Business Growth Newsletter #220: Listening, Opinion bubbles, Pandemic Poetry

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

  • Right now is the time to worry about your people’s mental health. The unrelenting pressure of the unknown and the nonstop news cycle, combined with staying at home is a lot. Do a prolonged check in with your humans this week.
  • Listening is hard and as many of us are finding out, listening via online meeting tools is even harder. So many things to look at in the background! Knowing this, slow down the rate of communication and check for understanding amongst the quieter members of the group.
  • Inside me is an invention waiting to get out. The direct-eye-contact-computer-monitor-station. In online meetings I see users searching for non-verbal cues but since we’re not looking directly into the camera, we’re missing those eyes.
  • Sitting along the 41st parallel, we’re starting to hear the birds and see the robins bopping around the yard. I hope you’re seeing seasonal change too. It’s a nice reminder this too shall pass. Stay safe.

Being Human – Opinion bubbles

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?'” – from DFW’s Kenyon commencement speech


In this newsletter, I have advocated the idea we need to manage our information intake because if we don’t, an imperceptible information bubble forms. Like the fish in the introduction of David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water” speech, we don’t see the bubble because we’re in the bubble. I am not saying this is good or bad, I’m just saying we need to be aware of it and try to manage it, cultivate it.

I just finished the books “1491” and “The Temple of the Monkey God,” and at some point in both books, the author makes an effort to describe how archeologists find evidence of ancient civilized human activity. My takeaway is if it doesn’t look natural, there’s a good chance a human put it there, arranging place and space to suit their needs. It’s a feature of being human, putting things in order to suit our needs.

Next week, take a critical eye to your sources of information. Look for the number of opinions you’re getting that you don’t agree with versus the amount of information which gets your head nodding in agreement. It’s a great exercise to remind ourselves just how complicated we humans can be.

“Morning boys. How’s the bubble?”

Random stuff

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ―Confucius


I appreciated your suggestions for dealing with my new officemates. We’re getting along well. I attribute the peace partly to the walks we’ve been taking. I’m too exhausted to be cranky.

Wilson the Amazing Border Collie demands regular neighborhood patrols but until these last two weeks, we rarely took the long route every day. Now, marathon jaunts are a regular feature of our time out and about. This means new dogs to be un-socially-distant with, new piles of filth to dig into, and new yards to do that four-paw-dig-cover-up thing on.

I’m bumping into people I haven’t seen in years, which is wonderful, seeing parent and kids romping in the yards of houses I never thought of as family-filled, and having driveway-to-street conversations with neighbors I haven’t done more than wave at in many moons.

It’s all very wonderful and idyllic, so you may think my crankiness is at bay. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case because yard work has been stretching his legs and pawing at the door. Buds are budding, things are greening, and well, it’s time to get back to efforting in the yard. I wrote a little poem about it:

Another Chamber of Commerce Day

I hope all is well with you. Take care.


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