Article By Business Affinity Member In Business First

Seth Becker, of Oakstone Financial Management and member of the Business Affinity Chapter, contributed an article in the November 12, 2010 issue of Business First. The article “Will compromise Solve Our Woes? Not A Chance” can be read at Becker is a regular opinion contributor to Columbus Business First; to read past articles go to[facet_author]=Seth+Becker.

To view Member Accolade click here.

“Turbo Charge Your Marketing With This Idea…”

A great way to study and learn about direct marketing is to respond to lead generating ads for information products. When you do, you could learn how other marketers format, price and respond to requests, as well as other very important aspects of marketing.You want to look at that mail-piece that you received and figure out what gave you the incentive and the initiative to spend your money and order the product. This will help you to understand what you can do to get your target market to respond to your offers.Also, think about other products you may have purchased in the past. This is a great way to educate yourself at almost no cost.

So always check other lead generating resources that come via your email or regular mails; don’t be too quick to dump them. There may be hidden treasure in that “junk”.

This tip was taken from Ken Varga’s e-book, “121 Tips Techniques and Ideas To Explode Your Marketing Campaign Results”. You can download all of Ken’s tips for FREE by going to this link: . Just give Ken’s FREE e-newsletter a try and you’ll be given immediate access to download the 121 Tips e-book.

AmSpirit Rx (Your Moral Compass)

While it takes a bit more effort, check your moral compass at every turn.

According to Jon Huntsman, in his book Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned As Children (But May Have Forgotten) …

“It sometimes takes great courage to follow the moral compass in the face of marketplace pressures, but no challenge alters this fact: Regardless of who is holding the compass, or how they are holding it, or what time of day it happens to be, north is always north, and south is always south. Following one’s moral compass is not for the faint of heart or the cold of feet.”


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Now What?

By Wes Mayer
FocalPoint Certified Business Coach

 In the months ahead will be uncertainty.It is the enemy of all of us in business.It can paralyze customers and business owners.It is rampant right now because so many are in fear of the impact of recent laws and regulations promulgated by the Federal Government.I think that the election results have already started to ease some of the paralysis, but I believe business owners will continue to be wary until they see how things will shake out.

A business owner needs to develop and begin executing a strategy to deal with this uncertainty as it affects his/her business, at least in the short term. If they are wise, they will seek the assistance of someone who has experience in helping people just like them to navigate these often uncharted waters…..not someone who claims to have all the answers, but someone who knows which questions they should be asking.Someone who can provide them with a process that will work for them and someone who will challenge their thinking.

Recently, I was asked why many small business owners don’t accept or even ask for help, even when they really need it.I think the answer can be simple or it can be complicated.

  • The simple answer in many cases is ignorance, i.e., they don’t even know how much they need help or they don’t know what help is available to them.
  • Another issue is denial….they may not be willing to admit they need help even though they know that such help is available.
  • Another issue related to this can be pride….they are sort of aware that they need help, but perhaps are too proud to ask for it.
  • Money can certainly be an issue for many small business owners, but I think that when it is, it really may be more a function of value, i.e., they don’t perceive the value provided by business coaches or others whose services could really help them to be more successful.

Many people see great opportunity coming in the months ahead.Are you positioned properly to take advantage of it?

Wes Mayer, a FocalPoint Certified Business Coach, can be contacted at: (614) 519-9774

AmSpirit Rx (Three Simple Steps To Networking Success)

Any networking event and every networking experience can and should be a positive and productive one, both personally and professionally. Here are three simple steps for ensuring that

(1)    Focus On Giving:  While “getting” is why you network, you will find that giving to others is the best way to achieve that.

(2)    Know & Be Known:  As people prefer to associate with those they know, like & trust, take the time to get to know and be known by those you encounter.

(3)    Get Involved:  Do not just hang out in your network – get involved.  Attend functions.  Socialize.  Volunteer time.  Meet and greet people.  These things will raise your level of exposure.

Remember that your success in networking is not simply a function of knowing people.  Rather it is a function of what you do with the people you know.

What is Networking?

 By Kelcey Lehrich, AmSpirit Business Connections Director

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “networking” as: ‘the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business’.

When I hear people saying that they are “going to a networking event” I like the smirk to myself and throw a loaded question into the conversation. It typically sounds something like this – “what event are you going to?” They’ll answer with the name of the organization and usually the location of the event. Then I drop the bomb on them and that goes like this: “Interesting… What were you hoping to get out of the event?”. This question typically educes the trance. A blank stare where they look at me like I’m from mars.

The point of my story is this – when people define networking as Mr. Webster does above they are attempting to cultivate productive relationships for employment or business. Or stated otherwise, developing deep relationships of know, like, and trust, so that one can be in the right place at the right time for new opportunities.

