When “Work” Is Not “Work” You Might Be Out Of Balance

IMG_20170825_191203_207I’ve just completed a week of vacation successfully. Successfully? How hard is it to take a week of vacation? For some it can be more stressful to NOT work that to work. While I did have to work, I was still able to get the time away that I need to feel rejuvenated.

It’s important to get some time away and to relax. Before I leave for vacation, I’m usually at the point of burnout. I usually will get a pretty relaxing week on vacation. And when I get back I’m ready to step into work again. For me vacation is to the mind what sleep is to the body. When you wake up (or get back to the office etc) you feel refreshed and ready again to dive in to work.

But I want to talk about the value of work and the value of play. We can’t live life just working all the time. We’ll burn out and life will be hard and we’ll likely die younger. We can’t live playing all the time, cause if all we did was play we couldn’t take a vacation to play more. There must be balance.

The value of work: It doesn’t just provide an income but work…

  • Gives us a sense of accomplishment
  • It makes leisure activities more rewarding
  • We learn new things

The value of play: I don’t think anyone will disagree with me here but play…

  • Gives our mind a rest and a change of scenery
  • Keeps us young
  • Helps us laugh

Ok so now the we have that settled, I propose that not all activities labeled work, are actually work, and not all activities labeled play, are actually play.

There were a few times in my life when I felt this way. I remember a particular class I took in college, it was a computer design class and I really enjoyed it. I would be done with homework and hanging out with friends, but in my mind I would rather be back on the computer designing something. I enjoyed my work more than I enjoyed hanging with friends. Now, I’m not the best designer, I admit, so I haven’t made a career out of it. Work became play.

I ride motorcycles. When we go out for a long ride it’s really fun, but as the ride gets longer, the motorcycle seat gets harder and harder. The need to take a break climbs higher on the list of priorities until it becomes #1. Play becomes work.

My uncle says “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I’m not sure where he got the saying and Google doesn’t know either. Anyway, I will propose that those who are lucky enough to find a job they love still need to take a break. But the break isn’t as critical and doesn’t require the same rejuvenation as a break from work that is more difficult and intense.

Let me make one more point. I had a job at one point that was not taxing, as far as “work” goes. It was easy and most of the time it was fun. But there were days were I wouldn’t have anything to do. I would go home on those days and be ultra productive. I had needed something to do. I needed some work to do. I had gone to work and done nothing and came home to find I needed to create, fix, or rework something.

Life is a little different now, I’m so busy at work I need to come home to get a break.

Balance is important. Be mindful of what is work, and what is play. You need both in life. If you find taking time off  is not satisfying are you really taking a break? Or is the job actually play?

If you are lacking satisfaction figure out what is “work”. Make sure you are actually working, if you are working and doing nothing at work. You are not working. You can’t leave and feel fulfilled at home by doing nothing. If this is you find “work” to do. It may be cleaning out a closet, or mowing the lawn. If you are working hard and take a vacation make sure to break away completely, let work stuff be work stuff, and play stuff be play stuff.

If you can make sure work and play labeled correctly, you may find the balance you are looking for.

What keeps you balanced?


When Less Is More

bakeryThis week I had a chance to sit down with Jonathan Hoffman from Dough Dough Bakery in Seaside, Oregon to discuss his bakery.


Jonathan wears quite a few hats, but mostly he is the owner of the bakery in Seaside, Oregon. Jonathan was trained in culinary school in  Scottsdale, Arizona. He first started selling pastries in Cannon Beach Oregon out of  a little boutique c-store that had a kitchen in the back. From there, his clientele grew, and when the opportunity for his own lease in Seaside opened up, he jumped at the chance. Currently, the bakery does really well. There is a solid clientele of deliveries as well as walk-in customers. Jonathan’s passion isn’t limited to just pastries, but he has a wide range of culinary skills; His first business was as a private chef. We should also note that he is also a 3-time champion of Chef Goes Coastal, an Iron Chef like competition. I’ve also tasted his delicious pastries, so I can also vouch for his amazing skills.

The Problem

The Bakery is one business. Recently in the evenings, he turned the bakery into a wine bar, but that has never really taken off. He lost a key employee that was helping to make the wine bar run successfully. He also has a lot of requests for bread, but he doesn’t have the proper equipment to make that happen and hasn’t been able to make the financial commitment for the proper equipment. But that has recently changed, and he is now ready for new equipment. On the weekends and some weekdays during the summer, he participates in farmer’s markets making tacos.

