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(1) Power Quote
(2) What's new in my world
(3) What's new on the site
(4) Feature #1: Customer service lessons from Tony Soprano and Club Med
(5) Feature #2: Give your question a week's vacation
(6) Links and offers
(7) Contact information

(1) Power Quote

"The best things that have happened to me in life, happened when I had nothing to do." - Robert Mueller, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

(2) What's new in my world

Here's where I share stories of my life in New Mexico with my dog, Keesha, and my cats, Tiger and Creampuff. I also talk about recent happenings, like being interviewed by radio and newspaper reporters or taking a trip to Albuquerque for a writers' conference.

(3) What's new on the site

Want to escape your comfort zone and begin your next adventure? Come join my next teleclass and receive one of my irreverent ebooks as a bonus.

(4) Feature #1: Customer service lessons from Tony Soprano and Club Med

Whether you work one-to-one or deal with customers in groups, you identify a target market of customers most likely to value what you can offer. You develop processes that work best with those clients. You learn to anticipate their responses and help them feel pampered.

Ideally, you recruit new customers who fit your target customer profile, but sometimes you attract a customer who doesn't belong. These customer misfits can drain your energy, alienate other customers and fail to recognize the value you provide through your service.

A lesson from Tony Soprano

For an extreme example of what happens when you accept a "different" type of client, watch a few episodes of The Sopranos, an HBO mega-hit. You can rent videotapes of the first two seasons.

Almost every episode includes scenes between mob boss Tony Soprano and his psychiatrist, Janet Melfi. These scenes are so realistic that professional psychotherapy associations have included them in training programs.

From a customer service perspective, the psychiatrist seems overwhelmed by her notorious client. She can't resist hinting at his identity during a dinner party.
And Tony in turn is dangerous to his therapist. His curiosity about her background goes well beyond the average client's harmless fantasy, as he orders a wayward cop to follow her around for a few days.

Tony means well. When the therapist's car breaks down, her patient simply "borrows" the car and arranges for a repair at one of the "family" garages. He brushes away the therapist's concern about boundaries.

Your client will most likely be less connected, less violent and less persistent. But you may find yourself dealing with someone who is equally determined not to play by your rules.

A lesson from Club Med

Suppose you signed up for Club Med with the idea that you were going on a retreat, where the "wild night out" would be a fireside poetry reading. As soon as you realize your mistake, Club Med will fly you back home and refund all your money.

Bad attitudes are contagious.

You may not be as focused as Club Med, but your process will most likely work best with a certain type of client. A cynical client will challenge your value. A client who trusts without questions will easily feel betrayed.

In summary

Service businesses thrive on established processes and systems to serve clients, rather than relying on ad hoc "whatever happens" policies.

The "wrong client" drains everyone's energy and can drive away "right" clients. By staying focused you can direct energy to building relationships with customers who enjoy each other's company and help you find others who, like them, will value what you offer.

Want more?
Check out my ebook on customer service.

(5) Feature #2: Give your question a week's vacation

Dear Cathy: I am really ready for a new career, new residence and a new life. But I can't decide what to do! Some days I think I'd like to take a year off and do nothing. Other days I want to go back to school for a degree in forestry. Sometimes I want to start my own business as a management consultantor a dog trainer. My mind keeps going in circles. How do I decide what to do next?

A. There are all kinds of ways to figure out your next step. Aptitude tests will probably show you are very, very good at what you're doing now. See for my unique irreverent views on tests and assessments.

However, before we begin to explore your next move, I am going to give you the one suggestion my clients resist most.

When you've been tossing and turning, your mind goes in circles and your intuition has probably shut down. Your question has been working really hard to take over your mind. It deserves a vacation! At least a week -- and a month is not too long.

And where do you send your question for a vacation? To creativity camp, of course! Begin a creative project. If your day job involves numbers, work with words and images. If you work with words, find nonverbal ways to express your ideas and your feelings.

And if you've been stressed, isolated, under pressure or otherwise miserable, you may have forgotten how to have fun. So your next assignment is to do something totally frivolous and/or self-indulgent every day. When you add a daily dose of joy to your life, the results can seem miraculous.

Don't be surprised if your intuition breaks a long silence, crackling with ideas and energy. And don't be surprised if serendipity -- the ultimate career guide -- begins to be a force in your new life.

Want more?
Read Your Intuitive Move.

Good book to get started:
21 Days to Career Freedom: My own do-it-yourself guide

(6) What's available: Links and offers

Do you have an ezine or website? Become an affiliate.

Support my ezine by shopping at my website bookstore.

Most of you know that I am an avid fan of Martha Beck, Ph.D., and her must-have book, Finding Your Own North Star.

I am delighted to report that Dr. Beck has just published The Joy Diet, ten steps to make anyone's life more joyous, written in the same combination of wit, commonsense and intelligence.

Download the lowdown on dozens of careers:
the Dream Job series/

Thinking of becoming a coach?
Be sure to read my thoroughly irreverent guide.

(7) Contacts

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