Sunday, December 31, 2006

Final Thoughts on 2006 - and New Thoughts for 2007

Having been intimately involved in more business start ups than I care to count - as a restaurateur, caterer, chef, hospitality consultant, and food service equipment dealer over 30+ years - I'm cognizant of how crucially important is organization and focus.

Shotgunning of our resources is what needs to be assiduously avoided because I've learned this approach produces less-than-satisfactory results.

Embarking on any journey which doesn't allow for a playful disposition and the clear opportunity for a joyful experience should also be avoided.

I've been a student of internet marketing since March; and Mark has been since August. Both of us already are business owners. We simply want new income streams... so we are diversifying our activities.

But we don't want to sacrifice our pledge to do something meaningful and worthy of our time...

...which brings us back again to organization and focus, doesn't it?

I'm fond of two particular philosophical concepts:

Authoritarianism speaks directly to our freedom...


utilitarianism speaks to our highest, most noble purpose in life.

Both are joined at the hip - as we must be to inaugurate this new company.

From our first meeting, Mark knew I hated computers (complicated man-made machines) - even business (imperfect capitalist economic construct) - because both threatened my independence. I'm just another aspiring writer; Mark retains the soul of the artist.

We want to love our work because it is not perceived as work.

Neither of us will admit that suffering should be part and parcel of our human condition - though, admittedly, our conditioning has needlessly complicated our work habits...which is suffering, nevertheless.

Though I accept that a keyboard is useful for producing words, Mark - as a web and graphics designer - appreciates the importance of computers.

I enjoy words, and Mark, computers. Both are merely useful tools which, employed properly, can efficiently address common problems, or cause the world to better interact, interconnect, and expand our collective consciousness.

And the creativity and artistry applied to their use has so much bearing on our human potential.

Now both of us better understand the validity of proper framing - especially since we must consider many viewpoints from separate lenses in order to accommodate the other...and which will serve to enhance and develop relationship-building processes.

Our collaboration will make me better appreciate machines - and business - while Mark understands I will make him better appreciate wordplay - if not my radical ideas about busy-ness too! :)

But we're middle-aged now - he's 40 and I'm 52 - and we're both grounded in the reality of our American middle-class lifestyles. We each have wives, and Mark has two young kids, besides. We've got mortgages, we're on the grid, at the grindstone...everyday, kinda like you.

So time is precious - and our obligations and responsibilities too numerous - which is why we've determined that it's okay to co-opt the passions and skill sets of the other.

Our Legend Platform will help keep us organized and focused on brand development. It will inform our marketing strategies...its tactics and techniques too.

As social beings we view this as being a naturally-occurring first step forward. It's part of what makes us human. Instructed by our notions of motivation and reward...

...we naturally prefer to work from home...because home is where the heart is.

Hardly infallible, we're gonna make mistakes in this new enterprise. Like many of you, we've allowed ourselves to be bombarded with knowledge and new information from others who've been actively engaged with this business model already.

To all of you, thank you for your insights and guidance. We hope to return the favor in '07.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Better luck next time, I guess! The physical product owner seeking a publicist turned out to be quite a sophisticated gentleman looking for a firm with a proven track record to promote his product. And, after a prompt follow up phone conversation - upon receipt of the following email from us - I can't say that I wouldn't see things differently from his perspective.

[But Dr. Silber is still talking with us...and we have more irons in the fire!]

In any event, we're confident in the future, and the sky's no longer the limit. It was fun to think through a promotion of a new physical product online - even if we will have to try our hand with some others.



It’s clear you and your company have a lot riding on your ability to bring your products to market so that they literally fly off the shelves.

The current Christmas season will have come and gone by January...when the big store rollout begins. This makes the task no less time-sensitive, however, because these products still must be proven winners within a narrow window of time.

But then Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are just around the corner!

Have you considered an online marketing blitz, or an affiliate program? Though conventional publicity-oriented channels are worthy of focused attention, we might consider, too, how best to create a genuine phenomenon online via direct response techniques at your site...and others.

To accomplish this, Mark and I feel it might be in your best interests to enlist the support of an army of affiliate marketers to your cause. And a downloadable digital version – with real functionality – might also be in order, assuming it’s feasible, and it enhances the cachet – and the sales – of the physical products.

This downloadable version can be placed on desktops and websites pretty quickly with the right program – and it would only bolster the sales of the physical products. Mark, my partner with the programming and graphic design skills, believes the script can be created to make this version practical and easy to install.

The image itself can vary in size, and an additional graphic can be considered – of wall space or desk space – for placement of a customized message outside the XXXXXX.

XXXXXXXXXX is a tremendous play on words to work with, XXXXX, and has every opportunity to become a viral hook in a meme-complex online. To sell the XXXXXX – whether virtual, physical, or both – it is preferable to heighten the buzz to a crescendo pitch so the XXXXXX become popular more quickly.

Your brand image will be seen as attractive to most demographic groups. However, the digital version – if it can be made feasible and available – will cause more cash to flow faster, particularly in the beginning, when the retail store roll out needs its strongest support.

Scarcity, price, and time limits for the sales of digital products are typically important persuasion elements employed by copywriters and marketers to induce a direct response. And the copy – along with video and graphics – can make for a nice multimedia presentation as well.

This assumes that a mini site is set up as a gateway to your site – with an opt-in or squeeze page included – which can easily be utilized by affiliate marketers who feel the product can successfully be marketed to their lists.

