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The crucial moments this crisis calls for you

The 2 most important days of your life, Mark Twain said, are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

You were born for specific purposes. 

Everything within you is geared for that. It should consume you with fire and fervor, says and ace copywriter John Carlton. 

If you are not pursuing that purpose, you will forever be unhappy. That unhappiness means you’ve wandered from your path.

If you stumble into the task, no matter how unprepared, you will fulfill a joyful purpose probably beyond your ability. But you’ll find our way by doing, Submit to your destiny, and get busy.

One hint: It is not the pursuit of money.

No. You are built for far nobler things. It may be much closer to home than you thought. Raising good children is a magnificent goal. Teaching is up there, too.

What you choose to do may involve more heat than you thought possible. The entrepreneur world is not for cowards.

Figure it out. Line up the challenges you will face and plot their obliteration starting today. Stop cowering in the corner

Step 1: Find your true purpose.

Step 2: Pursue it with all your heart.

Step 3: Keep a record of your progress.

For more on this, read “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” For a personally autographed copy of the $20 book for only $10, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Turn problems into solutions

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

More trends that may help or hurt you

Last week we talked about 3 trends that can help or hurt you.
Here are 3 more:

  • A friend observed that the political bickering in Washington is building popular sentiment for term limits. Don’t expect anybody in Congress to favor limiting their own terms. Yet their actions will make incumbents vulnerable to challengers and cost them millions in campaign donations.
  • When restaurants and non-essential retailers are able to reopen, they face the problem of hiring workers and restocking inventories at a time when they are cash poor. Smart lenders are going to have a field day. But many of these businesses are going to face higher costs with fewer customers and will have to cut their margins to attract customers to come back to them.
  • The pandemic has already driven many weaker owners out of business. This reduces the competition for consumers’ dollars when the stronger ones are open again.

Be sure you are ready to provide 1st class service and products to take advantage of this less competitive market.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know by writing JerryBellune@yahoo.com

We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”  For a complimentary copy, please fill out the form at the top of the page to join the mailing list.

Next: Protect your credibility during covid-19 to retain your customers’ loyalty. Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Trends to help – or hurt -your business

Alert business owners and entrepreneurs need to be aware of new consumer trends that may help – or hurt – their business.

A local ad agency survey found that some behavioral changes may be long-lasting. While 92% of consumers wanted to go out to eat, 67% planned to cook more at home and 41% planned to order take-out once the covid-19 crisis subsides.

67% missed going to movies but 56% were more likely to stream movies at home.

Bringing manufacturing back to the US, especially in critical products such as drugs and technology, could have positive impacts on South Carolina. Low labor costs and lack of union resistance to modern production methods will make right-to-work states appealing to manufacturers.

Consumers who rarely if ever bought products online have been forced to turn to the internet. Now that they realize how convenient it is for many products, they are expected to continue to buy there. As for shopping in women’s fashions, they can watch shopping channels and buy there,

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Do you see other trends? Please let me know at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: More trends that could help or hurt your business’s bottom line.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

In a crisis, focus on survival, not fear

Our friend MaryEllen Tribby’s daughter Delanie is training to play pro tennis. She has won dozens of junior tournaments and observers say she’s the next Chris Evert. 

Delanie as once plagued with doubts and would get nervous before her matches. 

She feared losing — the opposite of how she should have been thinking. Rather than say, “I don’t want to lose,” she is learning to say, over and over, “I want to win.” “I want to win.” “I’m going to win.” “I can win.”

Like a magnet, when she thinks of getting beat or making mistakes, she starts attracting errors and loses matches.

Just as she trains her body to hit the ball in a certain way to get a desired result, she trains her brain to focus on the ace serve, the cross-court winner and the perfect lob.

She focuses on what it will feel like to win. The more vivid her thoughts are on winning, the more likely she is to win.

MaryEllen uses her daughter’s example to teach an important lesson. During this time of trial, no matter what your situation, think “what must I do to get through this  and your brain will rise to the challenge.

Please let me know what you come up with. I will share it with other readers.

We share such field-tested tactics in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies,” For an autographed $20 copy, email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: Trends to help your business.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Hemingway’s 5 Writing Tips

After high school in 1917, Ernest Hemingway tried to join the army.
He was only 17. The army turned him down.
Through an uncle, he landed a job at the Kansas City Star.
Cub reporters were given a style sheet demanding:
Short sentences.
Short paragraphs.
Vigorous English.
Positive, not negative writing.
Eliminate all superfluous words.

Hemingway observed these rules in his novels.
His reporting shows an ability to convey scenes with sparse details.

“At the End of the Ambulance Run” begins:
The night ambulance attendants shuffled down the long, dark corridors at the General Hospital with an inert burden on the stretcher. They turned in at the receiving ward and lifted the unconscious man to the operating table. His hands were calloused. He was unkempt and ragged, a victim of a street brawl.No one knew who he was. A receipt bearing the name of George Anderson for $10 paid on a home out in a little Nebraska town served to identify him.
The surgeon opened the swollen eyelids. The eyes were turned to the left.
“A fracture on the left side of the skull,” he said to the attendants.
“Well, George, you’re not going to finish paying for that home of yours.”

Hemingway was famous for his terse, minimalist style.
He used few adjectives and got straight to the point.

He once told a story in only 6 words:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Why would you want to write like this? For starters, readers like it. Writing like this gets to the point. It respects readers’ time and busy lives.

Try it. You may like it.

To get more tips like this, email jerrybellune@yahoo.com about his upcoming book, Compelling Writing and to be added to his writing mailing list.

You can see past writing tips by clicking here.

What can you control in trying times?

