Who Dresses You For Success?

“If at first you do succeed … try to hide your astonishment.” – Author Unknown

A funny thing happened to me the other day on the way to the Post Office. I was walking across the parking lot when I made eye contact with a woman. She literally stopped dead in her tracks, looked me over, smiled and said, “You are looking rather dapper today, did you dress yourself or did your wife help you?”

Now I am one of the “older guys”, so I rarely receive comments about my appearance these days from members of the opposite sex, other than my wife, so I enjoyed my brief moment in the sun. Responding to her question I just smiled back and replied, “My wife always helps dress me.” Although this isn’t true in the clothing department, it does raise a more interesting topic for discussion.

Dress for Success Image

Who dresses you for success?

In this context, I am not talking about your wardrobe or John T. Malloy’s famous book titled Dress for Success. What I’m referring to is to whom do you contribute your success? Continue reading…

Help Others Through His Example

Earlier this week we said farewell to one of the great motivational speakers and inspirational leaders of all time, when Zig Ziglar passed away. Through his books, cassettes, CD’s, public speaking and personal development programs, Mr. Ziglar has been an inspiration to millions of people around the world.

I first had the opportunity to hear him speak at a one-day business conference in Kansas City over 35 years ago. Mr. Zig Ziglar, along with Art Linkletter and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, were all electrifying that day. The sold out crowd of several thousand people who attended the conference, like me, were spellbound by the presentations of these great inspirational leaders and came away from the event “on fire”.

Zig Ziglar Image

Although I did not meet him in person at the event, Zig Ziglar’s books, cassettes and The Performance Planner have helped shape my personal and professional life through the years. What has also stayed with me through most of my adult life was his most inspirational quote … Continue reading…

Stand FOR Something or Take a Seat

The past several weeks have been a busy time for Americans. We have provided aid and support to those affected by super storm Sandy, re-elected our President and Vice-President and honored our veterans this past Monday on Veterans Day.

Now with the holidays looming on the horizon, our schedules should get even crazier with holiday parties, shopping and family gatherings. It should be a time for celebration, a time for renewal, and a time for thanks giving, joy and hope. However, I just don’t sense the traditional holiday spirit this year.

Maybe it is the hangover from the presidential campaign, or the growing unrest with the direction of the country that may have taken the air out of the holiday balloon. Speaking of the election, there were more than 207 million U.S. citizens eligible to vote in the 2012 presidential election. However, only 150 million were registered to vote, and roughly 118 million people actually voted. Continue reading…

Do First Impressions Still Matter?

We have all heard the old adage many times over that, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”. But does this really apply in business today?

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to speak to members of a national association at their annual conference on the topic of “How to Improve Your 30-Second Elevator Pitch”. One of the questions I asked the participants’ was “in a networking group setting today, do first impressions still matter?” Continue reading…

Play Your Square Yard

Some of my fondest memories are of my children playing sports. When our son, Daniel, first began to play select soccer, I remember how much my wife and I enjoyed watching the boys compete and grow together as teammates.

Several of the most competitive matches my son’s club faced in both league play and in Chicago area tournaments were against a club from Mundelein, Illinois. The Mundelein soccer team was coached by a gentleman originally from Scotland. His players were very disciplined, particularly for their age group, and their transitions on the field and overall teamwork were amazing to watch.

Recalling the memories of how well these U-9 and U-10 soccer players worked together made me think, “Why can’t business, education and government in the U.S function this cohesively?” If these 9- and 10-year old boys can do it, why can’t we figure out how to come together to unify America? 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…

Faith, Free-Will and Leadership: Our Dilemma?

As business leaders and private citizens, most of us struggle with a dilemma when it comes to faith, free-will and leadership. Proportionally, where should the emphasis be placed with respect to each of these three areas when making life-changing decisions? Do we make these life choices guided by faith, based solely on our own instincts and experiences, or do we seek out the advice and counsel of others. And how much control of the outcome are we willing to give up in the process?

In reality though, the decision-making process is really not that complicated, is it? Far too often we’ve heard people say “it is in God’s hands now” when they are faced with life-altering challenges or major decisions in their lives. I’m not saying that we should not seek God’s guidance and favor through prayer. Quite the opposite. However, are we not denying our own free-will and right to choose by placing the burden for decisions within our control solely upon our Heavenly Father? Continue reading…

Are You Prepared For What Lies Ahead?

The start of a New Year always brings with it a lot of energy and excitement. There are new calendar year business and prosperity plans, New Year’s resolutions, and a renewed level of enthusiasm and anticipation about the prospects for the future.

Generally, the initial wave of excitement about the New Year outlook does not start to die down until the first part of February. Most of the month of January is consumed with after the holidays planning, kick-off meetings and launch activities, the roll out of new staffing and compensation plans, etc. Then reality starts to hit.

At some point, those little voices in your head will start to ask those tough questions. What is really different today from 2011? Are you prepared for what lies ahead? Continue reading…

Charity: Not Just a Tax Deduction

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a networking luncheon where the subject of charitable event participation came up. One of the attendees, the leader of a non-profit organization, asked the question “how can we obtain greater participation and support from large corporations for our charitable activities and events?” My initial response was, don’t start the conversation with “and it is fully tax-deductible”, it sends the wrong message.

Charity is about the giving of your time, talents and gifts to help others – it should not be about a tax write-off. Charitable contributions should be about active participation and involvement in doing the right things the right way to help others in need. Most of what we need to be charitable and care-givers we learned by the time we were four years old. The Golden Rule principles we were all taught early in life still apply today. The most fundamental of those things we learned – “treat people the way you want to be treated” should be at the center of it all. Continue reading…

What Differentiated Value Is Really About

Recently, I had the privilege to moderate a Focus Small Business Roundtable: Strategies to Achieve Business Success. The Focus Expert Roundtable members included Mirna Bard, Jill Konrath and John Spence who all offered their insights on a variety of relevant subjects that I have summarized into a single topic for the purposes of this 5+ minute video.

 

 

 

I sincerely hope that you find this video to be informative and useful in addressing some of the daily challenges you encounter in successfully growing your business or practice. If so, please feel free to share this information with others.

Enjoy the journey!

John

 

COPYRIGHT © 2011 John Carroll