Lessons from the Funny Bone

Amusing Stories with Hidden Truths About Prospecting, Sales, & Team-building

Laugh your way to team-building success . . .

Many readers comment on the profound nature of my content. That’s because I share real-world, practical information you can use right away. Here’s the thing though: practical does not mean it has to be boring! Far from it. Our Creator gave me an offbeat sense of humor and it comes out when I write and train. That’s why a lot of readers also comment on the humorous nature of my work.

It’s a good mix, wouldn’t you agree? Informative and fun all rolled into one. Learning and laughter go well together.

Enter Lessons from the Funny Bone.

This book reverses the approach. Whereas the other books convey profound advice laced with appealing humor, this one is pure entertainment laced with snippets of wisdom. Laugh first, learn second. The principles in this book serve as reminders of things we know, but often forget. The team-building profession has never seen content like this:

  • Many reps overlook this tried and true prospecting approach. Do what Marty the magician does and watch your prospecting results soar.
  • One behavior is sure to elicit negative responses from your prospects. What is it and how can you avoid it? A certain parrot knows all about it. Now, you can too. Refer to page 81.
  • There exists an ancient principle that can either work for you or against you. Many reps unknowingly allow it to undermine their efforts. Use this powerful concept correctly, and you’ll never run out of prospects. A cheeseburger-loving ostrich illustrates how.

Plus, more from a quick-witted bloodhound, a one-of-a-kind anniversary gift, and a pair of rabbits with bad habits. All together, this crazy compendium includes more than 40 stories to make you chuckle, chortle, and smirk in mirth. At the same time, they make you stop and think and go “Hmmm.”

Take a break from boring reads. It’s time to put fun in front of the effort. It’s time to laugh your way to team-building success.

It’s time for lessons that tickle the funny bone.

WARNING: Never ingest fluids of any kind while reading this book! Independent lab testing indicates that 93.74% of readers who do so experience violent expulsion of said fluids from both olfactory tubes. You’ve been warned.


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Foreword #1, by JULIE HOEHN CARTER

Sitting next to each other in church, exchanging sideways glances, stifling snickers with heads bowed, Russ McNeil and I were not trying to get into trouble. Our respective spouses, however, informed us we were no longer allowed to sit next to one another in church services, but had to be separated by “more mature adults.” (Cue the sorry-not-sorry expression.)

Such is the plight of two people connected by a similar sense of humor.  Two people who can find humor in most anything. Friends who love life, a good story, and those moments, which tickle the funny bone and get you in trouble during a sermon. This long time connection between Russ and me is why I am here to congratulate you on choosing Lessons From the Funny Bone. Pat yourself on the back for an excellent choice.

Disclaimer here, since we just met: I do not do sales (at least not in the traditional sense). My one job requiring “sales” was decades ago. I asked my boss to please just let me be the one in the office who did PR work instead. I do not take rejection well, and the advice my boss gave me (Brush off the 99 rejections and embrace the one yes!) was not helpful in the least. What kind of person can take that sort of negativity every day? Apparently you can, and I applaud you for being a brave warrior. I hope we can still be friends.

I found my niche later as an elementary school teacher and embraced the value of humor in a sort of sales: teaching concepts and content to six-year-olds. I found that a good anecdote or a funny topical joke or riddle made the lesson of the day stick. It also got their attention on the lesson instead of on eating an eraser, or on the spider crawling across the carpet, or on the snack waiting in the lunchbox. Students who have since grown up can still tell me funny things we talked about from back in the day, or tell a joke we laughed at in class, which serves to show humor goes a long way in captivating an audience! (One boy’s mom told me he stillremembers why gorillas have big nostrils—from our unit on mammals—even though it isn’t actually true).

So I am not in sales, but I assume you are, since you are reading this book.  But I do love Russ’s idea of using funny stories to illustrate important concepts because I know it works. The audience might be wiggly little six-year-olds with missing teeth, or adults pursuing a career in sales (with or without teeth). A good story helps them connect with and remember concepts. Lessons From the Funny Bone is a teaching tool that is engaging as well as informative. I mean, hey, if you’re going to learn some stuff, you might as well be chuckling, right?

As you read and make notes of concepts for use in your daily endeavors, I know you will appreciate Russ McNeil’s engaging sense of humor and his storytelling talents, as well as his expertise in the sales world. Laugh a little, take in a few key concepts, and go out there and find success!

Just don’t repeat the stories during church.

Oh, and in case you don’t remember your gorilla anatomy from first grade: big fingers, of course!


Foreword #2, by DON WILSON

Once Upon a Time I met a man named Russ McNeil.

Russ loves to learn, loves to laugh, and loves to teach through story telling. He relishes every opportunity to share a good story. I’ve known him for 15 years, and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard him say, “You got a quick second”, or “I’ve gotta funny story for you”, or “Have you heard the one about . . .”, or the famous wildcard, “Can we get together for ½ a cup of coffee” (we’ve had our share of interesting—and lucrative—chats from that particular question). The funny thing is Russ always seems to enjoy the story as much as the other person.

Laughter can’t be faked. You can’t feel bad while you’re laughing either. Laughter has a way of dissipating pain and discomfort, if only temporarily. It also has a way of softening raw truth. It’s just like the old Marry Poppins song: “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” I can’t vouch for Russ’s singing ability, but when it comes to using stories to convey raw truth, he’s got it nailed.

I remember growing up around my Aunt Audrey. She loved a good joke. The problem was she was horrible at telling them. She used to laugh so hard before the punch line that she could never finish telling the joke. We all stood around just looking at her, waiting for the punch line, thinking how goofy she was. Talk about discomfort. Needless to say, Aunt Audrey did not have the gift of storytelling.

Russ, on the other hand, does have the knack for telling stories. He understands the impact of combining stories with humor. He’s mastered the art of conveying powerful principles though storytelling. Being able to tell a story in a fashion such that listeners (and readers) get it . . . understand it . . . laugh at it . . . and learn from it—now, that’s a gift. Not many people have this gift. Russ does.

In spades.

To find someone who can tell a story, and not just any story, but the right story for the situation at hand is a true talent.  I once heard a famous radio host say, “The sign of an incredible talent is the ability to be ‘funny’ on queue.”  My friend, Russ McNeil, has that talent.

So as you set off on this journey of stories and humor, I implore you to stop at the end of each story and ask yourself, “what did I learn”, and “who do I know that needs to hear this story?“ The same is true of all of Russ’s books. I used to mentor Russ when he was actively building teams. I’ve seen him in action when he prospects. It looks like art, but it’s rooted in science. The unique thing about Russ is his uncanny ability to explain both, the art and the science of human connection. Some of his content on the subject of prospecting—like his Critter Lessons Series, for example—is nothing short of profound.

If you’re planning an event, I recommend that you consider having Russ share his wit, his wisdom, and, of course, his stories. I’ve invited him to my stage, and I can tell you the response was overwhelming. After hearing Russ train live, you will have laughed, you will have learned, and Once Upon a Time you will have met Russ.

So begin now . . . the stories are waiting  . .

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