Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Austin Networking Event - The 8 Minute Ripple

My friend, Steve Harper, is the author of "The Ripple Effect" (a great book on networking for business success, read it...and read mine!!!!). He has recurring event that allows people to meet others and make connections called "The 8 Minute Ripple". It is like speed dating, but without the dating.

If you live in or around Austin, Texas you should check it out on February 7th.

Steve puts on a fun program and this is his kick-off event in his series. The info is below.

If you want to attend, please email Steve directly to RSVP.

What: The 8 Minute Ripple Event

When: Feb 7th 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM

Where: Double Tree Hotel (6505 IH-35)

Cost: $35 ($45 at the door...so sign up early)

Please email steve@therippleeffectbook.com to RSVP

Have Fun.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Book Review!!!!

I ran across this review of my book on BW Price's Marketing U Blog. I am very happy that she likes my book, and I love the nuggets of networking advice that she has highlighted in her post.

Take a look at her blog, you will like what she has to say (not just the post about my book....you will like what she has to say in all of her posts!!!).

To find more information about "Some Assembly Required" and to purchase your own copy.... please visit www.thomsinger.com . Buy a copy today!!! (thanks).

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weekend Blog #26 - Happy Chinese New Year

The "Weekend Blog" is off the business topics usually discussed on Some Assembly Required. It is my chance to pontificate about any subject under the sun.

The Year of the Dog

Today marks the year 4704 on the Chinese Calendar: The Year of the Dog.

Chinese New Year is the main holiday of the year for more than one quarter of the world's population, which means there are some big parties today!!! (One quarter of the world's population!!! That is HUGE. We get so focused on our own culture and forget that we are just part of our world community).

According to the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, the traits of people born under the sign of the Dog are:

People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people's confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit.
You are a Dog if you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006.

I am not a Dog. I was born under the sign of the Horse.

People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, and perceptive, although they sometimes talk too much (ok, those who know me might want to agree!!). The are wise, talented, good with their hands, and sometimes have a weakness for members of the opposite sex. They are impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.

The years of the Horse are: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

To learn more about the Chinese Zodiac and Chinese Lunar Calendar, click here.

Happy New Year!!!

Thom Singer

Friday, January 27, 2006

Open Question Friday - Week #3

Every Friday I answer a question from readers of this blog on how they should handle a specific issue with regards to networking, business development, career, etc...

Each week I will select a question from my email and try to answer it to the best of my ability. However, as with any free advice, you get what you pay for. If you disagree with my opinion, please add to the discussion by posting a comment to this blog.

Question # 3

This question is from Sue.

"Why do you write a blog?"

I began writing this blog as a way to promote my book, "Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Keep and Grow Your Business Relationships". I had heard that blogs were a good way to increase your Search Engine Optimization, and drive web traffic to your main web page.

In many ways, this has worked out great. People have found me, and my book.....and they have purchased copies (which is what every author wants.....people to read his book!!!). Sadly, Oprah Winfrey has not called to add me to her book club. Ahhhh, a boy can dream, but apparently she does not spend much time reading my blog.

What I did not realize was that by creating this blog I would improve my writing skills. Like any exercise, the more you work out, the better toned you become..... With my writing, I am in much better shape.

In addition, I use my many of my posts as outlines for longer articles and speeches (I have been asked to give talks about the importance of networking to many business groups and companies).

Since I now have daily readers of this blog (that took a long time), I feel an obligation to post regularly, as I get bored with blogs that do not have frequently fresh information. I have deleted many from my "blogroll" who do not write posts often.

Finally, the blog has allowed me to meet many interesting people across the country. I get emails almost daily from a variety of people who have questions,, comments and opinions. I like that. (Keep your cards and letters coming!!!)

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Guy Kawasaki has a great post at his "Let The Good Times Roll Blog" in which he states 11 important truths that he has learned through living his life.

These are so true, and yet very entertaining.

In my nearly forty years, I too have learned a couple of things. I will add them here (although, you really should read Guy's post....as my points do not hold a candle to his).

