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Defining Friendly Customer Service -

what it is and what it isn’t

A few days ago I attended a community planning meeting for my adopted hometown of Orr, Minnesota. The meeting was the first in a series to develop a long term plan for the future of our town and surrounding area.   More...

Posted 2/17/2011 10:02 PM


For several years I had a framed copy of Mark Twain’s quotation: “I am an old man and have known a great many problems, but most of them never happened” hanging on the wall in my office. More...

Posted 2/3/2011 09:42 PM

The first day of the rest of your life

Good Morning and “Happy New Year!”   As I wrote the first check of the year this New Year’s morning at Pattenn’s Café I was reminded of how awkward it is to break an old habit. More...

Posted 1/6/2011 08:37 PM


Attention all sales managers, salesmen, saleswomen, and marketing managers! More...

Posted 12/23/2010 12:58 PM


- don’t be a flibbertigibbet

The other day, while speaking on the telephone with a customer service rep for The Hartford Insurance Company about my auto policy I was impressed by an expression that I’d never heard anyone in the selling profession use before. More...

Posted 12/9/2010 10:40 PM


When I think of good luck charms two things come to mind - rabbit’s feet and horse shoes - and although I’ve never considered myself to be superstitious, I have both.   More...

Posted 11/18/2010 06:34 PM

Make your entrance with a sense of purpose

After recently witnessing the unprofessional demeanor of a local area route salesman I have to say that it’s no wonder the recession keeps dragging on. More...

Posted 11/4/2010 09:27 PM

100 Years of Sales Wisdom: How Great Granddad Sold Cars In 1907

SELLING STEAM CARS: Part 1 By C. E. Denzer The White Steam Car Company - 1907. “In order to sell automobiles successfully a man must have a fairly thorough experience in mechanical lines. More...

Posted 10/14/2010 05:57 PM

The man who sells things

Part 2

As I stated last week, in Part One of “The Man Who Sells Things,” I pled “GUILTY!” to having recently emphasized the importance of the role professional salespeople play in reviving our faltering economy to the point of ad na More...

Posted 9/30/2010 08:22 PM

You Are the Navigator To Your Ultimate Destination

As the warm breezes of summer slowly yield to autumn and the eventual winds of winter I’m reminded how each new season brings new opportunity. More...

Posted 9/16/2010 08:54 PM

A career feld that’s always hiring

If you want to make a lot of money learn how to sell! There will always be a demand for competent salespeople. The employment and income opportunities are wide open! More...

Posted 9/2/2010 07:10 PM

Stand up, Speak out & Win!

Shortly after I returned home from Vietnam in 1969 and took my place in the civilian workforce my mother sent me a book titled, “Stand Up Speak Out And Win.” The co-author was a former Vietnam POW she mother had met at a seminar he was pr More...

Posted 8/26/2010 08:45 PM

I'm Your Huckleberry!

How to be the right person for the job

When Val Kilmer, as Doc Holiday in the movie “Tombstone” delivered the line “I’m Your Huckleberry” he was taunting an adversary by implying that if he was looking for trouble he had come to the right man - that he would More...

Posted 8/12/2010 07:35 PM


to take control of your life and your destiny

Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. With most people, the focus of thought is allowed to "drift" upon the ocean of life. More...

Posted 7/22/2010 10:46 PM



The aphorism, "As A Man Thinketh In His Heart So Is He” embraces the whole of our being. It reaches out to every condition and circumstance of our lives. We are literally what we think. More...

Posted 7/8/2010 08:46 PM

Eudaimonia: Finding happiness in your work

The Greek word “Eudaimonia”, pronounced (you-day-‘mon-nee-ah), is one of my favorites. Perhaps the reason I’m so attracted to it is because it’s so difficult to pronounce and equally challenging to accomplish. More...

Posted 6/24/2010 10:08 PM

Hit and miss momentum – a friendly foe

During a recent visit to the Atlanta, Georgia area I was repeatedly reminded of the relentless winds of change that constantly re-shape the way we live our lives and earn a living.   More...

Posted 6/10/2010 08:57 PM

Hit and miss momentum – a friendly foe

A friend of mine has an antique McCormick Deering “Hit and Miss” stationary engine. Built in the early 1900s the old Hit and Miss or “Flywheel” engines are fascinatingly simple. More...

Posted 6/3/2010 09:50 PM

How to be a commercial hero

We Americans love our heroes! Unfortunately, modern pop culture has is doing a lousy job in deciding who qualifies for hero status. More...

Posted 5/20/2010 05:49 PM

Please pass the tartar sauce

Call me crazy but I have a love affair with northern Minnesota winters. More...

Posted 5/6/2010 07:42 PM

Home-Based Business eCommerce Entrepreneurship

How to live where you want to live

It’s a ritual. Every Saturday morning I have breakfast at the big round table at T. Pattenn’s Café in Orr, Minnesota. The round table is a political gathering point and liars nest for all sort of diverse tellers of tall tales. More...

Posted 4/15/2010 07:16 PM

Fishing with barb-less hooks

Tucked back in the hills and hollers of Southern Indiana is a remnant childhood memory I call Fall Creek Farm. More...

Posted 4/1/2010 05:59 PM

eCommerce Diversification: An entrepreneurial game changer

When I was a child growing up in the early 50s one of the cartoons that played before the Saturday matinees at the old Tivoli Theater in Spencer, Indiana depicted a character with a hooked cane that he used to pull unsuspecting pedestrians into busin More...

Posted 3/18/2010 07:57 PM

Keep your head out of the sand

When the economy goes sour and our business affairs turn against us life can get downright scary. More...

Posted 3/4/2010 10:50 PM

Conducting Commerce

The Awesome Power of Disciplined Concentration – Part 2

If my ninth-grade English teacher knew I’m writing a newspaper column she would roll over in her grave. I was not a good student during my high school years. More...

