Bad Writing is like Bad Breath

“Bad Writing is like Bad Breath. Most people won’t say anything to your face about it.” — Thomas Baldrick

It’s bad news if this comes as breaking news. Telling your stories well is important in business and in life. What is the quality of your writing? Does it help you or hurt you? Do you know or just hope? Bad writing could be hurting you and your business.

“Bad Writing is like Bad Breath. It could be turning people away, and keeping them away.” 

You can always learn. You can always improve. Yes, this includes writing. I had written hundreds or thousands of hours worth of content which aired on TV. I also authored two books among my many other writing projects. Still, a few years ago, I had the gift of working closely with “Radar” Roy Reyer. and the legendary Joe Sugarman (creator of Triggers). Their input, advice, and criticism made me a better writer, much better. Plus, I now enjoy writing more than ever. Thank you sirs. I’m forever grateful.

Back to the business at hand. If you want to stop bad breath right now…I suggest Listerine or Altoids. If you want to stop bad writing right now…here’s a hint not a mint. I suggest you take a look at these 12 Tips for Writing Success. I hope one or all 12 of these I’ve come up with may be of assistance to you.

12 Tips for Writing Success

12.  Think about your audience. Who is going to read your writing? Who is the ultimate end user or ideal customer? Think about this person. Picture this person in your mind. Write to this person. Write for this person.

11.  Focus on benefits. What does the reader want? Why are they reading your writing? Why do they care about the topic? Appeal to the benefits they seek. Benefits. Benefits. Benefits. This will get you the best results.

10.  Most people don’t read in groups. Most people read as individuals. Most people use the internet as individuals. Why try to write for the masses? Write to your ideal end user or customer for ideal results. Hopefully, you’ll reach the masses.

9.  Use shorter sentences. They are most effective, especially for the internet. Think instant gratification. Think short attention span. Think of “hooking” readers.

“Bad Writing is like Bad Breath. People won’t appreciate it or you.”

8.  How do you like THAT? Take notice the word “that” is a dead word. It is overused on the internet. You’ll learn quickly it can often be removed from a sentence without any loss of value.

7.  We all make mistakes. “Check before Send” is a wise motto which prevents showcasing your writing mistakes.

6.  I enjoyed a long successful career in television. If I missed writing deadlines but made excuses I’d have quickly become yesterday’s news.

5.  If you can, find your own writing system and stick to it. By writing system I mean how you write, where you write, when you write, etc.

“Bad writing is like Bad Breath. People will remember, and won’t want to get too close to you any time soon.” 

4.  When is the best time to write? Any time you can. Any time you are inspired. Writing gets easier with practice. Relax. Every writer gets “writer’s block.” If you don’t wait until the last minute, you’ll give yourself time to brainstorm, and time to walk away from writing if necessary. Doing something for fun or to relax often clears your block and helps you focus on great writing.

3. You don’t want to waste your time writing. You don’t want to waste anyone else’s time either. Give your readers accurate content with real value.

2. Don’t dare plagiarize. Unlike having bad tuna breath, people will call you on it.

1. Find your voice. Take pride in your writing. Like it or not, you sign your name to it.

“Bad writing is like Bad Breath. It’s bad for your personal brand. It’s bad business.” 

Leave a comment. Add one of your writing tips. Write on My Friend! 

By Thomas Baldrick  Google +

Emmy Award-Winning Writer, Author, and Passionate WordSmith.

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Lifecycles of Innovation

If you left early, you missed out. Those who stayed for the final general session event of the 2014 Innovation Arizona Summit were richly rewarded. There was tremendous value and insight shared during the Lifecycles of Innovation Panel Discussion for anyone interested in business and/or success.

The Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona SciTech Festival, and MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix gave the conference a theme of “Innovation: From Inspiration to Commercialization.” This Lifecycles of Innovation session personified the theme. It featured outstanding Arizona business leaders who humbly and kindly shared details and advice from their economic successes.

