How And Why To Send Interesting Emails

emails1Until I got sideswiped by that forced sabbatical at the end of last year, I had a pretty tight thing going with my emails.

For a long period in 2013, I was sending out a daily email to the handsome-as-all-hell folk who’d had the foresight to share their email addresses with me (hey! I’m looking at you!)

To this day, I still get tons of questions about that. Questions like “why?” and “didn’t people get pissed off?” So here goes:

Q1: Why do you send so many emails?

[Read more...]

[VIDEO] Kill The Elevator Pitch!

The darnedest thing happened today.

(I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before. Sufficiently liberated, I’ll use it again.)

I got a message from a stranger on LinkedIn that was concise, appealing and warranted a response.

Imma tellin’ ya, I almost dang near fell out o’ my chair!

You see, the general dross that I get over there comprises invitations to join self-serving LinkedIn groups, invitations to spend money on improving my LinkedIn profile, invitations to rank higher in Google, invitations to import promotional material from former Soviet-bloc countries, invitations to go into partnership with technology manufacturers from the Far East, invitations to connect on “the latest new social network that’s going to transform how you watch videos of cats falling off ladders” and other such nonsense.

A handful of tossers even use LinkedIn messaging as a sort of surrogate email list and blast me crap that I never signed up for and certainly don’t read.

But today, I got something different, for the first time in YEARS.

[Read more...]

Small Business Bodyguard: How To Avoid Getting Kicked In The Face

Small Business Bodyguard You’ll hear statistics quoted at you repeatedly (normally by marketing consultants who are pitching their products) that X% of small businesses fail in the first couple of years.

Because marketers like to make up statistics, or base them on dubious “guesswork” or slanted studies, the percentages for this particular horror-story tend to veer from 60-95%.

If you’ve got a philosophical approach to “failure”, you might argue that a coffee shop that was open and trading for two years didn’t, in fact, fail at being a coffee-shop. Similarly, the typewriter industry isn’t a failed industry just because it has become marginalized.

But working on the basis that failure is an involuntary closing up of shop due to negligence, bad planning, bad luck or lack of will to live, it seems, even anecdotally, that a LOT of small businesses fail pretty soon after they open.

(It’s entirely normal. Entrepreneurs manage risk on a daily basis, and managing risk is a risky business.)

[Read more...]

Normal service resumes tomorrow


I’m back in Malta, in the office that overlooks the building that may once have been the Libyan embassy (but nobody’s really sure).

The last three and a half months have been a forced sabbatical of sorts, juggling optimism and anguish and the logistical improbabilities of living in one room, a thousand miles from home, alongside a 4-year old with behavioral quirks, three suitcases and a baby on varying degrees of life-support.

Edward (4 months) was admitted to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital on 31st December for right ventricular obstruction relief with muscle resection, valvectomy and transannular bovine pericardial patch.

(That’s heart surgery.)

[Read more...]

You Won’t Believe What This Guy Got Addicted To … And How He Beat His Addiction Will Inspire You!

Bad times This is my story of addiction. It is the most difficult thing I have ever written. In sharing this with others, I hope I can help those with similar problems.

The year was 2005, a little over eight years ago, and it started off innocently, as these things always do.

I was at a party with some people I didn’t know very well. Not friends, not acquaintances, just some folk who I’d met in a bar. They seemed OK.

After drinking a few more beers at somebody’s house, an older guy cornered me and pushed a small brown envelope into my hand.

“You’ll like this,” he said, as he winked at me.

“No thanks, I’m not interested,” I said.

“Just try it once,” he said. “A little bit won’t hurt, and you might even enjoy it.”

I was drunk and my resistance was low. I took the envelope into the guest bathroom, sat on the pan, and carefully opened it up.

[Read more...]