Posted 2/19/2010 12:04 AM

How to sell money at a discount

Although I didn’t realize it until 30 years later, my first real job in the sales profession was all about selling money at a discount. More...

Posted 2/10/2011 07:19 PM

It’s not about you - it’s about them

If you’ve ever woken up in the early hours of a winter morning to a cold house with icy floors you no doubt have a deep appreciation for a warm cozy fire.   More...

Posted 1/13/2011 08:48 PM


Have you heard the story about the guy that didn’t kiss his wife for thirty years and then wanted to beat up on the first guy that did?   More...

Posted 12/30/2010 02:42 PM



My granddad was an avid coon hunter. Any coon hunter knows that the best way to train a pup to hunt is to let it hunt with an old dog. More...

Posted 12/16/2010 08:09 PM


— from the law of reciprocity

B ack in the 80’s I traveled with and   received training   from a seasoned old salesman that was notorious for saying that “all he wanted was just one unfair advantage.” My friend, Dave was his name, was also a serious More...

Posted 12/2/2010 06:26 PM

How to profit from cognitive dissonance

As we travel through life we must learn to persuade those we encounter. More...

Posted 11/24/2010 04:07 PM

Richard’s Proverbs

As published in Ben Franklin’s Poor Richards Almanac, 1732 to 1758

Thanks to the conveniences of the modern Internet I recently had the privilege of having a fireside chat with American inventor, writer, printer, publisher, statesman, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790).   More...

Posted 11/11/2010 07:29 PM


Written In 1906 by: R. B. Wrigley

1906: Salesmen, as a class do not fully appreciate the dignity of their profession in commercial life, and as a consequence weaken their effectiveness. More...

Posted 10/21/2010 06:05 PM

MYTHS about millionaires

As a kid growing up in a lower middle class neighborhood I thought millionaires were vastly different from the unwashed masses. More...

Posted 10/7/2010 08:04 PM


“GUILTY!” - I plead “guilty” to having recently emphasized the importance of the role professional salespeople play in reviving our faltering economy to the point of ad nauseam. More...

Posted 9/23/2010 08:40 PM

“Trust But VeRiFy”

Doveryai no proveryai (Äîâåðÿé, íî ïðîâåðÿé) is an Old Russian proverb that means “Trust But Verify.” Ronald Regan stated it in a more American-esque fashion when he said, “Trust But Cut The Cards.”   More...

Posted 9/9/2010 09:04 PM

Calling all sales people: Stop talking and start selling!

There comes a time when all good sales people must ask for the order and then shut-up! More...

Posted 8/19/2010 07:38 PM

An opportunity too important to ignore

Many years ago, on a blustery September morning somewhere along a two-lane road in the Arizona desert, I made a discovery that haunts me to this day. More...

Posted 8/5/2010 09:25 PM

The dangers of harboring an old accent

When I entered the first grade in the fall of 1950 I quickly learned that our teachers had little tolerance for the Southern Indiana dialect that my classmates and I brought from home. More...

Posted 7/29/2010 10:24 PM

The power of magnetic thinking

How to take control of your life and your destiny, part 2: Effect of thought on circumstances

The human mind may be likened to a garden which can be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild. Whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. More...

Posted 7/15/2010 11:06 PM

Of green fields of white marble - the bedrock of the nation

I spent this past Memorial Day visiting the grave site of my great, great grandfather Jaberry Mitchell at National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. With me were my daughter, son-in-law and eight-year old daughter, all of whom live in Marietta. More...

Posted 7/1/2010 09:09 PM

How to choose our destiny

Be it in our business, careers or personal lives, the habits we choose to live by dictate our success or failure. Never is the impact of adopting positive habit patterns more evident than in young recruits graduating from military basic training. More...

Posted 6/18/2010 07:55 AM

“Imagination governs the world”

--Napoleon Bonaparte

Imagination has been called the creative power of the soul. It is in our imaginations that all problems are solved, all new concepts and inventions are created, and all fortunes are born. More...

Posted 5/27/2010 06:19 PM

Calling Clark Kent!

A few days ago I noticed a Cub Scout walking down the street in the neighborhood where I live. Seeing the young lad his uniform brought back pleasant memories of when I was a Cub Scout over 50 years ago. More...

Posted 5/13/2010 08:36 PM

Building your personal brand

Regardless of whether you are a student, an employee or an employer, you have a personal brand. Your brand is your personality and your reputation all rolled into one. More...

Posted 4/29/2010 08:27 PM

One smooth stone

Back in the early 80s I traveled and made sales calls with a gentleman that was over twenty years my senior. For the sake of his privacy I’ll call him Sam. Old Sam and I became good friends. More...

Posted 4/22/2010 08:14 PM

Belligerent rooster meets grandma’s hatchet

Although it was over a half century ago I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was a cold, blustery morning at my grandparent’s old Fall Creek Farm. More...

Posted 4/8/2010 07:38 PM

Enthusiasm: How to create it and profit from it

There is a huge misconception among non-sales professionals concerning the true meaning of the word enthusiasm. Enthusiasm isn’t something sales people muster up on demand when they are trying to sell somebody something. More...

Posted 3/26/2010 08:14 AM

How to see into the future

“My kingdom for a crystal ball”

Imagine for a moment that in their infinite wisdom our elected officials decided that the best way to make the nation’s highways safer would be to pass legislation requiring every driver to wear special limited vision safety goggles. More...

Posted 3/11/2010 09:13 PM

There is gunpowder inside every salesperson

I once heard an old merchant friend of mine jokingly complain that “business was so bad that even the people that didn’t intend to pay weren’t buying.” More...

Posted 2/25/2010 07:51 PM

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