September 23, 2008

Stop Junk Mail #3 Do you get more solicitations for donations than you can stand? Are trees felled to simply support charitable organizations' solicitation initiative which means junk mail to you? I have to say I admire how thoroughly many not-for-profits understand direct marketing – they know how many times to mail to you per month, what to say in those letters, when to include a self-addressed-stamped envelope or comment that your stamp will help support finding a cure for (fill in the blank) and a whole barrel of other things to get money into their bank account for their worthy causes. And, enough is enough. As many of you readers know, my Dad passed away early this year. Putting a change of address at his post office has resulting in more solicitations per week than I used to get per year. I am the most persistent junk-mail reductionist you'll ever meet. And I've found a new step to take. First a reminder: Step 1 to stop junk mail is Opt-Out and the Direct Marketing association website. Here's the first article on that here at the PCafe: Stop Junk Mail. To stop the stuff coming to Dad I have a two action approach. #1 – Open the solicitation. Cut out the portion of the letter that contains his (your) address. Put a bright post-it on requesting that this address be removed from the charity's lists – all lists – and that you are Opting Out. Use the enclosed envelope (even if you have to put your own stamp on it) and send in your request. #2 – Go to the charity's website. Today I did the Alzheimer's Association. Find the 'contact us' button and click on it. At the bottom of the page find the privacy policy link. Click on it. Read until you find the section on mailing to you. At Alzheimer's Association it said the following: Your choice We respect your privacy and recognize that you may wish to limit the ways in which we contact you. Simply send an e-mail to with the following information: To remove your name from mailing lists shared with other organizations, please provide your full name, mailing address and a sentence requesting removal. To remove your name from the Alzheimer's Association postal mailing list, please provide your full name, mailing address and a sentence requesting suppression of your personal information in our files. To review...
Do You Finish or Change Course? You might have a reputation by now and if not, you're certainly creating one. The dimension of your reputation I'm talking about is your finishing quotient. Has the family room been under construction for the last 6 months? When you're working on a writing project does the idea for a new business come to mind and you switch attention to writing a whole business plan for it? (One of my clients did that this summer – the writing deadline was missed – the business plan is solid.) Do you like to create and implement new ideas but not sustain them? If you start things and don't finish or carry-through there are times you shine and times you irritate some people out of their minds. You shine when you're coming up with new ideas and that's what you're paid to do. Essentially you score when you're meeting the expectations that you've agreed to execute. If you're in product development and coming up with viable new products you get kudos. If you're in product manufacturing and coming up with viable new products, you get, "Is that what I pay you to do?" You lose points when you're doing something that is not what someone anticipates from you. For many of us there is a great strategy for building our reputation when we're not finishers. The strategy is to partner with your compliment – someone who loves to see things through but isn't interested in or able to come up with the new ideas. The key is recognizing if you finish, or not, and where your strength lies. Then, build you compliment to have a whole. Returning to the family room question above. If you're someone who has a vision for the family room and tore it apart, "Good for you." If you're now in the phase that doesn't interest you or you have lots of other things to do before you get back to it, hire someone. There are loads of people who can see your vision and make it a reality. Your room will be whole sooner and you will get credit for what you do well. The other guy will get credit for their contribution and everyone will enjoy the finished room. That sure beat negative attention for what isn't done!

Susan Sabo

I am a tool-loving productivity specialist who gets things done so I can travel the world, bicycle our country, spoil my friends & colleagues, and show you how to do the same.

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