Thursday, 30 May 2013

A wise man once said.

Well, indeed, wise men are always saying something or other. But it’s the wiser person still, who makes and takes time to listen.

Words spoken are meant to be heard.

But what about words written?

Logically they’re intended to be read. That is asking a lot of your audience. People read in different ways – that’s if they bother reading at all. Some start at the top left and hang on every word, guided by articulate punctuation all the way down to the end.

Actually no. Not many, if any bother reading it at all – certainly not all of it.

Now, if you write, articulate, pitch your message knowing, understanding and respecting the readers’ limitations, then it really is possible to wrap your proposition in a sensible handful of words and deliver it in such a way that your clients and prospects will know:

What you do

Why you do it

And the benefits they’ll derive by embracing the relationship you are trying to develop.

By breaking the text into bite-sized portions of interest and fact, they’ll practically h e a r  the words they read and listen to the message in digestible mouthfuls.

Click on the image (left) and even at its original size, a page of blocked text with no paragraph breaks has no chance.

The words themselves need to be the right ones and all in the right order. But their delivery and presentation needs to be right too.

Little paragraphs.

Short sentences. With occasional rolling sequences of sensually sparkling alliteration bouncing across the page as a butterfly bobs along a border of asters on a balmy late summer’s eve.

But. Do please make sure the balmy’s not barmy and your apostrophe’s in the right place. And yes, if it helps get the message across, then start a paragraph with a ‘but’ and the odd sentence with an ‘and’.

A wise man once wrote ... so the wiser man could read, understand and know what to do next.

What I would now like you to do is ‘phone or e-mail me; invite me to meet you; let me listen to your own wise words; then allow me to cost-effectively re-package them to an articulate corporate presentation of you and your what, how and why.


02476 609 104
Rodney Bashford

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Ladders, Snakes and Perseverance.

Business can be something of a roller coaster, or in this scenario a game of Snakes & Ladders.

The climbs can be tough at times, needing investment of funds, time and resources. For small / medium sized businesses the Managing Director is so often the owner, operations officer, sales director and marketing director. Are you taking on too much?

If you recognise this picture, you’ll know that each rung of that ladder is a brow sweating (or glowing - PC) effort. Then, when you hit that snake, you’re back where you started if not further down the competitive board. Ladders are the product of all our own efforts and combined with the prudence to bring in the support of others when we feel the goals of clarity and success merit the help.

Snakes are either operational mistakes or the effects of external forces – political, competitive, climatic, economic … the list can be endless. But snakes are all too often the result of the business leader taking on too much and dropping the ball at that oh so crucial moment.

What’s the point?

The point is that the ladder is always steadier / easier to climb if someone else is holding it. That supporting resource could be someone like us – ASPIRUS.

ASPIRUS Words is now proudly in partnership with intime PROFIT.

Between us we have the skills and experience to take a firm hold of our clients' corporate ladders.

Because the wobble is now steadied by professional support, you are better placed to climb with renewed confidence. Our combined services equip business owners and managers better to take on each new rung whilst keeping those snakes at bay.

But what of Perseverance?

Of perseverance, according to Henry Ward Beecher:

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”

Beecher was a highly regarded American Congregationalist, clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist and speaker of the mid-19th century. If nothing else, his legacy is a collection of wise words and heart felt wisdom…

“It is easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better from the top.”

If you want to bring clarity to your communications and to grow your business - use  a strong will, not a strong won't - the view really is better from the top.


02476 609 104
Rodney Bashford


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fly – the power of a three letter word:

I don’t know if your phone, like mine, beeps at eight o’clock every weekday morning to announce the arrival of a ‘Daily Tickler’ from intime PROFIT – if not, you should make sure it does.


Firstly because they’re regular as prunes and porridge and set the pace for the day. Mainly though, because they offer those occasional flashes of amazing inspiration.

Yesterday the quote was: Fly.