Thom's Hindsights:

1. Bosses are just people. You may want them to be super-human, but many (most?) have all the same flaws as everyone else. Respect them for their strengths and excuse them for their weaknesses.

2. All guys grow up thinking they want a son, but the biggest truth in the world is that there is NOTHING as wonderful as "daddy's little girl". My two daughters teach me more about how to be a good man than anyone or anything on the planet.

3. Youth is wasted on the young. When I was 23 I thought I was hot shit. Now at 39 I realize I was not that special then......or now. It would be great to get to be 23 again, and have all the hindsight and financial security I have now. But it does not work that way for a reason!!!

4. True friends are a special gift. People will come and go from your life. Some will stay. The really special ones stay in good times and bad times. They need to be cherished.

5. Material things are nice, but not as important as many think. A car or a house cannot love you back.

6. You become your parents. I find myself yelling things at my kids like "Don't run with a stick, you'll poke your eye out." Dad used to say this. Funny, I know lots of kids who ran with sticks. Most have two eyes.

7. Some people will not like you. Oh well.

8. As you get closer to forty, it is harder to stay fit. For me it was thirty. I gained 25 pounds. Recently I lost the weight, but have to work very hard to keep it off. When I was 19 I ate at McDonald's all the time. Now I just think of a Big Mac and I need an extra fifteen minutes on the StairMaster.

9. Having a pool is cool when you are twelve. I know, I had one. But I would no sooner want a swimming pool in my backyard now than have a root canal. My dad was a saint to keep that pond clean and chemically balanced. No thanks. I have two words for my daughters: "Community Pool".

10. A 1966 Ford Mustang is a very cool car. My brother Bob gave me his when I turned 16. He took it back when I was 20. Never again will I drive a better car. Bob still has that car. I get to visit it sometimes. I doubt he appreciates it like I do.

11. Say "Thank You" more often. Nobody is an island. The people around us make us who we are. Thanking others is not only the right thing to do, it makes you feel good. If you are reading this blog or have purchased my book....THANK YOU!!!!

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Be The Solution

Your company (or division of your company) probably had some type of planning meeting in December or January to set goals for 2006 and motivate the team.

Many businesses spend big money on these planning sessions. Everyone is out of the field for a day or two. Sometimes they are at fancy hotels or golf resorts. Big meals, team building exercises, fabulous speakers and a lot of examining the future.

So now what?

Has anything changed in your business world? Or has everyone just returned to work and their old routines? In most cases there is a week or two where people are "pumped up", and then it is business as usual.

If your company has invested time and money in goal setting and strategic planning for 2006, and then nothing changes, that is a crying shame. Wasted opportunity.

You should take responsibility and get your team focused on achieving those goals.

Why you? Why not?

Regardless of your place on the corporate ladder, you can influence change in your organization. Here are three tips:

1. Lead by example. Nothing speaks louder than action. Start to do small things that can move your team forward. Small victories will help others want to participate.

2. Do not gripe. Too much time is spent complaining in today's business world. Do not be part of it. If you have people in your firm who routinely have "closed door" discussions about the boss or other co-workers, do not participate. In fact, ask the complainers how they plan to be part of the solution, not the problem.

3. Find a partner. Look around your office for another person who will work with you to advance your company toward success. One person can accomplish many things. Two can do much more.

Don't just sit there. Be the solution.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Customers have choices. Don't fool yourself, everyday those who do business with you are bombarded with advertisements, phone calls, direct mail and personal interactions with your competition.

The number of choices we constantly face is staggering:

19,000 Different Beverages Available at Starbucks (think about that for a minute, with three all the different sizes, flavors, syrups, temperatures, etc....you could have something different to drink everyday for 52 years)

19 Flavors of Oreos (I just thought there was one)

80,000 New Blogs Created Daily (But you choose this one....THANK YOU)

Google Search "Attorney" and you will get over 151 million websites. (Narrow the search to “Corporate Lawyer” – 6,680,000 websites)

With so many choices, how is a consumer to ever make a decision?

