Commercialize

Commercialize: (v) to manage or exploit in a way designed to make a profit.

The Erickson Bread Company is coming out with a new product.

It doesn’t seem unique–it’s a tasty wheat bread fortified with vitamins that has the softness and flavor of white bread.

Everyone at the company and in the board room is ecstatic. They feel they have a good loaf which could quickly be considered great if it were advertised correctly.

A debate rages.

In order to present their creation to the public, they feel they need to find the best way to commercialize it–and by commercialize they mean the most favorable and common vehicle to convey typical life being joyously invaded by the new Erickson bread.

It is concluded that it would be ridiculous to show a family sitting around the dinner table enjoying one another’s company, commenting on the bread.

Old-fashioned.

Out of step with the times.

They also rejected the notion of a man wearing a hard hat, seemingly oblivious to the lunch he’s about to eat until he bites into the sandwich and smiles at the tasty bread.

Too much emphasis on a male figure–and who really wears hard hats anymore?

So it is decided that the best way to commercialize the bread is to have an energetic young mother standing at the kitchen counter making sandwiches for her young son and little daughter, who are completely preoccupied staring at computer screen and phone individually. The mother asks them to taste the bread. Without looking up, they nibble a corner–and suddenly their eyes look away from the screens and move to their mother, still with dead stares, and say, “Umm. That’s not bad.”

The commercial ends with the announcer saying: “Erickson’s new wheat bread–claimed by children who are obsessed by the Internet as ‘Umm. Not bad.'”

Commercialize: a decision to give in to the situation of our time, representing ideas in a fashion which may only be applicable for a few months.

Unfortunately, not everything we do in life can be commercialized.

Amen.

 

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Cold-call

Cold-call: (n) an unsolicited visit or telephone call made by someone trying to sell goods or services.

“Good morning! My name is…”

I immediately could tell that the person on the other end of the line was not convinced of the goodness of the morning, and did not give one flying Frito pie as to what my name was.

In baseball that’s called Strike Two.

What I did next would determine whether I would immediately go to Strike Three in the first twenty seconds, or survive, crossing thirty seconds–or the amazing possibility of a minute.

Cold-calling.

So referred to because it is calling that is made to human icebergs.

Usually when I realized that the person I was speaking to was not convinced of the beauty of the day, and was not impressed with my name, I would unfortunately have that two-second gulp in my throat.

This was always the length of time it took the individual who had already expressed indifference, to come in and close the deal on me.

“Listen, I don’t need anything. Bye.”

My supervisor in the company pointed out to me that when I was doing the cold-calling–the phone solicitation–I had deprived this individual of the benefit–dare he say, blessing?–of hearing about the terrific product.

All of this done through a misplaced gulp.

I got better. Sometimes I survived past the first gulp and got all the way to this phrase:

“What I’m calling you about today…”

Then a second wall, needing to hurdled, standing tall, wide and thick, suddenly rose before my nose–and once again, was terminated with the party on the other line (who, by the way, was not having a party) excusing him or herself and hanging up.

If I could get to the one-minute mark, where I explained how the product I was offering was not only beneficial but terribly inexpensive, I found that one out of four times I actually made a sale.

Let’s analyze the numbers:

Ninety percent of the people cut me off at my first gulp.

Five percent of the people stopped me with “the great wall.”

This means that five out of every one hundred people became my potential market of sales. I would have to ask you (and myself) what I would do in life if the potential for it only rallied five out of every one hundred times?

Honest to God, I think I would give up sex over that.

Cold-calling is something that many adults in the past experienced in an attempt to escape being criticized for not having a job.

And by itself–with its trials, its rejection and its nastiness–it nearly turned all of us into vagrants.

 

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Best-seller

Best-seller: (n) a book or other product that sells in very large numbers.

Dictionary B

I would be a complete charlatan if I told you I did not use words to my own advantage.

I try never to lie and do attempt to avoid excessive exaggeration.

But I have, from time to time, taken advantage of the cloak of ambiguity to leave the impression that something I was promoting had greater attention than it perhaps actually did.

That’s why, as an author, I’ve always loved the term “best-seller.”

