Here’s a parable about parables…  …with a lesson that can help you attract attention for your marketing messages and inspire people to act.   In the Bible’s Gospel of Luke, someone asks Jesus, “…who is my neighbor?”   Jesus answers with the story of a “certain man” who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and “fell among…

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It’s raining here in St. Louis, MO, USA…  …which reminds me of the time my twin kiddos summoned a drought-ending thunderstorm with a rain dance.   We were at my inlaw’s farm in central Missouri. It was bone dry for weeks.   But (finally!), we adults could smell and feel the rain coming.   As the wind picked…

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Last week, I had one of those days when nothing went right.   It made me grumpy. And as I grumped around, I focused more on feeling sorry for myself and less on staying focused and productive.   That made it worse. I got past it, but it made me think about how easy it is to…

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I was cleaning out a closet the other day and found an old biology textbook.  As I paged through it, I was struck (stunned, saddened) by how little I remembered.  Then I got to the chapter about animal biology… …and my memory clicked: “Kids prefer cheese over fried green spinach.”  That’s the little story I…

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A cautionary tale:   Earlier this week, I was helping a client move a website. He registered his domain with GoDaddy, and I spoke to their customer support before moving the site.  Everything GoDaddy told me was wrong, and when we moved the site it came crashing down.   I launched a chat with GoDaddy support and…

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Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway won a bar bet by writing a story that contained just six words. Here’s the story:  “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” That tiny story reveals a giant truth for marketers:  Great stories don’t have to be long stories. In fact, one of the greatest marketing stories I know…

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When I was a kid, I remember my relatives talking about some Great Aunt I’d never met. They called her an “Old Maid.”  I had no idea what they were talking about, but I could tell they considered it an insult.  Years later, I learned the meaning: A woman who has — gasp! — never…

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When he was a young college student, my wife’s great-great-grandfather joined the revolution. He and his pals tried to overthrow the German government. The year was 1833, and young Adolph Wislizenus “stormed the castle” with a band of student revolutionaries in Frankfurt. Their plan: Sneak-attack a few arsenals. Capture the soldiers. Take the guns. Arm…

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I recently heard this wild story about Native American warriors. Two tribes face off on the battlefield — maybe the Sioux on one side, the Crow on the other. They shout taunts at each other. Then a brave young warrior from one side gallops forward on his pinto, charging at the enemy… …not to kill…

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In 1925, John Caples was a rookie copywriter working on an ad for home-study piano courses. He drafted several headlines that he shared with his boss. Here are a few: “Can you play the piano? Neither could I three months ago?” “They laughed when I sat down at the piano. But when I started to…

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