Whose Normal Are You Challenging?

Whose normal are you challenging? Or better yet, what is normal? Interesting questions, let us explore further.

What is normal or the definition of normal that you are living by today?

According to Dictionary.com, normal is defined as, “conforming to a standard, usual, typical or expected”. However, the Urban dictionary has a totally different viewpoint. It defines normal as, “a word made up by this corrupt society so they can single out and attack those who are different”.

Legacy of Hope

Be careful with stereotypes, judging others, or attempting to live by someone else’s definition of normal. Remember this, “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they are not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” Continue reading…

Make Continuous Improvement a Priority

Where does continuous improvement rank on your list of priorities? If it is not at or near the top, then it should be.

Continuous improvement is essential to growth in all of the critical ‘Five F’ areas of life – faith, family, finances, fitness and fun. However, for this article, let’s focus on continuous improvement within the context of the business community.

Start out by asking yourself this question, “What would your business look like if Jack Welch, or Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates were running it?” Continue reading…

Marketing Secrets for the New Economy – Part 1

Marketing Secrets for the New Economy – Part 1 overviews the opportunities we have as entrepreneurs and business owners to dramatically increase revenues and profits in the ‘new economy’. Part 2 will address the importance of globalizing your business for sustainable long-term growth.

We have all heard many times over that most millionaires have a total of seven income sources. In the first part of the article, you will see examples of how you too can systematically create multiple income streams for a business around your greatest asset – YOU.

The image below reflects what these multiple income sources might include for a typical emerging business. I refer to this chart as the “Circle of Life” because it also provides an evolutionary path for scaling a growth business through the various life-cycle stages.

YOU

Now let’s explore each of these potential revenue streams in a little more detail, so you have a better idea of how applicable they may be for your particular situation. Continue reading…

How to Define Leadership

How to define leadership. Based upon the number of articles I have read on this topic of late, it appears to be an increasingly complex challenge.

Why all the recent emphasis on leadership?

If you have read my book, Globalization: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead, you know the answer. The greatest challenge that we face today is not the economy, it’s not the environment or global warming; nor is it poverty, homelessness and world hunger, population growth, scarcity of resources, or world peace and stability – it is leadership.

Leadership Image

Quite frankly, the thing that is sorely lacking in our country and elsewhere is leadership. There is just not enough of it to go around today to solve all the problems we face as a global society. Continue reading…

Shut Up and Push

Shut up and push. Oddly enough, these four words hold a great deal of significance for me and I hope they will help you overcome obstacles to your success as well in the future. Let me explain.

My wife, Laura, and I will be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary this next month. As our special date approaches each year, a lot of cherished memories always come rushing to the surface. A couple of my fondest memories are the births of our children.

Shut Up and Push Image

Laura was in labor for more than 33 hours with each of our children, Melanie and Daniel. You might say that she liked to “savor the labor”. However, I would never repeat that within earshot of my wife, for fear of being whacked upside the head. Melanie was the more difficult of the two deliveries. Continue reading…

Life is a Matter of Inches

Life is a matter of inches. Here in America, we saw this tragically displayed this past week in the streets of Boston, the small town of West, Texas, and remotely in the Sichuan province of China where a deadly earthquake claimed the lives of 180 people and injured more than 5,700 others.

Al Pacino’s famous line from his half-time speech in the movie Any Given Sunday repeated over and over in my head as I sat glued to the news reports as last week’s events unfolded in real-time. “The inches we need are everywhere around us” was being played out on every news channel around the globe and in the lives of those affected by these tragic events.

Boston Marathon Bombing

Each day we see examples of how the inches around us can impact lives. A 4.82 second time in the 40 yard dash versus a 4.71 time at the NFL Combine can mean the difference between being selected #32 or #17 in the upcoming NFL draft. A few inches (or seconds) in your finish time in the Boston Marathon or travel time around West, Texas could make the difference between being in the blast zone or not – between life or death. Just ask Joe Berti.

Continue reading…

Business Survival Checklist

All business owners are looking for ways to improve top-line revenues, reduce expenses and increase profits in order to grow their respective businesses. However, the troubling economy and other factors have forced many of these same business owners to replace the word “grow” with the word “survive”.

The business owner’s I have met with in the past 12-18 months all responded with the same answer when I have asked them, “what is the one thing that is critical to your business success”. The simple answer is “more customers”. More customers are the life-blood for any viable business. And every successful business has a universal checklist of things that are central to acquiring new customers, growth and yes, survival.

Here is my list of ten things that should be included on your Business Survival Checklist:

  1. Business/Marketing/Financial Roadmap. What is your existing plan to deliver maximum ROI performance in the next 12 months, 1-5 years, 5-10 years and 10+ years? The roadmap for your business, at a minimum, should address the next two fiscal years. Don’t be too optimistic – it is much better to over-deliver on your projections than to fall short. Continue reading…

Want to Buy a Toothbrush?

Traditional sales and selling techniques have changed dramatically over the years.

Fading fast are the door-to-door canvassers, dinner-hour telemarketers and transactional salespeople who appear to be interested in only making a quick sale and then moving on to the next one. The so-called  “trickster” sales companies who rely upon sleight of hand selling approaches and gimmicks to entice you to buy are also dying out as consumers become better educated and informed about the products and services they choose to purchase.

One of my favorite stories from sales lore reflects the progress we have made over the years in changing the dynamics of the buyer-seller relationship. It’s the timeless story of a toothbrush salesman who consistently failed to meet his quota and was told by his boss at a trade show that if he did not achieve his sales goal for the event he would be fired. After delivering his stern ultimatum, the salesman’s boss left for a series of meetings, but told him he would return in a couple hours to check on his progress. Continue reading…

Before You Say Good-Bye to 2011 …

Yes it’s true, another year is winding down. We are almost into single digits and counting. And for some business owners, the end of the year can’t come fast enough.

But hold on just a minute!

Before you say good-bye to 2011 … here are a few “To Do” list items you should consider to help get the New Year off to a fresh start: Continue reading…

How to Get Moving When You’re Stuck

I’m stuck …

It’s more difficult than I expected …

I can’t get over the hump …

Things just aren’t working out …

I’m lost …

Tell me what to do!

These are a few of the typical comments I hear during the initial discovery meetings with many of my new clients. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner is difficult, particularly in the first 1-3 years, and you can get frustrated when things aren’t going your way or there aren’t a lot of people around to turn to for advice and counsel. Continue reading…