Archive for October, 2007

Talking Points

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

A camera crew came to film my lecture at UCLA Extension, where I was speaking to an impressive, but jet-lagged group of Korean businessmen and one businesswoman from the digital entertainment industry. My topic: The Best Practices of the World’s Most Successful Interactive Brands. With concurrent translation, rather than simultaneous, I had to choose my words carefully – because the time is cut in half.

Group Photo

What happens is this: I deliver about a paragraph’s worth of material and then the translator gives that portion of my speech again. It certainly gives me time to reflect on what I’m saying – and make sure I giving only the most golden of gold nuggets. The craziest part is when I tell a joke. I deliver a funny story, but the audience stays mostly silent. Then, the translator re-tells it and gets uproarious laughter. It proves that what I think is funny crosses cultural divides – so I’m glad somebody got laughs.

Nidi Batra, my marketing manager at NAX Partners (www.NAXpartners.com), had gotten much of the PowerPoint and materials translated into Korean – including a massive glossary about web-based marketing and content development. The audience was truly delighted.

When you are speaking in any business meeting, presentation or conversation: consider that plain old hospitality is the best way to win hearts and minds. You really want to do what it takes to make people feel comfortable. If you must use jargon, then explain what you mean in simple terms. And, deliver content in bites that people can digest – and interact on.

Take the initiative and do more than what’s asked. I’ve never gone the extra mile for someone else, without that effort putting me further along my own path to success.

What can you prepare for your next meeting that will delight your audience?

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On Purpose

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

This is top of mind, because tomorrow I’m speaking to 40 leading companies in digital entertainment. They’re coming to UCLA Extension from Korea – where’s they’ve each won awards for superior performance in the sector. Here’s some of what I’ll say tomorrow.

There’s two rules that budding psychologists learn as they study the literature on relationships:

  1. All happy families are happy in the same way.
  2. All unhappy families are unhappy in unique ways.

Point is: there are billions of ways to do things wrong in relationships.

There is one way to do things right. Make your job about keeping your relationships healthy and growing.

Dr. Phil (www.drphil.com), our famous media psychologist, says he turned his marriage around, from being difficult and unhappy by having one focus. When his wife was in any place, among any other people: he wanted her to feel that she was the most beloved, respected and cared for woman in the room.

Because that’s his philosophy, they have a happy, deeply satisfying relationship. And, because he knows the greater good: why he’s working so hard – he has built a business worth tens of millions of dollars. Beyond his fortune, his behavior has created a loving wife: fiercely loyal to him. And, if you’ve seen Dr. Phil – a regular guy: chubby and bald, who was poor as dirt for most of their marriage – and has a consuming workload, you know that his intentions and actions overcome his shortcomings.

Most of us are making a big mistake in our business relationships. We’re engaged in trying to satisfy ourselves by doing things that satisfy ourselves. We’re not focused on the nearly 7 billion people whom we could nurture so they become our satisfied, lifelong customers.

Where are we ruining relationships everyday? Our websites. Most are up 24/7/365 with self-serving content and systems. Surf the Internet and finds billions of ways to do things wrong.

  • Sites are difficult to navigate.
  • They’re filled with promotion and deficient in meaningful content.
  • They’re made to trap visitors rather than engage in two-way communication.

These mistakes confuse visitors, discourage them and make them click off your site.

The guiding principle to doing it right: Be completely visitor-centric. See your website from the only perspective that matters: your customer’s point-of view.

Amazon (www.amazon.com) has made history not because of specific techniques – it has gone from $15 million annually to nearly $15 billion annually in less than 11 years – because founder Jeff Bezos and his company’s culture is always asking the same thing:

How can we give more to the customer?

The one answer to one question will convert your prospective visitors to becoming your lifelong customers.

On your website, how can you give more to your visitors?

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Business Matters

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Sunday again! Waffles again!!! Oh, the things that make us happy. Nixed the plan last night to dress up as the late Anna Nicole Smith for a pre-Halloween gathering in Santa Monica – where dead celebrities were the order of the evening. Jon J. and I used the night to finish his new brochure for BioMechanix – and once again got NAX Partner’s (www.NAXpartners.com) Creative Director Andre to creatively direct while we diced and sliced the final copy. At least, this time Andre came up to our home in Beverly Hills – last time, we did this at the NAX offices while Skype (www.Skype.com) connected us with Andre in Brazil. If you have two handsome and talented men in your life, it’s much better to be with them live and in person (en vivo y directo), don’t you think?

Jon J. and I are now off to Barnes and Noble (www.bn.com) to pick out the best books to recommend to the award-winning Korean digital entertainment executives coming for my October 31 lecture on: Best Practices of the World’s Most Successful Interactive Brands. There is nothing quite like a bookstore to reinvigorate your energy for your work and life. And, to remind you that everyone has a book in them – and Pegasus Media World (www.pegasusmediaworld.com) can make that true for you – it did for me!

Do you have a book in you???

