Need a little pick-me-up?

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

 

There comes times when I have some self-doubt creeping in or sales may not be landing in my favor. Other times, it feels like relationships just don’t seem to be clicking. When I start to get a little anxious, I always get that hunger for learning. I wander around the aisles of the bookstore. I get on Amazon and read the reviews you know those “if you like this book you might also love ____”. Lately, everything I’ve read is just meh. Just repetition of the same material and content I’ve heard years before. It had been quite a while since I found a gem of a read. Definitely, quite a long time since I’ve picked up a book that is life-changing.

While waiting on a cell-phone repair, I wandered into a bookstore and this one called out to me, “READ ME!” High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. It’s off to an inspiring start. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to rush home and devour some more.

I’d love to share a few of my all-time faves. This is my go-to list of books I’ve read most more than one time. Some are dog-eared. All have highlighted passages. Some I’ve read 10 times. Not only does the content never get old, I often discover something new messages within the pages. Life situations change and that old text now speaks to me in a different way delivering a new and timely lesson.

Whether you’re looking for a little positive thinking or ready to grow your business to the next level, I hope you enjoy these classics (followed by my two cents).

E-myth by Michael Gerber (Critical for every entrepreneur)
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
How to Win Friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Duct tape Marketing by John Jantsch (Practical advice for small businesses marketing that doesn’t cost a fortune)
Positive Personality Profiles by Dr. Richard Rohm (Forever changed my perspective on interactions with others)
10 X by Grant Cardone
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (I had this one on cassette tape in my first car)
Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
The Bible
Drive by Daniel pink
One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard (Principles are timeless)
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Give yourself permission to do great things!)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Fascinating research into top achievers)
Just Listen by Mark Goulston

I’d love to hear your all time faves. I’ll add them to my “MUST READ” list.

 

Contributed by Heather Kuth.

All images are Heather’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

50 Years of Gratitude

“The healthiest of all human emotions is Gratitude” was spoken by Zig Zigler as he described what he called an Attitude of Gratitude

This is not human nature, and therefore not always easy to implement, and those around me know I am not always grateful in the moment.  However, when I step back and reflect on my time on this earth – Grateful summarizes my posture. You, like me, have so much to be grateful for, if we can keep redirecting our attention to gratitude.

 

I’ve had the fortune of visiting some cool places in the US and abroad. These are a few pictures where I’m feeling grateful!

 

 

I have been blessed with what I believe are God’s greatest gifts. I turned 50 this year and I’ll illustrate some of my most precious gifts below:

 

 

My amazing, beautiful and talented wife Ira. I took this picture of her recently with the Alaska landscape in the background.

 

 

We were married in September 2016 in Asheville at the Omni Grove Park Inn, now one of our favorite destinations…  The air in the mountains is so clean and fresh, and that resort is magical and very relaxing…

 

 

My loving and supportive parents, Justin & Ilde Sucato. My parents are both 100% Italian, and my Mom came over from Italy when she was a little girl. My Dad’s parents came from Sicily. My parents taught and were examples for my brothers and I that honesty and hard work are the foundations for success. Although my Dad passed in 2010, and I miss him dearly, I’m very grateful for the man that he was, and the example he set for me.

 

 

My brothers (Justin, Dan, and Joe) and I grew up very close. We’re all in different professions now, but each successful in their field. I’m grateful that we are each married to wonderful wives and have beautiful families. I’m also grateful that we schedule annual family reunions to spend time with each other during these busy times. Justin’s a successful business owner, Dan is a world-renowned Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of Staff of his hospital, and Joe is an accomplished Jazz Musician and aspiring entrepreneur.

 

 

My 3 Handsome Boys:  Anthony 23, Andrew 19, and Christopher 16 are my pride and joy. These guys are growing up to be fine gentlemen and they continue to make me proud.

 

 

My 3 Beautiful Girls:  Emma 9, Gia 12, Maya 11. These are my step-daughters and they are a handful!  Girls are for sure different than boys, and I’m learning that first hand now! They are caring and sweet, and little firecrackers!

