Bells and Whistles

SIMPLIFY whatever it is you do. There is a tropism toward complexity. Fight it. The complex is not worth more and is not more impressive. It is simply irritating. When people call me and are amazed there is no intermediary the often say, “You pick up your own phone?” And I say, “Yes, and this is the simplicity you can expect if you choose to work with me.” And most of the time, I make that sale. Über, Amazon, Apple: …





Craps Check

In casinos, there’s a bet at the craps tables called colloquially, “craps check.” That means you bet against yourself on the first roll if you have a huge positive bet on the table. If you roll craps (2, 3, 12) you lose your positive bet but make almost all of it back on the craps check bet. If you don’t roll craps, then you keep rolling, trying to make your number, losing only the smaller craps check amount. Companies often …


Here Today, Gone This Evening

A client relationship, no matter how strong, can vanish overnight through no fault of yours. Buyers, technology, competitors, and a host of other variables can all change beyond your power to do much about it. Never allow any one client to be responsible for more than 20 percent of your revenues. And never be so consumed with delivering to one massive client that you fail to market and bring on board others on a regular basis.


I Don’t Care How You Work

I don’t care how my computer works, I care that I can create email, write books, and calculate my finances. I don’t care how medicine works, I care that it can improve my health. I don’t care how my phone works, I care that it can help me reach people personally. Executives don’t care how you work, they care about their own condition being improved. (Only HR will care how you work, and HR is irrelevant.) What exactly are you …


Hitting the Streets

For every person who can (legitimately) claim he or she has acquired business from a social media post, there are a million who haven’t. Just as in LA, for every person who claims their screenplay was picked up by a studio while they were waiting tables, there are 400,000 which weren’t. You have better odds in Vegas. This is a relationship business, and word-of-mouth—peer-to-peer reference—is the main, low cost, high quality path to new business. You stimulate this by doing …



Can You Move the Ball?

I played varsity basketball and ran varsity track in high school. Track practice was simple—I was a sprinter, so I would run a quarter mile for stamina and 30 yards for speed. Then the race itself was over in ten seconds. I was a terrific shooter in basketball, but I hated the practice. I never did learn to dribble with my opposite hand, so I could never be a starting guard. I was fast and could shoot, but I couldn’t …