Grab bag - Part 4

Archive for the ‘Grab bag’ Category

Friday 5: worst product ideas ever

Via TechEBlog, here’s a list of the 5 worst product ideas ever. It just goes to show how important it is to vet your ideas before you launch a business. If you’re thinking about starting your own consulting business, be sure to do market research and financials. Before you invest any money in your new venture, test the waters. You might want to start consulting as a second job, so that you can work out the kinks. That’s how I became a consultant.


Friday 5 — business qualities of introverts

If you’re an introvert, you may think you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to building a business. After all, aren’t extroverts the best people to sell services, nurture client relationships and network? Well, according to Coachville, introverts offer business qualities.

I’m not really an introvert, but I’ve seen many introverts succeed in consulting careers. Those introverts usually succeed by differentiating themselves.

Top 5 introvert business qualities

  1. Focus on getting to the point in meetings and personal interactions
  2. Interest in solitary activities, such as research, writing, reading, designing and inventing
  3. Disciplined
  4. Independence
  5. Likely to process an idea before blurting it out

Server outage today, 9 am PST

My electricity will be out for 2 hours this morning. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Friday 5: top 5 office clutter sources

It’s Friday 5 time. Here’s my list of the top 5 sources of office clutter.

Top 5 sources of office clutter

  1. incoming mail, especially junk mail
  2. receipts I need to file and use for tax write-offs
  3. printed materials I need to shred
  4. messed up print-outs
  5. items I can’t seem to file away, for fear that I will forget about them

Number 5 is my nemesis. For some reason, I like to have some things right in front of me, instead of hidden away in a filing cabinet. It’s like I need them to jar my memory. 

Happy 2008!

Hail the New Year, lads and lasses! Sorry, that’s a bit of my Scottish grandmother sneaking in. But Happy New Year, nonetheless.

Yesterday, I mentioned resolutions. I suppose I should make a few for 2008:

  • To reduce unnecessary work, such as checking my email when there’s no reason to interrupt what I’m doing at the moment
  • To better schedule work around my family
  • To increase my earnings per hour — that is, to become more efficient and more productive in my non-paid work

How about you? Have you made any resolutions? Share them.

Boxing Day

I’m off today, because it’s Boxing Day. In Canada and other Commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas is a holiday, known as Boxing Day. The term comes from the practice of giving your employees and those who work for you a box of goodies. Traditionally, you’d give a box to your servants, but some people, like my Grandma, have extended the favour to paper carriers, letter carriers, house cleaners and other modern day helpers.

Of course, in Canada, Boxing Day is now known for massive sales at retail stores. People line up at midnight to take advantage of deals, especially on electronics.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain why I’m not writing much of a post today. Enjoy your December 26th, whatever it means to you.

Happy Holidays – blog holiday

Happy Holidays! It’s time for my annual vacation with my family. I’ll be taking the next two weeks off. However, I know many of you would like to continue reading, so I’ll provide a link round-up from around the web:

Friday 5: lessons from pro wrestling

Can you learn about marketing from pro-wrestling? Paul Nilsen lists the top five things you can learn about marketing from pro-wrestling.* My favourite:

When a wrestler goes out of his way to show that his opponent’s punch rocked his skull, he is said to be “selling” his opponent’s move. When the tide turns in the match, the opponent will do the same, and “put his opponent over”. In essence, a wrestler makes great matches and becomes a success by making someone else look good.

Successful marketing isn’t always “Me Me Me!!”. Sometimes “selling” someone elses move helps people to see you in a new light.

Pro wrestlers know the value of partnerships. By working with your customers, vendors and business partners, you can achieve common goals. This might mean using co-operative advertising, joint ventures, joint press releases, shared sponsorship or another idea. Think about how you can work with your partners to grow your businesses.

* Original linked article was at


Everybody needs a cheerleader

This weekend, I took my kids to the Santa Claus Parade. While watching the parade, I exchanged a few comments with a friendly woman. She mentioned that they were there to see someone in the first float. My husband and I said we were there to see someone in the last float. We all chuckled when the woman and her male counterpart realized we meant Santa. I wasn’t sure if it would be too forward to ask what float would be first. As it turned out, the first float was for parade grand marshall Ross Rebagliati, the first Olympic gold medalist for snowboarding. The people beside us shouted out Ross’s name and waved frantically. I told my older boy that “he snowboards”. And the woman beside us said, “This is his daddy” — and motioned to her counterpart. Once the float had gone by, they left. They’d stood in the cold long enough to get front-row viewing — and they left once they’d shown their support for Ross.

Wow. An Olympic gold medallist’s family turned out to see him. They cheered his name, waved and made themselves known. I don’t know anything else about them, but I can tell that’s the kind of support that makes for an Olympic champion.

Whether you’re a gold medal winner or not, you need cheerleaders. Your family, friends, business associates and entrepreneur support network members make up your cheerleading squad. Everyone needs someone with whom they can share their ups and downs. When you’re out building your business network, make sure you add a few cheerleaders.

Why I’m posting 3 days a week

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that, in the last month or two, I’ve dropped to posting 3 days a week. I’ve kept the reason secret till now. A week ago, I gave birth to my second child. So, although I’ll be posting on Consultant Journal, I will only be doing so about three times per week. I will also be very slow in responding to email messages from readers…at least for the next few weeks.

We’re all doing fine and everyone is healthy. I look forward to my growing family…and to returning to more regular updates here in the weeks and months to come.