Sunny Notes

Weekly Insights for Business and Life

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Good Work Deserves a Good Presentation

Good morning,

Happy Friday! At one time or another we’ve probably all heard “don’t judge a book by its cover.” That’s good advice as an analogy for people, but when it actually comes to books – and magazines, newsletters, presentations, brochures, reports and lots of other things – the cover matters.

Good work deserves a good presentation.

A resume is an obvious example. I see lots of resumes that list great skills but are so sloppy they raise questions about the candidate’s good judgement in deciding the document was ready to distribute.

Whether we like it or not, poor presentation – or even just an unappealing cover – can turn off our audience. Long hours of good work can get misjudged or dismissed because of a disorganized or unprofessional presentation that gave the wrong first impression.

That’s why dealerships wash cars after service: thousands of dollars of quality repair may have been performed, but if the car comes back dirty the customer is less confident in the work.

Whatever you’re presenting, a few extra minutes to polish up the cover can help make the content shine.

Have a great weekend and a sunny day!


P.S. “Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” Henry Ward Beecher

P.P.S. You can read more Sunny Notes at and new readers can subscribe at I appreciate your feedback and I hope Sunny Notes brighten your day.

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Biz, Business, Dedication, Friday, Inspiration, Motivation, Note, Presentation, Resume, sunny, Weekend, Work

Communicate Early and Often

Happy Friday!

Looking back at this busy and productive week, an important topic comes to mind:


It reminded me once again of what a big difference a few words at the right time can make.

One case was a positive example that happened after somebody delivered something to the wrong place. They called immediately and fessed up, even though they’d already taken steps to solve the problem and could have assumed I’d never find out. But moments later the client called me to ask about the delivery and I was deeply grateful to the deliverer for being upfront with me so I could explain to the client what happened.

The second example was the opposite situation. Somebody was working toward a deadline and it turned out they knew in advance they weren’t going to make it, but didn’t mention that until the deadline passed. In that case, a few timely words at the point when the work went off schedule could have reset everyone’s expectations and avoided a lot of grief.

In a world where teamwork is so integral to success, we all experience moments when a little bit of communication means the difference between a project’s success or failure.

Communicate early and often, and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.” Aaron Goldman

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Communication, Dedication, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, sunny, Teamwork, Wisdom

Avoiding Indecision

Good evening,

For my birthday today I’m taking a break from writing Sunny Notes. Instead I’m sharing this post called Avoiding Indecision, written by my colleague Steve Acho who publishes a great blog that I think you’ll enjoy.


“Analysis paralysis” happens when we are faced with so many options we can’t make a decision. Even when we finally do make a decision, research repeatedly shows that those faced with more choices (which should be a good thing) face more regret than those who chose from less.

My biggest learning from Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice is that the best way to decide between many options is to first decide what criteria are most important, then choose the first option that meets all of them. “Good enough” is almost always good enough.

P.S. Visit this link to read Steve Acho’s blog called What I Learned.

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Analysis, Blog, Decision, Dedication, Indecision, Inspiration, Motivation, Note, quote, Steve Acho, sunny, Wisdom

Doing the same things we’ve always done will NOT produce the same results we’ve always gotten

Good afternoon,

Happy Friday! We’ve probably all heard that it’s insane to repeat the same behavior and expect different results. Of course this implies that repeating the same behavior will in fact produce the same results.

However, these days it’s a fantasy to imagine that doing the same thing will produce the same results. Instead, in the business world the reality is this:

Doing the same things we’ve always done will NOT produce the same results we’ve always gotten.

Today’s fast-changing business environment demands that we tune up our game and learn new plays if we want to achieve the same results now that we achieved in the past. This is even more critical if we want to achieve superior results.

Businesses are at risk if they assume that the same old marketing or customer service techniques from past years will continue to produce the same results. Likewise, employees are at risk if they think the skills they had when they got the job are the same skills that will be required keep the job. We absolutely must continually “brush up” to improve our competitiveness or risk becoming irrelevant.

Let’s stay in the game and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein, according to some internet sources. This quote has been attributed to other people as well after Einstein.

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Biz, Business, Inspiration, Marketing, Note, quote, sunny, Wisdom

People Respond Better to Encouragement Than Criticism

Happy Friday!

Here’s an obvious but relevant Sunny Note…with a little challenge at the end.

- People respond better to encouragement than criticism.

