Tips for Starting a Mastermind Group – Part 1

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill described his concept of a mastermind group as, “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one another to follow through with both plan and purpose.” Today, like-minded professionals come together through a plethora of available mastermind programs to help each other achieve success, thanks in part to Napoleon Hill’s original idea.

Note: This two-part article is intended to offer some valuable tips, suggestions and observations for those readers who are planning to start a mastermind group, or seeking to become an active member of a mastermind group in the near future. Continue reading…

10 Basic Tenets of Great Companies

Is your company a “great” company today? What constitutes a great company? Are there established criteria, like the Good Housekeeping Seal, that all great companies must adhere to in order to be deemed great?

Each year Fortune magazine completes the most extensive employer survey in the corporate world and publishes its list of the “100 Best Companies To Work For”. The survey ranks the top companies in a variety of major categories including size, job growth, low turnover, no layoffs, women, diversity, etc. Continue reading…

Connect Your Message With Your Audience

Although it is widely stated that 93% of communication is non-verbal, getting the remaining 7% that is verbal right is essential in building credibility and trust with your target audience.

This year I have been speaking to various networking groups about “How to Improve Your 30-Second Elevator Pitch” as a part of our Back to Basics 2.0 business series. These presentations emphasize the importance of constructing the right message(s) in communicating your customer value proposition to a diverse audience, and building new alliances and business relationships. Continue reading…

Are You Stuck in the Friendly Networking Trap?

Many of the business owners I have met with during this past year have told me that traditional networking does not work for them, and as a result they are seeking alternatives in an effort to generate more leads, referrals and new business.

Some networking groups tend to be little more than social clubs where friends hang-out for breakfast, lunch or after-hour drinks, rather than venues to build business relationships, share referrals, and establish new partnerships and alliances that will enable them to successfully grow their respective businesses.

Are you stuck in the friendly networking trap? Continue reading…

Have a Personal Plan for Success in 2010

The ball dropped in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, and the tartan-clad gnomes have erased the blackboards, officially ushering in the New Year. It is time to start anew … new hopes, new dreams, and a new list of New Year’s resolutions, goals and challenges awaits each of us.

Yes, it’s hard to believe we are already well into the first full week of 2010. So, what’s next for you? Do you have a personal plan to prepare you for success in 2010 and the new decade ahead? Continue reading…

Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T Lists for 2010

The holiday season is a great time for both reflection and renewal, and a perfect time to work on your “lists” of things to accomplish in the new calendar year, while enjoying quality time with family and friends. So, let’s get started on your lists.

Here are my suggested Top 5 DO and Top 5 DON’T lists that I hope will serve as a guide to help you put together your New Year’s resolutions and 2010 goals. Continue reading…

Serious Business Owner or Playing Office?

Most of us think of ourselves as serious business people, committed to the success of our businesses, but are we really and do our actions truly reflect that?

Are you a serious business owner or playing office?

A recent Kauffman Foundation study of 549 successful businesses showed that 93% of the business owners surveyed cited “not putting in the time and effort required” as the #2 most common barrier to entrepreneurial success next to failure to take risk. Are you devoting the time and effort required to grow your business and reach your personal and financial goals? Continue reading…

6 Tips to Help Keep Your Sales on Track

Every business owner or salesperson needs to continually add new customers and increase sales in order to grow their business. So, it is important to have a well defined sales process to enable you to build consensus with prospective buyers at each critical juncture during the selling process to improve sales results.

Having a well defined sales process will help you improve close rates, shorten sales cycles and enhance the profitability of each sale. Here are some tips to help keep your sales on track: Continue reading…

It’s Time for Conversations Not Just Connections

Can we talk?

Ten years ago that would have been a ridiculous question, but today in a world that is dominated by “drive by” communications, it has become much more challenging to have a simple conversation.

When was the last time you sat around the dinner table as a family or with friends and just talked; talked about nothing in particular but just had a conversation? Are you finding it more difficult to get your telephone calls returned, or to get responses to your emails these days? Or, to get someone to take 5 minutes out of their busy day to speak with you? Continue reading…

Do Your Goals Align With Your Vision?

When I think of the challenges most companies face in aligning their organizational goals with the vision for the company, I’m reminded of this quote by Isaac Asimov:

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”

Our mastermind group has been focused on The Visioning Process for the past month or so, and the members have completed weekly exercises to help them re-define the Vision Statement and Mission Statement for their respective companies. As the group has come to experience, it’s hard work to go through the process when taking into account the past, present and future in order to find a better pathway to success.

Do your goals align with your vision? Continue reading…