Attitude

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Broken Glass

Starting and running a business takes a well of energy that tends to get tapped into every waking our of the day.  Business leaders take requests from friends, family members, employees, vendors, clients and random people – in addition to putting out fires either caused by them or caused by other people.  When a day goes by and nothing happens – the business leader is probably a bit un-nerved.

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Born Running | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, when you started your business, you were born running.  It was easy to get up every day and simply make things happen.  You had a vision for where you wanted your business to go, who you wanted to serve and what you expected to happen as a result of your business’s existence.

As reality hit, as the economy shifts, you’ve discovered that things aren’t as you had dreamed.  The work is a little harder and longer, the business consumes more and more of your life, the world is less friendly and getting people to do more than talk about your products or services is a bit more complicated than you anticipated.image

But you know that you cannot stop running.  Like an athlete, you know that if you don’t keep running, you cannot finish the race – even those in last place do finish.  That is not so for those who quit.

Consider, for a moment, what it takes to be a great athlete.  It takes clear focus, training, understanding of what it takes to win, clear goals on how to get there and people around you to help keep you on track.  You recognize the rules and guidelines and make a choice whether or not to obey them.  You get the proper resources and make sure that they are maintained in order for you to keep running.  You have a coach – someone to point out ways for you to do what it is you do a little better.

As a business leader, it is no different.  Clear direction, training, conditioning, people and a coach are not just nice to have, but requirements for you to be able to run the race for the long haul.  As you scan the environment – your industry and your marketplace, at least, you will see businesses that could not make it – that had to quit as a result of any number of effectors.  You must consider to yourself what will keep you out of that haphazard heap of corpses.

While it is no easy feat, you’ve got to keep running.  If you trip and fall, you’ve got to get up and do it, again.  As an extraordinary leader, quitting is not an option.  Though you may change your course or your perspective, you don’t quit.  Be extraordinary.  Keep running!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Focus,Determination,Vision,Goals,Coach
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Born Running | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, when you started your business, you were born running.  It was easy to get up every day and simply make things happen.  You had a vision for where you wanted your business to go, who you wanted to serve and what you expected to happen as a result of your business’s existence.

As reality hit, as the economy shifts, you’ve discovered that things aren’t as you had dreamed.  The work is a little harder and longer, the business consumes more and more of your life, the world is less friendly and getting people to do more than talk about your products or services is a bit more complicated than you anticipated.image

But you know that you cannot stop running.  Like an athlete, you know that if you don’t keep running, you cannot finish the race – even those in last place do finish.  That is not so for those who quit.

Consider, for a moment, what it takes to be a great athlete.  It takes clear focus, training, understanding of what it takes to win, clear goals on how to get there and people around you to help keep you on track.  You recognize the rules and guidelines and make a choice whether or not to obey them.  You get the proper resources and make sure that they are maintained in order for you to keep running.  You have a coach – someone to point out ways for you to do what it is you do a little better.

As a business leader, it is no different.  Clear direction, training, conditioning, people and a coach are not just nice to have, but requirements for you to be able to run the race for the long haul.  As you scan the environment – your industry and your marketplace, at least, you will see businesses that could not make it – that had to quit as a result of any number of effectors.  You must consider to yourself what will keep you out of that haphazard heap of corpses.

While it is no easy feat, you’ve got to keep running.  If you trip and fall, you’ve got to get up and do it, again.  As an extraordinary leader, quitting is not an option.  Though you may change your course or your perspective, you don’t quit.  Be extraordinary.  Keep running!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Focus,Determination,Vision,Goals,Coach
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Don’t Just Stand There! Open the Door! | Extraordinary Business

I was working with a client, over the weekend, at his office in Downtown Atlanta.  He mentioned to me, when we were walking in, that he had gotten a ticket parking in the same location that I did.  However, there was a 2 hr parking sign there, so I felt like I was safe.