Here was the cast on stage for Lifecycles of Innovation:

Mary Juetten: She was the moderator for the panel. Mary is the Founder and CEO of Traklight. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Traklight is the only the only self-guided software platform for creating your custom (IP) intellectual property strategy.

My key takeaways from Mary Juetten:

– If you’re looking for investment funding, just ask! Don’t dance around the subject. She said she was echoing the wishes of investors she knows.

– If you’re like most people, you get excited about building things. You have to remember someone has to buy it.

Justin Gray: CEO and Chief Marketing Evangelist of Lead MD. With offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and San Francisco, California, this company is a team of experts at automation marketing.

My key takeaways from Justin Gray:

– You have to build a business around your weaknesses. For example, Justin admitted he was overly optimistic in hiring talent. He now has others in place to help with the decision making process of hiring.

– Be fluid. Don’t be forced or stay committed to an original idea. He said he was able to do this and Lead MD is now doing what they do best and filling a critical need in the marketplace.

Craig Hughes: Founder and CEO ofTotal Transit. This is a fully integrated transportation company in Glendale, Arizona. It provides both public and private transportation management services.

My key takeaways from Craig Hughes:

– One thing can lead to another as it did with Total Transit. But when you get a good idea, just stick to it.

– Taking on partners, giving away equity often creates more problems than it solves.

– Say things like they are reality. Then ask, “What do we have to do to get there?”

Paul Jackson: CEO of Integrus Capital, Bright Ventures, Worthworm, & D-Strut. Paul is a former aerospace engineer. He bootstrapped his first company and then raised millions from his guest house in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

My key takeaways from Paul Jackson:

– Getting investors is all about the relationship. When you sit in front of someone, it comes down to if they like you and what you do.

– Mitigate risk wherever you can.

– The best place to get money is from a customer. Get some good customers. Do this before raising money.

– Don’t stop.

Bob LaLoggia: Founder and CEO of Appointment-Plus. This Scottsdale, Arizona company provides a scheduling software which helps organizations to be smarter, faster, and more efficient.

My key takeaways from Bob LaLoggia:

– Every business doesn’t need funding or a huge exit to be successful.

– People you need will change over time. A true CEO makes these tough decisions and often has difficult talks with people in the business you care about.

– Make your vision clear. Don’t give away anything in your business unless you are sure of the outcome. Have confidence in yourself before cutting in others.

Ibrahim Mesbah: He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Revolution Parts. This Tempe, Arizona company is a fully integrated eCommerce solution providing tools and service for growing online auto parts sales.

My key takeaways from Ibrahim Mesbah:

– Find a problem. Create a solution. Find some customers, and validate it.

– It’s easy to get distracted. Stay focused!

I’d like to offer my gratitude to the presenters in the Lifecycles of Innovation session. I appreciated their time and contributions. I was inspired and educated by the stories and lessons learned from their failures, not just their successes.

By Thomas Baldrick  Google +

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#InnovationArizona Experience

It’s Saturday. But my thoughts are still with Thursday. My guess is if you attended #InnovationArizona 2014 you might be going through the same thing. So I’m sharing my experience from the innovative summit. This might help if you were there but in different workshops than me. It might also give you insight if you don’t know what #InnovationArizona is or were unable to attend.

The summit is a one-day annual event held at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Tickets were just $20 in advance. The day’s activities featured leaders of successful tech companies, investors, educators, and officials from government, and NGOs (non-government organizations).  Well-deserved kudos for presenting #InnovationArizona 2014 go the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona SciTech Festival, and the MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix in a joint collaborative effort. Sponsors such as Cox Communications, APS, and the City of Scottsdale were also major players.

STEM is the star of #InnovationArizona.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It was everywhere, offering something of interest to seemingly everyone. At the core of most content was the theme of developing solutions to problems. These solutions are making for a better economy, and better ways of living and doing in Arizona and beyond our borders.

