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Grand Rapids, MI

​Hi.  I'm Mike Dokter.  I've ridden the coat tails of others.  I hang out with people who are much more talented and much smarter than I am.  I consistently work to learn as much as I can from these people so I can help others along their journey as well.  

What I think...

Why We Hunt

Mike Dokter

Every time I come to Arkansas, I fall in love again.  Not with a person or a place specifically, but rather, with an idealism.  A renewed belief in the preciousness of the beautiful resources our Creator entrusted us with.  I find a renewed love of a lifestyle that promotes the love of nature, family, and most importantly, the love for the One who created it all.  I’ve been hunting with my family for as long as I can remember, really.  We are Yankee Hunters, and this is our story.

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Here's to Life...

Mike Dokter

It’s been almost a year since I’ve published anything.  I’ve started to write a variety of times but got distracted by one thing or another.  That’s life, isn’t it?  A series of moments split up by distractions.  Maybe those of you who don’t struggle with the fun little thing some of us call ADD, can’t quite relate but the others who do, know exactly what I am talking about.  Honestly, if life wasn’t this way, I’d probably be bored.  Maybe it’s time to slow down…

 

I’m writing words in between staring out the window of a Dodge 2500 diesel pickup.  I’m on my way down to Arkansas for opening day of duck hunting with my father and uncles which promises to be spectacular.  I’m reading a book entitled “Life and Life Only” by Dave Moyer.  It’s a fine book about a child baseball prodigy who’s dreams and moments got split up by distractions such as a shoulder injury and an unexpected pregnancy.  

 

Life sometimes goes places you don’t expect.

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Don't be Fussy, It's Annoying... (Edited 2/9/14)

Mike Dokter

I don’t pretend to be the best at relationships.  In fact, one could argue that I am among the worst at relationships considering a failed marriage is in my back pocket.  Although that’s a rough card to carry around and occasionally awkward to explain to people, it has helped me realize what not to do in a relationship that you actually want to work.  Now, my beautiful, brilliant, loving girlfriend may argue that point since, like everyone, we still have our disagreements.  I came across an article on the topic in the Huffington Post and I think it’s brilliant.

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Common Sense is Hard...

Mike Dokter

I had the pleasure of being a part of a panel on entrepreneurship last night hosted by the Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence at the Warehaus in Holland.  It was a great event with some great participants and I was very honored to be asked to sit in.  The moderator asked me to prepare 10 minutes on the common mistakes made early on in business ownership.  I’m probably not the most qualified to be speaking on this topic but I gave it a shot and it went over pretty well.  I titled the talk: Common Sense is Hard.  Here are the 5 things I specifically spoke about.  These are not magical business techniques or short cuts.  They are common sense principles that I wish I had listened to earlier.  Enjoy…

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The Most Amazing Email Conversation Ever...

Mike Dokter

Ok, so my good friend sent me this email earlier this week and it is epic.  It was a conversation he had with a perspective employee.  I have changed the names and "X"ed out any pertinent information.  I can assure you this is real and the man responsible is brilliant.  I have separated all email exchanges with dashes.  Scroll all the way down and read from the bottom.

Enjoy! 

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Why I Love My Team...

Mike Dokter

I’m insanely blessed.  It’s stupid really.  I have done nothing to deserve any of the great experiences I’ve had in the last year.  Those of you that know me well know it has not been easy.  It’s been downright hellacious at times.  One of the brightest points of the last year was starting my business.  I want to tell you why I have the best team in #merica.

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The Risk of Living...

Mike Dokter

You ever get scared of life?  I was talking with someone earlier this week who is quickly becoming one of my best friends.  We were having a discussion on risk, and making decisions in life in light of that.  I’m kinda messed up in the brain and love the excitement of the unknown.  This individual…not so much.  There’s nothing wrong with that at all but I have some thoughts on the entire idea of risk and the consequences of both taking and not taking them.

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Friendship...

Mike Dokter

I had lunch this week with a friend I had not seen in years.  It’s amazing how things can pick up right where they left off sometimes.  We started talking openly and honestly like we hadn’t skipped a beat.  We talked about life, love, pain, faith, business, and all the other bullshit that comes along with just “living”.

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Human Capital vs. the Human Being...

Mike Dokter

​I had an interesting conversation a while back with some area business leaders that I felt worth sharing.  We were looking at a case study where a CEO discussed the idea of identifying what they called: Human Capital.  This to me is an interesting idea that I take issue with a little bit.  So, I started what ended up being a half an hour conversation on the idea of what human capital actually refers to and how it relates to the idea of the human being or what I referred to in an earlier blog as “The Human Element.”

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Don’t try to innovate in a mature industry. You may get screwed…

Mike Dokter

I was reading an article in Bloomberg tonight about JCP and their “downfall”.  The article entitled, “Can Penney Get Off The Down Escalator” talked about the short tenure of ex Apple executive Ron Johnson (fired April, 8) who attempted to reinvent the company over the last few years.  He was also featured on a recent CBS Sunday Morning piece.  I like Ron Johnson, and not just because I’m typing this blog on a Mac.  I like him because he’s an innovator. 

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Why businesses hire marketing companies and then refuse to listen to them

Mike Dokter

​Remember that AMC show, The Pitch?  I love it.  I am a marketing guy by trade and education and a show like this is right up my alley and in my wheelhouse.  Here’s the premise of the show.  A major company brings in two competing advertising agencies at the same time.  They present their goals for the ad or brand campaign and the agencies have a week to come up with their best pitch.  The ad agencies then hear the pitches individually from the companies and decide which company they will ultimately hire to help them with their branding/marketing project.

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These are the days of our lives...

Mike Dokter

It’s funny how things change.  Everything moves and progresses.  Everything…business ideas, industries, and political influence all run their course.  I wrote once about contentment and complacency.  I may resurrect it for this blog but now is not the time.  In summary; contentment results from peace and complacency results from fear.  There, now you don’t have to read 1300 additional words.  I think that accepting the fact that things change and learning how to live with it is another way to look at how to be content.  I’m still struggling with how to do that.  It’s probably because I never took The Birds seriously.

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Names...

Mike Dokter

Names are important.  You don’t realize that when you’re young.  Some people don’t realize that when they’re old.  I never understood why my parents would always get so concerned about how my actions were reflected on them.  I always used the argument, “It’s my life!  It has nothing to do with you!”  Sound familiar?

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Value vs. Values...

Mike Dokter

I spoke to my EMBA cohort recently on the idea of values; both personal and in the workplace.  Honestly, most of the talk I stole from my two boss’s @smithgreg and @robertstam who co-authored a book called Almost Our Time in which, one of the chapters was titled, “Value vs. Values”.  I spoke about this topic and am writing about it now because I believe it is something that deserves further thought and investigation.  If you are looking for more of an in depth analysis, I’d recommend picking up a copy of the book on Amazon.  For now, let’s just explore some of the topics.

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