Your site – very well done, by the way – can still be the payment processor for all sales online, exclusive of other offline channels you will, no doubt, pursue.

The prices set for the physical products are consumer-friendly and easily affordable. And the digital version can be priced, say, at about $37 – and made available for immediate download after payment has been processed. Resale and Master Resale Rights for the digital version can carry a one-time offer of an additional $10 and $20, respectively. Or, both versions can be bundled together for a price of, say, $97 and $107, respectively, plus S&H.

An appropriate percentage of the gross sale for your affiliate will need to be pre-determined, in any event, of course. And this merits closer scrutiny.

If you determine to stay the course with the marketing and publicity for the physical product only at this time, it’s understandable. However, not enough can be said about getting XXXXXXXXXX – especially the words – out into the public domain as rapidly as possible. The possibilities for exposure on Flick’r, MySpace, YouTube, and other social networking sites – oftentimes, mostly about fun – are exciting to behold.

And Mark and I can help in this effort to make your product a hot commodity by performing the following tasks...

Engage other programmers, copywriters, and software developers in a quick feasibility study of the digital download version of your product, in order to establish our technical parameters.

Consider other high-quality background images for the XXXXXXXX ...perhaps more appealing to teenagers and young adults – even the merry pranksters among us.

Create a killer sales letter for the affiliate site which will make a nice “lead-in” to your site. Affiliate marketers will want to capture names and email addresses for themselves on this mini site...then pre-sell them...before redirecting their customers to your payment processor page. They often will “sweeten the deal” with other bonuses if their customer buys from you.

Create a suitable User Interface, specifically designed for an affiliate marketer – which makes it dead-easy for him/her to effortlessly participate in the promotion of your products – by simply driving traffic to this affiliate site with their targeted ads and affiliate links.

Enhance and optimize the existing site as required.

Drive traffic to the site with keyword and metatag optimization, whacky videos, and article and press release submissions, etc.

Engage a publicist with extensive offline contacts – and reputation – to distribute your press kit for a reduced price-per-placement appropriate media outlets. This may be “doable” because different approved versions of the release copy can be provided to them in advance.

Create a viral XXXXXXXXXX pre-launch campaign, do all the work for them, including their follow up auto-responder email messages, so they only need to promote to their individual subscriber lists.

This can be done by giving them “advanced copies” of your product(s) and invite them to take part in the campaign. This is simply an ethical bribe which will be made as attractive as possible.

To easily facilitate this, at least 3 versions of the sales letter can be made ready and adopted for their use.

Determine their “cut” so that they are made to feel privileged to participate.

Engage them in a sales contest with prizes (your physical products?) and, maybe, some cash

Create a blog and chat line just for the joint venture partners (from 12 to 40) to communicate effectively during the promotion

Consider a portion of the proceeds be earmarked for an appropriate charity group which supports our marketing message

Begin a search engine (e.g., Google Adwords), Ezine, eBay, safelists, and social network ad campaign

Create some funny videos for the affiliate site and placement on the free hosted video sites

Solicit the JV partners’ advice and suggestions for improving the campaign’s performance

Assist with budget analysis, project management, and brand-building

Negotiate a reasonable basis for action in order to coordinate a successful launch

Participate in budget and cash flow analyzes, brand-building strategies – from innovation through implementation

In conclusion, I feel your products are really appealing, but question whether the efforts of a publicist alone will serve your interests best in the short and long term. As attractive as your physical products appear to be, it’s XXXXXXXXXXXX which is the viral hook most deserving of cross-promotion online; and the user-friendly digital XXXXXXX version – which will only enhance the sales of the physical version – is what will give you the most bang for your buck the quickest.

Enlisting the support of many little players might be a more cost-effective strategy to pursue – thereby providing you more leverage for the money.

Like jokes and funny videos – even rumors – get quickly passed around in cyberspace, so too will these cool customizable XXXXXXXXXXXXX with personalized messages get passed around. XXXXXXXXXXXX can become a brand associated with playfulness and joyfulness – no matter its version, whether or not, it is presented or received.

The downloadable version can be used as a fun promotional delivery vehicle for just about anybody. Think about aspiring models, actresses, singers, band members, DJs, marketers, doctors, attorneys, moms and dads, business owners, and everyday folks – all happy to send a piece of themselves to their friends, family members and business clients.

What if these XXXXXX images suddenly appeared and spread like a biological Asian flu bug all over MySpace – each one with a slightly different take on the XXXXXXXXXXXXX attached in the message text?

Consider that a one-time purchase can bring a lot of instant pleasure to a lot of people over-and-over, again and again – in chat rooms, emails, blog posts and comments, especially web sites.

Talk about a good investment! Talk about increased profits and ROI! Talk about more incoming revenue to create more apostles for your brand! :)

To, incidentally, also own a real XXXXXXXXXXXX will thus be seen as the very essence of cool.

Though our new company is untested, we appreciate the fact that some parts of your marketing campaign will require other outsourced professionals. Mark is but a web designer and I am but a writer – and neither one of us would want our lack of experience to hurt your project.

A multi-track path is best in any event. Both of us have much real-world experience leveraging strengths and limitations – of ourselves and others. We see ourselves ultimately as communicators, facilitators and collaborators motivated to effect change and bring about positive outcomes.

