The Fabulous Joan Crawford and Getting What You Want

The Fabulous Joan Crawford and Getting What You Want

Finding Great Insights in Old Movies


I’m a fan of old movies, especially those starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Those were two of Hollywood’s great divas and they were known for wanting things their own way. One Joan Crawford movie made good points about getting what you want.

A while ago, I recorded a movie made in 1937 called Mannequin which stars Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy.

Tracy is a rags-to-riches entrepreneur who builds a shipping company by starting with a single row boat.

Crawford is the hard-working daughter of a poor family living in a brownstone flat and surviving on frankfurters and sauerkraut. Joan’s character, Jessie, is the sole support of her non-working father, shiftless brother and her depressed mother. She finds her surroundings so deplorable that she begs her fight-promoter boyfriend to marry her and save her from that life.

The Tracy character, Hennessey and Jessie meet at the restaurant where Jessie and her new husband, Eddie are celebrating their marriage. Sparks fly for Hennessey, but Jessie loves her new husband. Eddie, always looking for angles, stores Tracy’s reaction away in the back of his mind.

How Not to Be


There’s a particular part of Mannequin  that caught my attention.

Once married, Jessie finds out that her husband is not such a great deal. He gambles his prizefighter’s contract away, which is their only source of income. Even the home Eddie procures turns out to be only borrowed. The owners return home, forcing the newlyweds to vacate. Jessie and Eddie wind up in a worse situation than the one that Jessie left.

Jessie and Eddie return to her parents’ flat for a meal and the men sit around in a discussion while the women make the meal. The men’s conversation is telling:

Pa Cassidy: I tell you my boy, it’s the system that’s all wrong. All the money is in certain pockets and anyone can see that ain’t right.  Agree with me there?

Eddie: Well it ain’t in my pockets, I know that much.

Pa Cassidy:  Where have I got after all these years? And where would I have got if I had some money to work with in the beginning?

Clifford (Jessie’s brother): Tell us where, Pa.

Pa Cassidy: Now nobody asked for any snide remarks from you, young man! What are you doing with them cards?

Clifford: A trick.

Pa Cassidy: Always trying to figure out some skin game! How many times have I told you, young man, that you can’t get something for nothing in this world.

Eddie: Some people can! When a guy can parlay a row boat into half a dozen steamship lines, he’s copping some sort of sneak on the boys!

Clifford: Pa could’ve done it, but he never had a row boat.

There is a lot of talk of how the system is against them, and if they had more, they could accomplish more. Both men are actually trying to do what Pa Cassidy accuses Clifford of; running some scam.

Ma’s Words to Jessie


Jessie watches this discussion from the kitchen and remarks that she and Eddie need to get some money or the future will be the past (referring to her never-working father).

Jessie’s quiet mother struggles to tell her daughter something that she has not been able to before now:

Ma Cassidy: There’s some things I been wantin’ to tell ya. I don’t talk much. Maybe I’m kinda not in the habit anymore.

Jessie: What’s it about?

Ma Cassidy:  You.You and Eddie. What you got and what you want.

     You’re a woman, Jess. You want to have some say about the life you live. A woman’s supposed to lead a man’s life; her man’s life. We’re made that way usually.  A woman’s weakness is supposed to fit into a man’s strength. Her respect pays for the security a man gives her. That’s what most women (want).

     But not you, Jessica, you got strength of your own. You can do things, not just dream about them, like most women.

Jessie:  What are you trying to tell me, Ma?

Ma Cassidy:  Live your life for yourself, Jess. Remember what it was you hated, always remember what it is you want. Get it!  Any way you can! If you have to, get it alone.

Eddie eventually ensures a split from Jessie when he suggests that she divorce him. That would leave her free to marry Hennessey for about six months and then divorce him to get a huge settlement. Then Eddie and Jessie could remarry. A horrified Jessie finally realizes that it will only be schemes with Eddie and she walks forever.

Getting What you Want


Let’s take Ma Cassidy’s words to heart.  Remember and clarify what it is that you really want.  Focus on that thing, hold it in your mind, and then work to get it.  If your first plan doesn’t work, then get another plan, but don’t give up on what you want. Avoid schemes and follow good online business methods.

Dialogue from Mannequin written by Lawrence Hazard

One Productivity Tool to Keep You on Track for 2014

One Productivity Tool to Keep You on Track for 2014

To help make 2014 better than 2013, consider one productivity tool to keep you on track.

Perhaps you are one of those people who already have your daily habits and rituals down to an art and you don’t need help in that area. I cannot claim to be in that group. My habits are not as good for me as I want them to be. In fact, I have been doing a lot of reading lately about creating right habits and squeezing out the bad ones.

I have started to learn about the difference between goals and processes. James Clear does a great job of writing about changing your life. In this post, he shows that to achieve your potential, you need to take steps daily. Too often we have big goals and no plan to accomplish them.

Actions Speak Louder Than Goals

There is a tool that can help you reach your goals.  It’s called Irunurun, (linked here)  and  for individual users, it is completely free.

This super simple tool allows you to set up a “should do” list on a weekly basis.  These are the day-by-day steps that you decide that you need to take to achieve your potential. They are called “Actions”.

There is a maximum of seven actions per week allowed for individual users. The number of actions are limited to help you focus. You can’t maintain much focus if you are dealing with fifty actions a week.

The total number of actions are weighted either manually or automatically. You receive points (aiming for a total of 100) for each action that you mark off for a week. A sample dashboard is pictured below. The days of the week are laid out Monday through Sunday. You click the letter of the day that you complete the action and the app calculates the percentage of completion and adds the points to the results section.

