Archive | Small Business Success

“You’re Making Me Look Bad” (Because I Didn’t Read the Contract)

More often than one may think, I’ve been told by attorneys, who are the majority of our clients, that they never read our contract. This usually emerges when some detail “surprises” them. Yes, they received and later signed the contract to authorize our work. Yet, they often indicate that they did not see or understand […]

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It has been my experience, more often than not, when someone says “You’re making me look bad,” it is actually the case that the person saying this is making himself/herself look bad. Think about it. How many times has someone else made you look bad? Looking bad is something most people can do on their […]

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The Social Psychology of Etiquette

This third post in a series about good manners, courtesy, and kindness combines my education, training, and experience as a social psychologist with something with which I have always been fascinated: etiquette. Unlike almost everyone else I know, I love the rules of etiquette and I try, diligently, to follow them in everything I do. […]

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Melissa is much more of a student of, and teacher of, etiquette than am I. And she has taught me a thing or two in this regard over the past 30+ years. But, I had some other good teachers, including my mother, and another person about whom I wrote previously, Jon Peters. Jon corrected me […]

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Life and Work – Have Fun When You Can

This concept presents itself in many ways. The saying “life is short, eat dessert first” is one way. But, aside from that, building fun into “the plan” is one benefit of operating a small business. While we’ve written things along these lines in the past, recent discussions with family and friends are reminders of the […]

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I can’t begin to count the number of times David’s mother, Carole, said, “Have fun!” when David and I were leaving her house to meet with a prospective client (the opposite of having fun, in my opinion); conducting mock jury research (very stressful and hard work, involving long hours); selecting a jury (the ultimate stressful […]

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Return calls, Reply to emails, Be courteous

Many things in the lives of adults are related to the way in which we were brought up as children. If, for example, someone was taught by his/her parents to prefer Fords over Chevys, or to cheer for the Pittsburgh Pirates instead of the Boston Red Sox, these long standing habits are likely to be […]

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Melissa approaches the topic of “Return calls, Reply to emails, Be courteous” as an etiquette issue, and it is. Working for and with trial lawyers is challenging, sometimes. The general public’s impression of attorneys is not always the most favorable, to put it simply. The perceived lack of courtesy may explain part of that. And, […]

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Dialing for Dollars

Part of my job operating a small business is marketing; part of that marketing effort involves making sales calls. I think most business people, small or large, can relate. It (the business) is (almost) all about the marketing. Some of these are to “friendlies” – that is, past clients or contacts. Some of these calls […]

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In our business, sales and marketing calls are a fact of life. I daresay I have spent more time during my career in marketing/sales pursuits than in doing any other task. If there is no marketing, in fact, there will be no work for anyone at Magnus to perform. Over the years we have been […]

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Rewards/Reinforcement

Learning about the relationship of environmental events and behavior is known in psychology as instrumental conditioning. Instrumental conditioning has been studied extensively since the late 1800s, when a psychologist named Dr. E. L. Thorndike devised the “law of effect.” The law of effect, in its simplistic form, is a successful behavior will increase the probability […]

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Over our many years in business, we have used rewards in the form of bonuses or gifts to employees for jobs well done. These have taken various forms, whether end of year/holiday bonuses or a bonus for a research day completed well, as well as other forms, like gift cards for dinners or weekend getaways. […]

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30 Years

30 years. Sounds like a long time. Sometimes it feels like a long time, but I’m here to say, having being married to Melissa for 30 years, I’m left wondering where has the time gone – it has gone so fast! We recently celebrated this milestone and, although some of the readers know, I’m sharing […]

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In many ways, celebrating a 30th anniversary is remarkable! The divorce rate in America is approximately 50%, with many marriages breaking up well before the 10 year mark. David and, I are, as many people describe, “happily married.” This is not to say we agree on everything, enjoy doing exactly the same things, or don’t […]

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Square Peg, Round Hole

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On February 15, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Small Business Success

I’ve previously posted about my recent experiences in the JMI Small Business program and a takeaway I had from one of the sessions is how often small business owners “don’t fit the profile.” The problem relates to how we small business owners so often can’t answer the questions on the form like a “normal person” […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On February 15, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Small Business Success

David and I lament about our inability to answer trite questions in ways that satisfy unimaginative questioners. For example, when a banker or other financial person asks, “How much money do you earn?” I attempt to explain I cannot answer without being asked “When?” because my job is such that, last week, I earned absolutely […]

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Buddy Payne

We’ve met some wonderful and interesting people in our years working with trial lawyers. One of those was R.W. Payne, Jr., better known as Buddy. Buddy was a true southern gentleman, hailing from North Carolina, then Virginia. He took control of the room when he entered, walking with the swagger of the former Marine and […]

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I have met few people throughout my life who possess the charisma and charm of the late Roland W. “Buddy” Payne, Jr.  Buddy was one of the most successful attorneys in the U.S.A. during his many years of practice as a trial lawyer.  Buddy was a trial lawyer in Miami at a time when trial […]

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Horn Blowing

Horn Blowing is a topic I’ll always associate with the late, great, Buddy Payne, Esq. Buddy was one of the top trial lawyers, anywhere, ever, and was from the plaintiffs’ old school in Miami (or as he said “Mia ma” – even though he was from Virginia). After he retired, Buddy coached Melissa and me […]

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I will begin my part of this post by thanking David for reminding me to write a post dedicated to Buddy Payne. Buddy taught David and me a lot of things, most important among them, that if we don’t tell potential clients about how wonderful we are, they might never realize it. Our clients are […]

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