In college, Mark once built a successful T-shirt design business; and I used to be a restaurateur, caterer, and fine dining chef – even a music promoter at one time. Small businesspeople often are the ones with the most hustle and stick-to-itiveness in them to make things happen.

Mainspring Mindshares – like your company – was borne from an intense study of human nature, numbers-crunching, and this same kind of street-smart entrepreneurial vision which will guide its destiny in the future.

If our capabilities do not match your immediate needs and expectations we will be happy to accommodate you in other ways...because Mark and I both...wish you...

Only the best,

Laurence Cumbie

Monday, December 18, 2006

[Note: This is my response to a Craig's List ad seeking a publicist. Never in my life have I played the role of this particular actor; in fact, I was only struck by the word itself. If the work involves having fun, though, I'm all over it!]

SEEKING PUBLICIST For unique new worldwide product line

To whom it may concern:

Go ahead. Make my day! Show me something that so stirs my passions I want to become its apostle. Inspire me to want to work hours and hours on end promoting (y) our new religious experience to the unitiated.

Show me what you got, baby, and I’ll show you what I can do with it!

Remember...all marketers are liars and publicists have vastly inflated egos. Both are often out-of-touch with human events and real-world social contracts outside their propagandist missions.

Why? Because they already think they’re smarter than you! By you seeking a high-falutin’ publicist, one might assume you’ve already bought into one more authoritarian construct where a publicist has, once again, assumed the upper hand as an acknowledged expert.

Truth be told, we can all be publicists, for who among us feels less or more expert about anything for very long?

Tell me about you. Tell me about your product(s). Tell me the outcome of our successful collaboration – from your perspective.

What you need is a fresh thinker who is inspired to break out of convention and lovingly stir up the beehive for you – one who fights like a wolverine and laughs like a hyena – and whose loyalty to you is unquestioned at every signpost. One who constantly gives more than s/he gets.

It’s what all of us need. It’s what I want to give.

At 52, I can tell you I don’t concern myself with corporate-speak in corporate-land anymore. It’s too demeaning, and it makes most feel “targeted” or “imprisoned”. Check me out. And I’ll check you out. Forget about the rules – they were made for someone else other than us.

To place a label on me – or you, for that matter – would be counter-intuitive and unproductive.

Together, we can create a new language to facilitate the emotional triggers we want to explore...which will capture the hearts and minds of our many new-found friends...since, they too, are destined to become apostles.

Put the customer in the driver’s seat. Present the benefits of ownership. Weave stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances doing extraordinary things with your product line. Put out a single call to action - invite a direct response - one person at a time. And always follow up.

“Don’t make a consumer feel consumed by anything more than the passion for you and your product(s). Invite him/her to participate as a privileged willful partner – never as a mere consumer or a customer. It’s the frame which must be set right - from the first introduction - which will cause a proactive arrangement to take shape and grow exponentially...”

“…because we’re all ruled by emotion – and connected by emotion. We also happen to want to share in the benefits of some very cool product(s).”

As Ross Perot reportedly once said, we will all buy into the mission, when - as a team - we...“get”

Afterwards, we’ll all do a happy dance together.

At the end of the day, we’re defined by what we do, not what we say. Right?

Personally, at this moment, I’m a person of no import, of even less repute to you. I believe – like you, perhaps – that we must always trust, but verify.

Cunning calculation, cutting-edge communication techniques, and practical execution of a purpose-driven strategy – that’s all it takes!

There’s no one hero needed. No, not at all – just heroic interplay amongst many heroes.

Consider, though, that I might just be the stealth fighter you need in your camp right now.

Kindest regards,

Laurence Cumbie

Mainspring Mindshares

[P.S. - Note to self: Don't expect an answer. :)]

Thursday, December 14, 2006


It’s that time again! Here is our gift - especially for you!

Click & Grin


Whosoever art a most prolific gift-giver...ruleth his own destiny. It’s a tried-and-true way to have fun in a gift economy – and generate real long-term growth.

The ROI for your business – like BS – will happen. It starts and it stops; it’s up and it’s down. It is then we shall know - this is it - all else, just is.

And economy of motion can be willed out of pure thin air.

Time is an interlocutor of all faith-based initiative, the Great Denominator for which Man must share his handiwork.

Thus, we have it on Faith - in our own confounded beliefs - happiness is as a happy person does – one merely becomes the other – the fruit fly flies content with itself, forever seeking that which is sweetest.


For more inspired drivel, visit us again.


Be happy with all your busy-ness

...and enjoy the season! :)

Mainspring Mindshares

Friday, December 08, 2006

We've all known stress in our lives, and over the years we develop certain coping mechanisms to carry us through it when stressful situations arise.

At a recent Functional Foods Conference in Richardson, Texas, I had the pleasure of meeting a group of scientists, university professors and various medical practitioners passionately involved in the study of - and cutting edge research with - so-called functional foods.

I met one of my heros (from the early 70s), Dr. Earl Mindell, author of The Vitamin Bible, who signed one of his books for me. And I met over a dozen other fascinating people - all interested in food as medicine.

Since that time in October, I've begun a correspondence with Dr. Moris Silber, M.D., Ph.D, a research professor of the Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

At 66, Dr. Silber was still far-and-away the most active participant in Q & A discussions with the various speakers there - in a small conference group of less than 40 people from all over the world - and he appeared to be quite well-known and respected by his peers.


