Saturday, May 10, 2008

Keith Edwards Returns


But not as Keith Edwards.

It is common for radio and television broadcasters to use an "air name", especially if they have an unusual or ethnic sounding name.

During my on air career, only once did I use an air name. It was during my second stay in Kokomo, I was "Brandon Scott" on Z-93.

Everywhere else I've always been Scott Howard.

But I'm really off topic, so let's get back to the subject of Keith Vautherot, as explained in this story from this mornings paper:

Ex-anchor named head of Realtors

Staff, news services

Retired WPTA-TV anchor Keith Vautherot – who went by Keith Edwards on the air – will lead the Northeastern Indiana Association of Realtors when its executive vice president retires, the trade association announced Friday.

The industry group represents 358 Realtors in DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble and Steuben counties.

Vautherot said he will use his civic experience and public-relations abilities to represent the organization at community events. Executive Vice President Saundra Bultemeier will stay on to train Vautherot, he said. Her retirement date hasn’t been set.

Vautherot retired from WPTA-TV, Channel 21, in December after 24 years at the ABC affiliate.

How to Write an Email

I post stuff from MarketingProfs.com on my Collective Wisdom website each week, but this is good advice for anyone that uses email:

Subject Lines: Tell, Don't Sell

In an article at MarketingProfs.com, Josh Nason uses actual subject lines to demonstrate what works—and, just as importantly, what doesn't—when you create email campaigns.

Be sure to check out his list of hits and misses. In the meantime, here's a roundup of the lessons we can draw from them:

  • NEVER WRITE LIKE THIS. A subject line written entirely in caps not only looks desperate and unprofessional, it's the equivalent of shouting at the recipient in an online context.
  • Be intriguing, but accurate. Your content should deliver what the subject line promises. "If you break the reader's trust early, you'll have to work twice as hard to get it back," says Nason. "Never forget the Golden Rule."
  • Have a little fun. A subject line doesn't have to be a somber affair—mix it up and show your company's personality.
  • Don't forget to choose the right From name. Nason recommends sticking to your company's name, not that of a team member, or a drawn-out term that doesn't mean anything to the reader. When you do so, there's an added bonus: you don't have to repeat the company name in the subject line, which frees up that valuable real estate.

The Po!nt: Follow a few simple rules to make your subject lines zing. "Think of [a] subject line…like a headline of a newspaper article," says Nason. "If it grabs you, you start to read. If the first few paragraphs keep you engaged (similar to an email 'sweet spot'), you keep on going. You're smart marketers…you get the idea."

Source: MarketingProfs. Click to read the article.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Family Matters & Motivation



I started my life as the third youngest in a family of three.

Not three kids, 3 total people.

There was my Dad from New England who met my Mom from Chicago, when he was in the Navy, and they married and ended up in New Jersey, where I was born.

We moved to Wisconsin, where I later learned my folks almost split up, but instead we moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana where I grew up from age 6 to 18.

That was the family dynamic, just the three of us.

When I married for the first time, it added more family and I began to see the relationships between siblings both in the relationship between my wife and her sister, and when we had our three kids, I saw a bond develop between Rachael, Josh and Tiff that I never experienced since I had no siblings.

And although that first marriage ended after 13 years, and both my first wife and I have remarried, we work at working together.

I mean, nearly everyone works at working together. My first wife Karen and her husband Steve; my wife Kathy and her ex-husband Dwight; I get along with all of them. And it sometimes is easy, other times it takes more work.

My parents remained married until death. So did Karen's parents and Kathy's parents. Yet all three of us are on our second marriage and so this is a different experience than what our folks went through.

What I can tell you is that I know that I am blessed to be married to Kathy and we desire to be husband and wife until death.

As "2nd time arounders", we knew when we committed to each other that there were going to be changes in our lives that we would not be able to foresee. Yet we knew that as long as we were committed to each other and our relationship, we could finish this relationship until death takes one of us away.

Together we have added more members to our families. Kathy is one of 7 and has 2 children to add to my 3 children. Toss in boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives and the family will continue to grow. (Grandkids too!).

This weekend I urge anyone that I'm related to, (or not related to!), to step outside of your comfort zone for the sake of others.

If there is any forgiving that needs to be done, Forgive.

If there is a phone call that needs to be made, Call.

If there is a visit that needs to be made, Do it.

Why now?

Because one day it will be too late.
And you never know for sure when "too late" will come.

Let me close with this final story. It's a story about the other two members of my original family.

10 years ago, my father spent the last week of his life in a hospice home.
The last day my Mom saw him was Mothers Day, 1998.
The next day he passed away.
We were fortunate to have made sure all was in order.

Three years later, I discovered my Mom on Thanksgiving Day had died the night before.
This was totally unexpected.

One way or another, you will go through one of these two experiences with your friends and family.
I hope you have no regrets when this occurs.

Get Motivated Now, because Family Matters.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mid-week Inspiration


Sort of like the Little Engine......

On Line Safety


In my email this week was a link to a free guide to the Wild, Wild Web. I have skimmed through it, and it looks like there is some good info to pass along to others. You can get it by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Voting Mishap


I got chased out of my polling place this morning.

