Dear Friend, Send Money

I just read a Facebook post by a guy who said his new book is coming out in a few months, but if you send him $20 now he’ll send a digital copy, an autographed copy, and will include the purchaser’s name in the “acknowledgements” as a “friend and patron”! In other words, any stranger with $20 is acknowledged in the book. I wonder how much would buy co-authorship?


Take It Or Leave It

I’m told that Cisco takes 120 days—four months—to pay its venders and suppliers. Of course, there’s no sound reason for that except to maximize their cash flow by taking advantage of small businesses for whom cash flow is even more critical. But Cisco apparently isn’t interested in partnerships, just in being the 2,000-pound gorilla. There’s a word for that: bullying.



How Can They Do That?

When I was chair of the town planning board, we visited a cul-de-sac where a property owner was protesting a new subdivision that would create a road through the cul-de-sac. To make matters worse, he had chosen to build his house in that exact corner of his two acres. “I can’t help you,” I said. The town provides a right-of-way here for land to be developed beyond these woods, and your deed clearly stipulates that the right-of-way exists and can …


A Case for A SWAT Team?

On the outskirts of Providence, right next to Interstate 95, is a giant blue bug on the roof of an exterminating company. It’s a termite, 427,000 times larger than life. (I am not making this up.) The company which was once called something like “New England Exterminating”  officially changed its name to Big Blue Bug Exterminating. Traffic reporters use it as a landmark (congestion around the Big Blue Bug) and when Interstate 195 was rerouted at a cost of tens …


The Pain of the Dentist

I visit every four months. I haven’t had a cavity in ten years, my gums are in good shape, and thanks to the wonders of cosmetic dentistry, I have very straight, white teeth, which my parents couldn’t afford to provide way back when. Yet, there apparently is no business input into dental office management or experiences.   The receptionist doesn’t greet you kindly, simply says, “Okay, take a seat.” The appointment starts slightly late, no one apologizes or acknowledges it. …


Swinging the Bat

I advised a coaching client to go see the editor of a major newspaper personally to pitch a story. He did, and his article was printed. I then told him to suggest a column. He did, and he now has a twice-a-month column in the business section of the most prestigious paper in the city. That will lead to speaking engagements which will lead to consulting assignments. If you try this, is it guaranteed to work? No. But if you …



Running From Office

Community member for many years, Amy Showalter, has tried to make a case for me running for office in these strange times: Alan, Oh, I have it all figured out! Indulge me for 2 minutes. 1. You communicate concisely. Candidates (should) talk in sound bites. You would not have to be someone else to run for office. 2. With Trump’s “tell it like it is” style resonating (it changes by the day as we know), the time is right for your …