5 Way Formula, Direct to Consumers, Planning

I just finished reading a very insightful article entitled The Race To Reinvent Everything by Tom Foster in the May 2018 edition of INC Magazine.  The article is about direct-to-consumer (DTC) startups, companies that are emulating the Warby-Parker model for many other product categories.  Products currently offered by more than 400 DTC startups range from bras to tampons.  While the article made many interesting points about the challenges and opportunities these startups are faced with, two points resonated with me.

  1. Not All Products Offer the Same Opportunities – Warby-Parker has been extremely successful due to two main factors:
    1. They offer superior value to their customers. Warby is selling a formerly $500.00 item for less than $100.00
    2. This value proposition enabled their customers to own many pairs of glasses, converting a category that was a necessity into a fashion category

The article went on to compare several other products where either the value proposition is not strong enough (sofas), the category is flooded with many DTC startups (Razors), or the major players in the marketplace have the technical resources to jump into the category on a DTC basis in addition to their customary channels of distribution (Razors again).  If you are considering starting a DTC company, you must carefully consider your proposed value proposition along with product costs, including sales and marketing.  Further, this article is a strong primer on the DTC landscape.

  1. Key Performance Indicators – DTC vs. Bricks and Mortar – The article mentioned some major differences between DTC and traditional retail’s ability to collect actionable KPI’s, giving the advantage to DTC. Specifically, DTC companies can capture essential KPI’s, such as customer acquisition cost, number of leads by source or campaign, and conversion rate by source or campaign more rapidly and accurately than traditional retailers.  Customer lifetime value is another very important KPI which is just as hard to predict for DTC startups as it is for traditional retailers.  However, DTC companies can have statistically valid lifetime value data sooner than traditional retailers.  The increased accuracy and timeliness of KPI’s allows DTC startups to finetune their model as early as possible.  Traditional brick and mortar retailers are faced with the need to collect these same KPI’s.  However, it can be more difficult, be less accurate and take more time for traditional retailers.  The section of the article where this is presented is a good summary of Buying Customers a book by Brad Sugars, Founder and Chairman of ActionCOACH.

Whether you are starting a direct-to-consumer or traditional retailer, you should read this article to achieve a strategic advantage over other potential startups in your planned market space.  The article contains lots of additional information you will need BEFORE you get too far on your startup journey.  My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH can further assist you in sorting out your options and planning your success.

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Being an Owner, Business and Golf, Business Coaching, Goal Setting, Key Performance Indicators, Planning

While flossing my teeth this morning I recalled my late mother’s expression “It never fails.”  I decided to write this blog about my top three list of things that never fail, well almost never fail.

Of course, top of mind and number one on the list:

  1. The last piece of dental floss in the container is too short to be useable – Unless you are a dental floss savant, this “never fails” is based on pure luck.

The second “never fails” applies to most amateur golfers:

  1. A golf ball that strikes a tree on either side of a fairway will (almost) always bounce away from that fairway – While this “never fails” has an element of luck associated with it, a golfer could improve their odds by being coached and taking lessons with a PGA professional. As their ability to hit a golf ball where they aim increases, they will reduce the number of trees hit.  By the way, a great golf KPI is number of fairways hit.

Number three on the list of “never fails” is about, unfortunately, most business owners and their businesses:

  1. A business owner without written plans will fail to reach their business and personal goals – My colleagues at ActionCOACH and I have witnessed too many businesses that have grown organically, without plans. Before I joined ActionCOACH I had several turn-around engagements.  Every company I worked to rescue exhibited a lack of planning.  The effect of lack of planning was a major reason they arrived in a turn-around situation.

