The following email
message appears in my in box about every 7 days... it serves as a
little reminder and helps me keep my focus.
"Hi,This is a hassle to remind you to: 'Focus on
appreciating and expressing my gratitude for the people, business
opportunities, affluence, opportunities to touch people's lives,
travel the world sharing my ideas, and to have so many people
appreciate and purchase my writing and wisdom. I am so blessed!'
So get to it!"
Now, I admit I don't always
open it to read, but simply seeing it appear
reminds me to be grateful for the blessings in my life. I have
I love what I do and
get paid very well for doing it. People buy and read or listen to
what I have to say... pretty cool stuff. I have a network of real
friends, colleagues (like my friend Kit), and readers, like you, who
support and encourage me. I now have two homes, Egremont (in the
country) and Mundare (in town) to take care of and enjoy... twice
the snow, yeah.
I have the opportunity to travel the
world sharing my ideas. I have an amazing woman by my
side who inspires me to keep moving outside of my comfort
zone and is such an amazing partner in what I do to serve you and my
I could go on, but you get
I was out for lunch recently
with my 96 year old (Egremont) neighbor Steve, who can be
a bit crusty at times. I love the time I spend with
him. He has a bad back and struggles to walk and the snow
makes it even more of a challenge for him. He was complaining
about all the stuff he couldn't do, anymore.
(Boy, can I relate, as I did something to mine in India and
it is still very sore.)
yourself doing that? Me too. I reminded him (and myself)
that there were still a myriad of things he could do; and
that, at 96, he was still inspiring me.
I thought, we could use
a bit of a reminder of the blessings, the good stuff, and great
people in our lives. We are working through a challenging economic
time and it is easy to loose focus on the positive things and
important people in our lives. Just a nudge from me this
All the best for
February. I choose to make it a fabulous month,
just as I choose to not participate in 'this' recession. What will
Archives of past issues are available on
our www.ideaman.net website.
Michael has been encouraging and
coaching me in my e-zine work over the past few years. He
lives in a similar climate and had this wisdom to share this month.
Thought I would send it along to you while you recover from
shovelling the snow, yet again.
by Michael Katz
Here in New England we like to
complain, especially about the weather.
Too hot in the summer, too cold in the
winter, too damn dark at night. We don't much care what's
wrong, frankly, just as long as something is.
This morning while buying my
bagel and coffee, I actually overheard the guy in front of me
complain about hypothetical weather: "Oh
yeah, it's nice now, but they say we're due for some horrible
stuff by the end of the weekend." Linguistically, this is
what's known as a "future perfect" weather complaint, reserved
for those times when there is nothing sufficiently miserable
to point to at the moment.
Personally, I don't get involved in these
discussions. I kind of like the unpredictability of weather
(even in middle age, nothing quite compares to the thrill of a
school snow day), and I enjoy the fact that after 25 years of
living here, I've learned a thing or two about winter
For example: Don't chip the ice
off of a cold car.
Instead, start the car, turn on the
defrost full blast, go inside and make a cup of coffee. When
you return 10 minutes later, your car will be sweating like a
pig on a treadmill (or whatever) and the ice will magically
Simple stuff, I know. And yet year after
year, I see a fair number of my fellow citizens walk out into
the cold and just start scraping.
Fools? Hardly. Just people who are
working a lot harder than necessary. Instead of giving
the warmth of the car a few minutes to melt the ice, they're
impatiently chipping away.
I mention this today, because I also see
a fair number of my fellow professional service providers
(WARNING: abuse of "winter metaphor" coming) chipping away at
the frozen exterior of un-warmed client prospects, rather than
giving the cozy warmth of relationship marketing a chance to
melt the glacial frost of frigid... ah, whatever.
You know what I mean: Selling to
cold prospects is a lot harder than selling to warm
But it's a new year. And the economy is
in bad shape. And you need clients now. So
you and your colleagues get together and agree to "stop all
activities that don't directly contribute to sales."
To which I say, not so fast there, my
Because while it may seem all
survival-mode-lean-and-mean-savvy to abandon all but the
scraping - I mean selling - when times are tough, if
you shut off the activities that keep your prospects nice and
warm, you'll be out there in the snow, chipping away, a lot
longer than necessary. They don't call them "cold
calls" for nothing.
And so, to help the ice fall away
easily this winter, I've got three suggestions.
