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Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Battle For Your Better Self

At 4:00 a.m.

By Terry L. Brock

I love to wake up early and get a lot done. For me, a quality day starts with an “early to rise” beginning. I have a very healthy breakfast of fruit, some eggs and good Japanese green tea. I love to read a book then exercise followed by some time for quality quiet meditation and reflection.

When I go through that ideal routine for me, I have had a great day – no matter what happens the rest of the day. I’m often up at 4:00 am as I get more done that way. No, you don’t have to get up at 4:00 but whenever you awake, these same principles will help you – in your personal life and business.

Succeeding in your business today draws parallels from personal success. This week, let’s discuss some of the personal procedures you can use and see how they might apply to your business. The similarities are uncanny.

However, there’re is a challenge. There’s a battle that goes on for me almost every morning. You can probably relate to this.

The warm bed is very inviting. It calls, “Come back and catch a few extra winks. Besides, you could use the rest.” Have you heard your bed calling to you like that early in the morning? Although it is very inviting and tempting, I find that when I resist the temptation for a few more winks, and force myself into what always turns into a glorious beginning for the day, I am grateful.

You are faced with similar challenges. You have the tempting allure of the warm and cozy, the secure, vs. what you know is going to be more of a challenge—-and much more worth it for you. You know what is best, but the temptation of the moment pulls you from your ultimate best. Building relationships in business takes time, money and effort. To do it right, you have to focus on the benefits of “waking up” (however you define that activity) to make your business work.

So, how can you fight the temptation to slack off and instead become the best you can be? Here are some pointers that can help you first in your personal life getting more done, followed by some serious business benefits that you can realize.

  1. Have A Strong Vision Of What You Want. The stronger the vision of success (reading that great book, having a great workout, etc.) will give you the necessary motivation to get the right thing done for you. Know the business relationship goals that you have in mind. Let these be burned into your mind to achieve them.
  1. Push Past The Pain. You have to push past the inevitable pain that will be there early-on and see the victory. Business relationships can sometimes be painful. You have to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. What is the pain your prospect or customer is facing? How can you solve that?
  1. Do Something To Motivate Yourself. Set your alarm clock (safely) on the other side of the room where it will be a noisy, loud annoyance until you physically get up and turn it off. Then, make it difficult to go back to sleep. For business relationships, put yourself in a situation where you can serve that potential customer. Make it a situation where you have to stretch to be your best.
  1. Drink A Lot Of Water Before Going To Bed. Amazing what a full bladder will do for getting you moving in the morning! In business, promise someone you’ll do something that you know you’ll have to accomplish. The promise you make can push you along the right track!
  1. Provide Some Serious Benefits. Have a choice, wonderful, delicious book waiting for you to read. Have an invigorating workout. You then prove to yourself (and that tempting “Come back to bed” voice in your head) that you really have something even better waiting. In business, see the benefits of cultivating and growing new, profitable relationships. These business benefits will serve as inspiration and motivation when the going gets tough.

Bonus: Figure out a way to get a medically-recommended and healthy nap in the afternoon. A quick 30 minute or less nap can yield wonderful health benefits. It is another “thought blast” you can throw at the deceptively alluring calls to return to the warm bed. “I’ll get up now, read that good book, have a great workout and great meditation and then I can catch a quick nap later this afternoon.” If your work schedule doesn’t yet allow for an afternoon nap right now, see if you can alter your personal schedule to allow for this energy-giving and life extending addition.

For business, build in “resting points” along the way in a relationship. Don’t always push for the business. Take time to focus on the human connection. Include social outings, anniversaries and other fun times to let the business relationships incubate and grow.

You might not get up at 4:00— most rational people don’t! However, whatever your “4:00 o’clock in the morning” challenge is, build in sufficient motivations before 4:00 to blast away the common “excuses” your brain will concoct. Your better self will appreciate it and you’ll be a better person because of it.


Terry Brock is a marketing coach and regular columnist for Biz Journals who helps businesses market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Business Journals to use in regular publications.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

lynda.Com – Learn Software Skills and More From This Successful Woman Entrepreneur

by Terry L. Brock

Have you ever needed to learn how to sse PhotoShop real fast for that new project or potential job? Do you need to know some inside tips on using Flash, InDesign, Excel or other software package? How about that job interview coming up where you need to know some specific skills fast--- could you use some expert assistance at a really good price? In the past you had to take classes, buy lots of books and wait. Now, you can do it anytime through a Net-based training system called

Founded by Lynda Weinman, (small “ell”) is a site dedicated to education and training on over 250 software packages. You can go to the site and learn about specific skills that will help you when you need that help.

Such a service is possible because of the Internet and it says a lot about Lynda Weinman who founded the site. Her goal is to deliver concise software education and training when needed to people around the world as they need to know the information.

What You Can Learn At lynda.Com

Creative software has been a specialization for the company but they feature a variety of productivity software. Many people use the service to gain the necessary knowledge just in time for a project or a specific client requirement. Others have used the website before a job interview to gain a strong working knowledge of a software package needed for a new position. It’s like having a university of skilled instructors on a variety of topics available on demand.

The cost for the service is $25.00 per month. You can use the service as long as your subscription is active. You can cancel it at any time. They company also offers a yearly subscription for $250.

Lyndan Weinman sees the service as a resource for life-long learners. Since software is changing rapidly, you can use this resource to be updated on new techniques and features that are relevant to you and your needs.

The company is aggressive in knowledge acquisition. They work with instructors who have both technical expertise and the ability to communicate in a fun, easily-understand manner. Currently they are producing about 10 courses per month on a variety of topics.

In addition to the online learning available, offers books, CDs and a Podcast. The Podcast is available on iTunes ( where you can sample several recent videos that have been assembled on a variety of topics.

