INSPIRED BIZ NEWS November, 2013 Issue #129


  • Promotion of the Month
  • Inspiring Quote for This Issue
  • Avoiding Persuasion Pitfalls (Part 1)
  • Top 10 Leadership Secrets for Great Meetings
  • Success Starts When You Begin
  • Shun the Status Quo to See the Possibilities to Accomplish 20 Times as Much
  • A Touch of Humor: Overseas Advertising Blunders

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“When all is said and done, success without happiness is the worst kind of failure.” — Louis Binstock, American Minister

By Kenrick Cleveland

“Linguistics is arguably the most hotly contested property in the academic realm. It is soaked with the blood of poets, theologians, philosophers, philologists, psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, and neurologists, along with whatever blood can be got out of grammarians.” – Russ Rymer

Who knew linguistics was such a hotbed of activity?

I have an image of professors in tweed giving their intellectual enemies fierce tongue lashings.

What is it about language that incites so much arguing? Language, despite its beauty and potential, also divides and separates. Keeping in mind the thought, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’, I’d like to examine the eight most counterproductive words as applied to persuasion.

These words diminish persuasion not only in daily interactions, but in your interactions with your affluent prospects and clients. Most specifically in groups of elite individuals do we need to be congruent in our actions and words.

For each of these words, there is an exception to the rule and as you learn the reasons why these words don’t work well in many situations, feel free to explore how the exceptions to the rules work to your advantage. However, if you’re a beginning persuader, these words should be avoided at all cost.

When we first begin to understand the importance of rapport, it can be a tricky thing to keep hold of. Persuasion is weak at first and then as you learn to navigate your way through it, it becomes quite magnetic. When working with an affluent prospect or client, what your magnetic persuasion skills are really telling them are: ‘I am like you’.

The eight most dangerous words in persuasion kill the rapport that you have established, they stop it from growing and cast doubt.


‘But’ cancels out everything that was said before it.

“I’d really love to buy your product, but. . .” Hmm… that doesn’t sound like a sale, does it?

“I think you’re really fun to be around, but. . .” But, I don’t want to be around you anymore.

As you can see ‘but’ cancels out absolutely everything before it. It’s all gone.


Trying always presupposes failing. Either you’re going to do it, or you’re not going to do it. There is no such thing as ‘try’. Try is an excellent word to use on an advanced level, and until you’re there, don’t use it.


‘If’ is a weak word similar to ‘try’. It presupposes that you “might not” do as you say. “If you want to sign up for our service…”

Is that confidence? Is that reassuring to hear? Nope. ‘If’ isn’t supportive. It is weak and lacks intention. It gives people a way out. ‘If’ gives you a way out.


Another of our wishy-washy weak words is ‘might’. “I might be able to help you.” Well, can you help me or not?

‘Might’ takes away your personal power. If you speak authoritatively, you will be respected by the affluent and rewarded with their business.

Coming Soon: Part 2.

Author Profile: Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and

coaching programs in persuasion strategies.

By Eileen McDargh

Ineffective and poorly-run meetings serve as one of the top talent and time wasters. Develop the skill to run a tight, highly-focused meeting with just the right number and kind of people in attendance and your stature as a leader rises.

First, figure out what is the specific outcome of the meeting and start with that as the written objective. Give your meeting a name that even states the “objective”. Next, ask yourself who has the greatest information or talent and should be at the meeting. Figure the personnel cost for the meeting. For example, if an employee has an average annual salary of $50,000, the per hour cost for that one person is $96 per hour (this includes salary plus benefits and general company overhead). You can extrapolate other salary costs from this base. Here are other tips to make this meeting move from average to great:

  1. Put a specific time frame on the meeting and start on time. If people show up late, create some fun-but telling-response for tardiness. In one organization, the latecomer has to sing to everyone. In another, the latecomer buys cokes for everyone. In another, the latecomer is given a scarlet “L” on a tent card. In Saturn Automotive plant meetings, if the door is closed, you are late and an alarm rings if you try to enter.
  2. Develop good facilitation skills making sure everyone participates and is heard and acknowleged.
  3. Summarize questions, outcomes, actions. Summarize frequently.
  4. Have the names of who should attend on the agenda which is sent out at least 48 hours in advance.
  5. Create a “parking lot” notebook. If an issue is brought up that is not on the agenda but might be addressed at another time, write it down so it can be tackled.
  6. Consider a stand-up meeting. To move people through quickly, have no chairs in the meeting room. It’s amazing how quickly people can get work done when there is no place to sit.
  7. At the end of the meeting and as a way of staying focused and practicing continuous improvement of meeting management, tell the group the personnel cost of the meeting. Ask if the money could have been spent more wisely in another format.
  8. Make sure a summary of the meeting is sent to the participants along with any action items or next steps, a due date, and the person or group to which they are assigned.
  9. To break the meeting routine, you might consider beginning by asking people to come prepared to tell the group about some person whom they want to acknowledge for outstanding service. Starting off by highlighting positive performance-particularly of unsung employees-is a powerful gesture.
  10. Don’t forget to say thank you. Time is the only true non-renewable, irreplaceable resource. When people give you their time, they gave you a piece of their lives.

© 2013, The Resiliency Group. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Author Profile: Eileen McDargh is a Hall of Fame motivational speaker, management consultant, resiliency expert and top thought-leader in leadership. Visit The Resiliency Group website at to get her free quarterly e-zine, read her blog and articles. Discover why hundreds of satisfied clients from all over the globe hire Eileen to keynote at their meetings and facilitate their retreats.

