Information or Confirmation?

logo2I start every day with the Darren Daily. He’s a guru/life coach and I take everything free he gives me. And if I had some extra scratch, I would quite likely take one of his courses.

This morning, he talks about how we consume information. He makes the case that we like information more as confirmation of what we already think more than we like to actually learn and be informed.

Who isn’t guilty of that? He points out the way you consume news (Fox or MSNBC, New York Times or Drudge Report) is proof of this. Believe it or not, I have a theory that you need to watch Sean Hannity and listen to Rush Limbaugh, and then watch Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert, then read articles in various publications and only then can you find the middle, the truth, and form your own opinion.

Gasp. I have my own opinion? Well, I try.

Darren’s lesson, however, wasn’t political. It was about our work, personal, and spiritual life.  For me, I need to apply it to my work life.

Very soon I will celebrate 20 years in radio advertising sales. I’m an “old dog”, yet I want to learn “new tricks”. I desperately want to work with the energy, optimism, and open-mindedness of a guy (or gal) just breaking into the business. I want my mind to be free of the “we’ve never done it that way ” or “you can’t do it that way” mentality that creates roadblocks before I even try.

A guy on the staff “cold called” via Facebook Messenger and landed a great big account. Before he did that I would probably have said everything is about seed-letters (by mail) and cold-calls (using an actual phone).

But good lord! It’s 2017. A “cold call” is an old term. It’s more philosophical than literal. If someone gets a random email, or Facebook Message, or LinkedIn message, or Tweet, or we connect on SnapChat and I start telling him about what I do for a living and how I might be able to help his biz …it’s still “cold”. And think about it …someone pointed out we all hate getting phone calls because we …dont’ …have …time.

That “we hate phone calls” concept came from Gary Vaynerchuck as did this…

Gary Vaynerchuk, another guru type guy, has a podcast and last week (listen here) he addressed “sales” and scolded his audience for having dozens of extra ways to “cold call”, prospect, and make sales and yet when he asked for a show of hands from the audience on who’s using LinkedIn, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube and other connecting apps and networks, he laughed at the lack of raised hands.

“Do you know how many of you have a point-of-view on what Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can do for your business and you’ve never used the fuckin’ product?”  -Gary Vaynerchuk

In my day-to-day worklife, it’s time I, too, embrace change and seek out information that is less confirmation and more instigation, aggitation, and frustration. Only then will I grow. I will shake up my own comfort-zone to eliminate complacency and a victim mentality.

Send me a Snap or Instagram DM. Please. Together let’s get outta our old-timer comfort zones.

Snapchat: donkowalewski

 

 

 

I’m Good at (and I like) What I Do!

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If you have a business and thought about using audio (radio) to build your company, you should call me. For the third time in the past 6 months, a new client has called to say, “Don, we need to trim back on our radio a little bit because we can’t keep up.”

One medical practice is booked through the end of July and last week, even tho they weren’t on-air and nothing was running, people called, and when asked, “where did you hear about us,” they said, “on the radio.”

That’s the power of radio/audio branding.

Another client called me Thursday, an HVAC company that put their faith in me and launched a rather large, 4-station branding campaign (with a modest and understated call-to-action) combined with some well executed digital, and he, too, wondered if we could “back off” because he needs to hire another seller and a few installers because they, “are having a hard time keeping up and the phone is ringing off the hook.”

I keep reading articles about how advertisers are returning to the “mass media” becuase as we’ve walked down the road of one-to-one digital marketing, we’re missing the “spill” and the unintended target. Just because you say, “I’m after a Male between the ages of 35 and 54” (which is me), what about my wife who has a say in every purchase I make? Wouldn’t you want to be whispering in her ear, too? Even if quite by accident?

Sorry. Was drifting into another topic. For now, let’s focus on these two things:

  1. I love what I do (sell advertising).
  2. I’m good at what I do.

If you’ve even thought about “trying radio” or doing something different and big with your advertising, we should talk. Leave a comment. Find me on any social media and let’s start a conversation.