No, I didn't do anything outrageous, or weird.

As a matter of fact, all I did was vote. Or at least I thought I was voting.

But as I was unlocking my car and getting ready to drive away, two people came running after me.

They said I forgot to press the red button on the voting machine which is the final step in casting your vote.

So back in I went and there was my machine, waiting for my finger to press the red button.

And I did.

And I thanked them.

And all is well in the world.

At least at precinct 211 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Now go do your part and press the red button before you walk away.

18 steps to Success

From my email:

The 18 Most Valuable Parts to Success

Posted: 05 May 2008 08:16 AM CDT

Written on 5/05/2008 by Nicholas Powiull, writer and owner of Conscious Flex.

There are only a few good definitions for the word success; there are however thousands of interpretations. In this article we'll assume that we can agree that success is achieved by accomplishing your goals or desires. Fair enough? Good.

Now that we agree on the definition, let's move on to the process; it's much tougher to grasp. The process for truly achieving success in work, home, or social settings contains several moving parts, all of which must be equally considered. This article will explain the most valuable parts of success. If you follow the recipe or guide in this article, you can achieve just about any goal you desire.
  1. Doing Less Creates More
    Most people believe that the harder you work, the more you gain. Yet the opposite is true. The people that figure out ways to get more done by exerting less power are the ones that truly get ahead - big time. These people were challenged, innovated, actively took action, and went against the grain of the majority. That is what made them successful, not the fact that the physically worked more. When you can learn to do less and gain more, you will find success.

  2. Act Out The Things You Desire
    Act as if you already have the things you desire. Doing this will allow you to be and see things from the perspective of the person (or position) you desire to be. Acting it out, leads you to it by taking the precise steps for getting there.
    If you study a person who is successful and follow the way they do things, then you are learning what it takes to be successful. Acting out your desire is much like this tactic, except instead of studying the person; your studying what it feels like to be successful. Knowing that feeling will allow you to be in the state and do successful things based on that state of being.

  3. Respect Your Expectations
    If you expect that doing something will not provide you with what you need or desire, do not do it. If you expect that going to a job everyday for the rest of your life will not get you anywhere, do not do it. If you expect that living your passion would be the highest joy, do it. If you respect your expectations, you will be led to success.

  4. Inspiration Fulfillment
    Inspiration is an emotional charge that drives you to take action. More times than not, when the inspiration settles, people tend to stop taking action in the direction that inspiration lead them. In order to keep being inspired, you must keep the things that inspire you close. This will keep the communication with inspiration open. If it still fades (no matter the reason), keep taking action and you will fulfill your inspiration to achieve any success that you set out to do.

  5. Direction of Abundance
    Successful people always realize that there is enough of everything to go around. When you see that there is enough, you will have more than enough. When you feel, think, and believe that there is not enough, you will do everything within that mind-set. The "not enough' perspective is like a box that limits your ability to take action in the direction of abundance.

  6. Keep Your Intelligence Up
    Successful people always grow. Do a crossword, play chess, read a book that will help you grow, go out and meet more people, etc. Intelligence is not something people are born with, intelligence is created. Intelligence is created by having experiences and attaining knowledge. Albert Einstein was not born a genius, he was a genius because he stuck with the problem longer. When you stick with a problem until you find a answer, then you allow yourself all sorts of experience. Through each experience, you attain more knowledge about the problem and are one step closer to the solution.

  7. Act On Desire
    The moment you have a desire to achieve something, act on it. Desire is there for you to act on. Success can be defined as, acting on desire. If you obtain the desire to own a sports car, do something in that moment that will push your motivation levels higher. Even if you cannot afford the car, go talk to a dealer, or go test drive one; go do something that spins you closer towards it. When you walk in the direction of your goals, your goals will start walking towards you too.

  8. Make a Win Win Situation
    When you share something of value, people will naturally desire to share with you as well. Long-term success is only achieved, activated, and found through the process of giving value.

  9. Tell Yourself Positive Things
    The subconscious mind believes everything it is told without question, it does not have the ability to reason the difference and make decisions on logic. The subconsciousness makes decisions based on memory through the day and carries out things like habits. In other words, even if you do not consciously believe the positive things you tell yourself, your subconscious picks up on it. Eventually the subconsciousness will turn positive things into a belief, from the consciousness through habit. Have you ever lived in an area where people have a accent? If you stay there long enough and keep hearing the accent, you will automatically start speaking the same way based on the subconsciousness. Successful people are positive people and make a habit out of it.

  10. Be a Leader
    Don't follow the majority of the population. Success comes from going against the grain. The majority of people are not successful because they are followers. A leader is a person who is willing to test something new. A leader is someone who shares new beneficial ideas with others, so others can be leaders too.

  11. Use Imagination
    Through imagination, you open a window to more choices. If you feel that your stuck in a job because you have no choice, use imagination to allow yourself to see more opportunity. Imagine yourself being able to accomplish more. Successful people have a very active and powerful imagination. It is only through the imagination that one can find a solution. Success is not ever giving up on a problem, always finding a way, and choosing success no matter what. This is done through imagination.

