Gearing up for doggie swim lessons.

Cannoli is not a guard dog (despite the three barks she once gave the meter reader).

Last summer, Cannoli got spooked by a contractor and fell in the pool. Then she started swimming. But I realized that until Cannoli knew where the pool steps were, she couldn’t get out. Yikes.

So of course, I made it my mission to (lovingly!) throw her into the water in different parts of the pool and guide her to the steps. Back on dry land, she would give me side eye for interrupting her sunbathing, shake joyously, and rub herself in the dirt (one of her greatest pleasures). This summer, we’ll be having more lessons on pool egress. (Get ready, Cannoli. Summer’s coming!)

The point?

If you’re writing your web copy and can’t find the stairs, swim this way.Or, if you need me to throw you in the pool (with love!), I’m pretty much an expert

P.S. Here’s Cannoli trying to look innocent after her favorite, dirty pastime.

Joanie stopped her car.

I’d heard about this neighbor for months.

How she is the sweetest person.

But I hadn’t met her yet.

So when I saw her car go by, I had to restrain myself from running into the street and scaring the crap out of her.

To my delight, Joanie and I arrived home at the same time. And she stopped her car in the middle of the road—in front of my house—to greet me like so:

Welcome to the neighborhood! Now we can visit! I can’t wait until this is over (holding up her mask) because I’m a hugger. 

Ending our conversation, she said, “I LOVE you.” Not the way a new fake acquaintance might say it after you realize you both like wine. She said it with all the intention and certainty in the world. The same way I would say: My name is Deidre

My heart raced. And I said, “Oh my goodness, I love you too!”

The point?

What if we approached the world, and new people, with love instead of fear? 

This neighbor expressed love confidently upon our first meeting, and meant it with her whole heart.  

At first, for a split second, I was taken aback. It felt kinda scary. But receiving her genuine beam of love, my heart filled up. It felt expansive to say it back.

Hate is rarely earned. Yet it’s given freely. So what if—on the flipside—love were given freely? What if love were our default? 

Joanie and I are different ages, different colors.

But this incredible woman in her mid-70s and cozy clothes had it all figured out.

Here’s to peace, love, acceptance, and yelling (nice things) out the window at neighbors,

P.S. If you need words that connect, with authenticity that can be felt, I’d love to help.

We’re all still humans who lose our wallets.

After my masked trip to the supermarket, I saw a wallet in a shopping cart—crammed in the corner of the lot near my car, but far away from everything else.

It was open, with papers and a checkbook sticking out.

With everything feeling questionable right now, I hesitated: Was this wallet safe to touch? Or was this some sort of bait for a weird scam? I thought, just disinfect your hands, get in your car, and go home.

But then I thought: What if it really is someone’s wallet? What if it were my wallet?

So I spent 10 minutes online locating this woman, Wendy, to whom the wallet belonged. Turns out she worked inside the supermarket.

She was so immensely grateful. She told me:

I was running around like crazy. I had to go home and bring my kids groceries. What’s happening in the world is making me so anxious—and then losing my wallet on top of it?! I can’t thank you enough.

The point?

I was almost someone who put on my blinders and ignored the wallet, consumed by headlines and worries and fears. But taking that action to help…it felt so good. It was the most calm and happy I felt all day. Not to mention the fact that Wendy deserved my gratitude; she’s working in the supermarket and keeping me fed!

We’re all still people who sometimes need help, COVID-19 or not. I know it’s crazy and uncertain and scary—but let’s stick together and smile from underneath our face masks.

Sending love and support,

Could it really be this simple?

I love how clients are so happy after working with me. I’m honored that they say these incredibly nice, huge, career-affirming things.

But truthfully, I’m not a mastermind. I think I just ask this same question, again and again, in a bunch of different ways.

What do your ideal clients really need?

Yes, I think it might actually be that simple.

The point?

There’s an intersection between what your clients really need, and what you really provide, that is kind of magical.

Yet, finding it can be tricky.

Why—you ask?

Mostly because you can’t see how awesome you actually are.

Yup. I said it. You can’t see how awesome you actually are!

That’s where I come in. Let me remove your blinders, and help you see yourself the way your clients do—at least long enough to write your web copy.

The view might surprise you,

I smile. You smile. We all smile.

“If you can make just one person smile today, if only by giving them one of yours, it just might change their entire week, which just might change their entire life.” 

I love Notes from the Universe, but this one takes the cake.

Hell yes!

If I had to designate just one personal philosophy, this would be it. (It’s why I talk to people in elevators and high-five strangers.)

The point?

Life-affirming conversations, new friendships, oneness, unexpected laughter, fulfilling work—so much of it starts with a smile.

And in case you haven’t had coffee yet and this uber-cheery message makes you gag and want to unsubscribe, here’s the whole truth: Sometimes I don’t feel like smiling. Sometimes I feel pissy for no apparent reason! But the act of smiling actually makes me feel like smiling.

