Are starvation diets a dumb idea?

Fellow Maverick Entrepreneur Suzanne Riley Whyte asks if you have ever been really hungry.
Maybe you’ve gone on one of those diets where you eat almost nothing to lose a few pounds and then gain it all back in the next month.
How did your family like being around you when you were on this diet?
Do you think you made really good decisions when you were on this diet? Like buying that new car because you were angry at the squeak in the front tire of your old car or choosing to smoke cigarettes you cut out 20 years ago to help curve that craving for chocolate and other calories.
Probably not really good decisions.
I mean how can you be happy when you eat an apple for breakfast, a salad for lunch and steamed broccoli for dinner? Let alone making major decisions like what to do for your spouse on your 35th anniversary.
Diet, focus and happiness don’t go together.
The next time you see your pets running and hiding or your family disappearing and you’re left home alone and hungry, get out our book “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” In it, you will read how hunger, thirst, and exhaustion keep you from what you want in life.
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact Suzanne at .
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

You should live large – like your dog

Ace ad copywriter John Carlton reminds us of an essential truth. To be successful, rich and happy, “we gotta be healthy.”
That means taking time every day to nurture your body, brain and soul.
• Learn to breathe deeply.
• Eat fabulous, fuel-laden food. Pizza and burgers are treats, not sustenance.
• Meditate every day at least 20 minutes. It’s a natural way to recharge your battery.
• Exercise with gusto and purpose.
• Feed your brain. Read good books. Talk with intelligent people. Think about life.
• Feed your soul. Your life force shrivels when it’s ignored. Attending worship services helps if the pastor has a brain and a great spiritual message to share.
Prayer is the main attraction. This is not where you air your wish list. It’s where you ask for divine guidance in meeting challenges and maximizing opportunities.
Your dog knows most of these tricks – stretching with pleasure, running with joyous abandon, eager to walk with you, eating and sleeping with unabashed bliss.
Be more like your dog. Live large like a healthy, gleeful dog. Your rewards await.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email . Want an electronic copy? Click here to visit the Amazon listing.
Next: Have you ever been hungry?
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

You’d better make a profit – or else

Our old boss Don Carter liked to ask job applicants what they thought was the 1st duty of a business. A few got the right answer – “to make a profit.”
We were reminded of that truth the other day when the CEOs of something called the Business Roundtable declared that their 1st duty was to “social responsibility.”
That sounds warm and compassionate on paper, like the Green New Deal.
In reality, it is entirely irresponsible.
There are many values right-thinking business owners and corporate executives should hold dear, among them are:

  1. Incredible customer service.
  2. Honesty and fairness with customers, employees, partners and investors.
  3. Meeting and beating the competition.
  4. Keeping a keen eye on the bottom line and growing net revenues.
  5. Terminating profit killers and accelerating profit builders.
    After you have complete command of those 5 objectives, you can start thinking about other means to serve the market and community where you live and operate.
    Without profits, you will be useless to everyone and quickly out of business.
    We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email To get an electronic copy visit Amazon by clicking here.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to super-charge your motivation

Do you struggle with motivation? An executive recruiter friend keeps on his desk a photo of a fire truck-red Lamborghini he wants. This is no toy. The car costs $200,000. The photo goads him to achieve his daily goals and buy the car.
He knows exactly how many calls he will have to make, how many rejections he will have to take, how many contacts he must develop and how many executives he has to place to take care of all his other costs of feeding and clothing his wife and 4 rambunctious boys … and buy the Lamborghini.
I’ll bet you any amount of money you care to wager he will do it. He is highly motivated and that Lamborghini goads him.
The workaholic rules a few of us over-achievers live by say work should be its own reward. You and I both know it’s BS.
As you enjoy more success, the risks are greater and the prizes more lavish. You must be motivated to stay on top, achieve your goals and acquire your Lamborghini.
The way to burn out is to finish a grueling project and jump on the next one.
Take a break. Go to the Bahamas. Reward yourself with something you’ve always wanted. Donate to or volunteer for a cause you really believe in.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email . To get an electronic version, visit Amazon by clicking here.
Next: Can you pass this test?

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to get free business publicity

Savvy business owners seek relations with local newspaper, magazine and broadcast reporters, editors and news directors.
When they have something about their business the community should know about, they know who to call and how to pitch the news to appeal to journalists.
In other words, advertising is what you pay for. Publicity is what you pray for.
Here are 5 steps you might take:

  1. Know your local editors and news directors or hire a publicist who does.
  2. Find out who reads their publications or listens to or watches their newscasts.
  3. Find out their deadlines and keep your news releases or email messages short and to the point. That means 150 words or less. They don’t have time to wade through your life story. Get to the point.
    And use email and the phone. Save hand writing for your thank you notes.
    By educating yourself about them, their audience and what they will print or put on the air, you’ve taken an important step.
    For example, we welcome business news for our Around Town column.
    If you have won an industry award or some other honor, let us know about it.
    We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email .
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Properly pacing your prose