People choose what they know and like. From a vanilla lattes to cookies, ...... From blogs to lawyers.... all things being equal, consumers will choose what they are comfortable with.

While this is good news about your current customers (your competition is constantly trying to lure them away...but they usually stay), it is bad news for your business development efforts.

If you want to grow your business, you have to realize that it will take a lot of time to convince potential customers to switch their business. You need to build trust and that takes a long term commitment. If you are not working on your business development, networking, marketing and PR plans today, then you will not have new clients tomorrow.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

***Source for Oreo and Starbuck's statistics: Seth Godin

Monday, January 23, 2006

Re-Invent Yourself

Is your industry changing? The answer is probably yes. Even if you do not see it, the business world is a very competitive place, and advances in technology are causing most companies to re-assess how they operate..... And everyone I know, in all industries, is facing tougher competition.

So what can you do to succeed in this changing world?

1. Be honest with yourself about "where you are". Too many professionals do not honestly review where they stack up in their universe. Are you the "top" in your industry? Or do you just pretend that you are. Does you competition do a better job than you? What can you do to improve your product or service?

Avoiding honesty with yourself will prevent you from improving.

2. Where do you want to be? (What does success look like?). Just saying you want to have "more" sales or deliver "better" customer service is not enough. You need to define what want to achieve. If you want to increase sales, what is your target number? If you want more customer loyalty, how will you measure "more"?.

If you do not know what is success..... how will you know when you get there.

3. Be Flexible. Be Creative. You need to approach this challenging business climate with a sense of "why not me?". Someone will excel in this new environment. Why not you? Do not be set in your ways. If you look at an idea and think "We don't do it that way around here"...then you are doomed. Those who are flexible and open to new approaches will triumph.

Re-Invent yourself in the marketplace.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weekend Blog #25 - Let Him Eat Cake

The "Weekend Blog" is my chance to rant and rave about topics other than networking, business development, sales, marketing and business. It's my blog, I will type if I want to.

Let Him Eat Cake

I was at the gym today and overheard two women talking. One is a "bride-to-be", and she spent a lot of time complaining and be-littling her fiance. I was sort of sad for this guy, as I was sure that she does this sort of talk to his face.

I was right. When he came up to join them she jumped all over him for his lack of a work out. Apparently his time spent on the cardio machines was too short, and she was making it clear that she felt he should work out harder while at the gym.

I had made some small talk with them earlier, and proceeded to jokingly add "Gosh, give the guy a break". Now I was part of the conversation, although it was all in fun and good natured.

They were bantering about wedding plans, gift registries, and their schedule for the rest of the day. It was funny, but she was clearly hen-pecking the guy. Then they asked my opinion about the "grooms cake".

Since I am not originally from the south, I had not heard of a "grooms cake" when I got married, but after 15 years in Texas, I am now very aware of the custom. Apparently this soon-to-be groom has designed "the worlds ugliest cake" for their reception (her words).

It will contain a photo of his dog and a frosting bar bell in 3-D. While I agree that it sounds awful, I told her to "let him have his cake, it is the only part of the wedding that is 100% up to him". After all, it is his wedding too.

Well, I am not sure she appreciated the advice (but she did ask for my opinion)..... he was grateful for the support. I am not sure I will ever see them again, and I know I wont be at the wedding....but I do hope she lets him have his goofy grooms cake....as it sounds like the only thing he will ever get his way for the rest of his life.

Have A Great Weekend.

Thom Singer

Friday, January 20, 2006

Open Question Friday - Week # 2

Every Friday I will answer a question from readers of this blog. Since my book was released in October, I get a lot of questions from readers who want to know how they should handle a specific issue with regards to networking, business development, career, etc...

Each week I will select a question from my email and try to answer it to the best of my ability. However, as with any free advice, you get what you pay for. If you disagree with my opinion, please add to the discussion by posting a comment to this blog.

Question # 2

This question comes from Rob:

"How do you connect with someone you only met once, but know would be a good addition to your professional network?"

