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Wednesday, May 02 2018

Jargon refers to special words or expressions used by a particular group: they may be hard for people outside that group to understand. In copywriting, we're taught to avoid jargon; however there's a place for it.

A problem can arise when we're so used to using our industry terminology and it's become such a part of our everyday way of expressing ourselves, that we don't realize that we may be losing our readers.

When DO you use jargon?

Do your readers or listeners all belong to a specific industry or type of business?

In that case, it's OK. Everyone will understand you. If you're a real estate agent and your audience consists of real estate agents, they'll expect you to use industry vocabulary, otherwise it may look as if you don't know your field.

Similarly, while ordinary folks talk about a "heart attack", if you're a doctor speaking to an audience of doctors, they'll probably expect you to use the term "myocardial infarction ".

Are you writing for a general audience?

In this case, Industry terms will run off their backs like water off a duck. You lose their attention because they have no idea what you're talking about; they're too busy scratching their heads trying to figure it out to read or listen any further.

Or they'll read on but not understand what you're saying because they missed a key concept.

I recently read a piece by a real estate agent where she talked about a Trustee's Deed. Although I could guess at what this meant, I didn't understand it exactly. A one-sentence explanation of the term would have been sufficient to keep my attention.

When you explain complicated concepts in layman's terms, your audience comes along with you.

But If you go above their heads, they'll simply tune you out.

Do your materials use jargon? I'll cast an eye over them for you. Contact me by email at or at 805 965 9173 and let's talk.

Copyright 2018 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: Maggie AT 05:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, April 18 2018

How much of your time do you spend doing your genius work?

Many small business owners and sole proprietors go into business believing they'll be spending 80-90% of their time doing what they love to do, and what they went into business for, and the rest of the time (10-20%) breezing through communication, sales, marketing and paperwork.

The hard truth is that those figures are totally skewed.

As a service professional starting a business, the chances are you'll be spending up to 80% of your time with communication, sales, marketing and admin and only a small portion actually following your passion.

The good news is that it's not for ever. It takes time to get a business up and running. Once you have some momentum and clients, how you spend your time will shift and you'll be able to put more of your time and energy into actually working with clients.

However, the communication, sales, marketing and admin never go away. They're an integral part of running a business. They'll always be there, whether you like them or not. Make friends with them.

The more you learn about those topics quickly, the better you'll do it and the more your results will improve. It's worth taking the time to learn while you don't have a full client load, so you can be more effective, get more clients quickly and have more time for the fun work!

Then once business is flowing, you can outsource some of those tasks to others. And breathe out.

What do YOU need to accelerate that process?

Contact me by email at or at 805 965 9173 and let's talk.

Copyright 2018 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: Maggie AT 05:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 28 2018

For the last couple weeks I've been dealing with a horrible cold/flu and digestive issues that dramatically reduced how much time I could spend doing business work. It rarely happens that I'm laid low for so long. When I realized what was happening, my first reaction was panic. Who was going to do all the work and keep my business running and clients coming in?

Given the sorry state of my health and my glum feelings, it didn't take long for that attitude to fall away in favor of taking care of myself and sleeping a lot. I didn't have the energy for anything else.

I did consider the most important things that had to be handled. They boiled down to two items: taking care of current clients and responding to important emails/calls. I postponed many of my client calls and spent about an hour each day on communication. Nothing else.

And guess what? The world didn't end! My business kept rolling along. New clients contacted me and we got set up to get started.

How Can This Work?

Some of it came down to having systems in place that make business activities easier and more efficient. Some of it came from preparation and planting seeds that miraculously sprouted just when I didn't have the wherewithal to put extra energy into the business.

It's tempting to believe that if you're not taking care of business 24/7, something's wrong. There's not. In fact, that's unsustainable and, no matter how passionate you are about what you do, eventually you'll burn out. You don't have to be forced into inactivity as I was through sickness. You can make a conscious decision to take a break. You might discover that you come back more creative, more motivated, and more resilient for having done so.

Do you allow yourself to take a break? What do you do?
Or does the thought of downtime seem impossible to you? In that case, let's talk about how to implement this in your business. Contact me by email at or at 805 965 9173 and let's talk.

All good wishes,


Copyright 2018 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: Maggie AT 05:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 30 2017

Getting stuck in your business is frustrating. You've probably experienced those days when you can't seem to get things done, or you waste time doing 'busy work' or you wonder why clients aren't choosing you and maybe you should give it all up and get a job with a paycheck at the end of the month. Once in a while, it can be OK but what if it becomes a recurring pattern?

In my experience, the stuckness can come from a variety of factors:

  • No vision. Not knowing the deep purpose of the business and where you'd like to go with it.

SOLUTION: Needs clarity and a sense of purpose.

  • Missing basic knowledge of marketing.

SOLUTION: needs education.

  • No plan so you're rattling around doing random tasks that aren't cohesive.

SOLUTION: needs a defined strategy, broken down into goals and action steps.

But in the course of fixing these problems, people often crash into what I believe is the biggest obstacle:

  • Mindset issues. You can't separate you, the person, and your inner blocks, from your business. As a famous meditation teacher once said: "Wherever you go, there you are." You take yourself with you no matter where you go or what you do.

SOLUTION: uncover your deep truth. Then deal with the issues that come up to stop you living that truth.

I've recently added the mindset element as a new component in my work with clients. I pull on over 30 years of personal and spiritual development as well as a master's degree in Spiritual Psychology.

If you'd like to find out more, here's the link to a free teleclass training I'm offering on Thursday, November 30th: here's a good place to start:

Copyright 2017 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: AT 02:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 30 2017

Last month I promoted a special offer for a website review. I sent two emails within a week of each other and each time a number of people unsubscribed.

It may seem odd, but I've learned that it's a good thing when this happens as long as subscribers are not leaving in droves.


  1. If someone unsubscribes when you promote something to them, they're probably only interested in what they can get for free.
  2. They're doing you a favor by saying: "It's not a fit." They're helping you keep your list focused on those who want your expertise and are interested in what you offer.
  3. They improve the quality of your list. The more unengaged subscribers opt out, the more engaged ones are left.
  4. Many email systems allow people to give you feedback on why they left. It's an opportunity to find out what people don't like so you can improve your emails based on feedback.

In the business world, there are always opportunities to feel rejected but often it's a matter of how you interpret it. Maybe all it requires is a shift in mindset so you can see the benefits to you and you're not thrown for a loop.

Copyright 2017 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: Maggie AT 03:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 29 2017

For conscious entrepreneurs, I know how important it is to feel that your business is aligned with who you really are. It's critical to feel that you're doing business from your heart and from that place of deep connection to yourself.

But WHO ARE YOU really? Deep down inside, beyond your passion,what makes you the person you are? And how do you recognize those parts of you and bring them alive in your life and business?

Here's what I notice with a lot of people I know, friends and colleagues as well as clients. They're often hiding out, holding back, not shining in the way they could.

Holistic and center stage don't always go together well. Many conscious entrepreneurs don't want to own who they are and be the spotlight in their lives. And because they're not bringing their whole selves to the business, their marketing may be keeping them off stage.

For most of us, no one has ever given us permission to fully be who we really are. Could it be that you're not in touch with those deep parts of yourself that can add a spark to your presence?

For help in uncovering those hidden areas, go here to contact me for an initial conversation.

Posted by: Maggie AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 20 2017

I keep a file on my computer called: "Ideas for newsletter and blog". When an idea pops up randomly, I put it in there so it doesn't get lost. It doesn't have to be well-formed or thought out. I can flesh it out later if it turns out to be useful or relevant. If I'm not at my computer when that inspiration falls on me, I use the Notes or Voice Memos functions on my iPhone to capture it.

Other ideas can come from:

  • My work with clients: a situation someone is dealing with, a comment someone makes that sparks discussion.
  • My own experiences with networking, speaking and marketing my business.
  • An item in a book, article, blog post or newsletter.
  • My own observations as I go about my daily life and business activities.
  • What I learn from observing my own behavior and the difference those insights can make in my life and business.
  • Random ideas the pop into my head while walking or driving.
  • Random ideas that wake me up in the middle of the night.

Look around your daily life and you'll find there's no shortage of sources. I suggest making a list so you have some places to start when that next post is due. Then put your own spin on the information so that it feels personal.

If you'd like help brainstorming ideas for your content, contact me for an initial conversation.

Copyright 2017 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: Maggie AT 11:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 08 2017

When someone's behavior upsets you and you point a finger at them, three fingers are pointing back at you. Try it and see!

Sometimes it helps to try to understand why they said or did what they said or did. However a lot of that information will be based on assumptions, which may be right or wrong.For me, once I get past that surface level, it's helpful to take a look at my own reaction.

What upset me so much about the other person's behavior? With that information, I can go a level deeper and ask myself:

- Do I behave that way too?

- Would I like to be that way but I'm not?

Try it and see what insights you get into your own behavior. Your business and personal relationships will improve dramatically when you use those moments of irritation to reflect on yourself and how you might be showing up to others.

In running a business, we're told to build relationships. The more you can recognize your own behavior and what triggers you, the less reactive you become, and the more able to build supportive relationships founded on respect, no matter what's coming at you from the outside.

As part of my coaching business, I offer a detailed process to help my clients work through these kinds of situations. If you struggle with being reactive and you'd like to resolve the issue on a deep level so you can move past it, email me at and let's talk.

Posted by: AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, October 28 2017

Many daily tasks are derided as "busy work." Those are the tasks that aren't directly bringing in clients or money. Yet why does busy work often feel so satisfying?

That's what I was asking myself recently after I'd spent a couple of hours cleaning up my desk, sorting through papers and organizing files.

I felt very satisfied afterwards because I had achieved something and I could see results: my desk was clear and my computer desktop organized. I could draw a line under it and say: "It's done! "

Unfortunately it's not like that when you're marketing a business. It's never finished. There's always something more to do and at some point that can begin to feel overwhelming.

There's an easy way to make the "too much to do" more manageable. Break things down into projects that have a beginning and an end. A project can be as small as: "I'm going to make 5 phone calls this morning."

When you've made those 5 phone calls, you can say: "It's done!" Now you can cross it off your list and move on to the next project.

Copyright 2017 Maggie Dennison

Posted by: Maggie AT 03:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 19 2017

Earlier this year I was chosen to be a speaker at the annual Holistic Chamber of Commerce International Conference, to be held in Manhattan Beach (Southern California) at the end of this month.

I was excited to have the opportunity to meet people I wouldn't normally meet in person, and I'd get a chance to promote my business to a roomful of my ideal clients.

Until last Thursday - when I got an email saying that the conference had been cancelled.

I'd put time and effort into preparing, and had an offer for the audience. Was that effort all for nothing?

Not at all. Yes, I lost the opportunity to get in front of a roomful of my ideal clients but it wasn't a lost cause because I can present that information to other groups. And the offer I had planned to make wasn't only for the conference attendees. I'll be rolling it out to everyone later this month and the conference was one place for me to promote it.

One of the best pieces of advice I got early in business was to repurpose information and content. Where possible, develop material that you can use over and over again. Often results don't come the first time you do something.

In this case, the upside of what happened was that the conference deadline forced me to get my content finalized much more quickly that I would otherwise have done.

Do you plan in a way that allows you to repurpose your material?

Copyright 2017 Maggie Dennison

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evaluation session. Go here to read details:

Posted by: Maggie AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email


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