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Have a lot to say? Use Twitter. Direct message limit lifted….

As Twitter works to increase its relevance they have lifted their famous 140 character limit to 1000 characters for direct messages (DMs).

According to Twitter’s product manager, Sachine Agarwal, they have made the change as part of their overall strategy to make “the private side of Twitter even more powerful and fun.”

I am not sure where the fun comes in but I can certainly agree that it will be more powerful. Twitter can be an excellent customer service tool but the limit on DM’s had made it impractical. I once commented, on Twitter, about some challenges I was facing with @United and they promptly replied and directed me to engage in a DM. That meant having to tell the story in several broken messages and, of course, Read More

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Confessions of a Phobic Speaker

When I was in high-school I got my first opportunity to speak in front of a group: debating class. I hated it. I did well and our team did well, but it was like physical torture for me.

FearOfPublicSpeakingCurtains

After school I accepted a job in sales — direct sales — and worked my way up through the ranks to a management role in recruiting. Unfortunately, this meant doing Read More

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The Biggest Breakthrough. And a powerful marketing secret.

The fear of public speaking, for many, is more intense than any other fear. Just the idea of standing in front of a group of people to speak or give a presentation can bring the bravest person to a sudden case of nausea, shaking knees and the sweats.

How do I know?

I used to be terrified of public speaking. Phobic. 20 years ago I had to present an award to a close friend of mine; all told this would mean being on stage for about 3 to 4 minutes. For the weeks leading up to the event I had a hard time sleeping and I am sure I lost a few pounds because my stomach was permanently upset. I did the presentation, it went well, but I barely remember any of it because I had so much adrenaline ripping through my system.

And then one day, about 10 years ago, Read More

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Modeling Marketing Strategies — but not the usual way.

BullsEye-MarketingMost new business owners already model marketing strategies; but not very effectively. They tend to model the activities of their competitors; using similar advertisements, websites etc. While this ‘shortcut’ is probably useful to some degree, some of the very best marketing strategies I have ever employed have come from modeling OTHER INDUSTRIES.

 

Years ago I owned an IT company in England and I had a number of competitors. We all tended to advertise in the same places and use the same basic telemarketing strategies.

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In Defense of African Wild Dogs

I was horrified to learn, this week, that a small boy was killed by a pack of captive African wild dogs (Painted Dogs) at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Horrified for the boy and his family and for the dogs themselves.

I have spent a great deal of time with Painted Dogs and wrote a fictional book based on the life of two young dogs. I would not call myself an expert, but I would suggest that I know more about these dogs than the average person. With that in mind, I have to say: Read More

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– Occupy Your Life –

What Occupies Your Time?

What Occupies Your Time?

In 2011 we learned all about occupying Wall Street and other financial centers — lets make 2012 the year we occupy our lives.

Occupy your body — take care of your body; feed it lots of what it needs and only a little of what it doesn’t. Use your body — it was made for movement.

Occupy your mind with great information. Read good books. Learn a language. Study great content. Cut down on the bubble gum content and stimulate your brain — it will reward you.

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The Other Mind – Part 3 of 3 | Get Inside The Other Mind

Primates Learn by Watching

Primates Learn by Watching

Primates mimic. That is how we learn. Do as I say, not as I do is not an effective parenting method because children learn by observing and imitating. If they see you smoke, they are twice as likely to take up the habit.

 Imitation and mimicry are a natural part of primate instinct — it saves a great deal of time. Read More

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The Other Mind – Part Two | Are the Trustworthy too Trusting?

Madoff

Madoff

In the first section of this article I focused on understanding ‘the other mind’ when communicating or crafting a message. Now, I will focus on a danger of ‘the other mind’ — the way trust works.

Unfortunately, people who are trustworthy are often too trusting. Conversely, those who can not be trusted, are frequently skeptical, doubting and have a hard time trusting anyone.

This is another ‘problem of the other mind’ and results directly from the idea that people fail to remember that everyone has their own view of the world. Read More

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Understanding the ‘Other Mind‘ – Part 1

The Other Mind

The Other Mind

I first remember considering the concept of ‘the other mind’ when I was a little boy trying to manage the insanity of growing up with alcoholism and good old fashion dysfunction. I remember thinking, as a kid, that I had to find different methods for communicating my thoughts or ideas to others — methods more in line with their very different ways of thinking. It was clear to me, from a very young age, that people see the world differently from one another. Read More

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Kerner Optical, LLC — The End of an Era

Kerner Optical

Two years ago I invested in, and took over the management of, a struggling special effects company in Northern California. Sadly, I have decided to close the studio.

I will blog more about  Kerner Optical; I have learned a great deal, met the most fascinating people and had a great deal of fun.

The company, originally the ‘model shop’ that was Industrial Light and Magic, employed some of the most talented and dedicated people on the planet. There are some great stories to tell – and the overall experience has been a bit like living a Grisham novel – intrigue, suspense, deception, celebrity and huge sums of money.

I announced the closure in this letter on the company’s website:

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