 

 

Our Family! This picture was taken at the foot of a waterfall (fed by a glacier) in Alaska. We were all together for this once-in-a-lifetime trip! The boys and the girls. and Ira and I had the best time!

 

 

Our puppy Nova was my gift to the girls for their wedding gift. The boys and Ira and I picked him out. He’s a multi-poo and he’s smart and intuitive. I can’t imagine our household without Nova!

 

 

This is my ex-wife Teresa. I include here in my collection of gratitude because we shared 18 years our lives together married and raised my 3 boys together. I’m grateful for that chapter of my life, my 3 boys.

 

 

This is one of my favorite pictures of our family altogether after our wedding ceremony! It doesn’t get better than this!

 

 

And finally, I am so grateful for my RSVP work-family (pictured below) who have been incredible for the last 18 years. Although some of my team members have changed over the years, this group of fine professionals inspires me daily to be my best. They have unique personalities and interested, and that makes our team unique and world-class! We have reached national status for our performance, sales accomplishments, and quality. Each of them has family not pictured here and I’m proud that our business supports their fine families.

My clients who we serve are amazing! My staff and I work with hundreds of incredible people and their businesses who we are proud to consider RSVP family. Each one of them has helped to grow me and my team – and we’ve helped them in a small way in exchange.

 

This is my family and I’m proud and grateful to be among them and serve!   

 

I hope you’ll join me and make 2018-2019 your best year ever by having an Attitude of Gratitude!

 

 

 

Anthony R. Sucato

Owner, RSVP / Sucato Marketing Systems

 

All images are Tony’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

NEW Employee Spotlight : Amy Flounders Baker

Get To Know Our Administrative Assistant, Amy!

The last year has been a whirlwind! Amy got married, moved to Ohio with her husband, and started working for RSVP.

 

 

She loves staying active but has never been a natural athlete. Slow and steady is her mantra! She crossed two items off her bucket list in the last few years. She ran the Flying Pig marathon in 2014 and in 2015 finished the Maryland ½ Ironman.

 

 

She’s a huge animal lover. Amy and her husband have a small dog herd.

 

 

Amy renovated a house in 2016 during some time off. She loved demo day and the whole process of rebuilding from the studs. Her friends and family all helped out, which made the end result even better.

 

 

Amy and her husband went on a cruise in March (our first one). She loves the ocean and most of her vacations have revolved around the beach.

 

 

Her favorite place to be is with friends and family, giving thanks for every day!

 

 

All images are Amy’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

NEW Employee Spotlight : Bethany Briggs

Get To Know Our Graphic Designer, Bethany!

What is one thing Bethany could never live without? Her FAMILY

(Left to Right -Thomas, Shelly (Dad & Mom)

Stratton, Bethany

Zane, Kirsty

Nevaeh)

 

Bethany’s favorite place to be is at the lake with friends and family. It’s a lot of fun whether they go tubing, kayaking, fishing or they are just hanging out by the fire.

 

Bethany cannot resist petting all the animals. She is definitely a softy for fuzzy critters. She has a pooch of her own named Willow.

 

 

Bethany was born into a racing family. Her dad raced and now her brother races midgets and sprint cars. It’s a very intense sport but once you get into it it’s hard to not want more! Forever cheering for #71, Stratton Briggs! 🙂

 

 

Bethany’s favorite place she has traveled to is New Orleans. She says that words can’t describe how beautiful New Orleans was. Street performers, local artists and amazing architecture had her in awe of the city. She stopped at Cafe Du Monde for some mouth watering beignets and coffee and was not disappointed! She recommends if you get the chance to visit New Orleans, Beignets from Cafe Du Monde.

 

 

Picture of Bethany is owned by Leslie Nicole Photography and may not be republished without express written permission.

All other images are Bethany’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

#Unplugged

Last week, we were blessed to travel to the lovely Dominican Republic home to gorgeous white sand beaches, gracious hospitality, and very spotty almost non-existent wi-fi.