What’s the Deal with Borax?

Ever heard of Borax? Until a couple of months ago when my daughter needed it to make slime (the hottest thing with kids and girls 10 and under), I’d never heard of it. It’s a laundry detergent “booster” and it says add it to your load of laundry (and the laundry detergent you’re already using) and everything will be even cleaner (I’m paraphrasing). The box and their website also boast a dozen other great ways to use it (i.e. cleaning your bathroom, arts and crafts, and odor controls).

boraxSeems like a miracle product I should’ve been using for my whole life. It’s been around my entire life (I’m 44 years old). If a miracle like this exists on the earth, why ain’t I using it? Why didn’t my mom use it? Why didn’t my mother in law use it?

What’s the deal? Is it hype or heroic?

I started using Borax about a month ago and to my eyes, I swear my laundry looks better. I’ve done some research (reading Mommy Blogs, like Crunchy Betty) and most seem on board the Borax train (that sounded naughty). Yet there’s still some haters claiming it to be poison and cancer causing. I’m not listening to the haters.

I’m also not going to deliver a definitive answer here, but what do you say about Borax? I’m currently on board (a hundred Mommy Blogs can’t be wrong) the Borax train.

Sharpening the Blade

You probably think the title is going to be something around the quote by Abe Lincoln (I think it was Honest Abe, but I’m not going to look it up) when he said something about if he had only an hour to chop down a tree, he’d spend most of the time (or some of the time) sharpening his axe (or saw).

Feel free to use that if you can understand what the f’ I was trying to say. If only there was some sort of machine and network where I could find that exact quote.

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Nope. Why am I excited about “sharpening the blade?” It refers to my lawn. I’ve reached the Memorial Day Weekend and I always mark that weekend as the weekend I sharpen both my mower blades to Japanese sword precision, and the lawn really starts to pop.

What about your blade from April until Memorial Day, you ask?

Well, with all the crap in the lawn (sticks, pine cones, weeds), for the first five weeks I use a nice, sharp blade but it’s an enhanced mulching blade. Now …I start to create the carpet.

You have your fun your way. I’ll have my fun my way. I like to think my obsession with my lawn speaks to something inside me, some amazing trait, that transcends simple lawn maintenance and reveals an inner greatness. Like, maybe it shows my attention to detail on the simple things means you can trust me on the big things? Or maybe it shows that I demand perfection, or strive towards it, in everything I do.

Of course, I realize, it could be some sort of misguided escapism where I have “control” while the rest of my life is spinning out of control, and yes, I put in noise cancelling earbuds and listen to audio books and Podcasts while mowing my lawn (1.25 hours / week) and really enjoy that “me time” so maybe I am hiding from something.

Or maybe it’s good exercise, it speaks to my homo Sapien roots of working the earth and the land, and humbles me? Yes. I like that psychoanalysis.

Mowing my lawn and maintaining my landscaping makes me feel one-with-nature.

I also like pulling down the street and seeing my house and lawn looking so good – gives me great pride.

Either way. It’s going to be a great, sharp Saturday.

Genius in the Modern World

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Thanks to the Drew & Mike (Marc, actually) Podcast, my life is better. For starters, without Drew Lane, I don’t know what my opinion is on things like Detroit politics, I’m never sure which pop-culture people and things are cool and not cool, and without Drew Lane, I don’t know which books to read. Actually, who am I kidding? I don’t read books. But Drew Lane reads books, reads parts of the books to me, and summarizes the rest of the book and when he does, I add that book to the list of books I’ve read.

Yes. I’ve had more than a few conversations about certain books and have completely held my own as if I’d read the book. In fact, I’ve recommended books to people under the guise of “I loved that book” and people have bought the book based on my recommendation.

It’s a sickness. But I loved Drew & Mike (Marc, actually) forever and am sooooo glad they’re back as a daily Podcast. And a very sad, sick part of me is oh-so-happy Trudi Daniels is outta work and can join them twice a week.

The second part of Drew & Mike (Marc, actually) improving my life is because they introduced DJ Cummerbund into my life. This is no less brilliant than Da Vinci or Einstein.

Now I need your help. Which of these is better and more brilliant?

Never Stop Improving: Exercise

I watched the fourth Transformers (Age of Extinction) movie over the weekend and the big thing that jumped out at me was Mark Wahlberg’s bi-ceps. He’s two years older than me and, while he has personal trainers and probably a live-in chef and probably has a Hollywood doctor serving him up the perfect blend of human growth hormone and testosterone injections, he’s in amazing shape.

I can’t afford the personal trainer, Hollywood doctor, and personal chef, but I homer-dohcan actually exercise, eat better, and sleep more.

But I gotta have a plan. I gotta lay out a road map each week with a day-by-day workout.

Every month I pay $10 to Planet Fitness and over the past 6 months, I think I’ve gone less than six times. Doh!

My current book obsession is The Brain Fog Fix and it says (I’m paraphrasing) I should increase my heart rate for 44-minutes each day. Hey. There’s that #. 44. I turn 44 this year. I invented #Project44.

The universe (which can be summed up by Mark Wahlberg’s biceps, the book I’m reading, my Planet Fitness membership, and my impending 44th birthday) is speaking to me and trying to give me a gentle nudge.

Plus, last week I attended the funeral of a 51-year-old father of four who certainly would’ve wanted more days, hours, and years with his family and it was a wake-up call. It’s not about living each day like it’s your last, but as I walked into Church with a friend, he said it’s about maximizing the moments we have. Then, the man’s brother read an incredible poem I’d never heard before about not dwelling on two things – yesterday and tomorrow. But, it suggested, focus on today.

TODAY: 12 Push-Ups; 24 Sit-Ups; 12 Burpees (Repeat four times); Stairs for 22 Minutes …and that should make for 44-minutes at Planet Fitness.

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Never Stop Improving: Laundry

Recently, I took over the laundry duties in our house. Why? Perhaps I’m the victim of the “long con”, but really, it’s because my wife is the smart one and helps the kids with organization-makes-sensehomework, school projects, keeps the family calendar (mostly in her head, which I marvel at), and does the grocery shopping, cooks the meals, balances the books, and I’m sure a few other things I’m leaving off the list.

So two things …one …adding “laundry” to my household chores is the least I can do and …two …my mother was the best at laundry, folding laundry, and making beds. I was spoiled because my laundry was always wrinkle free, folded with military precision, and my bed was always ready for me with hospital bed corners and hotel-style turndown service.

I often lent my mother a hand, or watched her fold laundry and talked her ear off, and along the way she taught me all her tricks (as she also did with wrapping presents) and so, while some might think I’m a sucker for doing the laundry, part of me just wants to pass along my mom’s perfect technique to my kids.

51m05fnuyyl-_sy355_It’s the little things in life that always seem to be the big things. From my dad, I’ve inherited the gene that makes a man obsess about his lawn and landscaping. From my mom, I like a well-folded shirt and properly made bed.

Odd. I know.

Here’s what I know to be true.

Laundry

  1. Separate lights and darks. Lights/whites are washed in hot. Light colors and dark colors in warm or cold.
  2. Most everything can go in the dryer, provided it was whipped and blocked before going in there. Low to medium heat.
  3. Everything should be folded immediately as it comes out of the dryer so it can be pressed by hand as it’s being folded.
  4. Dress shirts can be washed on the permanent press setting, and should be ironed when wet and right out of the washing machine and only then hung until dry. \
  5. Sheets should be washed each week. Blankets and mattress pads once a month. Comforters should be dry cleaned seasonally.

I don’t recall my mom using Borax, but I add it to whites and boy oh boy do they shine when they get outta the wash.

Why did I title this blog “never stop improving?” Oh. Because the redistribution of the laundry chore is going to drastically improve everyone’s life in my house.