Bizmissive – a One-Year Summary

I send out a business newsletter called The Bizmissive. Here is a collection of this past year’s newsletters. You can sign up for the newsletter here. I use Constant Contact to send these and I try to send them every month. 

August 2021 – How to put yourself more into your marketing.

September 2021 – Why create email newsletters and a success story!

October 2021 – Holiday Marketing

November 2021 – Thanksgiving message – How newsletters continue to thrive as a marketing channel

December 2021 – Info about a free class I offered and why I offered it.

January 2022 – The Value of cross-promotion and recommending friends – word of mouth!

February 2022 – skipped

March 2022 – St. Patty’s – Using holiday templates – Holiday marketing – Small Business Market Trends

April 2022 – Deep Dive Webinar that I offered + Info on working from home trends

May 2022 – Skipped

June 2022 – Annual Reader’s Survey – Offer to share your newsletter with my readers (still valid!)

June 2022 – About Text 2 Join – a fantastic way to build your list!  – you can try this out by texting ALBERT to 22828


The Bizmissive

The Future

How to Prepare for the Future

Farm My YardWhen I have started various projects in the past I’ve usually thought of the people who would participate in them as being my peers – people my age. But eventually, we all grow old and can no longer carry on our visions and need next generations to take over. I’ve always been fascinated by organizations like SAGE in Portland, Oregon which understand this aspect of life very well.

SAGE: “We are a community of advocates who believe that each generation should improve the quality of life for the next.

Everyone is an asset, despite their age. People over fifty have energy, wisdom, and resources that are vital to the well-being of our communities. Through workshops, discussions, and leadership development, SAGE inspires and supports adults to give forward so younger and future generations thrive.”

SAGE helps facilitate all sorts of projects with a big part of what they’re about being the passing along of skills to future generations. My own projects like Farm My Yard really haven’t been built with that concept in mind. I just figured I’d do what I do – get things started and then people would pick up the idea and run with it and it would spread hither and yon over time and continue as long as needed. This is what happened with an organization I helped boost in 2003 – Freecycle.

In 2003 I came back from my 3rd Burning Man in the Nevada desert and I had really gotten interested in the gifting economy. Through the Utne Reader I learned of a small effort in Tucson, AZ that was all about using a Yahoo group to offer up one’s belongings and see who wanted them. They had grown to 1,000 members. I got busy starting a Portland version of the service and also started groups for many major cities in the U.S. and the world. One friend suggests that I did more to keep things out of the landfill than anyone alive. Freecycle’s success eventually led to a “free” section on Craig’s List and today’s very popular Buy Nothing Project which has relied on local Facebook groups for its growth and success. In this example, I have no doubt that something like this example of the gifting economy will easily outlive me. But what about things where I have been less successful in getting the project off the ground like Farm My Yard?

One way to make sure that whatever you’re doing spreads is to think about how to attract the very young to what you’re doing. That’s not always the easiest thing to consider. How can a 60-year old writer/thinker in Portland, Oregon transmit an idea to younger generations around the country and world? Well, kids love games and so perhaps through the use of gaming, there might be an opportunity to attract younger minds and hearts to the idea of urban gardening. That is what brought me into connection with X and I’m definitely interested in seeing if this might be a way to teach young people the magic of growing your own food, but perhaps also to consider learning how to spread that knowledge and interest into their lives for good.

This site full of cooking and gardening games for kids seems to fit that bill. I thought I’d try out Veggiezilla – and I can see how this might be a great way to get kids interested in growing vegetables.

The game is simple yet entertaining. That said, I’m going to have to try to find some young kids to take it for a test drive and see what they think of it! I’m going to ask folks who follow the Farm My Yard FB page to see if their kids take to it. This New Looney Tunes Veggie Patch game also looks like fun.

This one doesn’t seem to teach in a clear way as the first one above, but heck I know that different kids learn differently.  In any case, these games seem like an interesting way to approach future generations that are given tablets at a young age. I’d be curious to hear your thinking below in the comments section. Do you think this is a good direction in addition to getting kids to get their hands dirty by actually digging in the dirt and planting things? My sense is that the more different kinds of information kids get the more likely they are to pick up the habit of growing food. I also think they might really need to understand these systems better in the future given the kinds of supply chain challenges we are seeing these days. Again, I’d love to hear what you think.

Thanks for reading. Here’s to a better year ahead.

Albert Kaufman



It’s in the Cards!