As I was returning to the car, after the meeting, I noticed a Parking Nanny  (patrol officer assigned to writing parking tickets) standing at the corner of my street with two other guys.  They were talking about writing parking tickets and were debating on whether or not to have my truck towed.  As they continued their conversation, I walked down to the truck, got in and drove off.  As I drove by them, I saw them staring at me with their eyes bugged and their jaws on the floor.  They had missed an opportunity.

This is what happens with many business leaders and super villains.  They spend so much time evaluating and discussing their opportunity that them miss out altogether.  This is why it is so important to have a plan in place to evaluate and take advantage of opportunities, quickly.  This is why you’ve got to be of the mindset that you are always looking for opportunities.

For example:

  • Business mission and vision statements – How will this opportunity effect my company beliefs?
  • Job Descriptions – I’ve met someone who I think might be a good employee – I just don’t know what I am looking for or how to leverage their capabilities
  • Business modeling – We need to get more space and more vehicles.  Based on our current P&L;, how much can we afford?
  • Idea Champions – We have great ideas – but they just remain ideas.

All of these are typical scenarios and responses are tools that you, as a business leader, need to use in order to take advantage of some opportunities.  Of course, this is the short list.  Yours will be a bit longer, and practical for your line of business.

When opportunity knocks, be ready to be extraordinary.  Don’t just stand there.  Open the door!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Decisions,Opportunities,Making Decisions,Idea Platform,Innovation
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Don’t Just Stand There! Open the Door! | Extraordinary Business

I was working with a client, over the weekend, at his office in Downtown Atlanta.  He mentioned to me, when we were walking in, that he had gotten a ticket parking in the same location that I did.  However, there was a 2 hr parking sign there, so I felt like I was safe.

As I was returning to the car, after the meeting, I noticed a Parking Nanny  (patrol officer assigned to writing parking tickets) standing at the corner of my street with two other guys.  They were talking about writing parking tickets and were debating on whether or not to have my truck towed.  As they continued their conversation, I walked down to the truck, got in and drove off.  As I drove by them, I saw them staring at me with their eyes bugged and their jaws on the floor.  They had missed an opportunity.

This is what happens with many business leaders and super villains.  They spend so much time evaluating and discussing their opportunity that them miss out altogether.  This is why it is so important to have a plan in place to evaluate and take advantage of opportunities, quickly.  This is why you’ve got to be of the mindset that you are always looking for opportunities.

For example:

  • Business mission and vision statements – How will this opportunity effect my company beliefs?
  • Job Descriptions – I’ve met someone who I think might be a good employee – I just don’t know what I am looking for or how to leverage their capabilities
  • Business modeling – We need to get more space and more vehicles.  Based on our current P&L;, how much can we afford?
  • Idea Champions – We have great ideas – but they just remain ideas.

All of these are typical scenarios and responses are tools that you, as a business leader, need to use in order to take advantage of some opportunities.  Of course, this is the short list.  Yours will be a bit longer, and practical for your line of business.

When opportunity knocks, be ready to be extraordinary.  Don’t just stand there.  Open the door!

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Decisions,Opportunities,Making Decisions,Idea Platform,Innovation
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Digging out of the Sales Slump – the 4 “R’s” – from Doug Grady

Getting to the top isn’t ever going to be a free and easy ride.  There will be bumps in the road, there will be pitfalls, detours and everything else.  Doug reminds us that through it all, we need to stay focused.

“You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.” –Frank Sinatra

If you are reading this you are likely in one now currently or are remembering a time when you were. The dreaded sales slump. It happens- even to the best of us. Sales can be a hero to zero business. The highs can be heavenly while the lows are at best bearable. When you find yourself in one, consider the 4 “R”s.

• Remind– Take a big breath. Remind yourself that you have been successful in the past. If you have been in sales for awhile, think back to a time when you were on a roll, in the zone, selling at your best. What was different about your attitude, energy, and activity? What were you feeling, focusing on, and driven toward? Strive to regain that energy and mindset.

