The View from The Niagara Guide

General observations and musings on how we can make Niagara a better place.

What CAN You Do?

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I've heard it said that whether you think you CAN or think you can't, you're right. Your mind will act upon your thoughts and your actions will reflect your attitude.

So, it only makes sense to eliminate the "C" word from your vocabulary. In case you don't remember it, the "C" word is CAN'T.

How do you do this? Simply rephrase your thoughts to something more positive and embrace the possibilities.

"I can't get more customers." --> "I'm working on getting more customers."

"I can't get my head around this issue." --> "I haven't figured out how to solve this issue, but I'm working on it."

"I can't understand my teenager." --> "I need to improve my relationship with my teenager."

Okay - I'm not a therapist ; ) but you get the idea.

Remove the negativity and the absolutism of the "C" word and you'll be amazed what you CAN do.



Looking Past Appearance to Find Value

Mark Kawabe - Monday, August 23, 2010

"You never get a second change to make a good first impression."

"Never judge a book by its cover."

Both sayings have their applications, but we all know that as a society, we tend to go by appearances.

I bought 42 peaches for $5 the other day. Despite the fact I went to the source - the farm - this was a bargain by any measure. The reason they were so inexpensive? They were "seconds".

What makes a peach a second? In this case, as far as I could tell, the only thing "wrong" with these peaches were blemishes. When we ate them that night, they were juicy and flavourful, firm and satisfying. Nothing "wrong" with them once they were peeled. The last time I checked, people peel their peaches before eating them, so there was no way to tell they were "seconds".

When it comes to the search for value, appearances can be deceiving. Something to think about as we slog through another Monday.



Selling Wheatgrass via Billboards?

Mark Kawabe - Monday, July 05, 2010

This was a beauty this morning...

At the corner of Niagara and Welland in St. Catharines (heading southbound on Niagara), you can see a billboard selling Wheatgrass. It touts the benefits of Wheatgrass and gives a toll-free number you can call to order. Wow.

I mean really - wow.

I'd love to know how well that billboard's working.

There was nothing about how superb you'd feel about drinking wheatgrass. Nothing that spoke to the "What's In It For Me" part of my brain. Just how wonderful wheatgrass is and how to order it.

I suppose the billboard's doing a job of educating people that wheatgrass exists. Surely a large segment of the population doesn't know what wheatgrass is. I just wonder how many sales the wheatgrass company (which I didn't even see a name of) will be able to attribute to that billboard.

Don't get me wrong - I like billboards. I enjoy how creative companies get with them. They're really good for building brand awareness. I just wonder how many people are going to make an impulse decision and buy wheatgrass from this company based on their billboard.

If any of you reading are in the billboard industry please feel free to comment on this. Thanks!



Take Your Head Out of Your Ass

Mark Kawabe - Friday, March 05, 2010
You are so the same as everyone else that nobody cares.

"But wait - I'M DIFFERENT!!!"

So, how exactly are you different enough that people SHOULD care?

I'm waiting...

...still waiting...

...and waiting.

The truth is most of us are lousy at communicating our differences which is a shame, because it's the only thing that's really important. We let potential customers assume we fit the "standards" of our industry and since we've co-operated by colouring inside the lines like everyone else, there's nothing special about us to make people go WOW!!! Yep. Guilty as charged. Me too. Been there, done that. Perhaps I'm still doing it.

But today I'm taking a friend's advice and taking my head OUT of my ass, giving it a shake and looking at myself and my business with a more critical eye. Change is happening all around me anyway, whether I want it to or not. If things are going to be different and better, change had better begin with me.

Or in your case, you. I hope you're enjoying the view and the fresh air. Now get to work on making things better.

And, for those of you who are seeing this on a Friday afternoon and thinking change can wait until Monday, the good news is you're right. It CAN wait. The better time to start is now.

Make it a great weekend!


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