On a recent sultry Sunday morning, I was taking coffee with my buddy Tim. Here, actually.

Tim’s an ex-salesman, which means he is now not selling anything but retained his instinct for bonhomie. He’s naturally gregarious. Which is how we got to meet Carly and Rory. See awesome photo, below.

These two funsters were on vacation from their business, The Cowlick Creamery.

Theirs is the kind of entrepreneurship I imagine when writing about creating your own cashflow and thereby financial freedom. Start with a motivating idea. Check to see there’s a market that wants you. Burnish the business until you have something excellent.

Now all that remains is for we consumers to choose excellence.


Carly and Rory US Tour 2015




Happy Mother's Day, Carol.
Happy Mother’s Day, Carol.

Sundays have a specific feel to me, perhaps for you too. This Sunday, yesterday, was my first without work for weeks, and so it felt particularly special.

After some breakfast at The Coffee Loft (living the dream with coffee, panino, newspaper and Sunday Baroque) I tootled off to Barnes and Noble. They’ve changed B & N around since last I was there, it’s different and roomier. Hopefully bookshops will survive the Amazon onslaught.

Then to Best Buy. Best Buy can make me feel inadequate. Odd, I know, but it’s the combination of all that wonderful stuff that I can’t afford, and all that wonderful stuff that I don’t quite understand. The technology on sale is brilliant, but I have a need for only a tiny fraction of what’s available. Despite that, I would still like to have it all – ridiculous as that is.

Sunday was restful, a rejuvenation day. This morning I was at Lido Key at sunup, reveling in the absence of people and the quiet. At the beach, there’s space to think, to get calm, to find perspective. It made me happy that someone remembered to give Carol some flowers. That’s what’s important. And I’m glad that someone knows it.

Small Magic

The magic of mountain lakes.
The magic of mountain lakes.

Monday, the delicious Monday of the Labor Day weekend, an extra day of leisure where the possibilities are endless.

Yes, that’s over the top, but long weekends are awesome. Imagine if every weekend was a long one, wouldn’t that be THE best?

My weekend turned out to be a good’un, for a number of reasons. The very fact of a LONG weekend is awesome, plus I had breakfast yesterday, Monday, with my friend Heather.

I had been pondering catching up, one-on-one for a while, until this finally seemed like the right opportunity. Heather’s one of those people I admire hugely, because she’s considered – she seems to be way out in front of things, by which I mean she has a keen, thoughtful and deep intellect. She’s a thinker.

She is also an experienced personal trainer, an author, a publisher, and now, I find out, a marketing genius. That’s what I wanted to talk to her about; how to market to personal trainers, massage therapists and other health and wellness professionals. I wanted the inside view, if you like, the way to make my first ten seconds count.

Watching her work was quite something. We ate our breakfast, catching up with life stuff, and then when the plates were cleared, we got down to business. I explained that I’m just beginning in the sales field, but that I’d narrowed down a few specific kinds of people who were both likely to be interested in wellness generally, and able to quickly understand my company specifically.

I showed her our printed catalog. I talked, she asked questions. She pointed out products that stood out for what I was trying to do. It was like watching a chess master calculate the moves forty or fifty ahead. Wonderful. She flipped through the catalog some more, and gradually distilled her ideas down to a handful of beauties.


* create targeted sales pitches that avoid the entire range of products, highlighting only those likely to interest the specific profession I’m approaching.

* hair salon owners are a prime market.

* personal trainers, health coaches and massage folks all need their own, carefully worded elevator speech.


Hair stylists and salon owners had crossed my mind before, but I’d always figured they were too busy selling their own products to worry about another whole set. But Heather put me right. They all need something to talk about. And talking about high-quality, natural, wellness-centered personal essentials is just the thing both hair stylist and customer are interested in talking about.

Big, big insight. Heather, you’re the best.

Light and Dark

The Cascades, framed.
The Cascades, framed.

Would we know if light existed if there were no shadows?

It’s a silly question, on the surface at least, because without stuff, there are no shadows. The lack of shadows implies the absence of stuff to get in the way of light. Stuff is just roadblocks for light. Stuff stops light from getting where it’s going. So light relies on obstacles for proof of existence.

Existential questions are fun to ponder. You might be able to tell that I recently finished a biography of Albert Einstein. Reading a book like that gives you ideas about the nature of big things – light and dark, space and time, gravity and magnetism, they’re all wrapped up in Einstein’s work.

The snap above is of the view from the peak of Mt Pilchuck in the Cascades inland from Everett. Someone responsible for early fire warning figured a long time ago that Pilchuck has one of the best views in the region. The fire-watching cabin at the peak sits there unused now, redundant in the age of satellites and everything being real-time. The place is redolent with the smell of fire seasons past, days spent searching the horizon, of sun and sky. It’s beautiful.

I think it’s beautiful because the station provides a respite from the light. The mountains speak for themselves, their scale clear no matter one’s distance. The light up there, a mile above the sea, is strong. In the station, the shade and cool it creates are like a drink of water.