Why were educators and even students at #InnovationArizona ?

You don’t need a degree in nuclear physics to figure it out. There was a great deal of information and valuable free resources on hand from the dozens of exhibitors. For example, the Arizona Geographic Alliance and Project Lead the Way.

Living truly outside the box of standard education was 14-year old keynote speaker, Logan LaPlante. The innovative whiz kid from Nevada led the audience inside Generation Z with his talk, “Hackschooling Makes Me Happy.” He’s enjoyed a lifetime of experiences and is driven to succeed before he’s even old to legally drive.

I took to Twitter from the event on Thursday ( @ThomasBaldrick ) sending out a popular tweet which said, “Every school in Arizona should have a representative at #InnovationArizona. I truly believe it.

#InnovationArizona – Beyond Geeks and Techies

I also discovered you didn’t need to be a science geek or techie to benefit from attending this summit. I am a classic example. If you are simply interested in business, any kind of business, the Innovation Arizona Summit would be worth your time. I couldn’t help but feel and act like a sponge around the many wildly successful and innovative business leaders who presented, and graciously shared their successes and failures, and priceless advice.

Collaboration was in the air at #InnovationArizona. For instance, here are just a couple of the connections I enjoyed with innovative Arizonans at the summit.

Conrad Storad. The humble, and award-winning Children’s Author. He shared his stories of his creative approach to entertaining and educating young readers about science and nature.

Alan Baratz. The CEO of Amber Alert GPS. He has such a passion for this life-saving and life-changing technology business. It’s what led him from investing in the Scottsdale based company to literally taking it over.

Melissa Rose. Founder of Biz in a Boxx. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Melissa developed a solution for her daughter struggling in school and turned it into a successful business. But that’s not all. Her daughter is now on track for success and heading off to college.

The 2014 event was my first #InnovationArizona Summit. I look forward to going back and looking for opportunities to get even more involved.

It’s funny. I went there on behalf of my new brand, AZ STRONG. I came away with a greater awareness of how we are truly gifted in our state. AZ has really strong people. AZ has really smart people, too.

So much focus is on Arizona’s immigration problems. It’s nice to focus here on Arizona innovation solutions.

by Thomas Baldrick  Google +

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Innovation Arizona Summit 2014

I like being the best-looking person in the room. I like being the smartest in the room, too. I also like having the most powerful positive attitude in the room. Having said all that, tomorrow I am quite positive I have little to no chance at accomplishing all of these posted goals. You see, I’ll be one of many who is attending the Innovation Arizona Summit.

August 14, 2014. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will be packed with people and bursting at the rafters with brain power. The one-day event boldly explores the ever-changing lifecycle of innovation. This runs the gamut from inspiration to commercialization. And of course, somewhere or everywhere along the way in the innovative process, (especially in the Arizona heat)…there is perspiration.


As one of the world’s greatest innovators, Thomas Alva Edison, so brilliantly stated…“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

And how. The Innovation Arizona Summit is presented as a joint collaborative effort by the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona SciTech Festival, and the MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix. I’d like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to these organizations for their vision, as well as their efforts in making this happen.

Summing up the Innovation Arizona Summit

In a word it’s all about STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

It’s truly loaded with information about innovation. Attendees can choose from about 20 different educational sessions. They’re organized in tracks highlighting the areas of innovation, workforce, culture, SciTech, and STEAM (innovative ways to integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Roughly 60 different exhibitors will be showcasing themselves. Another 1,000 or so attendees round out the field which proudly embraces diversity. There will leaders representing industry, investing, business, education, communities, government, and NGOs (non-government organizations).

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out this coming together at the Innovation Arizona Summit 2014 makes for a powerful formula. There are networking opportunities designed to empower collaborators to enhance and expand their networks and resources. It’s just the right stuff for creating even more entrepreneurship and innovation.

Registration for the Innovation Arizona Summit is closed. If you can’t make to the event, be sure to check back here at AZ STRONG news/blog section. I’ll plan to come up with interesting content to share with you.

