Archives for : inspiration

Bring On 2013! Tips for Snow Day Success

bring on 2013 - happy new yearYou’ve got little to fear in the face of the developing blizzard in Indiana and the Eastern U.S. states on December 26, 2012…

You’ve already beaten the End of the World predictions based on erroneous interpretations of the Mayan calendar.

You’ve also just come through what’s arguably the most hectic, taxing, financially draining time of the year and had a (hopefully) safe, joyful, and successful Christmas.

Way. To. Go.

In fact, you may have some virtual office time at home, due to the storm. I’m going to take the liberty to make some suggestions for an easy-yet-productive Snow Day to help get your 2013 (snow) ball rolling!

1) Watch the multi-tasking! Freedom can bring the temptation to overdo it.

2) Make a list of the things you would LIKE to accomplish today, and place a star (★) next to the three most important items. Work on those first. Actually, Read the rest of this list first – it will probably give you some task ideas.

3) Recharge needed devices, like your mobile phone, flashlight battery, and laptop. Make any other needed preparations for a potential storm-related power failure, including fresh water.

4) Organize your tax information for 2012. Won’t it feel great to beat the tax deadlines by weeks or months?

5) Clean off your desk.

6) Purchase a training resource that will give you a boost for the start of 2013.

7) Write your thank-you notes for Christmas gifts or other holiday festivities.

8) Update your Internet browser or any other software, if needed.

9) Make a plan for a healthier lifestyle in 2013, including exercise, diet, and relaxation. Why wait until New Years?

10) Read your Bible.

11) Search YouTube for a business topic in which you’ve been wanting to make improvements. Watch one video, and bookmark two more.

Many of these have probably been on your “mental list” for a while. Now they’re on your paper list. What other items are you considering that will help you get a great start on 2013?

Feel free to contact JR, the Marketing Mercenary, for help with your 2013 marketing calendar: Thank you for reading my blog in 2012, and have a blessed and safe New Year.


Don’t Make a List, Tell a Story

Top-of-mind awareness is the Golden Ring of marketing, and when you succeed in marketing, your business grows.

Tell A Great Story

One way to achieve T.O.M. is to “touch” your customers and potential customers frequently. Monthly, weekly, daily, even HOURLY with social media or mobile advertising – TOM can happen if you have the time and resources to constantly remind your audience that you’re ready to serve them.

Making a strong impact and being memorable is another way to stay Top Of Mind with the folks in your world. I’m not saying that being memorable will make the constant touches unnecessary, but – let’s face it – unless you have a HUGE advertising budget, it’s tough to be everywhere all the time.

Let your customer’s memory do the work for you. HOW? By telling stories about your company, your products, and your people.

“What should I tell them?” Make sure your stories illustrate the values that your company holds, and how those values are demonstrated to a particular client, in a particular way, by one of your employees or ambassadors.

I’m often guilty of answering the question, “What do you do?” with a list of services I provide. The response is typically, “Oh. OK.” But when I talk about a client that I’ve recently served in some exciting or fulfilling way, it ALWAYS leads to further questions – a deeper conversation about being the Marketing Mercenary. Which do you think that person will remember?

BONUS TIP: There have also been times I’ve talked about a business challenge, rather than a success. People naturally want to help. They want to show you that they have good ideas, connections, and resources, too. So, even talking about a challenging situation can help someone remember you when showed your appreciation and gave them recognition for their intelligence and resourcefulness. This is what’s know as a Win-Win, my friend.

We recently helped a local restaurant owner update numerous facets of his marketing platform at a very affordable cost. I’d love to tell you the details. Send me a note –

(NOTE: I was only briefly tempted to entitle this article “3 Reasons to Not Make a List.”)


Three Requirements for Progress


Is your business “stuck”? Are you having trouble moving ahead in a project or activity? Wondering why you can’t keep up any consistent momentum? You need enthusiasm, motivation, and commitment to make progress.

  • Enthusiasm means excitement, joy, or positive energy. Think about how that makes a difference in everything you do. You could also call it “spirit”.
  • Think about what drives you – your “why” – the reasons behind the reasons. That’s motivation.
  • Commitment can also be called loyalty, purpose, or determination. What makes you go at it again and again when you have difficulty, or even when you fail? We’re talking about commitment.

When any of these falter, the other two will be negatively affected. When you improve any of these, you can make positive progress in the other areas. I believe this to be true in business productivity, faith, relationships, personal development, and sports performance. In fact, I can’t think of an area that would not follow this principle.

What’s more, I’m afraid that even if you’re amazingly strong in any one of these and lack the other two, any success/progress will be short-lived. For example, a person with strong commitment, yet lacking enthusiasm or motivation will be subject to rapid burn-out.

Your challenge today: Take 5 minutes to choose an area of life that could use improvement on one of these pillars. List three ways to make that improvement. Pick one, and do it.

Do you have a similar principle to share? Do you disagree with this one? Would you like to see more on this topic?


Holding Back the Return of Vinyl

My children and their spouses recently gave me a USB turntable and a couple of vinyl records for my birthday. I am extremely grateful, and at the same time, paralyzed. Here’s why.

