You Reap What You Sow
This saying reminds us that there are consequences for every choice we make and every action we take. In his Epistle to the Galatians in the Christian New Testament, the Apostle Paul writes, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” In the economy we are currently enjoying, it can be easy to overlook the importance of investing in the well-being of others. I ask myself the following questions every day:
Some of the seed lands where the birds will eat it, some will dry out, some goes where the rocks are, and, thankfully, some will fall on the really good soil that produces a great abundance. Sure, it’s easiest to always work in the good soil, but is that always the best decision? When we receive an abundance, our mission should be to share it with others. By the way, that doesn’t necessarily mean sharing money. Our time is our most valuable resource. In this month’s column, I’m not focusing on the Parable of the Sower, even though it is the foundation for what I’m discussing. My real goal is not only to get you to focus on where your heart is when you are sowing seed, but, more importantly, to also learn to be patient and wait for the harvest. Learn to enjoy the journey. The first question I encourage parents to ask their kids after a basketball game is, “Did you win?” By the way, I’m not a fan of participation trophies. Beyond winning or losing, though, there’s something far more important: What did you sow during the game? Perhaps the questioning should go something like this instead: “Did you have fun? Did you play good defense? Did you help your teammates be in a good position? What did you contribute to the team?” What about you? What should you be sowing? Sow seeds of life and light in your family first, and then in your friends and clients. The biggest challenge is this: What are you doing for strangers or for those in need? Seeds can be encouragement, kind words, or a prayer. By the way, some seeds take years to harvest fruit. Wait for the harvest, be patient, and learn to enjoy the adventure along the way. I love my time on the tractor. Even if it is just two acres, it’s time to reflect and to dream. Take time this month to ask yourself, “What am I sowing in life, and what am I reaping?” If you don’t like the answer, remember that it’s up to you to take action because you reap what you sow. -Dave Tester
What can I do to encourage a friend or a client? How can I challenge myself to help a stranger?
The real crux of the saying focuses on the fact that what we invest in the universe eventually comes back to us. I enjoy driving the tractor on our small farm. It clears my mind, but it also takes me back to the Tester family roots and my grandmother, Helen Tester. During seeding time on the family homestead, any number of things could occur when we began to sow the seed.
The Best Contemporary Ad Campaigns And What You Can Learn From Them
A great advertising campaign transcends the company that creates it. The Budweiser Clydesdales are nearly as iconic as the beer itself. People still say, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell,” in 2019, despite the fact that PCs aren’t even a major part of Dell’s business model anymore. When it comes to creating an ad campaign that Don Draper would be proud of, it’s best to look at massively successful examples from recent history. Here are a few of our favorites, as well as commentary on why they work and how you can use similar tactics. BRAND DIFFERENTIATION: APPLE This mega-popular ad campaign consisting of 66 spots personified the difference between PCs and Apple computers. Playing the role of “PC” was a buttoned-up, nebbish character you’d expect to find in the most morose workplace on earth. The “Mac” character, by contrast, was laid-back, youthful, and effortlessly cool. After launching the campaign in 2006, Macs became the default laptop for nearly every incoming college student. Clearly, the lighthearted jabbing at the competition worked. OFF-THE-WALL IRREVERENCE: OLD SPICE Most deodorant and shampoo commercials are bare-bones basic. They describe the “odor protection,” “moisturizing effects,” and the like. Old Spice takes the opposite approach. Their ads often feature absurd imagery, insane special effects, and Terry Crews literally yelling at you that you smell bad. Would this tone work for a life insurance company? Probably not, but it’s a great way to make simple consumer goods feel fun and exciting. SOCIAL AWARENESS: DOVE Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” which launched in 2004, was a long overdue change of pace for the beauty industry. Since time immemorial, fashion and beauty campaigns featured only impossibly
beautiful women who had body types that the average person could never attain. Dove threw this aspirational, and potentially toxic, messaging in the garbage and decided to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. If you can create a campaign that includes those who aren’t used to widespread representation, you’ll increase your reach in a hurry. CURATED COOL: DOS EQUIS Here’s a dirty little secret the beverage industry won’t tell you: Most industrially produced beers are made by one of two companies, and the vast majority of them taste remarkably similar. The difference, for the most part, comes down to the way they are marketed. Dos Equis, with their “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, carved out a name for themselves as the beer for urbane, thrill-seeking drinkers, despite the fact that their product is about as exotic as a Coors Light. Sometimes, perception really is reality.