A Successful Woman Entrepreneur

When asked about what she has done to be a successful woman entrepreneur, Lynda says it does take a lot of hard work. You have to put in a lot of nights, weekends and hard work to make your dream a reality.

You have to build new skills, have a plan and pursue that. A lot of people want what success brings but they don’t understand you have to have focus and a sense of purpose, she says.

She is often described by her friends as the hardest working person they ever met. It requires hard work to succeed in any business and Lynda Weinman demonstrates this. There is no “secret” to doing it easily.

I find this refreshing in an age when too many “gurus” talk about their success on the Internet and don’t talk about the hard work and skill-building that is essential. A lot of marketing hype on the Internet today alleges to have a “secret” that allows one to get ahead with no work. It has been my experience that everyone who succeeds in business has to make a plan, have a passion and pursue that passion with lots of hard work and determination.

Lynda Weinman has given all of us a model to follow for success in business. She is an example of how to do it right. She saw a need (people wanted to know how to perform certain tasks on their computers), she saw what was available (tools like the Internet and Camtasia from TechSmith for recording videos of what can be done) and she created a business plan. Next, she implemented it tenaciously. Her success is not due to luck or magic but doing the right things in the right way for many people.

To listen to an audio interview I had with Lynda Weinman over Skype (listen for the clarity in the sound) you can go to: or for the full address go to: .

---Terry Brock is a marketing coach and regular columnist for Biz Journals and other publications who helps businesses market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Producitivity-Boosting Tools ---and Bermuda!

3 Productivity (and Sales-Buidling) Tools

By Terry L. Brock

Note: To see a video-version of this article go to:

Enjoy the article (below) as well!

I’m always on the lookout for tools that you can use to boost productivity in your small business. This week I have three tools that can help you increase productivity and even boost sales.

DYMO Desktop Mailing Solution

Often in small business you have to mail packages and it can be a hassle. How much is the proper amount of postage? What is the best way to print the label? DYMO has introduced their Desktop Mailing Solution as a solution to handle these and other challenges of a small business.

You can print labels for your office and for postage. If you choose to create a label to identify something in your office, you can print just the label you need with this unit. This saves turning on the computer and fiddling with extensive label-generating steps in your word processing software.

I found that the unit did well with postage as it printed the postage. Where the unit shines is that it requires no monthly fees. For a small business that sends mail occasionally, this is very helpful. Because it ties into the Internet, you can get the exact amount of postage up to five pounds with the accompanying scale.

Setup was a hassle. The unit came with a lot of cords and it took a while to figure out which cords go where. It was confusing as we installed the software since it required us to have the software installed before plugging it into the USB, then the message said the USB had to be installed before the software was loaded! This circular logic seemed confusing at first, but after a few reboots, it was up and running.

Once we got past installation, the unit performed magnificently. It printed address labels quickly and neatly. For a professional look, you can’t do better.

Bottom line for me: Once you get it set up and running, this is a good postage-generating tool if you like to have professional-looking postage. You can print 55 labels a minute in over 44 label styles. For mass mailing of good old-fashioned postage (often very effective in a “too-much-email” world) this can be very helpful for the small business.

DYMO Desktop Mailing Solution - $229.99,

DYMO LetraTag LT-100T

Another more inexpensive solution for generating labels is the DYMO LetraTag. This unit is very cost-effective and easy to use. I opened the package and looked at it. I saw the printing cartridge and plugged it in without hassle in about 5 seconds. The unit uses 4 AA batteries or electricity.

In my test, I was able to generate a professional-looking label in about 60 seconds. I needed some assistance to generate a “dot” to print out a web address. It would be nice if it were on the keyboard so I called their tech assistance. In about 20 seconds I was speaking to a very helpful technician who told me how to do it (using the Insert key, scrolling through several symbols till I got to the “dot.”).

I was thinking it would be nice if they had some kind of manual. A few minutes later I was embarrassed that one was included in the package I received but I had misplaced it. However, my embarrassment was erased as I realized I really didn’t need a manual at all with this easy-to-use unit. For the price, and for what it can do for you to get organized and have professional labels, you won’t go wrong with this productivity-boosting tool.

DYMO LetraTag LT-100T - $29.95 for Professional Unit,

Get Organized (And Boost Sales!)

Keeping track of people and getting your marketing organized are keys to relationship marketing. One tool that has done that well in the past is the CardScan business card scanner.

I’ve used one in the past and the performance was good. However, with the new version and version 8 of the software, I was blown away by its efficiency and ease of operation.

Remember, I’m a jaded journalist who has seen lots of stuff. However, this tool impressed even this hardened journalist who views new products with a skeptical eye.

Just yesterday I came back from a conference where I was speaking with a handful of business cards. I plugged in the CardScan and within about 10 seconds the software was on the screen, I was scanning cards and entering them into my database. I checked each to correct for inevitable mistakes. You will need to do some editing because business cards are different. The more “creative” the approach on the business card, the less standard it is and the more editing you’ll need to do. However, the bottom line is that it is much faster using CardScan than using the fastest typist you can find.

I was able to transfer all the cards from this convention over to Outlook quickly with only a few keystrokes. I then sent a “Good to meet you” email message to all those people quickly. On top of that, CardScan’s software kept an image of the original business card as a graphic so I could quickly click on that JPG graphic in Outlook to see the card. Nice.

This can not only get you more organized, but in a business world where relationships matter most, this is not just a good product to have---it is a necessity! I now find myself longing to go to more conventions to meet more people and get more business cards!

CardScan 800c,, $259.99


Terry Brock is a marketing coach and regular columnist for The Wholesaler who helps businesses market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2007, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission.

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