The most important part of networking is following up with those that you meet. You need to follow up or you will never have the chance to build a professional relationship.

Most people who attend networking functions meet amazing people all the time. The problem is that they lose touch and let too much time pass before reaching out to people.

If you got their business card, be sure to send an e-mail or handwritten note within a few days of meeting. Think ahead for what your next action should be (lunch, coffee, a business meeting, inviting them to a corporate event, etc....). If you did not, look them up on their company website.

If you feel like this person could be a good addition to you professional life, you need to take action. Friendships are not built without some kind of follow up and future interaction. Although not everyone you meet will become your friend, you get nowhere without at least trying to build a connection.

The best way to follow up? However you want. Just do it.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Got a networking, business development, sales or marketing question? Send me an email. Thanks!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

"Don't Settle For Silver"

In a sold out meeting of the Austin Chapter of TEXCHANGE, successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Jimmy Treybig, gave solid advice to the audience of Texas technology executives.

"Don't Settle For The Silver"[...be working for the gold] was the message that rang though the loudest. Those who want to build businesses that will change the world need to know in advance that they want success. While it is not just about the money, you need to strive for the big win.

Regardless of what you do for a living, this is how you should live: Go for the gold!!!

Treybig does not do a lot of public speaking, which made his nuggets of information even more of a treasure chest of inspiration for the standing room only crowd at the Austin Country Club last night.

Throughout his talk, it was clear that he is a businessman, advisor, technology guru, CEO, mentor, coach, student, teacher, thought leader and a huge fan of start-up companies. Sometimes he was funny, often insightful and his presentation rocked the room. Occasionally when we attend a networking event we get lucky with a spectacular program. That was what happened this time!!!

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Avoid Artificial Buyers

If you are in sales you need to beware of the artificial buyer. At first glance you think they are the decision maker because of their title, or their clear ability to say "No!". But do they have the power to say "Yes!"?

Very often these people even think they are the buyer. But in the end, someone else must approve the purchase.

This can cause big problems for sales professionals. If you do not treat these artificial buyers with respect, they can knock out your chances of ever getting the sale. But if you spend too much time with them, and never meet the real decision maker, you will have no influence on the prospect's decision.

You need to meet with and build rapport with the real buyer. This can be tricky, especially if the artificial buyer is not forthcoming with the truth and will not facilitate the introduction. (Often artificial buyers will try to block you, keeping themselves in the loop).

The best approach is to never rely on any one person inside a company. Always look for two, three or four contacts (including the CEO or some high level executive). The more people at various levels who know you, the better chance you have of winning the business.

Let you competition chase the artificial buyers. You are smarter than that!

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Monday, January 16, 2006

Experts Among You

There is a great post on Michelle Golden's "Golden Practices Blog" (which I just discovered, but is full of great information and I will add to my own regular blog reading list).

In this post she continues on some other blogger's comments (Patrick Lamb and Tom Kane), but Michelle sums up my biggest complaint about professional services firms. They hire very talented marketing professionals, and then ignore their advice.

She says this:

As a lawyer or accountant (or consultant), equate it to a customer who refuses again and again to heed your advice. Then imagine that same customer coming to you repeatedly to justify the value you bring to the relationship demanding ROI and results. Yet they haven't taken most of your advice.

The frustration you experience in that situation is only a taste of what a marketer you've hired feels because you are their ONLY customer.

That's why marketers leave firms in a matter of a couple of years. And that's why results aren't half as amazing as they'd be if you'd listen to your marketer and act on a lot more of their advice.

She hits the nail on the head. I know dozens of marketers who exited professional services firms within two years for this exact reason.

In addition, I know lot of attorneys who can't figure out why they cannot attract or keep high level marketing or business development professionals (try paying them as a professional and treating them with respect....there is a concept!!!!).

If you have a marketing professional in your firm, start treating them as a "professional" and not assuming you know more than they do (maybe you do...MAYBE YOU DON'T). You might be amazed with the results.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Weekend Blog # 24 - MOMZILLA

The Weekend Blog is off the topics of business development, marketing, networking, sales, PR and other related business themes. It is my chance to pontificate on any subject or to just tell a story.


