No.28/ June 19, 2007

The Corporate Muse

Dear Readers,

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Never Give Up!

The movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, teaches a great lesson in persistence.

Inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a door-to-door salesman who's determined to make a new life for his son and himself. He decides to do so by becoming a stockbroker.

Getting there was anything but easy.

By a stroke of luck (and perseverance), Chris was accepted into the intern program at Dean Witter. It came with a small stipend, but he still struggled to keep a roof over their heads. As a result, he and his son faced innumerable adversities, including such humiliations as sleeping in buses, flophouses and even behind the locked door of a bathroom.

If you Google Chris Gardner's name, you'll find he's now a millionaire who owns his own brokerage firm, but in the early 80's, he was beyond broke.

Many of us can identify with Mr. Gardner—up to a point. We know what it's like to want something so badly every nerve in our bodies tingle at the very thought of it. But we often stop fighting for it when it requires personal sacrifice.

I consider myself a fairly tenacious person, but I have to admit, watching the movie I wondered if I'd be willing to give up as much in order to achieve my goals. Getting our business off the ground has been no picnic. And if I'm honest, there are times I want to quit. Like Chris Gardner, on those days, I have to reach deep inside to find the strength to keep going.

If you're just starting out. If you're struggling to get to the next level. If you're considering taking an uncertain leap to increase your business. Here are a few tips to help you over the hurdles:

  1. Find someone you admire who's doing what you want to do and learn everything you can about how he did it. (I bet you'll find out he had some difficult times along the way.) Chris Gardner ran into a man in a red Ferrari named Bob Bridges, who according to one source, helped him get interviews with major stockbrokerage firms. He never forgot the man or his Ferrari (he later purchased one of his own, from Michael Jordan).
  2. Set your goals and know what it will take to attain them. If you're aware of the obstacles you might face, you're less likely to crumble when they come along. In a way, Chris's poverty prepared him for dealing with the troubles he faced during the internship program. Not only because of how badly he wanted to change his situation, but also because he had overcome hardships all of his life—he knew how to do it.
  3. Look for alternate answers. Sometimes we get stuck believing there's only one way to the goal, but often there are other and perhaps even better ways to achieve the same thing. For instance, in the movie, Chris didn't have a network of personal contacts to draw from, so he used ingenuity in order to meet important people, gain their trust, and ultimately obtain their business for his company.
  4. Dig your heels in. Don't let a setback or two drag you down. While you need to be realistic and always be taking stock of your situation, hard times can just as easily mean you're on the right track and appreciate it more when you attain your objective. Even when things looked the worst—when everything seemed to be against him—Chris Gardner kept pushing. Under the circumstances, no one would have thought badly of him had he dropped out of the program. But he refused to give up and he was rewarded for his steadfast spirit.
  5. When things get tough, keep looking ahead. At any point in the year it took Chris to be able to afford a permanent place to live, he could have thrown in the towel, taken a "regular" job, but he didn't. He kept his eye on the prize, and eventually, he obtained it. And you can do the same if you keep your nose to the grindstone and press on.

If things are looking a little bleak right now, remember we humans are pretty amazing creatures. We can accomplish great things when we put our minds to it. Your situation might be really challenging and you might be tempted to quit. Sometimes it's the best choice, but if you're following your heart, hang in there. Success could be right around the corner.

© QuickSilver Publishing, LLC 2007 -- Andy & Shawn Catsimanes;; mailto:; Sign up for The Corporate Muse:


Some Great FREE Networking Resources

I decided to do something a little different this month and let you know about a few of the free networking resources available out there.

  1. offers a number of business solutions. You can find information for whatever stage your business is in. Are you a start-up? Started but struggling? Growing? The help is suited to your needs and is listed by state.
  2. contains a number of valuable articles and even has a networking test you can take. (It doesn't seem to be working at the moment, but you can sign up to receive notice when it's back online.)
  3. At you can sign up to receive a free business newsletter and list your business in the Small Business Resource Directory.
  4. And if you happen to have a woman-owned business, you can check out: for resources specifically designed for women.
  5. contains a number of excellent articles you won't find anywhere else. See:

Have fun checking these out!