We were very excited for our nine-year-old son to experience his first trip out of the country. Between the three of us, we had 2 cell phones, one work laptop, our family laptop, an iPad, and a Fitbit.

Upon arrival, like bonafide tourists, we were snapping photos of the palm trees and buildings and ourselves with tropical beverages. And what would one do with these photos next, upload to Facebook, of course! No such luck. Downloading…. Error…. Unable to process….

I joined the gaggle of other guests at the lobby desk in search of wi-fi codes. In a resort that attracted visitors from various parts of the world, I could see this desire to connect is not unique to the USA.

But alas $40 per day!?! I’ll pass, thanks. Reluctantly, we unplugged for the week.

In any language or even without words, you can see the disconnect being connected has created. It’s no wonder this video has been viewed over 50 million times.

In our week of being unplugged, we discovered:
1. We didn’t miss it that much. (Okay… maybe after day 2)
2. We still like each other. Whew!
3. Work went on fine without us. The people we trusted did what they were supposed to do.
4. We spent more time really appreciating the beauty of our surroundings instead of just photographing the sights for social media.
5. We made new friends poolside from all over the USA, Canada, and France. We learned about their culture and even picked up a few new words in other languages.
6. We got a real kick of watching people take selfies (one gal must have taken 40 selfies in the pool) and Snapchat (one musclebound dude nearly broke a leg on sandcastle while capturing his best kissy face on camera). Very entertaining!
7. Without tracking it via the device, we’re pretty sure we logged 20k-30k steps/day. There’s a lot more time to walk and discover when your heads not down on a screen!
8. On the four-hour flight home (GASP) we played cards and talked while others watched movies solo they had downloaded in preparation.
9. By day 7, disembarking at home and observing entire families deeply entranced in their phones, we found ourselves reflecting on what impact all this connectivity is having on real social relationships.

I hope that you will get the chance to be #unplugged if not, by force, then perhaps by choice. In a recent survey, 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.” I assure you, you can. It’s quite refreshing!

Challenge: Set aside a day each week to be device free. Can’t do a whole day? Start with an hour each morning.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” —Anne Lamott

 

All images belong to Adventure Photos & may not be republished without express written permission.

Print Advertising: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In print advertising, artwork is the initial impression that consumers have of your business or product. It’s the first step in gaining the attention of the buyer you are trying to sell to. That visual typically is the difference between if the person decides to pay attention to the pieces of your advertising- the verbiage, the product or service itself, and the offer, or moves along to what captures their attention next.

Almost every day I have conversations with business owners and decision makers who ask about how their artwork should look. It’s an important question and comes up so often because many people just aren’t sure how to go about it. Most people (including me) know what they like when they see it but don’t know how to express that verbally or artistically. That’s ok though, and the reason why my company employs very talented and artistic designers. I trust them implicitly because they’ve proven their professionalism with our clients consistently through the years. And they’re not just artists, they know what works and what consumers like.

With that being said, I have learned from many years of experience the difference between good and bad artwork:

 

Good

– Simple clear message

– Holds interest

– Stong call to action

 

Bad

– Requires the reader to work hard

– Missing attention-getting elements

– Can’t tell what you are really trying to offer

 

Ugly

– Full of clutter

– Low-quality images

– Overuse of color and fonts

(Graphic Designers nightmare)

 

Avoid the temptation to include every product or service line you offer in your ad. Don’t make the prospect have to think about or evaluate everything and the kitchen sink you threw in there. They don’t want to think and they’ll ultimately move past your ad and forget all about you. Tell your prospect we are Acme Company, we make your life better, and do it for 40% off. That’s it.

If you’re worried about leaving out something you think might be important then include your website address. If the prospect wants or needs more information they will gladly take the time to visit your website and learn more about everything you do and why it’s important to them. Your website is your encyclopedia, your print advertisement is not.

 

Contributed by Jeff Vice