Today I ventured out into the beautiful, unseasonably warm weather with my youngest daughter, and one of her friends. They are both "three and a half" (do not forget the half...it is VERY important. I in fact have taken to saying I am "thirty-nine and a half").

The day was great, not a cloud in the sky, and so we went to the park. Yes, they had a blast. They went on the swings, the slides, and they climbed the big monkey bars (are they still called "monkey bars"?). They played very well together and it was a delightful way for all of us to spend the afternoon.

Then it happened. A random parent in the park turned into "MOMZILLA". While it did not directly impact our fun, it was much like passing a car accident..... I had to watch.

First, the woman had three kids and she and her husband must have been at the park to enjoy a family outing. But how any of them enjoyed themselves is beyond me.

Her youngest daughter, not much more than a year old, slipped and fell. Now, one would think if she got to the third kid, she would have seen a kid fall before. However, she was overly freaked out (there was no blood and all limbs remained attached)..... and then she also began to brow-beat her husband about his not being able to prevent the fall. She was yelling at this poor guy, using words like "useless" to describe his parenting skills.

YIKES. The kid just slipped. She was still breathing. But the guy just seemed to absorb her sharp words, which made it obvious that he had heard them before. Maybe quite often.

Next, my daughter and her friend were taking the pea gravel and stacking it in the slide, then taking turns sliding into it. While I am sure that touching the small rocks is some huge "park mom no-no", the girls were having a blast. The older daughter in this family, who seemed to be the same age as my kid, wanted to join in. Momzilla immediately pulled her away and screamed at her (very sternly) that she could NEVER play with the rocks, adding "just because other parents allow their children to play with the rocks, does not mean you can do it". OUCH.

She went on to tell her kid that throwing rocks would hurt someone's eye. NOBODY was throwing rocks, in fact, we had already discussed that the girls had to move away before the other one went down the slide..... to make sure they were careful. Not a single kid in this park lost and eyeball.

Finally her middle kid went wandering off, and she chased him screaming wildly, as if he was about to meander onto the freeway. She was ballistic on the poor kid. So much for his growing up with any curiosity about the world. Momzilla will make sure he never explores anything.

I just kept watching this woman interact with her husband and children in amazement. I felt so sorry for the dad. More than once she belittled him in front of everyone.

Just an observation with commentary.

Of course if this woman has her own blog, her new post would be about the horrible dad in the park who let his kid and her friend play with the rocks. It's all perception.

Have A Great Weekend.

Thom Singer

Friday, January 13, 2006

Open Question Friday - Week #1

This year we will try something new on Fridays.....I will answer a question from readers of this blog. Since my book was released in October, I get a lot of questions from readers who want to know how they should handle a specific issue with regards to networking, business development, career, etc...

Each Friday I will select a question from my email and try to answer it to the best of my ability. However, as with any free advice, you get what you pay for. If you disagree with my opinion, please add to the discussion by posting a comment to this blog.

Question #1

From John in Chicago (last name removed per his request):

"I read you book, and think that it has good tips. But as an associate in a law firm, the partners think that networking is not worth the time commitment. I am only judged on my work product and my billable hours. How do I get them to notice the importance of what you say?"

Bill, I don't think you can change anyone's mind about networking (or anything else). Especially your bosses. However, if you know it will help you find new business and advance your career, then make the time to do it anyway. I worked with lawyers for a long time, and I know from experience that a young associate who brings in his own book of business and has a strong reputation has a better chance of making partner....OR being recruited into another (better?) firm.

Do not rely on senior partners for your future. They may take care of you now, but if times get difficult, they will protect their own future first. I have seen many lawyers work dry up because they relied on someone else to bring in the business.

Build your network, your reputation, your client base and your referral sources. Nobody can take those from you. If you are not bonused on bringing in new business, you can be sure they will notice it. If they don't, there are lots of law firms out there who desire to find good "rainmakers".