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On the Town

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Sleep! Then, a call from my lovely daughter Molly Jo who is fulfilling her life-long dream of working on Breeder’s Cup day (www.breederscup.com) – this year at the Monmouth racetrack (www.monmouthpark.com). For the first two-day Breeders’ Cup, featuring 11 races worth $23 million, Mo’s making the lives of BC’s VIPs easier by tracking down tickets, finding rooms for connections (owners and trainers) and ferrying information back and forth to the press box. She personally assisted trainer Michael Matz, who with the late Barbaro’s owners Gretchen and Roy Jackson, made news as they spent millions to save the valiant Barbaro, to no avail.

I saw Miss Molly in action at Meadowlands (www.meadowlands.com) just two weeks ago, where she handled over a $100,000 in horse trading for claiming races. If the UN had horses, Mo would be its ideal ambassador to the world. She reports to me that she has now seen all three winners of the Triple Crown races, and it’s good to be her!

Today, she phones me to watch BC coverage on ESPN (www.espn.com). Curlin wins (and gets the nod for horse of the year honors) with jockey Robby Albarado aboard, just after George Washington breaks down early in the race and tragedy strikes. Like everyone there and everyone watching on TV, it’s both exhilarating to watch the winner cross the finish line, and terribly sad as they give George Washington a hero’s farewell. I cannot imagine how Barbaro’s connections felt at that moment.

When have you felt the pull of two emotions – and how did it change your perspective on life???

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Business Matters

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Drove south to Orange County, where the wildfires are making havoc for residents and firefighters. News reports say: the county may have been underserved when it came to authorities’ sending in enough resources to fight the blaze. Of course, many Katrina victims are still waiting for real help, long after that disaster. When will we ever learn?

I’m with Zeb and Andre to meet with our client, CEO Michael Ross (www.casitafinancial.com) to discuss plans for his real estate investment and loan company. We strategize about how to move forward as the mortgage business is taking another kind of beating. Michael, who is a group leader for Entrepreneurs Organization (www.eonetwork.org), is so smart and so hardworking, that along with NAX Partners’ support for his advertising, he has my personal endorsement and, I must tell the truth: he is my favorite business coaching client. We leave with Michael in tow to meet his former colleagues at GeNESIS Commercial Capital (www.gen-cap.com). They are an amazing resource for small business owners needing to lease equipment. Owners Greg Rieke and Eric Sidebotham are about to leverage seven wildly successful years into an accelerated marketing program that NAX forecasts will triple their revenue.

Late that night, courtesy of marketing director Robert Fitzgerald, formerly with Vanity Fair magazine (www.vanityfair.com) Zeb and Andre go to the soft opening of Custom Hotel (www.customhotel.com) near LAX, one of five new projects by the Palisades Development Group (www.palisadesdevgroup.com). This company is genius: chic, modern and affordable lodging where you’re going to meet rock stars, fashionistas and hip business people in the lobby. Bring your autograph dog.

I stay back at the office, writing a marketing and action plan for GeNESIS Commercial Capital. That’s when I see that it will take less than 10 months to triple their revenue – without adding more sales reps or space. When you work with people who have been smart about location, systems and human capital, increased productivity will flow from great marketing, because the people, tools and space are already in place. In this instance, NAX just makes a good thing better.

What can you do to triple your income???

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Business Matters

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

5 AM is really early. Dark. Cold. And, filled with possibilities as Zeb and I make it to downtown Los Angeles, a city that definitely sleeps (because traffic is not so bad at this hour). We get to the National Human Resources Association (www.humanresources.org) meeting at Staubach (www.staubach.com), the giant commercial real estate firm which, high in the sky above the street, looks like a movie set. Like Fendi Casa, it’s done in my favorite colors: red, white and black. So cool.

We meet and greet HR directors from everywhere, but Pelican Products (www.pelican.com) is a standout. Growing fast and selling watertight protective cases, submersible flashlights and ATEX certified torches, this South Bay manufacturer is global, yet the HR director is down-to-earth and vigilant about keeping the corporate culture focused on employee satisfaction.

During the formal program, we listen to three intense and compelling young men, talk about helping employees with financial difficulties. Turns out, the USA is losing billions of dollars and million of hours because employees are so stressed about personal debt. Ed Jamison, (www.jamisonlawgroup.com) may be the smartest man and best communicator on debt management that I’ve ever heard. The HR directors at the meeting took heed: help your employees learn to budget and keep their credit scores high: otherwise your company will feel the pain as employees suffer the misery of money problems: divorce, losing their homes and generally losing heart.

We make it back from NHRA in time for Zeb and Andre to meet with Moodspace’ artist Arjuna Noor and his representatives at the Pacific Design Center (www.pacificdesigncenter.com). An artist himself, Andre sees Noor’s work for the first time and says it is a magical blend of technology and art. NAX is there to show them how 3D animation communicates what the art will look like in clubs, hotels, corporate headquarters and homes. We do it for half the price of any other company, and no, I won’t tell you our secret! But, I will send you a CD, if you E-mail me at Nance@NAXpartners.com.

