Two Good (FREE) Resources

MarketingSherpa, an online resource I enjoy, has just released a new e-book, Marketing Wisdom for 2005.  It contains 105 real-life marketing tips and lessons. You can download it for free here.

Some of you have expressed interest in blogging as a marketing tool. I also enjoy reading Debbie Weil, who is the publisher of  WordBiz Report, a weekly enewsletter. She is offering a free Beginner’s Guide To Business Blogging download. The offer is only good until Jan. 25, so if you think you might be interested in the future, download it now, and print it out.

Visitors From The Frozen North (and West)

Two new clients visited the Smart Marketing offices in the past week.

On January 7, we had a visit from Steven Ratner of White Plains, NY. Steve’s practice areas include: Elder Law; Health Law; Long Term Care; Medicare and Medicaid; Estate and Gift Taxation; Trusts and Estates; Estate Planning; Wills; Probate; Guardianship. (Left to right: Mark Merenda, Steven Ratner, Lesley Blaine)

Steve is also the author of Elder Law and Will Drafting, a publication of the New York State Bar Association.

On January 10th, Gabriel Heiser arrived and met with the Smart Marketing staff. Gabriel practices estate planning and Medicaid planning in Boulder, Colorado following many years of practice (21!) in Boston, Massachusetts and Nashville, Tennessee. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and the author of a number of books and articles on estate planning issues.

Gabriel_heiserGabriel is an accomplished musician (guitar) who attended the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston before becoming an attorney. (Left to right: Gabriel Heiser, Mark Merenda)

Begin the New Year by Measuring Backward

P_dans_96cI read a lot of marketing books, and business books in general. I read all the latest offerings from all the latest gurus. But in developing my own business, no one’s advice has been as valuable, no one’s insights as useful as Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach.

I would say that Dan’s instruction to "delegate everything except your unique ability" is the single most important piece of business advice I ever got.

Among Dan’s other insights I have found most valuable — and one I find even more compelling at this time of year — is a concept he calls "The Gap."

At the risk of gross oversimplification, I will summarize Dan’s theory as follows: measuring where you are by the ideal (where you would like to be ideally) is a formula for unhappiness. The ideal can never be  reached. It is a concept, like the horizon, that moves as you move.

A better technique is to measure backwards. That is, to note where you were yesterday, and measure it against where you are today. That is the formula for happiness. No matter how little your progress, it is still progress. And chances are your progress is much greater than you would have imagined. You were too busy focusing on the ideal, and fretting about how far off it is, to notice (and feel good about) how far you have come.

A good New Year’s resolution might be to follow Dan’s advice on this first business day of the New Year and ask yourself where you were in your business one year ago, and where you are today. Chances are, you’ll have good reasons to be pleased with your progress and grateful for those who contributed to it. I know I am.