If you are attending the Innovation Arizona Summit 2014 version… and would like to collaborate and connect, be sure to look me up. We can meet and explore your marketing, messaging, and promotional needs. It could be improving your website and reach, video production, writing, photography, and more.

You can call me at (602) 535-2320 or email me. If you’d rather find me in person, just take another look at my photo above, or the ones on the AZ STRONG website.

I’ll be the good-looking, smart guy. Hopefully, I won’t be perspiring too much.

by Thomas Baldrick  Google +

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Down Memory Lane with Jacobson Elementary Kiddos

(Photo: Dr. Rosemarie Tipton at 9-11 Wall of Hope dedication. #Thomas Baldrick, Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker seated behind her).

Look out! I apologize. If you’re cruising down Memory Lane, I’m the guy who just went speeding by you…in reverse. There’s no one to blame, only plenty to credit thanks to the new Jacobson Elementary School traffic video we just produced at AZ STRONG.

Before getting to the present and future, I’ll quickly explain this relevant piece of my past. It’s hard to believe the 13th Anniversary of the September 11th tragedies is coming up. It’s hard to believe it’s also been more than a decade has flown by since my first book was published.

“Kids’ Rule! The Hopes and Dreams of 21st Century Children is now out of print. In my research for the book, I had over 10,000 kids across the country and around the world tell me what was most important to them. My job was to share it with readers.

Doing my first book was a long and winding labor of love. It was the cause of much laughter, and sadly some tears as little ones trusted with their hopes, dreams, and realities. I’ve never forgotten how enlightening the sacred journey of that book was for me. How could I?

Still, producing the new video about the traffic flow changes at Jacobson Elementary in Chandler, Arizona gave me the most powerful reminder I’ve had in years of this chapter of my life. I’m grateful.

Truth be told, I haven’t really allowed the memories of my work as an author and recognized “Champion for Children” to see the Arizona sun. My bad. The life choices I made including what led me to move to Arizona pretty much packed away much of my past. For years, I’ve had all of my heart, head, and hands full focusing on another sacred journey. This one centers around one amazing little boy, and doing my best day and night as his “Go To Guy.”

Videotaping dozens of Jacobson Elementary students on Friday brought my rear view mirror right in front of my face. They continued all weekend as I edited the video with their funny little lines and precious little personalities coming to life. From the kindergarten kiddos to the 6th grade rising stars, I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to how much I enjoyed blending my professional television/video and writing skills with my genuine enjoyment of kids being who they are…where they are at that early stage in their development.

Speaking of driving, a few weeks ago I almost drove off the road when I caught myself telling my son, “Someday Daddy might write more books.” I don’t know if I will. I don’t know when either. In the meantime, maybe I’ll look to do more video work at AZ STRONG like the video about Jacobson Elementary School traffic flow changes.

What I do know for sure is this:

– I’m grateful I allowed the idea of doing the video to pop into my head and out of my mouth at a recent Jacobson Site Council meeting.

– I’m grateful for Principal Susan Powell, the staff, and many parents to trust me in working with their Kiddos.

– I’m grateful to all of the students for their time and effort in making the video a success.

– Finally, I’m grateful right now for honoring my feelings around use of the word, “Kiddos.”

The word always reminds me of the late, great Dr. Rosemarie Tipton.

She was the amazing woman and educator at Shanksville Elementary School. Rosemarie guided, nurtured, and passionately protected her “kiddos” every single day, including September 11, 2001. That’s the unforgettable day when heroes battled terrorists and crashed United Flight 93 in a rural Pennsylvania field just missing Shanksville Elementary School.

I miss you my dear friend. My work with the Jacobson Elementary School “Kiddos” has me thinking of you.

by Thomas Baldrick Google +

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Arizona Rainbow Reminder

This is a true story. In fact it just happened. See how an Arizona Rainbow serves as a reminder for you that anything is possible in business and in life.

