Archives For Macon The News

Last week I had visitors at the newspaper office on two different days to talk to me about recent news we’ve published.

One day the conversation was respectful. One day it was not.

One had constructive remarks as a citizen of Macon. The other, as soon as it jumped the line from opinion of an issue to gossip about a person, I said, “I don’t want to listen to gossip.”

One brought several great questions to the table. The other just had something to get off this person’s chest.

I appreciate feedback. It lets us know that people not only read Macon The News, they also care about the topics we put in print. (Part of that is also because we keep an eye on the news that our subscribers want us to report.)

But when a conversation about opinion turns into gossip, I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want my opinions of others to be based on hearsay instead of actually getting to know the individual.

In late January one of my long-distance friends and business mentors passed away. Rick Butts was 60.

I first “met” Rick when he co-hosted a webinar (live online event) with copywriter Ray Edwards in November 2012. During the next several months I spoke with him on the phone many times, read his books and learned from his experiences in business and professional keynote speaking.

In November 2013 I met Rick in person at a two-day small group business workshop he hosted in Denver, Colorado. Our discussions centered on his Wisdom ThesisĀ® model of business development and communication. The Wisdom Thesis allows you to create a unique solution for an identifiable group of people so that you’re one-of-a-kind in your target market. I used the Wisdom Thesis to craft my philosophy for Macon The News (the newspaper I founded) and to write my very first article that appeared in issue one (January 21, 2015).

Ryan with Rick Butts, Denver, November 2013

Ryan with Rick Butts, Denver, November 2013

Rick was a great encourager. He helped me overcome the fear of trying new things in the marketplace. He taught me more about powerful inductive communication than my high school teachers. He was full of energy and wanted each of his students to do well. Rick served as a coach to many.

“In my humble, but accurate, opinion…” —a favorite phrase of Rick Butts

My last communication with Rick was mailing him a copy of the first issue of Macon The News and a short email explaining what we were doing. I did not receive a reply; I heard from two mutual friends of his passing. Rick had several tumors in his spine that created unbearable pain the past few weeks, and the doctors just discovered those as my mail was arriving at his house. Continue Reading…