There is a place. Like no place on Earth.

A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!

Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

Which luckily I am.

~The Mad Hatter

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hurry! Good People On Sale!

Trend is men will go first and women will be hired at 70% salaries

Remember in the 70s when our dads got laid off? Our moms went to work while our dads did work that was below their skill set and well below their salaries.

Well, it’s happening again!

What are you gonna do?

FIRST and Foremost, Get your list of connections in order before you are asked to hire your replacements.

Understand the importance of your contact list. Most folks undervalue the LIST.

What if your competitor offers you a choice position? Now how important is your List?

Or what if you realize the cutbacks your current company is implementing will sacrifice quality and you decide that you want to start a competing company and bring your Top clients with you. Now how valuable is that List?

Don’t just consider if they can offer you a new position or business, but can they connect you to the RIGHT person. It’s not just who you know, but rather who THEY know.

Next, start reconnecting, let people know that things are shaky at your current employers and you are exploring your options.

Referability Expert and Author, Michelle Donovan, wrote a great article on activating your network after a layoff. This is a MUST READ ever if you think you’re safe!

In the last week, I’ve heard three different very successful professionals talk about the importance of relationships in achieving their success.

Think about it for a moment.

Relationships, both personal and professional really matter. In business, Word of Mouth is still the most effective way to find quality products or services.

How many times have you asked friends, family or co-workers, Who do you know that . .

People Do Business With People They Know, Like and Trust.

How strong are those relationships? Both Personal and Professional Relationships. What can you do to strengthen them?

How about sending a Real Greeting Card? It’s on me! FOR FREE!

Take a few minutes to send a real greeting card to someone you care about. Let them know how important they are to you.


Go to:
2. Turn your speakers on
3. You will be guided through sending a Real paper card!

You Click Send and We Do The Rest!

*Be sure you have the latest browser as we are using the newest technologies.

Until next time
Come See What’s Brewing at

“ Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Life Is Too Short!!!

Arrggh! First Marvalyn, now Aunt Mary!!

Mary Randa Balster was an extraordinary woman! She was all about Family. Her family always came first. Aunt Mary’s home was warm and relaxed. She opened her arms and her home to everyone that walked through her doors. She made you feel special. Aunt Mary’s love wasn’t conditional. She just loved you because you were you! Not many people are like that.

Aunt Mary always hosted all the holiday celebrations. On average, there were between 30 to 40 or more people at any party. So much food that you just couldn’t help over eating. Oh and all the desserts! Pies! Cookies! Cakes! Then maybe if it were nice out, we would play a little Bacci. But the real fun was after dinner, after the dishes were cleared and we all sat around the table and laughed over old family stories. We would laugh until we cried and our sides hurt.

With her passing, my fear is the family will splinter off and we’ll only see them at weddings and funerals. I don’t know if anyone is up for the task of trying to fill those BIG shoes!

(How 'bout it Suz, you think you're up for it?)

Aunt Mary is back with Uncle Hank now.

We Love You and We Will Miss You Aunt Mary!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Tomorrow may be too late.

Yesterday, my friend, Marvalyn Germany, passed away in her sleep.

Marvalyn had a unique perspective on life and was well, she was quite a pisser!

She had it tough but overcame the crap life tossed her way. Marvalyn married at a very young age to an abusive man. She ultimately left with her children to start a new life. She ran several small businesses before become one of Pittsburgh’s Finest. Marvalyn did find love again with a good, gentle man, Jeffery, who loved her dearly. (We all loved Marvalyn, but how can you not!) Then a job related injury forced her into early retirement.

Marvalyn made me laugh. There isn’t enough laughter in this world.

Now, I am angry.

I am angry with myself.

You see, Marvalyn just had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and we were planning to get together for lunch to celebrate.

First she had to cancel, then I cancelled and we just never found the time to get together as we had planned.

I was planning to call her tomorrow, but it too late now. There is no tomorrow.

Life is too short to let the piddley things get in the way of the relationships that you value.

Pick up the phone and call someone you care about. Invite them out for a coffee or a drink or what ever, just don’t let another day go by.

Tomorrow may be too late.

Farewell my friend! I will miss you Marvalyn!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

How A Greeting Card Caught The Attention Of The Mayflower Madam And Launched A Cascade Of New Opportunities!

Having been in Marketing for over twenty years, I thought I knew it all.


A few weeks ago, I was on a Dan Kennedy Tele-Seminar presented by none other than Sydney Biddle Barrows, the Former Mayflower Madam.

Now here was an amazing woman! Her life takes a down turn but rather than go run and hide, she embraces it and publishes The Mayflower Madam, which incidentally, is on the must read list of all the top MBA programs. Then she goes on to be one of the top Sales and Marketing consultants!

Now that woman has Eggs! I like that!

As she spoke about selling the Experience, I suddenly understood what it really meant to sell the sizzle, not the steak.


Well, I just had just had to send her a Thank You card telling her how much I enjoyed the Tele-seminar and I had the XXX Uncensored Sales Strategies on order.

I choose a card with my favorite piece, Morning Fog Gives Way with the thought that Hey; she just might like my artwork and keep the card on her desk for a few days – or longer!

