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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

An interesting take on modeling

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Adrian at has Seven Useful Lessons You Can Learn from a Bad Boss:

Macho, insensitive bosses share certain characteristics. Their behavior is arrogant, quick-tempered and controlling. Their motives are typically selfish and manipulative. They show little concern for others and few signs of understanding why others don’t trust them. Most of all, they are quite unaware of their failings and the impact they have on their subordinates. No only do they see no need to change, they often make their high-handed behavior a source of pride.

That’s why you can trust them to be some of your best teachers about productivity and success.

Read the rest of the article at

Written by Michael DeBusk

May 23rd, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Business,Modeling

Who’s YOUR customer?

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I’ve been on a Customer Service reading binge lately. My employer wants to develop a regular program to make our service more consistently good, and I’ve involved myself.

One of my favorite writers on this subject is the anonymous author of the Waiter Rant blog. In a very recent article, he writes from a customer perspective, and the person providing him excellent service was his chef:

Oh sure, I’ve dined in some expensive places during the past few weeks, but when you experience hunger sated by human kindness, well, that beats all the three star Michelin Chefs in the world combined.

It’s long been my position that a manager must treat his or her employees the way they want employees to treat their customers. I’ve seen it work too much and too well to believe otherwise. This little tale illustrates why it works.

Go read the full story about his Miracle Pizza.

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 27th, 2008 at 11:37 pm

Posted in Business

What you are versus what you say you are

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If people aren’t taking you seriously, maybe it’s because of the way you’re communicating with them. Liz Strauss over at Successful Blog writes about the disconnect between a recent client’s goals and some of their marketing materials:

What do you do when you have big goals and you realize that your customer base sees you as a small-time operation? It’s time to realign your value proposition and how you offer your services to them.

Go read Does Your Value Proposition Say that You’re Small Time?

(I love the way she creates headlines. )

Written by Michael DeBusk

March 14th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Don’t lie to me

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I know this isn’t a marketing blog. I don’t want it to be one. Seth Godin’s blog is more than sufficient for me if I want to read brilliant marketing stuff. But I realize there are people who use NLP in their marketing, and I experienced something today that I think they’ll find interesting.

I got a card in the mail yesterday. From the envelope, it looked like a greeting card or an invitation. As there were a couple of recent events for which a card would have made sense, I was curious. The return address was in Florida, nine hundred miles away from me. I have friends in Florida, so I actually looked forward to what I’d find when I opened it.

It was an ad from the Dodge dealer where I bought my vehicle a few years back. Bummer.

It started with “Unnamed Auto Dealer cordially invites you and your family to our Open House Reception.” Opening the card, I found it continued with, “Unnamed Auto Dealer’s Open House Reception is our way of thanking you for your patronage over the past several years.”

That was interesting, I thought. Have a little party for your former customers, get them to think good thoughts about you, and when they want to buy a new car they’ll want to come back.

But no.

They immediately went into a sales pitch. “This exclusive event offers you, our valued customer, special pricing on over 300 brand new vehicles. In addition…”

Then they got all breathless about a “free gift” and a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree, “just for stopping by!”

No little get-together. They were trying to con me into coming in and looking at their inventory, intending to get me to trade before I want to.

The “exclusive event” ran for three days, from 9 in the morning until 9 at night. I’m supposed to believe that they’re shutting down the dealership for three twelve-hour days and that nobody will be allowed in without the little “invitation”? Or that if I didn’t have the little card they sent me, I couldn’t buy a new car at the same “special price” I could get with the card?

And don’t get me started on the fine print on the back.

So here’s how to persuade me to not cross you off my list of approved businesses:

  • Don’t lie to me. If it’s an ad, don’t call it an “invitation” and make it look like there’s a party going on.
  • Don’t lie to me. If it’s a reception, don’t try to sell me something. If you want to try to sell me something, don’t claim it’s a “reception”. Unnamed Auto Dealer could have created a lot of customer good will with a few hundred dollars’ worth of hors douvres and three or four hours after closing time on Saturday night, but they blew it.
  • Don’t lie to me. If the card is from someone fifteen minutes from my house, the return address shouldn’t be for a place sixteen hours from my house. Could it have cost extra to have the dealership’s address printed on the envelope flap? If so, it would have been worth it.
  • Don’t lie to me. If it’s an exclusive event, it should exclude someone. If everybody can get in, don’t call it “exclusive”.
  • Don’t lie to me. Parties to which we send out written invitations don’t last three days. Parties that last three days don’t shut down at nine in the evening. It’s not a party; it’s you wanting to move some inventory.