(P.S. I wasn't able to enter my email address into the Small Business Resource Directory. It might just been a glitch in the system or my computer, which has been acting up today.)



6 "Life or Death" Factors For Any Website! 

- by Jim Edwards 

( (c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved )

Not a week goes by that half a dozen people don't ask me what separates a great, money-making website from a bad one. In response, I surveyed of a number of different websites, large and small, to find what they share in common to make them so successful. With few exceptions, every extraordinarily great website contained the following elements. 

** Testimonials ** Every great website has testimonials from satisfied customers. These testimonials help set the potential customer's mind at ease that the products or services sold online will perform as promised. Truly great testimonials not only endorse the product, but clearly state how the product increased sales, saved money, or benefited previous buyers in very specific and tangible ways. Testimonials should present real benefits others can readily identify with, understand and, more importantly, want those same results for themselves! 

** Headlines ** Headlines capture visitors' attention and get them involved in the website. How do you read the newspaper? If you read like most people the headlines first catch your attention and determine whether you'll actually read a story. Similarly headlines on a website determine whether visitors get involved in the information or surf away never to return. My own experience has shown that the proper headlines can easily and quickly double, triple, or even quadruple a website's sales almost overnight. 

** Bullets ** Bullets communicate various and subtle bits of information about a product or service without making readers plow through paragraphs of information to get to the meat of a website's offering. Bullets arouse interest, build excitement, and convey a lot of information very quickly to time-starved web surfers. 

** Bonuses ** Every great website offers bonuses to people who buy, apply or fill out a form. Nothing induces someone to do business with you online like offering them something extra for taking the action you want. Offering a bonus report, tape, extended membership, extra quantities of product at a deep discount, coupons, or just about anything makes people more willing to go ahead with the purchase decision. 

** Guarantees ** Everyone takes a risk whenever they buy anything from anyone. The risk centers on whether or not the product or service will perform as promised. In a retail store most people feel pretty confident the store will still exist if they need to make a return or exchange in a few days. On the web, however, that risk in making a purchase seems much higher than in the "offline" world. Every great website makes a point of specifically telling customers about their return policy and truly exceptional sites offer 100%, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantees. People rarely take advantage of such guarantees and I have personally seen a website's sales increase by 45% just by extending the guarantee period an additional 30 days. 

** Phone numbers ** Every great website has a phone number with a real live human being on the other end who can answer questions and provide product support. So there you have it! With few exceptions this represents the formula for creating or identifying a truly great website. 

Jim Edwards is the co-author of the NEW "eBook Secrets Exposed": How to Make MASSIVE Amounts of Money - In Record Time - With Your Own eBook! WHY are some people getting positively RICH selling ebooks?  Click Here Now =;

Thanks for reading. See you next month.

Andy & Shawn

© 2007 QuickSilver Publishing, LLC -- All Rights Reserved -- Andy & Shawn Catsimanes

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"With Andy & Shawn's help, 'Snapshots from the Soul' became a reality. They demonstrated great sensitivity and compassion and we enjoyed working with them very much."

~Dennis E. Chapman, Associate Executive Director, City Union Mission, KC, MO


“Andy and Shawn are copywriters you can count on to understand your business and your customers. I couldn’t be more impressed with the copy they provided us. Their work is excellent. I look forward to working with them again soon.”

~Kevin Fryer


"A book would not be enough room to compliment Shawn on her work. Her professionalism comes first even if it means staying up late at night to answer all your question. She works tirelessly to get the best results possible. Her attitude, caring, and devotion are unique and I'm thankful I had the chance to work with her."

~ Olga O'Mara


"Andy is a no fluff wordsmith with high direct response, long copy talent. His work will lift interest in your website. His ability to get up to speed on your unique business model is impressive. He is persistent to completing projects and takes personal pride in the quality of his work. He is honest and knows what drives sales. If you are lucky enough to get him, you will get above average copy for a fair price. I'd use Andy anytime."

~ Christopher Hebard
Pruett Media