Instructions for Life for 2006 from The Dalai Lama

My wife just sent me an email that has something for all of us. Enjoy!

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.


2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.


3. Follow the three R’s:

 – Respect for self,

 – Respect for others and

 – Responsibility for all your actions.


4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.


5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.


6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.


7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.


8. Spend some time alone every day.


9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.


10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.


11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.


12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.


13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.


14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.


15. Be gentle with the earth.


16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.


17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.


18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.


19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

I tried to pick a favorite to expand on, but there are so many good ones, I figured that I’d leave it to you.

Still Extraordinary? or To Be Expected?

It’s funny what happens as people get better at what they do and it’s a shame that we treat them the way we do by taking them for granted. Let me explain. Sometimes, a business owner has an idea and starts. He grinds and works and promotes and works and develops partners and works and adds to the offering and works for over a year’s worth of months and watches his numbers double, then double, then double again, then explode!

Who else could I be talking about? Pete Caputa. WhizSpark. Art, Wine & Networking. The New England Business Expo. Remember Pete’s first networking event? Remember the events at SPQR? Remember June 20th at Higgins Armory Museum? Bloggers blogged. Networkers couldn’t wait for the next one. Pete was the talk of the town. Everybody wanted to be in Pete’s inner circle. He was the man. He knew how to throw a party. He knew how to attract a crowd. He was the guy that could get it done. Then came the Expo challenge!

Those of you who’ve been around for a while may remember the multi-day business expo. Thousands of people. For whatever reason, attendance dropped off. This year Cindy Skowyra and Dick Kennedy were determined to bring it back. Cindy filled the hall with exhibitors. Cindy and Dick met and teamed up with Pete. Pete and Luanne enlisted the help of the exhibitors and sponsors. Here’s some feedback.

I had a friend tell me that they came by our booth several times, but couldn’t stop in to say, “Hi.” because there was never any room in the booth. Too many people!

I typically visit every exhibitor’s booth in the show a couple of times. I was there all day and didn’t get to half of the booths.

More people registered for the Art, Wine & Networking event after the Expo than have ever registered before and there were walk-ins and there were stay-overs.


Thanks, Pete! This was the explosion! You’ve set a new level of excellence. You should not be taken for granted. Every blogger should be blogging. Paul, Paul, Sharon, Jason, Mark, every 2.0 writer out there should be pointing to WhizSpark. Cindy, how about a thank you in the Telegram? (Incidentally, thank you, Cindy, because without your effort with the exhibitors, we wouldn’t have anybody in the booths to talk to. They wouldn’t have invited guests to attend. So, maybe Dick should run the ad and thank Cindy and Pete. They’re the ones that had the dream and made it happen.

So, let’s not take anybody for granted. This was awesome! Blog about it. Send them an email. Call them and tell them.

Oh, by the way. This weekend, Pete’s the man again. Don’t miss the Boston Home Show. Here’s Pete’s link: Maybe Pat Hoey will be running a big thank you in the Globe on Monday!

Pawspot & The Shallow Shaft

What motivates you? What’s important? Do you need to be #1? Do you need to earn a million dollars? Do you need a multi-million dollar house? When you’re done, what will people remember?

Here’s are two people to remember. They made it all worthwhile.


Thanks for reading.

What should I say?

So, tonight, I attended another MACC winner. Barry knows how to throw a party. Ira Toyota, Bugaboo Creek, and Milford National Bank put it together with some help from their friends and I watched a lot of business happen. Terry Shepherd was as engaging as usual. Frank Aubuchon was everywhere. Oh, by the way, Martha Whyte was one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. Small wonder that her husband is as busy as he is.

Near the end of the evening, I wound up in a group that included a couple of people that I didn’t know yet, Martha Whyte, and Tom. Martha was singing my praises to the people that I didn’t know (Sometimes she’s downright embarassing.). At the same time, Tom told me that he called me and that I didn’t call him back. I asked Tom a bunch of questions and found out that he called me a couple of months ago because he had a collection issue. It sounded like I had a lot going on. Since then, he’s given the case to somebody else. When I asked, “So, no harm, no foul. You got paid, right. He said, “No, that he had just given it to the other guy two weeks ago.” Meanwhile, I interrupted Martha singing my praises to the people that I didn’t know and said, “Martha likes me. Tom doesn’t. Go ahead, Tom, tell them how I don’t return calls.” Who won? I don’t know. I left.

So, here’s the deal. Tom called me. I don’t remember. He remembers that I sounded busy. He never called back. There are 31 million seconds in a year. Obviously, I was trying to fit too much into the 30 seconds that I was talking to Tom. I should’ve called back. I didn’t. By Tom’s attitude, he’s never done that. I admit it. He’s a better man than I. More service oriented than I. Way more successful.

You be the judge. What should I say?

Should I ask him how come he never called back? He noticed that I had a lot happening. He couldn’t guess what happened and give me a second chance?

Did he call me because he thought I could solve his problem? Was the problem important? If it was, how come he didn’t call back? How come it took him six weeks to call somebody else?

