Newsletters…Is it Worth It?


Let’s start with the premise that evaluating a newsletter’s “pleasure/annoyance” factor is at best personal and subjective and can vary for volume to volume.

On a recent road trip in the rural north above the USA/Canadian border, I picked up a copy of The Perkolator.


By every metric I use to determine if I should invest time reading, this newsletter screamed “don’t waste your time.”

To start with, 62% of the newsletter is advertising! (Yes, I measured it.)

I don’t do commercials.

  • That’s why I bought a PVR!
  • That’s why I have satellite radio!
  • That’s why I hit the “skip this ad” button as soon as it appears.

The Perkolator copy is set with big, bold, attention-grabbing headlines that remind me of the “Trumpisms” leading up to the Presidential election—headlines that challenge the imagination and question the need to investigate further.

I kept asking, “What is the value proposition here?”

Well—”you can’t judge a book by its cover”—this little newsletter was an enjoyable read and is justified in stating, “The Paper EVERYONE Reads!!!”

I found the timing of one article, published on Nov. 9th, 2016, particularly interesting—especially for a Canadian newsletter:

The Cornerstones of Leadership by BG

There are many qualities required of a leader, but the aspiring leader first has to put in place four cornerstones of the foundation of which their leadership will be built. The four M’s that follow are the cornerstones on which their leadership will be built.

1)   Mentorship: Very few people are “born” leaders and those who are, still have to blend their natural talents with some learned skills. So, in order for them to become leaders, someone has to teach them those skills. That is where a mentor comes into play. To teach, guide and set the examples for the aspiring leader to follow. He or she will guide the new leader into the ‘balancing’ of all aspects of life, both business and personal.

2)   Morality: Without morality there can be no leadership. Your ethics (honesty, integrity, loyalty and morals) are the qualities that will attract people to you. No one will follow an immoral person for long before realizing they are on the wrong path. This is where the “Law of Attraction” comes into play; you will attract to you what you ARE, not what you want.

3)   Momentum: All leaders must set the pace, they are always the front-runners. You cannot lead an army from the back (though some have tried). The leader leads with enthusiasm. People will go along with someone who has created momentum, know the destination and are moving towards it.

4)   Morale: Having been mentored the leader must now become the mentor. They now have the responsibility of teaching and guiding others. They must have a clear vision of the objectives and impart that vision to those they wish to lead. They must encourage, motivate and develop a team spirit whilst still allowing each player to be an individual. They must continually strive for excellence and set a good example for those to follow.

Lead By Example!

There are millions of Perkolator-style newsletters throughout the USA. They satisfy the many interests inherent in the diversity of our population. I’m sure you could name a few publications without thinking too hard. (Yes, it’s ok to include sfNews as one of those newsletters.)

Keeping newsletters fresh and delivering worthy content while driving readership is a daunting task for a publisher. The Perkolator has a standard closing that encourages readership participation in crafting future content.

I thought about this for awhile…

It is all about doing our part. To make an effort to help make our local newsletter great—or, for that matter, making “America Great Again.” It is up to each of us to do our part.

All of us need to take time to participate in crafting the future of America.




The Blame Game

into-the-woodsOne of my favorite Broadway musicals is Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Near the end of this retelling of fairy tales—when many things have gone wrong and people have died—the remaining characters gather around and have a conversation (in song, of course) about whose fault it is. One by one, Jack (of beanstalk fame), the Baker, the Witch, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood defend themselves and refuse to take the blame fostered on them by the rest of the group. The song ends with all of them singing to each other:

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Risky Business

riskWhen starting a new project, everything looks shiny, bright and new. Everyone is focused on the end goal. However, it is the project manager’s job to look deeper into the project and identify the possible risks—not what will go wrong (because at this stage we all believe nothing will), but what could possibly go wrong. Without identifying risks, the project manager is not able to plan how to address any of these possible risks or prevent any risks.

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When It’s Broke


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” — an English proverb credited to Bert Lance (1931-2013) in 1977.

I stick with this motto when it comes to almost everything, but most assuredly when it relates to the technology I use while doing business day-to-day. Do you want to see my productivity go down the toilet? Then change something that impacts my routine!

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