Spoiler alert … the two BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR are in this article.

It’s an Election Year. It’s a pandemic year. All of this could be a great excuse. Why you didn’t win your election. Why you didn’t meet your revenue targets. Why you didn’t use the opportunity of the entire world shutting down to make the changes you needed to make to get the life you wanted to live, the business you were destined to build. If there was ever a year, you could claim your problems are someone else’s fault … this is it.

No thank you.


Fix This Next: Make the Vital Change That Will Level Up Your Business by Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz (Author of Profit First) understands what it’s like to build a business from a crazy idea into a real thing that exists in the world.

If that’s your dream and your struggle, go out and get yourself a copy of Fix This Next.

As entrepreneurs, we see many challenges and opportunities all at once. The question (or problem) is which one to tackle first.

Mike has adapted Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to business and given entrepreneurs a quick, effective decision-making framework to help you figure out what’s next. Being an entrepreneur is a lonely job. Even when you…


In part one of this year’s book review, I took you through my pre-pandemic reading. Now, let’s take a closer look at what ideas had my attention as things started closing in.

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath

I began reading this oddly prescient book on March 8th, just a few weeks before Governors across the country closed schools and businesses, forcing millions of people out of work.

It is a discussion about why societies continually deal with problems downstream, putting out fires that are already ablaze instead of preventing them from starting in the first place. The primary problem remains that you cannot mandate upstream…


Hey friends — how has your pandemic reading been going?

If you haven’t been using this time to expand your knowledge, get organized, make plans and set goals … you have missed out. The world is opening back up, and given the history of pandemics, it’s not likely you’ll have another chance like this in your lifetime. Shakespeare wrote Macbeth during a pandemic. Newton called his semester away from school his “year of wonders.” It was during this time he first set forth his laws of motion.

Like Robert Greene says, it’s either Dead time or Alive time. Either way…


The Original HQ of CampaignHQ: #700EastPleasant Nicole Schlinger

Election Night 2010. The last with our team under one roof at #700EastPleasant.

Jake Ketzner asked if I’d be in the room with Governor Branstad. They needed three people to man three computers to check election results. Basically, they needed a third body to hit “refresh” over and over again until Governor Branstad was announced the winner.

At first, I declined.The last time I’d been in the room with a candidate had been in 2006 with Bill Dix. Before that, 1996 with Mike Mahaffey. Frankly, my record of being next to a candidate while they watched election returns was bad.


The Original HQ of CampaignHQ: #700EastPleasant Nicole Schlinger

If we met in the early years of this century, you may wonder how an establishment Republican major donor fundraiser became a Tea Party conservative.

I was tired of staying in my lane while our candidates put up loss after loss, despite record fundraising. I was tired of Republicans saying they wanted limited government, and then voting for a lot more government. I was tired of being told “we only hire our friends” or “we don’t play in primaries” when all that got us was a lot more cookie cutter and a lot less authentic emotion.

So when I heard…


The Original HQ of CampaignHQ: #700EastPleasant Nicole Schlinger

This is the last full day for #700EastPleasant. By this time tomorrow, the keys will be in the hands of the new owner. I’ve got two posts today and one tomorrow, and that’s it.

In the winter of 2007, Romney was barnstorming Iowa like no other candidate. We were taking RSVP’s for dozens of “Ask Mitt Anything” events all over the state.

But he wasn’t the only one. We were still raising money for Congressman Latham and now Congressman Steve King. We were still setting appointments for State Legislators.

So how do you handle RSVP’s for many candidates coming into…


Nicole Schlinger on Winning the Tough Ones. #CampaignHQ

I recently went on Winning the Tough Ones last week to talk about how CampaignHQ influenced the fights on Merrick Garland and Obamacare. If you’ve got 30 minutes, check it out!


The Original HQ of CampaignHQ: #700EastPleasant Nicole Schlinger

A defining feature of Iowa campaigns in 2006 was the constant presence of 2008 Presidential hopefuls. While traveling the state in support of our ticket, they could actively recruiting activists, elected officials, and staff.

Mitt Romney was king amongst the “non-candidates” in 2006, attending more events for more candidates than anyone else.

At one such fundraiser in Burlington for Congressman Jim Leach, I was cornered by David Kochel and Gentry Collins.

I won’t forget what Kochel said. “You could do a lot more than this.” He called it a Campaign in a Box. We would use our calling crew to…


The Original HQ of CampaignHQ: #700EastPleasant Nicole Schlinger

Two stories about the 2006 election cycle — the last cycle where we focused 100% on raising money for Iowa candidates.

So let’s recap the political state of play.

Iowa had five Congressmen. Four Republicans — Nussle, King, Leach, and Latham. One Democrat — Boswell.

That Jim Nussle would run for Governor was the world’s worst-kept secret. Jim Nussle did not immediately clear the GOP primary field. Rumors persisted through early 2005 that Doug Gross would run again, although he ultimately did not. Bob Vander Plaats was in.

Bill Dix, Brian Kennedy, and Mike Whalen were all in for the…

Nicole Schlinger

Nicole Schlinger is a business owner, book lover, and dog owner. http://nicoleschlinger.com https://about.me/nschlinger https://twitter.com/nschlinger

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