All Posts Tagged With: "Business"

The Adversity Paradox, J. Barry Griswell and Bob Jennings


“Fascinating insights into the ways that successful people have not only overcome adversity but made a friend and ally out of it. This book offers readers a great opportunity to consider how they will emerge from the major challenges we face individually and as a society. Griswell and Jennings have a deep understanding of the experiences of success arising from adversity, and their observations are unique and encouraging to us all.” David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University

“As Griswell and Jennings point out, there really is no substitute for hard work.  We have to build endurance of character the same way we build endurance of speed or strength, and it always pays off.” Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Fame Player, Businessman, and Coach

Carrie: How did you become interested in writing a book on dealing with adversity?

Bob: A little context is in order to give you the full answer.  Barry and I come from extremely different backgrounds. Barry is from Atlanta and I am from Des Moines. He comes from a really tough background where money was extremely tight; I’m from a middle-class family.  He received his undergrad from Berry College in Rome, GA and his master’s from Stetson University in Florida. I have an engineering degree from Iowa State and received my master’s from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Out of college he went into financial services, I went into construction sales.

Over a number of years we each moved our families numerous times, Barry in the south and eastern US and me to South America, Texas, and the West Coast. We first crossed paths about 18 years ago when we relocated to Des Moines while pursuing our careers.  We, along with our spouses, became close friends socially and playing competitive tennis together, but there was no real business connection other than we were each leading and growing sales organizations for world-class companies—Barry for  Principal Financial Group and me for EFCO, companies we both would eventually lead. From time to time we would compare notes, things like compensation and benefits, employee training, and sales methods.

Given that we were each growing sales organizations there became one area that was extremely important to us and that was employee and agent recruitment, selection and retention. We talked about this on a number of occasions, and we noticed an interesting thing: if there was one marker that we felt would predict a person’s ability to be successful in our organizations, it was a demonstrated ability to overcome adversity.  Our own backgrounds and career experiences, different as they were, supported our observation. Even though Barry and I would not compare notes again on this subject for more than ten years, we each employed it in our respective company’s methods for locating and bringing along those with this all-important identification marker.

Now fast forward to the year 2003, when my co-author was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association, which recognizes and honors people who’ve come from humble beginnings and gone on to great success. The Association inducts ten new members a year and includes the likes of Buzz Aldrin, Craig Barrett of Intel, George Foreman, Bob Hope, Wayne Huizenga, Colin Powell, President Ronald Reagan, Howard Schultz of Starbucks, and Oprah Winfrey. The marker of overcoming adversity was once again in front of us, and we heard some very incredible stories.

Now, having so much affirmation of what we had thought and felt for many years, we decided to research and document in a book how the experiential learning gained from overcoming life’s worst experiences could catapult an individual to incredible success.

The Truth About You, Marcus Buckingham ~ Win A FREE Copy


RE-Post (if that’s a word)

Unbelievably, three out of five chosen winners have not claimed their copy of The Truth About You
So, I’m opening the contest back up to three new lucky winners 

To Enter to WIN, you MUST:

  • Subscribe to my e-newsletter (this is the way I get in touch with you to let you know who won) AND

  • Leave a comment below and / or

  • Call 206-309-7318 and leave a voice mail message I can play on-air


Check out Susan Bratton’s (Personal Life Media) DishyMix interview with Marcus and his presentations on YouTube. He’s a phenomenal speaker and offers wonderful guidance. MarcusHe’s also interviewed with Oprah, so check him out. Click HERE for Marcus’s website.

                            ~ GOOD LUCK ~

Holly Buchanan, co-author with Michele Miller of The Soccer Mom Myth

The Soccer Mom Myth: Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys

**Holly’s offered TWO books for the FREE book drawing, so ENTER NOW!

HollyHolly Buchanan is a Senior Persuasion Architect at FutureNow, an interactive marketing optimization company based in New York. She’s worked with hundreds of clients in all advertising mediums, including global brands like GE Healthcare, HP, Genworth Financial, and 1-800-Flowers.  Her specialty is marketing to women online and she writes the MARKETING TO WOMEN section of Future Now’s blog

Carrie:  If stereotyping helps you better understand your audience why is it so harmful to your marketing efforts?

