True Grit

We’ve all seen the movie True Grit where teenager Mattie Ross is determined to bring her father’s killer to justice. The first step on her journey is to engage Marshal Rooster Cogburn to take on this task with her. She chooses him because he is a man of “grit”—a man who gets things done. In the end, Mattie shows the most “grit”: she took on a task of which she had no expertise, she did her research and found the right man for the job, and she pushed through all the obstacles time after time until the job was done.

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Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?


Recently, I sat through a product demo where the presenter filled most of the presentation time flipping from graph to graph to illustrate the power and flexibility of his product.

I must admit the presenter had put a great deal of thought into his storyboard and how to best show “what sells.” His delivery was crisp and polished.

He had me sold on a great graph presentation tool—but that wasn’t what I was really looking for.

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Save Now or Save Later

Whoever invented the coupon was a very smart person. The psychology behind coupons makes them effective. Sure, if there is something you were going to buy in a certain store anyway, a coupon just saves you money. But many people will buy something they weren’t thinking of buying before, just to “save” money with the coupon, or they will go to the store offering the coupon without checking to see if another store has lower prices. And once in the store, they might even buy other things at full price. In the end, people usually spend more money on that particular trip at that particular store than if they had not gotten the coupon at all.  And this is why stores give out coupons in the first place.

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Oops! Not Again!

Lest I seem to be judgmental, let’s start out with a professional revelation: I probably make hundreds of mistakes a year. In fact, it is possible I picked my career—one where mistakes are so intrinsic we call them “bugs” instead —because of a summer day when I was around ten, tossing a game of catch in a narrow NYC street. You see, I observed the dense proximity of windows all around and wondered how it was I hadn’t broken one yet. Within 5 minutes of that very thought, an errant throw of mine went through a neighbor’s window.  Oops! I knew then and there I was going to make plenty of mistakes.

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