I can’t believe I have to share this tip

Just got back from the eye doctor, and, alas, he didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. Ever happen to you? Last time I was at the eye doctor, at the beginning of 2012, it was after a LASIK operation. I got the happy news that I had 20/20 vision. Today another eye doctor told [...]

Oh, no she didn’t…

These have been a rough few months for people who like to think the best of others. Right now I'm astonished that a man who hasn't paid income taxes since 1995, says you should "Grab women by the pussy" and states "When you're a star, you can do anything" has a double digit lead in [...]

The Parallel Universe of Effective Marketing

Too much marketing simply blasts noise at anyone who dares to go near it. Or it whispers nonsense in the corner, hoping someone will hear it. This type of marketing is ineffective. It’s annoying to the shouter, because they are shouting and it’s not working. It’s annoying to the person being shouted at, because they [...]

Stop Persuading People Now! (What?!?)

I’m not kidding. Stop trying to persuade and coerce people with your marketing. Sure, persuasion and influence can certainly get you far. But in the long run, persuading instead of transforming can get you in a lot of trouble. When you persuade someone to do something, you enter into a power-over relationship. Philosopher and pioneering [...]

The First Step for Effective Communication

Quit talking about yourself. That might sound dramatic, but it’s a pretty dramatic point. When you talk all about yourself, you end up we-we-ing all over your reader or listener. Don’t believe me? Here’s an example, pulled from a CPA’s website: “We implement creative strategies. We work proactively to realize the most tax savings while [...]

The Ultimate Small Business Differentiator

Sometimes, there is a lot more marketing wisdom in a hole-in-the-wall shop than at all the highfalutin corporates and agencies out there. Case in point: the little bookshop called Bücherecke in the town where I live, Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Austria. It is squeezed in the confines of a building made in the middle ages, [...]

That blinding moment of clarity…

I’m working on my first book, and I was completely stuck on something that might seem banal. All of the ideas and stories were racing around in my head, but I just could not find a way to get them out in a structured way. I’d start on an outline here, then need to start [...]


I think anybody who's been married a long time knows that a lot about relationships comes down to simply being there. Just show up. There's this big myth about quality time. It's meant well, but it's maybe also to assuage guilt that we’re not there when we wish we could be. Sometimes I feel guilt [...]

That one part they left out

In retrospect, I’m glad no one told me the full story ahead of time. When I was in second grade, I got my first pair of glasses. In ninth grade, I got my first pair of contact lenses. And my eyes got worse and worse until I was 25 or so. Of course, by then [...]

Speeding up when you want to slow down…

It was a gorgeous, sunny, and crisp winter day when my dad, my husband Achim, and I rolled up to Montgomery Bell State Park for my very first mountain bike outing. My dad and Achim, thick as thieves, had convinced me to finally give mountain biking - on a trail - a try. And really, why [...]