I’ve been playing cards since I was a kid. The game in my house was hearts. I also have a friend, Aaron Trotter, who has been sketching the world’s cities (starting with Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon) and turning the sketches into decks of cards. You can find Aaron every weekend at the Portland Saturday Market.

At last year’s World Domination Summit I met Jan Keck from Toronto who has created a deck called Ask Deep Questions. Jan is an interesting guy who is trying to help people break their small-talk diets. His use of the cards has opened my eyes and mind to a new tool for parties; family reunions; ice breakers at events; and just a way to go deeper with another person quickly. Science actually shows that people who have deeper conversations are happier. Jan has taken the cards to another level through a Facebook group called the Ask Deep Questions Movement. This has become a hangout spot for those who believe in Jan’s mission and for the sharing of tangential resources. Here is a conversation 4.24.19 between Jan and Erin (mentioned below)

Jan Keck Ask Deep Questions

Jan has also shown me how to run a successful Kickstarter – he had a team of people that he was building as the Kickstarter ran – and he’s also a wiz at using social media and his camera to capture what he’s up to.  His activity mostly takes place in person in Toronto, but he’s also developing tools to teach people his ideas online, as well.

Then, there are Erin Hickok’s Cards for Connection. I learned about Erin’s work about 2 weeks ago and already I’ve learned a ton about what her decks are about. Erin has been sharing her decks with people all over the country and world for the past 5 years and she’s probably been transformed by the experience. I took part in an online Zoom session with 4 others where we answered questions together – the way this process allows people to share stories; get to know one another, and go deeper – is pretty remarkable.

Cards for Connection

Erin also has a Facebook group called Core Connectors which is where people who have been attracted to her work have gathered.  It’s also where some of the online games have happened as well as some interviewing she’s doing. This week she’s having Jan Keck on as a guest and I imagine they will have a very fun conversation! They also share a birthday! Take a look!

Last, but definitely not least, is my friend and local Portlander, Marc Polansky’s game The Higher Thought Cannabis Game. This game is also a series of questions – but they’re designed for taking the group on a journey to answers which build upon one another. It’s a little hard to describe, but it’s worthwhile, for sure. I’ve played the game about 4 times with groups of 4-11 people, and each time has been memorable and interesting.  Here’s a copy of their recent newsletter which comes out weekly and is worth signing up for. Here’s a short video that was made for the SPLIFF Film Festival.

Where are these cards taking me? I’m not positive yet, but I have to say they have led to some new, fun relationships and more of a desire to go deeper quicker with people. I think everyone’s lives can be improved through the use of deeper questions and time together with others to ponder them. I’m always open to feedback or suggestions. Do you know of another deck that I should check out?  And, give something in this post a try, and let me know what you experience. Thanks!

Game on! Albert

Public Speaking

Public Speaking @ the PABA Chamber in Portland 9.9.15


I’m excited to being speaking on how to get started with email marketing on September 9th before the PABA (Portland Area Business Association) Chamber in Portland, Oregon’s September Luncheon. It’s at the Hotel Rose. I’ve been using on-line marketing tools for 8 years now, and the longer I do, the more I’m convinced that email marketing, using Constant Contact, is a good place to put one’s resources.  When I first started teaching Facebook classes out of my living room, social media was all the rage. People were excited to use the free tool to invite one another to like pages – and there was a fair bit of usefulness to the process.

As Facebook has gone public the usefulness of having a fan page/business page has plummeted. I talk about this in a recent report I wrote in June tracking these trends. Since then, nothing has changed. If you’re not willing to invest time and money into advertising on social media I wouldn’t bother spending a lot of repeated time on it.  Sure, post pictures or videos now and then – some of your fans will see them. But, when you’re looking to actually reach your audience, you’d better be thinking about your email list – building it and using it effectively. And that’s where my topic for tomorrow comes in.

At 43% ROI (Return on Investment), there is nothing like putting your resources into email marketing. Nothing. Not now, not 6 months ago, and my guess is not for a long time to come. So – if you’d like to make a real impact, contact me and let me help you get started down the right path. Put away your Instagram and your Pinterest – unless you’re an ace with these. Pocket the Twitter and Facebook for now – and get behind your email marketing plan. Learn how to build your lists, segment them and reach out to your clients/customers on a regular basis. If you don’t see a change in your bottom line, I’ll be very surprised.  And, if I can help you in any way, please let me know! Have a great end of Summer, beginning of Fall!


Albert Kaufman
Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and Certified Solution Provider
Portland, Oregon
Try Constant Contact Free for 60 Days