“This too shall pass.” –Persian proverb

• Refocus– Set specific, measurable, achievable goals for the next 30 days. There are 2 types of goals to set: activity and outcome. You need both to increase the velocity of getting out of a slump. Activity goals address # of calls, presentations, networking meetings, referrals, etc you are committing to. Outcome goals address # of sales, $ amount and other relevant “bottom line” sales results. Yes, I know this is sales 101, but let me guess- you haven’t done it in awhile. Just do it.

“When you find yourself in a hole…, stop digging.” –Will Rogers

• Re-energize– get back in the gym, go for a run, listen to some of your favorite music. Get up earlier and focus on your goals. Turn off the TV- read and listen to inspirational, educational, or motivational material. Get around inspiring people. Buy yourself something pretty.

• Re-commit– This is more important than the first 3 combined (the first 3 tend to make this one easier). Decide what you are committed to and get to it.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness… the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Goethe

Pick yourself up, get back in the race, you’ll be “back on top in June.”

Happy Selling,
Doug Grady

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Sales Strategies,Commitment,Focus,Vision
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Loving the Unlovable | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, have you ever had an employee or associate that absolutely grates on your nerves?  It’s that associate who gives you a headache as soon as he or she walks into the room.  It’s that person that seems to know that they do get to you and strives to ensure that each day, their personal mission is to push you over the edge.
The impending aneurism would be a blessing right now.
For some reason, though, you don’t feel like you can part company with that person, for whatever reason.  Perhaps that person is the one that seems to pay an essential role in the company, or has an incredible amount of talent.  Perhaps they are a family member or friend or some other association.
There are two schools of thought that immediately come to mind.

  1. In the military, they were quite point blank – “Straighten up or we’ll get rid of you and find two people to take your place who can do the job better.”
  2. Find out what makes them tick…and wind their clock.

Option number 1 requires no investment in the person.  However, you’ve got to be committed to finding the person to replace the initial pain in your behind.  Many business leaders might feel that it isn’t worth the trouble and expense, and will simply continue to endure.  The problem with that mentality is that the problem will continue to exist, moral and productivity will likely be reduced, and you may lose other productive stakeholders – including employees.
Option number two does require investment in the person.  However, the results can be outstanding.  Think about it like this – you will have difficulty putting a round peg in a square hole.  No matter how much you push and pull, the fit will never be quite right.
If, on the other hand, you adjust the hole, suddenly, you have a good fit for the peg, and everyone is happy.  In the same way, finding out what motivates this challenged employee, and learning how to leverage their greatest strengths can be one of the best investment you make in your company.  You’ll be loving the unlovable, and find that you have great commitment and cohesiveness that you could have by trying to put a round peg in a square hole.
This could mean – just to be clear – that the peg might actually be the wrong fit for the company.  In that case, you may still need to help them move on to brighter pastures.  At the same time, however, they may be willing to help with the training and development process for the incumbent.
As a business leader, it is your job to make sure that the organization runs as smoothly as possible.  Being extraordinary means that at times, you will have to love the unlovable.  It means that you are going to have to invest in your employees.  It means making that square hole fit the round peg.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Employees
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Loving the Unlovable | Extraordinary Business

As a business leader, have you ever had an employee or associate that absolutely grates on your nerves?  It’s that associate who gives you a headache as soon as he or she walks into the room.  It’s that person that seems to know that they do get to you and strives to ensure that each day, their personal mission is to push you over the edge.

The impending aneurism would be a blessing right now.

For some reason, though, you don’t feel like you can part company with that person, for whatever reason.  Perhaps that person is the one that seems to pay an essential role in the company, or has an incredible amount of talent.  Perhaps they are a family member or friend or some other association.

There are two schools of thought that immediately come to mind.

