Direct mail conjures up the ideas of an envelope filled with coupons, perhaps some real estate post cards, and a few credit card offers. You may think that most of those items you put in the trash, however, there is still a reason why so many companies still use, and succeed with direct mail.
It is estimated (see below, with the Data & Marketing Organization, or DMA, as a source), that 70-80% of all mail is opened, regardless of whether it is ‘junk mail.’ Though it can seem more costly, the response rates are approximately 2.7 times higher with direct mail compared to email. Read more →
As 2016 comes to a close, many are looking to 2017 for their New Year’s resolutions, and I want to not only travel more myself, but encourage and help others travel more as well.
I contributed another article to Under30Experiences, a company that specializes in travel for people ages 21-35, and it discusses how to make travel work for you, including a game to help make it happen. There are a lot of excuses about why people can’t travel, either it is too expensive, they don’t know how to plan a trip, or they don’t know where to go. Yet, they often have a sense of wanderlust when they see my travels and say, “Wow, I wish I could go there!” Read more →
As 2016 comes to a close, the holidays are approaching, and New Years Eve is just around the corner. That means the annual resolutions are also being discussed, planned, and written down.
That said, this meme that dropped into a Facebook group recently caught my eye and I think it was worth sharing, because they are often the traits of successful people like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Ted Turner and many others: Read more →
The best salespeople understand that rejection is just a part of the game and have grown thick skin. If I went around a co-working space full of startups and accelerators, I think there are very few that would say their favorite thing is to go out and look for customers. It is the ominous fear of rejection.
In a local Austin startup group, I came across a new TedX Talk from a former Austin entrepreneur Jia Jiang that has since moved to Silicon Valley. After stumbling across a website (which has since become his own) called rejectiontherapy.com he took on a challenge to go out and get rejected. On purpose. The original challenge the previous site owner had put out was 30 days, but he decided to go for 100 and created a YouTube channel, where he actually recorded himself being rejected, and sometimes surprisingly not rejected. (That channel is here). While I could continue to summarize the Ted Talk and Jia’s awesome lessons in overcoming objection, he will entertain you much more. Read more →
Having just returned from a beach vacation, I came back refreshed and rejuvenated, but I was not coming back as inspired as previous vacations. The books I read were fun, thoughtful, and definitely not as heavy as previous vacations, but as a big non-fiction guy, I’d rather read and learn something, then be taken away to a fantasy world consisting of character building. That said, I work with startup founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners every day that are at varying stages of their career, or have varying levels of experience. As such, I tend to go back to the same suite of books that set the foundation of my learnings, so I thought I’d share them here ahead of the holidays. For some, you won’t have time to read, for others, it is the time you finally do get to reset and relax a bit before kicking off 2017. Regardless, here is a must-read list of books for startup founders and business owners. I’ve put it in an order of progression that I feel makes the most sense for a growing entrepreneur and welcome your comments about other must read books, because I know this is only the start of an entrepreneur or startup founder’s bookshelf: Read more →
The world is a vast place and even as you travel to new places, the prior locations remain an ever-changing weave of people, architecture, and visitors. I first visited Burma (Myanmar) in 2006. At that time, it was not yet fully open to tourism, with the exception of well-developed tourist tracks. While I guided a couple trips along those said tracks, I also went on a research expedition for the company I was working for to identify new opportunities for travel. Several days of boats and military surveillance up the Irrawaddy took me to the foothills of the Himalaya in the Kachin State, but I was far from welcome Read more →
Each day new companies are born and each day, a similar dilemma happens. How do I find my first sales? You’ve built your website, launched it, and thought it would be like the next Facebook, where magically people hear about it and the traffic pours in. Not quite. Of course, there is a friends and family email, announcements on Facebook, Twitter and maybe Instagram, but they’re also not likely your customers. I’ve compiled a few valuable tools, many even free to a point, that will help you hack your first sales as a company efficiently: Read more →
We’re half way through the year and I thought that it was a good time to share a few key pieces of advice I’ve accumulated through the year that will hopefully help you get through the second part of 2016 more successfully. Here are 12 of my business-related life hacks that I hope you’ll find room for in your own life: Read more →
I’m a self-appointed “Beer League Hockey Star.” That means myself and others skate a couple times a week and take it way more seriously than our wives and significant others care for. Some of us even drag those friends and family members along to admire our out-of-shape, beer guts chase a black piece of rubber across a sheet of ice with some sticks. This isn’t just in Austin, TX, or Houghton, MI, or Middleton, WI. This is at hundreds of rinks around the country almost every night of the year. Regardless of the outcome, despite our dreams, none of us will ever play in the NHL, perhaps some beer leaguers have in their heyday, but the passion remains. Often that passion can be more about about the camaraderie and hanging out in the locker room recapping your highs and lows with cheap beer. Read more →