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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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Dying Daily | Extraordinary Business

Extraordinary business leaders sacrifice, daily, to do what needs to be done

I remember hearing many, many stories about “self-made men,” and the time and energy they put into making their organization.  They talk about things like, “blood, sweat and tears,” and “decimating the competition” and that sort of thing.  Some mention luck or “the alignment of the stars,” and on and on.
Building an extraordinary business requires some concrete activities that we, as business leaders, must commit to every day.  The Bible talks about “dying daily,” which means that every day, you’ve got to commit to reaching that new standard, no matter how yesterday went.  How do you do this?  Here are some traits they shared:

  • They had clear focus and belief.  They new where they were going and believed that they could accomplish it.  Sometimes the focus was on the intangible and the belief in the unimaginable.  Nonetheless, they remained on target and accomplished the impossible.
  • They had an unwavering drive toward a specific goal.  They believed in Star Wars’ Yoda’s comment to young Luke Skywalker during his Jedi training, “There is no try.  Do or do not.”  They looked at life and business in terms of survival – if they did not wake up running and running toward the “home base,” they would be quickly consumed.
  • They have heart.  Kris Cavanaugh, in her book, “Stuck to CEO” opens with the quote from Vincent van Gogh, “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found those dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”  Extraordinary business women and men go at it day in ad day out, despite incredible odds.  We as business owners get up every day to face impossible odds with humanity itself fighting to destroy us.  We know it.  Tomorrow, we’ll do it, again.
  • They know how to share their vision.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” said ancient Israeli King Solomon.  As business owners, we need to teach people to march to the beat of our drum.  However, people, by their very nature need to know, “why?” and “where are we going?”  We will only follow a leader for a short time, without a cause.  Then we are simply drifting together.
  • They learned from their mistakes.  “The man who makes no mistakes usually does not make anything at all” – William Connor Magee.  “What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down,” Mary Pickford.
  • The continued to grow.  Oprah Winfrey started out as a radio personality.  Over the stretch of her career, she has continued to pursue new ventures, using her now great influence to influence public opinion at times.  Once you stop growing, you begin to die.
  • They failed, got back up again and did it again.  President Lincoln was known for the number of business, personal and political failures he endured before coming one of the greatest leaders the world has known.
  • They used plateaus as stepping stones.  The US space program always said that getting to the moon was the first step in space exploration.

Getting to the next level is not for the faint of heart.  It is not for those who aren’t certain where they want to go.  It is not for those who are afraid to fail and fail, again.  It is for the extraordinary.
Be extraordinary.  Get to the next level.
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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Dying Daily | Extraordinary Business

Extraordinary business leaders sacrifice, daily, to do what needs to be done

I remember hearing many, many stories about “self-made men,” and the time and energy they put into making their organization.  They talk about things like, “blood, sweat and tears,” and “decimating the competition” and that sort of thing.  Some mention luck or “the alignment of the stars,” and on and on.

Building an extraordinary business requires some concrete activities that we, as business leaders, must commit to every day.  The Bible talks about “dying daily,” which means that every day, you’ve got to commit to reaching that new standard, no matter how yesterday went.  How do you do this?  Here are some traits they shared:

  • They had clear focus and belief.  They new where they were going and believed that they could accomplish it.  Sometimes the focus was on the intangible and the belief in the unimaginable.  Nonetheless, they remained on target and accomplished the impossible.
  • They had an unwavering drive toward a specific goal.  They believed in Star Wars’ Yoda’s comment to young Luke Skywalker during his Jedi training, “There is no try.  Do or do not.”  They looked at life and business in terms of survival – if they did not wake up running and running toward the “home base,” they would be quickly consumed.
  • They have heart.  Kris Cavanaugh, in her book, “Stuck to CEO” opens with the quote from Vincent van Gogh, “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found those dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”  Extraordinary business women and men go at it day in ad day out, despite incredible odds.  We as business owners get up every day to face impossible odds with humanity itself fighting to destroy us.  We know it.  Tomorrow, we’ll do it, again.
  • They know how to share their vision.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” said ancient Israeli King Solomon.  As business owners, we need to teach people to march to the beat of our drum.  However, people, by their very nature need to know, “why?” and “where are we going?”  We will only follow a leader for a short time, without a cause.  Then we are simply drifting together.
  • They learned from their mistakes.  “The man who makes no mistakes usually does not make anything at all” – William Connor Magee.  “What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down,” Mary Pickford.
  • The continued to grow.  Oprah Winfrey started out as a radio personality.  Over the stretch of her career, she has continued to pursue new ventures, using her now great influence to influence public opinion at times.  Once you stop growing, you begin to die.
  • They failed, got back up again and did it again.  President Lincoln was known for the number of business, personal and political failures he endured before coming one of the greatest leaders the world has known.
  • They used plateaus as stepping stones.  The US space program always said that getting to the moon was the first step in space exploration.

Getting to the next level is not for the faint of heart.  It is not for those who aren’t certain where they want to go.  It is not for those who are afraid to fail and fail, again.  It is for the extraordinary.

Be extraordinary.  Get to the next level.

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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Eat That Elephant!! | Extraordinary Business

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Of course, there are a million other witticisms that are added to the old adage, but the point is still the same.  If you try to take on elephant-sized goals all at once, they will immediately appear unappetizing.  However, if you look at those same elephant-sized goals as a series of smaller goals, you can begin to look at success.

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: Perspective,Goals,BHAGS
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Eat That Elephant!! | Extraordinary Business

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Of course, there are a million other witticisms that are added to the old adage, but the point is still the same.  If you try to take on elephant-sized goals all at once, they will immediately appear unappetizing.  However, if you look at those same elephant-sized goals as a series of smaller goals, you can begin to look at success.

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: Perspective,Goals,BHAGS
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Getting the Word to the Masses | Extraordinary Business:

My wife and I recently bred puppies and sold puppies.  An incredible experience with lots of hard work, dedication and cleaning.  When the puppies were ready to be sold, for some reason, we approached it with, “if we build it, they will come” mentality.  It took much longer than we expected to sell any, despite the fact that they are cute, fun, purebred and the sire comes from a great bloodline.
Many business leaders approach their marketing with the same perspective: they’ve got a great product or service, and feel that simply because they exist, they are entitled to market share.  Furthermore, they feel as that business cards, brochures or a website will do the trick for them.
For very few, it will, initially.  But it is not sustainable.
For the rest of us, a haphazard marketing approach will NOT get our products and services sold.  Sending out a bunch of postcards once in a blue moon does not constitute a marketing strategy.  Nor does putting up a static website (a website that simply signifies that your company exists).  Nor does random marketing.
What works well is a concert of planned activities, executed with some level of consistency toward achieving a specific objective, or a marketing strategy.  Once you have a marketing strategy, you can develop a marketing plan.
A marketing strategy is going to be the overall objective or set of objectives you would like to achieve by a certain timeframe.  It might be to increase revenues, increase brand recognition, launch a new product, raise money, promote an event, offer a new service or launch of a new business or business unit or  a combination of any number of them.  The marketing strategy should have some metrics (we want to reach 1,000,000) and a time period (over the next year) an objective (in order to build a strong name in the marketplace) and a vehicle (using the internet) in order to reach a certain goal (50,000 new clients).
It should be aligned with your business planning (what happens if 500,000 people call with questions?  What if you actually get 50,000 orders?).  It should not be so specific that you “lose sight of the forest because of the trees;” e.g., you would not include all of the details of how you are going to accomplish said strategy.  That is where your marketing plan comes in.
Getting the marketing strategy “up and running” and keeping it going is essential to the long term sustainability of the company.  There will be companies that will brag that “they’ve never done any marketing,” however, connecting with people, the pricing strategy, the products offered, the company  positioning are all part of marketing.  Letting people know about it, and staying in front of them is how you keep your business in business.
Get the word to the masses.  Build an extraordinary business.
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: Marketing,marketing strategy,business building,marketing plan,sustainability,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Getting the Word to the Masses | Extraordinary Business:

My wife and I recently bred puppies and sold puppies.  An incredible experience with lots of hard work, dedication and cleaning.  When the puppies were ready to be sold, for some reason, we approached it with, “if we build it, they will come” mentality.  It took much longer than we expected to sell any, despite the fact that they are cute, fun, purebred and the sire comes from a great bloodline.