My own interest in food as medicine - and the overarching reason for my attendance - was developed before my 15-year career as a serious chef actually began - because, for me at least, the study of food was always interwoven with all my other interests - but especially of health and nutrition. Throughout much of the 80s I was mad about spa cuisine, aka cuisine sante, and I was particularly fond of American, French, Japanese and Italian dishes - often because the high-end food service businesses which were most popular paid the most to experienced chefs.

And I wanted to devour all of it - a glutton for punishment if there ever was one - because, as any chef will tell you, the skills required of a successful chef are hard-won, and the hours are tortuous, to say the least.

For many years, in Japan, where statistics can be gathered and studied more comprehensively - as the Japanese are a more homogeneous society than is our melting-pot society - chefs and restaurateurs have long been known to have the highest mortality rate among all professions, trades and employment groups consistently analyzed.

Such is our dismissal of, shall we say, the less-privileged socio-economic groups in the U.S. - what with so many illegal aliens and young people employed in this massive sector - and our disparate racial elements, we often are told that surgeons and air traffic controllers have the highest mortality rates. But I dare say that if accurate statistical records were kept we might learn that our experience here is not too dissimilar.

The people thus charged with keeping us fed - in a time-starved, media-saturated culture - live the shortest lives and die the soonest.

One of these days I'd like to expound on this time period, as I've much to share of my own experiences; but, even though I have not held a professional position since 1994, I still try to keep up, and still subscribe to a few of the trades.

Ultimately, I became disillusioned with the scarcity of quality foodstuffs, the shortage of dedicated European-trained workers, and the brutality of the typical business model. All this propounded by, you guessed it, stress.


Dr. Silber is in discussions with Mark and me about writing a new book.

This man spent 23 years of his life as the lead scientist for the old Soviet Olympics teams - and he, too, has much to share - about a lot of things...but mostly related to the scientific aspects of what he's learned in sports medicine...and its potential ramifications for a stressed-out world...often too dependent on quick-fixes and prescription drugs for relief.

You see, while Western allopathic - or conventional - medicine has heavily focused on protocols for disease treatment centered on surgical (cutting), radiation (burning), and/or drug (poisoning) interventions, much of what we call the science of medicine - and its worldwide body of students and practitioners over many, many years, and from many traditions - has not necessarily bought into their arguments.

For example, even the exalted Royal Family in England has, as their primary care-givers - (oh, the horror!) homeopaths - at their beck and call. And who would argue they don't have insurance coverage or can't afford to see any doctor they choose? Given their fair share of a fair amount of uncommon sense?

Many treatments available to us outside the conventional medical community are to be preferred if they are less-invasive, have fewer side effects, and are holistic - more systemic in their approach - and their respect for the sanctity and complexity of our human organism is better appreciated and more highly evolved.

Personally, I consider that less is often more - treatment with a sledge hammer is less-preferred, when, with an alternate opinion, a feather will often do.

Don't you?

Modern American doctors function in a sellers' market, as do their brethren at Big Pharma and in the FDA. Years from now, history will teach us that - along with Big Media and the military-industrial complex (warned about by Eisenhower) - the American Medical Association membership will have done us more societal harm overall than all the wars of the 20th century combined.

And the corporatist takeover of our government will very nearly have finished us all.

These groups - conventional doctors too - will be seen as the single most insidious cabal of evil-doers ever visited upon us. We will look back and marvel at our own willingness to have been duped for so long, at the destruction they had caused the world's citizens.

Though many modern doctors (the same vicious circle of revolving door operatives who run Big Pharma, the AMA and the FDA) are often well-meaning, they know before they ever finish their internships that the once-noble Hippocratic Oath has long-ago been supplanted by an implicit understanding of something less to be desired - as much, to our detriment, as Big Media, the military-industrial complex and their corporatist lackeys - which drive the power-mad capitalist machine - no longer deserve the appellation, guardians of our democracy, anymore.

Enlightened citizens - many of them not activists - lead lives of quiet desperation, too concerned with themselves and their own kind to feel they have any other recourse, in the face of such a juggernaut, but to batten down the hatches and steam full speed ahead, in a desperate race toward oblivion.

With the creation of order comes the initiation of chaos, and too often, the deleterious consequences arising from stress - in all its guises and manifestations - naturally follow.

Our psycho-physical intuitive bodies are beautifully designed to deal with it though; and without it, we would not be fully attuned to the remedial actions we can take to deal with it successfully.

Stress cannot be seen as merely all bad. In fact, if it be alive - in every sense of the word it - stress is inherently a part of its everyday life.

Dr. Silber can teach us a lot about this subject. And Mark and I will be tasked with delivering his revolutionary message - largely, because it has often been misunderstood in the West, even by academicians and medical doctors.

Today, our better understanding of quantum physics has alerted many astute observers that we truly live in an electrical universe - ultimately more so than in a chemical one.

This very fact has been at the heart of theoretical discussions among scientists for a long time...and medical science will take its biggest evolutionary leap forward in this new century once this basic argument has been won.

Medicine and the treatment of disease will be changed because prevention and self-healing will displace the wastefulness and wanton greed which has kept most of us in the dark, and medicine from advancement.

Food, air and water will be seen in the special light they deserve again - since their quality goes hand-in-hand with the quality of our lives and the survival of all living species on Earth.

With quality essential fuel maybe we can begin to form higher quality relationships - first with ourselves, then with others, and, finally, with the living earth.