The state of Arizona has an abundance of beautiful views. There’s the awe inspiring Grand Canyon. There are amazing sunrises and sunsets. There’s countless photo opps of mountains, cactus, palm trees, desert landscape, and many lakes, too. Finally, there are millions of beautiful human examples of eye candy. I was told the best-looking people in the world reside in the state of Arizona.

Based on the wide range of beauty options, Arizona Rainbows aren’t even needed. But we do have them, and they are beautiful. They are breathtaking when you take in the background as well.

The most Spectacular Rainbow I ever saw…

It was years ago while producing a documentary about the Big Island of Hawaii for the Discovery Channel. I was standing waist deep in the Pacific Ocean near Hilo. I saw with my own two eyes why Hilo is known as “The City of Rainbows.” I felt the magical, mesmerizing effect, too.

It was late afternoon. I was with the guys from one of our camera crews. This particular rainbow stretched across the skies as far as the eye could see. If you were trying to capture it in a panoramic photo on your iPhone you would have gotten tired by the time you reached the end. This rainbow was that wide. I will remember that moment for as long as I live.

The most timely rainbow I ever saw…

It was last Saturday evening, August 2, 2014. Around 6:00 p.m. I was driving my son Julian and a pair of our little neighbors. I’ve chauffeured this trio before of ages 8, 6, and 4. We were on our way to a swim party at the marvelous Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center in Southeast Chandler.

This wasn’t just any party. It was a farewell. My neighbors were moving from Arizona as the family’s Big Daddy got a great job offer in Boise, Idaho. Storms coming in from the northwest caused concern about the swim party. But it was sunny in the direction we were heading.

The kids wanted to hear the Kermit the Frog sing “The Rainbow Connection” song sung by Kermit the Frog. Soon everyone was happily singing along. At the exact moment the song ended, we made a left turn onto Riggs Road from McQueen Road.  We were looking east.


Up in the sky there suddenly appeared a beautiful Arizona Rainbow.

The kids looked out the window with wide eyes. They were simply amazed at the timing. I was right there with them, amazed at this unique and shocking Arizona Rainbow Connection.

The kids said in that moment they would remember this rainbow forever. I suggested they always remember it as a sign anything in life is possible. I made a point of saying the same thing to myself specifically about business.

I joked with the kids how I was relieved they didn’t request hearing “Frosty the Snowman.” Naturally, they did. While I was able to play the song from YouTube, I didn’t have the power to make it snow in August in hot and sunny Chandler, Arizona. Maybe it will work next time. After all, anything in life and business is possible. You just have to believe.

Get creative. Think about what you want to create in business. Right now, it might feel more possible, especially when you compare it to having to manifest an Arizona Rainbow.

By Thomas Baldrick  Google +

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Marketing Lessons from the Lemonade Stand

Saturday morning in Chandler, Arizona wasn’t cool. What you’re about to read really is. These lessons from the lemonade stand provide a refreshing example of the power of marketing.

In Arizona, garage sales are a sub-culture, a segment of society, and a way of life. Let’s just say these events are “interesting.” We’ll say the same for some of the people who participate regularly in this home retail activity.

Most Arizona garage sales happen early on Saturday mornings. The hosts have to get up and their stuff out on display usually before the sun comes up. People are early risers in the Valley of the Sun to beat the heat. Furthermore, shoppers are early risers and early hunters. They’re hoping to secure the best deals before someone else does.

My neighbors directly across the street are moving out of state. My son and I will miss them. They were having a garage sale. We offered to help.

The 4 kids involved set up a lemonade stand as well. A cup of their lemonade cost 50 cents. My son and the oldest girl were passionate about marketing and selling their product. They wanted to go knocking on doors to tell people about it. We had them stay in place for the garage sale shoppers.