Holly:  Stereotypes are shortcuts we use to try to better understand a group of people. The danger of stereotypes is they prevent you from digging deeper to really understand who she really is. The term Soccer Mom is a stereotype. You can look at a group of women and say, “They’re moms; they’re involved with their kids; they drive a minivan or SUV.”  Because they share these three traits, you start to assume other things like: They’re not very technologically savvy; they’re not business travelers; they let their husband make all the financial decisions. That’s a big problem, since women are the majority purchasers of consumer electronics, they make up almost 50% of all business travelers, and they want to be a very active partner, if not leader, in family finances and investments.   By stereotyping your customers, you may be making assumptions that aren’t true. (Don’t forget a lot of “Soccer Moms” are single.  Almost a quarter of all households are headed by a single woman.)
Another problem with the “Soccer Mom” stereotype is that it is a negative stereotype.   Some people give me push-back on that, but let me ask you this:  Would you want a “Soccer Mom” running your major corporation?   Would you seek out a “Soccer Mom” at a cocktail party for exciting conversation? Would you actively recruit a “Soccer Mom” to head up your technology team?  I think that’s why so many women avoid that label.

Carrie:  How can you tap into the power of the Internet to market to women?

Holly:  In a recent study by the University of Glasgow, they found that men preferred websites designed by men, and women preferred websites designed by women.  So while I’m not saying you have to use a woman to design your website, at least make sure you have women on the team.  Women and men may respond differently to different design elements. Women often have more questions than men do (In the book we discuss women’s brain chemistry which explains why this is so). The Internet is an amazing source of information where women can get those questions answered. More than 70% of all purchases start with a search online, whether the product is bought online or offline. Also, women rely more on “word of mouth” to make their buying decisions.  The Internet is a treasure trove of blogs, customer reviews, and discussion forums where she can gather opinions from others. These are just a few of the reasons why women are having a love affair with the Internet.

Carrie:  Do women process advertising messages differently than men?

Holly:  MRI studies show that when men and women experience pleasure and fear, different parts of their brains light up. So, they literally process advertising messages in a slightly different manner. Women and men also have different communication styles. Messages and humor that appeal to men may not necessarily appeal to women. I’ve done some informal research on how men and women interpret the same image. It’s been amazing how they look at the same image in a print ad and walk away with very different interpretations. So, it’s really important to understand how she is receiving your advertising messages. Once again, you want to make sure you are including women on your advertising teams, from initial strategy all the way through copywriting and production.

Carrie:  How do you market to women without turning off men?

Holly: Here’s the really good news. Women often have more criteria that matters to them when making a buying decision. Because of all the connections in their brain, they often look at the big picture and will notice any inconsistencies. Companies have found that when they meet the higher expectations of women, they create a better experience for men as well. The one thing you do have to be careful of is creating a “women’s only” section of your website, product offering or service. You don’t want to exclude men. If women really do have unique needs that are different from men, then it’s fine to create those spaces for them. But you never want your male customers to feel left out.  There’s a wonderful do-it-yourself home improvement site called Be Jane.  They feature stories of women and step-by-step instructions for home improvement projects. They are very supportive of “first-timers.” What they’ve found is, there are a lot of men who love their clear, simple, “don’t be intimidated – you can do it.” information. One final thought on that – Do not create ads that are derogatory to men.  Women don’t like it.  Women don’t react as well to “put-down” humor. Don’t think that bashing men is a way to instantly connect with her. It could really backfire on you.  Show her images and messages that are relevant to her and her life. Right now close to 70% of women say advertising aimed at them doesn’t speak to them. So there’s a huge opportunity here.

