OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO, I ran across a striking company that thought differently than mine did.

They didn’t worry about the competition.  Really.

And not because they were ignorant or egotistical.  It’s because they realized that if they and all their competitors grew, it would create a whole new market.

Out of nothing.

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RECENTLY I HAD COFFEE with a friend who leads a great business. They’re a powerful part of this community, always looking to support others and make a difference.

He happened to leave a very generous tip for the coffee shop owner, but it was our conversation afterward which made it memorable.  He said to me, “I feel that it’s important to support all these other businesses in town.  They help me and I help them, and it makes for a great community.”

You might think that I’m making too much out of a small act of kindness, but this really is about the way he thinks.

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ROBERTO VALDEZ RUNS AN AMAZING BUSINESS recycling mattresses here in Fort Collins.

His heart is in serving those who are looking to rebuild their lives after incarceration or drug addiction. In fact, that’s how he got engaged with Spring Back Mattress Recycling in the first place.

He created a new life based on the support and leadership of Christopher Conway, his boss and mentor. I met Christopher as well, a sincere man who’s on a mission to serve the community.

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YOU’D LIKE FOR THE WORLD to be a safe place. After all, you’ve put your heart and soul into your business, and it would be terrible to have it fall apart.

So you try to play it safe.

But there are different kinds of safety. You could run close to the edge on being legal – but if you step over that edge, the regulators will shut you down.  Permanently.

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TRUE CONFESSION: I never get significant results by myself.  Even as a one-person business, I rely on a great number of others to support me and magnify my impact.

I suspect you have the same kind of reliance on others.

The first category is those people who help me produce what I do.  That includes development and delivery of my services.  If I were producing a physical product, I’d need design, production and inventory.  Those might be done inside the business, but a lot of it depends on suppliers, consultants, partners, and so on.

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DIVERSITY HAS BECOME WATERED DOWN. The honest truth that business in this country has adopted an attitude of “hire a racial minority and we’ll be good.”

I almost don’t even want to use the word any more, but there’s something important I’ve learned. We need to talk about it.

We all gravitate toward people and groups which are similar to us. I think it’s a hardwired aspect of being human, perhaps based on how our primitive ancestors maintained stable communities.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK when I say “business plan”?

Chances are you describe it with adjectives like overwhelming, tedious, and confusing.

Those kinds of descriptions will quickly put the whole exercise of business planning at the bottom of your list. After all, who wants tedium and overwhelm? It’s just easier to work on the day-to-day issues which are constantly swirling around like gnats.

What if business planning was joyful and amazing?
2017-04-03 It has to be beautiful
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THIS WEEK I HEARD A REPORT about Dr. Laura Lengnick who was speaking about sustainable agriculture.

Actually, she was explaining why she now uses the word resilient rather than sustainable.

Her point is that sustainable implies a sense of being static, of an ideal world where everything is balanced and unchanging.  Unfortunately, that world doesn’t exist.

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MidiCi BRANDS ITSELF AS “The Neapolitan Pizza Company.” New to Fort Collins, you might be skeptical about whether this town needs another pizza place, no matter how good the food is.

I had a chance this week to be introduced to the owners of this great new MidiCi franchise, opened just three weeks ago.  Frank and Kim Brewster come from Greeley and are passionate about the unique employee culture of this business. Read the rest of this entry »

VERY FEW BUSINESSES are completely independent. Even as a primarily one-man show myself, I still rely to a great deal on partners for marketing, lead generation, even fulfillment of services.

It’s crucial to have the best people you can. Especially because you might have just as much business reliance on them as you would with employees, with far less control.

The trick is to align around your mission and values.

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