Once upon a time I met Dan Holohan in the pages of a trade magazine.

“You should read this,” my husband Hot Rod offered, as he handed me the mag.

“Great,” I replied with the sarcasm of a New Yorker. “Just can’t enough of steam radiators.”

I read the article. I met Dan, and his his eye-rolling wife, The Lovely Marianne, and his almost patient daughter, Kelly, as they toured a private high school on Long Island. Kelly had applied to attend and was hoping her parents would make a good impression. But this story took a turn.

There were radiators all right. Gorgeous, glamorous, warm and wet radiators. And men (well, Dan) behaving badly. When it comes to cast iron, steamy radiators, well, Dan just can’t be contained. I laughed out loud for 1,422 words.

Dan, Hot Rod and I became fast friends and he encouraged me to start writing…for the same trade magazine. Even better, he taught me how to respect and use words to be a better communicator. He reminded me that reading is a one-person-private affair, even if millions of people read what you have to say. He helped me discover that the simplest metaphor may have the biggest impact. Dan’s the reason why I use the analogy of piping and venting to describe double-entry accounting…to a plumber.

When it comes to making a business plan, Dan taught me to keep it simple. A simple business plan can help you refine that wildcat of an idea into a profitable business.

When it comes to making a point – or making a business plan – keep it simple. Then, look at it from someone else’s perspective. Like The Lovely’s. Or Hot Rod’s. Now, you’re communicating.