Here's the bottom line:
You don't need 25 years of New England winters under
your belt to know that when it comes to removing ice, the heat
of the car matters at least as much as the tools you use and
the effort you apply.
- Stay in touch with your friends. For
many businesspeople, slow times lead to ignoring friends and
colleagues. We cut back on networking meetings, we stop
attending industry events, we forget to return phone calls,
we give up on casual lunches. All in the name of "staying
If you ask me, this is exactly the
wrong time to become invisible. We need to be out
there more than ever, and our long-time, existing
relationships are the place to start.
- Stay accessible to strangers. I've
never met a professional service provider who didn't like
visibility: Seeing your name in the paper, having your white
paper downloaded and shared across the Internet, getting
invited to speak at an industry event. And yet I've met
plenty of professional service providers who, when that same
visibility leads to inbound phone calls and e-mails from
non-prospects, can't be bothered to respond to them.
I've got a better idea.
The next time a stranger calls with a quick question in your
area of expertise, or sends a comment related to your
newsletter, or offers to buy you lunch in exchange for some
career advice, make time for them -
particularly if they have nothing of value (at the
moment) to give you in return.
Believe me, it's the people who you
help precisely at the time that they can't help you
back who will remember you the longest. Treat
them decently and they'll be out there keeping your car warm
(i.e. spreading the word) for years to come.
- Keep publishing your E-Newsletter. (You
knew I'd get to this.) Your newsletter is like a big, warm,
stay-in-touch hotplate - going out into the world month
after month and keeping your relationships toasty. Shutting
it down or putting it off so that you can focus on chipping
more ice just doesn't make a lot of sense. (Editor's note:
makes perfect sense to me.)
Spend more time on relationship
temperature and less time on ice breaking tactics and cold
selling skills, and make 2009 the best year you've
Copyright ©2009 Blue Penguin
Development, Inc. All rights reserved. Included with the kind permission of my
friend Michael Katz. You may reproduce this article by
including this copyright and, if reproducing it
electronically, including a link to www.bluepenguindevelopment.com. You must also make a loud penguin noise
at noon (EST) each day while the article is in use (costume
optional). Just heard from Michael tonight
(Feb 3rd) and it's snowing again in his area.
India and the 2nd Indira Innovation Summit and Excellence in
What an amazing experience and a chance to broaden my world perspective.
After a verrrrrrry
long series of flights: Edmonton to Chicago, to
Frankfurt, to Mumbai, India, I finally arrived about 2AM and
checked into a little hotel near the Mumbai airport.
Woke to hear the street
noise of local folks getting up and children walking to school.
With their tremendous population they actually have to schedule
two series of classes, the first starting at 7AM. Innovative
way of using teaching staff and facilities.
Certainly saw the gap between India's very poor and and
the very wealthy between my two hotels.
The next day I moved
to the conference hotel (Taj Lands End) which would be a 5 star
anywhere in the world. I was totally spoiled by the hotel and
I spoke for an hour in
the afternoon, sharing personal insights and ideas on the people
side of innovation to a very responsive audience of 350 or so,
many of whom were students. Very responsive during the presentation
and very kind in their remarks following it.
Later that evening I was again invited on the stage to
receive my international Excellence in Innovation Award
along with my fellow speakers (some of who are pictured
above with a few of the college faculty and students).
The organizers went on
to recognize local and national Indian award winners in front
of a standing room only crowd in excess of 500.
What an amazing experience
and very impressive work for such a small group of dedicated
conference staff. And, a very innovative way to attract
world class speakers, experts, and authors from around the world.
The amazing gentleman
who ran this event, Dr. R.L. Bhatia, also does
one for about 1500 HR professionals in February. We are talking
about my returning for that one in 2010. In addition, the co-founder
of the Indira Group of Institutes, Chetan Wakalkar,
asked me to consider a return to work with their students at
both campuses. Also talked with people from Malaysia and Thailand
who are thinking about doing something similar in their locals.
thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to India and look forward
to working there again.
Last Minute News
going to be fabulous. It is, after all our choice.
- Continuing writing and
production work on Volume three of our Secret Selling Tips. I was actually laying out
one of our French issues while in Paris.
- Finishing off work so
we can launch our Secret Leadership Tips series. Once series is
launched for current subscribers, we will launch the website to
support and promote it.
