The first Avon lady was a man. David H. McConnell was a big city bookseller. In 1892, when the perfume he used to reward loyal customers proved more popular than his paperbacks, he dumped the books and began promoting only the perfumes. McConnell’s next smart move was assembling a workforce composed entirely of housewives. In contrast to the then prevalent door-to-door salesmen, Avon ladies made friends with their customers and were not the creepy blue-suede-shoe guys that most people expected to see knocking at their doors. By recognizing his true market and how to best relate to his customers, McConnell … Read More
Looking back can keep you trapped in defeat – looking forward will release your success When I was 10 years old, one of my best friends was Bob Queen. One afternoon while exploring the back acreage of our neighboring farms, a snake bit Bob. Seeing the snake slither off, my immediate response was to run after the snake, track him down and repay the scoundrel for what he had done to my friend. Bob, however, being a much wiser hunter and outdoorsman, quickly pulled out his knife, lanced the bite, sucked the blood out and spit out the poison. The focus … Read More
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce By now you’ve already written on that first page. And yes, that book is called Opportunity. You are now writing the book of your life – this chapter just happens to be 2012. Make it something exciting to read – something you will look back on with pride and a sense of fully living out your calling in life.
If you can’t describe what you want, don’t say you never had a chance. The people who complain the loudest about never having an opportunity in life are usually the ones who have no idea what they really want. They end up as what Zig Ziglar calls “wandering generalities.” They aren’t happy where they are but can’t tell you where they want to be. And nothing is their fault. They are victims of the economy, their upbringing, their lack of education, the country they live in, or the evil company they work for. The real world puts them at a … Read More
You’ve seen them on every corner – the sign spinners that seem to combine dance, rap, skateboarding and surfing. And yes they do get your attention. Max Durovic and Michael Kenny, now 25 and 26-year-olds, devised stunts with signs simply to stave off boredom in their simple sign-holding jobs. We tend to think that any great idea needs to be complicated, using sophisticated technology, and requiring venture capital or at least a big bank loan. Max and Michael now train others in the moves that are leading their company (Aarow Advertising) to a projected $5 million income this year. Their … Read More
Remember the old carnival game – Whack-a-Mole. You would hold a mallet of some kind in your hand and when the little mole popped up, you’d whack him on the head. However, as soon as you whacked one, another one would pop up someplace else. This week Joanne and I want to the annual Lawn and Garden Show here in Nashville. We always love getting new ideas for our yard. This year we talked to several companies about building a water feature right in front of our house. The entire show was bursting with activity. It appears that while people … Read More
At 44 years old Phil had attained an amazing level of career success. Growing up in a family without TV he had developed an early appreciation of books. Now after 25 years in the publishing industry he was head of an $80 million division of one of the world’s largest and most respected publishers. He knew that being there was part of his calling. And yet he recognized a “growing dissonance” with the pressures from New York stockholders on the bottom line at the expense of product and customer focus. However, he assumed he needed to “suck it up, and … Read More