Skip to content


Stand Out and Deliver

What is it about you and your business that stands out?

Most of us “know” that it is important to differentiate ourselves from the competition to create a competitive advantage- and yet in the activity of handling our day to day workload (and given the fact that we’re often “too close” to our own work to see it clearly), we often fail to really clarify, for ourselves and certainly our potential clients, what separates us from the pack. We fail to powerfully address the question, “Why work with/ buy from US (versus “them”)?”

Consider that there is a flow of resources, whether money, prospective clients or anything else. That is, picture what you want as being like a river, and what you want to build is a gate/ semi-dam structure that diverts some of that flow to you. Differentiation is that gate. What is it that would have potential clients flow naturally to you?

Read More »Stand Out and Deliver

Are You Boring?

Are you a rock star?

Are you a professional athlete?

Are you in the Special Forces?

If you answered “no” to those questions, which you probably did, I have news for you.  Your job is boring.  That’s right.  Nobody is really excited about what you do for a living.   Did you ever see somebody interviewed on a late night talk show to discuss whole vs. term life insurance?  Do they discuss marketing and branding for small to medium sized companies?  Does Page Six in the NY Post show photos of tech support people getting coffee and pushing their kids in a stroller?  The answer to those questions is “no”.

Read More »Are You Boring?

Create a Game You Love to Play

It is well known and oft-cited that 90% of new businesses fail within their first year and, of those that make it through those first 12 months, 90% of them fail within the next two years. What is less acknowledged , seemingly accepted as “just the way it is”, and just as concerning for me is that many more businesses fail to fulfill on their original intention: to provide the owner with a great life and the opportunity to contribute to his family, community and the world.

We create businesses to serve our lives, and soon our lives are serving our businesses.

Well, here’s the news: it doesn’t actually have to be that way.

Read More »Create a Game You Love to Play

Following Up, Part 2

One of the most crucial aspects to networking is having a good plan to follow up.  It is important to to do this with the people you’ve met and most importantly with referrals that have been offered to you.

Referrals Offered
Yogi Berra is rumored to have said, “If somebody offers you a referral, take it!”  I recently attended a high end networking event where a group of us participated in an exercise where we each offered introductions to other people at the table.  After listening carefully to who the people at my table wanted to meet, I offered a specific introduction opportunity for everybody at the table.  The only catch to the introduction was that they had to send me an email with their contact information in order to get it.  Out of nine people, I only received one email.  I retold this story a few times and learned this is a common problem that everybody experiences.  What this tells me is that there are many people that are networking but not doing it well.  Use this knowledge as a way to separate yourself from the pack.  If you become good at following up, then you will earn a reputation as a great networker and everybody will want to work with you and bring you introductions that will eventually lead to new business.

Read More »Following Up, Part 2

Designing vs Doing

Imagine that you’re setting out to design and build your dream house. Are you going to put some time, thought and effort into it or are you going to just grab some boards, a hammer and nails, and throw something up in a few hours? That’s a no-brainer, right? I mean, can you imagine it: “There we go… oops, company’s coming over, I’d better throw together a living room… hmmm, we’re getting kind of hungry- time to put up a kitchen…”

Yet, that’s how many of us build our businesses… We leap excitedly into action, and then get caught up in a seemingly inescapable cycle of reaction, always left dealing with the next emergency, putting out the biggest fire or chasing after the next big thing. And for each situation, we respond with action, with “doing”. Doing something, doing more, doing better, doing it differently.

What if some other way is possible? The world of architecture shows us that it is.

Read More »Designing vs Doing

Networking 101, Class 6

The Most Effective Tactic For Following Up

After meeting a new contact at a networking event, everybody knows it’s important to follow up and to do it quickly.  The key to this simple effort is to do it in a way that achieves the desired result.  And that is to arrange a meeting and establish a new networking relationship.

Here is the situation.  You were at event, which could be a private networking group or a large function and you met a great person.  You enjoyed speaking with them and you feel they could be a great networking colleague.  They could be one of the three types of networking capital, a Connector, a Center of influence or a Hidden gem.  Either way, you want to meet this person again.  The conventional wisdom offers good advice but misses a key point.  Everybody agrees that a follow up email should include the following:

Read More »Networking 101, Class 6

Navigating Large Networking Events

Many people are intimidated by large networking events that may have up to 100 people or sometimes more.  It’s uncomfortable for people to walk into a situation like that and start making conversation with strangers.  It may appear overwhelming at first, but with the right preparation and some planning, you can learn to love attending events like this.

This months article will discuss the top three strategies for navigating large networking events.  They are:

1) Setting goals

2) Bring a friend

3) Don’t talk about yourself

Read More »Navigating Large Networking Events

There’s Always SOMETHING (and so what?)

Have you noticed that, in business and in life, there’s always something to deal with? That’s just the nature of the game, so to speak, right? Call them what you will- problems, breakdowns, challenges, situations, opportunities, etc.- as long as you’re alive, and certainly if you’ve taken on working with others (and how can you not), there will always be things to deal with.

The question for today is, HOW do you deal with those things? And I don’t mean what do you do, because that (hopefully) will be different from situation to situation. Rather, how do you relate to what there is to deal with; what is your relationship to what’s happening and how do you let it affect you? I say that it’s who you are about what’s happening- or how you relate to it- not the situation itself, that has the real impact on both your effectiveness in dealing with it and your experience of life overall.

Read More »There’s Always SOMETHING (and so what?)

It’s Not About YOU

Fundamentally, business is about service, about providing someone else with something of value. Whether we actively provide that something to those others (sales and/or delivery) or we work inside an organization serving some other function required for the effective delivery of that something, the whole point is to provide value.

In a culture preoccupied, if not obsessed, with attainment, achievement and status- with getting stuff- it seems difficult to keep the whole providing and service thing in our awareness. I mean, here in the U.S. anyway, our country was actually founded (at least partly) on the principle of the “pursuit of happiness”. Did you ever notice that if you have to pursue something, it inherently means that you don’t have it- or even have direct access to it? So here we are, in life and in business, pursuing and chasing happiness- and blaming others and external circumstances when we don’t “get it”. Hell, even when we get the “stuff” we want (the car, the promotion, the sale, etc.), notice how it (experience-wise) provides nothing more than a very temporary sense of gratification? Then it’s on to the next “thing”, and on and on we go…

Read More »It’s Not About YOU