What did popular newspaper advice columnist Ann Landers and World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle have in common with journalist-turned-novelist Ernest Hemingway and journalist-turned-politician Winston Churchill? She, like they, wrote an average sentence length of 15 words.
Here is her reply to a philandering husband who asked advice on changing wives and merging families:
Time wounds all heels—and you’ll get yours. There are five children involved in your little racetrack romance. Don’t be surprised if you wake up and wish you had your wife and sons back. You are flirting with a muddy track on Black Friday and, the way you’re headed, you will get exactly what you deserve.
Ann wrote four no-nonsense sentences of 56 words. Her longest was 22 unsparing words. She averaged 14 words a sentence.
Here is a brief example of Hemingway at work:
They shot the six cabinet ministers at half-past six in the morning against the wall of a hospital. There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were wet dead leaves on the paving in the courtyard. It rained hard.
Four sentences, 41 words, 10.25 words a sentence.
Note the absence of commas or other forms of punctuation. Only periods. Not all of Hemingway’s writing is this staccato. But he sought an effect. 
Here is a brief example from Winston Churchill:
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is an admirable work and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts.
3 sentences averaging 12.3 words. No commas. Only periods.
Here is Ernie Pyle’s moving account of the death of infantry company commander, Capt. Henry Waskow:
The first one came early in the morning. They slid him down from the mule and stood him on his feet for a moment. In the half-light he might have been merely a sick man standing there, leaning on the others. Then they laid him on the ground in the shadow of the low stone wall alongside the road.
Four sentences, 60 words, 15 a sentence.
Here one of mine in covering a blizzard that trapped hundreds of families in the mountains of western North Carolina.
They could hear the whir of helicopter blades. It came over the ridgeline and hovered over the house. A soldier in parka and boots was lowered with a metal stretcher. His sons helped their crippled father into the stretcher. Then the copter pilot winched them up and soared off into a chill blue sky. 
Five sentences, 55 words, average 11 words a sentence.
Try it. It takes work to pare your sentences down. But the more you do it, the more you are conscious of it. You will begin automatically to pare down your sentences as you write them.
Your readers will love you for it.

My “Little Red Book on Compelling Writing” gives you inspiring tips such as this to enrich your own writing.
For a $9.99 electronic copy for only $4.99, please call Katie with your credit card at 803-359-7633, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4 pm, or email me at
This offer expires in 5 days.

Can you stand and deliver real value?

What value do your products and services deliver to your customers? You know you will have to show that to your prospects.
Your ‘value proposition’ is a clear statement of the results a customer gets from using your products or services, advises our friend Jill Konrath. It reveals the critical issues your prospect faces and the results they’ll gain in doing business with you.
What you offer are tools to produce the results the prospect needs and wants.
You must customize yours to fit:
• Your prospect’s needs and wants. That means you must find out where their pain lies and what they want to do about it.
Different prospects have different problems, goals and desire for results.
• What your products and services can do to ease pain and achieve goals.
For example, we publish books, magazines and newspapers. These appeal to readers of varying ages and incomes and advertisers who want to sell to them. We fit our proposition to their needs and wants.
With the right words, prospects respond to you. Customizing your value takes you to a higher level of attraction. It also strengthens your belief in your own offering.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email . To get an electronic copy visit Amazon by clicking here.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Guarantee your advertising will work

Highly successful retailer R.H. Macy said he suspected half of his advertising didn’t work. He just didn’t know which half.
Macy was smarter than that. You don’t spend millions of dollars a year without knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Here are 5 ways to make your ads work. You can bet Macy knew all of them.

  1. Appeal to your prospects’ needs and wants. If not, you’ve wasted your money.
  2. Be honest. No fakery or puffery, or skeptics will destroy your credibility.
  3. Support claims with solid evidence and testimonials of those who benefited as your customers. That satisfies even the most skeptical of your prospects.
  4. Stress your products’ and services’ benefits, not just their features. Consumers don’t care if you have the most advanced, state-of-the-art kumquat slicer. They want to know if it will get them from where they are to where they want to be, take away their pain and help realize their dreams.
  5. Make it easy to order and buy. It doesn’t matter if you are advertising online, in print, outdoors, broadcast or cable, direct mail or in the phone book, it has to be easy to buy from you or you lose the sale.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
To claim a personally-autographed copy, call 803-359-7633 or email by noon Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

What are your business’s values?

Paul Davis believed that for your business to succeed you must always practice your basic values. What are yours?
Here are 3 of our values:
• Our internal and external customers come first. We take care of those who invest their time, money and trust in us.
• Honesty is the only policy. Cheating, lying or simply misleading anyone is not only wrong. It will catch up with you.
• We empower our people to make sound decisions as if they own the business and hold them accountable as we know they will hold us similarly accountable.
Davis founded Paul W. Davis Contracting in 1966, offering fire and other damage restoration. He saw that insurance adjusters who needed ways to settle claims would be his sole source of business. He turned it into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Davis began franchising in 1969, teaching franchisees how to run their franchises as highly profitable businesses. He had an open-door policy, made himself available to all employees, empowered them to make decisions and helped them make corrections along the way. That’s a good model for all of us in our businesses.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Rank your business on the SWAG Meter

Last week we talked about you and your business’s SWAG. That’s:
S = Self Confidence. Customers trust you because you believe in yourself.
W = Wonderment. Your confidence creates their feelings of being amazed.
A = Assertiveness. You don’t wait for something to happen. You make it happen.
G = Greatness. You don’t settle for just being good. You aim to be great.
To find out where you stand on the “SWAG Meter” score yourself between 1 being low and 25 high for Self Confidence, Wonderment, Assertiveness and Greatness. Be absolutely honest with yourself. Don’t rate yourself better than you know you are.
Add the numbers. What’s your score?
90 – 100 is excellent. You are highly profitable helping customers. Keep it going.
80 – 89 is pretty good, but what can you do to really step it up to hit the next level?
70 – 79 means you need to pay more attention. Your business is not standing out. What are others you admire doing?
60 – 69 means you may not be in the right business. Is it time for an overhaul? Start by discussing it with customers. What more do they want from you?
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email
Copyright 2019, The Bellun e Co., Inc.