10 Words People Who Lack Confidence Always Use

June 20, 2014

This post was originally from Inc. and then shared with Time. Click here to read the full story.

“Want to avoid giving the impression you lack confidence and authority? Avoid these words”

“These words are not always triggers about confidence level, but they are my first signal that something is amiss. They make me think the sender is not that sure about the product or service. And they are dead giveaways that I need to question what the person says.”

The words to avoid are listed below, and you can read the article to see why these words are on the list.

1. Might

2. Won’t

3. Usually

4. Suspect

5. Impossible

6. Worried

7. Confused

8. Need

9. Quandary

10. Likely


7 Things Really Persuasive People Do

May 21, 2014

The following is from a post on Inc. written by Kevin Duam. Please see the original article for more information.

“Sometimes you absolutely have to make your point. Here are 7 tips on how to do it effectively with style and grace.”

“While many people don’t like to sell, most find themselves having to persuade someone at some point. Persuasion is not just for salespeople and their prospects. You may try to persuade an employee to perform better, or perhaps you want to persuade your boss to take on your brilliant idea. Often the most effective persuaders are your kids. Somehow they come by it naturally while you, the adult, has to work hard to find the persuasive path to success.

Whatever your persuasive need, here are 7 things that the most persuasive people consistently do:”

[Note: the autohr then goes on to describe each of the following attirbutes in detail.  Please see the original article for more information]

1. They Are Purposeful

2. They Listen … and Listen … Then Listen Some More

3. They Create a Connection

4. They Acknowledge Credibility

5. They Offer Satisfaction

6. They Know When to Shut Up

7. They Know When to Back Away


Business Unplugged: The Correct Way to Make a Business Introduction, and other good advice

April 18, 2014

The following articles are from Carol Roth’s Business Unplugged:

Business Unplugged: The Correct Way to Make a Business Introduction


The Correct Way to Make a Business Introduction

Posted: 09 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT

There is the correct way and the less-effective way to make business introductions. A good business introduction is like a nugget of gold – and a deposit in the “karma bank.” It can strengthen your connection and value to and with the people you introduce. You look like a star because you were able to […]
Stop Explaining Yourself to Customers

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT

I really only have two major vices in life: major league baseball and whirlpool suites. So I was really looking forward to combining the two on a trip to Pittsburgh last week, on a rare couple of days off. Late that night, after watching the Pirates and Cubs go into extra innings, I finally pulled […]
The Ins-and-Outs of Finder’s Fees

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT

When I talk to small business owners, one of the biggest issues that always comes up is how they can find new business.  I believe strongly in utilizing network referrals as a way to get that new business.  And, to make those referrals more concrete and valuable for your network to give or to gain […]
Frenemies: Why Playing Nice with the “Competition” Makes Sense

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Befriend the competition? Mon Dieu! You spend so much time hiding from them, spying on them, stalking their Yelp pages and figuring out what makes you different. But take a step back and see the possibilities for your business. Smart small businesses that are clear on their brand strategy – who they are, who they […]
3 Ways to Boost Book Marketing and Sales

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT

For many entrepreneurs, business owners and would-be business owners, writing a book can be a great way to put yourself, your brand or your business out there. But, thinking that “if you write it, they will come” will ensure that your book ends up with the countless heaps of others that are written and then […]
Writing Good Sh*t that Goes Viral: Secrets Revealed

Posted: 27 Mar 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Okay, I lied. There are no secrets to writing good shit that goes viral. So there’s no need to read any further. Unless you want to know the one thing every good writer does well and often to get their work read and shared. Don’t write with the intention of making your work go viral. […]
Are You a Business Muppet?

Posted: 26 Mar 2014 04:00 AM PDT

I love The Muppets.  It’s a fact that I cannot look at one without smiling. And since they are back on the big screen with their Muppets Most Wanted movie, I thought that I would revisit the concept of seeking your inner business Muppet. See, as adorable and funny as the Muppet clan can be, taking […]
Networking for Success

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 04:00 AM PDT

Networking — it can be a dirty word for entrepreneurs and other professionals alike. However, doing it successfully can really help you to succeed. I am emceeing the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s event “The Exchange” on April 2, 2014.  It’s the biggest networking event in the Chicagoland area, plus it features great keynotes from the […]

Sugarcoating Bad News; Video Marketing ROI; Small Business Growth

March 6, 2014

Some useful advice from Carol Roth’s Business Unplugged:

Stop Sugarcoating Bad NewsPosted: 13 Feb 2014 03:00 AM PST

Although Valentine’s Day is approaching, the reflections in this post are anything but sugary. Reason being, business today has become a tad too sweet for my taste.  We’re getting flabby by gobbling up verbal candy instead of taking our medicine, swallowing the bitter pill. As a result, we think we’re doing well when we’re not; […]
A.I.M to Create Video Marketing ROIPosted: 12 Feb 2014 03:00 AM PST

