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Kiwi's Coaching Corner

By Paul Kiewiet

About Paul

Useful tips to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. Paul Kiewiet, MAS is an industry veteran providing business and life coaching, industry consulting and facilitation, and professional development services through BrandKiwi LLC.
 

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
How Can a 3D Printer Make You Money?
Oct 24, 2014

One of the most difficult parts of getting the sale is showing the customer exactly what they want when they...



Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Draw Your Attention to Drawstrings
Oct 17, 2014

I guess it has something to do with the time of year. The weather in much of the U.S. begins...



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
I Could Have Slept In But Why Should You Care?
Oct 16, 2014

Something strange has happened to me. On a recent three-day holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to sleep in. But...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
How Appreciative Are You? 5 Easy Ways to Stand Out and Say Thank You: Part One
Oct 14, 2014

In today's highly competitive promotional products business environment, you have to distinguish yourself from the competition. Here are five ways...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
The Dash Between Two Dates
Oct 6, 2014

Let's face it. We're all busier than ever. Most of the busyness is dashing—dashing here, dashing there. Sadly, many people's lives...



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Going Direct
Oct 13, 2014

I thought that would capture your eyes today because it’s a perennial hot topic in our industry. Today, we’re going...



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Yes, We Should Be Scared About Bad USB Drives
Oct 7, 2014

Due to recent USB exploits available online (although not yet proven to cause any damage), sales of USB drives in...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
Setting Annual Sales Goals are a Waste of Time
Sep 24, 2014

How about that shocking headline? Did it grab you? Well, there is some meat behind the sensationalism. Buckle in and...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Playing the Price Game: It’s a Choice. Choose Wisely
Sep 22, 2014

The Internet, the obvious low barrier to entry, unskilled salespeople, the economy—each of these drive price wars and ultimately erode...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....



Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Interview with Jason Black, CEO of Top Distributor Boundless Network
May 19, 2014

Ranking #19 on the Top 50 List, Black shares his thoughts on the future of the industry and what has...



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



Could This Be Love? My Valentine's Blog

 

What is it about this industry that catches folk, pulls them in and never lets them go? Could it be love? I know many people who have taken "sabbaticals" from this crazy business but they always come back. Some go to work for a family business or accept an offer too good to refuse and then, a year or two later, there they are—at the Expo, at a regional show—on one side of the aisle or the other.

I call this industry the Hotel California. "You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave." Why is that? Is it love?

Relationships are a big part of it. We tend to develop deep friendships or at least fairly intense acquaintances. Some relationships run deep, others wide, but many of them long. One of the longest relationships in my life outside of family is a friendship with another distributor from another part of the country. Maybe itʼs because we find people we can share our challenges with who actually understand. We learn together. We share experiences together. Business partners abound in this business and we all need to have each otherʼs back.

Creativity is often mentioned as this industry allows us a high degree of self-expression and releases our inner artist. There is no shortage of creativity demonstrated as humor either. Some of the funniest people work in this industry and you can take the word "funny" any way you want! We innovate. We create demand. We create results.

Freedom to work hard or hardly work. Freedom to choose hours and clients and business partners. We are an independent lot. We love our ability to choose who, when, where, how and why we work. Weʼre free to choose a niche market. Free to work online. Free to allow our work to be an expression of who we are. Freedom to comment and add your reasons to this blog below.

Jim Collins, in his seminal book "Good to Great," describes a hedgehog concept as a sweetspot that facilitates greatness. The hedgehog concept is the convergence of what you are passionate about, what you can be best in the world at, and that you can make money doing it. I think for many of us, that describes this business. I love it when I see someone get passionate not just over a writing instrument or a calendar or any of our number of things but genuinely excited about what it can do for a business or a life.

Yup. It must be love.

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