The corporatists must be reigned in, their control over "private property" strictly regulated - especially as their destructive tendencies affect the health of the commons and all living things.

The mining of finite natural resources, the depletion of our topsoil, and the destruction of endangered species and natural habitat deserve enlightened attention if we believe we care about anything.

Dr. Silber understands this salient knowledge better than most. Which is why he suffers, so important is it to him to get this information widely disseminated into the public domain.

And he's an avowed capitalist!

In this country now for some 16 years, following his emigration to the West, he laments that his English is not better - enough to be easily understood. And the concepts he has to share, the preventatives and treatments to outline, are really rooted in good science. But they often fly in the face of what American doctors are throwing out to their patients looking for a pill or a quick fix to instantly cure what's ailing them.

An email excerpt I sent to Mark the other day reads...

Here is an overview of what so-called adaptogenic science has to say on the subject. Adaptogens have been downplayed by the American Medical Association because they are not considered "real science" which fits their worldview of chemical (poison) treatments for the "management" of human disease. Anything which has to do with the treatment of sickness and disease with natural substances is considered "off-limits" under its guidelines for practicing physicians here in the U.S., thus its study and much of the good science supported by the scientific method under watchful peer review is still considered "underground".

Nowadays, too many respected medical researchers are finally beginning to take this stuff more seriously, and it's being brought forth more frequently in the most prestigious publications by more and more doctors petitioning for patents and certification by the they can begin the marketing of these 100% natural formulations, in earnest, to the conventional medical community at-large.

And it's no all these misunderstood subjects deal with STRESS on the human body - and how best to treat it without more damn drugs!

We don't have to be athletes to know stress is one huge problem in modern societies.

And Big Pharma and their partners-in-crime, the AMA, don't want it widely known to the general public that something natural - from Russia, no less - might just cure their ills better than what conventional American medicine would prescribe!


Valeology is the new - mostly Russian - science of human health & sports fitness; and pharmacosanation involves the usage of pharmacological agents for optimal nutrition.

These subjects have been of a more-than-passing interest of mine for many years, and I believe I can get something "marketable" out of him. You see, much of what occurred in the old Soviet Union was, for a long, long time, not generally available to the western news media, and their society was considered secretive, to say the least.

But with the launch of Sputnik into outer space, and the unqualified success of their Olympics program, the world community knew we had to take these guys seriously - especially their scientific achievements!

So, without getting too long-winded again, would you be open to testing the Hipcast audio recording system sometime this weekend, by letting me interview you (like we discussed already)?

We will want to record an interview with him to begin the process.


And here is my communication to Dr. Silber...

Hi Dr. Silber!

I’m so glad your conference went well for you; but then, somehow, I knew it would!

My activities in the world have been uneventful of late…which is a blessing. Thank you for asking!

Working titles – and the subtitles or headlines attached – are very useful when a work is in-progress. For starters, by envisioning the end result of your particular work product, it allows one to more fully embrace the information you want to include in your text – the supporting info which will reinforce and enhance the titles.

To organize your work it might be necessary to create an outline. After editing the outline, you can then attach a subtitle representing each chapter.

In each instance – whether for the outline, the chapters, or the book itself – it’s often helpful to begin with questions you propose to answer.

So to review, first we will create an introduction – which explains what you hope for the reader to “benefit” from by reading your material. Afterwards, we will pose specific questions your readers might have – and which you intend to answer.

Like this:

What exactly is stress? (Tell me the short answer first – then the long answers afterwards – in an organized, comprehensive way…that I can easily understand.)

What qualifies you to pass this knowledge onto me? What unique qualifications or new, specialized information can you share with me that I should consider important?

Why should I care? Why should I care enough to pay for this information?

Is all stress bad?

What is an adaptogen?

What is valeology?

What is pharmacosanation?

Why are these subjects of specialized study controversial?

If I read this information, how will I benefit? What’s in it for me?

What can you tell me which will inspire me to take beneficial action?

How can I learn to cope with stress better?

Do I need to adjust or change my diet? Why?

Should I take supplements? Why?

What can I do to alter my physical activities to better cope with stress?

How does emotional stress relate to physical stress?

What are some simple things I can do to control stress?

Will you be able to present this information to me in a way that I can actually use it?

How is it I can easily calm my nerves to alleviate stress?

What are the top 10 coping mechanisms I can practice so that stress becomes less harmful to me?

The more tightly-focused is the question…the shorter your answer needs to be! In fact, instead of writing in an attempt to appeal to academics like yourself, it might be more user-friendly – and much easier – to design your book to contain nothing more than “short questions” with “short answers”.

This format will be more appealing to the popular culture - and ordinary, uninformed buyers of your book! When this is assembled – and after editing all aspects – we can begin to create some short stories about some of your actual experiences over the years learning and applying this specialized knowledge in real-world circumstances.

People like to read “true stories”, “real-life adventures”, “confessions of an addict”, “my biggest mistakes”, “how does Soviet medicine differ from Western medicine”, “why I became interested in this research”, etcetera, because it makes you appear more human, more like them, because you will be presenting yourself as “just another person who cares about something beyond himself”.

And thus, you will have the ability to present yourself as “likable”, however you see fit! The perception of yourself you’d most wish others to know…can be the reality you present to them! And a “cold, too-serious” subject – like stress – will be seen by your readers (your fans) as “not so scary” or “uninteresting”.