So, when in doubt, I smile.

Does your website help you smile at people? If not, let’s talk.

Can you smell that?

The air conditioning in my car was busted. It was 97 degrees and humid. But I had somewhere to be 90 minutes away, so I got an icy drink and went for it.

Boy, was it hot.

Once my body got used to the heat, I realized a few things about driving with the windows open.

  • You smell things. Food, farms, flowers, people doing laundry. Some aren’t very good smells, but some are great!
  • You feel things. Wind in your hair, dust in your eyes, sweat dripping down your temple.
  • You are closer to others. I said “Cute dog!” to somebody on the sidewalk. And heard the lady in front of me singing “Thunder Road” into her water bottle microphone. I also shared a camaraderie-infused thumbs-up with a fellow windows-open road warrior.

I arrived sweaty, and perhaps slightly dehydrated, but feeling very much alive. Invigorated even!

The point? 
We are lucky to live during the Age of Air Conditioning. When we can cruise around in cool, serene, noise-insulated comfort.

But sometimes we should put down our windows.

And let people see us.
And stick our arms out and wave.
And be sweaty and real.

Especially when it comes to the words on our websites.
Here’s to letting people in, and waving at pup-destrians.

Oh oh, come take my hand!

P.S. Yes, I absolutely got my air conditioning fixed!

Yes, I tip people with fruit.

Do you ever think, Hey, I should _________, and then not do it because you’re scared?

Me too.

But increasingly, I ignore my internal censor and do weird, embarrassing things.

  • I share my Peanut M&Ms with the gas attendant. Granted, it’s mostly because I don’t want to eat the whole bag myself, but still.
  • I tip people with random things in my purse, like bananas, apples and Kind Bars, because I never have cash. (I’m actively trying to keep cash on me, because this is ridiculous.)
  • Sometimes, when coffees are $1 at Wawa, I buy an extra one and give it to someone. The mail lady, the lawn guy, a crossing guard.
  • I run outside (like it’s Christmas morning) to meet strangers’ dogs as they walk by.
  • If I see someone and think, “Wow, that shirt is so cute” or “What a great haircut,” I go over and tell them.

Sometimes, I put my foot in my mouth. Like the time I told a guy his necklace was cool, only to find out it wasn’t a necklace. It was a tracheostomy hole. Sometimes, people think I’m nuts. But most of the time people smile and we start a conversation.

In hindsight, I realize some really great friendships have begun this way.

The point? 
When we’re weird (and potentially embarrassing), we open ourselves up to a lot more connection. Worth it! I’m not saying you should be a total weirdo on your business website, but a little authenticity goes a long way.

Honey, why are you orange?

My mom took me to the doctor for oddly orange-tinted skin. I was 10.

The doctor said, “Have you been eating lots of carrots?”
I replied, “Of course I have. Orange is my favorite color, doctor!”

So now you know what kind of person I am.

I’m the kind of person, who, because orange was my favorite color, ate carrots and drank orange juice until I actually became orange.

(Lately, I’m surprised I haven’t turned into a Cadbury Mini Egg.)

The point? 
The same way I dove into carrots, I will dive into your business, your why, and your ideal clients to write web copy that will color your readers peachy-keen.

Love you even more than Mini Eggs,

Be like Cosmo Castorini.

It’s chilly here in New Jersey. And what better to do than snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie?! “Moonstruck” is one of my all-time favorites — funny, charming, with Cher AND Olympia Dukakis…come on! — and I just realized what a valuable business lesson it has.

Many of my clients are creative professionals and web designers, who sometimes feel pressure to justify their prices to clients. But I think we should all take a lesson from Cosmo Castorini.

The point? 

The clients who don’t understand the value of the copper pipe will figure it out eventually. (How many clients have found you after multiple tries with other service providers?) Or they won’t. But the right clients will respect the value you bring. It’s not your job to justify. You just need to do an awesome job installing the copper pipe for those who appreciate it.

You (and your services) cost money because you save money. Got it?

P.S. Need someone to help show off your fine-tuned abilities? Let’s talk.

Santa for grownups

I spent last night helping out at a holiday event for kids.

There were cookies, music, prizes and decorating—and of course, Santa.

The delight in the children’s eyes as they approached Santa made my (sometimes-Grinchy) heart melt.

The point? 
I know grownups don’t really get to have Santa anymore. But we all deserve something to believe in.

I believe in the goodness of people, the magic of dogs, and the power of smiles.

I believe in being real, and in sharing our gifts. Because when we do that, it spreads—and light by light, the world becomes a brighter place. And that makes me merry as heck.

Thank you for letting me be part of your sparkle!

P.S. Need help delivering your unique gifts? Words are even more efficient than reindeer—and I’ve got them by the sleigh-load.