The 80/20 of Fidget Spinners

fidget spinners

Have you seen these “fidget spinners”? Every kid in America has at least one now. Six months ago, almost nobody had one! I call them the Pet Rock of 2017. (If you’re too young to remember that, Google it!) The peak of the spinner craze has come and gone. They used to cost about $15,…

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Are you working today?

There is something to be said for working when nobody else is. A long time ago I knew a real estate agent named Bruce. I didn’t learn a lot from Bruce, but I did learn one thing that became a cornerstone philosophy for me. We were talking about the seasonal nature of business and I…

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3651% Return On Investment

paint bucket

Three THOUSAND percent ROI. Is it possible? It is when your investment is little more than a can of paint! The brilliant marketing tactic you are about to see is probably not something you can plug directly into your business. Unfortunately. I am sharing it you for another reason altogether, which I will explain at the end. I had…

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High income earners: speed of implementation

Studies have shown speed of implementation to be the number one trait of all high income earners. Bill Gates demonstrated this trait when IBM was looking for an operating system. Bill bought DOS from Tim Patterson and then licensed it to IBM. He later famously “cloned” Apple’s Macintosh look and feel, beating them to market with “Windows”. These two…

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Life lesson from Bobby Fischer

So a couple days ago a friend calls me. He’d just finished watching a movie about chess prodigy Bobby Fischer. There was one line from the movie impacted him so much, he just had to call and share the experience with me. When he told me the line, it hit me pretty hard, too. Honestly, I…

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Break your New Year’s resolutions?

Why? It hasn’t even been a week! Well, I don’t want you to break all your New Year’s resolutions. Some of them you will want to keep. Maybe you resolved to be a better spouse or parent. Those are keepers. Maybe you resolved to learn something new or get healthier or make some other personal improvement. Go for…

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The smartest way to cut your taxes?

If you’re reading this, I hope it’s because this year was really good for you. I hope that next year is even better! On the other hand, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you also know that it will take more than hope. In any case, I’m here to help. I’d like to help you…

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A website by any other name …

What’s in a name? Specifically, what’s in a domain name? As a website developer and marketer, this is a question that I deal with often. People starting a brand new business need domain names, and all the good ones are long gone. What’s interesting is this is also true of band names. That’s how we…

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Why do puppies have to grow up to be dogs?

It does seem unfair. A number of years ago, I heard a speaker start out his talk with two questions, and that was one of them. I don’t recall how he tied it in, but it was his second question that stuck with me. He said, “Here’s something I don’t understand. Suppose I’m spending time…

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What if you could live the best life possible?

Ten years ago, I met a man who would change my life forever. I met him through a barter and trade network. This group is full of out-of-the box thinkers. One of them told me, “Some of them don’t even know where ‘the box’ is!”. Matthew Sikich knows where the box is, and can play…

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Is your company drowning in data?

I have something very exciting to share with you. I promoted a video about it a couple days ago and it got a huge response. Today I have something even better. It does come with a qualifier. This isn’t for tire kickers or people who just love cool technology. This is for people who have serious “Big…

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People say you stink (what are you going to do about it?)

Once upon a time, I had a very negative review on Yelp. But it wasn’t from a customer. It was from a competitor. I didn’t know about it until Google picked it up and put it on my Google Local listing. Back then, I think it was called Google Places. Anyone who used Google Maps…

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The secret to a viral product

Over the years I’ve noticed a trend among all the different websites I’ve seen go viral. I first became aware of this when it happened to one of my customers. My friend Shannon Larratt has since passed away, but the site thrives to this day. It started as a pet project of Shannon’s while he…

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Why I hate “Under Construction” signs

I hate “under construction” signs. Not on roads, where they are useful – but on people’s websites. My point being that websites should always be under construction. If you’re not constantly updating, you’re not leveraging the medium. You’re getting left behind. So, why do “under construction” signs upset me? Because, first of all, if you have a new…

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Your Website Doesn’t Work

your website doesn't work

Back in 2000, my company’s tag line was, “Websites That Work”. I was trying to point out that my web sites weren’t just online brochures. They actually performed tasks, like scoring a quiz or tracking an event. That was the former engineer in me, driving technology forward. Since then I’ve realized I wasn’t solving people’s biggest problem. The crimp…

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Your failing team: can’t we all just get along?

There are all kinds of things geared towards building better teams. Like anything else, some are good, some are bad and some are downright ugly! Most that I have seen try to build team unity through fun or exciting or challenging events. But I think the most challenging thing about being part of a team…

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The perils of “should”

Who would think that a single word could cause me so much anxiety? There was a time when it didn’t bother me at all. I could use it in a sentence and not lose sleep that night. No longer. The word: “should“. You know, like: “That should work.” “This should be a good investment.” “That should…

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What you don’t know *can* hurt you

But don’t take my word for it. Ask Ron Johnson. If you’ve ever seen an Apple store at the mall, you’ve seen Ron’s work. What he did for that company is outstanding, and earned him a reported $400 million. After leaving Apple, Ron was hired by JC Penney in late 2011. It was there that…

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Can you learn more from failure than success?

Yesterday I dished on Molly Dworsky’s viral video that got over one million views. That was a huge success for her and got her way more media attention than she’d ever gotten before. So she decided to try to do it again. She had good success parodying Lorde, and Molly kind of looks and sounds…

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Viral video gets one million views!

So back in January I’m sitting at Hoagies, the little diner down the street from my office. My wife is sitting across from me watching a video on her phone. This is called “phubbing”, by the way. I recognized the song as “Royals” by Lorde, which is a really cool song, but it was no…

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80/20 Pricing your most valuable asset

What does 80/20 say about how you put a price on your time? In my last email I shared a lesson I learned in the apartment rental business. People there know that a 5% vacancy rate will give you the most profit. I believe this is true of any commodity. But 80/20 says there’s no…

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How do you price your most valuable asset?

First of all – what is it? I believe that the everybody’s most valuable asset is the one is most limited: time. No matter how much you own, earn or know, you can not get more than twenty-four hours per day. So, how do you determine what your time is worth? (assuming you are willing…

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What I really did for Perry Marshall

I met Perry Marshall for the first time at his Rainmaker Alchemist Seminar in Chicago. What an incredible weekend. It was unlike any other seminar I had ever been to. Rather than rushing the speakers offstage when they finished their piece, they actually hung around with us. Even Perry! The whole thing had the feeling…

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How the Fortune™ 100 dominate the marketplace

Have you ever tried to talk to someone and it was like you were speaking a different language? Isn’t that frustrating? Because if you can’t communicate, you won’t get the response you want.  And if you’re in business, that’s trouble. So why does this happen? Even though you literally speak the same language, it’s like…

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