- Updating our various
speaker promotional sites once renewals are in.
- Working on a
new series of CDs for back of room sales.
on another series of shooting scripts as well as a new
one entitled: STOP Whining and START Winning!
- Working on a couple of
new ideas I gleaned from my friend Kit Grant, for new
product and revenue streams from leveraging existing
- Working on
Foundational Success, an e-book fundraiser for CAPS foundation
with a publication date in April. Focused for sure, and a short
time span, but a great cause.
- Working on at least
one new Pocket Wisdom for our series. Perhaps, Selling,
'even' in tough times.
Feb 10th: Back in the film studio to
produce some more video clips for Secret Selling and Secret
Leadership Tips and update a few for the website.
Feb 21st: Sharing some ideas and stories
drawn from my adventures in Iran and India with my fellow CAPS
Edmonton colleagues at our February Business Development
25: Speaking in Bonnyville, AB for their Real Estate Board
AGM and again that evening at a special town wide, open event hosted
jointly with the Chamber of Commerce.
28th: Schedule permitting, a quick visit to CAPS Calgary to
see my friend Ian Percy who is speaking. Ian now lives in Arizona.
Am planning a writing trip to Arizona this winter and want to ask
him for some advice. My plan is to expand that writing week into a
series of weeks over the next few years and eventually be a winter
some links to Irene and my Facebook pages where we have uploaded
some pictures from our trip.
birthday party in Paris France
When I spent
4 days in London, England on my way home from speaking in Iran
last November, I wished Irene could have been there to share
I was working out my flights to Mumbai, I invited her to join
me in Europe on my way home. I told her she could join me in
Frankfurt, Germany, Zurich, Switzerland, or Paris. She verrrrry
quickly chose Paris. Hmmm.
(Picture is a cake we got from a little bakery across
the street from our boutique hotel.)
a week we had playing tourist.
all the main sights: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral,
The Louvre, shopping, took an amazing
boat cruise on the Seine
river, shopping, touring on the bus and Metro... shopping, and
getting to know the local shop keepers and brassieres (in England
they would be called pubs). I was blown away by the buildings.
museums, visited Le Bon Marche, visited lots of little shops
including the West Bank area, and generally had a week of fun and
creating great memories. Irene was smiling so much I thought
she had swallowed a banana sideways.
Friday, Jan. 30th was her
'official' birthday, so we planned a special meal at one of
the restaurants we had found close to our hotel. What a wonderful
evening... they decorated the place with little red candles, set a
special table just for us and everyone in the place sang happy
birthday to her in English and French. Following dinner we
took one more ride on the Metro to see the Eiffel Tower at night and
then returned to enjoy a few glasses of champaign. One of the
patrons even bought Irene roses... A night and a week to remember.
Irene will now be able to say the line from Casablanca (one of her
favorite movies)... "We'll always have Paris!"
PS: On the way home we had a longer
stopover in Chicago and were able to connect with a fellow
Accredited Speaker, Johnny Campbell who lives in the
area. One of the bonuses of this business
is being able to visit friends around the world.
reading... see you next month.
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased
to be a part of your success team and to work with you
to help make your conference, meeting, or training
event a success. For more information about customized
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training and coaching, or seminars/retreats, please visit
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4 months and still very happily
married.. is there a gift for the 1st quarter of an such
amazing partnership? Hmm... "We'll always have
Bob just got back from speaking
in Mumbai, India and accepting an Excellence in
Bob and Irene just spent
a week playing tourist in Paris for her milestone birthday and
a bit of a delayed honeymoon. (Sharing a croissant and cafe on
the Eiffel Tower)
Ideas At Work!
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey is a professional
speaker, author, leadership, sales, and business
He is proud to
be an active professional member of these amazing
groups of people dedicated to polishing their craft
and to better serving their clients and audiences.
Bob is co-founder
and a past president of CAPS Vancouver, an honorary
founding member of CAPS Sask., an honorary member
of CAPS Halifax, as well as being an active member
of CAPS Edmonton. He served as CAPS National Director
He would be happy
to discuss how he can work with you to equip and
motivate your leaders, their teams, sales teams,
or their volunteers to grow and to succeed.
Call him today
at: 1-780-736-0009 to explore leveraging his
innovative Ideas At Work with you and your
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