“Marijuana Issues Sent to A Joint Committee”

That was an actual headline from the Toronto Star newspaper. It wasn’t a joke but tell the truth. Did you conjure up a bunch of politicians getting toasted while sitting around an ornate and seriously smoke-filled hearing room?

OK – maybe it is just my warped recollection of the ‘70s but the point is that context matters. And context comes from the story. Context is critical because it tells the receiver, what importance to place on something, what assumptions to draw (or not) about what is being communicated, and most importantly, it puts meaning into the message

If the story you are telling your prospects and/or clients isn’t hitting home, odds are that it is missing context. To put the appropriate context into the conversation, you need a keen understanding of what very specific problem THEY are trying to solve, not what solution YOU have.

Silly headlines notwithstanding, how you craft the story you are telling is the secret to your success. In 35 years of writing professionally, I have seen some intelligent folks (like those at a certain Toronto newspaper) get it really, tragically wrong. You might say that their stories go up in smoke (sorry).

Storytelling is a craft with a very defined set of characteristics. If your stories aren’t resonating as they should, find a craftsman to help.

And please, order some pizzas for those Toronto legislators. I’ll bet they have a serious case of the munchies!

My 2022 New Year’s hope for you is that you stop making resolutions. Resolutions, goals, long-term plans, and much of what we do when we plan our business years are great exercises. But they are aspirational, one-time exercises. In 2022, we all need more.

The Road to Hell is not paved with good intentions, it is paved with resolutions. We do it every year in every one of our businesses. A year later, what has really changed? A great deal… and nothing at all. How can that be?

Because we major in minors. We find better I.T. systems, we upgrade to a broader CRM system or perhaps add an A.I.-driven expert help system. We fluff up our website or drop a few more social media pieces.

That is exactly the wishful thinking, inconsequential, distracting nonsense that stops us from achieving our best success. Why? Because it focuses us on facts and talking rather than on effective communicating.

The secret to effective communication is using emotion that speaks to your clients’ needs and wants and that is conveyed by a story that resonates with them. As humans, we have been doing that for 30,000 years. As businessowners, not so much.

This year, do something that will have a direct impact on your business – think about how to transform your communication to create the kind of success you and those you serve envision in 2022.


Shocking News – This Just In…

The goal of your website is NOT to sell. There it is! I said it. And for all too many companies, this will come as a giant “OMG” moment. It’s OK, show me your shocked face. Those who have an absolutely beautiful website with gorgeous images and tons of information and data – I’m talking to you. You are confusing the heck out of the prospects you want and if you confuse – you’ll lose. Every time.

All of which begs the question: if the goal of a website is not to sell, what IS the goal? Read more “Shocking News! Your Website Isn’t Helping You Sell.”

As seen on

USA Today
Townhall Finance
Digital Journal