Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families

Making (coronavirus) lemons into lemonade (Part 2)

A human response to the self-isolation coronavirus lockdown is to have a private pity party (poor little me!), sit down on the couch, watch television and play video games.

When you are a business owner (or aspiring business owner), that response is death! The spirit of American Entrepreneurship is to take action!

Motivational teacher Napoleon Hill taught that disaster always has a seed of opportunity!

In Part 1, I suggested ways that your can work on positioning your business for success during the lockdown.

Another positive thing you can do during self-isolation is work on improving yourself, including your knowledge of more effectively communicating with others and how to be a more effective entrepreneur.

To get yourself out of the doldrums, first get up off the couch and exercise. It will get the blood flowing to your brain, stimulate endorphines (feel-good hormones) and improve your morale. What your exercise program should be is beyond the scope of this discussion. A very simple thing for most people to do (weather permitting) is simply take an hour walk each day.

Another thing to do is to read and study to build your business skills. I suggest that you devote at least an hour a day to self-education.

Maybe you have a book or self-study program you intend to read or study, but haven’t “gotten around to it.” Now is the time.

You might have a library membership to download ebooks or you can buy ebooks and recordings of books online at, Barnes and Noble, and many others.

There is a wealth of self-study material available for download or streaming available on the internet. There might be a book or program that you are willing to pay for.

Here are some amazing FREE download or streaming items that you would benefit from studying. To avoid confusion and overload, just try one at a time. I have personally studied most of these items.

Blogs, websites:

  • – Jay Abraham is a leading teacher and consultant about business strategy and consulting. You can learn a ton from his information, including videos, at this site, that he generously shares for FREE!
  • – Gary passed away several years ago. His newsletters have been posted at this website. You can study the writing style of one of the greatest promotional writers of all time.
  • – Gary Bencivenga is regarded by many as the greatest living copywriter (promotional writer.) Gary has shared pearls of wisdom in his Bencivenga Bullets. Not only is his advice invaluable, you have the opportunity to study HOW he writes. (And maybe copy them in your own handwriting for practice!)
  • – Gary Halbert’s protege’ and outstanding copywriter in his own right, John Carlton continues Gary Halbert’s tradition of giving hard-nosed business advice.
  • – Articles inspired by direct marketing guru Dan Kennedy who teaches Magnetic Marketing. I have been studying Dan’s materials since 1996. He is known as “the professor of harsh reality.”
  • – Joe Vitale is a marketing and spiritual teacher who calls his method Hypnotic Marketing. He has been promoting on the internet since the early days and I have been following him for years.
  • – An online “swipe file” of historic ads to study and borrow ideas from.
  • – How does Pixar make great animated feature films? They tell you for FREE! Especially look at The Art of Storytelling – a skill we all can use.
  • Imagineering In A Box ( – How does Disney develop the ideas for its amusement parks? They tell you for FREE!


  • Scientific Advertising – THE classic about writing advertisements and measuring their effectiveness.
  • How To Win Friends And Influence People – THE human relations classic.
  • Public Speaking And Influencing Men In Business – Classic textbook for Dale Carnegie’s course on public speaking and human relations.
  • Think and Grow Rich – THE classic American motivation book.
  • Tested Sentences That Sell – Classic book on selling by Elmer Wheeler (“Don’t Sell The Steak, Sell The Sizzle!”)
  • Selling Dangerously – Another classic book on selling by Elmer Wheeler.
  • The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin – Believed to be the first American motivational book. Benjamin Franklin is one of the founding fathers and honored as one of the wisest men in American history. This is his story as he told it.
  • Seven Habits Condensed Summaries – I wrote this “Reader’s Digest” version of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People.


Napoleon Hill’s Lost Lectures – A special opportunity to hear Napoleon Hill explain his principles of success.

There you have it. Choose one for during self-isolation. Then, if you wish, continue studying items on this list. It can easily take more than a year, but you will learn a ton about being more successful in business and in life.

This list is my gift to you for this historic, extraordinary event of a self-isolation shutdown of our country.


Free Email Updates
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.
Helping small business owners develop extraordinary businesses that really work for their customers, their employees, themselves and their families