There's No Failure...Only Feedback

As leaders in our businesses and in our professions, we take on a lot of responsibility. Responsibility for our organization’s financial success. Responsibility for our employees. Responsibility for our customers, members, and clients.

With all that responsibility comes an enormous amount of pressure. Slip up even once, and your world could come crashing down on you like a house of cards. That’s why you should do everything you can to make intelligent, well-thought-out decisions and try to avoid making mistakes.

But are mistakes really the end of the world? Not really. There are several reasons for this.

First, we all make mistakes. And anyone who more...

Shake it Off!

I’ve been spending more time at our new house lately, and I’m getting used to the new back yard too.

Like I mentioned last month, change is dif­ficult, but once you settle in to the new situation, it becomes familiar and you start to develop some new routines.

In my old back yard, we had green grass all year long...except when it got really hot in the summer, and it started to die a little.

In my new house, they have a differ­ent kind of grass that stays green in the summer when it’s hot, but looks like straw and is kind of crunchy in more...

What’s Your Promise and Are You Keeping It?

By Peter Williamson

Once you launch something, whether it’s an ad, an article, a web­site, a blog, or even an e-mail, you’re setting free a message. That mes­sage could be an invitation, an offer, information, an announcement... whatever it is, it’s your commitment to the potential customer that what you are promising is valid, valuable, and something worth their invest­ment and time.

But staying true to that commit­ment doesn’t stop with the promise. As a matter of fact, it rarely starts with it.

Where does the promise start?

The promise starts with you, the business owner, as a promise to yourself. Many business owners more...

Office Disruptions

There are always people in your office who stop by to chit chat with you about a particular issue or topic. They feel it’s okay to pop in for a quick question that generally takes much lon­ger than you would like.

For this reason, train your staff when you have an open door and when you are off limits for questions. One way to do this is to make sure everyone knows that when the door is closed, you’re busy and can’t be inter­rupted. You can also put a sign on the door. Or you can have a gate keeper, such as a receptionist or more...

Nurturing Your Passions in Your Business and Life

Have you ever woken up at 4:30 in the morning so excited about something that you just couldn’t sleep? If you have, then it’s probably for one of two reasons. You’re either so stressed out about something you want to resolve that you can’t stop thinking about it…or you may be so excited about something you’re doing–like a vacation or a special event–that you can’t get it out of your mind!

This month I’m going to be talk­ing about your passions! If you’re really excited about something you’ve been anticipating for some time, then more...

Come Fly With Me!

Believe it or not, there was a time when travel was an exciting, luxuri­ous experience–when men wore suits and ties, women wore dresses and pearls, and complete meals were served in every class of service.

And it wasn’t really all that long ago...I caught the tail end of this when I started travelling for business in the early 1980s.

Now it seems like the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction: people board planes wearing shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops; and you con­sider yourself lucky if you even get a bag of peanuts.

And it’s not only that way in the “economy” cabin. With my frequent-flier more...

What Counts as Marketing?

With so many examples of “bad” marketing, we’re never at a loss of examples we can feature if we want to demonstrate what not to do.

But that can get a bit depressing. So we’re always on the lookout for examples of great marketing, and when these examples come from our own members, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

On a one-on-one coaching call with one of our long-time members, LifeQuest Services, I found a perfect example.

Jerry Miller and Hank Holterman are our two primary contacts there, and Hank was kind enough to let us share their great work with our members.


Take a Look at This!

Communicating effective­ly is a constant challenge.

You’re trying to convey information to someone else who is receiving and inter­preting this information through a set of filters based on a distinctly unique set of experiences, motives, and intentions.

In person, you have the benefit of visual cues and other instant-feedback mechanisms. Over the phone, these nuances become cloudy. Start putting your thoughts down in writing, and meanings can easily become distorted–that’s why people tend to include “smileys” and other “emoticons” in their e-mails and more...

How to Deal with Transition as the New Steady State

Life seems to always be in a state of transition. You have continual ups and downs and constant turmoil trying to manage your business and your life. This was characterized so well in a segment of the Parenthood movie, which was produced in 1987 and starred Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen. In a truly memorable scene from the movie, the grand­mother describes her life experi­ence as a ride on a roller coaster.

“When I was 19, your grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up...down. Up...down. Oh what a ride! I always wanted more...

Old McDonald Had a Farm...How to Craft a Unique Selling Proposition

It’s no secret that we like wine, and since we have a great wine shop about eight minutes away, it’s become kind of a local hangout for us.

The owner makes it easy for us to visit by holding regular tastings every Saturday, as well as special “bonus” tastings during the week.

So we were in for a surprise when we got the e-mail inviting us to a Tuesday-night tasting, featur­ing “Mac” McDonald of Vision Cel­lars. (

It’s All About Personality...

To say that Mac more...