The First Step in Tackling a Difficult Problem

A friend came to me recently and said, “Dude, I have a huge problem.” (I always get excited when things like this happen because most problems aren’t that huge).

“Dude, seriously…I think my wife is cheating on me.”

Ok, well you have my attention. This is obviously more intense than, “Dude, the store was out of my favorite beer and now I don’t have any for the game.”

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Prove Your Concept | Get Their Attention

I talked with one of my best friends this week about the best route for him to get started in business. The path is different for everyone but one theme rings constant…you need to prove your concept. No matter what type of business you are starting, no one gives a shit about your ideas. What they give a shit about is your results. Prove your concept to get their attention.

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Consistency pt. 2 Mistakes to Avoid

So, I figured I'd follow up on this because we've had such a wild ride since I posted the original article a couple weeks back. This past week I talked to people who lost thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in our volatile market over the past couple months. 

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Understanding the Financial System

Nobody likes to talk budgets and spending.  It's uncomfortable.  Thats probably why so many people suck at it.  Especially when it comes to debt and leverage.  The argument can, and should, probably be made that if you can't balance a checkbook with $100 in it, no one should give you $1,000.  Honestly, the only difference in the two is zero's and zero's are worthless.  What's important is the mindset.  How do you think and act around your time and money?

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What I Wish I Knew About Business at 19...

Isn’t it funny sometimes, as time goes by, if you really are trying to tune into a specific channel you can often find it?  This is a revised post of a previous entry I wrote years’ back entitled, “Common Sense is Hard”.  It spurred conversations that have lead to me having the privilege to kick off my alma mater’s 2018 Speaker Series on February 13th at the beautiful Entrepreneurial Center of Davenport University.  Those of you who knew me 4 years ago, know I’ve gone through some pretty awesome experiences and changes that have allowed me to gain a much broader perspective on the topics from my original post.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the perspective I’ve gained and I hope it can help you avoid some of the costly mistakes I’ve had throughout my career.

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Macro vs Micro. Get your marketing right...

Some people wanna sell you and others just want you to feel warm and fuzzy about them.  The smart one’s want both.  Ever notice that?  Let’s be real.  Everyone is in sales.  From one extreme to the other, everyone implores sales habits throughout the course of their day and definitely throughout the course of their career.  So how do some find longevity while others fade quickly?  Sales professionals or otherwise?  I think the difference lies in the definition and understanding of branding vs advertising.

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Here's to Life...

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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Common Sense is Hard...

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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Human Capital vs. the Human Being...

​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…

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

​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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Value vs. Values...

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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