Call or email me anytime, Dr. Silber. The task of creating your book will NOT be work – it’ll be FUN!

You will see... :)

Best regards,


Thursday, December 07, 2006

A few things on my pea-pickin' mind today...

(1) Ben Mack is being interviewed by Mark Joyner at Simpleology tonight at 7:00 CST.

You can sign up at for free and check out the Live Learning Event, called...

"Social Networking and MySpace - How I Attracted 500 friends in Less than 1 Week with a Brand New Profile"

Ben is going to tell us how he found happiness, and how he now knows what it's really like to party...

...and you can visit the link to his blog on your right at Think Two Products Ahead - ahead of time.

While you're at it, visit his roommate's (Wes Unruh) blog too, at Online Prosperity Education (below Ben's link) for some further insights about MySpace.

(2) Jason Mangrum tells me he's purging his list...and hangin' it up with internet marketing...

...which is why I'm going to be posting in his blog before too long.

(Had a comment almost ready to post, and, damn it, if the words disappeared from the screen beforehand, because I must have bumped into my mouse on my way to letting the cat out out of the bag...or something like it, I guess.)

I got an email from him about how he had an issue with some kind of autoresponder malfunctioning and had decided to change course with his online marketing efforts anyway.

We haven't met Jason yet but certainly applaud his sentiments! These machines can bite us on the ass whenever we least expect them to...

Visit him at

(3) Jason Cox - or JJ - has also sent me an email I actually remembered too. He's looking for some help to co-develop a new open source web conferencing platform, still in alpha stage, at

His last co-creation, with Hardik Sanghvi,, has been purchased by MySpace co-founder Brad Greenspan’s new company, Live Universe.

All of these things remind me of how little we can accomplish financially in life without some inspiration and a few partners-in-crime to get us further on down the road.

How it is we conspire to have a litle fun is what it's all about!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The ultimate virtual reality game is one which advances us in the reality-based Big Game of Life.

Which is why I'm so taken with the idea of a game for wordplay...which goes well beyond Scrabble or the Sunday crossword puzzle. One in which the player only competes with himself - choosing and ordering everyday words which can cause dramatic change to alter his/her life forever...decidedly for the better.

It is words...symbols or imagery, feelings and perceptions...which force us to define our thoughts, which, in turn, ultimately inspire us - individually or collectively - to action.

And it is the actions we take in life which really define who we are - or are to become.

Everything and anything which has transpired in our lives just seconds ago is so "yesterday"; and it's irretrievable - we can't just hit "replay" or "go back".

It's what happens - and what can happen - now, and seconds later, for which we can have the most immediate and direct influence.

The words which we choose to consciously inspire our present and future actions can have a huge impact in the ways we also conduct our busy-ness - a better word, I think, which does not separate our personal, interpersonal or professional dialogs.

Thus, in this capitalist financial system into which we have been thrust (the world of business), it is our business and personal relationships together - first, by our definition of our own Self*, then, second, all our interactions within ourself and with all others - which is the ultimate key, way beyond mere survival, to happiness and prosperity.

*[Question: What is "I"? / Answer: I made "I" up to suit a manufactured self-image of myself.]

A Legend Platform - a branding device, of sorts - is just words if the words contained in it have no real meaning. Words are most useful when they inspire a call to action which allows us to survive - or better still - to prosper and to flourish.

With prosperity, we have the opportunity to flourish - to be playful, to be joyful...

...which, for us, is what we chose to be the essence of our brand. (See our Legend Platform link to your right)

We have the clear choice to be whatever is our hearts' desire. We can create our own realities, with fewer constraints on our abilities to innovate and succeed.

And we can follow our bliss - that which most powerfully gladdens our hearts.

Our legend - imbued with relevance and meaning for each one of us - thus can actually serve as the platform from which we can grow our businesses.

When it can also be your Legend Platform, because its words are also your words, it will inspire you to feel and to know it as the powerful brand blueprint it's meant to be.

Let us know how we can change it up or explain it so it makes more sense to you. We are happy to help if you allow us.

Then you can choose your own words, which spring forth from your own mind, in the order of your own choosing.

Only then will your words - taken from our common language - inspire you to action.


An available book on Amazon, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, by Raph Koster, has recently caught my eye.

It's title - and its reviews - forced me once again to consider buying another information product I don't actually need!

Not to mention, spend an hour or so reading posts on his blog.

And you know, I've got too many unread books as it is! (But I want it anyway...)

Can't wait to hear Mark howl about this one. :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Daniel Levis has a new blog we discovered today...and, as we were invited to post a comment regarding Web 2.0 and social networking, we did.

My comment is posted below his, and you can, of course...

Read it here

...posted, as is our wont, under mainspring mindshares

While we're in favor of symbiotic relationships we especially like to read just about anything Daniel writes - as we're not naturally disinclined to learn something new when the mood is right. His being Canadian, we're inclined towards neighborliness - even if we don't remember our neighbors' our own neighborhoods.

Copywriting is a skill which is not easy to master, especially if one is not possessed with a killer instinct, which is what successful closers must also possess in order to successfully consummate a particular business transaction.

Or close the I, the self-styled sales manager, at one time would often exclaim - usually by shouting.

In the beginning of our online internet marketing education, Mark and I both were troubled by this whole notion that secrets, tactics, and strategies must be devised if we wanted to make money selling information products.

