Is your hole deep enough?

Rich told me he had no room for error. He has no money in the bank. If the business he bought doesn't turn around - quickly - his family doesn't eat. Rich is motivated. He's in a pretty deep hole. Joe just had to sell one of his businesses. He wasn't investing in it.  The business got pretty run down ... Like an old house that hasn't been maintained. Joe is on the tail end of his business life.  He's got the money he needs to finish this ride called life.  Joe doesn't have a very deep hole.   … [Read more...]

Dictate the future

I asked the group to close their eyes.  I suggested they think about a day in the future (You can do this, too).  I guided them with some questions. "Go six months out.  Create a picture as vivid and real as possible.  What goals have you achieved?  What big wins are you celebrating?  What is happening on this day 6 months out that isn't happening today? What clients are you talking to?  What deals have you closed?  What have you created?  What's your business model?  What's happening with … [Read more...]

How to stop finishing last

Nice is a four letter word.  When someone tells me I'm nice, I'm doing something wrong.  I'm not saying something that needs to be said.  Or I'm being a door mat and getting walked on.  I don't want to be a nice guy.  I'd rather be a good guy.  Nice is not a saving grace.  Good is. People seen as highly disagreeable make nearly $10,000 more per year than those seen as highly agreeable. Does that mean you need to become an ass to make more money?  No. It means you need to start adding … [Read more...]

Are you supposed to be here?

One of my favorite movies is Clerks.  It's clever, raw and funny.   There are two lead characters.  One writes his own rules for reality.  The other allows reality's rules to be written for him.  The second guy, Dante, keeps muttering "I'm not even supposed to here." through the movie.  He's torn between what he wants to do and what he feels he's supposed to do. I am most miserable when I think in 'Supposed to'   "I'm supposed to get a merit increase."  "They're supposed to refill my drink." … [Read more...]

What will you find when you get there?

Get out through the in door or or get in through out door.   Either way, no matter where you are, there you are. Are you trying to get out of where you don't want to be?   Something will follow you.  You. You can't escape yourself. Most of the times we want to get out of something ... it turns out the something we want to get out of is ourselves. That new job won't make you any more valued.   That other guy (or girl) won't  make you any more lovable.  That pint of ice cream won't … [Read more...]

Out through the In Door

I was down in a depressive funk for the last few weeks.  It tends to happen each year as approach my birthday.  This year wasn't an exception.   I was walking in the morning.  Walking in the sunlight is a prescription for the funk.  As I walked I prayed.  I was asking for a way out.  I received an answer. "Stop looking for a way out.  Look for a way in." Looking for a way out isn't about finding something new.  It's about leaving something old.  You're not going anywhere.  You're … [Read more...]

Road to nowhere

I drove this morning.  There's a good chance that you did, too.  Did you drive on a road?  Yeah, me too.  The roads I drove on have been around for several decades.  I don't know when they were built.  I'm pretty sure someone built them.  I didn't pay for the roads to be built.  But I'm pretty sure that someone did.   Life would be really different if they weren't built.  Businesses would have a hard time making money.  People would have a hard time getting to work.  There's a pretty valuable … [Read more...]

Understanding the gravity of the (business) situation

Gravity is generated by objects that have mass.   The greater the mass, the stronger the pull of gravity.  The stronger the pull, the more it influences everything within it's reach.  We float weightlessly when there is no gravity.   We are like immovable boulders when there is a lot gravity. The longer a business is around the more likely it is to accumulate mass.  The mass accumulates in the form of people, processes, culture, habits, inventory, customers, etc.  As mass accumulates, so does … [Read more...]

Perfect is a myth… A simple way to overcome it

I said, "Quality is overrated."   Richard's jaw dropped.  This was heresy to a man of German heritage like Richard.  I took time to explain.  If we wait for perfection to get something out the door, we can wait a long time.  A working prototype comes before the good enough product.  Focus on getting to "It works ... enough"  before striving for perfection. Ernest Hemingway said "The first draft of anything is sh!t." The first draft of anything is a draft completed.  It is a completed piece of … [Read more...]

Leadership is a contact sport

I don't enjoy playing basketball shirts vs skins.   I just don't enjoy sweaty men pressing and bumping into me. It affects my commitment level. I don't play as hard. It's not fair to my team for me to play and not be committed to the contact required of the game.  When shirts are on, I'm in. I'll throw my elbows around with the best of them.  Shirts off, I should walk away. Adam said, "That's not easy." I asked Adam whether being a good leader is easy or hard. He said, "Hard."   One of … [Read more...]