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In Reality Your Confidence is Arrogance…

Click Here to see Susan's Video

Mary Kay Sales Director Susan Lenser (video to the right) auditions for Oprah's OWN Network reality competition

Participation in a reality show could make a big splash for anybody with something to market -especially if you are marketing your personality as a vehicle for your product.

But watch out! Personalities can get twisted in the court of public opinion.

In my mind these reality shows are the original “Gilligan’s Island” story line: An assemblage of divergent personality archetypes (the professor, a movie star, a country bumpkin) isolated and placed under stress to solve a task so that the viewing audience can watch the drama unfold.

The most common archetypal drama that I see used in reality shows is the pitting of a “confident” character(s) against an “enthusiastic” character(s). Both archetypes are charming but with a little coifing in the editing room the “Confident” character is commonly developed as an “Arrogant” character and the “Enthusiast” looks naive and incapable.

Now you’ve got some real American Television going on!

Arrogance is something that people love to hate and wide-eyed naivete is something that we hate to love; the magic tension between the two sells refrigerators!

So if I were a Shock Jock looking to further my career by participating in a reality show I’d be sure that my participation fell on the confident/arrogant side because it would bolster my image.

On the other hand, if I ever wanted to sell anything “nice” -like anything other than a shock jock radio show- I’d be sure to present myself as the wide-eyed enthusiast. After all, the greatest American story line is the underdog who beats the odds to win the day.

I’d be that or lose trying.

In the column to the right you will find the video audition of a local hero who is staking her claim.

Susan Lenser is a Mary Kay Sales Director in Pleasant Hill California.

This video is her entry into Oprah Winfrey’s contest to participate in a reality show centered around hosting your own talk show on Oprah’s O.W.N. Network.

I would encourage you to listen to her message and help her with a vote; the program that she proposes would enrich a lot of people.


-Love, Tony


Your political party is BANKRUPTING your business!

ggIs the portrayal of your business at the following website reflective of your marketing strategy?: Company Political Contributions

Is the stigmatism that you receive there (for being “red “ or “blue”) reflective of the quality of products and services that you supply to your market?

I have both Republican and Democratic clients and I do my best to keep my political views outside of the business environment because I think it is neither germane nor appropriate.

My own corporate office falls right out of the pink and well into the red on this chart. Will my Democratic clients walk?

Here’s my situation:

  • I’m an independent contractor representing Mary Kay in Marin County California (it doesn’t get any bluer here.)
  • Mary Kay, the corporate entity, is the wholesaler that I buy my products from.
  • Mary Kay skin care is the number one selling Skin Care product in the United States.
  • Every other skin care consultant that I have ever known working for other companies eventually goes out of business, they just can’t compete.
  • Most Mary Kay consultants stay in business and many of them make a living wage.
  • I LOVE what I do and it’s my dream to work along side these incredible women and support their cause of feminine empowerment

If my clients walk based on the information on this website then I’m dead.

If my sister consultants’ clients in this area walk because of this information they’re dead too.

That would be an example of a group of fine business women getting their collective “pink” slip because they did business on the wrong side of the political fence for Marin County. And these women have earned their success in business.

How Democratic is that cause?

Peruse these thoughts:

  1. Take a good look at the geography of the companies in question: My own company has its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. It hasn’t gotten any redder than that over the past decade (but it was pretty blue when my company opened in 1963.)
  2. How homogenous do you want your business community to be? If you vote with your dollars and eliminate either the reds or blues from your midst then who’s next? The one’s who aren’t “as red” or “as blue”?
  3. Demanding ethics in business is one thing, demanding political affiliation is quite another.

My own opinion as a business owner:

I offer the best products and the most personalized service that you can find in my industry. Your dollars pay for that when you purchase products from me. My political views are not for sale.

My own opinion as a consumer:

My dollars in the political arena are best spent directly supporting the candidates that resonate with me. Bankrupting or stigmatizing a business or an individual because they have different political leanings than I do says a lot about my willingness to be just as vulnerable when the pendulum swings the other way (and it always does.)

Love, Tony

(Please posit any and all comments below; I would love to have a variety of opinions here.)

To Call?

See full size imageThis is networking advice from Michael Arrington entrepreneur and founder/co-editor of TechCrunch from his blog post:  Greetings!

“If you get someone’s business card, never call them. That mobile phone number isn’t for you, the person who just met them. A random call to their cell phone is never welcome. Send an email.”

In my business it is almost a rule to make follow-up calls.

I would love comments and recommendations from others on this.

To call? Not to call? What do you think?

Identifying Social Media Time Wasters: MkFaces

nomkfacesFor direct marketers Internet Social Media should do three things in this specific order of priorities:

  1. Connect you with potential new clients and potential new team members
  2. Maintain your connection with current clients and team members
  3. Maintain your professional image

Any social web interface that is not performing these functions in the above order is a time-waster.

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Industry Notes: Taking Care of Your People

Recently a close friend (who is a fairly new consultant for another direct selling company) had a serious problem with an operational aspect of working with her supplier (the wholesaler of her product) and it cost her some money.

Resolution to the problem was frustrating for her and she found herself caught up in some undue corporate bureaucracy -apparently some i’s weren’t dotted and some t’s weren’t crossed somewhere along the way but they were i’s and t’s that she hadn’t been trained to be aware of prior to the issue…

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