But we kept on keeping on, and before we knew what hit Mark recently stated, "These internet marketers! I'm sooo getting it now!"

And I just had to laugh. Because Mark doesn't have the stamina to even read a long sales letter, let alone get interested in how to sell with "spoken words on a page - virtual or otherwise".

For me, I was astonished at all the stuff I would buy - mostly because I figured I could sell it to someone else.

For him, it's akin to having to take out the garbage - just another unpleasant chore!

If anyone can sell something to Mark...well, all I can say is, "Good luck!"

Mark ain't buying secrets, tips, tactics, or strategies - ever. And he ain't even gonna read what you have to say, because, if you're sellin', he just ain't buyin'!

Mark considers that the internet is his playground; and designing websites just happens to be what he does for a living.

So how does one go about getting to Mark's wallet, I wonder?

Remember, he ain't buyin', Bubba - he's sellin'!

As for me, I'll stay focused on how to monetize my investment - of time, energy and money - by becoming a new kind of capitalist.

First, I'll surreptitiously relearn how to be popular by unlearning what it means to be a social climber...or, you know, whatever it takes.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A heart-warming segment from Texas Country Reporter, with Bob Phillips.
For more information visit or

Thursday, November 23, 2006

We live in a world not entirely of our own creation and we’ve been forced to adjust to the reality on the ground. Along the way we've chosen to adapt, constantly striving to preserve any aspect of our uniqueness whenever and wherever we can.

But we know we are being swept along, like by the tide of a great oceanic current which ultimately cares little for our survival or our happiness. It is a feeling sometimes like being engaged in combat. A struggle not of our own choosing...again.

So we are struggling to get another grip, to gain another foothold, at every turn it seems.

This struggle is ideologically rooted in whether or not we become mired in the onslaught of our best intentions, or we become its victims; so struggle we must - for our very survival in this crazy mixed-up world.

Which is why we must constantly reexamine our definition of struggle - and what it is really are our best intentions.

And we want so much more than just to struggle, as our purpose demands more meaning.

What is it anyway that makes us so special? Why do we even have the right to feel this urge to be special?

Maybe it's because we know how to love. We know it because it has been bestowed upon us, and we bestow this feeling toward others. We know it because we really feel it. And we tend to like it. To crave it constantly.

Somehow we sense that knowing and feeling Love must begin with loving ourselves first, then allowing it to flow naturally towards others. Not too dissimilar in the way the tides ebb and flow in an unstoppable sea of change, or the sun rises and sets, the air we breathe is invisible all around us, we know Love is subject to the Natural Law which rules our existence.

But we also know Love is unevenly distributed - subject to the whims of Nature, Time and our own human failings. All the while, we carry on with our busy-ness.

When we understand the truth of our physical reality we know that Change is the one constant in our lives which knows no bounds; and Nature and Time subject us to their own grand designs.

Our paths will cross many times in this life. Perhaps not always physically, but most certainly in our thoughts and our musings about what it means to each one of us - to feel and to give of this great gift we call Love.

And it is for Love we can truly be thankful to be here...soldiering onward together.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Today, let's all give special thanks - let's give in - to Love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

So we've got a leftover Halloween pumpkin or two, do we? Why not just eat the old jack-o-lantern? It's "yesterday's news" anyway...right?

Before you throw our treasure into the trash...or leave outside to rot away on the porch, why not consider this no-brainer from the Cookshop Alchemy receipt file?

Here's all you need to do...

1. Sharpen a big long knife

2. Wrestle the ol' gourd and saw him in half

3. Repeat Step 2 with both halves

4. Repeat Step 3 with all 4 pieces

5. Repeat Step 4 with all 8 pieces

6. Repeat Step 5 with all 16 pieces (optional)

Score yourself some points - as a genuine Cookshop Alchemy apprentice - if you're able to cleave this ol' gourd up into nice pretty even shapes.

We like nice and pretty, shapely young things...

Now, with a plain soup spoon, scrape out those seeds, leaving the rest of the innards alone.

Remove any blemishes or bruises or rottten places - trash 'em with the seeds and entrails...or remove them to the compost heap.

Score yourself more points if you've decided to save the seeds, roast 'em and salt 'em for a fun-to-eat snack. You're a natural!

Now, preheat the chamber oven to a medium temperature - about 350 degrees.

And place the pumpkin pieces on to any ol' bake sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with some natural salt, after first brushing with a bit of coconut oil or melted cow's butter., here comes the best part...

Is this getting too complicated? Well, don't stop now, for goodness' sake!

You're about to make some magic here, kiddies...

But first, pick your poison...I mean...your secret ingredients.

Choose whatever's handy from the cupboard and sprinkle your fairy dust - to taste - over your soon-to-be-cooked little babies.

Here's what is written, as you wish: orange, or any citrus peel; ground pumpkin pie spice, or any combination of cardamon berries, cloves, anise seeds, allspice berries, ginger and/or nutmeg. Fairy dust.

Add some butter: coconut, almond, cow' any or another...even all three

You're the one making the magic, so consider that you're invincible. There's no rhyme or reason to contemplate here. Remember, this is a no-brainer!

Now roast these little babies in the belly of the beast until just soft - about 35 or 40 minutes.

The spell is just about cast. Magic is about to be unleashed...

...and such are the powers...of that mischievous sorcerer's apprentice...that devious really are!