Book Excerpt:

The room was a marketer’s dream, filled with educated, savvy women with money and the urge to spend it. Holly asked a pointed question: “How many of you in the room consider yourself a Soccer Mom?” The silence reached a crescendo and nary a hand rose.
Every time Holly asks that question, usually only one or two women raise their hands. The numbers never change. Normally, only one to two percent of the crowd identifies themselves as a Soccer Mom. If you listen to marketers and politicians, there are millions upon millions of Soccer Moms out there, yet we’ve found only about seven.  
What’s going on here? Why aren’t more women identifying themselves as Soccer Moms? Come on, there’s nothing wrong with being a Soccer Mom, right? Right?
If women don’t consider themselves Soccer Moms, what does that say about the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of billions of dollars of advertising aimed at this group? 
It’s time for a wake-up call about who today’s female consumer really is, how she really thinks, and why she really buys – both online and offline. Prepare to kick the Soccer Mom myth to the sidelines, and learn how to market to women in a way that translates into more customers, AND bigger profit.


The Well-Fed Writer, The Well-Fed Self Publisher – Peter Bowerman

Listen NowPeter Bowerman’s books, The Well-Fed Writer and The Well-Fed Self Publisher, offer all you need to get into the freelance writing life. The Well-Fed Writer was my “freelance writing bible” when I started out my writing career and since then, Peter has added more books (TWFW:Back for Seconds) and E-Pub compilations to his repetoire with incredible resources on his websites. Truly, is a one-stop shop for the freelancer.

Peter BowermanPeter shares his smart Internet-based marketing approach–a sales model catered to a specific audience. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? The same approach can be used not only for selling books, but a number of different products/services.

You may not have writing experience, but if you’re interested in freelancing and have some writing talent, Peter says, “leverage what you know” and use your industry expertise to write about it. Every company needs promotional material to convey their message and sell their product/service. So what, if it’s artificial turf or mortgages? If you know about it, write about it, and enjoy a lucrative flexible lifestyle.

Come listen to Peter’s biggest mistake and his advice about “large well-known companies and publishers on a pedestal.”

Peter provides an abundance of information on his websites, and, for writers of every level and all walks of life (i.e., “stay-at-home” moms, 55+ year-olds) He offers a newsletter, e-zine, blog, and countless links.


  1. BOTH The Well-Fed Writer AND The Well-Fed Self Publisher books
  2. The Well-Fed Self Publisher and the Biz-in-a-Box e-book/CD!

Enter NOW to win one of these fabulous packages and start your freelance life today! Check out the “Free Book Drawing” page at the top of this webpage for details on how to enter.

Click the arrow below to listen and don’t forget to subscribe for FREE on iTunes–just click on the green button above my picture, follow a few short steps, and you’ll have new shows delivered to your computer automatically.

**The sound quality is not as high as I’d hoped, so please be forgiving and listen, anyway. Bear with us ~ It’s worth it, I promise.

Book Drawing Winners Announced!

The following Words To Mouth friends have won free books:

  • Ann – Kate Jacobs, Friday Night Knitting Club
  • Anne – Mary Kay Andrews, Deep Dish
  • Andrea H. – Carolyn Ellis, 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting
  • Carol L. – Debbie Gisonni, Vita’s Will
  • Jody L. – A.M. Homes, The Mistress’s Daughter
  • Kristi N. – Debbie Gisonni, The Goddess of Happiness
  • Rochelle M. – Kate Jacobs, Friday Night Knitting Club
  • Tina F. – Mary Kay Andrews, Deep Dish
  • Marsha C. – Kate Jacobs, Friday Night Knitting Club
  • Robin D. – Kaira Sturdivant–Rouda, Real You Incorporated
  • Eileen D. – Debbie Gisonni, The Goddess of Happiness AND Vita’s Will

I entered your name for the specific books you listed in the subject heading of your email. Some people listed two books and some wrote “ALL,” so they were entered in a few different contests and some people won two books! CONGRATULATIONS!! If you entered for a specific book, but now want me to put your name in the hat for ALL future drawings, just send me a quick email. For example, I’ve got a few copies of Kate Jacobs’ new book, Comfort Food, that I’d think you folks who put your name in for FNKC would be interested in, but I don’t want to assume…

I promise there are NO strings attached to winning, but I’d appreciate you commenting on the book on the Words To Mouth website once you read it.

