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Issue 2 – Volume 1

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Do you have the Tradecraft?

I was talking to a businessman friend of mine. This was probably thirty years ago, or more. He was a mentor, many years my senior and very successful in a business that had been started by his father. We were talking about how our respective dads had built their companies, my first serious work had been in a family business too.

I thought, and still think, that my work ethic was the main thing that I had gained from the experience. My mentor claimed the tradecraft as his legacy. I wanted to know what he meant by tradecraft.

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Do you have the Tradecraft?

I was talking to a businessman friend of mine. This was probably thirty years ago, or more. He was a mentor, many years my senior and very successful in a business that had been started by his father. We were talking about how our respective dads had built their companies, my first serious work had been in a family business too.

I thought, and still think, that my work ethic was the main thing that I had gained from the experience. My mentor claimed the tradecraft as his legacy. I wanted to know what he meant by tradecraft.

Tradecraft, he said, is hard to describe. But you know someone has it, the minute you see it in action. Tradecraft is more than salesmanship, though the ability to sell is part of it.

Tradecraft is an art, he said, and every successful business builder, innovator and promoter has it. It is the ability to make deals happen, but it's more than that too. Lawyers put deals together but they mostly just connect dots.

Tradecraft, he said, is a combination of skills, some learned, some intuitive that lead to actions that make a business special. It is usually the thing that makes you say "why didn't I think of that?".

Tradecraft for me, is the special sauce that makes the difference. We all know tradecraft when we see it. This month we interviewed a man who oozes tradecraft. He took an old Dairy Queen and a pizza restaurant, in a small college town, slathered on his special sauce and created something memorable.

We have a feature on sign spinners, an article on Facebook's new local search service, by Greg Sterling of Screenwerks, a different take on how to network by Francisco Dao and some quick hitting tips and tools in Mainstreet Smarts with help from Ralph Quintero, Andy Sernovitz and Jeff Slutsky plus an awesome Infographic by Unbounce.

I hope you will read, enjoy, learn and profit.

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