When a car or truck pulled up, the kids pounced. They rushed over and were waiting at the door before people could get out of their vehicle. They made their adorable pitch. People were politely saying “no thank you” or “maybe later.” It seemed you couldn’t even sell lemonade in the Arizona heat. Hmmm…

I observed the process closely. I wanted the kids to be successful and feel good about themselves. I watched. I listened. I waited. When the time was right based on the kid’s frustration rising with the temperature, I quickly but quietly slipped on my marketing consultant hat. I asked the kids if they wanted to sell more lemonade. They did. I asked if I could help. They said “yes.”

I suggested to the kids they change their marketing tactics. I pointed out that it felt unusually hot outside for early in the morning. It was uncomfortable. It was not a dry heat. All of us were sweating through our shirts. Our faces were sweaty. This doesn’t happen in Arizona’s well-known “dry heat.” The kids agreed.

Here was my marketing advice:

1. Wait. People are coming to shop at the garage sale. They are not coming for lemonade. Give them a chance to get what they want, then approach them with something else they might want.

2. Wait. When people arrive at the garage sale, they are hopping out of an air-conditioned vehicle. Let them bake in the heat for a couple minutes and they will be more inclined to want and buy your lemonade. The heat will help do your marketing and sales for you.

3. Soften your sell. The kids were using a direct pitch, “Would you like to buy a cup of lemonade for 50 cents?” I had them say, “Excuse me. I know it’s really hot outside. Could I interest you in a cup of ice cold lemonade?”

4. Give people choices. I dashed over to our house and whipped up pitchers of pink lemonade. Now people could choose regular or pink.

What were the results?

Ka- Ching! Ka – Ching!

The kids were thrilled. Their sales conversion rates skyrocked. They needed multiple cups to hold their cash. The cash cups needed to be emptied multiple times. More lemonade needed to be made. More ice was needed. People went from tolerating the lemonade experience to actually enjoying it. They even seemed to enjoy the lemonade more. People were complimentary of the kids and how good the lemonade tasted. They were appreciative. Some were even giving tips to the kids on top of paying full price.

The marketing lessons from the lemonade stand for you may be:

– Be open to change. – Hard work doesn’t always pay off like smart work.

– You don’t need to change what you sell. You may need to change HOW you sell it.

– Know what your customers want. Give them what they want.

– Give your customers choices whenever possible.

– Be willing to give away the lemonade you’re selling for free if your inner voice tells you to do so.

– Sometimes you get so caught up on the inside of what you do, the most valuable marketing consulting for you can come from someone on the outside.

The saying goes, “When God gives you lemons, make lemonade.” How you make your lemonade matters. How you do your marketing can also make a world of difference in how strong your sales will be.

By Thomas Baldrick     Google +

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Small Business Self-Marketing: Time Well Spent or Time Suck?

Yeah I know. If only marketing a small business was romantic, and as easy as it looks in the photo. No need to fantasize. You will love marketing your small business when you do it right.

The universe is talking to me. I know I might as well listen. I know I might as well write it down and share. You might benefit here, too.

You see the matter of small business self marketing came up for me yesterday. It came up not once. It came up not twice. It came up in three different consultations with small business owners. Safe to say, when the topic of small business self marketing gets put on the table…it usually lasts longer than a good meal. It can also linger like indigestion.

Is it right for small business owners to do their own marketing?

This is like the chicken or the egg stuff. Ask a hundred small business owners, and you won’t get a hundred different answers. Nope. The most likely scenario is you won’t get many definitive answers at all. Instead, what you will get are plenty of shoulder shrugs, and plenty of looks of frustration and confusion on people’s faces.

Deciding how to effectively do marketing of a small business and deciding who does it, have been challenges for all types of industries for quite a long time. Back in the day, it could have been figuring out who wrote the classified ad for the local newspaper, or who dealt with the folks from the Yellow Pages once a year. Then, the information superhighway rolled in.

Internet marketing changed small business and big business, didn’t it?

That’s a relatively easy question to answer. Today, the trendy hats to wear in marketing include Social Media, SEO, Blogging, Video Producer, Circus Master, and more.

