I spent time two weekends ago in Maryland, where I grew up, spending time with my sister and her family. Aside from the bitter cold, which I am no longer used to as I live in warm and sunny Florida, it was a wonderful weekend.

We had gathered together to mark one year since my beloved grandmother passed away. My grandmother was an amazing woman who took the world by storm. She had such a major influence on my life that I am writing a book about her and the life lessons I took from her.

I like to think that I am pretty good at what I do and also that I can take all sorts of every-day life lessons and apply them to my work, to marketing and copywriting. I think you will agree that we often learn best from the past, from others in our lives and, of course, from our mistakes (the greater the mistake, the greater the lesson!).

Here are just a few of the simple but brilliant lessons my 90+-year-old grandmother passed on to me (with tips on how you can work them in to your marketing — really!):

  • Be sure you know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. In marketing, this means stick to what you know. You are an expert in your realm – not in all realms. Know your power as well as your limitations. Don’t try to be all things to all people – this never works.
  • Not everyone wants to be your best friend. Business is business, right? No matter how passionate you are about what you do and what you offer, not everyone is going to think you are the best thing since sliced bread.That’s OK! Don’t take anything personally, focus on your market, not the “do-they-or-don’t-they-like-me” movie in your head.
  • Take a break, your work will still be there tomorrow. This one is a toughie for me, but I am getting better. Sometimes, we’re all better off just ‘calling it a day” than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Know what matters (and when) and then stick to it. Same goes for your clients – work with the tide, not against it.