  1. In the military, they were quite point blank – “Straighten up or we’ll get rid of you and find two people to take your place who can do the job better.”
  2. Find out what makes them tick…and wind their clock.

Option number 1 requires no investment in the person.  However, you’ve got to be committed to finding the person to replace the initial pain in your behind.  Many business leaders might feel that it isn’t worth the trouble and expense, and will simply continue to endure.  The problem with that mentality is that the problem will continue to exist, moral and productivity will likely be reduced, and you may lose other productive stakeholders – including employees.

Option number two does require investment in the person.  However, the results can be outstanding.  Think about it like this – you will have difficulty putting a round peg in a square hole.  No matter how much you push and pull, the fit will never be quite right.

If, on the other hand, you adjust the hole, suddenly, you have a good fit for the peg, and everyone is happy.  In the same way, finding out what motivates this challenged employee, and learning how to leverage their greatest strengths can be one of the best investment you make in your company.  You’ll be loving the unlovable, and find that you have great commitment and cohesiveness that you could have by trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

This could mean – just to be clear – that the peg might actually be the wrong fit for the company.  In that case, you may still need to help them move on to brighter pastures.  At the same time, however, they may be willing to help with the training and development process for the incumbent.

As a business leader, it is your job to make sure that the organization runs as smoothly as possible.  Being extraordinary means that at times, you will have to love the unlovable.  It means that you are going to have to invest in your employees.  It means making that square hole fit the round peg.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leader,Employees
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1+5=25 | Extraordinary Business

In the past, I’ve been a big proponent of doing my taxes myself, but found this year that I wanted to outsource them  Having worked with a number of bookkeepers in the area, I knew what I was looking for – someone who could increase my ability to do what I need to do, without costing more than what makes sense.

I found that while I could go to a “Big Box” tax outfit, I probably know more about that tax code than many of the $10 per hour employees they have, sitting in front of a tax filing program not much different than the ones I would use.  They would request the same information, give me the same output and try to sell me the same add-on services that my online software would give me.  To me, this was a 1+0=1 relationship.  If I give them the wrong info, they may or may not be able to use a critical eye to guide me to the right place.

It goes back to the old adage:  You only know what you know.  There may be things that you don’t even know you don’t know, because you only know what you know.

My tax professional, on the other hand, brings to the table (courtesy of Laura Morton at 10 Key Solutions):

  • Knowledge and understanding of the tax code
  • Trust – while a computer will get the information correct, it might not get the correct information
  • The ability to go through an audit with you
  • Critical thinking when looking at potential deductions
  • Scrutiny to make sure that the information is correct (Garbage in, garbage out!)
  • Responsibility – tax professionals take responsibility for the taxes they file
  • Recommendations based on your personal situation on how you might reduce further tax obligations
  • The ability to create a tax strategy that may span over several years
  • The ability to recommend personally endorsed professionals for your specific needs
  • The ability to work with you in your particular circumstance to help you accomplish your financial goals
  • Competitive pricing – this means that the value I received from her in relation to what she charged was equal or greater than the value I would have received from doing it myself or through a “Big Box” provider

So when I worked with her, the results were far greater than the input, which would be my money for her time.  What I received was:

  • Time to continue building my own company – taxes would have taken me far longer to do than it took her
  • Freedom from responsibility to make sure the taxes were in on time with the right information
  • Knowledge that the taxes are right and that I got the maximum return
  • Recommendations on how I might plan for 2010
  • A trusted advisor

While a tax advisor/bookkeeper/virtual CFO/CFO is one example of how you might outsource services, there are many non-core activities that you can outsource that will give you the same result.  My virtual assistant, my researchers, my IT people, etc,. all help the company go further, faster, than it ever could by itself.  I can focus a great amount of time working on the company and growing it on a continual basis.

Don’t get stuck in the ordinary.  1+0 will always equal 1.  Be extraordinary.  Think 1+1=5

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  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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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Business Taxes,Business Leadership,Strategic Partnerships
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