Jonathan has a lot going on.

The Goal (aka the mission)

Jonathan is inspired by the seasons and passionate about their products. He wants to use fresh local in-season ingredients to make the best food out there. He also wants to avoid the trends and be an innovator. He doesn’t want to make the same old food that every other Seaside restaurant is serving: pizza, fish & chips, burgers and sweets. He wants to be different. Jonathan wants the Oregon coast and visitors to experience the local food, in season, that enlighten’s peoples taste buds.

We read about the mission above, but let’s solidify the Values:

  • Fresh Local Food in season
  • Innovative, interesting food different from the competition
  • Food as an experience
  • Good customer service


Seaside, Oregon is a fun coastal town full of tourists with a great beach and a lively town center focused on food, with a carnival type atmosphere of rides, arcades, tourist shopping etc. The surrounding areas are also very touristy although Seaside is the most carnival-like atmosphere. It’s also one of the largest coastal towns within about an hour drive in any direction.

The Strategy

Here are my recommendations to Jonathan:

1 Simplify. There is a lot going on in his life. I recommend discontinuing the farmer’s markets as a food cart but continuing the farmer’s markets as a bakery.

2 Focus on the Dough Dough as a restaurant. I recommend Jonathan focus on making the Dough Dough a restaurant, the premier coastal restaurant using fresh local foods and high-end baked goods. Here’s the catch: Because the Seaside market is tourist heavy, and tourists may only come back to the same restaurant once or twice a year, it will be important to cater heavily to the tourist. The tourists have already shown us what they like and prefer, Pizza, Fish & Chips, Burgers etc. But Jonathan is innovative and passionate enough that he can take these old tried and true dishes and serve them with fresh local ingredients and give them a twist that will turn heads. The tried and true dishes will bring tourists in, but the menu can offer some other innovative dishes that the tourists can try.

3 Focus on Bread as the ambassador. Jonathan should really nail down few versions of artisan bread, bread bowls and rolls that will be used in other restaurants. Much in the same way Tillamook has the market on cheese and dairy products. Jonathan should position his bread as the staple for artisan breads up and down the coast, and eventually inland to Portland. The position should be that everyone who uses anything other than off-the-shelf bread will use Jonathan’s “Seaside Bread” as the premier locally sourced artisan bread. Any restaurant that claims to serve good bread will be serving Jonathan’s bread. The bread should be limited to restaurants and boutique stores to retain it’s local artisan vibe. This “Seaside Bread” will bring it’s own revenue stream and tourists will follow this amazing bread to the source and visit the restaurant. The bread bags, should promote it’s source via website and physical restaurant. The bread should drive people to the website or the restaurant.

4 Marketing. The bread will need to be hand delivered, sold and promoted, because it’s basic and delicious it will be a calling card for the restaurant. But additional marketing will be needed

  • New website. There is no existing website. The website should focus on the restaurant as the source of the “Seaside Bread” with the menu of tried and true items (with their innovative twist) that brings the tourists in. The website should drive people to the restaurant.
  • Yelp, Facebook and Google reviews. The Dough Dough Bakery already has the highest rank on each site. These reviews should continue to be monitored and responded to regularly. Negative reviews should be responded to as polite and professional as possible and ask the reviewer for another chance to give them the experience they missed.
  • Personal marketing. As the bakery unfolds into a restaurant, those making recommendations to the locals should be invited to eat. Hand out invites by walking down Broadway and handing invites, attached to a loaf of bread, to front line workers at other businesses. Those front line workers are the ones who will be recommending places to eat for tourists, business owners should also be invited. If they eat and enjoy the Dough Dough as a restaurant, they’ll recommend it.
  • Social media. The Dough Dough has a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. This should be expanded to include behind the scenes of bread making and the restaurant. It should not be used as advertising. It should be used to add value to people’s understanding of bread, innovative food, local food sources, and seasonal recipes. Sharing of recipes while seemingly dangerous to share proprietary information is usually more helpful to the chef, becoming more well-known than competitors stealing business. Social media should be driving traffic to the website or to the restaurant.

