Sales and Marketing Newsletter #236 – Your focus, Erik Larson, Spicy FIT

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

  • As you look back from where you are, it’s easy to see the path and fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Just remind yourself the story you’re telling is just that, it’s a story we tell ourselves. Might as well make it a good one.
  • No one’s focused on you. Listening to Dax Shepard’s podcast he said meeting his assistant’s mother was a mind shift for him because he realized in her mother’s experience, he was at best a bit player in her daughter’s life. That’s it.
  • Get yourself a strong #2, especially if you’re in leadership. This pattern emerges over and over again. This week it showed up in the relationship between Churchill and Beaverbrook while reading Erik Larson’s Churchill book.
  • Trying new things is hard. Trying new things in small chunks right after you experience a little success is easier. If you’re beat down right now, take it easy on yourself. On the other hand, if you’re feeling strong, stretch yourself a bit.

Being Human – From “The Splendid and the Vile”

It is slothful not to compress your thoughts.” Winston Churchill


Last week, when I suggested hiding from everyone for an hour a day and finishing a book. I did it. I finished Erik Larson’s “The Splendid and the Vile: A saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz.” I’m not usually drawn to war porn, but as with all of Mr. Larson’s books, it’s great.

I’ll share a few of my favorite bits. Describing life during the Nazi bombing raids on London, he shares this note, eerily reminiscent of our current times:
“The raids generated a paradox: The odds that any one person would die on any one night were slim, but the odds were that someone, somewhere in London would die were 100 percent. Safety was a product of luck alone.”

His end notes are always filled with easter eggs and I loved this one:

“Churchill paid particular attention to the code names chosen for secret operations, according to Ismay. The names could not be glib or frivolous. “How would a mother feel if she were to hear that her son had been killed in an enterprise called BUNNY HUG?” Ismay wrote.”

Good point.

Then there’s this small diary entry from around April 1942, which I can’t get out of my head.

“‘What a glorious spring day outside!’ he wrote. ‘How beautiful the world can be! And yet we have no chance to enjoy it. Human beings are so stupid. Life is so short, and they then go and make it so hard for themselves.'” 

The diarist was Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Such a beautiful little thought. Such a terrible little man. We humans are complex, aren’t we.

Random stuff

“If you find yourself eating one of those, you have to question the choices you’ve made in your life.” – a batender’s dad’s advice


These days, spending time inside bars is frowned on, so I’ll ask you to imagine the dumpy little neighborhood bar near you. Inside its dimly lit interior is an old wooden bar, and pressed up to the bar are some old stools. Chrome legs, green vinyl covering a round seat. Maybe a split in the middle showing tufts of filling. Well-worn impressions of other patron’s hindquarters from years of use. Let’s grab a seat and take a look around.

In front of us to the left is a row of beer taps. Fancy tap handles trying to sell us their wares. The gentle black curve and white top of a Guiness, the pristine regal white handle red badge of a Stella, next to the much used Bud Light and Miller Light handles. From there our eyes wander to the back of the bar. Rows of backlit brown bottles, next to that a chalkboard listing todays specials, and under the chalkboard a big tub filled with eggs.

Let’s focus on those eggs for a minute. There are two flavors. Pickled and spicy. You’ve never actually seen anyone eating them and don’t know how old they are, but that’s okay, you think, because they’re pickled. You’d never eat one, right?

Have you ever had one, asks your friend, UFB. You should. It will give you something to write about.

No, you say, it will ruin my evening.

It did both.


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