It’s Time to “Up the Ante”!

Yes, it is almost that time again. Mid-year is just around the corner and you know what that means. The halfway point of the 2nd quarter is generally when muscles begin to tighten (you know which ones I’m talking about) for many business owners as they reflect on their year-to-date financial performance.

BIG QUESTION: How are you going to overcome the current budget shortfall with only 2.5 quarters remaining in the calendar year?

Time to Up the AnteIf you’re behind in your financial projections, it’s time to “up the ante”! No, I’m not suggesting that you just open up the check book and toss money at the problem. In fact, here are some recommended ways to dramatically increase revenues and profits with only minimal investments.

There are three basic ways to grow a business – increase prices, sell more to existing customers and sell to new customers. The primary goal for any business owner should be to get more customers to buy more, and more often. So, start with the basics and go from there to determine what actions are necessary to improve results. Continue reading…

Shrink the Learning Curve on Everything

In the fast-paced, ‘get it and go’ world we live in today, shrinking the learning curve on new things has become a virtual necessity, and one way to stay ahead of the competition. In most areas of life, there are tangible benefits to getting better, faster and accelerating our ability to acquire new competencies and skills.

In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell stated that it requires 10,000 hours of practice (10,000-Hour Rule) to master a specific task. Unless you plan to become a brain surgeon, most of us don’t have 10K hours to devote to the mastery of new competencies, skills, projects or tasks.

Learning Curve

So, what are some proven ways to shrink the learning curve and move from “you don’t know what you don’t know” to mastery without cutting corners or sacrificing quality?  Continue reading…

Competitive Advantage: A Fleeting Fancy

Competitive advantage is the favorable position an organization seeks in order to be more profitable than its competitors. It involves communicating a greater perceived value to a selected market(s) than the competition currently provides.

In effect, competitive advantage occurs when a company acquires or develops an attribute or attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors. Notice the words perceived value and currently have been underscored above to make a point. A competitive advantage can be short-lived because of three critical factors – market perception, innovation and time.

Competitive Advantage

Now, there are a plethora of ways to differentiate your product/service or company from competitors in order to gain a perceived competitive advantage. Some of the more common ways include: Continue reading…

Are You Final Four Worthy?

The Men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament is the sporting event I most look forward to each year. March Madness has been in full swing for the past couple weeks with some of the very best match-ups in tournament history.

Although I will not be collecting $1 billion from Warren Buffett this year, I did enter my bracket selections like I do every year. It is really not about the prize money. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d graciously accept it if I won. However, for me it’s more about enjoying great basketball games and seeing how many of the teams I selected are able to reach the Final Four.

March Madness

What does it mean to be Final Four worthy? Continue reading…

Entrepreneurship: The Path to Prosperity

It is a path well-traveled, but not without peril. Being an entrepreneur is risky business and the odds are stacked against you. You’ve seen the statistics, 50% to 75% of all new business starts fail within the first 3-5 years.

So, why do so many people choose entrepreneurship as the path to prosperity?

The reasons ‘why’ are numerous and whether entrepreneurship was thrust upon you due to a job loss, or born out of a desire for change, we all share a common goal. All of us are seeking a better life and to build something special that we can take pride in.

Prosperity

Although the path to prosperity can’t be assured, here are some things to keep in front of you that will help you reach your destination. Continue reading…

If It Sounds Like Crap …

Don’t put it in your mouth! Discard it, don’t share it.

How often have we been guilty of saying or doing things that we have regretted later? Far too often I would guess. Yet, I still see numerous personal attacks in Tweets, Facebook posts and articles every day, not to mention the constant barrage of negative (and fake) news reports. This leads me to believe we’re not learning anything from our missteps.

So why do we do it?“People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” – Oliver Goldsmith

Why do we feel so compelled to hurt others through our words and our actions? Let me set the record straight, it is not a result of genetic programming. It’s learned behavior and as such, we can all do better. Continue reading…

What’s Different About This Year?

Hard to believe that we are already two weeks into the start of a new calendar year. Where has the time gone, and what’s different about this year?

Well, here are a few things that are different about the start of this year compared to 2013 …

  • We’ve had record snowstorms and cold temperatures in the Midwest and East.
  • To start the year, the #1 song on the charts was ‘The Monster’ by Eminem and Rihanna.
  • Last year’s Super Bowl winner has already been knocked out of the NFL playoffs.
  • The Dallas Cowboys failed to make the NFL playoffs (oops, nothing different here).
  • 2014 is the ‘Year of the Horse’ according to the Chinese zodiac calendar.

You know, however, that is not where I’m headed when I asked, “What’s different about this year?” Let’s explore a few things you can do to make 2014 different (better).

New Year

Nothing changes until something changes. Continue reading…

10 Life Lessons from Holiday Cooking

This year ‘The Boys’, my son Daniel and I, decided to do most of the Christmas holiday cooking. It was our way of giving ‘The Girls’, my wife Laura and daughter Melanie, a much needed break to relax and enjoy the holiday. My crazy idea!!

Sweets & Treats All Done

We had no idea what we were getting ourselves in for when we started, but 11 recipes and 12+ hours of meal preparation, cooking and cleaning up our messes later, we had learned a lot from this experience. Here are some of the life lessons we took away from our holiday cooking adventure: Continue reading…

Leadership: Coming to Faith

With the holiday season upon us, we tend to make a religious connection when we read the words “coming to faith”. However, for the purposes of this article I want to move the conversation in a slightly different direction.

What is faith? By definition, it is the “confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing”. Applied to leadership, faith in this context can be viewed as the confident belief in our ability to lead and our capacity for leadership.

How confident are you in your ability to lead and your capacity for leadership? Continue reading…

Special Gift Offer Expires October 31st

I need your help.

As you may know, for the entire month of October I am offering my new online course, Discover YOUR Formula for Success, for only $20 (normally $37). All proceeds from this special gift offer will go to Build International Ministries to help support their extraordinary mission work abroad.

Give Her Hope

Discover YOUR Formula for Success is a journey of self-discovery. It provides the overall framework and resources needed to create a comprehensive personal plan for success. The course includes 21 lectures and 2+ hours of video content, in addition to e-books, articles, exercises, templates and tools. (Would also make a great gift for a loved one this upcoming holiday season).

Sandy Anderson, president of Build International Ministries, and his daughter Sabrina returned last week from Nepal and India on their latest mission trip. Please help me surprise Sandy and his team with our donations to help support the continuing work of his ministry.

Click on the link to register for the course: https://www.udemy.com/discover-your-formula-for-success and include the gift coupon code BDAYGIFT.

This special offer expires on October 31st, so please register today! By doing so, you will be making a global difference in the lives of many others.

Thank you for your support.

John Carroll

 

COPYRIGHT © 2013 John Carroll