Get A Life (But Not Mine)

My feeling about people arguing over half-empty and half-full glasses is that I’ll take the glass while they’re debating and fill it myself. Too many people are griping, complaining, and agonizing, getting up in the morning as if life is a long, slow crawl through enemy territory. And the enemy is anyone who doesn’t agree with their particular party line. Facebook, the contemporary square for public criers, is rife with people who seem to think the rest of us are …



Untold Wealth Originating in Nigeria

Well, I own’t be returning here because I’m obviously coming into a lot of money. This looks official, right? Dr.Benneth Opara Director Foreign Operations, Central Bank Of Nigeria. Abuja-Nigeria. Re: Confirmation Of the Approval On your compensation Payment Of Your Approved Fund of $10.5M USD Million USD To Mr.Oliver ChassMan Attention; Beneficairy I am Dr. Benneth Opara The Director foreign Operations Central Bank of Nigeria. According to my payment file, you have an outstanding payment of $10.5M USD approved by …


The Only Marketing Plan You’ll Ever Need

Consultants don’t need business plans (the danger being that you hit it, and it’s always too modest). They need marketing plans. This is the marketing business. Here’s the only one you’ll ever need, short and sweet: Marketing plan: 1. Value proposition (how are clients improved) 2. Ideal buyers (title, type of industry) 3. Best ways to reach them: • Referral sources • Speaking • Networking • Etc. 4. Best ways for them to find you: • Publishing • Blog • …


Dumb Ass Stupid Marketing

No matter what filters or armed guards I use, I get a handful of these emails a week. Does anyone, anywhere, respond to an ungrammatical, unsolicited, mass, junk email and decide to do business with the senders a half world away? Do I want my traffic “indulged”? Dear Sir/Madam, We are an India based Web Design company with a primary focus on SEO based Website Design & Development (ASP, ASP.Net, Java ,Perl and PHP development). We have a dedicated team …



Diagonal is the New Vertical

Not all that long ago we believed that if we did a good job we’d be promoted, and that would continue until retirement. When I left Rutgers and stumbled into Prudential, I figured that in a decade or so I’d be president of the company. Of course, Laurence J. Peter created his “Peter Principle” which explains why all the cream can’t rise at once to lofty position—a great deal of it sours along the way. (The executives at Prudential, I’ve …



The Island

My Nantucket default routine is to wake up around 6. We’re looking at the Atlantic, so the sun rises on the other side of the house. (At dusk, people throng the beach to watch the sunset and have local Tex/Mex/Seafood at Millie’s.) Over the next 90 minutes, I clean up all email, check AlansForums.com, post three things of value on Twitter, and write. I may be writing some monthly columns, or parts of a book, or new offerings, or project …


Consultants Need To Be Multilingual

Just this morning, an IT consultant complained that I was unfair castigating IT people for not being customer-oriented, and he prided himself on being a “level three” service provider, or some such thing. Right in his letter of complaint, he was being obscure. He was speaking his language, not mine, but expecting me to adapt to him. Is level three good or bad? Who cares? Consultants need to speak their clients’ languages. Bankers talk about defalcations. Insurance people will cite …