“Come to the edge” he said,
“We are afraid”.
“Come to the edge” he said.
They came.
He pushed them and they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire was the French poet, writer and art critic whose words this Daily Tickler recounted.

As the managing owner of a small business helping like-minded managing owners of small / medium businesses this struck a chord – sometimes subtlety suits the hand-holding management and business development style but often you need to be pushed over the edge … step out of your comfort zone, jump over the edge and see if you fly too.

Thanks to Mr Wiki I discovered that Guillaume Apollinaire was born 26th August 1880 and died 9th November 1918 and is considered one of the most important literary figures of the early twentieth century. His brief career influenced the development of such artistic movements as Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism and the legend of his personality - bohemian artist, raconteur, gourmand, soldier - became the model for avant-garde deportment.

A portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire by Maurice de Vlaminck.
Vlaminck's compositions show familiarity with the Impressionists, several of whom had painted in the same area in the 1870s and 1880s. After visiting a van Gogh exhibition, Vlaminck declared that he "loved van Gogh that day more than my own father".

Well, I’ve been a soldier and my girth betrays 'mes passions gourmandise' but I covet the man, the life, the environment and the skill.

I had to look further and found this:

La géométrie est aux arts plastiques ce que
la grammaire est à l'art de l'écrivain.

“…geometry is to the plastic arts what
grammar is to the art of the writer.”

Wow – how right. How true.

As you know, words are my tool and making them work harder for businesses is my service. So often overlooked - the structure of a web page, brochure or advertisement is as important as the structure of the written message – not just the physical structure but the geometry of the message that the words impart.

I was working with a client recently to help structure some key elements of his corporate message. It wasn’t working. The message was there but tripped over itself as one read the words … and, hellowords are there to be read. And, readers read aloud, even in their heads. So, if the message can’t be read aloud, with ease – it just won’t work.

To make this client understand, the revelation was the introduction of a metronome.

Tick tock, tick tock – dee daaa dee daaa, dee dum dum dee daaa.

The rhythm was given, the structure was set and the words began dancing to the corporate tune.

If you want your corporate message to fly,
                                          step over the edge.

Call me on 02476 609 104 or e-mail me: .

To get your own Daily Ticklers email and ask for your 8 o'clock wake up beep.

call for a FREE SPRING CLEAN today
02476 609 104
Rodney Bashford

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year - new words – FREE Spring Clean

Every business starts a New Year with good intentions, fresh thoughts and a magic dust to sprinkle over colleagues, staff, clients and prospects.

I’ve been participating in a series of business development seminars with colleagues running SMEs in Kent (see: One of the recent exercises that caused much furrowing of brow was for each of us to refine our ‘elevator pitches’. The clash of benefits prevailing over values threw all into disarray as we tried to think on the part of our clients and customers, considering their views and needs as opposed to our intentions.

All positive stuff - as indeed are the benefits, thought provocation and pearls of wisdom derived from each monthly gathering.

So here we find ourselves starting yet another New Year with yet more fresh and invigorating ideas to carry us towards Easter.


How are we applying these sparks and how are we articulating our inspiration to others – staff and clients alike.

How fresh is your website – not the expensive side of its structure and functionality but the simple side of its message – THE WORDS … is it still singing from the same business hymn sheet?

So often the answer is NO.

The same goes for the packaging of your key and unique selling points; your standard mailings and responses to inbound enquiries … are your clients and prospective clients hearing (reading) the story as you wish to tell it now, today, in 2013?

Again, possibly not.


Put us to the test by meeting; you talk, we’ll listen and leave you; then we’ll give you a written assessment of your written presentation, your verbal summary and how we might re-articulate the proposition to fit your New Year glitter and goals.

This will cost you nothing and – you don’t have to do anything with the thoughts we then share.

But you never know … you just might use ASPIRUS to make accost effective difference to your business – now.

call for a FREE SPRING CLEAN today
02476 609 104
Rodney Bashford