Jonathan will be able to focus on just the restaurant and bakery by eliminating all the other chef distractions. The ability to focus will allow him to realize his passion of fresh local food and presenting it in season.  He will facilitate the tried and true dishes that tourists come to the coast for but add his unique twist. This will allow him to tap the lucrative tourist market and still innovate and deliver food as his passion requires.



The Absolutely, Without A Doubt, Most Amazing, Best 3 Marketing Secrets Ever LEAKED From Secret People!

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Secret #1 There are no secrets, but letting people know you have secrets is marketing. A friend said to me the other day, “I have the funniest thing I need to tell you but I can’t tell you! Ask me about it in a week, then I can tell you.” Seriously‽ Of course I wanted to know the super hilarious thing he can’t tell me. Steve Jobs was a master at doing this. Apple is one of the classic examples of secret marketing. There is an art to generating rumors and speculation, while keeping an extremely tight lid on the real facts. Apple is able to build so much hype around rumors and secrets. It’s no secret how well they do this. We can call this Fight Club marketing. Whats the first rule of Fight Club? We don’t talk about Fight Club.

Apple has been able to “leak” secrets about its phones to the right sources in such a way that they benefit in a couple ways. 1 They generate hype and 2, gather feedback about what people like and pricing. They have been known to leak pricing higher than what they actually price the secret product at, perhaps to cushion their higher prices upon the announcement.  But back to the hype: people LOVE a good rumor. Call it gossip, rumor, secret whatever, the idea of having special information that isn’t supposed to be available is tantalizing. That generates buzz. Steve Jobs knew this, but that brings us to the next secret.

Secret #2 In order for secret marketing to work there has to be a real secret. Apple has had some really big secrets. However, everyone has caught on to “secret” marketing and in my opinion isn’t as effective as some of Apple’s big announcements in the past. Every headline about phones these days is “Pics of Brand X phone LEAKED”, or. “Specs of new Brand X phone LEAKED”. In some ways, the content creators are just making headlines as alluring as possible, but the companies releasing all the new gadgets are also trying the secret marketing technique. But when everyone is leaking photos, the technique doesn’t work as well.

Secret #3 There is an art form to the “leak”. You can’t leak to every news outlet. Then it’s not a leak, it’s an announcement. If you small leak doesn’t generate buzz, maybe your product isn’t buzzworthly. A bigger leak isn’t going to fix a dull announcement. Which takes us back to Secret #2 You gotta have a pretty good secret.

Use this technique with care. It’s a fragile technique and if used incorrectly will not work and the technique must be given a break before it’s used again.

What is the best secret marketing you’ve seen unfold?

How To Plan For The Worst, In 3 Steps

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This week we want to plan for the worst. Or at least the Emergency Planning firm, The Doberman Group, does. Let me start with John, an emergency planner, who started The Doberman Group. He is trying to find a jump off point and move full time into emergency planning consulting with his newly created firm.


John is an expert in emergency planning. He became interested in emergency planning after the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. He eventually graduated with a Bachelors in Emergency Administration and a Masters from Georgetown in Emergency and Disaster Management. He has worked for the Red Cross, been an Emergency Planner at the National Caner Institute in DC, and is now a Unit Leader on the National IMAT (Incident Management Assistance Team). His unit gets deployed for disasters from oil spills, to earthquakes and hurricanes. Needless to say he has a great resume and wants to build his own consulting firm.


John is well aware of his market. There is a lot of opportunity for emergency consulting and not very many consultants. The biggest opportunities are government contracts and corporate consulting. John is also passionate about school safety and emergency preparedness for educational institutions.


The Doberman Group has already gone through the multi month process of getting vetted by the federal System of Award Management (SAM). Which gives them a leg up on government contracts.

In addition, the group of decision makers in federal agencies around the US is pretty small. John said, “If you show up to an emergency and have to hand out a business card you aren’t going to get any contracts.” In other words, the people in this group all know each other so personal contact and personal networking is the best way in. But it doesn’t guarantee contracts. In an emergency you still need to deliver. John knows a lot of these people and is well known in many of these circles.

Every time there is a disaster or catastrophe, John gets a call from personal friends, people who are inside corporations and schools and other organizations, asking what they can do better.

