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“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities”

Bob Nardelli, CEO Home Depot - Fortune Magazine, 07/01/2002

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Category Archives: Leadership

Your Business. Your Freedom.

Owning a business is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever do in our lives. It’s not easy, as the explosive failure rates constantly confirm the dangers of being an entrepreneur. Millions of dollars lost everyday, relationships torn apart and dreams destroyed on a daily basis. Scary, huh? If that’s the case, then why do entrepreneurs dive into business ownership at record speed?
Why? You know why.

Freedom, baby! Freedom! Ah, yes. There is nothing in the world that can compare with calling the shots and controlling your own destiny. No risk, no reward.

But here’s a question: Even when our businesses are a success, do we really have freedom? I ask that because in the midst of a successful entrepreneurial career, I realized that, for the most part, I didn’t have freedom — I had a job. (A great one at that, but still a job). If I wasn’t there working, the business wouldn’t have survived, never mind prospered. My business therefore owned me. We are supposed to own the business, remember?

We all have different goals, and not everyone wants to be the next Google (I’d like to meet that person). Not everybody wants a billion dollar business (I’d like to meet that person too). But no matter how many entrepreneurs I meet, they all agree that “more time” is the indisputable goal right next to the goal of getting that fire engine-red Ferrari.

So that takes us to: Work “ON” your business, not “IN” it. Regardless of whether you want to conquer the world, build a business that can run with you or without you. Your business will grow. You will have freedom. You will have a true business.

And, hey, you just might get that fire engine-red Ferrari, too.

Famous quote:
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Warren Buffet

Posted in Business, Leadership| Tagged |

What They Don’t Teach You In School

I want to share this great article by Harvey Mackay. I look forward to his weekly article in the newspaper.

As many college graduates are scrambling to find jobs, one of the most important things for graduates to understand is that you’re in school all your life. In fact, your real education is just beginning.

I’d like to pass on a few lessons, which weren’t necessarily covered in school. If you’ve been out of school for a few years—or a lot of years—this advice is still for you; consider it a refresher course.

Develop relationships and keep networking. If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I’ve met over a lifetime, I’d say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts. Start strengthening your relationships now, so they’ll be in place when you really need them later. In the classroom it was mostly about your individual performance. Success in real life will require relationships. Who you know determines how effectively you can apply what you know. So stay in touch.
Find advisors and mentors. Advisors will not be assigned to you, as in school. You should actively seek your own mentors. And remember, mentors change over a lifetime. Start connecting with people you respect who can help you get a leg up in each aspect of your life, personal and professional. Make it as easy and convenient as possible for them to talk with you, and always look for ways to contribute to their success, too.
Build your reputation. Nothing is more important than a good reputation in building a successful career or business. If you don’t have a positive reputation, it will be difficult to be successful. All it takes is one foolish act to destroy a reputation.
Set goals. Ask any winner what their keys to success are, and you will hear four consistent messages: vision, determination, persistence and setting goals. If you don’t set goals to determine where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day. Most important, goals need to be measurable, identifiable, attainable, specific and in writing.
Get along with people. Ask recruiters from various companies to name the number one skill necessary for new hires, and many of them will say it’s the ability to get along with people. Co-workers share office space, facilities, break rooms, refrigerators and coffee pots. They arrive together, take breaks together, eat lunch together and meet to solve problems together. All this closeness and familiarity can wear thin at times. Everyone shares responsibility for making the company work, run smoothly and stay profitable

Be happy. We are all responsible for our own happiness. Don’t waste time and energy being unhappy. When people aren’t happy doing what they do, they don’t do it as well. Life will always be filled with challenges and opportunities. Both are best faced with a positive attitude.
Smile. A smile should be standard equipment for all people. I learned years ago that one of the most powerful things you can do to have influence over others is to smile at them. Everything seems much easier with a smile.
Sense of humor. I’m a firm believer in using humor—not necessarily jokes. A good sense of humor helps to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable. There are plenty of times to be serious, but I believe that keeping things light and comfortable encourages better teamwork.
Be yourself. We all have areas that need a little work, but accepting who we are and making the most of our good points will take us much farther than trying to be someone we aren’t. Be content with your abilities and comfortable enough in your own skin to trust your gut.
Volunteer. It might be hard to do a lot of volunteer work at first, but people who help other people on a regular basis have a healthier outlook on life. They are more inclined to be go-getters and consistently report being happier. Volunteering is good for everyone.

Finish Strong Video

You may know from interactions with me
that I am a big fan of setting and beating
goals.

I can’t believe it, but 2011 is almost gone.
Wow, only two months left to 2012.

So let me ask you…

How many of your business goals have
you accomplished so far this year?

How many more will you accomplish in
the next two months?

I want to see you FINISH STRONG!!

I just watched this video and thought you might enjoy it too.

I have no affiliation with this company.
I just wanted to share it because it got me pumped!

Happy Birthday Harkins Theaters

Scottsdale’s family-owned Harkins Theaters turns 78.

Congratulations Harkins, our home town family owned theater, with 30 theaters, 427 screens and about 2,500 employees, Harkins is the largest privately owned theater in the United States.

Dan Harkins tributes his companies success to passion and never being satisfied. Dan made a great comment when he spoke recently at the Economic Club of Phoenix kick off event.

“When you get complacent, that’s when you start going out of business.” Said Dan

Don’t Be A Weiner!

It’s mind-blowing how a man with a 20-year political career with ambitions to run for NYC mayor can be such a Weiner. Anthony Weiner has crippled his career with a little help from Twitter.

The business lessons here are amazing. Business lessons? I thought he was just a sexting-psycho? Yeah, that’s the personal side. The business side shows how social media can be a danger to your business. Weiner’s business was politics, and he destroyed a lot more than just his business. I often see business owners posting stuff that can only hurt their business. Broadcasting your personal viewpoints on politics, religion and other touchy subjects is sometimes just as offensive to potential clients as lewd photos. Isn’t that just the opposite reason so much time is spent on social media – to connect, network and maybe make a few friends?

The other lesson he taught us is that when you do something wrong, just fess up. The penalty will be painful, but not as painful as when you act arrogant, take people for fools and lie. That’s the kind of behavior, friends, colleagues and clients will never forget.

Don’t be a social media Weiner!

A Bit About Quitting

This is pretty inspirational. I don’t subscribe to never quitting but I do feel most people quit prematurely.

1816 – His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818 – His mother died.
1831 – Failed in business.
1832 – Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832 – Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833 – Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834 – Ran for state legislature again – won.
1835 – Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
1836 – Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838 – Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840 – Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843 – Ran for Congress – lost.
1846 – Ran for Congress again – this time he won.
1848 – Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 – Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854 – Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856 – Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
1858 – Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860 – Elected President of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln never quit.

Note: The Abraham Lincoln didn’t quit list has been printed countless times.

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