Archive for June, 2009

Accountability Begins at Home

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I’m always nagging my clients about being accountable: doing what they say they’re going to do and running their businesses according to their personal values. Now it’s time to turn the tables!

This is my desk. It’s a great desk. It does exactly what I need it to do, and never complains.


But I’ve neglected it for two weeks, just kept piling papers on top of papers. No excuse, really. Just lazy.

Today is “Clean My Desk Before It Rebels Day.”

It’s now 1:45 PM eastern. I promise you, by 4:00 PM eastern, this desk will be SPOTLESS! All tasks completed, all papers corralled, everything in its proper home. Heck, I’ll even give it a dusting off, too, just for good measure.

This is what I posted on Facebook and Twitter, asking my social media friends to help me be accountable: “Time me. If I don’t complete this task, ridicule me. Nag me. Don’t let me off the hook!”


It’s 3:50 and I’m done! Thanks for all your support!

You can see the whole process, start to finish, here.


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Category: Managing Projects, Tasks & Time, Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Think Big…Really, Really BIG

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Whilst sitting on the ferry boat to Ellis Island yesterday, what do I see but “Le Grand Bleu,” a one of the largest private yachts in the world!  (And yes, that is a speed boat AND a sail boat sitting  inside the deck of  Le Grand Bleu.)

Sheesh! Just the other day my husband and I were saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little sailboat here at our lake?” Now that I’ve seen Le Grand Bleu, my vision for what’s possible is shifting, growing, leaping and bounding!

Small business owners by their very nature are big thinkers. So it’s not that we think too small; it’s that, sometimes, we don’t know what’s even possible until we see it in front of our faces. Open your eyes, look around. But don’t be envious when someone is doing what you want to do or has what you want to have.

Whether it’s Le Grand Bleu, or a TV show staring one of your competitors,  or a guru with less experience than you who gets a publishing deal or a big speaking gig… instead of being envious of others who’ve made it, or who have what you want, thank them for opening your eyes up to a new level of possibility.

(So I’m sending a “thank you” to Eugene Shvidler, current owner of Le Grand Bleu. You’ve opened my eyes to the possible.)


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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Motivational Minute: Thoughts Create Our Future with Louise Hay

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Suggested Books on Email Marketing

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Using social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I asked people to recommend their favorite books on email marketing. By far the most popular answer was “Email Marketing: An Hour A Day” by by Jeanniey Mullen. Here’s the rest of the suggestions:

  • Email Marketing: An Hour A Day by by Jeanniey Mullen
  • Total E-Mail Marketing by Dave Chaffey
  • Emarketing Excellence by PR Smith and Dave Chaffey
  • E-Mail Marketing For Dummies by John Arnold
  • Internet Marketing and Promotions by Peter Kent and Tara Calishain
  • Email Marketing By The Numbers by Chris Baggott
  • Sign Me Up by Matt Blumberg
  • Advanced Email Marketing by Jim Sterne
  • The Practical Guide to Email Marketing by Jordan Ayan
  • The Quite Revolution by Bill Nusey
  • The Truth About Email Marketing by Simms Jenkins
  • Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

A big Thank You to everyone who gave me your book suggestions.

2 comments for now

Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing
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Who Owns Your Website?

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Recently I heard a story that bears repeating:

Several years ago, a well-established company had hired a website designer to create their website for them. After working with this graphic artist for several years, they decided to move to a new graphic artist (my colleague). At the same time, they decided to move to a new hosting company, so they simply copied their website files from the old hosting company and moved them to the new hosting company. After all, they owned the website, didn’t they?

The surprising answer is No. Since the previous graphic artist  and the client didn’t have a “work for hire” written agreement, many courts would say that the previous website designer (not the client) still owned the work. And “work for hire” agreements might not cover the copyright complications of both the graphics work done on behalf of the client, and the software coding work done.

It would seem to me that a fair resolution to this type of case would be to use the assumption that the website designer was doing work for you, and therefore you own the work. In the legal world, this may not be the case, as websites include both graphic work and software coding work. These two types of work are protected differently under copyright law.

You can read more about this type of situation here:

“Who Owns Your Web Site Anyway? The Surprising Truth…”

If you’ve hired a website designer to design your site, check your written contract. Make sure it clearly states that YOU own the website upon full payment to the designer. If you never had a written agreement with your designer (or if your current agreement does not have this clause in it), it’s time to re-negotiate with your designer. Get it in writing. This is no time for verbal agreements.

When we ran a website design firm, our Passion For Business website design contracts clearly stated that the client owned the copyrights to the work we did for them. There are a few places where this may not apply: if you purchase stock photography or graphics for your site, then the original artist owns the copyright, and if you purchase a theme (like a WordPress theme), the theme designer still owns the copyright to their design work. Most stock photo and theme websites will grant you a license to use the photo/artwork, but will not give you the full copyright to the work. (This is also the case if you use plugins for your site/blog. The original designer/coder of those retains the copyright.)

If you feel awkward or embarrassed to speak with your website designer and ask for this in writing, then you are putting your business success in jeopardy. Don’t delay. Take care of this immediately.

What happened to my colleague in the above situation? She had to completely re-design her client’s website to comply with copyright law. It was good news for her: a nice revenue stream and a new, ongoing graphic design relationship with the client. It was bad news for the client: they had to pay for a brand new website design or risk being sued by the previous graphic designer. In the end, the client got a better website than they had before, but at the cost of a lot of time, money and frustration.

Read the companion blog post: Has Your Website Designer Disappeared? for tips on what information you need to get from your website designer to protect your website.

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Category: Website Planning
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Saying Yes: The Power of “Because”

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Have you ever wished there was a magic word you could say to get people to do whatever you ask? Unfortunately, there’s no such thing, but Steve Martin, the author of “Yes: Fifty Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive” has a pretty surprising suggestion.

Watch this video from MSNBC “Your Business” TV show  for more information.

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Category: Marketing

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