The Problem

John is about to jump from a good paying job with a steady paycheck to make more money, however, the money isn’t steady and some gigs can take months to pay. Bridging the gap between steady employment and rolling over into a pile of cash could take a long time.

The Plan

Every disaster, while unfortunate, brings awareness into the public eye of a greater need for better emergency planning. After each catastrophe, suddenly, for a short time, corporations and small businesses, families, everyone is hyper aware of their need for better emergency planning.

Step 1 Create an ebook. John will give Doberman a boost by offering a free ebook meant to benefit schools, grade schools, high schools, universities. This ebook will be a checklist and step by step instruction on getting the basics of emergency planning for any educational institution. This ebook will be available on his website, free. Not only will it offer great value to institutions but it will help cement his authority as an emergency planner online.

Step 2 Create a video series. Emergency planning has many aspects that are overlooked. The ebook will help with the basics, but the video series will be more specific. Posted on YouTube, they will be available for everyone. The videos aren’t meant to earn money as a YouTube creator with ads, but they can be embedded on the Doberman Group website and when the next disaster strikes those most frequently asked questions can be directed to the videos and the websites. Since they are posted on YouTube they will also be available in those search results. These videos will offer more specific value to organizations but also show that the Doberman Group can help your firm plan for the worst.

Step 3 Speak. John needs to speak. When he speaks people listen. The market for speakers with expertise in emergency planning is small. John should be able to find speaking opportunities everywhere. Its an important topic and a serious topic. And a lot of people are interested. John is clearly an expert and extremely passionate about emergency planning. He has a message for any firm, school, or group. Speaking opportunities are often attended by decision makers who will be able to bask in John’s expertise and authority on emergency planning.

So far everything is free here. How are we bridging that gap? The Doberman group needs to create some content for people to see. There needs to be a digital pamphlet. The content should be structured so that it genuinely helps those who find it. After all, school safety is a passion for John. His real goal for Doberman is fulfilling government contracts.

Each of these steps will lead to consulting opportunities. And each of these steps can be done before John leaves his steady paycheck, and moves into the irregular pay of the consultant.

Schools will hire Doberman after going through his completely free ebook and checklist. There is simply too much for educational administrators to think about. The ebook and checklist is genuinely helpful for any educational institution. It will provide a step by step process of putting together an emergency plan. And if that’s all they do they will benefit. But, it will also start them down the road of a real emergency plan. The catastrophes are countless, the planning possibilities vast. They will want to hire the Doberman Group. These educational gigs are quick, easy to land, and profitable. John will be able to turn his passion of school safety into the bridge that will make the Doberman Group his full time work.

How will you bridge the gap from your steady paycheck to your new opportunity?

Ducati And Marketing The New Scrambler Motorcycle

Ducati introduced, or rather revived an old model in 2015. The Scrambler. Before we begin, I must confess I’m already smitten with the motorcycle. The thing is, that’s what they are aiming for. They want to take this tool, vehicle, which already has dual purpose and make it more about lifestyle than about getting around on both asphalt and trail.

Take this video for example. The opening sentence asked the real question that Ducati is wanting all of us riders to answer. Is it a motorcycle or a lifestyle product?  Ducati has tweaked this product in such a way that shows they’ve really done their homework on who they are marketing for. It’s selling well. Check out the video:

The bottom line with motorcycle ownership is that it gets you from point A to point B. It’s possible this product is more a conversation piece but that’s not Ducati. Ducati wants to ride. So this marketing is a bit of a departure, and it’s awesome.

It will get you from point A to point B, but it will also get you from uncool to very cool. The video even points out that the website for the Scrambler is different from the rest of the Ducati lineup, where they not only sell the motorcycle but they also offer T-shirts and jackets and other lifestyle products.

Part of the allure of this bike is the dual sport nature, road and dirt. It’s utilitarian by class, yet marketed to take you from dweeb to awesome, even if you never ride it, and all you do is share photos on Instagram of you sitting on it. hastag ducati, hastag scrambler, hashtag ImSoCool.

Some even think it’s a bit overboard. But for sure, it’s aiming at the “eclectic—but well-considered!—tattoo collection

Consider also: https://www.cycleworld.com/2014/12/16/cw-feature-ducati-scrambler-a-hit-with-hipsters-marketing-to-younger-generation

What do you think about this marketing? Too hot? Too cold? Or just right!


