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Let the Professionals Handle Your Installation Photos, Plus 6 More Tips for PSPs in May-June

Including a great way to ensure facts trump emotion in shop meetings.




MARKETING Take Pretty Pictures

Installation imagery can be valuable for reasons beyond quality control and proof of completion. Showing off work can attract even more work. According to feedback from the Brain Squad, unimaginative photography from the install crew need not get in the way. Whether an employee or contracted professional, a hired specialist could travel to a site after-the-fact with social media and other marketing in mind. Visit for more of what the Brain Squad has to say about this.

MANAGEMENT Force A Real Decision

The next time you ask an employee or partner for their opinion on a business-related matter – say, to rate a job candidate, a new line, or a business proposition – ask them for a score between 1 to 10, but tell them they can’t choose seven. Seven is a fudge, says speaker and author Kyle Maynard. Force the person to choose between at least an eight – they’re genuinely excited by the prospect – or a six, which usually indicates they’d pass on it.


When faced with frustration, it’s easy to fall prey to anger and want to lash out. But that only makes things worse. Instead, try to reframe the experience as a test of the imaginary Stoic gods, suggests William Irvine, author of The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide To Becoming Tougher, Calmer, And More Resilient. “It’s not a setback, the Stoic gods are testing your resilience,” he says. “They are not punishing you. They are giving you an opportunity to show your courage.”

MANAGEMENT Remove Emotion From Meetings

Stride into a meeting, dominate the dialogue, repeat your point insistently, and you’ve got a good chance of winning the day, thanks to a human weakness for interpreting confidence as expertise or competence. But it doesn’t mean you’ll arrive at the best solution for whatever challenges your business is facing. To prevent this from happening, reframe your meetings as fact-finding exercises, says Bryan Bonner of the University of Utah. Keep a running list of conclusions on a whiteboard, or do anything else to switch the focus from who is being convincing to what they’re saying.

TARGET-SETTING Put A Dollar Value On Your Calls

If you’re as competitive as most businesspeople, rejection can be tough. Rounding up new business can feel like wasting time, especially when there’s so much economic uncertainty ahead. To get yourself psyched, try a variation of a motivational trick used by insurance-industry sales vets: Work out how many times in the past year you actively sought out a customer through a personal email, phone call, or networking activity and attach a dollar value to it. How? Simply by taking the sales you estimate you made by making those calls/emails/handshakes and dividing it by the number of times you proactively sought out a customer. Now, when you’re feeling uninspired think of that figure. That’s what every unsuccessful phone call or email is worth.


When brainstorming, improvising, or otherwise jamming with others, you’ll go much further and deeper if you build upon each contribution with a playful “yes, and” example instead of a deflating “no, but” reply, says Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly on his blog.

PRODUCTIVITY Get The Right Stuff Done First

This is not an original tip, but it is an incredibly important one, which goes by the mnemonic M.I.T. Nope, it’s not the fancy college in Massachusetts – it stands for “most important task.” At the start of the day, work out the most important task you have to do and – this is key – do it first. Don’t clear out your email, don’t check Twitter, do your M.I.T. “Get it out of the way, and the rest of the day is gravy,” says Leo Babauta, founder of the Zen Habits blog.

NATURE NURTURES The Power of Nature

Spending time in nature is good for your mental health. Like, really, really good. In contrast to the modern world with its aggressive demands on our attention, nature does something different: It exerts “soft fascination,” according to academics Rachel and Stephen Kaplan. Taking in natural surroundings is “effortless” (you don’t need to try to focus on the wind in the trees) and it’s “partial” (it absorbs some attention, but leaves some free for reflection, conversation, or mental wandering). None of this is new, of course. Countless big thinkers – Darwin, Thoreau, Wordsworth – swore by daily walks in nature. Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park, said nature “tranquillizes (the mind) and yet enlivens it.” As evident as that may be, we don’t get enough of it. Summer is approaching. Put that dang smartphone away and head down to your local park.



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