Thanks for your email, and thanks for reading my book.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Do Not Spar With The Customer

Sometimes we forget the old (but true) cliche:

Rule #1: The customer is always right.

Rule #2: If the customer is wrong, see Rule #1

It is easy to focus on metrics, teams, marketing, image, sales quotas, strategic plans, stock price, water-cooler gossip, and the lunch hour. But often we forget why we are at work in the first place.

The customer.

Without the customer, everything else stops. Sometimes customers are difficult. Often they are annoying. Regularly they are unrealistically demanding. And yes, on occasion the customer is wrong.

But when they are wrong, you cannot dig your feet in with the hopes that you will "win" and educate them on the error of their ways. To beat the customer is to lose the customer, and all the goodwill.

Your relationship with your customer should never be compared to a boxing match. If you feel you are going twelve rounds and hoping for a TKO, you need to step back and take the fall.

Too many people have forgotten that. They want so badly to be right, that they alienate customers along the way. If this has not happened to you recently, then consider yourself lucky.

(On the other hand, yes, there are times when you should "fire" a client when they are not a good fit with your long term goals. But you do that in a professional manner....not by beating them to a pulp).

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Time Warp

We get so caught up in our own lives, and we think that the trials and tribulations we face are so difficult. Take a look at the below (that was sent to me by email, something that was not even commonly used until the last decade. I am not sure of the source).

Makes you wonder what our great grandchildren will think when they look back at our lives. My mother's parents (both Irish immigrants) were married in 1905. My favorite is the average wage of a worker. You can spend that on dinner in 2006.


The year is 1905. One hundred and one years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1905 :

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year.

A dentist $2,500 per year.

A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.

A mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home .

Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education.

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart Disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.

Back then pharmacist said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." (Shocking!)

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

Have A Great Day in 2006 !!!

Thom Singer


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

One Step Ahead Of The Competition

My post yesterday originally had a glitch in the calendar that showed it was posted on January 12, 2006 (which was four days in the future).

My friend Tim Homan sent me an email to point out this error, to which I jokingly replied that this is how I stay ahead of my competition,..... I operate four days ahead of them in the cosmos.

I corrected the mistake, but it made me think.....

What about the competition? Are you ahead of them or are you chasing them? What if you could magically be four days out in front of them in your marketing, prospecting, sales calls, closing and delivery? If that was possible, then you would have all the business completed before they even knew it exists.

I think if you consistently are looking for ways to out think your competitor everyday, then you can have the same results. But too many people wait to see what others in their industry are doing, and then they mirror those actions.

Don't look to your competition for how to build your business. Make them eat your dust. You only want to see them in the rear-view mirror.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Monday, January 09, 2006

Don't Stall, Call

The beginning of the year is a great time to reach out to your top clients, prospects and business friends and simply reconnect.

While you can't sit down and have lunch or coffee with everyone in your network, you can do it with the top 25 people in your inner circle.

During January and February you should not eat alone. If you find yourself at 11:30 roaming your office looking for a co-worker to go to lunch with, then you are wasting valuable time to build and cultivate your networking activities.

But to set up lunches (or coffee on the way into work) you need to plan ahead. Pick up the phone and call your contacts. Tell them that you would like the chance to get together and "catch up". Start today to fill your calendar for the next few weeks. Try to leave one day open each week for important meetings that come up last minute.

Once it is scheduled in your calendar, treat it like gold. Even if it is just a friend, do not cancel (unless it is a real emergency). Too often people will have something come up (or just feel over-worked) and cancel appointments at the last minute. REMEMBER, that other person might have had other things come up too.... but they moved those other meetings, NOT YOURS.

I had one woman whom I was to meet with send me an email just before the holidays saying "I need to cancel our lunch. I have decided to take a personal day and get a massage". I was thrilled to know that I ranked just below a back rub on the level of importance.

