Life Isn’t All Great
I did a keynote presentation for a great company last week called Ingram Micro, a $300+ billion, Fortune 100 company. In my keynote, I discussed:
- How these are the most exciting and opportunity-rich times to be an entrepreneur in all of human history (why that is, statistically).
- How technology is leveling the playing field (redistributing the wealth) between big business and small business, disrupting status quos, control of distribution channels, and direct and immediate access to massive global consumer markets.
- How more “new wealthy” and new millionaires will be produced in the next 10 years than have been created in the last 110 years–combined.
I also talked about tuning out creative-spirit-crushing negative news media (as we’ve discussed in How to Change the World, Fuel for Growth, Info Power) and focusing instead on what is positive and right with the world–the abundance and prosperity, and the role models, mentors and people doing extraordinary things in the world today (a la SUCCESS magazine).
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Why Small-Business Owners Raid the College Fund
I have been following with great interest the trials and tribulations of Paul Downs and his woodworking business as he navigates troubled waters (I’ll get back to business groups in my next post). I’ve also been following the comments that Paul’s posts have been getting.
Because I have been blogging here for almost a year, as well as following the other bloggers, the comments sound familiar. Many are supportive and appreciative of those who share their stories. Some offer advice, some offer analysis. And then there are others. Here are two of my favorites from Paul’s most recent post: “At best you’re on the deck of the Titanic.” And “If you replace all the business activities with poker games, this reads exactly like an account of a gambling addiction.”
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Trend: Switching from cutting back, to focusing on growth
Jim Carroll, CSP
In a whirlwind of activity over the last ten days, I’ve been the keynote speaker for conferences that probably represents the vast majority of global Fortune 1000 organizations, speaking to the trends that will impact the future of ‘corporate facilities.’
These have included keynotes for the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association annual conference in Orlando; the CoreNet Global Summit in New Orleans, and the International Asset Management Council Spring Summit in Colorado Springs. With these groups, we’ve got the folks who manage facilities for a good chunk of the world’s biggest retailers (including Apple, the Gap, Costco and others); commercial real estate executives for Fortune 1000 and government; and the senior executives who manage the same for large industrial and manufacturing organizations (Alcoa, Caterpillar, Whirlpool).
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Time Management: Gracefully Refusing Requests
Laura Stack, CSP
What do you do when you have the perfect plan set up for the day, then everything and everyone tries to blow up your plan?
Part of that could be your fault. Perhaps you’re responding to e-mails as they’re coming in or otherwise wasting time. But the other part is no fault of your own. You need to learn some language, verbiage, and techniques to use when someone asks you to do something not on your plan. If you’re thinking, “This is just not that important right now,” you need to know how to decline gracefully. Certainly there are some things that are worth stopping what we’re doing and handling; however, there lots of things that aren’t important and don’t qualify to be handled immediately.
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Should You Join a Business Group?
Running a small business requires some level of expertise in many areas. There are management issues, marketing questions and financial realities. Trying to master all areas, or at least sort them all out, can be frustrating, exhausting and scary. Entrepreneurship differs from many other “professions” in that by definition you are on your own: no colleagues back at the office, no mentor or boss to show you the way. In addition, it is not just your paycheck that is at risk; it can be everything you have, not to mention money put up by friends and family.
I’ve learned that once you peel back the facade of most businesses, the inner workings look very similar. Whether it is a doctor’s practice, an insurance brokerage or a computer-board distributorship, there are common denominators, including customer service, cash flow, financial controls, people, sales and marketing. There are also partners, family members and personal issues that make the reality of running a small business much more than just an academic exercise.
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Workplace Productivity: Your First To-Do of the Day
Laura Stack, CSP
What’s the first thing you do when you begin your day? What do you literally do when you sit down to begin working?
Many people do the “beverage ritual.” They get all their beverages just right and their snacks all lined up and settled. Maybe they do a little bit of checking on blog postings to see what’s come in and of course visit Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Next they check e-mail and get sucked into that vortex for a couple of hours. Now what time is it? Lunchtime! How do you feel after lunch? Probably pretty low energy. What do you feel like working on? Nothing. At least nothing that requires a very high level of energy and focus.
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Innovators Thrive on Fast Paced Ideas
Jim challenges an audience to think about collaboration in the era of the ‘global idea machine.’
In this case, Jim was the opening keynote speaker for the 2010 US Navy/Marine/Air Force Child Youth Program conference in Dallas, Texas, and was there to challenge them to think differently in terms of service delivery, particularly as parents and children on military bases come to expect different forms of support and interaction.
Innovators Always Focus on Growth!
Leading in turbulent times! That’s a topic you need to focus on in the high velocity economy – particularly as volatility rages around you. And leading means focusing on growth: pursuing opportunities that will materialize over the longer term, rather than just managing short term trends.
That’s the focus of my “Where’s the Growth” document, which you can grab here. It provides a quick, concise overview of some of the many opportunities that are emerging in the the future.
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There Is Nothing Easy About Advertising
Slowly but surely things are getting better, and I have decided that it is time to get back to investing in the future rather than just trying to survive.
Advertising is one expense that is really an investment. Like all investments, advertising can produce results that range from great to disastrous. It requires understanding who your best prospects are, how to reach them, and what the message should be. Because most small-business owners are busy, if not overwhelmed, it can be tempting to let advertising salespeople drive the process. That can be a mistake. You don’t want to choose your advertising based on which salesperson happens to call on you.
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Fake It Till You Make It
I just finished writing my commentary for our forthcoming SUCCESS Audio Series issue that is based on developing professional and other relationships. I thought you might enjoy the insight of these thoughts as well. Here are six ways to give you the relationship edge in business and in life.
Here is tip No. 1 and maybe the most important one of all…
1. Be real, be transparent, be authentic and be yourself… I mean your REAL self. Too often people spend incredible amounts of energy trying to project themselves as something they’re not. Most of their conversation is spent trying to impress and they think they have everyone snookered.
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