Business Growth Ideas #319 This week: Triangle O, Be the king, Regrets

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Once a prospect tells me about a business issue they’ve reached a point of no return. The status of the problem  changes. Whether we fix it, or not, it’s now a thing.
  • An instructor told me I needed 1500 words to be conversational in a new language. Makes sense. I tell salespeople there are 12 common objections, and they need 3 responses to each one. 36 things to learn for sales fluency.
  • Reading about how reliable algorithms have been broken during the pandemic. New data is bound to come along at some point. It’s hard to measure what no one has  experienced yet.
  • Coach K is retiring. My favorite quote from him comes via a discussion of basketball’s famously complex triangle offense. Phil Jackson may be the only coach to make it work at any level. Coach K said, “It’s not the triangle offense! Jordan and Kobe and Shaq could make any offense work. It’s the players!” A good reminder about causation and correlation.

Being Human – It’s good to be king


I sent this article to the kids this week, “Why Agatha Christie could afford a maid and a nanny but not a car.” It’s fun to look back in time and think of how the story of our lives would be different.

Do you remember when the actress Shirley MacClaine was telling the world about her reincarnation experiences? Her past lives were always interesting. Residing in Atlantis, making love to Charlemagne, UFOs in New Mexico, so great. We’re attracted to the unusual. It’s not as much fun to imagine life closer to the middle of a normal distribution.

The author compares and contrasts one mundane and one unusual expense from today (cars, maids) to Agatha Christie’s experience. Only at the end does he work his way back to the middle of the distribution, noting Christie’s income was far above the average. In her time, most people could not either afford cards or maids.

The real lesson is if we have a choice, like Shirley MacClaine, choose to be above average. It’s good to be the king.

Random stuff


Oh Danny, is this the end?
No Sandy. It’s only the beginning.

the end is near

There is a new book by Dan Pink making the promotional rounds these days. It’s about regret. I am guessing it will give us some version of a Stoic response to feeling regret. Like it isn’t good or bad, it’s just how we deal with it. If it keeps us from making progress, it’s bad. If we never feel regret, it’s bad. Keep it somewhere in the middle.

(I’m sure once I read it, I’ll be way off the premise)

I carry some regrets and try to use them as learning experiences. Like doing amateur impressions of kids in my dorm. (some might call it “making fun of” someone) Freshman year in college I was demonstrating a particularly funny imitation to some new friends when they fell silent. “He’s right behind me, isn’t he?” I turned, looked at poor Jonathan, and felt the blood drain from my body. Jonathan wasn’t happy, and I knew better than to make fun of him. I use this regret to keep my need for attention at bay. It even works sometimes.

Another college regret came up today. I am enjoying a lunch with my lovely bride when a face from my past walks by. On our way out the door I double-check to see if it’s him. It is. I make my way over to say hello, and the memory of our last encounter hits me in the gut. I used to be roommates with his brother and, at the time, shared some not so flattering stories about him with friends. Years later we were at a party and an old friend said, “Whatever happened to that psycho roommate of yours?” My eyes got wide because his brother was with us. My old friend pressed on. “You know. Your freshman year roommate? The guy who did X? Or when he did Y? Come on. Nothing? Didn’t he also Z?”

The brother wasn’t happy. I was embarrassed. It was one of the last times I visited with him. 25 years ago? More? I hesitate to approach him but don’t let my regret hold me back.

Pleasantries are exchanged, followed by a “what’s going on?”

“Well, you may have heard that I have cancer. . . .stage four. . .two years of chemo. . .we’re hopeful. . .so many treatments. . .”

Honestly, I miss most of the details. I am dumbfounded to find out what this man is dealing with. I find it hard to listen. I can only see flashing images of his mother, his brother, his wife, the kids they probably have. . .my wife, kids. . .

Time buries old hurts they say, but it also gives us perspective. Life really is short. We really should do our best. If we mess up, we really should try again. And we really shouldn’t let our regrets hold us back.

All that stuff.


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