When To Wear Jeans

I go to a fair number of conferences where speakers are up on a stage (in front of hundreds or thousands). Over the years, I’ve noticed that the acceptable dress code for speakers has changed. A few decades ago, male speakers always wore a suit and tie. Female speakers wore a dress or pantsuit. Both were formal in their dress. I suppose this was not only to signal that they were “pros,” but also because most of us attending conferences dressed in business attire. Back in the day, that may have included a suit. I’ll never forget when I saw leadership guru Simon Sinek speak at a CEO business conference about 10 years ago. He was one of the first speakers I noticed that dressed more informally. Continue Reading

The Book That Changed My Life

I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but I stumbled across a book a few months ago and eventually got a chance to read it. And it really has changed my outlook. Here is what happened. I was getting ready to take a long flight to London, so I was at my local bookstore, getting a guidebook, and saw this book on display, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It was on the best-seller shelf and because it was small in size, I figured, what a perfect book to read on … Continue reading

The Power of Purple

I remember the first time I saw the Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato. A sweet potato grower that we buy from in Northern California sent us a sample and asked us what we thought about the potatoes. He said it was a unique variety that he had been experimenting with and he wanted our opinion. And I know why he thought about us. Ever since my mother started our company in 1962, our official color has been purple. It all started when she was ready to launch her business on the … Continue reading

Who Cares if a Drug Company Got Sold?

With so many mergers and acquisitions these days, it’s really hard to keep up. Well, thank goodness my holistic naturopath keeps up. For those who are not familiar, naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine using natural treatments like homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as nutrition and lifestyle counseling. Now that we’re all on the same page, let me tell you what happened to me. About three months ago, I suddenly developed this dry cough. It was like my mouth was suddenly drying out, all day long. It was … Continue reading

How to Change Your Baby Boomer Business Model to Be Relevant to Millennials

Today I had lunch with a woman whom I have admired for more than 20 years: Caroline Cotten. Caroline founded Mass Connections, a shopper marketing firm she built from an idea she had in college and turned into a $100 million business. Her business provides people to do in-store demonstrations for vendors in the grocery business at grocery stores. You know who I mean: those stereotypical, mostly older ladies in black pants and white shirts who hand you samples while you walk around the grocery store. Back when I started … Continue reading