Paycheck Madness and the Shining City on the Hill

The things you learn on Twitter. A couple of weeks ago, Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and notable Twitter gadfly, tweeted that “Wall Street bonuses totaled $27.5 billion last year, which is more than 3 times the combined annual earnings of all American workers employed full-time at the federal minimum wage.” Now … Continue reading Paycheck Madness and the Shining City on the Hill

What Equestrians Learn Early About Succeeding in Life

To be honest, I wasn’t enthusiastic when my daughter’s riding instructor convinced us to let her compete in horse shows. Having grown up a middle-class kid in Colorado, I was suspicious of the whole East Coast horse show scene. It all seemed too focused on who had the fanciest horse and where did you buy … Continue reading What Equestrians Learn Early About Succeeding in Life

15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business—Part 3

This post is the final installment in a three-part article begun with 15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business and continued in Part 2. In each, I recap insights I shared in a 2006 presentation to McMurry staff after selling my firm, Redspring Communications. Part 1 focused on building a business and readying it for sale. … Continue reading 15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business—Part 3

15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business—Part 2

This post is a continuation of my earlier article, 15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business. In it, I recap insights I shared in a 2006 presentation to McMurry staff after selling my firm, Redspring Communications. Part One focused on building a business and readying it for sale. Here I continue the discussion by looking … Continue reading 15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business—Part 2

15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business

In June 2006, 15 years after founding content marketing agency Redspring Communications, I sold the business to McMurry, Inc. A few months after the deal was consummated and the integration largely complete, CEO Chris McMurry asked me to share with our combined staff what I learned from the experience. The  presentation I developed was titled … Continue reading 15 Things I Learned When I Sold My Business

The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

I need to get my shit together. It’s not quite an existential concern, but it is a problem of identity, and that wigs me out. No doubt there are support groups for this sort of thing. They probably meet in church basements and sit in circles, talking at each other with wild eyes and trembling … Continue reading The Terrifying Truth About Social Media

The Energy Business

For a couple of years in the mid-1980s I tried my hand at being a stockbroker. The job didn’t line up with my background as an English major, but the bull market at the time attracted me with its promise of fat commission checks. To build my book of business, I sometimes joined one of … Continue reading The Energy Business

Gillette’s Awkward Moment in the Pulpit

It was inevitable that a brand built on a vision of American masculinity would weigh into the #MeToo debate. Gillette's "toxic masculinity" ad is a glossy, if preachy, effort to assert the company's moral position on a topic that has swept like wildfire through social media and our culture at large. Gillette's painfully awkward moment reminds … Continue reading Gillette’s Awkward Moment in the Pulpit

The Unpleasant Business of Firing People

For managers, few things suck more than firing an employee. Terminating a member of your staff is a strangely intimate and perilous action; and all but the most calloused individuals dread having to take such a step. Even though you may feel absolutely certain your decision is right for the company, the team, even the … Continue reading The Unpleasant Business of Firing People

Making a Good Business, Brick by Brick

Until embarrassingly late in life, it never occurred to me how much my upbringing affected how I ran my marketing communications business. I was a Presbyterian minister’s fifth and last kid, but because I went into marketing, I didn’t see a lot of obvious connections between his world view and the gritty world of business … Continue reading Making a Good Business, Brick by Brick