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Are You Excited For These Movies?

April 23rd, 2014

Annually, movie studios spend millions of dollars on advertising new movies. Today, I’m going to show you a picture of an upcoming movie and tell you who is starring in it and when it’s due to release. From that little bit of information, please tell me if you plan to go see the movie. Sit back and enjoy a quick quiz on 11 upcoming movies!

Click here to take the quiz.

Thanks for playing!

Negotiating a Discount at the Register? Is this a New Trend?

April 21st, 2014

A few weeks ago, I was out shopping early on a Sunday morning. One of the stops I made was at Kohl’s; I enjoy shopping there, I like the layout and cleanliness of the store. After I picked up a number of items to buy I was greeted at the register by a friendly lady named Minnie. Minnie was very nice and as she was folding my clothes she asked if I wanted to sign up for a Kohl’s card and save 20% on my purchase. When I respectfully declined, her response surprised me; She said “What if I could save you 30% today?” Since she had counter-offered with me, I asked if she could do 40%? She laughed and told me that she wasn’t able to authorize a discount over 30%. Since nobody was in line behind me, we engaged in an in-depth discussion about the sales process. Turns out, Each cashier has a goal of 3 new accounts a day and are paid $1.50 for each one they open. Additionally, they can increase to a 30% discount to entice people to open up a new account.

I have shopped at Kohl’s many times but I never had been offered a different discount. I did decide to take the offer…which saved me $47.00!

  • What do you think about this business practice?
  • Would you have taken the increased discount offer?
  • Have you ever had an offer like this presented to you at a store?
  • Do you think this trend will grow with other retail stores in the future?

Attention Presenters: Here are the Secrets to Holding my Attention in a Presentation

April 16th, 2014

Like many readers of this blog, I go to a lot of conferences and see lots of presentations. Recently, I was chatting with an industry contact about good presentations and I outlined a list of things I believe presenters need to do to capture my attention:

  1. Know your information cold. You should know your topic so well that if there were no projector you could still deliver a solid presentation. If you read every word off your slides you’ve lost me very quickly.
  2. The more pictures, the better! Perhaps this is due to my ADD, but it breaks up the presentation and is aesthetically pleasing.
  3. Please move around, if I wanted to look at a statue, I’d go to a museum. In my opinion, moving around allows you to connect with the room better and humanize your presentation very quickly.
  4. Tell stories…tell lots of stories! To me, this drives home a point and allows me to really think deeper about what you are saying.
  5. 30 seconds about your company. Please don’t make your presentation an infomercial. Yes, you are important. Yes, your company is awesome…but if you spend too much time telling us how great you and your company are, you will do more damage than good and that will be an invitation for most of the room to check Facebook or their email.

Ok, your turn!

  • What do you think of my list?
  • What would you add to my list?
  • What percentage of presentations do you feel hold your attention from start to finish?

Kids and Dogs are Truly Awesome Together!

April 14th, 2014

Having grown up with a dog most of my life, I know firsthand how much fun it is to have a pet. Take a quick moment and share these cute pictures.

They’re all great but my two favorites are the bunny ears picture and the one with the little girl listening to the dog’s heart! Hysterical!

How Do You Use Your Travel Reward Program Points?

April 11th, 2014

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a few friends and they mentioned that they were saving their airline mileage points for a family trip. They were a little short on points at the time, but they knew that within a few months they would have enough to take the entire family on a trip.

This got me thinking about the different ways that I tend to use my points.

My strategies may be a little different than most people’s. First, I try to use my airline points to buy flights if the flight is over $500. I must admit, rarely am I able to use the 25,000 point option, usually I end up in the 50,000 point option for the flights I need. I also try to go to a lot of sporting events, occasionally on short notice; I like to use my points for those types of trips if I can. Additionally, I give away points to my family and friends so they can enjoy some travel as well. As most of you know, I love the Marriott brands and I do save my points for family vacations. I enjoy taking my kids on vacation and they love staying in beach resorts so I like to use points to upgrade if I have the opportunity to do so.

  • When do you like to use your airline points?
  • Do you save up for something special or do you use them as you go?
  • Have you ever gifted your points?
  • Do you have any practices that you use to accumulate points quicker?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Salt? As a Dental Tool?

April 9th, 2014

Last month, I had my teeth cleaned. Before we started that fun process the hygienist had to take X-rays (6 to be exact). She tried a number of times with the same outcome: For whatever reason, I physically couldn’t do it, something about the process was making me gag. I can’t recall ever having this issue before but on that day, I couldn’t overcome it. She decided to clean my teeth and try the X-rays after she was finished.

At the end of the cleaning, she called in reinforcements (presumably to pin me down and get me to be more cooperative). Another hygienist came in and said that she was going to try something that’s a little different but always successful in solving the problem. She actually took a packet of salt and put a little of it on my tongue. Apparently doing this tricks a number of your senses to detect taste and draws attention away from the other heightened senses, which solves the X-ray problem! I must admit I wasn’t sure if it would work but, low and behold, she was 100% right. She got the X-rays and I was out of there (thankfully) a minute later!

  • Have you ever heard about this salt trick?
  • Do you have trouble with X-rays at the dentist?
  • Does your hygienist help to make them easier for you?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Hello, Spring!…Goodbye, Snow!

April 7th, 2014

I wish I were this creative! Now that Spring has officially arrived, can we officially say “Goodbye” to the snow?!

Which one of these do you think is the most creative?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans and Foodies…Are You Ready For This Challenge?!

April 4th, 2014

When I was a kid, I would plan what I was going to eat long before I got to Fenway park. If I did that now, I would probably have to save up a fortune…and fast for three days before I walked into the stadium.

For fans visiting the Tampa Bay Rays this year, there is a special challenge they have for you. The winner doesn’t get a trophy or money…but rather high fives from friends and strangers as well as a T-shirt and two tickets to a future Rays game.

The challenge is: Eat a 4 lb burger with a 1 lb side of fries. They’re calling this challenge “FAN VS. FOOD” (named after the TV show, “Man vs. Food”)
The meal is $30 and I am sure it’s worth hours of stories that you can share with your friends!

  • Are you in?! Will you accept the “Fan vs. Food” challenge?
  • How much of that food do you think you could eat?
  • Do you know anyone who could actually finish this meal?
  • Do you know of any other stadiums that have similar challenges?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

How Do You Rise After You Have Fallen?

April 2nd, 2014

Some say: “A person is defined on how they rise after they have fallen”. Today’s post is about describing how you have overcome a failure; how you prevailed over something you weren’t able to achieve initially. Overcoming challenges is difficult; How did you do it? Did you change your thinking? Your strategy? What did you adjust that ultimately led you to accomplish your goal?


  • Please describe the situation
  • What did you adjust after failing that led to your success?
  • How would you describe the feeling you had after achieving your goal?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Hey Merrill, What’s a Wanu?!

March 31st, 2014

A few times a year, I come up with a good idea. Last month was one of those times. While on vacation with my kids in Key Largo, FL, I decided to surprise them with a morning swim. Most of you are thinking, “So what? That’s no surprise!”…and you’re right; but what if I told you that the swim included a 153 pound sea lion named Wanu?! Now, THAT’S a surprise.

What an amazing time we had. Nicole, the trainer, couldn’t have been nicer or more informative. The kids loved it (Although my daughter was a little scared and had to come out of the water for a little while) and they learned a lot about the sea lion, its body and how smart the species is!

I highly recommend doing this if you are in the area. They do the swim twice a day and typically only take two people per session…but if you plead a little, they might stretch it to four people like they did for us.