Archive for January, 2012

This is a new Zola Tools delivery vehicle that we just bought to handle Southern California. 1971 VW Squareback. Vintage cool with tons of utility. Tell me what you think.


Get out of a rut

Article by Dan Rockwell @leadershipfreak on Twitter

Waiting is the reason life hasn’t changed.

Waiting seldom takes you where you want to go. You aren’t where you hoped because you haven’t taken steps to get there; you’ve waited.

The path to disappointment and dissatisfaction is paved with waiting.

Why we wait:

  1. Expecting giant leaps.
  2. Rejecting incremental progress.
  3. Forgetting that certainty is a myth. Needing it stagnates.
  4. Letting obstacles obscure goals.
  5. Hoping others would help but they didn’t.
  6. Feeling alone.
  7. Feeling incompetent.
  8. Belief that things will eventually improve.
  9. Fear of losing what you currently have.
  10. The present isn’t painful enough, yet.

Start stepping toward something new when:

  1. The present is acceptable but not satisfying.
  2. Challenges have slipped into easy rhythms.
  3. Boredom sets in.
  4. New opportunities emerge.

How to stop waiting:

  1. Project yourself into an unchanged future. If nothing changes will you be fulfilled ten years from now?
  2. Realize nothing will change until you change it. Don’t wait for others to create the “right” conditions.
  3. Spend a day writing down every dissatisfying element of your life.
  4. Cross off everything on your dissatisfaction list that others control.
  5. Prioritize the items you control starting with the most dissatisfying.
  6. Focus on items in the middle of your list. Don’t start with the biggest, baddest items.
  7. Take small steps toward something new.
  8. Stop letting uncertainty about the “best” future prevent from pursuing a “better” future. Better comes before best so go for better.
  9. Take steps that open more doors than they close, at least in the beginning. There may come a point when closing doors is the more important than opening new ones.
  10. Pat yourself on the back.

Four Words:

Stop Waiting – Take Steps.





Brand Promise

1) Talk to your customers. Make sure what you think you know, is in fact what you know.
2) If you’re not the business owner, get them involved, the brand is the visionary leader behind the business.
3) Discover why the business exists other than to make money, and then why customers will care.
4) Get real about the behaviours than underlie the way things get done in the business.
5) Be brave. Don’t be boring. Stand up for what you believe in.
6) Don’t be afraid to avoid certain customers.
7) Think differently about your industry and the way you serve your customers.

From Andrea Shillington (@brandpreneur)


Swaying an executive to accept an idea is tough, especially if she’s a skeptic. To overcome her cynicism, you need to adjust your style. Here are three ways to influence a non-believer:
  • Co-present with a trusted source. Skeptics are highly suspicious of any information that challenges their worldviews. You can increase your chances of success by sharing the stage with someone the executive believes in.
  • Demonstrate endorsements. You need as much credibility as you can garner. Ask others who support your idea to let the executive know.
  • Stroke egos. Skeptics respond to flattery. Start sentences with, “You’ve probably seen this data already…”

Adapted from Harvard Business Review on Communicating Effectively.


This was a brief video I shot recently to encourage people that are not invested in a Web 2.0 strategy to resolve to do so in 2012. With innovations and new platform introductions continuing to accelerate in this area, it is imperative to get involved now before the train completely passes you by.



by Sonia Simone

Here are 50 things your customers wish you knew: about them, about how they see you, and about your relationship.

  1. I don’t need you to be perfect, but I do need to know I can rely on you.
  2.  Telling me what you don’t know makes me trust you.
  3. It means a lot when you take the time to thank me for my business or a referral.
  4. You don’t need to do all that much to be a superhero. Just do exactly what you say you will do.
  5. A friendly voice on the other side of the phone means more than you can imagine.
  6. Your employees treat me about as well as you treat them.
  7. I don’t mind spending the money, as long as I feel I’m getting real value.
  8. My life is really stressful. If you can reduce that stress, you become immensely valuable to me.
  9. I want to tell you what would make this relationship better for me. Why don’t you ever ask me?
  10. I don’t understand a lot of the messages you send me. Can you make them clearer?
  11. My life is very complicated. If you make it easy for me to just buy a simple all-in-one package that I can use without learning anything, I’ll take it and be grateful. (I’ll even pay a premium for it.)
  12. I want to trust you, but it’s hard for me to trust anyone.
  13. Once you’ve won my trust and loyalty, the truth is you can screw up once in awhile and I will forgive you. If I don’t think you’re taking me for granted, that is.
  14. When I refer my friends and you give them exceptional service, that makes me look and feel smart. I love that.
  15. I spend an awful lot of time being scared to death.
  16. The wealthier I get, the more I like free stuff.
  17. A lot of the time, I secretly feel like a lost little kid. I don’t admit it, but I want to be taken care of.
  18. I’m lousy at admitting I was wrong, but I respect you when you do it.
  19. I like to get little goodies no one else is getting.
  20. I don’t understand how to use your Web site, but I can’t admit that because it would make me feel dumb.
  21. There’s no worse feeling than feeling like I was suckered into trusting you. If I’m screaming at you or one of your employees, that feeling is probably behind it somewhere.
  22. Our relationship isn’t equal and it never will be.
  23. I get crazy jealous if I think you love another customer more than you love me.
  24. I don’t have any interest in your excuses. In fact, I usually don’t notice them at all, and if I do, they annoy me.
  25. I find myself endlessly fascinating.
  26. I hate salespeople, but I really like to buy things.
  27. I only like to communicate over the phone/Web/mail and I hate when you try to make me communicate with you over the mail/phone/Web.
  28. I want to buy your product, but I need you to help me justify it to myself.
  29. There’s something in my life I’m afraid of losing. If you can make me feel like you’ve protected it for me, my gratitude will be intense and eternal.
  30. I’ll give you anything you ask if you can help me not feel silly.
  31. I want you to do the hard work for me. Even better if I can get all the credit.
  32. I’d rather do it the convoluted hard way than learn something new.
  33. I’d love to know something about your product that I could use to brag at a dinner party.
  34. I have the attention span of a goldfish. Go too long without contacting me and I’ll simply forget you exist.
  35. Money is no object when it comes to my obsessions.
  36. What you think you’re good at is not what you’re good at. Ask me, and I’ll tell you what you do better than anyone else.
  37. I like it when I feel like you’re talking just to me.
  38. It infuriates me when you answer the phone while I’m talking with you face-to-face.
  39. Embarrassment scares me more than death.
  40. I’m lazier than I would ever admit.
  41. I’m more selfish than I would ever admit.
  42. I’m more vain than I would ever admit.
  43. I’m more insecure than I would ever admit.
  44. Despite all that, I secretly think I’m a better person than most people. Help me believe that and we’ll be fast friends.
  45. I believe I deserve much more than I’m getting.
  46. I want to tell you everything you need to know in order to sell to me, but I’m lazy. Make it easy enough and I will. (Especially if you flatter me a little.)
  47. I don’t know what I want most of the time. You need to figure it out for me.
  48. I mostly daydream about making life better for myself, but I’ll take action to keep from losing what’s mine.
  49. I believe that most of what’s wrong in my life is someone else’s fault. Let me keep that cozy illusion and I’ll believe anything you say.
  50. It really is all about me.

    50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew