Halloween Story!
October 30, 2000

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Reaching Great Minds Online
October 30, 2000 Issue #67
Mike Valentine, Editor,

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Halloween Story!

by Mike Banks Valentine

When was the last time you did some soul searching? Let's set
the scene for a good heart-tugging, tear-jerker. Get out the
box of Kleenex and sit down in front of the window. As you
stare dreamily into the distance, it's starting to rain and
the drops gather and run down the window glass. You feel a
chill run up your spine and realize that a tear is welling in
your eye.

What's it all about? Where are the answers? Why am I here?
When will it really start to come together for me? A clap of
thunder sounds and startles you out of your reverie, followed
by a flash of lightning that blinds you momentarily. You
blink your eyes and open them again to see your Fairy God-
mother standing before you! Isn't that how it works in the

Well snap out of it and put your work gloves on! We've got a
business to build here! It begins with a dream. You bring in
the architect to translate your ideas to paper. She knows the
structural requirements of a sound building will rest on a
solid foundation. That foundation is built with a concrete
BUSINESS PLAN and all of the plumbing for CASHFLOW and wiring
for the power of FINANCING, protected by circuit breakers.

The foundation is laid and the structural elements are erected
now to support your dream. Steel girders representing your
business VISION and MISSION STATEMENTS are bolted to the
foundation to support that structure. Each element of a strong
COMMITMENT to build this dream is brought in to it's proper
place. This building requires many thousands of man-hours to
complete and may see delays and changes as it progresses
through its phases of construction.

Flashback to the rainy room with your Fairy Godmother, she
promises you that she will wave her magic wand and sprinkle
some fairy dust and you'll be an overnight success without
any work at all! She will provide you a completed business
with the wave of the wand and you can retire to a sunny beach!

See her for what she really is! It's the Get-Rich-Quick-Witch!
The lacy gown and wand are suddenly transformed into a crooked
black witches cap and broomstick! The wart on the end of her
nose seems to grow as she cackles madly and flies away on her
broom! A black cat YEEE-OOOWWLS and hisses as it scurries off
around the corner, the corner your money disappeared around!

Now, would you rather build a solid business with all the hard
work it entails or sit wimpering in a rainy room waiting for
your Fairy Godmother? It is Halloween and you should dress the
part of your business fantasies and then leave them behind to
return to reality where hard work and planning bring business
and financial success.

Hope you have a happy Halloween!

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Getting Ready for a Media Interview
By June Campbell

If you're in business, especially if you are doing business on
the Internet, the day will come when you are invited to do a
media interview. Perhaps someone has read your online articles
and is impressed, or perhaps your local newspaper or television
station is profiling interesting Internet entrepreneurs in their
community. Whatever the reason, you are being given an excellent
opportunity to promote your business. To get the most mileage
from your interview, consider the following tips:

1. Before the interview, practice your answers to the typical
questions of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. That is, be
prepared to state your name, your business, where you are
located, what you do, when you started, why you started your
business, and how you do things. Prepare and practice so your
statements will flow smoothly.

2. Before the interview takes place, consider the main message
that you want the audience to receive. Make a list of three
major points, and practice saying these three points to yourself
until you can speak them smoothly and confidently, without

3. During the interview, try to include these three main points
as much as possible. Your interview is likely to be edited prior
to publishing or broadcasting. By repeating your main points, you
reduce the possibility that your preferred message will be edited

4. Be prepared to tell brief anecdotes and short stories. Think
of a time when you solved a problem for a customer, or relate a
success story or two. Find a way to mix one or more of your three
main marketing messages into each anecdote.

5. Use humor with caution. If you are telling a humorous anecdote,
be sure that "the joke is on yourself" and explain what you
learned from the experience. Avoid giving people the idea that you
laugh at your customers behind their backs.

6. Similarly, resist the temptations to tell negative stories. If
your interviewer asks you to explain "the dumbest question you
were ever asked," for example, be very careful to portray your
customers in a positive light. You might answer something like,
"There really are no dumb questions. Our clients have business
needs and we do all we can do address those needs."

7. Consider writing a list of suggested questions or topics to
cover. Send this list to the journalist prior to the interview.
If used, your list will direct the interview in the way you hope.
Naturally, prepare your answers to these questions in advance,
and be prepared to speak easily on each topic.

8. Be prepared to offer your audience some sort of report, gift
or other item -- on autoresponder, faxback or web site. Remember,
the simpler the instructions, the more likely your audience will
be to remember it.

9. If your interview will be televised, ask in advance for tips
regarding clothing, makeup and accessories. As a rule of thumb,
dress appropriately for the type of business you are operating.
Remember that solid colors are preferred over prints, geometrics,
plaids or florals. Accessories that dangle, move, glitter, shine
or create noise are inadvisable. If you wear eyeglasses, ask the
camera operator what you can do to reduce the glare.

Ready? Break a Leg!

June Campbell's writing has appeared in several international
print and online publications. Visit her on the Web for a FREE
newsletter,FREE gifts, articles, guides for proposal writing,
business plan development and more.

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Copyright 2000 Mike Valentine

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  June 10, 2001