Now that online video has proven to be such a powerful marketing tool, entrepreneurs and small business owners seem to be falling all over themselves in a race to get their marketing videos online. Creating marketing videos is the smart thing to do, since we’re now in the “lead, follow or get out of the […]
Policies for Helping Small Business GrowthPosted: 11 Feb 2014 03:00 AM PST

While small business is often heralded as a major catalyst for improving our economy, the small business community rarely ever gets to contribute their voice in shaping the policies that would best help to spark their own growth, and consequently, the economy at large. So, in an effort to give that voice to the small […]

Why Small Biz Owners Should Partner With Non-Profits

February 21, 2014

From Carol Roth’s Business Unplugged:

Why Small Biz Owners Should Partner With Non-Profits

Posted: 06 Feb 2014 03:00 AM PST

Have you ever wondered what advantages businesses gain from partnering with non-profits? Do you think that your business is too small to do it? Have you wondered what the benefits might be? Are looking to “give back”? Businesses of any size can benefit from partnering with non-profits. It’s all about looking for the right fit […read more]

Follow-up: Enterprise / Alamo Rent-a-Car Toll Violation Problems

January 27, 2014

For more background on this topic, please see my earlier post – Enterprise / Alamo Rent-a-Car Toll Violation Problems in which I described how Alamo billed be for tolls and fines related to tolls I  had actually paid (and had receipts as proof.

toll-signI called and left a message on the phone number supplied in the letter from Alamo. No one returned my call, so I went to my back-up plan – an approach that I have found to be pretty successful in getting a company’s attention – I published my complaint on both the Alamo and Enterprise Facebook pages. Most large companies monitor their Facebook pages, and when they see complaints they will do one of two things: (1) delete the comment, which really inflames people, or (2) reach out to you in an attempt (real or not) to resolve the problem. In this case, Enterprise gave me an email address and asked me to contact them to resolve the problem.

Enterpise’ first approach was to blame IPass for not properly matching up my payments to the toll “violations”. They tried to make me feel bad for other renters, who would be pulled over and ticketed if the rental car had unpaid toll tickets. The representative said she’d forward my issue to the proper department to have this cleared up.

Enterpise’ second communication said I would be receiving another violations letter because they received two more fines for more unpaid tolls! They then blamed me for the problem, saying I entered the wrong plate number into the computer when I paid the tolls. I told them I copied the plate number off the tag attached to the car keys. I paid the toll from a hotel room, and didn’t have the car or license plate with me in the room, nor was I going to bring the computer outside to process the payments. While I might have copied the number wrong once, I doubt I did so twice.

My last communication from them was they were trying to resolve the tolls and fines with the Illinois Toll Authority, and would check with the branch which has the car to make sure the tag is right.

I have not yet heard back, but the charges haven’t yet hit my credit card. If and when the charges come through, I will dispute them with American Express and hope they jump on to Enterpirse too.

After posting the first message, I have heard from a number of people who had similar complaints about Enterprise/Alamo. One person actually had to file a small claims petition against them to get his problem resolved. I hope I don’t need to go that far, but I will pursue this matter and let people know about their actions until it is resolved.

In the mean time, I’ll stick with Avis, Budget,  and Hertz.


FedEx customer service makes customer very happy

January 20, 2014

A reader read my recent post (UPS Pulls a Bait and Switch Scam) and follow-up about the troubles I had with UPS, and want to share her great experience with FedEx. This story dates back to Thanksgiving 2012, but she still remembers this positive experience.

She had to send product samples (foods) to a business partner in Canada, but found out the aftternoon on the day before Thanksgiving that the shipment was stuck in Canadian customs for an unknown reason. She had sent samples to Canada before with any trouble. She was able to reach a FedEx customer service representative who really went out of the way to serve as the go-between with the Canadian officials to find out what the problem was and how to resolve it.

After many calls back and forth with FedEx (and FedEx with the Canadian officials), she learned what the problem was. In the past, all of her R&D samples shipments went from her company’s US office to its Canadian office. However, in this case the shipment was addressed to the firm which would be conducting the consumer testing and the R&D product was not yet registered as an approved food for importation into Canada.

She worked late into the evening with FedEx to figure out how to get the product released because it was needed for testing on Friday. The shipment was finally released and FedEx assured her it would be picked up and delivered Thursday (Thanksgiving Day, but not a holiday in Canada. She was able to enjoy Thanksgiving without worrying about the shipment. She was thrilled with FedEx’s superior service and is glad her company uses them.


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