The View from The Niagara Guide

General observations and musings on how we can make Niagara a better place.

Niagara Nutritionist Now Online

Mark Kawabe - Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm the first to admit I don't eat as well as I could.

So, I'm really happy to welcome Craig Bowman, Registered Holistic Nutritionist to The Niagara Health Guide!

Craig offers 100% guaranteed customized nutritional programs for a variety of conditions, including cancer support, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, to name a few. There is a wealth of evidence to support his claims that changes to lifestyle via diet, nutrition and exercise can halt the progression of many diseases and bring people back to a healthy state.

We are also fortunate that Craig has allowed us to add his articles to The Niagara Health Guide article database and these will be added over the coming weeks.

If you're in need of nutritional support, you owe it to yourself to contact Craig today at Road to Recovery Natural Health.

Your Latest Good Idea . . .

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

. . . is worth nothing unless you do something with it. Now. Immediately.

It's easy to have good ideas. That's why it's important to do something with them. There's no shortage of good ideas. There is a shortage of people who can turn those ideas into reality.

What CAN You Do?

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I've heard it said that whether you think you CAN or think you can't, you're right. Your mind will act upon your thoughts and your actions will reflect your attitude.

So, it only makes sense to eliminate the "C" word from your vocabulary. In case you don't remember it, the "C" word is CAN'T.

How do you do this? Simply rephrase your thoughts to something more positive and embrace the possibilities.

"I can't get more customers." --> "I'm working on getting more customers."

"I can't get my head around this issue." --> "I haven't figured out how to solve this issue, but I'm working on it."

"I can't understand my teenager." --> "I need to improve my relationship with my teenager."

Okay - I'm not a therapist ; ) but you get the idea.

Remove the negativity and the absolutism of the "C" word and you'll be amazed what you CAN do.

How Stupid Are YOUR Customers?

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I saw a Lysol ad on television the other day advertising their new touchless soap dispenser.

The reason it was touted as a must-buy product is because it eliminates the need to touch the soap dispenser. You see, touching the dispenser means you're potentially transferring germs from the previous user to YOUR hand. That's unhealthy.

But wait - why are you touching the soap dispenser? To get soap. Why? So you can wash your hands. What do you remove when you wash your hands? GERMS!

Thinking about this product's main USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for five seconds reveals it to be a sham.

This product's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

Is there anything you're marketing that's like this? If so, it's time to re-think the problem you're trying to solve OR how you're marketing the product.

If Lysol had promoted the product as a "cool" addition to your bathroom or kitchen, that would have been more plausible. It was a nice design, after all. Otherwise, they must think their prospective customers are pretty stupid not to see through their USP.

Seeing stuff like this makes me glad I don't watch television more often.

5Linx Event with Andre Maronian

Mark Kawabe - Monday, August 23, 2010

Here's a guy who's made his money with 5Linx and he's coming to town to show you how to do the same.

Here are the details:


  • He has already accomplished the goal of complete financial freedom thanks to 5linx.
  • He will offer insight into the lifestyle that ONLY residual income can offer people.
  • He will demonstrate the Globalinx application on the new Ipad.

If Bill Gates wanted to demonstrate the power of Micro-Soft, or Wayne Gretzky offered to teach you hockey, would you hesitate? 

Success is yours, if you want it.  Take advantage of this opportunity.

Thursday August 26th, 7pm, 754 Barton Street East, Hamilton Ontario

You can also visit 5Linx in The Niagara Guide for more information on your local representatives Donna and Frank Mous.

Looking Past Appearance to Find Value

Mark Kawabe - Monday, August 23, 2010

"You never get a second change to make a good first impression."

"Never judge a book by its cover."

Both sayings have their applications, but we all know that as a society, we tend to go by appearances.

I bought 42 peaches for $5 the other day. Despite the fact I went to the source - the farm - this was a bargain by any measure. The reason they were so inexpensive? They were "seconds".

What makes a peach a second? In this case, as far as I could tell, the only thing "wrong" with these peaches were blemishes. When we ate them that night, they were juicy and flavourful, firm and satisfying. Nothing "wrong" with them once they were peeled. The last time I checked, people peel their peaches before eating them, so there was no way to tell they were "seconds".

When it comes to the search for value, appearances can be deceiving. Something to think about as we slog through another Monday.

Striving for Excellence

Mark Kawabe - Sunday, August 22, 2010

I went out with a relative a few nights ago to The Lazy Lizard. I haven't been there more than a couple of times in the years I've lived in Niagara, but I'd heard they have good chicken wings. I've eaten chicken wings in many places around Niagara, so I was expecting the "usual" when it came to wings.

What a surprise then to find arguably the BEST wings I've had in years. Big. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. At $0.75 a wing they weren't the least expensive wings I've had, but they were 100% worth the price.

As we sat and enjoyed these wings, I thought about the other places I've had wings around Niagara and throughout the GTA. I have had little, tiny dry wings for $0.20 and "average" wings for more than $1.00 per wing at chain restaurants that couldn't hold a torch to what The Lazy Lizard offered. They were truly excellent wings in my opinion.

It got me thinking about what "excellence" is. It's subjective, isn't it? If I think the wings at The Lazy Lizard are excellent, that's fine, but what about for you? You might not like them as much as I do. You might prefer the wings elsewhere. If excellence is subjective, how can you design something that everyone will consider excellent?

I think they key is to follow the internet maxim: Ready. Fire. Aim. As Seth Godin says: Just Ship. Do it, and tweak as you go to make it better and better over time.

What are you doing to aim for excellence today?

Selling Wheatgrass via Billboards?

Mark Kawabe - Monday, July 05, 2010

This was a beauty this morning...

At the corner of Niagara and Welland in St. Catharines (heading southbound on Niagara), you can see a billboard selling Wheatgrass. It touts the benefits of Wheatgrass and gives a toll-free number you can call to order. Wow.

I mean really - wow.

I'd love to know how well that billboard's working.

There was nothing about how superb you'd feel about drinking wheatgrass. Nothing that spoke to the "What's In It For Me" part of my brain. Just how wonderful wheatgrass is and how to order it.

I suppose the billboard's doing a job of educating people that wheatgrass exists. Surely a large segment of the population doesn't know what wheatgrass is. I just wonder how many sales the wheatgrass company (which I didn't even see a name of) will be able to attribute to that billboard.

Don't get me wrong - I like billboards. I enjoy how creative companies get with them. They're really good for building brand awareness. I just wonder how many people are going to make an impulse decision and buy wheatgrass from this company based on their billboard.

If any of you reading are in the billboard industry please feel free to comment on this. Thanks!

Tidy Shed from Creation North Makes Recycling & Garbage Neater

Mark Kawabe - Friday, May 21, 2010

With recycling now hitting the mainstream the problem of trying to keep recycling materials neat and secure can be a problem. Multiple bins for paper, plastics and food waste can create an unsightly mess around the home. Leaving bins outdoors exposes them to the elements and animals.

Creation North is introducing their new Tidy Shed around Niagara starting this week. The Tidy Shed resolves the problems of trying to keep multiple recycling and garbage containers in a neat and tidy format. The Tidy Shed is small in size but enhances people's yards while helping keep waste organized and secure.

For the full press release, click on the link below:

For more information on the Tidy Shed and Creation North, click here.

Do you do this to your customers?

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, May 13, 2010
It applies to cell phones and hot dogs...but do you do it in your business too?

The fact companies act like this isn't the real issue. What's more important is their customers tolerate it. Bets are yours won't.


No Very

Captcha Image
You can list your business for free, or we can help you share your story.
Let us help you get the word out.