How To Overcome Loyalty Created By Fear!

woman curling her hair
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Once upon a time my wife and I lived in Seattle, then we moved to New York. My wife was so afraid to try another stylist in New York that she flew back to Seattle to get her hair done.

My dentist will not, ever use another lab than ‘his’ lab because he is picky and loves the lab he uses. He only gets crowns from ‘his’ lab. He believes no other lab can produce the quality of work that ‘his’ lab does.

How do you market a product when people are devout, loyal, supremely committed to a competitor.

These are businesses that are able to win a high level of loyalty brought on by the perceived high level of risk of going elsewhere. But how can you win them over to your business? Do this: reduce or eliminate the risk.

This is easy for the dental lab. Ask for a duplicate mold and offer a free crown/bridge/whatever. The risk for the dentist is gone, the risk is taken on by the lab who must float the cost of the crown. If they like your crown they can use it, if not, they can still use their favorite lab. A key aspect is to get the opportunity to make the free crown. This can be done through a multitude of creative means: 1 just knock on the door and ask, 2 send a mailer with a coupon for a free crown to dental offices (or other means), 3 get the coupon into the hands of the patients, let them use the free crown coupon, it will reduce the cost of their dental visit (be careful this does mean the dentist could potentially lose some money, depending on the pricing the dentist uses for patients.) There are many others.

You can make an extra crown, but you can’t do a free trial of a haircut. For the stylist, this is difficult. But the bottom line is to bridge that fear gap. But! As a hairstylist you can create confidence that can reduce or overcome the fear. Video marketing: YouTube becomes the answer. A stylist can post videos of popular cuts and styles as he/she performs them, talking through the steps and showing a great final product. This not only positions the stylist as an expert but bridges that gap of fear.

A dental lab can also use video to show their expertise. YouTube offers some great ways to market your expertise.

There are other fears out there that need to be overcome to win new business. What do your potential customers fear? How can you bridge that gap?

How To Start Building Your Small Private Practice Into Your Desired Vision

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I just spoke with my very accomplished sister Keri who, after several years of practice as a therapist within other organizations, is now starting her own private practice. We spoke about her strategy and goals for her new practice.

She specializes in EMDR therapy which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Essentially it takes disturbing memories or thoughts that have not been properly processed but are still stored. These thoughts can surface and affect an individual in unproductive ways. EMDR combined with bilateral stimulation can unlock these thoughts for reprocessing in health ways. The goal is to resolve the negative impact they might have.


Her mission is simple and easy to define. She wants this practice to heal people through EMDR therapy.


So we started by discussing vision she has for her practice. She described her practice in future looking like this: “The practice is full to the point of turning people away. I’m trained on all the trainings and certifications I have goals for, I am attending conferences regularly. The practice runs smoothly with with flexibility for my schedule and time to be with my family. Staff helps with appointments, and running things. I’m in a long term contract in the office space. Patients come and stay for a long time because they are making improvements and healing. The patients are recommending all their friends to come see me.”


Next we discused the values that will drive this vision. She described several values the can be categorized, and we we defined each value:

Hope – the discovery of a better future

Healing – learning to reprocess and manage the negative memories, thoughts and their effects.

Quality – to provide the highest quality therapy which is always administered to the best of her abilities.

Progress – continuously improving patient healing and the therapy provided

Having defined these aspirations I recommended the following to help with the growth she is looking for:

  1. New website with blogging capabilities – She currently has no website.
  2. Social media outreach through blogging, tweeting, LinkedIn, and Google+. Blogging regularly and participation in the online EMDR communities will help her with more local referrals and even distance therapy possibilities.
  3. New materials – all of which allow for referral opportunities: New business card that asks for referrals, 2 new professionally printed brochures. One that focuses on the EMDR therapy, and one that focuses on Keri. Each brochure is optimized for patients to give to friends.

We had quite a productive first meeting. More will be discussed at our next meeting. But Keri is well on her way to having a solid strategy and plan and tools in place to help her grow her practice to meet her vision.

This is not a paid placement. But if you have dramatic memories or suffer stress anxiety or other negative effects, you could benefit from EMDR therapy. You can look up your local EMDR therapist or call Keri to discuss your options at 1-801-368-1999