Be Prepared for Consequences

First, I originally found this image posted on Chris Kaufman’s blog – “What’s the Diff” – So want to give credit where it was due.

Would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting with Audi and their agency:

Meeting 1:

“Great idea, we need to clean BMW’s clock!”  “Genius”
Meeting 2:

“What the f@#$$, were you guys thinking!!!”  “We look like complete idiots!”


Your Theme Song

Do you ever think about a theme song for your life? Maybe it changes from time to time, but life should be lived with some background music. . . what’s yours?

Add it to the comments below and a link if you have it.

Right now I’m moving along to “You’re So Cool” by Hans Zimmer:

You’re So Cool

We THINK We Have Common Sense

This came across my inbox the other day.  Not only is it good for laugh, but it made me wonder:  How many times a day across the world does stuff like this happen?

Never underestimate the power of Common Sense as a good mental foundation.

These contractors are installing the steel pillars in concrete to stop vehicles from parking on the pavement outside a Sports Bar downtown. They are now in the process of cleaning up at the end of the day and anxious to go home.

How long do you think it will be before they realize where they parked?

I’m an Expert of Experts

Why does everyone insist on being an “expert of ____” or a “guru”?

Funny some of the world’s greatest experts like Ghandi and others always considered themselve lifelong students.

-Students are often the best teachers and you might never know it if you don’t pay attention.

Which one are you?

Are You Building an Enduring Culture?

Dan Rooney - Owner- Pittsburgh SteelersFor those that don’t recognize him, Dan Rooney is the iconic owner of the recent Super Bowl XLIII champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

He’s not a blogger, a web 2.0 strategist or CEO of an automobile manufacturer.  What he is the very definition of a winning culture – sports or otherwise.

Yes, sports analogies in business can wear a little thin, but there is no denying the success of a culture and process that has produced the most successful franchise in NFL history*.  Dan Rooney and the Steelers prove that some of the most valuable assets to any organization sustain through employee turnover, changes in the competitive landscape and market forces.

Unfortunately, Mr. Rooney probably won’t write a book on the secrets of his success, but we should all take some pages of Steeler history and learn about what it takes to build successful organization that defines excellence in a market.

*Full Disclosure:  I’m a huge Steeler fan.

Have You Made Your Business Resolutions?


Most of us can just photocopy our personal resolution list from last year.

  • Get in better shape
  • Stop and smell the roses
  • Take up a hobby
  • Stick to the diet
  • . . .

But have you ever made a business resolution list?  Maybe there are a few of you running small businesses that absolutely hit it out of the park last year, congratulations, you’re in the minority.

For the rest of us we could use a little time for reflection and even dust off the ol’ business plan.  Remember a business plan is SUPPOSED to function as a dynamic document, evolving to account for the current and future climate of business.  Think of it as your Constitution that has its own Amendments.

What can you improve on as a business owner?

  • Participating in a network group?
  • Researching & adopting the latest technological improvements for your industry?
  • Implementing a customer excellence plan (don’t stop at satisfying customers- reach to exceed expectations)
  • More meaningful and frequent solicitation from employees about ideas
  • Learning how new media and technologies on the web can benefit your growth.  EVERY business can/should participate online because that’s where your customers are.
  • Anything else???

Don’t miss this perfect opportunity over the next couple of weeks to make those resolutions.

Thin your waistline and fatten your bottom line.

What Can We Learn From Them?

Trilogy of Power

Reach beyond your political views, (full disclosure: I voted for the other guy) for a second, and realize what we’re looking at.  At the risk of sounding a bit like a cliche, this trilogy of power embodies what is so invigorating about this country.  These are without question the 3 most powerful people in politics, media and sport.  Coincidentally, probably the 3 most discussed subjects by Americans at large.  Not only have we reached a milestone in White House, but a historic milestone as a nation.  But, the greater testimony is that the true admiration is derived from the feats they have accomplished and the track records they have established.

There are personal and business lessons in here somewhere. . .

1.  They are ultimate brands unto themselves.

2.  They have fiercely loyal tribes

3.  They have sustained success and relevancy (with the exception of Obama who will or won’t prove this out)

What can we learn as small business owners, as job-seekers (there’s more than a few in this economy), as bloggers, as individuals, from these three to increase our odds?  Much of it goes back to the basics:

1.  Tireless work ethic. To use a football analogy:  The product that you see on the field is the direct result from the effort put in at practice.  Have you given your best effort in preparing for that next customer meeting, job interview or blog post?  Have you cut corners or dogged the last paragraph?  How slippery is that slope?

2.  Crystallizing the message: Follow some great PR insight from Scott Hepburn here and Lisa Hoffman here because PR is all about the message when you get it right.

You might ask what is Tiger’s message, he’s just a golfer.  His message is very clear; I will outwork, outhink and outplay anybody to become the greatest golfer of all time, no excuses.  Oprah’s; follow me and I will help you to a richer life.

3.  Empowering the tribe: Oprah is arguably the best person in the world at this.  When she promotes a book, not only does it have an instantaneous appearance on the best seller list, it also contains a message that resonates with the tribe.  Her followers become passionate and they connect with one another.  She just gave them the channel.  As a business owner think about the channels you can use to connect your customers with each other around your business and brand.  It is now easier than ever, establish a social network, blog or other form that opens the channels for customers, associates, etc. to connect with one another.

Extract your own message from these icons, but I challenge anyone who cannot learn something from them, whether it be professional or personal.

The images above reinforce that the American spirit of determination is alive and well, in spite of these economic times and headlines chiding all the ones taking the shortcuts.  Sometimes it is very tempting to try and skip the basics and fundamentals.  The formulas haven’t changed, only the context and methods of delivery.