External Blogger

Jeff's Rant

By Jeff Solomon, MAS

About Jeff

Jeff Solomon, MAS is the creator of, the industry's most popular business resource program. Jeff’s Rant will touch on topics with his straightforward approach to life and business.

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Which Version of QuickBooks Is Best for Ad Specialty Distributors?
Mar 27, 2015

There are five versions of QuickBooks, each designed for specific applications, and the ad specialty business was not one of...

Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
Mar 26, 2015

What are you doing to hone your skills? Hone. What a funny word! Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours...

Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
In a Relationship: The Bachelor and Power Meetings
Mar 25, 2015

My mom often tells me, "Brittany, you should apply to be a contestant on the show 'The Bachelor' to find...

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Industry IT Innovation
Mar 24, 2015

A small group of IT leaders is beginning to change the technology dynamics in the industry. Two years ago, a...

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Want to Know Who's Really Influential? We’re Going to Use Data to Find Out
Mar 20, 2015

Starting today, we are embarking on the most comprehensive search of the promotional products industry's top content providers ever done....

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Spring Cleaning
Mar 16, 2015

It’s that time of year when the world looks fresh and clean—for those of us with winters of snow, we...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
My Best Promotion: Infusing Bold Solutions & What We Do Do
Mar 4, 2015

This year, the Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable blog postings will have a common theme. Promo Marketing has asked...

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
Wisdom from Lady Gaga
Mar 2, 2015

I recently watched the Academy Awards and was amazed at Lady Gaga’s tribute to “The Sound of Music.” If you...

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Feeling Reluctant?
Feb 17, 2015

Have you ever felt reluctant to make a sales call, follow up with a client or attend a networking event?...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...

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,...


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...

Turn, Turn, Turn


During the Holiday season I had the opportunity to slow things down at bit. Like many of you, I move fast. I enjoy what I do and work far more than anyone with a "typical" 9 to 5 type job. Of course in our industry, most of us don't have typical 9 to 5 jobs and the passion we have for what we do is what makes our career path so rewarding.

From my perspective, reflecting back on 2012, it's been an interesting year. I'm surprised and pleased that I met a modest sales goal for the distributor side of my business, despite very challenging economic conditions in my state of California. (But... we have great weather!)

My business resource program, FreePromoTips has grown in 2012, continuing to evolve into a relevant communication tool for the industry. We were able to help get the word out on the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts facilitated by SAAGNY and PPAI. We shed a light on the 15 for 15 Program created by the Regional Association Council (RAC) to help with business disruptions from natural disasters.

Being passionate about continuing education, we continue to raise awareness for the importance of professional development. We support the efforts of the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) that does such a great job awarding scholarships. This is an awesome program.

We launched FreePromoTips SuccessTracks Education Experiences in 2012. SuccessTracks is covering topics pertinent to personal and business development. Our first Education Experience for 2013 was a presentation presented by Ron Baron on the Trade Show Money Machine. You can learn the "secret" in this 30-minute session. The recording can be found here. This content is being brought to you with the support of our friends at SnugZ USA, Warwick Publishing and AIA.

Personal circumstances affected my life as well. I recovered from a successful ankle fusion surgery done in 2011. Having lived with pain for many years from an old motocross racing injury, I'm glad that I finally had the guts to go through this brutal procedure. Life's challenges affected some people I know and I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences. As I am writing this I've been streaming a memorial service for Frank Pastore, a former major league pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds, who became a popular radio talk show host in our area. He passed away after a tragic motorcycle accident. As a rider myself, I realize how fragile life can be.

In reality life happens and death happens. As we look forward, I'm excited about the opportunities we have to make a difference in our families, our communities and our businesses. Let's make the most out of our lives! Coming up are some industry events that are a great way to start off the year.

A personal goal for me in 2013 is to focus on more effective time management and being more active physically. I want to take better care of myself. We are doing a 5K Color Run, which for me with my fused ankle will be a walk, but it's a good thing anyway. They spray you with color throughout the event, which should be pretty fun.

Another thing I'm committed to is taking more time off to enjoy life. While I love what I do, the whole workaholic thing is not healthy. There needs to be a work life balance that makes sense. To that end, I am privileged to play a role in the Sail to Success education cruise facilitated by my good friend Ron Baron. Our inaugural cruise to the Bahamas in 2012 was awesome as shown in this short video clip. In the video, Ron talks about the concept that to be more successful you need to work less! We are currently putting together a Caribbean cruise in September. For more information and to know when the early booking pricing is available click here.

In wrapping up this Rant, a tune that has been floating around in my head recently is the classic song "Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is a Season)." The song is adapted from the book of Ecclesiastes (3:1) by Pete Seeger in 1959. In 1965 The Byrds recording of it went to #1 on the Billboard 100. With everything that's going on these days, it's a relevant today as it was in the 60's. If it's of interest, here's pictorial music video of it and the words are below.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

I look forward to seeing many of you at industry events in 2013!

Jeff Solomon, MAS, MASI is affiliated with a large distributor company. The website and e-newsletters he publishes are packed with beneficial information and exclusive FREE offers from a few forward-thinking supplier companies. Don't miss out on what's happening! Opt in to receive their e-newsletters! LIKE their page on Facebook and follow them on twitter. Jeff can also be found on Linkedin.

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