% of the U.S. workforce.
• Boomers have wisdom from their leadership experience. There are 76 million – 38% of the U.S. workforce.
• Gen X has 46 million, 30% of us. They want balance and perspective.
• Millennials are the most technologically proficient with 75 million – 25% of us.
• Gen Z (aka Cloud Generation) is totally plugged into each other and the world.
Alysia shows how to communicate with them in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” This new book will help you run your business profitably.
To place your order for a $20 autographed copy, call 803-359-7633. To pre-order your own electronic copy from Amazon, click here.
Copyright 2018, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Who are you selling?

Little-known secrets of selling yourself

Do you have a competitive service or product? Do you, work for or run an amazing company that treats each customer the right way?
If so, you have 2/3rds of the perfect formula for racking up outstanding sales, strong profit margins and the income of your dreams.
The missing ingredient is you.
That’s right. The other 1/3rd is you.
All of us must learn to sell not just our products and services and their benefits but ourselves first and foremost.
Learning to sell yourself to the potential client is the secret. It may sound simple. You might think that people already love you. But if they’re not doing business with you, they must love someone else more.
Think how you can build trust with a potential client. Think about a few more ways you can build a relationship with a complete stranger. Strangers are only strangers until you get to know them.
If you focus your energy on selling yourself to the prospect, you’ll more easily sell your product or service to prospects.
“Once I learned this,” entrepreneur Mike Ward says, “I focused on selling myself.”
Mike reveals his secrets of selling in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” This new book will help you sell and run your business profitably.
To place your order for a $20 autographed copy or a discounted bulk order for Christmas gifts, call 803-359-7633.

What’s your Thanksgiving strategy?

Jerry Bellune’s November 2018 Leadership Letter

When our kids were young we took them to Disney World.
It was an experience for our kids. It became an investment in my own leadership education.
I saw how the Disney “cast members” treated us … and their respect and affection for each other.
Bruce Jones of the Disney Institute recommends the Golden Rule as your team’s gold standard,
Jones says, “At Disney, we believe the extent to which you genuinely care for your employees is the same extent to which they will care for your customers and one another. We are walking billboards for caring for all our customers, those who pay us and those we pay.
Leaders who learn about their team members’ cares and concerns, interests and goals can better show recognition and appreciation in ways that will count with each one. That goes for our customers, too.
Employees who feel personally cared for are more likely to care for our customers and colleagues.
Jones says that at Disney they have created a “caring” strategy to:
1. Find as many ways as practical to show genuine care for their people. This doesn’t cost lots of money. Their cast members don’t expect elaborate gestures. They want to know the boss cares about them individually.
2. Practice intentional listening. When your team members know you will listen to them, they feel a tremendous sense of worth. It builds their self-esteem and confidence in you. Ask them what they think about problems that arise or new opportunities that present themselves. Listen and respond to what they say.
3. Make daily work as hassle-free as possible. Find out what holds them back or makes their jobs more difficult. Resolving even minor annoyances can have a major impact on their morale.
4. Encourage member-to-member caring. Team members can support each other. Team members who show their genuine care to one another create a strong sense of community.
For example, our bookkeeper and subscription manager work side by side. They back each other in answering phones, waiting on walk-in customers, proofing pages and other tasks. They look out for each other.
Team building isn’t achieved overnight or easily maintained. We have to work at it consistently.
Practicing the Golden Rule helps keep us alert to what others want and how they feel. Showing our “love” is one of our best investments and will pay great dividends.
Make this Thanksgiving your reminder to give thanks for your teammates each and every day.

Your Leadership Challenge

1. Make a list for each of your team members of 3 ways you can show each that you care for them.
2. List what they can do to qualify for each of these rewards or recognitions.
3. List ways you can show your own member-to-member caring as a role model for them.

November 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

Writing tip – Talk with your readers

Good morning, fellow scribblers.

Your relationship with your readers can be as fragile as friendship.
Think of your readers as friends.
Get to know them, their joys and sorrows.

How do you do that?
They are your neighbors.
People you meet standing in line.
Listen to them wherever you meet them.

My bride sometimes gets frustrated with me.
I will stop and talk with anyone.
I interview servers, clerks, cashiers.
I ask about what they do and if they like doing it.
I ask why they do it.
What they else they might do in their busy lives.

Almost everyone you talk with feels complimented.
Here is someone who even cares to ask about them.
So few people receive appreciation or recognition in life.
Then you come along and show an interest in them.
Of course, they are pleased.

When we started publishing small newspapers, I sold advertising.
My journalistic experience came in handy.
I was used to interviewing people.
I started interviewing advertising prospects.
“How did you get into this business?” I would ask.
They were good for at least 20 minutes on this.
The next question was, “What do you love about it?”

Small town editors sit on the cutting edge.
Anyone can walk into their office or call them.
If they are smart, they are receptive to this.
That’s how you find out what’s on their minds.
It’s how you find out what people are talking about.
What matters to them. Plus the latest gossip.

Big city editors are protected by security guards and assistants.
They live in gated suburban communities far from readers.
They send their kids to private schools.
They associate with others like themselves.
They have become elites with little notion of their readers’ lives.

Living in a small town is like living in a fishbowl.
As an editor, people watch what I do.
It keeps me honest.
It also tells me what no pollster could ever know.
My readers are in my mind when I write.
What will each story mean to them?
How I can tell it to be clear to them, relate to them.
Storytelling and journalism come together.

Talk with, not at, your readers.
Help them see what you see.
Help them hear what you hear.
Help them feel what you feel.

Here is an example of what I mean:

Imagine you are a long-haul trucker hundreds of miles from home.
Bleary-eyed, you pull into a truck stop.
You need a break, coffee and something to eat.
Rested you return to your rig.
An attractive young woman walks up and makes you an offer.
Chances are she didn’t do it because you’re a hunk.
She’s being human trafficked by a pimp sitting in a nearby car.
He lives on the illegal dollars she brings him.

You get the idea. Try it yourself.

Have a writing problem you struggle with?
Please let me know. We’ll solve it together.

The iceberg approach to marketing

Much of effective marketing is like the submerged part of an iceberg — invisible but powerful and important. For example:
Business strategist Ann Elliott took a successful business leader’s advice to write a newsletter for her clients and prospects. He said it would provide value for them and establish her as an authority and someone worth listening to.
Ann dragged her feet for months.
At an association conference presentation, she stepped out on a limb and offered to send her new electronic newsletter to the audience. To become a subscriber, all they had to do was give her their name and email address.
As the clipboards moved through the audience, she promised to send them the inaugural issue. In 2006, she published the first issue of “The Leadership Strategist.” It was a concise commentary on leadership with strategies, insights and tips for running a business on purpose.
A subscription is available at with a complimentary diagnostic tool, “Find 10 Surprising Reasons Your Business Has Profit Leaks.”
Ann shows other strategies in a new book, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies” coming next month.
For advance orders, call 803-359-7633

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

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

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
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

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