Our ActionCOACH clients benefit from our planning culture.  All my clients have some, if not all of the following plans:

  • 90 Day working on the business plans
  • Classical business plans with budgets, cashflow, revenue and expense projections
  • 1, 3 and 5-year Organization Charts
  • Hiring plans with trigger benchmarks
  • Marketing plans
  • And others

As the expression goes; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

The benefits of planning are numerous:

  • Plans, especially written plans, have a very high correlation with success.
  • Plans are essential if you have a team. They communicate your goals and engage your team toward goal achievement.  Simply put, plans help you, and your entire team get leverage of skills, knowledge and time.
  • Plans inoculate your business against failure. While there are no guarantees, planning certainly stacks the desk in your favor.
  • The process of producing and maintaining your plans is just as important as the actual plans. It is a major part of your responsibility as a business owner to create a success environment for you and your team.
  • And many more.

If your business is not about to require a rescue, it is not too late to become a proactive, planning high-achieving business owner with an exceptional business.  The choice is up to you, don’t plan to fail!

Should you choose not to plan to fail, my colleagues and I at ActionCOACH will be happy to assist you on your path to business success.  Simply contact me or your local ActionCOACH.

Finally, please let me know what some of your top “never fails” are in your comments to this blog.

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Being an Owner, Blinding Flashes of the Obvisous (BFOs), Bucket Lists, Delegation, Goal Setting, Success, Vision

The second day of BEF began with Darren Hardy, former publisher of Success magazine, and founder of Darren Hardy, LLC Success Mentor to CEOs & High-Achievers.  His presentation was entitled Productivity Secrets of SUPERACHEIVERS and was based on what he learned during his many interviews with some of the most successful people in the world. The following are a few of the many BFOs I got from Mr. Hardy’s presentation:

img_1637-for-blog

  • YES is easy. NO is the master skill
  • 3 Activities – consider:
    • What should I have said NO to last week?
    • What should I say NO to next week?
    • What should I say NO to on my Idea, Project, Commitment & Communication Lists?
  • “To many choices create paralysis”
  • Warren Buffet’s Method
    • Step 1 – WRITE all your priorities
    • Step 2 Narrow the list down to your TOP 3
    • Throw the rest of the list away
  • Don’t mistake:
    • Movement for Achievement
    • Activity for Productivity
    • Rushing for Results

img_1669-for-blog

  • Create a “Give Up” list
  • Identify your Vital Few Functions
    • Delete / Delegate
    • Find & Focus on and leverage VITAL FUNCTIONS
  • “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker
  • To be a SUPERACHIEVER
    • Stop doing
    • Master the Vital FEW
    • Out FOCUS
    • Out LAST (consistency)
    • Out GROW
    • Out FAIL – learn from mistakes

 

 

Our next speaker was Travis Bell, The Bucket List Guy.  Travis was a speaker at the 2017 BEF (see 2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 4 for my BFOs from 2017).  Travis repeated a presentation he delivered to the ActionCOACH coaches only.  This year he presented to the entire audience.  There is a few additional BFOs added to last year’s Travis Bell BFOs:

 

  • The ultimate KPI is How Many People Come to Your Funeral
  • Go from Selfish to Selfless
  • Separate bucket list from to do list

Our next presenter was Steve Rogers, CEO of Alchemy Advisors.  Before founding Alchemy Advisors, Mr. Rogers was the President of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.  Here are a few of the many BFOs from Mr. Rogers:

  • There is no perfect
  • The constant question – What will have occurred in the next 12 months to consider it a very successful year?
  • And

img_1744-for-blog

Brad Sugars took the stage to wrap up day 2:

  • All of my clients have a Future Organization Chart (3 to 5 years in the future) These need to add a Timeline & Triggers to each new position on the chart
  • “Saving a wage cost me a fortune” – Brad Sugars
  • Hiring is not the same as Recruiting
  • Have at least 1 personal goal in your 90 day plan
  • Success:

See Your Goal
Understand The Obstacles
Create a Positive Mental Picture
Clear Your Mind of Self-Doubt
Embrace The Challenge
Stay On Track
Show The World You Can Do It

 

Day 3 – A few BFOs from the coach’s session

From ActionCOACH Kevin Simpson, a coach in Canada.  A few insights from his clients:

  • His bike shop client reduced the number of bikes on the sales floor, resulting in selling more units at higher prices
  • Conversation around what is possible. In the 19th century during the construction of a railroad, 32 spikers hammered in 63,000 spikes, each averaging 600 blows per hour for 14 hours.  They constructed 6.3 miles of track that day, which at the time was a record.  So the question is – Do we limit ourselves by our perception of what is possible?
  • To eliminate Bottle Necks – Communicate Priorities

 

img_1774-for-blogimg_1785-for-blog

    • be in Area 4
    • Area 1 – Intention & Attention / no money – EXCUSE (below point of power)
    • Area 2 – Money & Intention / no attention – BLAME
    • Area 3 – Money & Attention / not aligned – DENIAL
    • Area 4 – Congruency (above the point of power)

 

And finally, from a couple of conversations during breaks:

  • A business is finished (Step 6 of 6 Steps to Massive Results) when it achieves the ActionCOACH definition of a successful business
  • Content is GREAT / Context is IT!
  • “Where there is SHIT, there is FERTILIZER

 

I hope you have formed your own BFOs from this blog series.

The 2019 Business Excellence Forum will be in Charlotte, SC from February 17th to the 19th.  If you wish to join me and about 1,000 other business owners, CEOs, leaders, executives and business coaches, or if you would like to accelerate your success, please contact me or any of my ActionCOACH colleagues.  Our mission is to create

World Abundance Through Business Re-Education

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Accountability, Assessments, Blinding Flashes of the Obvisous (BFOs), Business Coaching, Consistency, Culture, Negotiating, Sales

While reviewing my notes for this blog, I noticed that I omitted two Elizabeth McCormick BFOs from Part 1

  • When thingsimg_1523-for-blog get hard, ask yourself “Do I Want This?”
  • CAN
    • Communicate – Positive & Proactive
    • Aviate – Take Action
    • Navigate – Clarity

 

Elizabeth McCormick was followed by Chris Voss, CEO of The Black Swan Group, LTD and co-author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.  He spent 24 years working in the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit and was the FBI’s chief international hostage and kidnapping negotiator from 2003 to 2007.  There were only a few BFOs from Mr. Voss, however they were MAJOR.  During negotiations:

  • Banish “I Understand” from your vocabulary. It is condescending.
  • Build confidence & trustworthiness – “Will you listen to what I have to say?”
  • Open by asking a question or making a statement with the expected answer or response of NO. For example: “It looks like there is no way to get the hostages released safely.”  Going for the NO gets the other side to tell you what they are really after.  Chris gave several sales-oriented examples: “It looks like you are not interested saving money for payroll processing while getting quicker service.”
  • Never say “you’re right” only say “That’s right” and then shut up!
  • Perceived EMPATHY is a Truth Serum

Our next speaker was Dr. Tony Alessandra, CEO of Assessments 24×7, LLC.  Dr. Alessandra is a prolific author with 30 books translated into over 50 foreign language editions, including the newly revised, best-selling The NEW Art of Managing PeopleCharismaThe Platinum RuleCollaborative Selling; and Communicating at Work.  ActionCOACH has a strategic partnership with Assessments 24×7 that enables my colleagues and I to offer a variety of online assessments, including the widely used DISC profile, the Hartman HVPMotivators (Values/PIAV) assessment, and several 360º effectiveness assessments.  BFOs from Dr. Alessandra include:

  • “Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” This represents a prime reason we at ActionCOACH offer a complementary diagnostic coaching session before suggesting a coaching program to prospective clients.
  • Establishing a competitive advantage is founded on an understanding of customer needs (not wants) and the ability of competitors to meet those needs. Understanding your competitive advantage allows you to sell value, not price.
    • Understand your Uniqueness’s, Advantages & Disadvantages
    • To dig deeper and to differentiate your offering from your competition in a given situation use this tool
Your Advantages compared to competitor Your Disadvantages compared to competitor
Competitor A ? ?
Competitor B ? ?
Competitor C ? ?
Competitor D ? ?
  • Feedback Questions
  • How well does our solution address the needs and goals you expressed earlier?
  • What other advantages do you see in our solution?
  • How closely does this solution fit your budget & timeline?
  • How will you determine the success of our solution?
  • What needs do you see that I might have missed?
  • Alessandra presented three case studies on the effectiveness of using various combinations assessments during recruiting and hiring. As the saying goes, “your results may vary.”  Nonetheless, using assessments before offering a position to a candidate increases the likelihood of a successful hire.