As long as you avoid connoting that you’re speaking about one of your books ending up on a list somewhere, displayed in print for the elite to peruse, you can simply tout that your particular sales show that this volume you’ve published has sold more than a previous one.

Now the numbers may be miniscule–certainly not up to the figures accumulated by Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, but nevertheless, the statement “my best-seller” can stand proudly in the columns of all time as truthful.

Even if I only sold four of them.

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Beseech

Beseech: (v) to ask someone urgently and fervently to do something

Dictionary B

I beseech politicians to answer the question and then offer explanation instead of the other way around.

I beseech women to stop thinking they are smarter by treating men like they’re dumb.

I beseech men to stop acting dumb while secretly relegating women to a secondary position.

I beseech religion to start believing that God is our Father and therefore does not want to hurt us.

I beseech business to perfect the product before inflating the price.

I beseech parents to create a balance of responsibility and blessing for their children.

I beseech the military to be so prepared and so powerful that they don’t ever have to actually prove their worth.

I beseech educators to teach a balance of humility with information, since we are constantly learning things that contradict our arrogance.

I beseech those who are blessed to imagine what it is like to be without such a courtesy before deciding to judge weaker brothers.

I beseech the homeless to organize and simplify their lives to match their financial intake.

I beseech those who offer counsel to do so with an eye on their own weaknesses instead of merely poring over the philosophies of psychologists.

I beseech humanity to step far enough out of the jungle to plant a garden.

I beseech myself to remember all these things that I have beseeched from others.

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Barker

Barker: (n) a person who stands in front of a theater or sideshow and calls out to passersby to attract customers.Dictionary B

The two problems with self-promotion are that they contain a pair of dangerous concepts:

First, self. And second, promoting.

Combined, they create the nervous energy we all feel when people are thrusting themselves into the role of “barker,” to make us aware of what they consider to be a needful idea or product.

Basically, in our age most of the forms of communication are all about “barkers.”

Politics is full of barkers. Supposedly, the more you push, advertise, criticize and self-aggrandize, the better your chance to get a vote. No one stops to ask if this is actually true. It is a foregone conclusion by the pundits that if someone punches you, you should punch back, or if you remain silent too long or simply state your beliefs, you will be overthrown by the mass hysteria of those who generate a mob.

I was always a little uncomfortable with the idea of the evangelizing associated with Christianity. Because even though salvation is promised in the religious community, we first find ourselves barking at people, telling them how evil and destitute they are before we grant them the package of eternal life.

Of course, social media is nothing more than a bunch of technological barkers.

  • “Look at my beautiful this…”
  • “Check out my kid picking his nose, but in his case it’s cute…”
  • “I just got promoted and bought a new car, so don’t you see how much better my life is than your mediocre one?”

Is it possible to quietly succeed?

Is there a path that takes us to heaven without a marching band?

And is there a way to enrich the lives of your brothers and sisters in the world without startling them with your approach?

If there is, I will seek to find it.

And if it is not possible, I will still refrain from being a barker … and quietly walk away into gentle and blissful obscurity. 

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Bard

Bard: (n) a poet Dictionary B

If you’re a writer and you want to guarantee that you will never be read, start penning poetry.

I don’t know what we have against poetry, but it has become the mime of the writing industry. In other words, at one point it seemed like a great idea, but now most people just find it annoying.

This is why I plan on putting out a book of poetry this year.

I know it sounds insane, but I have often found that when the populace walks away from some product or idea, if you can improve that product or idea and make it more marketable, they are completely capable of running back to it as if they’ve never seen it before.

There is nothing more foolish than trying to imitate the market. For instance, if tomatoes are selling in the grocery store, by the time you grow some in your garden and get them to the produce aisle, people will have moved on to cucumbers.

I think the every bard knows that there are eternal messages, eternal truths and eternal common ground which can be sweetly woven into a tale that ministers to the soul while tingling the mind with possibility.

We really don’t have bards nowadays.

Matter of fact, if you used the word to refer to anyone other than Shakespeare, folks would assume that you thought you were better and more intellectual than the gathered. (And even if you use the word to refer to Shakespeare, you’re pretty hoity-toity.)

But in my opinion, the world is rather desperate for some prophets to rise up and use the tools of the bard … to stimulate us to needful thought and overdue repentance.

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“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

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We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

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