Why Composing Emails When Your Tired is Terrible   (…and how to not be terrible)



Tired is Terrible

A few days ago I walked into my favorite Starbucks after a long day on no sleep. I pulled out my phone to use Apple Pay and a shy but pleasant barista asked what he could get me. I said, “I’ll have a Bombay Sapphire and Tonic, please.” He blinked at me three times. Slowly, a wisp of a smile curled across his face. I admitted that I was in the wrong place. “It’s like that today, huh,” he said.

I ordered a Venti Black Iced Tea, sweetened and plunked into a seat. The night before, I had deadlines to meet and worked until…well, until it was hella late. Screaming cats in heat woke me up 30 minutes after I dozed off. Then my housemate came home half an hour later. I entertained 30 minutes of sleep at a time over a 4 hour period. That’s not restful sleep. That’s not restful anything.

I was too tired to work the next day. But I push through. Sometimes pushing trough gives a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes pushing through is overrated. I do it anyway.

“…be circumspect,” and taking my own counsel

An associate of mine on the West Coast needed some marketing materials sent. We had clients waiting and a growing list of prospects to contact. Our strategic partners, whom he has tirelessly pursued―with fine results for us―were in the bullpen.

Everybody on his team was rearing to act on my newly-minted Key Messaging Platform. I had an awesome lead generating email written. I emailed the message to him right away for the whole second-set-of-eyes thing. That’s always good, by the way. Tired as I was, I couldn’t think (at all, actually) of letting another day go by.

I had some emails that required “an immediate response” from me. One of my emails did get a response all right. Fi yuo cna raed thsi, you’re a genuis. If you could make sense of my terrible email, you’re a genius, too.

What I wrote:

The idea of doing forces to create a strategic alliance, increase sales and products in this market, introduce a new product, develop a new market segment, move into a new geography, etc.could be something to look into but not if it’s rabbit holing or a distraction from project that will produce financial.

Multiple streams of income is the ultimate goal. I say look into it but be circumspect. 

What I thought I sent:

The idea of joining forces to create a strategic alliance is shrewd. If Blahblahblah, Inc. is willing to become a strategic partner, that would be amazing for everyone. Looking at increasing sales and introducing new products is a smart move.

Blahblahblah, Inc. could give us an awesome opportunity to step into a new geography and develop a new market segment.  This is something to look into but not if it’s rabbit holing. Any distraction from projects that will produce a financial return wouldn’t be prudent. Not right now.

Multiple streams of income is the ultimate goal, of course. I say look into it but be circumspect. Please let me know if there’s anything you need.

This is what I said―in my mind. The email was a different, unintelligible story. It was terrible.

There are a lot of rules for writing emails. Know your audience, avoid attachments, have a consistent voice and so on. My #1 Email Rule? Get plenty of sleep. That’s the first step to being circumspect.

One way to be attentive and cautious:

Under normal circumstances, my energy level is up and I’m writing away like a fiend. I use a note taking app or Apple Pages. MS Word. Whatever. I write. I proofread. I may even run it through hemingwayapp.com―and Grammarly is bomb . When I’ve ascertained that it’s not terrible, I click the send button.

But these are not the most important steps toward you and your emails not being terrible.

The first step to not being terrible―Remember, if you can’t speak in simple, coherent sentences, you won’t do it in writing either. Be circumspect. If you can’t be attentive to what you’re doing, why are you doing it?

The second step― Wait until it’s time. Timing is everything. Honestly, sometimes it is better to put off ’til tomorrow what will likely be terrible today. And don’t make terrible today what you can make brilliant tomorrow (or after a nap, or after setting it aside for a time, or after you’ve meditated, or after you kissed someone who really needs a kissing, or after you’ve eaten).

The third step― Do not people-please anybody. Don’t place yourself in a position with an email that puts you needlessly outside of your strengths. Email, e-schmail. This applies to any project: always come from a position of strength…as best as you can for today.

The fourth step―If you walk into a Starbucks and order a gin and tonic, you need to go home, buddy.

The fifth step―Go to sleep.

Be you in everything you do. You probably did a million freakin’ things brilliantly today. A terrible, discombobulated email is hardly going to trigger global mass extinction.