This concludes the major BFOs from the first day of the Business Excellence Forum.  Stay tuned for day 2’s BFOs, coming soon.

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Blinding Flashes of the Obvisous (BFOs), Culture, Marketing, Mindset, Mission

For the third year in a row I must say, the Business Excellence Forum (BEF) gets better each year, and the 2018 event was no exception.  This year there were more than 700 business owners, executives, team members and business coaches in attendance in San Diego, California.  With that many attendees, there was an abundance of formal and informal exchanges of ideas, strategies, success stories and best practices.

This year’s forum had an extensive list of keynote speakers whose presentations yielded many Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs) and new ways of looking at things.  The following are some of the BFOs that struck a chord with me, most of which will enhance the value I bring to my clients.  I am sure that some of these will have a similar effect on you.

During the opening session, Brad Sugars, founder, and Chairman of ActionCOACH shared the following during a presentation of the 21 Biggest Mistakes in Marketing:

  • Mistake #4 – No Numbers / At ActionCOACH we have the concept of Measure & Test. For example, in creating marketing materials, such as advertisements, we coach our clients to test multiple headlines and measure the level of response, rather than simply using one headline.  After measuring response, our clients can hone in on an effective headline.  Brad suggested that Google or Facebook are perfect venues to test marketing headlines.
  • Mistake #9 – Going for 1 sale vs. 100 / The concept of marketing for multiple sales, rather than going for one sale. This involves targeting out-bound message, while calling for in-bound response.
  • Mistake #12 – Wrong Words/Pictures / Marketing materials must address your target’s values, not your company’s values.
    I will be blogging and tweeting more of the 21 Biggest Mistakes during the next few weeks.

Our first Keynote speaker was Elizabeth McCormick, an amazing lady.  Ms. McCormick was the first female helicopter pilot in the US Army.  In addition to teaching the entire audience how to fly a helicopter, she laid out many gems, here are a few:

  • “If you believe that something is hard, it will be hard. If you believe something is easy, it will be easy not as hard
  • She demonstrated the “Can you exercise.” She asked a volunteer to the stage.  The volunteer extended their arm out to the side with their thumb down.  Elizabeth then:
    • Pushed down on the volunteer’s arm while the subject was resisting to establish a benchmark of the amount of force needed to overcome the resistance
    • Next, she had the subject say “I can’t” three times. When she pushed the volunteer’s arm down this time she was able to easily overcome the resistance.
    • Finally, she had the subject say “I can” three times. This time she had to apply much more force to overcome the volunteer’s resistance.
      Just in case we thought she was faking, the entire audience paired off, did the exercise and came up with the same result.
    • The purpose was to move us from our comfort zone to our Potential Zone.
  • “We all have a responsibility to lead from where we are.”

Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2018 BEF.

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Effective Delegation, Time Management

Since the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) has declared February to be National Time Management Month, and in honor that, I’ve decided to vary from my usual theme of effective delegation.  So here are a few strategies and tips that will help you better manage your time, and ultimately, yourself.  As it has often been said, time is our most precious resource.  At an ActionCOACH conference a few years ago, Stedman Graham summed it up saying that time is the great equalizer, no matter who you are you have twenty-four hours in a day, no more, no less.  For the most part, billionaires use their twenty-four more effectively than the rest of us.