You’ve probably run into people who seem to think, consciously or unconsciously, that complimenting a person deters them from doing better. However quite the opposite is true: positive feedback encourages a person to earn more positive feedback. I’ve been fortunate to work with encouraging people who know that finding fault is easy, but providing encouragement, although more challenging, is more rewarding.

Inevitably, all of us encounter the need to elicit more desirable results from people around us – our employees, coworkers, bosses or family members. Instead of going straight for corrective criticism, a more effective approach is to say something nice first. It’s respectful; and there’s always something to compliment – if we don’t see it then we’re simply not looking closely enough.

Today’s note invites you to join me in a little sunny challenge to compliment someone, anyone, this coming week who you wouldn’t otherwise have complimented. Let’s lead by example and hope it’s contagious.

Who knows – yours may be the only kind words they’ll hear all day.


P.S. “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Challenge, Criticism, Encouragement, Inspiration, Motivation, Notes, quote, sunny

Never Assume the Obvious is True

Good evening,

Hurray for Friday! Remember the days of taking multiple choice tests in school and avoiding the obvious answers because you knew they were there just to mislead you? Life is like that. The obvious answer is frequently not the correct one.

“Never assume the obvious is true.”

These are wise words from William Safire, because we’re all at risk of making erroneous assumptions, especially about other people. Today’s note is a simple reminder to look closer, investigate further and make sure we understand the situation or the person before drawing conclusions.

Watch out for “multiple choice” moments – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.” Marshall McLuhan

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Biz, Business, Friday, Inspiration, Motivation, Note, quote, sunny, Wisdom

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This time of year is synonymous with New Year’s resolutions. And that’s okay, because there’s incredible power in planning. So if the new year inspires you to plan, then more power to you. But whatever your resolutions or goals are for 2015 or beyond, remember this simple key to success:

Write it down.

Even though we don’t fully control our destinies, there are things we can do that make a really big difference. This is one of them: write down your goals. And better yet – read them every day! It’s a simple action that exponentially increases our chances of achieving our goals.

Numerous business coaches and motivational speakers talk about the importance of putting goals in writing. David Essel describes it this way, “A goal is a dream until you write it down.”

Don’t be shy. Set high goals. Write them down. Read them. Help them come to be.

And have a Sunny Day!


P.S. “We become what we think about all day long.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Biz, Business, Dream, Goals, Inspiration, Motivation, New, new year, Plan, quote, Resolutions, Success, sunny, Write

Winning Through Change

Good evening,

Happy Friday! As we wrap up a busy week, I once again find myself thinking about the dynamics of dealing with change.

In a seminar I once attended on “winning through change,” leadership consultant Dr. Gary Bradt addressed the fact that we can’t successfully navigate change without taking risks. Trying something new is inherently risky, but it’s worthwhile and ultimately unavoidable. His key to success is:

Adapt fast.

Winning in business requires adapting faster than competitors. Although everyone is facing change, not everyone is as willing or able to adapt quickly. This creates a differentiation opportunity for those who step up to the plate.

Let’s swing for the fences – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Adapt, Change, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, Risk, sunny, Winning

Enjoy The Moment

Good morning,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! This is the time of year when everyone is rushing around so much that there’s hardly time to breathe. Last night I attended a lovely holiday party and amid all the hustle and bustle, I reminded myself to just pause and…

Enjoy the moment.

With all the joys and stresses that come with the holidays, it’s important to find a little quiet time here and there to recharge our batteries.

The holidays are a special time to create treasured memories, but if we’re moving too fast we aren’t able to fully enjoy the experiences as they’re happening. Sometimes too much planning leads to not enough enjoying.

‘Tis the season – to have a sunny day!


P.S. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Christmas, Enjoy, holiday, Inspiration, Moment, Motication, new year, quote, Stress, sunny

Pause and Count Your Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Lately there’s been a lot of discussion in the media about various stores that started their Black Friday sales early by opening on Thanksgiving.

One up shot of the debate is that it encourages us to think about the meaning of this holiday; thankfulness, huge sales, family gatherings, good food, the beginning of the holiday season. For me, it can still be summed up in one word:


In the midst of our busy lives, I’m grateful for a holiday that reminds me to pause and count my blessings. Even during the most difficult times, there’s always something for which each of us can give thanks.

Thank you for being a part of my life – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Posted in Sunny notes Tagged Blessing, holiday, Inspiration, JFK, Motivation, quote, sunny, Thank you, Thankful, Thanks, Thanksgiving, Wisdom