One Productivity Tool to Keep You on Track for 2014

On Sunday nights, the results recycle to zero and the days of the week are unmarked. You then start marking the new week. If you need to make edits to your actions, be sure you make them before the Sunday night recycle, or you will have the same set of actions through the week. It’s  a clever feature to make sure you plan ahead.

Getting Started

Signing up is super simple.  For a free account, you will just need to enter your first name, your last name, email address and create a password.

Once that is done, you can start adding your actions and determining how many times a week you want to complete them.  In Settings, you can set up to get email reminders or get an email with your weekly score.

There is even an option to send email invitations to people to become teammates and to help with your own accountability.

Whatever is Measured is Managed


The elegance of this application makes you want to use it. There is a psychological boost in seeing those actions marked off and seeing your point score rise from zero throughout the week.

Another thing I loved is that the site has one of the most well written FAQ’s I have ever seen. They are entertaining and informative. There is also an iPhone app!

To learn more about Irunurun, you can watch this short video:


Wrap Up

If you give Irunurun a try, please let me know what you think about it.  I would also welcome learning about other tools that help people to stay on target to achieve greatness.


Google+ Communities: Tilting Towards Social Media

Google+ Communities: Tilting Towards Social Media

I was checking out Google+ Communities today.  These are the groups that surround a topic of interest within Google+.  I wanted to join a couple of online business communities.

Searching For Google+ Communities

A search for “ecommerce” returned dozens of communities, but there was something strange.  There were a few communities with over 100 members, but only a couple with 500+ members.  The vast majority were in the one to four member range.  Very surprising; I expected more vibrant communities around that subject.

A search for “social media” returned much bigger communities.  Several with over 5,000 members.  Even “SEO” and “Content Marketing” didn’t catch social media for groups and participation.

I don’t think that social media came out on top because Google+ is a social media platform. I think this because social media is such a serious need for business.

What Social Media Means to Business

I saw this quote in a post on Ileane Smith’s

“SEO is done by getting people talking about your site on social and on other important websites in your market”

(you can read the entire article here)

That sums up nicely the emphasis on social media.  SEO is confounding and the rules can change the next day.

Social media is confounding also, but the rules are easier to follow and don’t change so drastically.  Maybe you can’t do an auto-follow on Twitter any longer, but that’s not going to blow your online business out of the water.

Growth Industry

If I learned anything from my Google+ Communities search is that social media is definitely a growth industry for people who are online.  Especially for social media strategists.

Even for those who aren’t strategists can make inroads by just helping businesses, big and small, create and maintain their social presences.

I would love to know your views on social media as it relates to your business.  Please comment — Thank you!



New Gmail Format Causing Angst!

New Gmail Format

Earlier this month, Google unveiled a new Gmail format for its inbox.  The default setting now splits your incoming email into Primary, Social and Promotions.  You can add two other tabs: Updates and Forums.

New gmail format causing angst!

The 3 default tabs for Gmail’s inbox

General Reactions

The format was simply changed by Gmail one night.  My reaction when I opened my mail box and saw the changes was something like “Oh peachy-keen.  Now I have to find my emails in multiple locations”.  Actually, I probably used stronger language.

The reactions I saw from other users (non-marketers) I know amounted to furious resentment.  Most users didn’t see this coming, though I understand the upcoming changes were announced in May.

Marketer Reactions

I received emails from well-known bloggers/marketers Chris Brogan and Ryan Deiss today on this very subject.

Chris Brogan was alerting readers that they may not be getting his newsletter because it falls into the promotions tab automatically.  I question why Google dumps newsletters into that category since people have to sign up for them.

Chris included a link to a short video by Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, on how to correct this issue.  You can view the video below:

Ryan Deiss is holding an urgent webinar about this tomorrow. Deiss’s take on this is that savvy email marketers can take advantage of the changes while others just get “slapped” by Gmail.  Amazingly Ryan’s webinar requires a payment of $7 to attend as nothing is being promoted; it’s just a webinar on how to deal with the Gmail change.  Yes, I’ll be on the call.

It’s probably a good idea if bloggers with mailing lists do as Chris Brogan did and warn their readers about this and suggest how to make a change to the inbox categories.

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A Blogging Skill to Hone Daily

A blogging skill to hone daily

I was going through my Feedly RSS newsreader this morning as I do most mornings. The first feed I usually visit is Mark Schaefer’s Businesses Grow site.  The first listing had the surprising title “Shut Up and Blog: How to Create Endless Ideas for Content“.

If Mark Schaefer writes a post like this, it is best to pay attention.

Mark reveals his method for coming up with topics and how he accumulated a backlog of 200 possible blog ideas.  In his own words “I view my life through the lens of a blog post“.  A simple discipline that he says you must hone each day.

Now that’s dedication to one’s art.

Mark picks up ideas from everyday life and turns them into posts.  He sees a headline and turns it into a post.  He sees a misdirected basketball shot, and writes a post about wrong goals.

He says his number one source comes from the questions people ask him.  He just pays attention to what people are asking.

The people who commented on Mark’s post had some great ideas of their own.  Giovanni Ella types ideas straight in to the Blogger app on his smart phone. Designer, Davina K. Brewer , keeps a file/box around for storing creative ideas. Rosemary ONeill  keeps a running list of ideas and has set up a special DropBox for images. Photographer, Barry Chignell, uses Google Keep to log ideas.

I was completely taken by Mark’s post and the ideas from the comments.  I printed out the article and added some prompts at the bottom for myself.  It’s taped to the wall in front of my laptop where I can’t miss it.  The featured image at the top is this post is a picture of my poster.

I’m going to hone that blogging skill for 30 days to see if I can really make it a habit.