The following tips, strategies and tactics are from the ActionCOACH TimeRICH seminar:

  1. When you have a choice, use the following two factors to decide to invest your time on an activity or task:
    1. Is this “thing” worth more than your minimum dollar threshold (whatever you decide that number to be)? If you haven’t yet developed your “worth” invest some effort to calculate an hourly dollar value of your time as soon as possible.  This is very important because every time you say YES to an activity or project, you are effectively saying NO to many others.
    2. Does this “thing” contribute toward accomplishing one or more of your goals? You must strive to relate EVERYTHING you invest your time in to your goals.
  2. Build an extended team, not only employees, that you can delegate (not abdicate) items to. That’s how the billionaires get leverage, you can too.  If they are knowledgeable about the “thing” you are delegating, your extended team may include your CPA, attorneys, family, mentors, etc.  Do not delegate to unqualified people.  Also, remember in a corporate environment, if you are careful, you can delegate upward.
  3. One of the best habits I adopted after I completed ActionCOACH induction training is – Never finish today, until you plan tomorrow. Before I leave my office, I list out my must achieves for the next day.
  4. Be Militant about those who undervalue your time by interrupting. You can:
    1. Get lost – work remotely
    2. Not answer the phone – call screening works
    3. Regulate email – you can set the polling interval in most email apps
    4. Be busy and be obvious about it
    5. Set the timer on the bomb (my favorite), “I have a call in five minutes”
  5. Block your time – create a default diary (ideal calendar, default calendar) communicate it and stick to it.

These five tips are just the tip (no pun intended) of the iceberg.  My colleagues at ActionCOACH and I have a wealth of effective time management strategies at our fingertips.  If you are find that there are not enough hours in the day, or you are totally overwhelmed by the “things” on your plate, WE CAN HELP!  Just contact me or any of my ActionCOACH colleagues.

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Blinding Flashes of the Obvisous (BFOs), Planning, Success, Time Management

I had a major comeuppance and Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO) this morning related to one of my monthly activities, instigated by a Darren Hardy video I watched yesterday.  During my holiday break the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I worked on a few administrative tasks in advance of their normal schedule.  Among them was a look at my Accounts Receivable (A/R) aging.  I printed the A/R Summary Aging Report from QuickBooks and thought about how I wanted to collect from each of the few past due client in the report.  After deciding on several different collection strategies based on the past due amount, age and client situation, I put a code next to each past due client.   For example; some were going to receive a statement via email followed by a call, a few would get a mailed statement and a call, etc.  I must admit, I was very proud of myself for addressing this unpleasant, but necessary task earlier than usual.

This morning, almost two week later, I realized that after planning my collection strategies, I put my collection plan into my A/R folder without implementing it!  My BFO:

Planning to do something, and knowing how it will be accomplished ….

Is Not The Same As Actually Doing It!

There is no doubt that planning is essential, as the saying goes, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”  However, failing to work the plan is actual failure.

In Darren Hardy’s video, he presented a weekly Sunday Planning System (http://dh.darrenhardy.com/win-the-week).  As he explains during the video, he was given the system by a billionaire he was introduced to a few years ago.  In addition to the Sunday Planning System, the billionaire told him that in order to focus and maximize his effectiveness and results, he works on one, and only one major item per day.  He addresses that item until it is complete.  Based on this system, and my BFO, my plan going forward is to plan and finish whenever possible.  No more plan, put aside to finish later.  By the way, Darren Hardy is one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 Business Excellence Forum and Awards (http://www.thebusinessexcellenceforums.com/events/?event_id1=7) February 18th to 20th in San Diego.

As we begin 2018, I encourage you to plan and act to achieve your goals.  My ActionCOACH colleagues and I are presenting GrowthCLUB 90-day planning workshops in the coming weeks.  These powerful and very effective workshops will accelerate your journey to massive results in your business and life.  Plan to register, attend and implement your ActionPLAN.

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21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Being an Owner, Effective Delegation, Leadership, Success, work less, Work Life Balance

Earlier this week I attended a breakfast event, part of the Hofstra University Scott Skodnek Business Development Center’s Distinguished Lecture Series.  The event was a Keynote Conversation with Brett Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.  Mr. Yormark was interviewed by Kevin Law, the President & CEO of the Long Island Association.

