Procrastination and the art of dodging work

It certainly makes sense to prioritize your tasks and skip work that offers little overall value. But failing to fulfil commitments won't get you ahead

Procrastination and the art of dodging workI had a hard time writing this article. I’m not sure if it was fatigue or laziness, but I procrastinated even sitting down at the computer until almost the last minute. I had excuses, distractions, a nap and a few squirrels to chase on social media. I even saw something that said Bill Gates, or…

Finding your business’s sweet spot

Berry picking is a lot like business: you need to to work through the thorns, avoid the bears and pick where others aren’t

Finding your business’s sweet spotI like picking berries in the summer. It’s one of those memories that lasts into the fall and winter, much like the frozen berries that are hidden in the freezer for a tasty bit of summer on a cold day. I’m not sure if I was always a good berry picker but I do remember…

How to make your advertising more effective

Good advertising works to capture attention, elicit emotion and get responses, but most advertisers don't know how to go about achieving those goals

How to make your advertising more effectiveAdvertising can stimulate desire. Not that any advertising I ever participated in when I was single resulted in crowds of female admirers. However, working in the health food industry, I would often strive to create in my customers a desire for better health. My ads would try to kindle a response that would generate traffic…

Can your business survive a crash?

A healthy business ensure that all areas – sales, marketing, finances, management, vendors and customers – are exercised and challenged

Can your business survive a crash?I’ve been head over heels in love a couple times – but in cycling and business, I’ve been head over heels many times. Once, for example, I was on an early-morning ride on my road bike. I was doing hill repeats to get into shape to be able to keep up with the “fast crowd.” As I…

Regrets? I have a few. But I now know how to avoid them

By using tools that give perspective before making decisions, like the 10-10-10 rule, we can minimize our missteps

Regrets? I have a few. But I now know how to avoid themWe’ve all pushed send on an email or text and then regretted our actions 10 minutes later. It happened to me just this week. Someone shortened a deadline on a project and I questioned it. The person responded in a snarky manner. Squeezed by an already busy schedule with my temper rising, I sent an…

The best business leaders are courageous every day

If we want to be successful as leaders, we need to create an organizational climate where courage is celebrated

The best business leaders are courageous every dayIt takes courage for some people to get out of bed each morning and face the day. For others, it’s courageous to go up and say hello to a new person in their class or in their office. People who take risks to save lives, stand up for what’s right, face daily pain, jump out…

Selling or closing your business can save your life

Deciding to close up shop comes with a lot of stress, shame and disappointment. But you can disappear with some grace

Selling or closing your business can save your lifeI have a great disappearing act, though my wife Margaret doesn’t appreciate it much. I usually do this act when company comes over and stays late. If they don’t get the hint when I blow out all of the candles, I’ll say that I’m going up to do laundry. Or when they’re a little unfamiliar…

The keys to customer service you may have forgotten

Serve customers with people who like people. Keep your employees accountable. And exceed your clients’ expectations

The keys to customer service you may have forgottenUnfortunately, really great customer service is hard to find. North American consumers say we want a wonderful customer service experience. But in fact, we’ve come to expect something much less. Sometimes we get exceedingly bad customer service and we rant and rage. We believe that when we’re doing business with a company, that company should…

All talk, no action will leave your business in neutral

Many business owners know exactly what they would like to accomplish in their business. But they lack the necessary plan

All talk, no action will leave your business in neutralWendell is a swell guy with a big heart and a large mouth – and can Wendell ever talk! I once worked with Wendell at a volunteer project. We were planting a garden and while I was breaking my back, loading dirt in and out of pickup trucks, Wendell would lean on his shovel and…

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failure

Sharing our struggles with staff and family, and explaining the financial situation to suppliers may be humbling, but it relieves the weight of our shame

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failureWe all feel shame some time. Usually we feel this powerful emotion when we do something that doesn’t quite match up with our personal values. As a child, we might have felt shameful if we told a lie to our parents or were mean to a friend. As a teenager, we might have felt the…
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