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30

Apr
2009
Comments Off on Knuckle Up! Anti Me-ism

Knuckle Up! Anti Me-ism

One of my favorite movies is “The Matrix,” the sci-fi film where robot battle with mankind and eventually take over the planet, leaving mankind in a vegetable state, plugged into a computer mainframe known as The Matrix.  In the movie, people begin to escape from the Matrix, and form a literally underground colony known as Zion.  These people eventually form a large enough, equipped army to form a resistance to stand against “the machines,” creators of the Matrix.

In the final movie in the trilogy, the machines have discovered where Zion is, and have located the tunnel and tunneled down to the city, where they plan to have an onslaught of killer machines wipe out all of the inhabitants of Zion.  Zion’s forces, however, are determined to stand against the machines, and thus, are using their own war machines- essentially one man fighting tanks equipped with armor piercing bullets, designed to mimic the actions of the operator, to fight against enemy.clip_image002

At the point of the movie where enemy breached the dock, as they call it, the commander of Zion’s forces ordered “KNUCKLE UP!!”  At that point, each soldier locked and loaded their weapons, and focused on a single target – the entry point where the dock had been breached.  There was one clear focus – to stop the invading forces.  There was one clear vision: to exist without the threat of the machines coming to destroy them.

Each soldier had to put “me-ism” as in “it’s all about me” in order to be a strong, fighting, contributing member of their unit.  All of the soldiers talked to each other, looked out for each other and defended each other.  Each soldier put themselves last in defense of the unit.

You and your team are a unit or a fighting force.  Each member of the team must perform to the best of their ability – and you must learn about and leverage their abilities in order to get the most from them and from your organization.  Having a shared mission and vision for the organization can make the difference between achievement and high achievement.  Leading the way and providing clear direction will be the difference between success and failure.  Embracing anti Me-ism can make the difference between a “flash in the pan” – a business that does well for a little while – and a business that is a cornerstone in the community.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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16

Apr
2009

Focus & Framework: Getting Things Done

According to some reports, the economy is finally beginning to stabilize.  Job losses are slowing, and some companies are beginning to hire, again.  Most businesses have been hurt, some are closed.  Still others are starting.  Why?  People are seeing opportunity.  They identified a need and are willing to fill it.

The Problem:

  • Starting a new business is relatively easy.  Have a product or service and get people to buy it. 
  • Staying in business for the long haul, however, takes focus
  • Growing a business significantly takes even more focus.

The common denominator, of course, is FOCUS – the ability to concentrate on one thing, despite what is going on around you.

Learning to focus on what is important is key to getting anything substantial done in your business in a reasonable amount of time.  Multi-tasking is not focusing.  Getting to it when you can – is not focusing.  Focusing requires laser-like attention on the goal, whatever that might be.

The way I teach people to focus is by helping them understand seven components of focusing, which will help both in business and in personal lives.  They are:

  1. Who are you?  As in What makes you special or UNIQUE? clip_image002
  2. What do you do?  What are your COMPETENCIES?
  3. Why do you exist?  You could call it PURPOSE or MISSION
  4. What do you hope to accomplish?  What is your VISION
  5. What do you stand for?  or What are your VALUES?
  6. Who do you serve or Who is your MARKET?
  7. What roadblocks or OBSTACLES do you face?

Answering these seven questions will provide you with a framework you will want to have in place before taking the next steps.

Yes, they do take time, and no, they don’t make you any money right now.  However, it will pay off, substantially, as you move forward.  They are the first step in the process.  Keep in mind that many people who start this exercise aren’t completely sure of what the answers are the first or second or third time around.  Many people start off with general statements.  However, as time goes by, the answers are further refined. 

For example, when Aepiphanni started, we served small businesses.  All small businesses.  And we did everything possible under the sun.  We learned, over time, that although we were able to do a lot of things and serve a lot of people, there were certain professions with which we resonated very well.  Additionally, we found there were certain types of contributions (organizational planning & structure) that we do really well.  Therefore, the markets we served changed, and were refined.

Keep in mind that while this exercise does take time, this will be the foundation and framework for whatever it is you are doing.  When building anything that will last, you must have a solid foundation.  A good foundation and complementary framework  is what makes anything survive.

What is a framework, you ask?  A framework is like your body’s skeleton, or the framing on a house or a building.  They provide the structure for everything else you will do.  Think about it: if it doesn’t fit within the framework, it doesn’t belong there.  Alternatively, if what you want to add will damage the framework, you need to find another solution.  When we talk about framework, we begin talking about what will keep you in place or on task once you have gotten the foundation down.  Consider this – once the framework is in place, you can begin adding all kinds of accoutrements – walls, floors and ceilings, in the case of a building.  It also provides support for any wires and pipes, windows and doorways.  Keep in mind – it will not be strong without the foundation!

