I didn't let people put me off by their reasons (i.e., excuses) for not doing something.
Over the years I have had customers, friends, etc. tell me how "lucky" I am that I am my own boss. That is not really true (with few exceptions). I have to respond to my customers, who ARE my boss. 95% of my customers are great. The 5% who aren't usually want twice as much as they are willing to pay for, and on their terms. Thus, it is easy to defer my attention to the 95%.
I suppose those 5% can see me as crochety, but isn't that their problem?
One fellow wrote a newsletter and included a bunch of coverage about his pet dog, let's call the pooch Alfie. When he wrote about Alfie, customers who had dogs responded. It was about relationship building, which is good, and done in the right way, it will pay the bills.
At my household there are no pets. My son has a big German shepherd who I get along with just fine, but my, he has such a large mouth full of very sharp and strong teeth. He used to bark when I came over, but now he hardly bothers; he likes being petted and fed kibble.
People have cats and goldfish and I get along with them fine, but I have no time, patience, or $$$ to kennel them when I go out of town, or take them to the vet (which I used to do when my kids were little.) So, I am pro animal. But I am also a businessman (as friend Jon F. reminded me today). My brother Larry has had Dobermans the size of a small house. The guy next door has a Rotweiler. None of these giganticus "animals" have eaten me yet. (Don't get me started, however, on those teeny dogs which bark all the time!)
But getting back to the newsletter, I think that is fine writing about a dog, etc. In my own way, I contribute. On the back of the books for the "Chess Gangs of New York and London," I mention that I play with my dog reX--where X is a different name for each publication. One fellow asked me how my "dog" was and I said, "Made up." It got a laugh. See? I can be playful, but I can be serious too. And to do both is where my chess clinics, festivals, soirees, and TNTs come into play.
On October 21-22, I have a two day CHESS TNT explosion coming. On Sunday morning (Oct. 23) my celebrity guest, IM Andrew Martin, will be giving a simul to attendees. The local newspaper will probably report on this, but will NOT do it in advance to help attendance. They only care about "news." However, anytime some "chess story" might come along, I will hopefully be their "go to" guy. Maybe pick up a couple locals for my newly formed Gentlemens Chess Club.
All of this takes time, and feeding Fido, at this time, isn't in the picture. Maybe in the future.
PS: Oh yes, David Rudel just came out with his Koltanowski-Phoenix book ($16.99 + $4 for S&H) on the Colle, which I do sell. Another work, very ridiculously low-priced, from Thinkers' Press, inc. If you have an idea for a book (it's on your brain), or better yet, have an actual manuscript, and want a chess pro to work on it (me), drop me a line.