By Mentor Max

To reach your goal or to attain success,
you don’t need to know all of the answers in advance.
But you do need to have a clear idea of your goal.

Everyone who got where they are
had to begin where they were.
You are surrounded by opportunities.
Don’t procrastinate when faced with difficult problems.

Break those problems into parts,
and handle one part at a time.
Develop tendencies toward action.
Break your big plan into small steps
and take the first step right away.

You can make something happen, right now.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
You can begin your journey to success today.

By Donald Mitchell

Organizations usually underestimate the potential value of the most important new information, technology, and ways of operating. This error occurs because the new information or resource unexpectedly makes untrue what has been undeniably true in the past.

Achieving 2,000 percent solutions is a good example of this tendency. While hundreds of organizations routinely develop and implement such solutions every day, the majority of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governments continue to focus on how to make 4, 5, or 6 percent improvements. With the same time, effort, and resources, these people could be accomplishing hundreds of times more!

What is a 2,000 percent solution? It’s any way of accomplishing 20 times more with the same time, effort, and resources. Why would you shoot for less?

Here’s an example: A best selling business book will usually be read in part by fewer than 10,000 people. Chop the book up instead into essays and provide those essays for free over the Internet, and you will soon have over 500,000 readers. The time, effort, and expense of putting up those essays will be less than finding an agent for a book. Lead those essay readers to your Web site and you’ll sell more books than a best selling business book, and you’ll earn more profit because you won’t have to split the revenues with a publisher.

Disbelief: Limited Imagination and Blind Spots

The disbelief stall (a bad habit that delays improvements) is based on a valid experience, lack of relevant experience, or a previously established circumstance that no longer pertains. The bigger the new idea, the more likely it will boggle the minds of those involved.

Consider this: Over a hundred years ago, Alexander Graham Bell supposedly offered his fledgling telephone business to Western Union for $100,000. Western Union reportedly turned him down cold, perceiving the telephone as an electrical toy with a limited future. Bell himself initially saw the telephone as limited to use as a substitute for town criers. Householders wondered, “Why get a telephone when I can step outside and talk to my neighbor over the back fence?” The airplane, radio, computers, and the photocopier were greatly underestimated in similar ways before becoming the foundations for major industries. Major breakthroughs change the possibilities of how we can lead our lives, and we are slow to see that undeveloped potential.


Creative People with Different Viewpoints

In checking out new information, technology and techniques, seek the help of people who enjoy creating new solutions. You may find these open-minded people among suppliers, new employees, customers, and outside experts, including academics. If you don’t have enough such people to draw on, expand your circle of acquaintances.

In the same way that no two people have identical kinds of curiosity and imagination, organizations likewise differ in how they look at potential new solutions. You can easily imagine that Intel, Microsoft, IBM, General Electric, and Disney would take quite different approaches to addressing the same opportunity. You should examine your organization’s personality and orientation to consider how your perspective can be expanded in useful ways, perhaps by adding new partners and new competencies.

Positive Thinking Starts the Exponential Progress Engine

To overcome the disbelief stall, you need a positive outlook. You have to believe that wonderful results are just around the corner, if only you keep looking for improvements.

Ask yourself a positive question about any possibility you consider. For instance, imagine that you are being asked to use a computer in a totally different and more difficult way for the first time. Instead of fighting this new assignment, ask yourself how the task could help you get home sooner every night. A manager recently had a good experience from opening himself up to this opportunity. An IT expert noticed that the manager didn’t know how to do a mail merge, a way to produce custom documents for many people on a list. At first, the manager resented the few minutes of unexpected training. But that attitude soon changed after many monotonous tasks were accomplished 20 times faster.

At the same time, it’s even more helpful to adopt new beliefs that open the doors to possibility. A good example is that many people will never read this article because they think it’s far-fetched to find even one 2,000 percent solution. A better belief to hold is that untapped 2,000 percent solutions abound in your most important opportunity areas.

Other helpful attitudes include:

  • Seeing roadblocks as opportunities in disguise
  • Feeling that all events occur to help you improve
  • Believing that large changes can be made quickly to create positive results
  • Being convinced that new technology can easily remove old limitations
  • Believing that high goals are more fun to pursue


Locate Blind Spots

The more often you hear about something, the more likely the new thing is to be relevant to your organization. It helps to seek out the new to speed up the process of appreciating what’s going on. To help identify your organization’s blind spots, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What complaints are customers making that you’ve chosen to downplay?
  • What things are your competitors doing that you have decided to ignore?
  • What things are the communities you do business in talking about that you have ignored so far?
  • What negative feedback have you been receiving from employees for at least two years?
  • What perceptions about your organization and industry are you not addressing?

Evaluate the Implications of the Blind Spots

Ask yourself these questions about your blind spots:

  • Which blind spots are in areas where your organization’s actions can improve or worsen your situation?
  • What actions are needed to gain the most benefit or avoid the most harm?
  • When are actions needed to be most effective?
  • What is the minimum evidence you need to know that immediate action is needed?

Copyright 2007 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved

Author Profile: Donald Mitchell is chairman of Mitchell and Company, a strategy and financial consulting firm in Weston, MA. He is coauthor of six books including The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, and The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook. Free advice on accomplishing 20 times more is available to you by registering at


  • Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into German only to find out that “mist” is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the “manure stick.”
  • When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with a beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies prefer to put pictures on the label of what’s inside, since most people can’t read.
  • Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
  • Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”, in Chinese.
  • The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”

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