When we discuss the framework for your goal or business, we are talking about identifying anything that could potentially strengthen or weaken the business or goal.  In business, we use a SWOT analysis to identify them.  These refer to internal Strengths, Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats. 

For example: Say we were building a high-speed rail system that runs from Boca Raton to the Grand Bahamas Island.  We have an understanding of our seven focus questions.  Now we are going to look at the SWOT:

Strengths:

  • We like the ideaclip_image002[5]
  • We believe in the idea

Weaknesses:

  • We need money – but we can raise it – lemonade stand?
  • We have no idea how to do it – but we can find people that do!

Opportunities

  • Other people will think it’s cool, too
  • Who  wouldn’t want to go the the Bahamas for the weekend?

Threats

  • Hurricanes and other natural occurrences could slow the building process
  • If we don’t build the tunnel right, it could flood

While this is an over-simplified version of the SWOT, we can see areas that we need to put our efforts into, and areas we need to work around.  Without having an understanding of what we can go really wrong, or what we can take advantage of, we could miss the boat, altogether.  We refer to this step as ensuring we are aware of our safety needs and can make good decisions with respect to how to address them.

Using the principals of focus and framework will help you not only set mission-oriented goals for your organization, but also, to push the boundaries of what you may have previously thought were reasonable.  Have a strong foundation and  framework does take some time and effort, but if done properly the rewards will far outweigh the costs.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, tho
ughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].

� 2009  Aepiphanni Business Solutions

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15

Apr
2009
Comments Off on Chin Up!!

Chin Up!!

Sam Parker at Smile & Move (http://www.smileandmove.com/) put this great video together.thought I would share it with you.  By the way, if your ego is too big, you might not be able to handle it.  You’ve been warned.  🙂

Smile & Move.

Now GOT OUT AND HAVE A GREAT DAY!!

Don’t forget to PASS IT FORWARD!!

Have a great day!

Rick

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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1

Apr
2009
Comments Off on Great Posts from Across the Web

Great Posts from Across the Web

The New Era Of Purpose
Huffington Post, NY
article on March 12th, even Jack Welch declared the obsession with short-term profits and share-price gains as “a dumb idea.” At best, it acknowledges the critical role that profitability and strong performance plays in making a business viable.

There’sa big difference between the Great Depression and Economic
Valley Bugler Newspaper, WA
Business advisor Jack Welch predicts that when the downturn ceases, the American economy will be stronger and sounder than ever. Welch urges business people to talk about reasons for confidence. America is loaded with energy and creativity, he says.

clip_image002Lean and Green
Redmond Channel Partner, CA
Spurred at least in part by former Vice President Al Gore’s Nobel Prize-winning campaign to raise awareness about global warming, organizations worldwide have taken a hard look at reducing their “environmental footprints” in the past decade.

Building a Scaffold for Social Change
Whole Life Times, CA
We are experiencing a termination of capitalism as we have known it, a shutdown recently dubbed “The Great Disruption” by Thomas Friedman, in The New York Times. Until recently a leading cheerleader for Neoliberal globalization, Friedman has come to

Human Potential Untangled
T+D, VA
At the other extreme from the three traditional, methodical approaches to development was Peter Senge‘s vision of a “learning organization,” in which people are continually enhancing their capabilities to create the results they truly desire.

The Changing Role of the CMO
BusinessWeek
By Marshall Goldsmith Marketing is everywhere, but with the ubiquity of slogans and ads, it’s easy to forget that there’s more to marketing than meets the eye. As a result, it is often one of the first budgets to be cut in economic downturns.

Jim Collins: How to Thrive in 2009
Inc.com, NY
In other words, it’s not a bad time to be an entrepreneur You would be hard pressed to find two individuals more determined to uncover the secrets of business success than Jim Collins and Bo Burlingham. Collins is the author of the best-selling

21st Century Business Networking By: Alan Rae, Lisa Harris, and
Healthy Wealthy n Wise, WV
Some are essentially salesmen, some just like connecting people, and some are subject experts – ‘mavens’ in the terminology used by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point. So you need to be clear what you’re doing in the network – are you

Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose Discuss Angel Investing and Naming Companies from Glen McElhose on Vimeo

 http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3934635&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Tim and Kevin from Glenn McElhose on Vimeo.

In this video, Kevin Rose – founder of Digg and others – and I talk about how we invest in other companies as “angels” and how we choose names for companies. Topics include:

-How to test company or product names using Google AdWords
-Kevin’s criteria for both good site names and good angel investments
-The role of start-up “advisors” and investors
-How I choose companies to work with: overlap, PR options, UI design.

It’s an Oprah-style conversation, so if watching isn’t an option, you can also opt to let the audio play in the background while you’re doing other things. Let us know if you’d like to see more of these brainstorming sessions.

Special thanks to Glenn McElhose for the great video shooting and editing!

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