Our friend Jill Konrath admits it’s tempting to slip into “poor me” thinking. But we have a single option right now. We need to focus on what we can control.
Our brain loves challenges. It rises to the occasion, scanning memory for useful information. It pulls together unlinked thoughts to find new strategies. Ditch the word “problem.” Instead, say: “We have a real challenge here.” Ask yourself:

  • How can we attract new clients?
  • How can we keep our current clients?
  • What greater value can we create?
  • How can we make it easier for our customers to make buying decisions?
  • How can we increase our share of each customer’s business with us?”
  • How would Zig Ziglar or another successful salesperson handle this?
  • Which prospects need what I have?
  • How can I best show them?

When you do this, new ideas emerge.
Let’s be blunt. Nearly 90% of entrepreneurs need to improve their sales skills.
Spend time preparing for your calls.
Do your homework on prospects.
Learn about their issues and concerns.
Figure out how your offer will help with what they’re trying to accomplish.

We share such field-tested strategies in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”
Claim your free electronic copy by filling out the form at the top of the page.
Already on my mailing list? Email me for your free electronic copy at JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

What are you doing to survive today? Share your ideas with us and other readers by emailing JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

Next: Focus on success – not fear

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Writing tip: Dazzle us

Good morning, fellow toilers in the writing vineyard.

Alliteration and assonance should be in every writers’ kit.
That’s particularly true for those of us desiring to dazzle readers.

Merriam Webster defines alliteration as similar sounds in words or syllables.
The sounds are often the first letters or sounds.
“Seven sisters” or “both brothers.”

Alliteration is common in poetry, songs, speeches.
Even journalism. 

Some phrases were once wonderful when first used.
They include:
“pretty as a picture” 
“dead as a doornail”
“wild and woolly”
“babbling brook” 

Now they have become trite.
We should think more originally.

Similarly, assonance is the repetition of stressed vowel sounds.
Examples are “quite like” and “quite right.”
“Free as a breeze” and “high as a kite” owe their appeal to assonance.

Gerard Baker got away with this small masterpiece of overstatement:
Mark Zuckerberg’s headlong fall from epoch-shaping, world-connecting, community-building billionaire to monopoly-protecting, hate-speech-promoting, election-rigging avatar of evil … shows no sign of abating.

Baker was clearly having fun with this sentence in The Wall Street Journal.
What we may be reading, however, could be a slimmer version of his first draft.
His editors could have been humoring the old bird as their former editor.

Or they may have deferred to him for his many years in the trenches.

At the Chronicle, you know what a martinet I am.
We take no prisoners,
Think originally – and dazzle us with alliteration and assonance.

Oh, by the way, do you have your copy of our Guide to Compelling Writing?

It’s still available in its electronic version for only $9.99.

Order yours today at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Hard times challenge us to innovate

A friend of ours was looking for a birthday gift for her teenaged daughter.
 Amazon was backed up in deliveries.
She found what she was looking for on a local shop’s web site and was promised 3-day delivery. It arrived as promised.
That’s an innovative shop owner.
 A local restaurant owner has been delivering meals to customers’ homes. He has found that some menu items don’t travel well. The steam in the box makes breaded dishes like onion rings soggy and unappetizing. He took them off his online menu.
That’s an innovative restaurant owner. 
We read about a hotel owner with empty rooms who turned to local officials. He offered rooms for those who needed to be quarantined but could not do it at home. He turned a disaster into a profitable offer.
That’s an innovative hotel owner.
Now let’s talk about you, your business, your products and services. 
You are as smart as these people or you would not have survived long in business.
What can you and your people do to innovate and turn this into a profit?
 We share such thoughts and challenges with you in our free ebook, “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.”

For a free copy, please fill out the form at the top of this page.
P.S. Want to share what you and your people come up with and what resulted?
Email me and I’ll share it with others.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to survive in trying times

Sure, covid-19 is a challenge. Most of us have been through this before.
Our friend Scott Channell reminds us that when the economy contracts, we get through it stronger, weaker or not at all.
Scott’s tough love advice: Sell to get covid cash. Beware of hucksters. Be thoughtful, be deliberate. Act quickly. Cover all bases.
Do your homework. Have a strategy. Work your strategy. Remember, there are no easy comfortable solutions in times of crisis and the answer is never a single thing.
What gets us through tough times is focus and execution. Doing what you should have done but did not feel the urge to do or were uncomfortable doing when times were good, is what you need to do now.
Mega tighten your list. Prospect and sell smarter. Have no tolerance for inefficiency or ineffectiveness. Stop interacting with lower quality targets.
Punch up your offer. Be direct. Say what you were uncomfortable saying before.
Prepare to be uncomfortable.
Be more efficient. Focus on opportunities. Don’t move in too many directions.
For more such guidance, get Scott’s sales eletter at scott@scottchannell.email
For a free copy of “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius” fill out the form at the top of this page.
Next: More survival strategies
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Never let a crisis go to waste

President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
Savvy entrepreneurs understand.
Look at the bonanza grocers are enjoying. Products are flying off their shelves and ringing their cash registers. Well, maybe not cash registers. They use more sophisticated computer systems. But they are making a killing and with little effort other than to keep getting supplied every day.
Amazon plans to hire 100,000 more employees at their distribution centers to meet an escalating demand for online delivery.
Bars and restaurants are having to adapt as public officials order them to close their dining areas. But they will pick up business with take out, pick up and delivered meals.
Your local druggists and the pharmaceutical industry is working 24-7 as are hospitals and just about everyone in health care.
The demand has not been this high since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
So what kinds of products and services do you offer that could be tailored to meet this increasing demand? Think about it.
We share such ideas in “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius.” For a free copy of this $5 business eBook, go to JerryBellune.com
Got a thought about the above? Please write me at JerryBellue@yahoo.com
Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.