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) owns and operates the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets NBA team and redeveloped and manages the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Nassau County, Long Island.  Since Hofstra University is basically across the street from the Coliseum, many of the interview questions revolved around its redevelopment.  After answering some questions about improvements to the venue, the construction process and its cost verses the budget, Mr. Yormark moved onto the performance of the Coliseum since it reopened in April of this year.  The venue reopened with a Billy Joel concert.  In the seven months since the Coliseum reopened, they have had more than 100 events, including concerts by Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars and other performers. Other events including G-League professional and college basketball games also occurred there.  So far, the Coliseum is ahead of BSEs projections.

So, when Kevin Law asked Brett Yormark if he is happy with Coliseum results so far, Yormark replied:

“I am happy, but not satisfied.”

He used that exact wording to answer several additional questions as the interview progressed.  I was struck by how simple and yet very powerful this phrase is.  The concept represented by these six words is extremely important.  How many businesses have stopped growing or failed because management or owners became “satisfied?”  When I had my consulting practice before joining the ActionCOACH team, I met many business owners who were earning more than $500,000 per year who became satisfied with their businesses.  “Why should I continue to push hard, I’m making more than I need?”  “I am working too hard and have no time to enjoy my wealth.”  Many wanted to start enjoying the fruits of their success, reducing the attention and time they devoted to their businesses.  Many of those businesses no longer exist, failed due to over-satisfaction and the resulting lack of attention.

Two things need to be highlighted here:

  1. I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t celebrate when a major goal or milestone is achieved. There is nothing wrong with a brief pause to celebrate and “smell the roses.”  Celebration is very important, for you and your team.
  2. One of the motivating factors that drove my decision to join ActionCOACH (and many of my colleagues) is our definition of a successful business:

A commercial, profitable enterprise that works without YOU (the owner)

I work with my clients to design, plan, structure and build their businesses so they will earn more and work less.  I enable them to achieve the state of happy life, but continuing dis-satisfaction with the value their business brings to their team, customers, community, and themselves.

At lunch, that same day, I continued my rereading of John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership ((10th Anniversary Edition). I came to Law 18-The Law of Sacrifice.  The following from Law 18 makes the point.

“…today’s success is the greatest threat to tomorrow’s success. And what gets a team (or company) to the top isn’t what keeps it there.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

My ActionCOACH colleagues or I will be happy to assist you to build your business, so you can earn more and work less.

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Business Fundamentals, Communication, Effective Delegation, Goal Setting, Leverage, Management, Time Management

Reading a John C. Maxwell article in the September 2017 edition of Success about time management, entitled “4 Tips to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow Today” got me thinking.  On a hunch, I went back and reviewed several other articles, publications and the ActionCOACH TimeRICH seminar on the subject of time management and was able to confirm my conclusion that

Time Management is really Self Management!

This is not exactly a new idea, I’ve said this during numerous presentations.  So why highlight it now in this blog?  It seems to me that many of us brush off the importance of time-self management.  Taking an “I am what I am” attitude rather than seeking to improve our use of our time.  Thus, I am going to reiterate a few of our top self-time management tips:

  • Set personally motivating goals – if your goals are truly important to you, you must strive to connect every activity to them. In the article, Maxwell encourages creating a Priority Inventory, another way of looking at the connection of your goals to your activities.
  • Don’t finish today until you plan tomorrow – Maxwell explains two concepts in his article; be deliberate in your use of time, and hone your decision-making skills. Once you increase your awareness of your goals and their relationship to your activities, you will become more deliberate in your investment of time.  The decision as to what to address and what not to address will become easier, enhancing your self management.  Remember, every time you say “YES” to something, you are saying “NO” to many other activities.
  • Create a Default Diary – a schedule of how you intend to invest your time on “normal” days. Your Default Diary (Ideal Week or Default Calendar, we use these terms interchangeably at ActionCOACH) accomplishes many things; it sets your time expectations, and communicates them.  You will feel uneasy when your activities conflict with your internal clock once it has been set via your Default Diary.  Many of my clients use their Default Calendar as a communication tool with their teams, using the tool to create “deep thinking” time slots.
  • Delegate – Effective delegation is the key to successful time and self management. None of us are expert or skilled in all aspects necessary for the success of our businesses or lives.  We are faced with the choice to do it all, abdicate or delegate numerous times every day.  Should I change the oil in my car myself?  Should I abdicate the oil change by simply dropping off the car at my local service station? Or, should I effectively delegate the oil change by carefully selecting the service station or dealer, asking them about the oil and filter they are going to use, and all the other details related to the oil change?  I used this example to exemplify the fact that we can all delegate to our extended team even if we have no direct employees.  When delegating, John Maxwell makes the point the we should not mistake activity for advancement.  This applies to those we delegate to, as well as ourselves.