Now, about 10 or 15 minutes before removal, start waving of your hand over these little objects of our desire...some brown sugar - light or dark...or a little blackstrap molasses...or cane syrup...or brown rice syrup, or honey...or whatever your hedonistic desire conjures up.

Eat hot or cold - you'll know what to do!

We like it either/or - hot, with a spoonful of pan juices, as a side dish, dearie, or - cold, with some whipped cream on which case, a few finger cookies will do nicely!

Just don't you - or your victims - eat the skins of our little darlin's, okay?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Five little pumpkins sitting on a fence...

The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late!"
The second one said, "There are witches in the air!"
The third one said, "But we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "Let's run, and run, and run!"
And the fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!"

Isn't fun a little more *palatable than most other choices we have in our lives to make?

What makes us believe this is not an empirical observation, or something not worthy of our attention?

What constitutes our understanding of something called an ecstatic truth?

Or just a plain truth, as opposed to, say, an unspoken truth? Or the awful truth, as it were?

Truth be told, we have our sensory perceptions, and we have our experiences - when all else is said and done.

So, who's to say what meme(s) will resonate in an individual organism? Which will translate easily and well within an expanded organism?

That stick in our individual and collective minds - and refuse to let any of us go?

Will we be able to formulate new guiding principles which determine new actions? Promote new vistas of opportunity?

Or new tableaux to exploit for our pillage and plunder?

Pitting the weak against the strong? The meek against the hucksters, charlatans, and chieftains of this world?

What drives our survival? Our ambitions? The existence and propogation of these memes?

Let's rely on what we actually already have - at our disposal - as opposed to what we don't have, to provide us some solutions.

And we do know this: The best things in life are still free...

[*Tomorrow: What does one do with leftover Halloween pumpkins?]

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tomorrow night is Halloween, our favorite holiday of the year!

In the past we can remember more than a few bizarre parties, always great fun. Back in the 80s, some accused a few of us of thinking everyday was Halloween, such was the stuff of our legends then.

But at 8:00 CST tomorrow, we'll be joining Ben Mack on a live call for a little Q&A session - one only for the brave of heart and stout of mind, (fair warning) we're told.

Dial in at 712-432-3000 and enter the bridge number, 938678, to join in - just to eavesdrop, or interact, as is your wont!

And be very afraid! Especially, any of you faint of heart and wit por wittle pud'n' haids to wonder with...

As my brother, the comedian, used to say, "Just pull out of it! And get a life while you're at it!"

Ben's a little more than your average dude, and we hope Wes Unruh is on the call too. In fact, the more attendees of his recent Atlanta workshop on the call...the livelier it promises to be.

Poor Mark, the kids will be a-pullin' at him, but he tells us "a little orchestration may be in order this night", so we'll stay tuned for him.

Might we call that disorder, Mark? At least the kids aren't old enough to be tee-peein' houses yet, or terrorizing the neighborhood unnecessarily so!

Whether 20, 60, or 300+ are on the line just does not matter. Be there or be square, all you dilettantes, pseudo-intellectuals and raconteurs you. Take a quick trip to the darkside of life for a change...

Ben and Wes' blog links can be found on the right side of this here check out what all the fuss is about. A little background check will do a body good.

If any of you hobgoblins must miss the live call, check back later in Ben's blog for the recorded repeat. Take an aspirin if you must...beforehand...and hold onto yourself, for heaven's sake.

Both Ben and Wes are into something called memes, those mysterious bits of dynamic infobites which rhyme with "genes", and act almost the same.

A fanfaronade, this is not, friends, tho we will suggest it be just short of a fare-thee-well. Okay? Let's just listen in and see...

Points scored for opening your rag-eared copy of I Ching, beforehand, if you can even find it. Close those winkers...stab one wittle finner on any opened open.

There now. Feel enlightened?

As it relates to the evolution of our common sick human condition, and especially as it relates to why it is the world oft times seems so ****ed up, here's an ideal opportunity to gain some insight into how to make things all better - starting with a little brain candy.

Trick or treat? Open up, please! (Rhetoric need not be implied when the end-game is all about mischief...and good clean fun!)

It's that real estate between our ears again - calling for some attention - tomorrow night, kids.

See ya there...or here...oh, hell...whatever!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dave Navarro is one memorable person we met recently at Ben Mack's cool Think Two Sales Ahead workshop in Atlanta. Awash with simple, executable ideas for helping us, he impressed Mark and I both with his breadth of knowledge and sincerity.

Something in Dave's DNA keeps him sooo focused on whomever he's listening to or speaking to...that is so refreshing and inspirational.

And it was all we could do to redirect his attention away from our needs and concerns long enough to find out more about what makes Dave tick. After all, we simply don't run into such naturally caring people every day, and our own piddly interests seemed to pale in comparison to our interest in Dave anyway.

Be that as it may, what we learned about this remarkable fellow is he's overcome some tremendous obstacles from his earliest formative years and had identified his life's journey from a time before he became a teenager. He's known what his life's purpose was before most of us got out of Little League or Girl Scouts!

Dave is one ready, steady guy we are proud to call a new friend and life partner - and, as a professional life coach, he's THE one we'd like always to be in our corner.

When FOCUS, ORGANIZATION and RESULTS matter most...we'll go to the guy who's NOT the rock star...OUR guy is

Thanks for allowing us the pleasure, Dave!

Welcome to Mainspring Mindshares.

: )