If you are not visiting with the key members of your network regularly, maybe your competition is spending time with them. OUCH. Don't stall. Call today.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Friday, January 06, 2006

"Guest Blogger Friday" Contest Winner

For those who were following this blog in December, we had a contest for the favorite "Guest Blogger Friday" post of 2005.

With all the voting in, we have a winner. It was close, as those who voted had a variety of favorites....

Tie for second place, and special honorable mention to Monica Bay (October 7th) and Steve Harper (September 2nd).

But the winner is....

Carlon Haas.

Click here to read his post from November 18th.

Carlon will win a $50 gift certificate to QuickGifts.com. Quick Gifts is one of my favorite things on the web. It allows you to easily give a gift certificate, and let the recipient select their vendor of choice. Check it out!!!

Thanks to Carlon and all the Friday Guest Bloggers.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Thursday, January 05, 2006


"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
I have found that a good attitude will take you a long way in the business world. We all face the same economic challenges, and have the same number of hours in a day, but we do get to select our attitude. Either way, bad situations will occur.....how you react can make a big difference in what happens next.

I have had the misfortune of being laid-off three times in the past seven years, due to companies closing their doors. That is no fun (especially with no severence package). But I never moped around and felt sorry for myself. I realized that my career path had some bumps and curves in the road, but that just provided more vistas from which to view the world. My positive attitude has always lead me to bigger and better opportunities (some of which came years later).

How about you. How is your attitude? There is a bumper sticker that says "Attitude is contagious, is yours worth catching?". I love that. Who would want to get close enough to catch a poor attitude?

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Hook 'Em Horns

The University of Texas Longhorn Football Team just won the Rose Bowl and claimed the national college title.

If you missed the game, it was the best football game I have ever watched.


And the crystal football trophy comes home to Austin.

Great job Vince Young!!!! Who needs the Heisman Trophy when you can win it all!!!

Hook ' Em Horns.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


"There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination" - Edmund Burke

Many people I know have "feelings" about the status of their careers. While these "feelings" may or may not be true, they believe them 100% without question.

Few people are true students of imagination. To look at a situation and not see things for what they are (or what you "feel" about it), but rather to view things for what they could be.

I wish I was more like that. I try.

I desire to look for more opportunity in my daily life. I believe that successful people are those who go beyond the here and now, ignore first impressions, and discover unique connections between unrelated items.

A friend recently questioned why I write this blog (or why I wrote my book). She could no value in the time commitment that I have made to share my pontifications on the subjects of business development, networking, marketing, sales, etc.... To her, since there is no immediate pay off, then it is a waste of time. She could only see things for the present and was unable to imagine the future.

Since she had no imagination, I told her to check back with me in a few years, and I would let her see how these things were a great investment of time. She just shrugged her shoulders. I on the other hand, I will dream, and dream BIG.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Monday, January 02, 2006

Ready, Set, Action

There has been a lot of advice on this blog (and other business related blogs) about preparing to excel in the new year. Many people look to January as a time for a fresh start, and smart people set clear goals so they can stay on track toward achievement.


Happy New Year !!!

Yep, 2005 is over. Hopefully you completed all your goals for last year and have more clients than you can handle....but either way, 2005 is yesterday's news.

All the planning for excellence in 2006 should be planned. Now the time has come to "DO IT". You can't spend your whole life planning, wishing and hoping for better things. Eventually you have to do something to make your dreams come true.

And now that it is Monday, there is no better time to take action than today.

Start your year off by doing something that leads to success in your business career.

Do not waste any more time. Even if you are off from work today, do something. Too many people spend their life in the habit of procrastination. But you want more (or why would you be reading blogs like this one?). If you really want more, then go out and make things happen.

If you have successfully figured out what you want for your career this year, then starting should be easy. If you have not yet committed your plan to writing, then do it now. Either way, do not let today end without taking action. Begin the habit of doing.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

Great Article on Goals

My friend Steve Harper over at the Ripple Effect Blog has a great post on setting your new year goals.


Keep it simple. Make them realistic.

But do set goals!!!

Click Here to read Steve's post.

Happy New Year.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer