Author Archive


Bill Willard Biography


A Lawler Boy »

Depot Street Memories The Lawler Stories By Bill Sheridan “This book is comprised of a number of essays written at various stages of my life. It does not really have a beginning or an end. At some point I will stop writing. That will be your cue to stop reading.”—Bill Sheridan That’s Bill Sheridan’s opening […]

“How’s the Egg?” »

Customer Service, Client Building & Follow-Up The Issue: Small-business owners–and anyone else who enjoys a good sandwich–need a place like “Shelly Deli.” This sandwich shop in a convenience store by the bay in Safety Harbor, Florida makes the best “Cubans” and hoagies in town. Any town! With friends coming for lunch Thursday, we’d phoned-in for […]

Engineering Success »

A Conversation with Nicholas L. Gregory Responding to a 1979 Stanford Research Institute survey, 37,000 affluent individuals said they were frustrated with too many financial services companies with too many poorly trained high-pressure sales reps pushing too many prepackaged products.  In 1982, a young Ohio financial advisor, Nicholas Gregory, read that survey and realized this […]

All The President’s Mien »

Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. –James Madison The Issue: As much as Obama & Co. wants to direct the efforts of American business by appearing to be confident, in-charge leaders who know exactly how things will turn out, it’s all an illusion. No one in this administration has gotten his hands […]

Together Again for the First Time »

Issue of the Week Together Again for the First Time We’ve Made It This Far. What’s Next? The Issue: In 2006, the oldest of 78.2 million Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, turned 60 years old. That, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, works out to 7,918 turning 60 every day or […]

Need a Loan? If You’re an SBO, Forget It! »

Issue of the Week Need a Loan?  If You’re an SBO, Forget It! The Issue: Wall Street is back doling out the usual six-figure bonuses as if the U.S. economy hadn’t been in the tank for the past two years. But SBOs looking for routine financing are finding they’re still plumb out of luck. What […]

Leadership Lessons For SBO Managers »

Leadership Lessons For SBO Managers Leadership, Like Class, is Hard to Define, But Easy to Spot! The Issue:  Not all of the SBO stalwarts we write for and about on Freestyle Entrepreneur are lone guns struggling to build their businesses from a spare bedroom. Some of you lurch uncontrollably into conspicuous success, and find yourselves […]

Got Something to Say? Say It! »

    The Issue:  SBOs need to correct misconceptions they may have had about others…especially if they’ve dragged them out into the open…in print…online…for the world to see! What I Think: Last week, I sounded off about the young fellow I called about detailing my car. He had a first-class Website, devoted readers will recall, […]

SBO’s Should Be Interested & Interesting »

The Issue: SBOs need to match professionally designed Websites with equally professional-sounding telephone voices. What I Think: I’ve written in this space about grown women on TV/Cable with girlish voices losing a lot of their authority. The same goes for SBOs of both the popular genders who’ve taken the trouble of mounting a winning Web […]

Quality Time on Hoffman Cay »

Author’s Note: Summer 1991. Our second “bareboat” sailing expedition to the Bahamas in the ketch, Sundancer, begins with an all-night crossing of the Gulf Stream. Destination: the Berry Islands, a chain of small, mostly uninhabited coral cays northeast of Bimini. We’d been there for a week manning the lines the previous summer, and thought we’d […]

Telemarketing Etiquette – It’s All About Manners! »

The Issue With today’s modem-based auto-dialers, telemarketers can easily manage thousands of outbound calls in one shot. A handy device for call center operations or telemarketers working solo, with its flexibility in recording calls auto-dialers also work just fine with market research. Basically, clicking the Dial button triggers a call to the next number on […]

“NO PROBLEM” REDUX »

The Issue Whatever happened to “You’re welcome?” What I Think Several months ago Issue of the Week gently chastised sales and customer-contact people…and waaay too many others in all types of businesses…who say “No Problem” when thanked. Not that I thought we’d nip that particular verbal transgression in the proverbial bud, but it’s been getting […]

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED! »

The Issues This week we tackle two issues: Avoid blocking visibility and creating hazarous conditions in your parking lot. Why many women need voice lessons, and what they can do about it. What I Think What’s the connection? None really. Except that it’s better to know sooner than later about potential problems—or things that are […]

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SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times By Gary Keller, with Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan (McGraw-Hill, 2008, $21.95). Estimates put the number of 1099 workers as high as 40% of the post-recovery economy.  As more people lose their jobs, they are striking out on their own. And National Employment Report finds that […]

Challenges! »

By John A. Mangin, Jr. As a nation, we face immediate challenges, both of which threaten to destroy our capitalistic system if we let them: Cap-and-Trade, that rip-off by a government bent on rewarding its political favorites by creating a scarce new commodity, “carbon credits,” making businesses buy it, but forcing the poor pay to […]

Exploring Your Resources »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue Small-business owners should take time to put their companies under a microscope, assessing what they’re doing and what they could be doing better, and fixing what needs to be fixed. What I Think If this is a good time for you to do that, consider the following tips: […]

Where’s Lee Iacoccoa When We Need Him? »

The Nine C’s of Leadership Compiled By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue Remember Lee Iacocca? The guy who rescued Chrysler Corporation from itself?  Well, he’s 82 now and has a new book: Where Have All The Leaders Gone? (Scribner, $26). What follows is another part of my series of macro and micro “Leadership” Book […]

Start with the Answer — And Other Wisdom for Aspiring Leaders »

By Bob Seelert Published by Wiley, 2009. $24.95 Today, the words “business” and “wisdom” are rarely seen in the same sentence. But for Bob Seelert, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, the two go hand-in-hand. At a time when our economic systems need to energize people and produce leaders at all levels, Seelert brings us Start […]

One Worthy Cause: Breast Cancer 3-Day »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author For my wife, Sue Willard “Thanks for the Mammories & Sons, Others & Brothers Teams Breast cancer occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare. Estimated new cases and deaths from breast cancer in the United States in 2009: ·    New cases: 192,370 (female); 1,910 (male). […]

Car Wars: Overcoming v. Being Overcome »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue The car business is big business run by The Big Boys; franchised car dealerships are small businesses run by small-business owners like us. The relationship, never cozy, has soured since the economy hit the skids—soured perhaps permanently. Ironically, many car dealerships that have had their franchises yanked are […]

Blue Blazer! »

Putting Your Best Foot Forward By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue Among many other pearls wisdom my parents offered is this: “You can go anywhere and be dressed for any occasion in a blue blazer.” They were right: in fact, one way for small-business owners to put your best foot forward at work–no matter […]

Micro Manage When You Must; Macro Manage Because You Can »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue What is your management style? Are you a macro or micro manager? When is micro management appropriate, and why, and when is macro management appropriate and why? What I Think As a small-business owner you interact with your employees more than you would in the corporate world. That […]

Avoiding the Taxman? »

States Offer Voluntary Disclosure Programs to Help With Delinquent Tax Returns By Jonathan Medows, CPA Medows CPA, PLLC (www.medowscpa.com). Despite the obvious benefits of being your own boss: flexible hours…stimulating daily work…the opportunity to make more money than you can working for someone else, small-business owners and freelancers face challenges unique to self-employment. Along with […]

Never Sweat Another Tough Situation! »

Crucial conversations – Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler Foreword by Steven Covey McGraw-Hill, 2002, Paperback $16.95 Reviewed by Bill Willard From my own work with organizations, including families, and from my own experience, I have come to see that there are a few […]

A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace »

Book Review The Back to Basics Book of Money –A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace By John R. Ingrisano Paperback, Copyright 2009 Text: $15.99 & Workbook: $14.99 Set: $24.99 www.b2bbookofmoney.com. Reviewed by Bill Willard News Flash: The newly married typically have long, bumpy roads ahead of them under the best of circumstances. An economy that […]