While the men are away, I host the brilliant and beautiful Madge Claybion from UCLA Extension to plan the training curriculum we will deliver to Mexico’s huge wholesaler of baked goods – and I learn that our audience will be their top people from not only Mexico, but also Spain, Germany and China. NAX has native speakers from all those countries on staff, so we’ll produce materials in multiple languages for this multi-national company. It appears that my role will be to knit together all the training curriculum as well as personally open each one of three week-long sessions (two in Mexico and one at UCLA) with an overview to get the audience up to speed on sales, marketing, collaborative distribution, team-building and emotional intelligence. Every part of my brain is thinking happy thoughts: this is my life’s purpose.

What are you doing to stay on your life’s purpose – or what do you need to do so that you find YOUR purpose?

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Business Matters

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Do you do a good job of following up after a trade show or event? The secret is to empty your pockets, wallet, purse, brief case or goodie bag. Sort out the people you must reach right away and then make those calls – before the shank of the workday starts.

Zeb and I are here at the office tonight until 11 PM – a little late in the day to be following up if you follow my rules strictly – but that’s why God created E-mail. Half the people are E-mailing us back, right away. Doesn’t anyone sleep? This going global thing means our phones are on 24/7/365. Our friends and family members – those who still talk to us – are very understanding people.

Anyway, we’re ending the day by prepping for the National Human Resources Association (www.humanresources.org) meeting tomorrow at Roger Staubach’s offices at 7 AM (www.staubach.com).

When I saw her this morning – stopped by on the way to work – my mother laughingly recommended that I might as well stay up all night; it’s easier than falling asleep at 2 AM and hearing that alarm at 5 AM! She might be right.

The good news and bad news is: Zeb found a place that grinds fresh peanut butter and has warm honey. Unfortunately, he had a tub of it in his car and brought it into the office. Suddenly, being here doesn’t seem so bad. We slathered it on bananas. Doesn’t your office have fresh peanut butter and bananas?

So what are you doing with YOUR late nights???

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Business Matters

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Got a great call from the Global Association for Marketing at‑Retail. For their January 8, 2008 summit, Robert Liljenwall asked if I would be their featured speaker on Consumer Behavior (my academic area of interest). I said yes! The audience will include executives from the Coca-Cola Company, Frito-Lay and Walgreens, among others.

I also heard from Cris Judd’s agent. What great follow-up on his part from our conversation at the Hollywood Film Festival. I can’t wait to see the synergy from 1) Abrams Artists, his talent agency (www.abramsartists.com) and 2) NAX Partners, my marketing services firm. Plus, I’ll also connect them with our multi-media publisher 3) Pegasus Media World (www.pegasusmediaworld.com). Triple threat for a triple threat (Cris acts, dances and more). Watch out!

And, UCLA Extension reached out to me to help them coordinate an executive level training program involving one of the largest wholesalers in Mexico. Some of the best administrators in the world are the people I get to work with at UCLA Extension (www.uclaextension.edu). Associate Dean Karim Cherif (whom I acknowledge in my new book, since he is such an inspiration to me) and Program Director Madge Claybion, who is the innovative force every academic institution wishes they had. There is literally something new happening at UCLA Extension, Business, Management, Legal and Entertainment Studies, every day.

And that was just the morning!

Now, Zeb and I are at the California Governor’s Conference, which attracted 13,000 women. Sorry if you missed it! I met with HR directors from FedEx, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Apple, Raytheon and others who are actively supporting women’s contributions in the workplace. I hope to contribute to their organizations, with customized training on business communication, sales and marketing.

The best surprise was bumping into David Bach, the author (Oprah favorite and Yahoo columnist) whose financial advice books could make anyone a millionaire (www.finishrich.com/pages/home.php). I’m a huge fan of his, and was delighted to autograph my new book for him. We made plans to get together when I’m in New York this November 11 – 16.

That’s when I’m going to the tri-state areas to do television with Bryan Jenkins, formerly of ABC television and now dayside anchor for News 12 – New Jersey. My charismatic and business-savvy friend Bryan is planning a show around young entrepreneurship, and I’m delighted to be his expert on creating and building businesses.

The whole East Coast trip started when we found out that my beautiful daughter Molly Jo, is having 45 minutes of surgery (they promise), to get her gallbladder out through her belly button (they promise). It seems that all those years when we thought Mo just had a “sensitive stomach” were a bit neglectful. The child was making a gallstone! Good golly, Miss Molly! If I hadn’t already dedicated my new book to her, I would have to write another to remind her that she is the one and only. She says she forgives me and the entire family for ignoring this for 22 years.

Lesson: always investigate – listen to your own body and to what your children are reporting about their bodies. I only comfort myself by thinking that just a few years ago, this operation would have been major surgery with a forearm length scar down the belly (see Lisa Marie Presley). By doing it now, Mo will be under anesthesia less than an hour and wear a Band-aid home (I may get her a Hello Kitty one as a treat).

Who deserves more of YOUR complete attention right now?

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