I’m sure the author’s would appreciate you writing a review on the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Books-A-Million websites—whichever you prefer (tell ‘em you won the book on Words To Mouth).  But, again, NO pressure—I know we’re all busy and some people love reading, yet hate writing, so if that feels like a pain, don’t do it ~ just thought I’d throw it out as an idea to help authors.

I will be drawing names for the following books next:

  • Jenifer Fox – Your Child’s Strengths
  • Kate Jacobs – Advance copies of Comfort Food (& matching tote bag)
  • Gary Seigel – The Mouth Trap
  • Phillips, Linney, Pack – Safe School Ambassadors (Interview Coming Soon)
  • Kaira Sturdivant Rouda – Real You Incorporated

This time, I’m asking folks to enter by doing one of the following:

  1. Leave a comment on the Words To Mouth website—under any book/interview of your choice,
  2. Write a brief review for Words To Mouth on iTunes, or
  3. Take the easy way out and send me an email with the title of the book (or “All”) in the subject heading,

Subscribe to Words To Mouth (link on my website) It’s really simple to do, just click on the GREEN music note (iTunes) or ORANGE button (other podcatchers) above my photo and you’ll get the show delivered automatically to your computer, so you can listen wherever and whenever you want.

If you enter one of the top two ways, I’m going to enter your name TWICE in the drawing. For those of you who do both of the top two ways, your name goes in twice for each method for a total of FOUR times. Of course, if you choose the top two options, please shoot me an email, so I know how to get a hold of you if you win! For you busy folks who just send me an email—that works, too—you’ll just have your name entered once. That’s fair, right?

**I’ve got 2 more copies of The 7 Pitfalls of Singe Parenting, which is obviously a book for a specific audience. If you know of anyone who is separated or divorced w/kids and may be interested in receiving this book, send me an email and I’ll put your name in the hat. If you win, you can give them the book as a gift ~ I’ll never tell!

Carrie’s Commentary

I was playing around on Peter Bowerman’s Well-Fed Writer website and read his blog posts. His writing community shared about their writing careers and the most unusual writing jobs they’ve ever had. I shared the following post. 

Wow! What a fun thread. It got me thinking about my own crooked creative & commercial writing path. I’d been a recruiter in my professional life prior to having kids and deciding to “quit work” to “stay at home”—a topic for another day.

I fell into writing when I queried a consultant on a concept I had for a line of greeting cards. I based the line on a caricature I’d been drawing for years and gave little thought to the verses I wrote to complement the illustrations. I was shocked at the consultant’s response. “The good news is your writing is excellent. The bad news is one look at that unpolished caricature and your writing will get tossed out without ever being seen.” Wow! That was tough to hear, but ultimately, it ended up landing me a contract for a signature line of greeting cards and kicked off my career as a commercial writer.

I picked up Peter’s book and started off on a quest to become the next well-fed writer. That path went everywhere from writing copy for a promotional restaurant table tent, ghostwriting children’s books, magazine articles, a Chamber of Commerce annual publication, to (don’t gasp, Peter) technical writing for the CDC. One of my favorite projects was researching and writing the content for a plastic surgeon’s website, though it did force me to focus far too much on my aging face there for awhile.

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  • About WordstoMouth

    Carrie created Words-to-Mouth—a blog & companion Internet talk show introducing new book releases and their authors to a community interested in excellent writing that may not  necessarily top the New York Times Bestseller List—Yet! To learn more about Carrie, click here