Category Archives: Emails

Holding the ropes

One line in the recent ITV canoe-based-insurance-fraud drama The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe* stood out: a comparison by Anne Darwin to holding on to the ropes of a hot air balloon as her life spirals out of control. The balloon rises, you’re swept off the ground … you can make a quick choice […]

The need to help

It’s natural to want to help in a crisis, especially one which is close to home. But it’s also interesting to watch human nature kick in, and see how we place different values on different solutions, especially when that solution makes us feel good. Picturing a child opening a box with a teddy bear you’ve […]

Maximum targets

I find myself increasingly thinking about maximum targets rather than minimum ones: The maximum… number of hours you want to work in a day… …days in a year… …years until you retire amount you can earn while still enjoying life away from your desk level of destruction & waste you are willing to inflict upon […]

Greater awareness

Most customers don’t know as much about your business as you might think, partly because they probably don’t care about your business as much as you might hope. I used to offer website hosting services but, even with a few hundred customers signed up, I didn’t really push the website design service which was actually […]


There is (rightly) a lot of time and attention given to understanding who potential customers are: basic demographics such as age, location, interests and so on. What’s often forgotten are the multiple, endless journeys those people are making through varying states of awareness: awareness about your product, your company, the market you’re in and, of […]

A post about an email about email

(This was sent to my email list, which you can join here) I actually invented a system which could track emails being received and opened, letting me know who had read the email, and when. Some time around the turn of the century—an almost absurdly archaic phrase; although as a child of the ’80s and […]

The Glorious Twelfth?

The obvious thing to write today is that isn’t it great the country is opening up which must be wonderful for everyone and here are five things you must do as we come out of unprecedented times I hope you and your family are well during these strange times but we’re all in it together […]

Nature’s lessons

Even for small businesses, nature already has most of the answers we need, if you know where to look. Millions—billions—of years of continuous improvement and survival of the fittest offer a pretty solid baseline. In fact, the twelve fundamental principles which have been something of a cornerstone for me over the last seven or eight […]

Primal thinking

I’ve worked with small businesses for over 20 years now, almost always directly with the owners. I’ve seen them—the owners and the businesses—thrive, struggle, fight and flail, and implement just about every combination of the idea and execution multiplier. However perfect or flawed, I’ve had the pleasure of working with people who care deeply about […]


My wife and I recently bought a small woodland. Just under three acres of ancient arboreal bliss; a sanctuary for us of course, but primarily a place for the trees, flora, fauna and fungi to thrive. It’s reminded me—this year of all years—what’s important. Strong and steady is better than fast and furious. It’s also […]