building an extraordinary business

Challenge Everything | Extraordinary Business

There is a video game company called EA (Electronic Arts – http://www.ea.com/) that used to use the tagline “Challenge Everything.”  As one who, at times, must question the natural order of things, this tag immediately appealed to me.  Many of my clients often hear the question of, “Why?” when they propose ideas.  The goal isn’t to belittle the idea or thought, but rather, to make sure that the idea is completely thought out.

As business leaders, we nee to understand and question everything around our businesses.  As someone said to me, once, “You need to inspect what you expect.”  Even if we feel like we understand certain things, or that certain things appear to be part of the natural order, understanding “why” something is done will often serve to ensure that the product or service or idea does have merits and has been completely thought out. 

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Have an Idea and a Plan

Extraordinary Business: Have an Idea and a Plan!

In a 2008 children’s movie, “Monsters versus Aliens,” General W. R. Monger reports to the President, “Mr. President, not only do I have an idea, but I have a plan!”  This is the mentality business leaders who wish to build extraordinary businesses must have.(L-R) Gen. W.R. Monger and the President in "Monsters vs. Aliens."

Building an extraordinary business doesn’t happen by accident.  It requires focus, consistency, extraordinary thinking and an extraordinary vision.  Look at the luxury car manufactures.  Their commercial constantly tout why they are better than the non-luxury models. They have better handling, go faster, smoother lines, more electronics, etc..  None of this happens by accident.

Your extraordinary business won’t be extraordinary by accident, either.  Simply throwing together a webinar series, sending out free white papers, launching a new website or blog or being a host on an internet radio station does not mean that you will automatically launch your business into the echelons of greatness. Planning to do these things, however, could make the difference.

Take, for example, a new product launch by a national company.  They have a product, they have consistent messaging, they know who their target market is and you see their launch everywhere for a specific amount of time.  They’ll typically build out something that looks like a business plan and ask the who, what, when, where, how and why this product will get on the market.  If they cannot justify the investment, they move on.2011 Planning Button

Extraordinary business leaders need to look at endeavors in the same light.  Every action must be measured –does it support the mission?  Will it help us reach the vision? Can I promote it to the right people?  How will I promote it?  How much will I sell it for?  How much will I make off of it?– to determine whether or not the time and energy that must be expended is worth it.

Planning is not a tool just for academics.  It is not simply a cliché, “failure to plan is planning to fail.”  It is the difference between shooting in the dark and building something extraordinary.  Build extraordinary.  Have a plan.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. 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 Specialty Consumer 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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*Picture – (L-R) Gen. W.R. Monger and the President in “Monsters vs. Aliens.” – © Dreamworks Animation, LLC

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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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