I repeat that I don’t remember Tom’s call. You be the judge. What should I say?

Roy Kent, Jr.

As you know, I am a “sales junkie”. I watch people that think they’re good salespeople embarrass the profession. I avoid, ignore and never refer pushy, high-pressure salespeople who are just in it for themselves. (They know who they are and they’re much to smart to read this.) I love watching salespeople that are having a good time. Helping people. Going to the bank.

I am very lucky because my wife likes to shop as much as I like to sell. And……..I get to watch. After work today, my wife told me that we were going to Lowe’s on Lincoln Street in Worcester. We bought two garage doors, a snow blower and a refrigerator. (I want to insert an aside here. I told three local garage door company owners that I wanted to have two garage doors installed in my house. One was a former client. Two had booths at the Home Show. Nobody called. Nobody came. Is it any wonder that these bozos are losing to the “big box” stores?)

OK, back to the story. My wife is a nice lady but a really tough sell. Thinks about it. Doesn’t like to make decisions. Wants to see every model. every option. every color. explore all the possibilities. She’s really a lot of work and it’s fun for me to watch salespeople try to move her through the process.

Roy Kent, Jr. was Elaine’s target today. He showed her most of the refrigerators on the floor in addition to the matching ranges, microwaves and dishwashers (because she’s gonna buy them next week). At some point, while she was looking at dishwashers, she asked Roy for an opinion. As soon as I heard Roy’s response I knew that I was gonna blog it. He said, “Look, you buy what you want. You don’t have to please me.” They were having a conversation. Roy had develop trust. Elaine trusted his expertise and was looking for his opinion.

It was cool. Good job, Roy. See you next week.

Oh, one more thing. There was nobody in the snowblower department, so I asked Roy if he knew anything about snowblowers. He asked me how big my driveway is. I told him. His was the same length. He says, “I have this one.” and points to the $999 model. I asked how long it took him to do his driveway. He told me 30 minutes. I said, “OK.” and bought it.

Thanks again, Roy.

Sales Tricks

As you know, I watched Dr. Covey’s webcast interview on yesterday. He spoke about people who seek to learn from experts. He suggested that if you really want to learn how to do something as well as an expert, you adopt their principles and purposes rather than try to learn their techniques.

I can give countless examples of salespeople asking for a trick to use that will help them close more sales and make more money. What’s the secret to developing instant rapport? How can I get someone to tell me their budget? What’s the trick to getting a CEO to return my call? How do I get around an “I want to think about it.”? How come I get stood up on appointments? What’s the special trick to eliminate “buyers remorse”? Why are my customers so nice when the’re buying but turn into the customers from hell? and on, and on, and on…

So, Dr. Covey’s advice is forget the tricks. Forget the techniques. Strive to discover the mindset of the expert. Understand what is motivating the prospect to act the way they are and what might motivate them to act otherwise. Why did the prospect agree to see or talk with you in the first place? Why do you feel the need to trick them?

Intentionally left hanging. Something to ponder.


Dr. Stephen Covey

I watched the webcast interview of Dr. Stephen Covey. I feel a few posts coming on.

According to Dr. Covey,

“There are only two roles in business, customers and suppliers.”

Isn’t that a great observation? Doesn’t it simplify life?

The roles are obvious when you buy a product or a service or when you’re selling your product or service to your customer. However, if you can only choose customers and suppliers, in an employee/employer situation, who would be the customer and who would be the supplier? How about interdepartmental within the company, say engineering and purchasing or HR and accounting? Who is the customer and who is the supplier when an entrepreneur talks to a venture capitalist? If you are a customer of the bank, then why do you have to “sell” the loan officer on the idea of giving you a loan?

Interesting twist! Thank you, Dr. Covey.

One October Evening at O’Connors

So, tonight, the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce held their Business after Hours at O’Connors. Of course, Ambassador Christine Miller was there and the first person that we met was Ceri Ruenheck of It’s Your Call. Ceri noticed that the chamber had “changed”. Thank you, Cindy, Dick and Dan. Dan Masakowski was there looking for a job, but he hooked up with Dot Granger and Pat Kelley and I think that he might be done looking. Ben Hall, the aforementioned Pat Kelley and Nancy Trout didn’t really connect until after the door prizes, but boy did they connect! Linda and Gloria were having a grand old time with Jimmy Ames. But, Pete Caputa of WhizSpark was basking in the glory of the fact that the only way get the gift certificates and register for the Art Wine and Networking Event after the after hours was to use the link to his site. It humbles me to be in the presence of such genius. Near the end of the evening, Joe Miller of Miller Fence told me that he was going to the Expo and the after hours but he hadn’t registered.


Oh, Yeah! By the way! Mike Lehr brought the Sharks with him. Do you know how hard it is to talk to a guy when there’s a dozen professional hockey players in the room? Do you know how hard it is to get a woman’s attention when there’s a dozen buff, good looking athletes in the room? Thanks a lot, Mike!

One more thing! Yo! Ceri’s kids! Scroll down to look at Mom!

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