The following questions are some of the ones which aren’t so easy to answer.

– Do you consider yourself most effective as a businessperson or blogger?

– Do you hire an internet marketing consultant or agency, or do you try to put the YOU in “guru”?

– Are you the best pitch person to appear in videos, or do you have someone else such as a professional spokesperson to deliver the messages you want in the ways people want to receive them?

– What is the best way for your marketing to save you money and make you money now and in the long run?

Yesterday, I was asked to answer these questions for 3 different smart people. I took what I know to be a smart action in return. I only made observations, suggestions, and repeated key points I heard. It’s not my first rodeo. Choosing yay or nay on small business self marketing is a fundamental decision which usually works out best when the decision maker arrives at the conclusion on his or her own.

I recommend every small business owner or executive answer these questions by asking herself or himself one more very probing and problem solving question.

“What’s the best use of my time or my staff’s time?”

Asking this question honestly provides real insight. You can determine if it is better to save some money or sacrifice quality, productivity, and efficiency.

You can explore if there is someone else in your company who can do your job better than you or in place of you while you are the marketing guru.

You can look closely at how best to maximize time, skills, and results.

I will point out many small business owners come to the conclusion they are their own most effective marketer. They say they are going to dedicate themselves to doing it and being it.

But as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” New needs and priorities pop up. Procrastination and frustration show up. And their self-marketing machine gets held up. Nothing gets done until the cycle repeats itself weeks or usually months later.

Maybe your small business self marketing can be different. Maybe it can’t. You choose.

Let me know if AZ STRONG can help with marketing solutions.

Call (602) 535-2320. Or Email


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Creating Change in Marketing: Do Nothing. Change Everything.

In life, in business, and in marketing, change can be exciting. Creating change in marketing can create new opportunities for your business, increase your profits, and lead to greater success. Creating change in marketing your business can keep people, products, services, and relationships looking and feeling fresh. Whether it involves technology, messaging, practices, or products and services, change can be profitable physically, mentally, emotionally, and of course financially. This is reality.

But is it yours?

Creating change in marketing strategies can be just what the doctor ordered. Yet, just the idea of changing how you promote who you are and what you have to offer can bring on enough stress to make you sick.

Whether it involves changes you know you need to make to your brand, website, social media, or advertising, the need to take new action in sharing your messages is like an itch you can’t scratch, or a toothache you hope will magically go away. It will nag at you and send you constant reminders until you take the action you know is necessary. It can make you less productive, angry, and make others less productive but angry with you.

Fighting change in marketing changes you. It changes everything.

For many, change can also be intimidating as well as overwhelming. In fact, change can be so scary it actually stops many people and businesses to the point of paralysis. Even during times when people know change is desperately needed (and inevitable), they choose fear and denial. They choose to do nothing.

There is a price to pay for the choice of doing nothing.

I’ve dealt with business owners whose resistance to change hurt them badly. It hurt their brand, online presence, hurt employee morale, and relationships with customers. Each of these changes caused by resistance to change had a negative impact on the bottom line. I’ve seen businesses throw more time, money, and resources into old tricks which had proven they no longer did the trick. But, they were familiar. They were comfortable. And in the end, they were failures.

Relying on yesterday’s solutions creates new failures today and tomorrow. This hurts employee morale even more. This turns off and turns away bored, unsatisfied customers. This hurts the brand and the bottom line even more. This widens the gap with competitors. Seeing less customers and less sales and interaction is one thing. Pretending stale marketing efforts are just a long slump everyone is facing, blaming it on the economy, Washington, D.C., illegal aliens, or aliens from outer space is another thing. Those types of excuses are piling problems on top of the problem. What is needed is a solution. What is needed is change.

“Unless you’re living on the edge…you’re taking up too much space.”  

I love that saying. I love the visual image it creates. I use it at times when I’m feeling scared or stuck. It lightens the situation. It works for me.