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–Colleen Director of First Impressions, Allied Business Solutions, Boise, Salt Lake, and Pocatello “Your training has made me a better customer service person on the phone and in person. At first we were skeptical, but because I saw it work in person and as a customer representative helping people get what they want and need, I found it to be helpful. From dealing with upset customers to asking for first and last names, I’ve found your training to be very valuable.”
–Lauren Stopher Sr. Sales Executive, The Newsletter Pro
Learn How to Get Your Message Across ‘Fierce Conversations’
So often, we talk to our friends, coworkers, and loved ones without actually saying anything. We’ll beat around the bush on important subjects or hesitate to bring up sensitive matters. Global business coach and best-selling author Susan Scott has set out to change that. In her book “Fierce Conversations,” Scott argues that the key to get more out of our personal and professional relationships is to learn to lower our barriers and convey our message honestly.
Those who tend to judge a book by its cover may make the mistake of associating the word “fierce” with “aggressive.” However, as a master of meaningful communication, Scott has found that it’s important not to force emotions one way or the other. As she observes, “If your behavior contradicts your values, your body knows.” Instead of relying on fake bravado or false modesty, the author argues it’s better that the bravery be genuine. Breaking down those social barriers to be authentic in our conversations takes true ferocity. Scott does more than simply explain why frank and honest communication is important; she gives readers the tools to get there. Having spent years as a business coach, and now as the head of a firm that trains CEOs around the globe, Scott is well-versed in the art of teaching exercises. “Fierce Conversations” is brimming with action items, tactics, and tailor-made examples of how to communicate in every situation, from board meetings to parenting. If you’re someone who likes concrete guides over vague concepts, this book will pleasantly surprise you. GG Gretchen’s Kitchen (My mom’s secret recipes)
“Fierce Conversations” is one of those works born out of a simple idea with big implications. As the author explains it, “While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can.” By having the communication skills necessary to create lasting bonds, handle strong emotions, and overcome barriers, you’ll be prepared when crucial conversations present themselves.
Ingredients • 8 oz. macaroni noodles, boiled • 4 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped • 3 large dill pickles (preferably Claussen), chopped • 2–3 oz. pimento olives, sliced • Green onions as desired, chopped • 4 oz. tiny shrimp (optional) • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Original Buttermilk, prepared according to packet
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. 2. Mix until evenly dispersed and coated in ranch. 3. Chill for 30 minutes and serve.
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You Reap What You Sow
The Absolute Best in Advertising
Make Yourself Heard With ‘Fierce Conversations’
Eat Seasonally This July
ZUCCHINI, AVOCADO, AND SWISS CHARD — OH MY! A Guide to Eating Seasonal ly This July
When you eat something during its harvesting season, you get the most out of your meal. In-season fruits and vegetables are more nutrient-dense than their out-of-season counterparts, and there’s no matching the flavor profile of fresh, in-season produce. Even better, because in-season foods are so bountiful during their peak, you can save a lot of money by shopping with the season. This July, enjoy some tasty foods during their prime with this handy guide.
Host a Latin-inspired foods night with fresh guacamole and salsa, or make a delectable shortcake with a blackberry and strawberry mixture on top. GRILL GAME SO STRONG There’s no better time to fire up the grill than July, and not just because of the weather. Zucchini and corn reach their peak during July, and these grilling favorites pair well with steaks, burgers, hot dogs, or fish. Go low-carb by stuffing your zucchini with vegetables and a protein for a charred skillet bowl. Even better, add some corn to your fresh salsa to add an extra zing to your tacos. Regardless of how you utilize them, zucchini and corn are sweetest, juiciest, and freshest during July. GO GREEN Filling your plate with plenty of greens is never easier than in July. Pick up a bundle of spinach, arugula, lettuce, Swiss chard, or any other leafy green, which are all juiciest and freshest during July. Cucumbers and green beans are bountiful this time of the year, as well. This July, add some fresh flavor to your water with cucumbers or create hearty salads with any of the leafy greens mentioned above. After all, there’s no better way to celebrate the middle of summer than by consuming its most delicious foods.
FRUITFUL HARVEST Avocado toast lovers rejoice! Your season is here. Avocados are in season during July, joining many other fruity favorites. Gorge yourself on
scrumptious blackberries, sweet strawberries, and
bountiful tomatoes. Don’t forget about the cherries and blueberries, too! Because these fruits are so plentiful this time of the year, it’s easy to find ingredients for your favorite recipes.
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