Don’t fear making email errors. Mistakes are generally unavoidable. Focus on what you’re doing right. You can always correct a mistake, revise, reiterate.

Final Steps―Stay focused on improving. James Caan, CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw Group, among others, says that the way in which you deliver your message is just as important as what you’re trying to say.

While concentrating on this stuff you’re going to learn what your triggers are in terms of terrible. Don’t skip a meal or short-change yourself on sleep. Those are my triggers. What are yours? How do you solve that problem?


These 7 Life Hacks Will Help You Get Ready for 2017 Like a Boss


My grandmother was always saying, “Count your blessings.” I just don’t remember hearing her complain. One of my dearest friends, Sandra, always says―at least once a day―“Be grateful.” She is consistently looking for an opportunity to give recognition and share appreciation.

Basically, these positive women were saying the same thing. Express gratitude. And why? Because you count blessings, not ill fortune. Misadventure isn’t for calculation, it’s for edification. It’s for opportunity―not least of all taking the opportunity to look in the mirror.

What you do is you take a good hard look at your successes. You emulate and reproduce success. You learn from failures. You take an inventory and magnify your strengths so you can diminish deficits.

You don’t want to sit too long in a success. You want to take actionable steps and keep moving. You don’t want to sit in a failure either. Wallowing in emotional paralysis is not going to reduce a deficiency. Learning sure will.

Self-help author, Melody Beattie says, ‘Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.’ Wallowing never accomplished that. And yet, I can say in all sincerity, I’m grateful for my many failures.

That’s right. And why? Because being grateful for the failure unlocks it and opens up acceptance. Gratitude in failure unlocks the lesson and unlocks breakthroughs, momentum, and improvement. When we adopt the attitude that failing isn’t stagnation or diminishment, we can make headway and elevate our experience.

It’s part of an equation―it gets a bit algebraic, but don’t freak out―because we’re adding good stuff, embracing impermanence, forgiveness, and the benefits of moving on.

Oh. And look at that! We’re moving on from 2016.

  • What choices are you going to make?
  • In what ways can you set yourself up for growth?
  • What person, place, or thing do you need to let go of?
  • What strength will you expand?
  • Where’s your level of acceptance and non-attachment?
  • What are you gonna do to infuse more gratitude into your life?

These 7 life hacks will help you get ready for 2017 like a boss:

  1. Express your gratitude.
  2. Emulate and reproduce success.
  3. Magnify your strengths.
  4. Take actionable steps to move forward.
  5. Keep learning. If you fail, it’s for edification, not calculation.
  6. Calculation is for counting blessings.
  7. Give space for gratitude to unlock the lesson.

Give yourself some credit. You done good. Say goodbye to 2016 with a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. I’m so anticipating a new life and it comes with not just a clean slate, but with lessons learned. Are you with me?

The Content Machine


I’m stoked about this.

There’s hidden gold and I have a new way to find it for you!

To be frank―you have assets you’re overlooking. I can give new life to existing content, make it profitable, and create new content for expanded use in other areas.

This is guaranteed to make a huge impact on your business and on your audience.

We’ll build a PK Content Machine to serve you! Sure, it sounds a little mad scientist-y, but in reality, we’re creating new opportunities for you and your website to grow your client base.

Ask me how we can build an exclusive PK Content Machine that will find hidden assets and how I can integrate them into your Lifetime of Content subscription.

Stop by PK Freelancing and let’s develop raw ideas and turn the best ones into

  • Abstracts
  • Blog posts from the best abstracts
  • White papers from the best blog posts
  • Webinars from the best white papers
  • Ghostwritten articles from the best content above




[Special thanks to Ed Gandia.]

The Power of Content & Social Media Expertise


What marketing strategies are you using right now? A more important question might be how well are they actually working for you?

If you’ve given up on using Social Media and Internet marketing vehicles for your business, don’t throw in the towel just yet. In addition to offering a Lifetime of Content Program, I opened the Pk Freelancing Social Media Café.

I help people and businesses implement social media strategies that are proven to generate more leads, website traffic, and targeted followers. My programs are simple to understand and results-driven to get you the best outcomes possible on Social Media.

Social media, when used correctly, can be one of the most powerful business and marketing tools you will ever use. The problem for most companies is that they don’t know where to start or they don’t have the time or staff needed to get consistent results.

My purpose is simple: I Coordinate Your Social Media and Provide Outstanding Content To Make Sure You Get Results. Guaranteed!

I have developed programs that can handle the needs of almost any size company in any industry and in almost any country.

By outsourcing your Content and Social Media needs, you have more time to focus on your business while you leaving your marketing up to a professional at a fraction of the usual cost.

If you want to learn more about Social Media and find out if our plans are a good fit for your business, I would be happy to connect over a 30-minute consultation.

You can follow this link: facebook.com/pkfreelance/

The Best Blog Post About “Story” You’re Going to Read


There are two kinds of story. There is external story. There is internal story. The more unrealistic and unreasonable you are perceived as being, the more external story there will be.

Do not be deceived. Your personal, internal story about you and the external story that others have about you will not match up. Not often. Not accurately. If you’re lucky you will come to appreciate the synergy between these two stories.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are going to be very few people who are going to connect positively to your self-narrative. Most people lack sufficient self-awareness to even handle their own story, much less be a dispassionate, fair-minded biographer.

That’s okay. As long as their story doesn’t interfere or create doubt about your story, there could be something to learn or something to let go of.

People will tell you your story anyway. When they do it’s an opportunity to check over your story and accept or reject what they say and then, well, story forth, as the old saying goes.

One external story I have heard from others is about passion. I seem to appear to be passionate to some people. Quite lazy and befuddled to others, but rather intense, amorous and excitable to most.

When it comes to passion, frankly I’m rather suspicious of it. Passion to me is  questionable, even disreputable―at least in relationships. Passion is unsustainable elsewhere.

If our relationship is hot, be prepared for it to cool off. If you have passion in business, as an entrepreneur, there better be other things you can scale quickly or adapt toward maintaining at a certain rate or level. Otherwise, you’ll both burn out and fade away. My my. Hey hey.

Passion is all very feel good on the ego. I’m grand and noble and have found my passion. I’m living my passion. Someone said, and they sounded very enlightened, too: “Take time to work through the process and know that, no matter what, you’ll be getting closer to where you want to be.” Why? Because passion.

Passion implies a burning fire and fires exhaust themselves. I may very well be intense, amorous and excitable, but I detest being exhausted. These days I’m not interested in following my passion, living my passion, finding my passion.

I’m interested in a commitment to action.

I wrote about this already, that I must have easily 100+ items on my to-do list. This week I am not going to get 100 things done. Not with 24 hours in a day. Not with all the passion in my Scorpionic stars.

I’m going to get things done because of my commitment to action. Just not 100+ Big List items.

When I ask myself the very calm question, “What 3 things do I need to accomplish that will guarantee this week will feel like a win?” it reins in the “passion” and directs it toward activity and away from agitation. It also highlights my problem with passion:

No matter what you think about passion―it’s about you. Your commitment to action is about others. Actionable steps in my day are about the service I provide as a freelancer. My commitment to action is about the people in my life and about making a difference in theirs.

Actionable steps are about providing benefit to your clients.

And here’s why I say this: Because I’m unrealistic and unreasonable.

This is, of course, an external story. And I’m fine with it because as an “unrealistic” person who has always made the “unreasonable” viable, I’ve come to value navigating through pain, interest and over to solutions and a good personal and professional sense of action.

I quote Derek Halpern a lot: Passion doesn’t pay the bills. Pain does. Find the pain. Offer relief. Get paid. Passion may help you feel good but it doesn’t do squat for anyone else.

Passion is a comfort zone issue. As Dr. Joyce Knudsen says, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.” Get into the taking action zone instead!

I’ve always been unrealistic and unreasonable. Way the hell before I started freelancing.

The Is That It Is

When my Yia Yia passed away and my family was in Greece, after 6 months my parents rightly wanted to know what I was going to do. It was unrealistic to go to Paris and spend 18 months there. It was unreasonable to have spent 2 years in Europe. I did it anyway.

When I returned to my hometown of New York City, I went to CCNY. I was a Creative Writing and a Film major. I found a mentor in professor and poet Constantinos Lardas. Gus loved me and my writing.

He used to look at me with a disconcerting mix of pity and tender irascibility (you  may have to be Greek to understand that one).

One gorgeous May afternoon, I asked him as we walked toward St. Nicholas Terrace, “Gus? Is something wrong? You seem upset with me.”

“I’m not upset with you. I’m wondering what you’re supposed to do.”

I stopped and looked at him. “What do you mean?” His tone of voice made me nervous.

“You should have been born in the 18th or 19th centuries. You’re a poet and that’s all you’ll ever be. The world is not known for treating people like you very well at all and I’m worried.”

It was unreasonable that by mid-terms I was excused from all my writing classes for the remainder of the semester because I had already earned a 4.0 in those courses.

It was unrealistic that I would share the stage at university poetry readings with Amiri Baraka and Allan Ginsberg. Or that Gary Dourdan would back me up on percussion at readings in the East Village.

It was unreasonable that a tenured Columbia University professor would invite me to participate with MFA writing students, to read and share work when I was barely an undergrad. Those guys hated me.

My culinary career was unrealistic. I would head to China Town several times a week and walk into the manager’s office with product and a receipt to be reimbursed. I’d rush into the kitchen to exercise improvisational cooking like I had a Food Network show.

Totally unreasonable.

Moving to Las Vegas to “seek my fortune” was unrealistic. Finishing my degree and changing my career was unreasonable. It was unrealistic for me to attempt a Master’s degree.

In comparison, maybe becoming a freelance writer was practical and tenable after all. Whatever external story people have about me, in all honesty, I got stones, my friend.

I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid of the future. I can’t see it well because the darkness covers it. The future doesn’t make sense to me. But I’m not fearful of it.

What I’m afraid of is errors of perception. When I’ve screwed up (and yes, I have a litany of screw-ups), it’s always been because of an error of perception, an inability to see the “is that it is.” That’s something that belongs to me.

I was in a relationship, seems like several lifetimes ago, that I wrongly perceived as being detached and disengaged.

The error was that I perceived us traveling the road of life separately. Like we were on a road trip in two separate cars and that was interpreted as a misadventure, a tragedy, catastrophic.

I could not have been more wrong! I could not have been more immature, inexperienced, more maladaptive.

In Life the is that it is is that we sure as hell are in different vehicles and thankfully so! Even if we were conjoined, she still was not me, she still was an entity of my environment like I was for her.

This is a great thing―not a catastrophe. The only real adversity was the error in perception that ended the relationship and sent my life spiraling out.

If I’m here to facilitate your transition into a new life, or to be there in the capacity of a catalyst for the intelligible or the possible in your life, then I am damn proud that I could do that.

Did you learn something? Did you get something meaningful? Good.

My new life is about to begin. I can’t see it worth a damn. There are no navigational reference points. The sky is dark and starless. And yet, not one catastrophic tragedy. Just life in my environment in the is that it is.

Shakespeare said

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. 

In other words, Life moves like the tides and seizing the highest tide leads us to success. If we let the high tide pass us by, the voyage of life gets miserable. I’m put to sea on such a tide right now and I have to take life’s current as it’s offered. Or lose. But I will not lose. So don’t you be afraid either.

Live today as a life unto itself.

Live today with a focus on meaning-making. In psychology, meaning-making is the process of how persons construe, understand, or make sense of life events, relationships, and the self.

We gather information, we have experiences, we give them meaning, we form an impression, we act on what we believe we’ve learned. That is what it is to be human.

We then construct a life-world.

Our life-world is made up of all the immediate experiences, activities, and connections that make up our environment. Remember, anyone, anything, and anyplace that isn’t you is your environment.

When we grow in meaning-making and in our perceptions of ourselves, then other people, places, and things become intelligible to us, and all the darkness in the world doesn’t make any difference in our reality. Or on our internal story.

When I was in that Road Trip Relationship, my openness to and awareness of the world was what was darkened. The perception of traveling in separate cars down the road of life was unacceptable because it represented a threat to my life-world at the time.

The problem with the perception error I committed is that it did not coincide with reality and rather than accepting it as a challenge, I left.

And I began to focus on my internal story. I continued, in fact, to persist in being unreasonable. The voyage continues, with a dark and starless sky. With no sea monsters, no siren’s song. The story, no matter how unrealistic it seems, continues.

Appreciate the synergy