The Difference Between a Craft and a Trade

An actor takes classes to improve the craft of writing. Dancers, writers, sculptors and artists all go through the same process. The goal is to become more proficient.
A novelist, for example, may labor over a paragraph for days and even weeks to create the perfect turn of phrase or express just the right imagery. The novelist is a craftsman, constantly working to improve. The goal is not, necessarily, production.
A copywriter, on the other hand, is in production mode, paid for his/her skill to meet a deadline. In this context, copywriting is a trade. The copywriter is trading skill and expertise for a paycheck, hence the term, trade.
Improving the craft of copywriting is a personal pursuit.
To some readers I’m comparing apples and oranges, since writing a novel and copywriting are two different disciplines. Novels, as a general rule are not produced on a tightly focused deadline. Copywriting is and that, at least by my definition of the terms, is the difference between a craft and a trade.

Copyright © 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

The Art of Barter

I barter all the time with my neighbors. I find out what they want that I no longer need and exchange it for something I need.
I traded a pressure cooker and a standalone heater for some yard work. The actual dollar value of the exchange would not have made sense, since my neighbor got the greater value. What made it equitable was our personal friendship and understanding.
I also use barter for some of my technical needs. I write copy for several websites in exchange for technical advice for my own websites. The exchange is equitable, based on friendship and a mutual understanding.
They key to barter is the perception of value. Not long ago I was approached by a company to write six TV commercials in exchange for exposure. I charge $1,500 for one sixty-second commercial, which takes at least three days to research, plan and write. They wanted all six completed in two-days, a $9,000 value.
I said no. The rate of exchange, giving up $9,000 of my tine and effort for exposure, did not feel equitable.
For barter to work the perception of value between the parties must be tangible. Trading a thoroughbred stallion for a VW Beetle, even if there is a desperate need for the car is a bit out of balance. The owner of the horse might feel cheated on some level.
Does barter take place on a corporate level or between governments? Absolutely. It’s called diplomacy. The negotiations can take months or years and regardless of how well crafted the final agreement might be, someone, somewhere won’t be happy. That’s just life.

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

 

Grocery Delivery Service

When I was in college, I was fortunate to live in a small suburban community outside Seattle.  It was made up wealthy people, many of themself-made millionaires (at a time when being a millionaire meant something).

The most interesting part of the community was the corner store.  And the most interesting thing about the store was its delivery service.  Neighbors could call the store, make their orders and have them delivered that same day. In some cases, they delivered groceries on a regular, monthly or weekly schedule.

I bring this up because the delivery service was very profitable.  In fact, according to the owner of the store, he made as much in a month as the larger supermarket seven miles away.

Will something like this work in today’s world?  Sure.  It already does, but it isn’t local and personal.  What can be delivered at a profit?  Lunches, groceries, office supplies? 

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Think Local Business

There are three basic steps to a business:  (1) find or develop a product or service of value, (2) sell the product to someone that agrees with the value of the product or service, and (3) sell it at a price that results in a reasonable commission.

While there are thousands of ways to start a business on the Internet and a lot of gurus giving advice, for a price, the best place to start a business is right outside your door.  Why? Because your clients have a personal relationship with you and, as aresult, a certain level of trust.

A well-designed website is just away to tell your story, collect leads and manage cash flow.  How many clients you acquire depends on the type of business, of course, but the ideal is about one-thousand customers who will buy from you regularly.  Some businesses with high-ticket items may need only a couple hundred clients to become sustainable business entities.

In many ways the best business model is local and personal.

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

The Idiots Guide To Destroying Competition

How do you destroy your competition?  Improve the value of your product or service and market to buyers who agree with the quality of the product you are selling.  And, because your product has value, price it accordingly.

Suppose you own a hotel with recently renovated, beautiful rooms and there is a hotel down the street from you that doesn’t have the same quality of accommodations.  Let’s also say you want to put that hotel out of business.  Do you chase rates, lowering yours to make your hotel more attractive from a price point of view?’

No!  Don’t walk over dollars to chase pennies.  It’s a race you won’t win. You only cheat yourself oucot of an excellent opportunity to make money effectively.

Research similar properties, determine the best average price and then market to those whose tastes and expectations match the quality and value of your property.  Think and market value, always.

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

The Prime Directive For Data

The Prime Directive For Data

I have lived long enough to realize that if governments imposes regulations, following becomes mandatory.. If the industry sets the standard, it is more likely to be followed. 

As a business owner and coach, I have the following directive for my self and those around me. 

 

  1. Our first responsibility is persevering (keeping safe) data that is in our care. That data can be in a digital or non-digital form.
  2. Data needs to be protected from unauthorized change or corruption, accidental or intentional.  The preferred method is to  encrypt it while it is in storage or transit.
  3. There are three types of data in our care. Important, Sensitive, and Critical
  4.  Pressing the delete button does not mean the data is gone. It must be overwritten multiple times with ones and zeros to ensure complete destruction of the storage media depending upon the level of the data.
  5. Data will not be in our  care any longer than necessary for business and legal purposes.
  6. A second and third copy of the data will be kept  in different locations for backup purposes.
  7. Once a year there is  an outside, independent review of our  practices.