Now, the note was no great prose. (Which is the main reason I was drawn to the Kennedy concepts, to improve my copywriting skills. My background was more boring technical writing, You know, Step 1 do this, Step 2 do that, etc. So, please bear with me as my dull writing skills develop – but I digress)

Anyway, it was just a simple Thank You note. Three simple lines expressing my appreciation for her presentation.

(Hard to be believe it was just three lines considering how long winded I can be, eh?)

Then She emailed me to Thank Me for taking the time to Thank Her!!!


Well, that began a string of emails and a Blonde joke, which she just loved! That exchange culminated into an offer from Sydney to include the joke and a short blurb and link to my newest website in her Newsletter.

HOLY $#!&

What and Effing Awesome Opportunity!

Ok remember to breath!

How Did This Wonderful Thing Happen!?! (I began hearing the Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime in my head).

All I did was send a simple greeting card. now has the attention of Sydney Biddle Barrows network! And all because of a simple greeting card.

I wonder where this will lead?

Which leads me to the question: When was the last time You said Thank You, I appreciate what you have brought into my life. As my gift, I invite you to send a Real greeting card to someone special. Someone who has made your life better. Let them know what they mean to you. Who knows how a simple greeting card can affect your life!

Visit, turn your speakers on and click the banner. You will be guided through the process of sending a real card. No Risk! No Strings!

(Be sure you have the latest version of Explorer or Firefox as we are using the newest technologies.)

Let me know your stories. I’ll post the best ones on upcoming blogs with links back to your websites.

Come See What’s Brewing at the

And you may ask yourself

Where Does That Highway Go?

Monday, March 16, 2009

It’s National Sweater Day on Friday, March 20!

In honor of Mr. Rogers Birthday, March 20, It is National Sweater Day! So put on your sweater and take off those loafers and be someones neighbor today!

Mr. Rogers was one of the first to really encourage all of us to be better people and knew that starting character-based discussions about respect and open-mindedness needed to start early. He was the right man, with the right message, at the right time!

So, won't YOU wear a sweater on Friday, March 20th?

Have you had people who have touched you, not moved you in order to manipulate you, but touch you inside to inside? Take a minute to think of at least one person who helped you to become who you are inside today. Someone who was interested in you for who you really are . . . someone you feel really accepted the essence of your being. Just one minute . . . one minute to think of those who have made a difference in your life. ~Fred Rogers

To Honor of Mr Rogers Birthday, I would like to give a gift of sending a real paper greeting card in the mail to someone special in your life. Send a heart-felt note to someone who has made a difference in your life! No Strings! No Risk!

Go to:
2. Turn your speakers on
3. You will be guided through sending a Real paper card!

You Click Send and We Do The Rest!

*Be sure you have the latest browser as we are using the newest technologies.

Come See What’s Brewing at the

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Top 3 Mistakes of Trade Show Vendors

I spent 10 days at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden at the David L Lawrence Convention Center. Thousands of people wandered through over 1500 exhibitor displays. Many of the vendors met many new prospects and collected tons of new leads while others were dismayed as people scurried down the aisles.

So why were some vendors successful and other were not?

Three common mistakes made are No Plan, No Personality and NO Follow Up!

First, know Why you are there! What is the purpose of exhibiting at this show? Are you introducing a new product? Are you collecting names to build a list? What do you have to do to get the return on your investment?

In other words, Do You Have A Plan? A great display is only half the battle. Start by setting goals: I want to meet "x" new prospects a day. I want to get "$x" of new orders a day.

Let people know you'll be at the show by using postcards, emails, phone calls. Don’t forget to contact your current customers and arrange to show them your new widget at the show. They will be one of your best sources for referrals. Offer an incentive for them to visit your booth. Drawing & contests are a great way to build up your list.

Be sure that the people tending the display booth reflect a positive, enthusiastic and engaging personality! Attendees will not stop nor take your information if the person at the booth is an unfriendly Jag-off! Remember, People do business with PEOPLE they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST!

The next step is a Follow Up Plan. Keep in mind the big picture. You're competing with hundreds or even thousands of exhibitors among all the other trade show booths. Thousands of people will go through the show collecting a ton of information that will promptly be placed on the corner of the desk for a week or perhaps even months.

How will you follow up so your company will stand out from all the other vendors? How will you stay Top of Mind after the show? Phone Calls? Emails? Postcards?

Sending a Personalized Thank You note is an awesome way to remind people of the conversation, products & services. Plus, it begins to build a relationship and develop rapport. If you are willing to take the time to send a Thank You note, you’ll likely take more care about the project.

When they are ready to pull the trigger, you will be the one they think of fondly and first. It’s not always about finding the lowest price! Relationships Do Matter! People do business with the People they Know, Like and Trust.

I invite you to send a REAL greeting card to someone today – on me! No Risk! No Strings! Just visit: , turn your speakers on, click the banner and you’ll be guided through sending a real card to someone special.

Until Later
Come See What's Brewing at the

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh My God! Gene “Effing” Simmons was at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show!

Who would have thought that we’d see the long tongued icon of Rock-N-Roll at this mundane event!

Has he moved to the ‘Burgh? Is he ready for a new kitchen? Is he interested in staying in touch with his friends and family?

Well, when he stopped by the Case Remodeling/SendOutCards booth (2614), he drew quite a crowd!

Most just starred in AWE, but I just had to get my photo taken with The Demon of Kiss or no one would believe that I met Gene Simmons! Pretty cool!

OK, You busted me. That’s not the real Gene Simmons, but look-a-like, Pete Galvan.

Dead ringer, eh!

I bet he could fool even, Shannon!

OK, maybe not Shannon, but everyone else!

If you aren’t connected enough to add him to your guest list or don’t have the budget for the real Gene Simmons; you can add a little color and life to your next event or party with the next best thing!

Contact Pete Galvan at
See Pete Galvan in action:

Until next time my friends!
See what’s brewing at the

I wanna rock and roll all nite and party every day!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It’s a Miracle! It’s a Miracle!

It’s a Miracle! It’s a Miracle!

If this can happen then ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

What is so miraculous?

Did I see the Holy Virgin in my oatmeal?


Did I win at Power Ball?


So what is so miraculous?

My Bougainvillea has Blooms on it!!

BFD, you say, Oh No, my Friend this really IS a Miracle!

You see, five years ago, I gave my Mom a large potted Bougainvillea for her Birthday. While you Floridians have them growing crazy in your backyards, this is not the case in the Northern states. We are lucky to have them grace our decks and porches for a few months.

Anyway, at the end of the season, my Mom split the Bougainvillea and gave me one half.

I would water, feed and care for this lovely tropical beauty, but my little lovely refused to bloom again!

I never gave up. I moved it from location to location, and window to window. I tried varying the amount of water and I tried different fertilizers, but still no blooms.

Until today.

I went down to feed my cats and out of the corner of my eye, I see something pale on the plant.

I thought, OH No I forgot to water it and the leaves are dying off!

But no, wait! What is that?

So I put on my glasses and Behold!

It was a delicate pale pink, not a dried out khaki

It’s a Miracle, A MIRACLE I say!

My poor little Bougainvillea was blooming! OK so it’s only one small branch, but nonetheless it still blooms!

It’s a Miracle!

Or was it Tenacity?

I kept at it. I KNEW that the blooms on this plant were not only possible, but when achieved, were just Stunning! When something wasn’t working I changed one thing until I found the right combination of Light, Water and Fertilizer.

If I can get blooms from that plant, I believe that Anything Is Possible and I if I can get this old Bougainvillea to bloom again then I can do ANYTHING!

Finding the right combination to your marketing mix is no different than getting a tropical plant to bloom in Pittsburgh, PA. When something doesn’t work, then changed one thing until you find the right combination. History has proven over and over that Great Marketing Will Produce Great Results.

This economic downturn is NOT the time to cut back on Marketing, but rather, you should step it up and become more focused and targeted. Referrals are the least expensive way to grow your business.

Referral Gurus, Michelle Donovan, David Frey and Bob Burg, all agree, that your existing clients are easiest and least expensive to sell to, plus they are the best source of new referral business.

A great place to start gathering more information on Referral Marketing is: I have found some awesome resources and tools to maximize your results with minimum investments of time and money.

Growing your business in this downturn is possible - If you are Tenacious and Creative!

Come see what’s brewing at the MadHatters Teapot!

Friday, February 20, 2009

How Can We Add Value To Our Online Networks?

So how can we add value to the people we want to join our networks? What need do they have that you can fulfill?

First you need you identify who your target market is. Who are your best clients? What are their other concerns? Then start listing things that typically interest them.

One way to add value to my target market is to provide them with some tips and links to other resources that can help them. Don’t just continually plug your product but offer solutions to related concerns or interests. This is just one way to open the door to building an online relationship.

For (shameless) example, my primary target is Entrepreneurs and Commission Professionals. They are looking for a better way to stand out from their competition. They are interested in out of the box ways to market & grow their business. They are looking for efficiencies or an Edge. I created as a resource site of out of the box solutions that may help you grow your business.

What are you doing to add value to your network?

I hope you take the time to see what's brewing at the MadHatters Teapot


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's the difference?

I am new to this phenomenon called Social Networking. In my quest to learn how this whole thing operates, I have made some interesting discoveries.

On, Mike Klingler asked the question "What's the difference between providing value to attract business, vs. pitching your affiliate program, opportunity, or products?"

I'd would like to comment on that great question.

Online social networking is proof positive that most people are looking to build real relationships. They seek out like minded people. They want to connect with others that echo their interests, thoughts and feelings. They are reaching out to fill a void in their lives

As marketeers, we must first connect with our audience by adding some value to their quest. I made the mistake of trying to rush into the promotion of products without really building any relationships first. I know better now.

Just like in regular face to face networking, we must form relationships first. Online is no different. People want to do business with the people they Know, Like and Trust!

So how can we add value to the people we want to join our networks? What need do they have that you can fill?

I'll address that question in the next post . . . .

Best Regards