  12. Be Flexible
    Being fixed, set, un-open, and inflexible limits opportunity. Limiting opportunity, limits experiences. Limiting experiences, limits success. Success comes from having enough experiences and failing enough times to know how to success.

  13. See Opportunity Everywhere
    See opportunity in everything you do. Even in the worst of negative situations, there is an opportunity to grow and learn something. When you start seeing opportunity everywhere, you start seeing more. Seeing more choices, more ideas, more experiences, seeing more ways to succeed.

  14. Express Ideas
    Ideas enter your mind and leave your mind just as fast. The mind can only retain a limited amount of information. Therefore, when you get an idea, write it down immediately (always have a small notebook and pen) or carry a voice recorder and write it down later (this is probably the best device). When you express your ideas, you leave room for more.

  15. Optimize Your Success
    You can optimize your success by not putting things off for later. When reading your email, respond to the ones that need responding. If you do not have time to respond, do not check your email. Whatever it is, while it is there, take care of it or do not allow it to be there. The mind quickly picks up on habits, both positive and negative. When you respond in the moment, you can replace the old habit of putting it off.

  16. Stay Out of Perfection
    Perfecting everything slows down success. Stop organizing and perfecting everything, just allow things to flow their course. If you must correct, organize, and perfect; allow the natural successful flow first. Get things out first, then optimize.

  17. Do the Big & Important First
    To keep from procrastinating, get the big things out of the way first. Doing the most important things first, will gain you the most benefit. Optimizing success is about not letting the little things distract you. Move all the little things out of the way, for the purpose of getting the big things done. For example, if writing an article is the most beneficial, first research what you need to write the article, then hide the short cut icons that lead to the internet (to stay focused).

  18. Do Successful By Being Successful
    Being successful is not a one-time thing, you must continue to be successful everyday to see results. Therefore, do at least two things everyday that move you in the direction of your desire.
-Nicholas

Do Not Go Here This Week


I've been back in the business world 5 years. For 4 1/2 years, I've been involved in some sort of networking group.

I spent 3 years in a B.N.I. group including 2 years as the education director. Most recently the group that I visit most often is called True Business Networking and meets on the north side of town near Dupont and I-69.

Nearly every Thursday from 10am to 11:30am, I would invite you to come and be my guest. Except this week.
Don't go there this week.
Due to the Business Expo, they are taking the week off. In the meantime check out the website, and then come out next Thursday May 15th!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Work and Fun

My paying gig involves advertising, marketing and the creative process. I have another blog set up that is updated with a least 3 posts a day. It's the Collective Wisdom Blog that you see on the right side of this page.

So what's the difference between Advertising and Marketing? Take a look at this and smile:

A lighthearted look at the relationships among marketing roles

by Marty Neumeier, author of ZAG

Download the PDF

Here’s a fun set of slides from ZAG that you can use to kick off a meeting, illustrate a point, or spark a discussion. It simplifies (to the point of absurdity) the relationships among the disciplines of marketing, telemarketing, public relations, advertising, graphic design, and branding. What makes it more than a joke is the kernel of truth in each simplification.

Comcast, Routers and a new Blogger Feature

Friday night, my wife and I are both having problems with our home internet service. She's on the desktop, which is wired from the router to the computer, I'm using my trusty laptop which connects wirelessly to the secure connection I set up months ago.

Except the signal keeps dropping. And the desktop which is hardwired to the router is having connection problems too. To the Internet, not the home network.

After awhile I call Comcast, (from my cellphone since the home phone line is now VOIP, which doesn't work when the internet is down). First person I talk to is worthless. I have tried everything she suggests before I called and she says they'll check into it and call me back, but she hangs up before I can give her an alternative phone number.

I try everything again and get on line for 30 minutes so I called Comcast back to let them know everything has been working for the last 1/2 hour and this person at least knows what she is talking about.

Before going to bed, I search the net for Comcast connection problems and find lots of complaints, including a discussion on a forum about spotty service near Chicago this week.

I figure that's not too far from here, perhaps it's related, and we'll keep an eye on it over the rest of the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday I connect to the internet at coffee shops and my office and all is fine until Sunday night when I try at home again. I call Comcast again and this guy that answers is about 50% competent. I finally decided to reset EVERYTHING, and as I type this right now, my connection is better than it's been in awhile.

Now about the new Blogger Feature. This post that you are reading will magically appear at 3:33am when I am fast asleep. Blogger.com now has a feature where you can write now and post later. It's actually about 9:30pm, 6 hours before this will appear.

On my other Blog, Collective Wisdom, I'm doing a series of sales tips from Harvey Mackay, and earlier today, I wrote nearly 20 of them for the rest of the series.

The scary thing is someone could write something, select a date in the future for the post to appear, and be dead when it shows up. Sweet dreams..........

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Does it Matter?

I will vote Tuesday in the Indiana Primary.

I will vote for the candidate that I trust the most, because nothing else really matters. Even if I disagree with some of the candidates positions, because I know how politics works, in order to get anything done there is going to be some give and take.

Get informed and vote too.

By the way, here's one of the best photo's I've seen of the Dems: