Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

All things come to them who will but wait.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

For man is man and master of his fate.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

6 Ways To Avoid Marketing Mayhem

As an entrepreneur or small business, marketing can sometimes prove to be trickier than anticipated.  Some entrepreneurs and small businesses create a plan they follow, while others fly by the seat of their pants.  However, neither method will be effective if you make any of these mistakes along the way.

Shotgun Sales Messages

Social media is a great tool to help get your message to the public, but that doesn’t mean you only touch base with social media connections when you have something to sell.  It also doesn’t mean you should bombard your social media connections with rapid fire tweets and status updates over a period of days then disappear.

If you don’t keep in regular contact with your social media connections, you will fall off their radar until you start with shotgun sales messages which may very well prove to bring your business the wrong kind of attention.

Failing To Identify Your Niche

Your business is unique in that it’s your business.  It’s also just like every other business in that all businesses belong to someone (or a group of someones).  Add to this the fact that no business can be all things to all potential customers, and the importance of identifying your niche rises to the surface.

Follow and be followed by those who are interested in what you do and what you have to sell.  Block troublemakers and trolls who will eat up your time as you interact with your social media connections.

Find your place on social media and in the business world, and you’ll be amazed at how smoothly social media will work for your business.

Unrealistic Marketing Goals

Everyone dreams of success.  It’s a fact of life.  That being said, there’s a world of difference between dreaming of success and establishing goals and identifying milestones.  In terms of marketing, your goals need to clearly mark what you consider to be marketing plateaus.

And what is a marketing plateau?  When your first marketing goal is reached, keep up the buzz and momentum before zooming off to the next goal.  Not only will this approach ward off marketing burn out, it gives you customer and potential customer base the opportunity to savor the moment with you.

Don’t expect to be an upstart enterprise this year and a mega-success next year.  This doesn’t mean it can’t happen.  It means that it’s not likely to happen that way for most businesses.  That being said, even those who see their businesses take off like a rocket usually have a reasonable marketing plan in place in case things progress at a more recognizable pace.

It’s All About You

This matter was addressed in the April 2013 article, “What Do Customers Expect?

Remember that those who reject or embrace your marketing approach are not rejecting or embracing you or your business.  They are rejecting or embracing the “need” you are offering.

Customers and potential customers are emotional buyers.  Even the most logical of customers or potential customers are emotional buyers.  They want their needs taken care of to their satisfaction.  So when your marketing fails to impact positively with your customer and potential customer base, it’s because what you’re offering doesn’t meet their needs, and that makes your marketing all about them.  It’s nothing personal.  It’s business.

Lack of Creativity

Spending hour after hour on social media does not mean you have a great marketing campaign in place.  It means you’re spending hour after hour on social media.  What sticks with customers and potential customers are creative messages that stay with them long after they’ve walked away from technology and call it a day.

Invest time in brainstorming ideas that will give your marketing message the most effective, positive results, whether it’s by way of original memes, short videos, giveaways, taking advantage of holidays and special dates like Valentine’s Day and Family Day.

It’s No Fun

You’ve heard the proverb:  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  According to Forbes magazine earlier this year, a study done by Boston professor, Peter Gray, Ph.D., and published in Psychology Today indicates that all work and no play could make you a narcissist as well.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that the proverb should be rewritten to become all play and no work, but there’s a lot to be said about finding the balance between the two.  After all, if your customer and potential customer base doesn’t get the sense from you and your marketing that you enjoy what you do and what you’re selling, they’ll stay away in droves.

Have some fun along the way, and lighten up that serious business demeanor that may be overtaking your marketing efforts.  I’m not suggesting for a moment that you let mayhem rule the day, but not having a set vision and goals when it comes to marketing could very well lead to just that.

Final Note

Success with marketing — whether it’s traditional or technology based social media — requires attention and fine tuning.  It’s not about how much time you spend online or how many tweets or status updates you post every day.  It’s about connecting with people and creating a relationship that relies on interactions, even when those interactions don’t lead to immediate sales transactions.

Elyse Bruce

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

The mind ought sometimes to be amazed, that it may the better return to thought, and to itself.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Say What You Mean

Over the years, I’ve seen a number of discussion — in real life and on social media platforms — where the core of the subject is obfuscated by words that are not understood by some of the participants in the discussion.  Whether it’s a discussion about autism or about indigenous rights or about social issues or any other emotionally charged subject, the polarization begins when one party insists that another party is saying something completely opposite to what has been said.

Before going any further, I am providing dictionary based definitions of four words that are most often at the heart of the problem:  equitable, equal, fair, and just.

What is equitable is what is fair in consideration of the facts and circumstances of the each individual involved in a situation.

What is equal is the same in quantity, size, degree, or value to everyone else involved in a situation.

What is fair is what is appropriate given the set of circumstances for each individual involved in a situation.

And what is just is in accordance with what is morally right and morally fair, what is merited, and conforming to facts and reason.

In order to explain the difference between these four so the words are more clearly understood, let us create a scenario with four imaginary people in it:

1.  A 30-year-old woman who is gainfully employed full-time and spends a large part of her income on luxury items instead of paying her bills;
2.  A 20-year-old man who is employed part-time but who suffers from serious health issues which requires expensive medication to control;
3.  A 10-year old boy whose wage-earning parent was recently fired, and where the family has been evicted for non-payment of rent;and,
4.  A 5-year-old girl who, like most children, spends a lot of time expending energy.

Let us create a fifth imaginary person for this scenario whose age is immaterial to the imaginary situation, but who is male because I really don’t want to have to type s/he throughout this explanation.  And let us further imagine that the four people are hungry, and that the fifth person has a loaf of bread which he bought a few minutes ago, and that he’s taking back home to his own family.

As he crosses through the park (the fastest way home to the imaginary man’s imaginary house where his imaginary family is waiting for him to arrive with the imaginary loaf of bread), he meets up with the other four, and decides to share the loaf of bread among them.  He opens the bag and counts the slices of bread:  There are 35 slices in all.

If the man is to do things so they are EQUAL, everyone will receive 7 slices each.  Unless, of course, the man wants to consider his wife and four children at home, in which case, what is EQUAL is for everyone is for everyone to receive 3 1/2 slices each.  Except that the 10-year-old boy argues that he has two parents and two siblings at home, which means everyone should receive just under 2 slices each.  Except that the 5-year-old girl doesn’t like white bread, and the 20-year-old man is unable to eat wheat.  It’s difficult to make everything EQUAL for all involved when making everything EQUAL isn’t going to work for everyone.

If the man is to do things so they are EQUITABLE, he will ask each person what has led to them being hungry, and find out what their individual circumstances are.  When he hears that the 30-year-old woman is gainfully employed but wastes a great deal of her income on luxury items while ignoring her bills, he may decide that she is capable of providing for herself and therefore should not receive — or expect — any slices of bread from the loaf he’s carrying home.  He does, however, believe that the woman would benefit from counseling that addresses the issues behind her extravagant lifestyle she can’t support, and address her budgeting issues.

He may hear that the 20-year-old has medical bills that eat up most of his wages, and that he is unable to secure full-time work because of his health condition.  Not only would this 20-year-old benefit from receiving slices of bread, the man decides that he would benefit from being connected to services and supports in the community that will help defray the costs of his medication.  He also knows of some programs that provide food to those in need, which the young man is unaware exist.  He will share some slices from his loaf with this young man while connecting him to the programs and agencies he knows about.

In speaking with the 10-year-old, he hears how the boy’s wage-earning parent was working not only a full-time job, but took on other jobs to catch up on bills that were piling up.  They are now living with friends as a temporary measure, while the wage-earning parent actively looks for work.  When asked about the non-wage-earning parent, the boy says that his two siblings are newborn twins and that if the stay-at-home parent went back to work, the child care costs would eat up the second income.   The man is aware that subsidized housing has wait lists that are years long, however, he believes that an apartment block near him is still looking for a superintendent.  The job pays a monthly wage plus accommodations.

The 5-year-old girl admits that she’s hungry, but she doesn’t want any slices of bread from the loaf.  She tells the man that she had a large breakfast and a very good lunch, and that she’s working up an appetite by playing in the park so she can enjoy a healthy meal at supper time.  The man agrees with the girl that she doesn’t need any slices of bread from his loaf.

The man’s family relies on him to feed and clothe and house them, and he intends on keeping a portion of the loaf for his own wife and children.  He worked hard to earn the money that went to buying this loaf of bread, and not only is this loaf of bread his loaf, but it belongs to his wife and children as well.

If the man is to do thing so they are EQUITABLE, having heard each person’s story, he will do what is FAIR.  He will divide the loaf of bread up according to each person’s individual set of circumstances.

And if the man chooses to the FAIR and EQUITABLE thing for each person, he may choose to take one step further and do the JUST thing … which is to provide slices of bread in accordance to each person’s needs, and to do the following as well:

1.  To the 30-year-old, he suggests she may want to speak with someone about her financial situation to help her better budget her money.  He hopes that she will strongly consider this, and move ahead with finding such a counselor who may be able to convince her that there are other issues she needs to address.
2.  To the 20-year-old, he tells him of services and supports in the community that help defray medical costs and provide food to those in need.
3.  To the 10-year-old, he writes his name and phone number on a piece of paper, and asks the boy to give this to his parents right away since he might know of a job for the wage-earning parent.
4.  To the 5-year-old, he encourages her to continue being a 5-year-old, and comments positively on her honesty to encourage her to continue being honest as she grows older.

From this short scenario, one can see that what is EQUAL is not always FAIR or EQUITABLE or even JUST.  And what is FAIR and EQUITABLE, is rarely EQUAL, and being JUST may not be part of it.  Being JUST requires a subjective determination that impacts on what is FAIR and EQUITABLE.  And so, it’s easy to see how discussions that rely on what is equal or fair or equitable or just sometimes go off the rails.

Elyse Bruce

More Amateurs/Professionals

The following was written by Bob Lefsetz, and is republished on this blog with written permission of the author.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the name, the New York Post calls him “the most influential man you’ve never heard of.”  With over a quarter million people reading his newsletter, there’s no doubt that people are listening.  Bob Lefsetz’s bio (from his website) reads as follows:

Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to EVERYBODY who’s in the music business.

Never boring, always entertaining, Bob’s insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music’s American division and consultancies to major labels.

“The Lefsetz Letter” has been publishing for over 25 years. First as hard copy, most recently as an email newsletter and now, for the first time, in blog form.

Sign up for his newsletter at http://lefsetz.com/.  You’ll be glad you did!



Ask permission.


Do. Amateurs are afraid they’re going to ruffle feathers, they’re afraid they won’t have success, they want everyone to feel good about them. Professionals know this is an impossibility. Sure, there are amateurs who don’t ask and do heinous things, but they usually don’t even see the landscape to begin with. Decide and then act.




Make their counterparts believe the behavior/solution is to their advantage. No one likes to be manipulated. They don’t mind being influenced, even if it benefits others at the same time. They just don’t want to be a pawn in the game.


Are all about today.


Are all about tomorrow. Professionals leave money on the table, they nurture relationships, they know that today’s triumph may not translate into victories tomorrow, that taking a victory lap in the press prematurely is going to backfire and piss people off.


Love publicity.


Want to stay out of the news. And if they’re in the news, they like to control the story. Which is why professionals hire expensive PR people, because those PR people know the players, they can influence them and trade horses with them, because they both know they’ll see each other tomorrow.


Know it all.


Are always learning. If you don’t learn something important every month, you’re hanging with the wrong people, if you’re hanging with people at all. The web is a fountain of information, but professionals will tell you stuff one on one that they would never put in writing.


Are about filling up their contacts list.


Know that it’s who you know, and one key relationship is better than a dozen secondary ones. The pro wants to know the decision maker, the person who can say yes, the CEO of the company, not the head of marketing or development.


Bitch about the game.


Play the game, and try to change what they dislike over time.


Are afraid to bring out the big guns.


Know when to huff and puff and blow someone else’s house down. The key is to do this consciously, aware of the fallout.




Don’t talk about their accomplishments unless they come up in the conversation naturally. They don’t need to advertise, they’re already the person.


Burn the wrong people.


Burn the right people, if they burn anybody at all. Burning relationships can demonstrate power, but don’t piss off the CEO unless you’ve got a chip to play against them.


Need to win all the time.


Know if you never lose, you never really win. If the deal is one-sided, if leverage is overused, it will come back to haunt you.


Are all flash.


Are subtle. They fly private, but they don’t tell you. They drive a BMW or a Mercedes, not a Lamborghini. They blend in, they don’t stand out.


Believe life should be fair.


Know that life is inherently unfair. And sometimes you have to grease a palm or work a relationship to get what you want.


Think they’re better than everybody else.


Never forget where they came from and are aware they can go back there, so they might act entitled, but they usually go out of their way to be nice to the little people.


Can only see what’s in front of them.


Are always looking over the hill, around the corner. They’re searching the unknown to see where it’s all going, so they can be prepared when it arrives.


Think nothing changes.


Know that everything is constantly changing, they’re not wedded to the past. They don’t lament the death of Main Street and manufacturing, they’re all about the data.


Put all their eggs in one basket.


Spread the risk. They know the only person who wins all the time is the one who does not play.


Have false modesty.


Own their success. They’re confident.


Expect to win right away.


Know that success is elusive and hard fought and that a momentary blip of success at the advent may be just that, momentary.


Are afraid.


Are self-assured. They roll with the changes. They don’t get thrown off guard. They’re cerebral. They don’t fly off at the handle. They absorb the loss and figure out how to punch back.

