Get Your Head Out of the Cloud

Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.

Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.

The Cloud2

At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator. Continue reading…

Winning in Life From Little League

Oh, those glorious days of summer as a child. How we miss them and the activities that played such a big part in our early growth and development. America’s great pastime was a big part of my summer activities growing up, and I learned a lot about baseball and much more about life from my little league experiences.

The 2015 Little League World Series began in mid-July and it always brings back many of those great memories. My last year of little league we won the K.C.K. City Championship in the 15-16 Year Old Division. Winning the championship was the single greatest moment of my life, up to that point, and taught me a lot about what ‘winning in life’ is all about.

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Baseball is a lot like life. It’s day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.” – Ernie Harwell Continue reading…

Let the 2nd Half Begin …

“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown

Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!

 

Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?

Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.

How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle? Continue reading…

Leadership in Difficult Times

“Leadership in difficult times” have unfortunately become the watchwords within our modern society. There is so much negativity surrounding us that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for positive leadership to rise above it.

“We live in a toxic society where religion and faith have been marginalized, marriage and family trivialized and the free market system demonized.” – Dudley Hall

Yes, it is easy to get caught up in the trappings played out by the media and on social networks about what is broken in the world today. Continuous news feeds of escalating violence, police brutality, wars and conflicts, terrorism and just plain bad behavior create an illusion that this is the ‘new normal’ – it’s not.

Make a DifferenceAs someone commented on a recent social media video post of the two women fighting in a Walmart store, “It’s like a train wreck. You want to look away but you just can’t believe what you’re seeing.” Continue reading…

Your Sales Pipeline Is Your “Lifeline”

Yes, your sales pipeline is truly your lifeline for future business success. You have heard me say this many times before, no sales forecast = no business; no sales pipeline = no business!”

We are heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you will be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. Yet with all this information available at our fingertips, many solopreneurs and small business owners today know very little about where their new business revenues will come from next week, month, quarter and so forth.

Why? Because far too many business owners don’t have an accurate sales pipeline to forecast and monitor their progress.

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How can you be expected to make intelligent decisions about where and how to invest in your business without accurate data available to predict monthly inflows (revenue) from sales and outflows (expenses)? The short answer is you can’t! Continue reading…

Getting Your First Book Out the Door

Get Book PublishedWe all have a book(s) in us, but getting that first book out of your head and out the door is always the hardest. I know from my own personal experience.

As I tell people, my first book took 17.5 years to complete – 10 years thinking about it, 5 years talking about it, 2 years stressing about it, and 6 months writing, editing, formatting and self-publishing. Many of you may have had a similar experience with your initial book launch. The creative process from start to finish is challenging, time consuming and can be more than a little frustrating for first-time authors.

However, it doesn’t have to be such a mind numbing experience. Here are some critical things to consider to help you get started. Continue reading…

Dear Prospect: Let’s Get Hitched

Let's Get Hitched2

No not literally, figuratively. It is April Fool’s Day after all.

We speak and write a lot these days about sales “engagement”. However, we should be devoting more time and emphasis to the ‘S’ word – “sales”, in order to consummate the relationships with prospective customers.

“We become what we think about most of the time.”

I’m playing with words here to touch upon the major point of this article. Studies have shown that most of us have tens of thousands of thoughts each day. However, the vast majority are exactly the same as we had yesterday, or the days before. In effect, our actions tend to follow our thoughts (and our words). Continue reading…

Yes, It’s Good to Be Irish

There are only two kinds of people in the world. The Irish and those who wish they were!“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure ’tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,

And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.”

‘Tis the chorus to “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, a song first published in 1912 at a time when songs paying tribute to a romanticized Ireland were numerous and popular both in Great Britain and the United States.

Why are the Irish so special? Let me provide you with just a few of the many reasons: Continue reading…

Competition Is Not a Bloodsport

Unlike the early days of the industrial revolution, competition is not a bloodsport in the rapidly evolving, global marketplace of today. Instead, coopetition and collaboration have become the watchwords for this new era of global expansion and commerce.

When AT&T first entered the computer industry in the mid-1980s, it was their clear intent to dominate an industry controlled by IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Unisys, Wang, Data General and others. Although AT&T had been the defacto market leader in telecommunications since its inception, they soon learned that different rules of engagement applied in the computer business.

Fencing Sport

In order to survive and thrive as a new entry into the computer industry, AT&T had to learn to “plug and play” with everyone, including its direct competitors. To meet their over-arching business goals it was no longer about crushing the competition, but more about developing collaborative solutions that addressed the needs of the marketplace, by working together.

You don’t become a market leader in today’s fast-paced global economy by attempting to lord over the competition or your customers. Continue reading…

Let’s Stop Talking About Goals

Let’s stop talking about goals. There I said it. Like many of you, I’ve seen far too many articles posted these days that focus on goal-setting. Be honest, goal-setting is a total waste of time, unless it leads to results. It is time to shift the conversation.

Success Planning

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The best goal is no goal at all”. I would not go quite that far. However, what it means is that we should stop allowing ourselves to be limited by certain goals, and stay open to the possibilities ahead of us. Continue reading…