What’s Your Constraint?

The starting point of great success has always been the same. It is to dream big dreams. There is nothing more important than to begin by fantasizing about what you can become, have, and do. But there are obstacles along the way to achieving those dreams. Business...

Are Marketing Sea Changes Killing Your Response?

I'm so old, I'll betcha my tie has gone in and out of style at least five times. Not that I pay much attention to such things, mind you. My professional life revolves around marketing trends. And there again, my advanced age means I've seen many promotional styles...

The 3 Essential Functions of Every Successful Business

What I am about to tell you is the most important thing you will ever hear about starting a business. (I have probably started more businesses than anyone I've ever met, so please forgive me for sounding like a know-it-all.) Ready? To start a business -- any business...

Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

In today's essay, I pass along a bit of brilliance from Dan Kennedy. It helped me understand why, for example, harping on our lousy economy can be hurtful to your advertising. After that, I explain why budgeting is no way to save money, where I get some of my best...

Too Old to Keep Trying?

Several weeks ago, I told you about a guy I met at Joe's cigar bar. He was 54, out of a job, and ready to give up. He was too old to start over, he claimed. Death is inevitable, I told him. But aging is mostly a state of mind. It's perfectly possible to live an active...

How Much “Envisioning” Should You Do?

BK, MN, BB, and I were talking about mergers and how companies are managed afterward. The doomed AOL/Time-Warner combo (and split earlier this year) came up. This got very quickly into the question of how much forward thinking a CEO should do. I won't carry you...

Who Pays Attention to Big Business?

A recent study found that 2008's media coverage of the financial crisis was all about big government and big business. Small-business issues merited just 5 percent of the total. Newspapers and magazines and television experts were almost entirely focused on the auto...

A Classic Success-Thwarting Mistake

I sent a memo to a client last week, telling him about a clever advertising campaign that one of his competitors is using. I had inside info that the competitor is making a lot of money with it. My client's response was to tell me what is wrong with what his...

Reflecting on Freedom

Just about everyone claims to be in favor of freedom. But few seem to agree on what it means. One person's idea of freedom can actually violate another person's freedom. To one person, it means doing what he wants with his own life. To another, it means doing what he...

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