Vinyl Record

The Return of Vinyl

I’ve had a couple of boxes of record albums on the top pantry shelf for…ever, it seems. The latest date on any of the albums is from the early 1980’s. Those are my albums.

We also have some albums from the 1950’s and 1960’s. They belonged to my wife’s parents.

Time for a flashback: While I was in college, I fell in love with vinyl records. Yes, I LOVE them. I took radio production classes, in which the instructor taught us the proper way to handle and clean vinyl records before playing them. I heard and saw the difference it made in the sound. My dorm had a radio station, where I practiced the things I was learning. I was neck-deep in vinyl every Sunday from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Those albums of mine are in like-new condition. I’m almost afraid to touch them.

Continue Reading >>

The Wind Can Blow

The Wind Can Blow

The Wind

We are grateful for the things for which we have worked hard, fought, struggled.

We give thanks for the people and possessions that deep down, we feel we could someday lose.

In your life, what are you taking for granted? Think about something you never think about losing.

Give thanks for that today.


How To Keep Up On Your Blogging

Helicopter Keeping Up with Boat Race

Can You Keep Up?

A common blog article topic usually comes forth on the InterTubes as “What to Write About When You Don’t Know What to Write About.,” or “How to Overcome Bloggers Block.” The most common suggestion I have seen is to keep a file or folder of ideas for future articles. When inspiration comes, write down as many topics or specific ideas as you can. Then, you’ll have numerous ideas for future dry spells.

You should definitely do that.

But to boost your output even more, I’m going to take a different angle on that idea today. This particular strategy takes some work, but the payoff is double, compared to the “idea bank.”

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Top 4 Things You Might Read Here

Ja, det er jo ikke det værste sted at holde pa...

More content is coming soon, that fits one or more of the following categories:

  • fun
  • useful
  • inspiring
  • ridiculous

I just want you to know that I haven’t quit on my blog. I’ve been mighty busy with numerous projects (grateful to God for that), but haven’t spent any of my free time right here. Feel free to post any comment you like. (Please keep it clean.) Thanks for reading! –JR

Reload: Create A New Product

Create A New Product!

Reload #2 from Marketing Mercenary

Are you stuck in a rut? Producing but not creating? Selling but not solving?

In this edition of Reload, I’ll share something that gave me a spark a while back, and is generating new business for me now: creating new products.

A while back, the gentleman that was my business coach challenged each person in his group to create a new product in two weeks. He also thought that, since I deal mainly in electronic media services, I should easily be able to create a range of new offerings: low-cost, mid-range, and premium.

I did it, and I sold one of the mid-range products for about $400 a short time later. It was my biggest single sale up to that time! Was it expensive to launch this new product line?

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Mid-Week Reload: A Flood of Productivity?

MM Mid-Week Reload

Mid-Week Reload #1

Welcome to the new “Mid-Week Reload!” Marketing Mercenary found the Monday Morning posts difficult to do “regularly,” so I’m moving the post to mid-week. In addition, I’m refocusing on articles that are hopefully helpful to your work, rather than topics that are merely interesting to discuss.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the rain we’ve had.  It’s quite evident that there are portions of some area farm fields in which the crops have been drown out. However, it’s also easy to see that the grass, trees, and the remaining crops are growing like mad!

What does this have to do with productivity?

Continue Reading >>

11 Money-Making Ideas for a Rainy Day

Marketing Mercenary Money-Making Ideas

Money-Making Ideas

In the context of yesterday’s storms and today’s rain, Marketing Mercenary suggests that you create an attention-getting promotion for you business today!
For example:

Rainy Day Specials

  • Banks offer a bonus service or gift for opening a savings account – today only!
  • Insurance agents offer a gift card or other incentive for purchasing home-owners insurance, or adding a flood insurance rider – today only!
  • Department Stores offer a deep discount on boots (you know, not the high-heel kind – the utility kind)
  • Realtors offer to help prospective client find a new home in a higher, drier area – OK, this may take longer than a day…
  • Remodeling Companies offer a discount on shower enclosures and installation. Get it?
  • Massage Therapists offer a discount to help alleviate the jangled nerves brought on by lightning and thunder and jumbled schedules. Offer discounts to FARMERS that are stressed out from waiting for the weather to clear – today only! Offer discounts to power company personnel that have worked overtime to help the public, clearing downed trees and power lines – OK, offer similar discounts all the time.

Clean-Up Specials

  • Grocery Stores offer discounts on paper towels, floor cleaner, Lysol, etc. – anything needed to clean up muddy and water-damaged areas – today only!
  • Car Washes or Detail Centers offer a two-for-the-price-of-one deal – today only!
  • Disaster Recovery providers – OK, you’re pretty well set. Just sponsor the local radio weather forecasts for the rest of the Spring and Summer.
  • Carpet Cleaning Services offer multi-room specials – through the weekend only!
  • Landscaping companies offer clean-up specials, to remove debris from flower beds and other areas – through the weekend only! (You won’t be doing any mowing for a few days, anyway.)

I hope this got you thinking how you can help folks out, have a little fun, AND bring attention and revenue to your business in a good way. Be safe!

For help with any of these ideas, or with developing unique marketing tools and strategies for your business, contact the Marketing Mercenary!