Many business leaders approach their marketing with the same perspective: they’ve got a great product or service, and feel that simply because they exist, they are entitled to market share.  Furthermore, they feel as that business cards, brochures or a website will do the trick for them.

For very few, it will, initially.  But it is not sustainable.

For the rest of us, a haphazard marketing approach will NOT get our products and services sold.  Sending out a bunch of postcards once in a blue moon does not constitute a marketing strategy.  Nor does putting up a static website (a website that simply signifies that your company exists).  Nor does random marketing.

What works well is a concert of planned activities, executed with some level of consistency toward achieving a specific objective, or a marketing strategy.  Once you have a marketing strategy, you can develop a marketing plan.

A marketing strategy is going to be the overall objective or set of objectives you would like to achieve by a certain timeframe.  It might be to increase revenues, increase brand recognition, launch a new product, raise money, promote an event, offer a new service or launch of a new business or business unit or  a combination of any number of them.  The marketing strategy should have some metrics (we want to reach 1,000,000) and a time period (over the next year) an objective (in order to build a strong name in the marketplace) and a vehicle (using the internet) in order to reach a certain goal (50,000 new clients).

It should be aligned with your business planning (what happens if 500,000 people call with questions?  What if you actually get 50,000 orders?).  It should not be so specific that you “lose sight of the forest because of the trees;” e.g., you would not include all of the details of how you are going to accomplish said strategy.  That is where your marketing plan comes in.

Getting the marketing strategy “up and running” and keeping it going is essential to the long term sustainability of the company.  There will be companies that will brag that “they’ve never done any marketing,” however, connecting with people, the pricing strategy, the products offered, the company  positioning are all part of marketing.  Letting people know about it, and staying in front of them is how you keep your business in business.

Get the word to the masses.  Build an extraordinary business.

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: Marketing,marketing strategy,business building,marketing plan,sustainability,extraordinary business,extraordinary leadership
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Accountability | Extraordinary Leadership

One of the things that drives people to do the right thing is a sense of accountability.  Now that might be accountability to a friend, family member, to God, a spouse, a mentor or even themselves.  Accountability is what gets people up in the morning to do things like go to school, go to work, do household chores or start a business.  Accountability is a good thing.
As a business leader, accountability is something that you can leverage to achieve the goals that you have set for the business.  By leveraging those you will be accountable to, you will increase the likelihood of getting things done.
Running your business often means you don’t have time to skim through thousands of articles around the web.  That’s understandable.  As a business leader, however, information is invaluable so that you can make good decisions and drive your company to be all that it can be.  We’ve captured some of these articles for your viewing pleasure.  Please credit the authors independently.
When choosing people to be accountable to, you must have some level of trust, where they know that they have the authority to push you to keep going with that goal.  At the same time, while you, as a business leader, may need to lean on them without allowing them to be a crutch.
A partner of mine, Andy Greider, will say over and over, “Don’t have bad partners…they’ll pull you down every time.”  This holds true for those you are counting on to hold YOU accountable.  People that are quick to go along with whatever you suggest might make you feel good, but probably aren’t the best for you in your business in terms of driving to reach your BHAGS (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals)
Reaching BHAGS takes a great deal of energy, effort, commitment and drive.  As my friend Dr. Ike says, “We cannot become what we need to be if we remain who we are.”
Be extraordinary.  Have someone to hold you accountable.
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: Accountability,Leadership,Extraordinary,Partners,BHAGS,Goals
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