If you agree with this definition and (more importantly) this implementation of networking there is only one question left to ask yourself; Is the networking I’m currently engaged in really networking?


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This not for you, but someone else … refer someone that franchises and we will pay you $4,000.00.

Potential or Productive?

I meant to post this earlier this week while it was still fresh in my mind. I was watching the 2nd half of the Monday Night Football game (Steelers vs. Bengals).Jon Gruden, NFL Analyst for MNF and former NFL head coach, said something very profound that relates directly to business people as well as athletes. He and his colleagues were discussing how a team like the Bengals, one year removed from sweeping games from their division rivals, can now be so bad. Ron Jaworski stated that the Bengals have so much potential with great players on their team.That’s when Gruden chimed in, “You know what potential really means? It means you haven’t done squat! The Steelers are full of productive NFL players and the Bengals are full of potential.”I think the same can be said of business people and it is demonstrated in their networking efforts. I know quite a few people who could be so much more successful if they would just go the extra mile to actively engage their network, help others selflessly, spend time thinking how they could contribute more to their networking groups, etc.

So the question is, “are you full of potential or are you a productive networker?”

“One Rule You Should Never Break…”

Here is a rule you should never break in marketing—Test every marketing piece you create.” According to Ken Varga, author of “How To Get Customers To Call, Buy & Beg For More”, “Test everything…before you spend any money or time rolling out a big campaign. For my whole 38-year career, I have created hundreds of sales letters and other marketing collateral, and I can tell you that I always tested before I rolled out a campaign in its entirety.”

Just like in real estate, there is a saying called: Location location location. In marketing, it’s all about testing, testing and doing more testing. You know, it’s amazing how very few companies ever test any aspect of their marketing by comparing it consistently to something else.

And you know what? Fewer have a “control” to test against. They bet their whole destiny on conjecture and subjective decisions. I often times hear, “Oh, I have a great ad. I love it”.

You should never fall in love with any marketing piece. Either it produces business or it doesn’t.

To read more great marketing campaign tips, you can download a FREE copy of Ken’s “121 Tips Techniques and Ideas To Explode Your Marketing Campaign Results”. Just give Ken’s FREE e-newsletter a try and you’ll be given immediate access to download the 121 Tips e-book. Here is the link to these free resources:


B2B Focus Member Selected As One Of The Best Lawyers In 2011

Gary Batke, of Bailey Cavalieri, LLC and member of the B2B Focus Chapter, was selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America for 2011. Gary was recognized for this outstanding achievement in an article in The Columbus Dispatch on October 24, 2010.

To view the AmSpirit Member Accolade for Gary click here.

Perseverance is Key to Success

I woke up today thinking, “what a lucky guy I am to have the life that I have!” I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife, good friends, family, and a business that I love to run every day. I also started thinking about what things have enabled me to be successful in my business thus far.The #1 reason is that I have followed a process consistently that has delivered results. Too often we give up before we ever see the fruits of our labor. This made me think of an incident that happened to me when I was about 12 years old.Every summer during my youth I spent a good amount of time fishing and camping with my family. On one of our camping trips, I spent an entire afternoon fishing off the end of a dock. I patiently watched the bobber at the end of my fishing line for at least a solid 2 hours with nothing to show for it, not even the slightest nibble.During that same time there were probably 4 or 5 others fishing off the same dock, but after 20 minutes of inactivity, they all left. I sat and waited, and waited, and waited…

All of a sudden the bobber disappeared underneath the water’s surface like someone had attached cinder block to the end of my line!! I jerked the line to set the hook and began reeling in whatever was on the other end. At the same time I began yelling for my Dad to come down to see what was happening.

I reeled in a “Channel Cat” (catfish) that was one of the largest fish I had ever caught, weighing about 10 lbs. and almost 30 inches long. When everyone in the campground area heard me yelling several made their way down to the dock to see what the commotion was all about.

Next thing I knew, there were about 10 other fisherman on the dock casting their lines into the water. Funny thing is, I don’t remember if any of the others caught any other fish that afternoon.

What happened to the Channel Cat? I took him home in a very large bucket of water. Later that same day I delivered the fish to our neighbor next door, an old man who lived by himself by the name of Seif Friend. Dad said he loved to eat catfish and would really be surprised so see what I had brought to him. I’ll never forget how his eyes lit up when he saw what was in the bucket!

The reason this story is relevant to me is that it is a perfect analogy to why some people are successful following processes and persevering, while others give up too soon. Whenever I get the least bit discouraged about business or networking in general, I remind myself to persevere just like I did that afternoon on the dock with my fishing line in the water.

Long term success in networking and business comes from following processes that work and not giving up too soon.