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/


If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,


Idle No More: Racial Slurs Are Not An Honor

Over the years, certain well-known figures in the sports and entertainment industries have asserted that misappropriating Indigenous culture for financial gain is perfectly acceptable … and, in fact, something everyone should get in on.  When Indigenous peoples have spoken out against this misappropriation, the comment most often used by these sports and entertainment big names is that they misappropriate the culture to honor the culture.

These same sports and entertainment figures will argue that the use of black face is wrong and insensitive, and that any references to the atrocities of WWII are wrong and insensitive.  And they will go to extreme lengths to argue that the wrong and insensitive act of misappropriating the culture of First Nations peoples is the highest compliment they can pay to Indigenous peoples.

Rather than share my views on this subject, this article will ask others to explain how they perceive the following quotes.  Perhaps in hearing what others have to say on the subject, what is obscured can be simplified.

On January 27, 2014 the New Yorker magazine ran an interview with L. Brooks Patterson.  The article was entitled, “Drop Dead, Detroit!”  The trials and tribulations of Detroit were among the many things discussed and written about in the article, and L. Brooks Patterson was quoted as saying the following:

I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass.  I said, “What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.”

I wrote about this on my blog on January 24, 2014 (the article can be read by clicking HERE) in an article entitled, “Idle No More, Blankets, Corn and Detroit.”  If something in that statement is honoring Indians or Indian reservations or Indian culture, I certainly missed it.  However, I’m hoping someone will show me where that honor can be found.

In late May of this year, news broke that reported that Laurie River Lodge in Lynn Lake, Manitoba was honoring Indigenous peoples in their own special way.  You see, the guide they published (and also made available online) addressed a number of topics for those interested in staying at the lodge, not the least of which was this:

We take great care when hiring our staff; however the subject of Native Guides must be touched upon.  We use Cree Indian guides from the town of Pukatawagon in northern Manitoba.  They are wonderful people and fun to fish with however, like all Native North Americans, they  have a basic intolerance for alcohol.  Please do not give my guides alcohol under any circumstances.

I wrote about this on my blog on June 6, 2014 (the article can be read by clicking HERE) in an article entitled, “Idle No More:  Keeping Stereotypes Alive In The 21st Century.”  If something in that published passage is honoring Cree Indians or the town of Pukatawagon or First Nations culture, again, I’ve missed it completely.  However, I’m hoping — just as with the Detroit comment — that someone will show me where that honor can be found.

I suppose perhaps I’m just not that adept at ferreting out the honor and compliments in these kinds of comments, and so I will try to find the honor in the words of rocker, Ted Nugent.  In July of this year, some of his concerts were cancelled, while others were the scene of peaceful demonstrations by First Nations peoples.  Ted Nugent’s outspoken comments about Indigenous peoples were quoted in mainstream newspapers on July 22 where he was quoted saying:

I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy … By all indications, I don’t think they actually qualify as people, but there has always been a lunatic fringe of hateful, rotten, dishonest people that hate happy, successful people.

Try as I might, I cannot find where such a comment honors Indigenous peoples or where they come from or their culture.  Maybe I’m just not seeing it, and if that’s the case, then I certainly hope that one of my readers or visitors who can see it will show me where that honor can be found.

In my travels on the Internet, I thought perhaps I could find some more comments that honored Indigenous peoples, and by typing “natives” and “racism” into the search function on Twitter, this popped up (followed by a great number of other tweets on the topic of racism and North American Indians).

Campus ConversationSince this conversation was overheard on a college or university campus, surely the young adult who spoke these words was only honoring Native Americans, right?  And yet, as with the other three comments already addressed in this article, I am at a loss to see how such a comment can honor Native Americans or where they come from or their culture.  I suppose it’s obvious to whoever made this comment, but it’s not that obvious to me.  And as with the other three comments, I’m hoping someone will show me where the honor in this tweet can be found.

This takes me to this last quote.  It comes from Todd Kincannon who posted what I see as a “triple threat” kind of tweet on Twitter recently.  Rather than describe it or explain it, I’ll just share it with everyone so they can see for themselves what was shared.

Twitter Comment_30 September 2014If there’s some small bit in that comment that honors “savages” or the land “savages” inhabited when Columbus arrived or the culture of “savages” I am absolutely unable to find it.  Then again, perhaps it takes someone like Dan Snyder of the Washington football team to point it out to me.

Elyse Bruce



Ideas For That Washington Team

Keep The Redskins Name, Change The Logo

Get Over It, You Redskins

Who’s Scalping Who

Heathens And Infidels

Blaming Both Sides

Pass The Word Along

Keeping Stereotypes Alive In The 21st Century

A Victory Of Sorts

Blankets, Corn and Detroit


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