John C. Maxwell included the following quote in the article:

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remember, you cannot replenish your time, once a moment is gone, it is gone.  As Steadman Graham said at one of our ActionCOACH conferences,

“Time is the great equalizer.  We all have 24 hours in a day.”

His message continued to say that the very wealthy use their time more effectively.  How are you investing your precious time?  My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH are uniquely qualified to assist you toward effective delegation and successful self and time management.

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5 Way Formula, Being an Owner, Business and Golf, Consistency, Leadership, Time Management

I took the first two weeks of August for a trip to Europe with my wife, Tammy.  Tammy joined one of Berkshire Choral International’s groups which rehearsed and sang in Budapest, Hungary.  While she was in rehearsals I toured Budapest and caught up on my reading, both business and pleasure.  Following are comments about and links to a few of the articles that struck a chord.

  • Jason Fried in the July/August 2017 issue of INC Magazine in an article headlined Starbucks Wasn’t Built in a Day, subtitled “Entrepreneurs are told to go big or go home. Stop obsessing over scale, and perfect the basics.”   In the article Jason talks about John who wishes to open a tea shop, but often drifted to talking about his next shop, and his next shop, etc.  He advises John to slow down and get the basics right before focusing on rapid growth.  I have long agreed with this philosophy.  While there is nothing wrong with having big long range goals, we emphasize long term planning at ActionCOACH, one needs not to get ahead of one’s self.  One of the major points of the ActionCOACH 5-Way Formula is that a business must be built in balance.  Before I joined ActionCOACH, I had several turn-around clients.  One in particular, a consumer goods company, had great marketing and product, but couldn’t reliably deliver their products to their customers, the retail stores.  Ultimately their customers abandoned them in favor of suppliers that had great product, marketed well and consistently delivered.  My client had grown their business out of balance, and could not cover the basics.
  • In the July 2017 issue of Golf Digest an article about confidence by Sam Weinman titled What If Everything You’ve Been Told To Think Is Wrong? caught my eye. Within the article are several concepts that apply equally to business as well as golf.  One very important concept was highlighted by a quote from Dr. Fran Pirozzolo, a sports psychologist and mental-skills coach “Confidence is a garbage term in that it induces illusions of competence.”  If in business, we confuse confidence with competence, our mind will be closed to our limitations and that will limit our ability to construct plans to overcome them.  It is the difference between an “I Know” attitude which cuts off learning and an “Isn’t that interesting” attitude which encourages learning.

Another concept applicable to business revolves around Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck’s division of our mind-sets into two categories:

– Fixed mind-set – people who seek validation of their abilities
– Growth mind-set – people who believe their skills can be cultivated through effort

The final concept that jumped off the page also came from Dr. Pirozzolo – “Don’t believe the hype.”  During my career in the fashion industry, I was aware of countless fashion designers who crashed and burned because they believed the hype and were unable to adjust to changing market and business realities.

  • From the September 2017 issue of Success Magazine John C. Maxwell has an article about time management 4 Tips to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow Today.” The title of the article says it all.  In our TimeRICH seminar, we encourage the audience to be militant about their time.  Along the militant line, Maxwell’s article contains a great quote I intend to add to the TimeRICH presentation:

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

These are just a few of the ideas I gleaned during my vacation reading, I hope you will find them useful.

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