Three Course Marketing Cheat Sheet of the Week

Get your appetite ready for three courses of practical marketing tips:


Need to do a simple online survey? Many people know about tools like Survey Monkey and Wufoo, but are not aware that you can also do this with Google Docs. The other services are also free to use, within limits, but a Google Form doesn’t cap the number of responses and is just as easy to use. For extra credit you can even embed the form you make on a page of your website. More about Forms.

Business Is a Team Sport – Why You Should Hire Your Friends

A good friend and former colleague recently asked my opinion about someone we had both worked with years ago. My friend had been contacted by this person about job opportunities. This person had an IQ that could boil water, quick analytical and strategic reflexes, significant executive level experience, and was even a hard worker. The problem is, and there’s really only one way to say this, this person is an @sshole. All business all the time, with no real friends in the company. The overall morale for the team this person led was never great, and one result is that some of the star players left. I asked my friend: “Is having those assets on the team worth the other baggage?” I don’t think it is.

In a painful example of my hiring for talent alone, several years ago I brought in a ringer for the position I had open. Some perceptive HR folks warned me that the candidate might be an issue, but I wouldn’t listen. I got my way and made the hire. For a while, it seemed like a complete and total win. My new hire knew everything we didn’t about this area of the business. Processes were improved, bad contracts renegotiated, and junior staff got to learn from a pro.

Unfortunately, this superstar brought so much drama to the squad that the upside just didn’t matter. Some of the best, most loyal and competent folks I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with were caught in the crossfire. Team morale took a huge hit, and I was frequently distracted managing situations and “feelings” where I hadn’t had to before. We were no longer all pulling in the same direction.

In my experience, people who are willing to work hard and got along well with the team, invariably make it to the “friend” category. The upshot: Because we spend half of our waking lives at work we should hire people we like to be around, even if it means settling for slightly less individual expertise or performance. It’s the team performance that matters most. Protect it at all costs.

Some days are easier than others, even when nothing has changed. When I get in a rut I try to remember this quote from Tony Robbins:

“Progress = Happiness”

Then, get it in gear and get some work done. Try it. It works.

Tracy Sigler is the founder of AVL Marketing.

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