While the idea of going out on the edge may seem extreme to you, resisting change in marketing, advertising, and promotion simply brings the edge closer to you.

Your competitors are creating change in marketing. Your competitors are taking action. Guess what? Your customers are doing the same. You already know you want and need a positive change. The first step toward your solution is to do nothing more than own your fear of change.

If my earlier “living on the edge” gift wasn’t received well by you, try this one on for size. It might be a better fit. A wise spiritual teacher of mine helped me to look at fear in simple but successful ways. Here is what I’ve come up with and have shared with many people. It has been well-received. Now the above funky photo of my hand should make sense.

An Exercise for Overcoming Fear of Creating Change in Marketing

If you’re right-handed, hold out the palm of your left hand. (Lefties do the opposite). Look at your hand and say, “Okay. You’re fear. But you’re just fear. That’s all you are.” Now hold out your power hand and say, “I choose you. You’re my Power. You’re all of the Possibilities I haven’t considered. You’re my Hope. Everything else in life including my solution is right here in the palm of my hand.”

This exercise puts you in a much better place. Here you can breathe. You can see, hear, and think more clearly. You can feel power and hope. Now you can take action or reach out and listen to others who know how to help you create positive changes. Here you’re within reach of your solution for improving the marketing, promoting, and advertising of who you are, what you have to offer, and why the world benefits from you.

If I can help you further with ideas, and putting positive change into action, just put your smart phone in your power hand and let me know. Email me at AZ STRONG or call (602) 535-2320. By Thomas Baldrick   Google + 

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Arizona Dust Storm Video

Writing can be a dirty job. I’ve said it many times. 2 nights ago, I did another dirty job. This one was different. The old adage, “somebody’s got to do it” didn’t apply. I didn’t have to do it. I wanted to do it. I wanted an up close and personal encounter with the first Arizona dust storm of the 2014 monsoon season. Others have asked me to write about it. Since I am cleaned up, I am doing so.

It was around dinner time. I was heading home to Chandler, Arizona from a good meeting in nearby Scottsdale. I got 2 alerts on my cell phone about a major dust storm approaching. It was warning me to get off the road. At the time it was sunny on the 101 southbound. But the more I drove south, the more I could see the weather was heading south, as in deteriorating.

At 7:00 p.m., I stopped a mile from home because it was time to speak on Skype with my boy who is away visiting his mother. I spun my phone camera around to show him what was coming.

The Baldrick Boys had been though a good Arizona dust storm a number of times together, most while we were at home. The worst was on our way back from Disneyland. It was terrifying. We were on I-10 just inside Arizona from the California border. Visibility was down near zero. There were fatalities in that storm. I chose to keep going, believing when it came to keeping my boy safe and alive I trusted me more than any other driver. On that long white knuckle drive we passed multiple collisions where cars pulled off the road were hit by visually impaired drivers. In trying to keep my son relaxed I told him the Buzz Lightyear line from the movie Toy Story, “Not today Zurg!”

Since I was solo 2 nights ago, after our father-son chat, the approaching Armageddon was so close I didn’t even have to “storm chase.” I decided to go to an open field area near my home. This way, I would be much safe from other people as well as any flying debris. I learned this years ago at ABC News. I covered a hurricane where a flying door decapitated a guy who ran out in the street during a neighborhood house party.Yeah I know. Ouch.

This most recent Arizona dust storm experience was amazing, but by no means pleasant. A “brownout” completely blanketed the sun, and the Chandler Intel facility I used as a landmark. Visibility was lost and my eyes weren’t too happy either. Having covered many hurricanes and tornadoes as a television journalist, I guessed the winds went from zero to 40 miles an hour in an instant. There were also gusts much higher which nearly knocked me off my feet physically.

Armed with only my trusty i-Phone, I created this Arizona Dust Storm video. Others have enjoyed it. I thought you might enjoy , too.

by Thomas Baldrick  Google +

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