Don’t lie to me. Level with me. I’ll respect you for it. And I tend to do business with people I respect.

Written by Michael DeBusk

February 20th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

How Unix geeks get things done

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Productivity goddess Gina Trapani from Lifehacker has been studying the Unix Philosophy and applying it to personal productivity. I think it’s an unusual idea, especially considering that, as the old saying goes, “philosophy is to real life as masturbation is to sex.” If you’re familiar with Linux or Unix you know what I mean.

Let’s think of these points as applying to the practice of NLP, though, and see where it takes us:

  • Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces. (Rule of Modularity)
  • Clarity is better than cleverness. (Rule of Clarity)
  • Fold knowledge into data so program logic can be stupid and robust. (Rule of Representation)
  • When you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible. (Rule of Repair)
  • Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time. (Rule of Economy)
  • Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it. (Rule of Optimization)
  • Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think. (Rule of Extensibility)

What do you think?

Go read the full article: Applying Unix Philosophy to Personal Productivity

Written by Michael DeBusk

February 16th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

If you build it, they will… uh…

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One of the most important economic lessons I learned in college was that of the law of supply and demand. The professor used porn as a great example. During a lecture on business ethics, she posed questions to the class: Should it be legal? Is it ethical to produce it? Opinions varied widely, but she closed the discussion with, “If there were no demand, there would be no supply.”

That law (among others) figures in to the world’s oldest profession, too. Why does she sell her body? Well, because people buy it, that’s why.

Now there’s a brothel in Prague that’s combined the two and leveraged modern technology to meat the kneads (sorry, I had to do it) of both markets at the same time:

…Big Sister, a Prague brothel where customers peruse a touch-screen menu of blondes, brunettes and redheads available for free. The catch is clients have to let their exploits be filmed and posted on the Internet.

OK, OK… free sex in Prague. Are you wondering what this has to do with us in the context of NLP? Not a whole lot, but one thing caught my attention:

Visitors to Big Sister start at the electronic menu, which provides each woman’s age, height, working name and the languages she speaks.

The cops in my area tell me that most of the Johns around here only want to know how much she costs and if she still has most of her teeth. The guys in Prague actually sort hookers based on the languages they speak.

Written by Michael DeBusk

January 15th, 2008 at 2:14 am

What Matters Most: April 2008 in Chicago, Illinois

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Robert Pino, Barbara Stepp and Stever Robbins will be teaming up in Chicago in April 2008 to offer a one-of-a-kind seminar on What Matters Most:

The WHAMM! (“What Matters Most!) Seminar is a one of a kind 3 days intensive workshop that will teach you the most valuable business and personal concepts, methodologies and practical tools to focus and create breakthroughs. This unique training seminar will be focused on profound and practical applications of advanced strategic and psychological techniques in the most significant areas of business and life. You will learn these quality techniques from three top trainers with focus and fun. Robert Pino, Barbara Stepp and Stever Robbins will enthrall you with their groundbreaking view on the spirit, mind and body of business and life. What you learn during these 3 days you will put into practice the next day in business! You will put the “WHAMM” in your life and will create breakthroughs!

Follow this link to Read more and sign up!

Written by Michael DeBusk

January 5th, 2008 at 1:58 am

Visual Clichés

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We all know that there are times to use a cliché and times to avoid using one. Most people think of clichés as purely verbal, though; something like “money talks” or “pull yourself up by the bootstraps”. (Here’s the Internet Cliché Finder, if you’re interested.) But they can be visual, as well.

For example, here’s an article for Webmasters: Eleven images you might want to avoid in your designs. Looking through the list, I find it makes a lot of sense. (But where do we draw the line between “classic” and “cliché”?)

While you’re at it, browse around on if you’re interested in Web design at all.

Written by Michael DeBusk

December 19th, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Should you be working in consulting?

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In a post from my friend Chad Amberg’s blog, he outlines the Top Ten Things You’ll Never Hear From Your Consultant. My favorites:

3. How about paying us based on the success of the project?
8. I can’t take the credit. It was Ed in your marketing department.
9. The problem is, you have too much work for too few people.

Read what Chad has to say about number four, though. Ghastly.

Written by Michael DeBusk

December 5th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Articles,Business