Retail therapy …

I’ve just returned from an email marketing conference in Phoenix, AZ, followed by a long weekend with my best friend in Park City, Utah. My friend and I rented a condo in the mountains and spent several days chatting, shopping and drinking wine. Like me, my friend is a writer and total book nerd, so all of our outings included visits to bookstores. I don’t think there’s a happier place on earth than browsing through a bookstore with a fellow book lover. (The only downside was that I made several purchases, so had to re-balance my luggage to get my new books home!)

Today, write about your favorite type of store. What type of store is it? Who would accompany you?

A challenge — write it now!

As you read this, I am in Phoenix at the Infusionsoft Users Conference. (Infusionsoft is like Constant Contact or MailChimp on steroids!) My intent is to learn more about the software and to meet potential clients who – like most of us – are not using their email marketing programs to their full potential. My experience is that most users struggle because they don’t have content to send to their clients or prospects.

Creating content can be challenging for many reasons. Quite honestly, it is hard to write about yourself and your product or service. (Yes, I suffer from this too.) When you own a business, everything seems important and it’s also tough to distill the information that is critical to your client.

Another issue is that content creation is not urgent. You can always postpone writing your newsletter or campaign for another day or week or month. And then you look at your website and realize that your last blog post was in 2012! Few of us make purchases anymore without checking out websites. The reality is that outdated or non-existent content can make your prospects go somewhere else.

Today, take a few moments and create a piece of content you’ve been avoiding. It might be a blog post or an email thank you letter. It will feel good to connect with your clients and prospects.

Family Milestones

I spent most of the last week in Canada, meeting up with my family to celebrate my parents’ 60th Wedding Anniversary. My entire family was together for the first time in years – parents, siblings, spouses and grandchildren. It was a lovely day and a very happy occasion.

A 60th wedding anniversary is such an unusual milestone that none of us could find a “Happy 60th Anniversary” card in any Canadian or American stores!

Today, write about a happy milestone among your family or friends. It could be the birth of a child, marriage, or a special anniversary. Describe how reaching that milestone affected you.

Trying to be a better person

We live next door to a couple in their mid-80’s who’ve had a super tough week. Most notable was their son passing away – the second child they have lost in the last few years — and all of the activities (and visitors) surrounding his passing. Two days later (on Saturday) a giant moving van pulled up in front of their house, presumably filled with the contents of their late son’s home. My guess is that they are physically and emotionally exhausted.

I looked outside on Sunday morning and was surprised surprised to see them outside. Specifically, the wife was picking up the sticks on their property and flinging them onto our front lawn. (I’ve been wondering why we’ve had so much more debris than normal.) Part of me felt enraged that they were shirking their gardening duties. And part of me felt sad to see this elderly woman throwing sticks at our lawn. Ultimately I decided that I would let it go, pick up the sticks, and send them positive energy during the process.

Today, write about a time when you decided to be the better person. What was the situation? How did the decision make you feel?