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Aim High But Settle for Less and More Tips for October

Like there are no bad ideas, just ideas whose time has not yet come.





MARKETINGCreate Better Holiday Messages

A factoid you’re probably aware of as an ECP: The brain can process images in about 1/20 of a second. What does it mean for you as a part-time marketer? Images are a great way to get your message across quickly in holiday email bulletins. The team at Constant Contact compiled this handy list of resources for Christmas-y images ( — everything from Canva to Adobe — to help you create more engaging holiday emails and social media posts. Ring those bells!

PERSUASIONAim High, Take Less

According to a study by psychologists at the University of Cologne, you’re more likely to get what you want if you ask for even more. For example, if you were to make a big request of staff (i.e. “Please work the next three weekends without a day off.”) that is rejected, but then follow up with a request for a smaller favor (“How about this Saturday?”), you are 40% more likely to have the second request granted than if you hadn’t primed your employee. Devious? Perhaps. Luxury goods retailers do it all the time, positioning a very expensive item near the front of the store to make everything else look downright reasonable.


MANAGEMENTInvest in Your People

A weakness for bright shiny tools is common among business owners. But management scholar Tom Peters says investments in people often pay off better. “Capital enhancements are important. They’re also cool… The tendency is to favor the hard stuff over the soft stuff. But the soft stuff is invariably more related to long-term strategic success than the hard stuff,” says the author of In Search Of Excellence.

SECURITY#Firstday Breaches

Young hires are often a breath of fresh air. They can also be a security threat. Stephanie Carruthers, the “chief people hacker” at IBM’s X-Force Red, estimates 75% of security breaches are caused by interns or new hires as they post selfies or even video walk-throughs of their #firstday at work. Writing in Fast Company (, she says the info can include unwitting shots of Post-its with computer passwords, whiteboards revealing plans, or posters promoting events that allow hackers to craft credible phishing emails.


When faced with a frustration, it’s easy to fall prey to anger and lash out. But that only makes things worse. Try to reframe the experience as a test of the imaginary Stoic gods, says William Irvine, author of The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide To Becoming Tougher, Calmer And More Resilient. “It’s not a setback, the Stoic gods are testing your resilience,” he says.


BRAINSTORMINGThe Good, the Bad, and the Untimely

Sure there are bad ideas but there are also those whose time just hasn’t come. Author Oliver Burkeman keeps a running file of ideas from which nothing gets deleted. “When I needed an idea, I’d peruse the list, and sure enough, most of the entries would still seem mediocre… But for mysterious reasons, one or two…would suddenly feel ripe, full of life, ready to be used.” Open a note in your phone today.

BUDGETINGBuy the Best Tools

The annual unveiling of a new iPhone can prompt the thought: Do I need to upgrade? The standard advice for items used every day, such as chairs and beds, is to buy the best you can afford. Kevin Kelly, author of Cool Tools, says a similar approach should be applied to work tools, with a tweak: “Start by buying the absolute cheapest tools you can find. Upgrade the ones you use a lot. If you wind up using some tool for a job, buy the very best you can afford,” he says.



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